The world’s deadliest tourist attractions
If you thought Class IV rapids and running with the bulls made you badass, then we've got a question for you: How's the water in the kiddie pool? Ok, that's not fair; those are both pretty bro. But if you're looking to engage in some truly death-defying adventure travel, check out these five potentially final destinations.
Death Road, Bolivia
The North Yungas Road, colorfully referred to as Death Road, is a 43mi stretch of sand and rock that snakes its way from La Paz to Coroico in the Yungas region of Bolivia. A single-lane with 1,967ft drops and a complete lack of guardrails, it’s littered with crosses to mark the many that’ve (literally) fallen. Dubbed the “the world’s most dangerous road” by the Inter-American Development Bank, an estimated 300 people die on it each year.
Volcano helicopter tours, Hawaii
Long known for their extreme natural beauty, the Hawaiian Islands offer great surfing, insane hiking, and killer fish tacos. They also boast three active volcanoes, which have been known to kick up lava as high a cubic mile. Which means, if you're on a helicopter tour hovering above one of said volcanoes, beware; you could go down in a fiery blaze. Think that sounds outlandish? Thirty people have died in exactly that way since 1995.
Mont Blanc, France & Italy
Not only is Mont Blanc
a German purveyor of fine writing instruments since 1906 the highest mountain in the European Union, it’s by far the deadliest. At 15,781ft, it offers expansive views of France and neighboring Italy, and provides a picturesque resting place for the estimated 100 souls who perish there annually. Oddly enough, the climb itself doesn’t come close to being the most treacherous in terms of difficulty. Rather, the sheer number of inexperienced mountaineers packed onto crowded routes (by guides pressured to get customers up and back quickly) is what creates the dangerous conditions.
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Ah, Florida. A land of golden beaches, blue-tinged perms, Girls Gone Wild… and the world’s highest concentration of shark attacks. While South Africa boasts the most incidents overall -- with 214 attacks and 42 fatalities over the past 30yrs -- they occurred over 2,798mi of coastline. Florida’s New Smyrna Beach, however, has had more attacks per square mile than ANY OTHER BEACH IN THE WORLD, with 210 over the same time period. One (slightly dubious) source speculates that if you’ve taken a dip at New Smyrna, you’ve probably placed yourself within 10ft of a shark… and 15ft from a redneck driving an El Camino on the beach.
Hua Shan plank path walk, China
At 7,087ft, the majestic Hua Shan may not be the tallest of China’s Five Great Mountains, but it is the most bowel loosening thanks in part to its biggest draw, the “plank walking path”. Not so much a path as a series of rickety 12in boards that inspire abject terror as you cling desperately to the cliff face, willing yourself to keep going despite the sound of tiny rocks loosened by your shoes cascading down into the mists of the valley below. On the plus side, if you make it to the end you'll be able to sip some tea with the monks at one of the weirdest watering holes in the world.