Skydiving is gaining ground. People around the world seem to be drawn to this adrenaline releasing activity more than ever before. It produces an incomparable rush and makes you feel as if you’ve cheated death. If voluntarily jumping from a plane and flying through the air at mind-blowing speed all while relying on a tiny string to pull out a parachute as the ground rushes to greet you is your cup of tea, then the biggest decision you will make is where you’ll jump.
You know that infamous personality “test” that asks if you’d rather spend your weekend on the beach or the mountains? Well, it’s actually pretty applicable to skydiving. Even though you’re flying through the air for a couple seconds, or minutes depending on where you jump, you should pick somewhere you’ll enjoy the fleeting glances of scenery.
There are jump zones literally all over the world, so scenery and travel arrangements can play a big role in deciding where to jump. Almost equally as important to consider is that different areas of the world offer unique specialties — the length of the jump varies based on where you go as does age requirements and if you’ll jump tandem or solo. While skydiving seems to appeal to those impulsive adventurers, it can be beneficial to put some forethought into your fall. Check out the list below to see the most interesting and beautiful places to skydive around the world.
Mauritius is an island off the coast of southeast Africa. The azure waters, speckled with reefs and rocks, engulf this little green island ensuring you have one of the prettiest falls you could've imagined. Plus, it's a great place to have a calming vacation after your jump.
The scenery isn't the only thing that attracts people to jump here. Most locations require participants to be 18 years of age before falling out of the plane, but here in Mauritius they only require you to be 12. So if you know someone who's yearning to feel that rush at a really young age, take them here. They just require that children under 12 are suited up on the ground, which is an easy demand to meet.
Most companies here offer falls from 10,000 and 15,000 feet, but can cost you up to $450 just for the fall.
12 Livingstone, Zambia
Livingstone is the adventure capital of the world. It offers white water rafting, bungee jumping, walking with lions, swimming in Devil's Pool and of course skydiving. It's also home to the tallest waterfall in the world, Victoria Falls, which gives jumpers the opportunity to take in the beauty of one of the seven wonders of the natural world from a completely different angle.
If that wasn't enticing enough, the Zambezi River can also be seen from the air. This river is home to National Geographic-esque scenes of hippos and elephants playing in the water, which you can also see during your fall.
Since Zambia is so heavily trafficked by adventure seeking junkies, you can follow your fall up with some other adrenaline inducing activity. Things here are pretty cheap so you can pack your schedule full of cool things. A typical fall only goes for $300.
11 Snohomish, Washington
If you're answer to the "mountains or beach" question is "both" then this is the drop site for you. Snohomish is a town located a few miles outside of Seattle, Washington. It gets more sun than the rainy city, but shares in the beauty so it's a great choice for skydiving.
On your fall you'll see mountains everywhere you look since Mt. Rainer, Mt. Baker and the Cascade Mountain Range are all within eyesight. The border of the U.S. and the Pacific Ocean will greet you and you'll even be able to see the San Juan Islands scattered off the Northwest coast of Washington.
While it is sunnier in Snohomish, they do experience quite a lot of rainy days, so if you plan to fall here, hopefully you have good luck and will get sunny weather!
10 Pattaya, Thailand
If you're life-long dream is to go skydiving in Southeast Asia, then this is your best bet since it's reportedly the only drop zone in that massive region that's open year round. That's okay though, because the views are stunning. Located in the Nong Kho Reservoir near Pattaya, Thailand, you're able to experience the beauty of land and sea.
The view from the fall here encompasses the western coast of Thailand. Lush green fields and blue sparkling water combine to make this drop site a dream come true. Getting to it is extremely easy too. The dive centers located here have a shuttle that goes to and from Bangkok (only an hour north) so you can stay in the bustling city, while viewing the serene countryside from thousands of feet in the air. Don't worry, the staff is international so you won't have any trouble communicating with them.
9 Hawaii, USA
Hawaii is known for it's great surfing, beautiful beaches, fresh fruit and laid-back atmosphere. Skydiving should be added to the list because it's one of the prettiest drop zones in the world. The main island is the main site for skydiving, but if you're all the way out there, you should take some time to island hop before or after your adventure.
One of the unique aspects about skydiving here is that you are taken up to altitude in an energy-efficient plane. So those of you who are environmentally conscious, but still like to have fun, this is the place for you. The plane lowers your carbon footprint, while the fall raises your adrenaline.
You're able to see the entire mountainous island floating in the sea on the way down. Plus, who wouldn't want to unwind at one of the prettiest beaches in the world after such an adventurous day. If you want to continue the adventure, Hawaii offers tons of hiking trails and other outdoorsy activities.
8 Namib Desert, Namibia
The vast desert in Namibia is home to absolutely nothing. No animals, no foliage, no nothing. So this fall is the most unique one you could possibly find.
Falling from 10,000 feet gives you 5 minutes to soak in all the sand. As far as you can see and in every direction there's sand and huge sand dunes. This could sound lame, but the wind blows the sand into intricate and beautiful patterns that can only be seen from above. Plus, it kind of seems like you're falling into the world after the apocalypse and you're the only person left on planet Earth, which is cool.
7 Cape Town, South Africa
South Africa is home to all kinds of cool animals and safaris seem to be the main thing to lure tourists in, but think again because Cape Town is one of the coolest places to fall into. The city itself is beautiful, a town of brightly colored buildings nestled right beside the sea with Table Mountain on the other side. The city offers tons of things to do, but nothing quite as nice as seeing it from above.
The 10,000 fall begins outside the city, but offers a panoramic view of the entire city. Cape Town, Table Mountain, Cape Winelands, the South African coast and Cape Agulhas (the point where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet) are all visible during the fall. Skydive Cape Town is the only company that offers jumps here so be sure to book your trip in advance to ensure you'll get a date!
6 Palm Jumeirah, Dubai
Dubai is basically just a giant playground. Home to really tall buildings and huge malls, there isn't much else to do, but play in this man-made site situated in an Arabian wasteland. What's more fun than skydiving?
This location is great for recreational skydiving, but it's also home to the largest annual skydiving championships. Don't worry, amateurs are also welcome. The fall here gives you the view of a giant island in the shape of a palm tree floating in the sea. There isn't any other way to soak in that much symmetry except from an aerial view. The man made port coupled with a view of the Persian Gulf and the entirety of Dubai make this one of the most interesting jump zones.
5 North Wollongong Beach, Australia
The land down under is one of the best places to go up, then fall from. Sydney is a huge cultural center and the Sydney Opera House draws thousands of visitors throughout the year, but imagine seeing it in a whole new light, from above. North Wollongong Beach is located outside Sydney and offers a beautiful scenery.
The 15,000 foot fall features the city of Sydney, including the Opera House, as well as tons of local beaches. As you get closer to the land, you can even see dolphins and whales frolicking in the sea. Perhaps the coolest part of this jump is the ending since you land right on the beach. People often go for a swim once they've touched down.
4 Mt. Everest, Nepal
Mt. Everest is known for besting hikers who try to reach the top, but can't conquer the climates. If you've ever dreamed of seeing this great mountain, think about seeing it from above. Falling over it gives you just as amazing views without the strenuous hike.
Even though the jump is easier than hiking the mountain, it's still for thrill seekers. The plane takes you up to 29,500 feet, which is twice as high as many other jump sites. The landing spot is one of the highest in the world and still involves hiking to mountain outposts. Make no mistake, this jump isn't for the weak at heart.
The view and thrill of falling past some of the tallest mountain peaks in the world makes up for the fear the actual jump instills. If this appeals to you, be sure to plan it way in advance since there are only four jumps a year and they require $1,000/month for six months and then a final payment of $14,000. That might be scarier than the actual fall.
3 Fox Glacier, New Zealand
New Zealand is a naturally beautiful country that offers tons of outdoor activities for people to take it all in, but seeing the country in one glimpse from the sky is the best way to do it. Fox Glacier is an eight mile long glacier located in the remote Westland Tai Poutini National Park on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. Getting there could be as extreme as the fall.
The views make up for it though. Falling in between the gorges left by the glacier, you're able to see mountains, sea and even the glacier itself. The Tasman Sea is boarded by a rugged coast filled with greenery that creates a beautiful contrast to the blue ocean and the white snow-capped mountains.
2 Cairns, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef is home to thousands of fish and other aquatic creatures and is so large it can be seen from space so you can imagine how amazing it looks from a skydive fall. Not only is it beautiful, the plane takes you up to 14,000 feet, which is one of the highest tandem jumps in Australia. This is so high you can see all the way to Queensland.
On the way down, you can see everything the Great Barrier Reef has to offer and as you get closer, you may even be able to make out fish swimming around. If you're able to peel your eyes away from this rare visual delight, you'll be able to see the Wet Tropics of Queensland; both of these are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. If that's not enough, you can even steer the parachute on the way down, so hopefully you know what you're doing.
1 Interlaken, Switzerland
Finally, the best place in the world to jump out of a plane is in the beautiful Swiss Alps. Interlaken is a town near the center of Switzerland that's known for it's abundance of extreme sports. The town is nestled between mountains, including the highest peak in Europe and is home to two lakes that are so blue they don't seem real.
On the way down you pass over the snowy Alps and catch glimpses of France, Italy, Germany and Austria all while falling over mountains, green fields and ice blue lakes. The landing takes place in a soft green pasture with the sound of cow-bells in the distance. The efficiency and experience of the Swiss diving companies only add to the wondrous experience of skydiving here.