Living dangerously takes more than getting a butterfly tattoo on your ass. You can climb a mountain, sure, but soaring over the peak of one is where it’s at when it comes to earning your badass pass. When you’re ready for some high-altitude recklessness, tick off OTP’s list of 10 Best Places to Skydive Around the World.
What really makes or breaks a skydiving experience (aside from a faulty parachute) is the view. Falling from a plane in Wollongong, Sydney loads your eyes with both the beautiful Australian coastline and a view of Sydney. As you’re plummeting toward the concrete jungle, be sure to take in the whales and dolphins flapping around a mile below. Prices are under $300 for a 14,000-foot drop. If you’re a backpacker, student, or veteran, you qualify for a $30, make you holla, discount.
Talk about getting high! This is the best you can get in Europe—a whopping drop of 15,000 feet for the bargain price of 205€. That’s 73 feet for every Euro you spend! And if you’re a bit of a pussy, a diving virgin, or a broke-ass, you can opt for the 10,000 foot drop for 185€ instead. Jump early in the morning and hit the ground in time for siesta
Ok, kids—this one’s for experienced sky wranglers only. You may remember this jump from Valery Rozov’s Red Bull-sponsored stunt, but if not, the man dove into a freaking active volcano. You’ll pass a smoking mountain fire-hole too, but no guarantees it’s going to give you wings.
If diving over a lava-filled volcano is a little too hot to handle, maybe soaring above Victoria Falls—the highest waterfall on Earth—is more up your alley. Not only is this waterfall one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Zambezi River is full of real-life National Geographic scenes, and if you’re lucky, you’ll even see a rainbow. All this for less than $300 USD.
If you’re a green fiend, there’s no better paradise to fly into than Hawaii. Not only can you see practically the entire island (including Diamond Head, Pearl Harbor, Kaena Point and local marine life), skydiving operations here use energy efficient planes. This means you’ll reduce your skydiving carbon footprint by 40 percent. If you’re a student, it’ll run you only $125 USD. Lazy college drop-out? Keep an eye open for internet promotions that make it a cool $150.
You’ll get a full beach view as you plummet back to Earth on this dive, just a few minutes from the Adriatic Sea. It’s less than 165€ to jump, and the place is renowned for its friendly, nerve-calming, staff. The hot chicks in their sexually explicit ads can’t be wrong; this will be the ride of your life.
This vast desert jump, replete with caramel colored dunes and endless blue sky-and devoid of wildlife, cities and greenery-is the most unique (and trippiest) skydiving view you’re going to get. A tandem 10,000 foot jump will run you a mere $270 USD. Falling 10K feet from the sky means you have about 5 minutes to come up with the best desert mirage your tousled brain can imagine
Never thought you could dive with your 12-year-old cousin? You can here, and it’s not a Make-A-Wish sort of deal. This joint’s only age prerequisite is that all children under 12 have to suit up before leaving the ground. This little island, off the southeast coast of Africa, will throw some dynamite views into your face as you fall. It’s a bit pricey, though, at $390 for 10,000 feet or $450 for 15,000. We just hope those extra bucks ensure that toddlers are strapped in real tight.
Those crazy Kiwis are all about extreme sports. Fox Glacier’s got it all: the Franz Josef Glacier, lakes, rainforests and the Tasman Sea. You can score about 12,000 feet for $300. Jumping out of an African plane sound like a bit too much excitement? New Zealand is the adventure (and hobbit) capital of the world, so you can rest assured that its facilities and instructors are top-notch.
In the event that some rich uncle croaks and you inherit a hefty fortune, blow it skydiving over the highest peak in the world—Mt. Everest. There are only four diving trips a year, and you’ve got to lay down $1,000 six months prior to the trip and then an insane $14,000 (!!!) three months before takeoff. Hands down, this is the most baller way to fall from the sky. We wouldn’t be surprised if there was a bottle of Cristal waiting for you when you land.
Welcome to discount mountain. Okay so this isn’t Mt. Everest but for baby Jesus’ sake, these are the snow-capped Swiss Alps! No hefty down payment needed and under $400 (book online), this is one of the most popular spots for backpacker skydiving newbs. They’ll hold your hand for no extra fee and while you won’t find champagne upon landing, stay at Balmer’s Herberge at the base of the Alps and they’ll party your nerves back to normal.
Always go with your gut. If something feels unsafe or you’re not convinced equipment is up to par, then don’t take the leap. If they boast that their safety training session takes only a few minutes, get the fuck out of there.
Dropzone.com is the Zagat of skydiving, offering reviews by people who have jumped with different skydiving companies throughout the globe.
In theory, submitting to gravity for thousands of feet is fucking frightening. Truth is, humans have nearly no perception of height once they’re above a few thousand feet, so when you’re dropping from 15,000, it won’t really seem scarier than a rollercoaster. Not to mention that you’re more likely to die in a car accident pulling out of your parents’ driveway. As Hunter S. Thompson said, “Buy the ticket, take the ride.”