Your 20s are one of the best times to travel. Why? Because you’re completely independent without the family responsibilities, financial commitments, and time constraints that usually come later in life. Plus, you’re carefree, full of energy—and can still handle a killer hangover the morning after an all-night rager. Here are some epic adventures everyone should take in their 20s.
Hike to Machu Picchu
While you’re in peak physical condition, hike the eastern slopes of the Peruvian Andes up to Machu Picchu, which sits over 7,000 feet above sea level in the middle of a tropical forest. The most breathtaking architectural monument of the Inca Empire, Machu Picchu rests atop a steep ridge, laced with stone terraces, and provides a gorgeous view of the rich landscape below.
How to get there: Take a bus from Lima to Cusco, and ride the rest of the way by train.
Dance at Rio’s Carnival
World famous for its colorful and flamboyant Samba parades, Rio’s Carnival provides the perfect buzzing energy for a young, tireless traveler. Shake your hips alongside glittering, feather-covered dancers or throw back drinks at the Copacabana. With so many wild parties and balls, this is one bacchanalia you won’t forget.
How to get there: From one of the world’s busiest cities, hop on a bus from São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro.
Bike down Bolivia’s Death Road
When you’re in your 20s, you feel immortal. Unleash your inner daredevil by mountain biking down the world’s most dangerous road in Bolivia. The aptly named “Death Road” features an awe-inspiring descent of more than 11,800 feet from snow-covered, high-altitude plains down a narrow dirt road that leads into the Amazonian Jungle.
Do a Pub Crawl in London
You’re only young once so save the leisurely tourist stuff like museums and shops for later. Do a pub crawl of London’s iconic bars, and chug a pint or two (or three or four). We’ve got a great guide that highlights the most memorable pubs to check out.
Where to go from there: London is a global hub and there are plenty of cities you can get to by bus.
Scuba Dive in Brazil
For the athletic, adventure-loving traveler, scuba diving in Fernando de Noronha is an unforgettable experience. Off the Brazilian coast, the volcanic isles feature pristine beaches that only permit a small number of visitors at a time so you won’t have to compete with other travelers for space when you’re swimming in the crystal blue waters. Down in the depths of the South Atlantic ocean, you might come across moray eels, sea turtles, and dolphins.
How to get there: Take a flight from São Paulo to the island.
Jam Out at Coachella
Of course, everyone in their 20s needs to experience a music festival. And North America is chock full of them. Hop on a bus to Coachella in California, Bonnaroo in Tennessee, or South by Southwest in Texas. You’ll get to witness amazing live performances by world-famous musicians and entertainers. Buying camping passes saves you money and adds even more adventure to the experience.
Take a Tour Through Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the place to visit for young, curious travelers who want to enjoy a little vice before they settle into adult responsibilities. Even if you don’t partake in anything hush-hush in the Red Light District, there’s plenty to do in the Dutch capital, including cycling along the region’s famed canals.
Where to go from there: After you’d had your fill of Amsterdam, why not take a bus to another famed capital city, Rome?
Remember: you’re only young once, so don’t miss the opportunity to travel in your 20s. Don’t have any travel buddies to go with you? Totally fine! Traveling solo when you’re young is the best way to experience true freedom—plus, you’ll make a ton of new friends along the way.