Bucket List ~ Things to see and do before you die

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Travel Features >> Bucket List ~ Things to see and do before you die

Bucket List ~ Things to see and do before you die

March 08, 2013

Live life to the fullest. Make a list of ‘ things to do before I die’ and tick them off one by one as soon as you’ve accomplished it. Be it bungee jumping, learning a new language or even taking a cooking lesson or two in Tuscanny. Whatever your wish – make that bucket list now and start doing it before life passes you by. The world truly is your oyster!

Straight out of Discovery Channel - Galapagos Islands
If you are a nature enthusiast, then hop on a small cruise ship and get ready to have your tryst with wildlife. And when we say wildlife, we mean wildlife. Creatures, the likes of which you have never seen before: giant tortoises as heavy as 400 kgs, the Blue footed boobies instantly recognizable because of their bright blue webbed feet , the waved albatross, the marine iguanas and lounging sea lions that bask in the sun, Darwin’s legendary finches, and so much more. This fantastic archipelago is brimming with animals and birds that are not afraid of humans and allow you to get up close and personal with them. The Galapagos Islands are the last refuge of several rare and endangered species and inspired Darwin’s ground breaking Origin of Species theory. Definitely should find a place on your bucket list.

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Face to face with the ‘big five’ at Kruger National Park
If the thought of getting up close and personal with the elephant, lion, rhino, leopard and buffalo excites you, then a once in a lifetime safari at Kruger is a must do! Wild extensive landscapes where the animals roam free, luxury camps or budget accommodation, bush walks or guided jeep safaris. Take your pick. You will be amazed to spot a pride of lions basking under the sun or a leopard darting through the trees, a herd of buffaloes crossing in front of your jeep and a rhino cooling off in a water hole. Don’t ever forget you are in their territory – they rule the roost here and you are just a visitor. It promises to be an awesome and humbling experience.

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Most spectacular show on earth - The Northern Lights
So, you’ve seen the big city lights – now it’s time to see the real thing. The Aurora Borealis is a natural phenomenon and is the most spectacular lights show you will ever see. Head to northern Norway – some of the best locations for a fantastic ringside view of the lights are Svalbard, Tromso or Finnmark. The best time of year to go are in early spring or late autumn when the sky lights up with flashes of purple, green, orange and even pink weaving surreal patterns in the sky. An awesome sight, if ever there was one, and one not to be missed!

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Tango lessons in Buenos Aires
Sexy, bold and graceful. That is the tango. And that is one dance to learn, if not to master. Go to Buenos Aires, get hold of a Tango Map and head to the nearest milonga – a place where professionals and beginners congregate to tango. If you go early enough, you can take a lesson as the serious tango dancers descend around midnight and go on till the wee hours of the morning. There are many tango schools too in the heart of BA where one can take tango lessons and learn the intricate twirls and swirls associated with dance. As they say, if you can walk, you can tango! There are many tango schools, and here are some to get you started:
1. DNI Tango School: Here they teach the modern style of tango and the studio is run by two extremely talented dancers. All level of students attend from basic learner to advanced.tow locations: Corrientes 2140 and Bules 1011.
2. Tango Brujo: one of the best tango schools in BA-small classes for individual attention and conveniently located at Esmeralda 754.
3. La Academia Susana Miller: An excellent school with great teachers, the school holds classes most evenings and then followed by a milonga where one can practice what one has learnt. Located at Club El Beso.

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Scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef
Get ready to view a kaleidoscope of colour, of fish flitting in and out of massive coral reefs, of corals swaying gracefully in the clear blue waters – this is the Great Barrier Reef. A natural wonder, the Reef is the best place on earth to snorkel or scuba dive, so whether you are a beginner or a certified diver, this is the place to head. With 21 diving sites, Heron Island is one of the best locations to experience the beauty of the coral cay that surrounds it. So, head to the Great Barrier Reef for an awesome experience of marine life.

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Float in the Dead Sea in Israel
At 1300 ft below sea level, the Dead Sea is not a sea at all. In fact it is a land-locked lake with water that has high mineral and salt content – it is 8 to 9 times more salty than normal sea water! It is not possible to ‘swim’ in this water and at best one can float as the high salt content pushes you up to the surface. Be sure not to put your face down in the water – it may be hard for you to turn over, because of the density of the water. Float on your back and do not remain in the water for more than 20 minutes at a time. There are no fish or sharks here as the salt content is high and corrosive. And that goes for your skin too!

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Cruise to the Antarctica
For an experience of a lifetime take a cruise to the bottom of the earth – the vast glacial land of Antarctica is a beautiful wilderness – something you have never seen before. Thousands of penguins and sea lions sun themselves on ice breakers. Elephant seals, humpback whales, emperor and chinstrap penguins and the mighty albatross are only some of the wildlife you will rub shoulders with. Oh and take a dip in the waters at Deception Island – the temperature may be around the zero degree mark, but the waters are warm because of geo thermal heating. It’s a surreal experience to be swimming in sub zero temperature with seals and penguins for company!

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Sky diving in New Zealand
Ever wondered what it feels like to jump out of a plane and free fall in the sky? Adrenaline junkies will surely get a high of a different kind from 12,000 ft up in the sky and definitely another perspective of the land below. New Zealand, and especially Queenstown and Lake Taupo is the place for this thrilling extreme sport. First do the tandem dive and then venture out on your own. An exhilarating experience it’s bound to invigorate and energize you. The dramatic landscapes below will quell your fear and make the sport worth every fearful moment!

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The Thunder of the Iguaza Falls
Extending for 2 miles, the Iguaza Falls is a series of 275 falls cascading down cliffs of different heights. Even though the majority of the falls lie on the Argentina side, the view from the Brazilian side is far better. The Devil’s Throat- the fall that crashes down from a height of 80 metres, straddles both Argentina and Brazil is an awesome sight and there are walkways that allow you to get right up to the lip of the fall. One can also take a boat ride and feel the spray of the water that even a raincoat will not be able to block. Any which way you see the falls, from the air, from the bottom on a boat or from land, its an awesome sight and one that no one should miss!

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The Lost City of Machu Picchu
At almost 8,000 ft above sea level, the 15th century Inca ‘lost city’ of Machu Picchu is located in Peru and is set amongst the Andes Mountains surrounded by green tropical forests. To date it is a mystery as to why it was built at this location. Some believe it was a summer retreat of Inca emperor Pachacuti and others believe it to have a religious significance. A planned city, Machu Picchu is divided into an urban section and an agricultural one. The three main buildings here are the Temple of the Sun, Room of Three windows and the Intihuatana that is a huge rock on a platform. There are no roads to Machu Picchu, so the adventurous one will probably take the famous Inca Trail or the less fit could take a train to Aguas Calientes and do the rest of the journey by bus or walking to the site. Whatever way you choose to get there, the awesome sight of Machu Picchu will make it worth it!

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