Vancouver is a magnet for adventure, seeing as its surrounded by water, mountains and national parks. Combined with its neighbours, Squamish and Whistler, this area in British Columbia is an extreme sports paradise. Follow this guide to the best extreme sports happening year-round near Vancouver.
Vancouver has a very active mountain bike community. North Vancouver is the place to go though. There’s even a non-profit organization that protects, maintains and develops the area’s trails. The best terrain is found around Mount Seymour, Cypress Mountain and Mount Fromme. Once the snow melts on Whistler Mountain, it becomes the Whistler Mountain Bike Park. It’s the ultimate downhill biking experience that suits all levels and attracts adrenaline junkies from around the world.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Another summer extreme sport activity, paragliding off Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver gives you an unreal view across the Burrard Inlet to Vancouver and beyond. Beginning on top of Grouse Mountain, tandem paragliders land at Cleveland Park, which is an elevation drop of 3,300 feet (or one kilometre). Another paragliding option is in Pemberton, just 20 kilometres (12 miles) from Whistler.
Skiing & Snowboarding
The Greater Vancouver area is home to three skiing mountains: Cypress Mountain, Grouse Mountain and Mount Seymour. Each of these mountains offer skiing and snowboarding terrain a quick drive from downtown Vancouver. Cypress is the best for powder and hosted some events during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Less than two hours away is also the infamous Whistler Blackcomb. If you want to take these winter sports to the next level though, check out Whistler Heli-Skiing. This company has been in operation for 36 years and has the rights to 432,000 acres of mountain terrain (or 50 times the size of Whistler Blackcomb). The terrain includes an extreme 173 glaciers and 475 runs.
British Columbia only has two bungee jumping locations and they are both close to Vancouver. Whistler Bungee offers a rush of adrenaline year-round. The company jumps from a bridge over the glacial-fed Cheakamus River. There’s also WildPlay Element Park in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, a short ferry ride from the mainland. Here you can jump over the Nanaimo River.
Squamish is the home of kiteboarding in BC. Unique weather conditions provide a consistent wind flow in Squamish, which is located in a bay on the Howe Sound. It’s a world-class kiteboarding destination and the two main beaches are the Spit and Nexen. The bay is at the mouth of the glacial-fed Squamish River, so full wetsuits are necessary. The best time to kiteboard in Squamish is from May to September.
Perhaps the most well-known extreme sport, skydive near Vancouver in either Abbotsford or Pemberton. Abbotsford is located in the Fraser Valley southeast of Vancouver. Some of the scenery you’ll see on your flight and consequent descent include snow-capped mountains, downtown Vancouver, the Gulf Islands and the region’s many rivers and lakes. In Pemberton, your scenic descent will give you views of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains.
Get your adrenaline pumping in a four-person bobsled on the world’s fastest ice track at Whistler Sliding Centre. Now an Olympic legacy, this track includes 10 twists (including the final and famous Thunderbird Corner) and sleds can gain speeds of up to 125 kilometres (78 miles) per hour. There’s also the chance to go skeleton and launch head-first down the same track, if you dare. The centre is open from December to April, no matter the weather.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.