/
Close
Newsletters  | Mobile
Comments
  • Print
  • Share

Do-It-Yourself "Amazing Race" Adventures

<center>Do-It-Yourself “Amazing Race” Adventures</center>

Catherine Karnow/CORBIS

Biking in Moab, Utah

The TV Version: In this family-centric challenge in Season 8, teams debated between mountain biking six miles into Moab’s Bull Canyon or rappelling the 270 feet drop; in both cases, squabbling ensued.

The Live Version: Consider it a nothing-special rappel versus some of the world’s best mountain biking: Though the former may be faster, travelers not on the clock may well prefer the latter. Gemini Bridges’ namesake trail is a 14-mile point-to-point trail between Utah highways 313 and 191, with the natural arches roughly midway. The wide path makes cycling easier, but beware the four-wheel-drive vehicles that often share the trail.

From the article Do-It-Yourself “Amazing Race” Adventures

<center>Do-It-Yourself “Amazing Race” Adventures</center>

Photo Resource Hawaii / Alamy

Outrigger Canoeing in Hawaii

The TV Version: For the last Detour of the sixth season, two of the three remaining teams chose to paddle down a two-mile course near Puu Ualakaa State Park.

The Live Version: One of the best views in Honolulu is afforded by driving up Round Top Drive in Puu Ualakaa State Park, where a sweeping vista takes in Diamond Head and downtown. Fans of professional outrigger canoeing will want to be in town for October’s Molokai Hoe, a 41-mile open water race from Molokai to Waikiki; novices looking for instruction on the ancient Hawaiian sport can inquire at outrigger canoe concessions on Waikiki Beach.

From the article Do-It-Yourself “Amazing Race” Adventures

<center>Do-It-Yourself “Amazing Race” Adventures</center>

Chad Ehlers / Alamy

Victoria Falls Gorge Swing

The TV Version: On the first adventure—ever!—on The Amazing Race, teams flew to Victoria Falls in Zambia, where they ran along the Knife Edge Bridge before “gorge swinging” down Batoka Gorge—or “Batoka George” as round-one losers Matt and Ana would repeatedly term it.

The Live Version: Abseil Zambia provides the “gorge swing”—a terrifying free fall that mellows into a gentle pendulum swing. A full day of activities ($115) includes unlimited gorge swings and rappels—as well as “rap jumping,” which involves a harnessed run directly down the cliff face, and “high wiring,” a face-first swoon across the top of the gorge, suspended from a 400-foot wire.

From the article Do-It-Yourself “Amazing Race” Adventures

<center>Do-It-Yourself “Amazing Race” Adventures</center>

Courtesy of Whirlpool WetJet Boat Tours

Jet Boating Niagara Falls

The TV Version: One of the comparatively low-key adventures from the family-friendly eighth season, racers got soaked aboard a jet boat tour through Niagara Gorge.

The Live Version: The show’s family-centric edition, with a largely made-in-the-USA itinerary, left viewers dismayed and even its racers disappointed. But it did highlight a number of adventures suitable to those traveling with kids, like these hour-long jet boat tours into Niagara Gorge and down Devils Hole Rapids. Kids ages six and up are welcome, provided they won’t mind getting wet; covered boats cater to those as young as four and promise everybody stays dry. Go with Whirlpool WetJet Tours; boats depart from three locations—Lewiston, NY, and two spots in Ontario—through mid-October. Per-person rates are $56 for adults and $47 for children under 13.

From the article Do-It-Yourself “Amazing Race” Adventures

<center>Do-It-Yourself “Amazing Race” Adventures</center>

Sarah Lemoncelli

Racing Up Mexico’s Pyramids

The TV Version: The second episode of TAR 2 kicked off with a crowded race to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacán, where contestants learned that their next task would be a somewhat less exciting 1,000-mile bus trip.

The Live Version: Teotihuacán, a UNESCO World Heritage Site 25 miles northeast of Mexico City, offers more than the featured pyramid. Once one of the world’s largest cities, this pre-Columbian site offers traces of an ancient order, including a street system laid out in a grid, with an “Avenue of the Dead” that’s lined with ceremonial platforms and palaces.

From the article Do-It-Yourself “Amazing Race” Adventures

<center>Do-It-Yourself “Amazing Race” Adventures</center>

Alaska Stock LLC / Alamy

Climbing Alaska’s Matanuska Glacier

The TV Version: In the penultimate episode of the debut season, the two teams still in contention—the Guidos lagging tragically behind—ice-climb Matanuska Glacier.

The Live Version: The trip begins with a two-hour drive, northeast from downtown Anchorage up Glenn Highway. Before hitting the glacier at Mile 102, this national scenic byway passes beneath the Chugach Mountains and near the Knik Glacier. Once they reach the 24-mile-long, four-mile-wide ice river, newbies can practice ice-climbing basics with MICA Guides ($130 per person, with a two-person minimum, or $200 for one)—with the option of advanced sessions ($250 per person) exploring the vertical ice walls and teaching crevasse rescue.

From the article Do-It-Yourself “Amazing Race” Adventures

Cote d’Azur, France: Rappelling

The TV Version: After a night in Marseille, Season 4 teams drove to the “Gorges du Blavet” and then faced the option of descending either by 250-foot rappel or by foot.

The Live Version: The red porphyry walls of the Blavet gorges are within an easy drive from the Cote d’Azur. Local outfitters can arrange speedy rappels into the gorge, but the slower option may be the better one: The GR51 snakes its way through the area (roughly from Menton, on the Monaco border, to Marseille) as it trails above—and occasionally within sight of—the Riviera.

From the article Do-It-Yourself “Amazing Race” Adventures

<center>Do-It-Yourself “Amazing Race” Adventures</center>

Chris McLennan / Alamy

New Zealand Caving

The TV Version: After (literally) rubbing noses with Maori warrior/performers at the Maori Arts & Crafts Institute in Season 2, teams made a “potentially frightening 350-foot descent” into the Lost World Cave—the world’s highest free rappel.

The Live Version: Waitomo Adventures offers four- and seven-hour tours of the Lost World, on New Zealand’s North Island—standard equipment includes the same blue jumpsuit and mud boots featured on the show. The four-hour version begins with the 30-minute abseil into the cave; the longer version includes the rappel plus a subterranean lunch, followed by a combination swim/climb/walk back to the surface.

From the article Do-It-Yourself “Amazing Race” Adventures

<center>Do-It-Yourself “Amazing Race” Adventures</center>

Christian Kapteyn / Alamy

Driving the Atacama Desert, Chile

The TV Version: On the all-star edition, teams were awed by the otherworldly landscape of the Atacama Desert in Chile, from the Valley of the Moon to the Valley of the Dead.

The Live Version: The Valley of the Moon is just one of the attractions in northern Chile’s Atacama Desert: Chaxa Lagoon, 35 miles south of access-town San Pedro de Atacama, is home to a riot of flamingoes, while the titular features at El Tatio Geyser Field draw visitors for early-morning displays. Staff at San Pedro de Atacama’s Awasi hotel, a collection of eight stylish cottages, can arrange guided tours; the $1,000 two-night program provides suite accommodations and private desert outings.

From the article Do-It-Yourself “Amazing Race” Adventures

See the slideshow: Do-It-Yourself "Amazing Race" Adventures

Advertisement

Sign Up


Connect With Travel + Leisure
  • Travel+Leisure
  • Tablet
  • Available devices

Already a subscriber?
Get FREE ACCESS to the digital edition


Advertisement


Advertisement

Advertisement

Marketplace