The Deadliest Tourist Attractions in the World
Most people enjoy relaxing on their vacations, but others crave the adrenaline rush that goes with death-defying experiences. Sounds exciting — except these adventures can quickly go wrong, resulting in life-threatening injuries. Worst case scenario? Some tourists find themselves reaching their final destination.
Despite the scary and tragic stories, daring travelers can’t seem to stay away from these dangerous destinations. Here are the deadliest tourist attractions in the world.
Yosemite National Park’s Half Dome, California
In California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, Yosemite National Park is known for its sequoia trees, granite cliffs and waterfalls. It’s also home to one of the deadliest tourist attractions in the world: Half Dome, a steep, treacherous, 5,000-foot hike.
The Poison Garden, England
Behind the black gates at Alnwick Garden is a park with plants that can kill you. The owner and Duchess of Northumberland, Jane Percy, wanted the attraction to stand out and thought more people would be interested in lethal plants.
Stairway to Heaven, Hawaii
On the island of Oʻahu, the Stairway to Heaven, also known as the Haʻikū Stairs, is a difficult hiking trail with a total of 3,922 steps. The site was originally a naval base in the 1940s but was decommissioned in the 1950s. The city closed the trail and the station to the public in 1987.
Komodo Island, Indonesia
What's more terrifying than a giant lizard with a venomous bite? An entire island full of giant lizards with venomous bites. Below Indonesia, Komodo Island is home to 6,000 Komodo dragons, and the destination is popular for diving and checking out the largest lizard on Earth.
Colorado River, Colorado
Extreme white water rafting is popular on the Colorado River. The powerful water offers excitement for thrill-seekers and hazards for everyone. When snow melts in the Colorado mountains, the water in the river becomes more fierce, causing fast currents and high water warnings.
Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
Tourists love the Cliffs of Moher for the picturesque green fields and gorgeous backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean. Located in the southwestern region of Ireland, the cliffs are an incredible sight, but the area comes with plenty of dangers.
El Caminito Del Rey, Spain
Built in 1905, El Caminito del Rey was initially a path for workers to transport goods. Of course, the pathway is only three feet wide and dangles 330 feet up along the face of a cliff. When Spain's King Alfonso XIII crossed the walkway in 1921, it earned the nickname "King’s Little Pathway."
Beaches of Acapulco, Mexico
Acapulco was once a trendy spot for celebrities, including John F. Kennedy and Elizabeth Taylor. However, the gorgeous beaches and surrounding area have gained a deadly reputation. Acapulco is now called Mexico’s murder capital, with gang warfare constantly plaguing the city.
Kokoda Trail, Papua New Guinea
Found in the Owen Stanley Range in Papua New Guinea, the Kokoda trail is a challenging 60-mile trek that takes six days to complete. During the day, the weather is hot and humid, but the temperature drops to freezing at night, so imagine how much clothing you need to carry.
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Who can resist a hot, sunny day at New Smyrna Beach in Florida? Actually, this beach is one of the places you should never swim because the waters are overwhelmed by sharks. In fact, everyone calls New Smyrna Beach the "shark-bite capital of the world."
Mont Blanc, France
At 16,404 feet high, Mont Blanc is the highest peak in Europe — and the deadliest peak in France. Each year, approximately 100 climbers die on Mont Blanc. Weather conditions frequently and unexpectedly change on the mountain, creating the perfect recipe for disaster.
Death Road, Bolivia
One of the most dangerous roads in the world, North Yungas Road, is 43 miles long and reaches elevations of 2,000 feet in some sections. Driving on North Yungas Road is a heart-stopping experience, with its lack of guardrails adding to its menace.
Mount Huashan Plank Walk, China
Grand Canyon, Arizona
The Grand Canyon is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the U.S. Sometimes, it's also the most dangerous. Many tourists find it difficult to hike the Grand Canyon due to its size and height. Stretching 227 miles, the canyon reaches a depth of 6,093 feet at some points.
Bash Bish Falls, Massachusetts
In the peaceful, quiet mountains of Massachusetts, you’ll find the highest waterfall in the state, Bash Bish Falls. The gorgeous waterfall consists of several sections with the last part separated by a rock, cascading 80 feet into a pool.
Mount Everest, Nepal
Reaching the peak of Mount Everest is every hiker’s dream, but most of them never make it to the top of the world's highest mountain. In fact, for every expedition that attempts it, there are 4.3 fatalities. More than 300 hikers have died in the past six decades trying to climb this mountain.
Adelaide River, Australia
In Northern Australia, the Adelaide River is a hot spot for bird spotting, boating expeditions and fishing. Unfortunately, it's also home to large bull sharks. Not scary enough? Well, most locals worry more about the high concentration of giant saltwater crocodiles in the river.
Boiling Lake, Dominica
Boiling Lake is another body of water that is too dangerous for swimming. Its bubbling, grayish-blue water and hovering vapor clouds attract tourists, but getting too close could be an irreversible mistake. Located in Dominica, Boiling Lake reaches temperatures of 197 degrees Fahrenheit at some edges.
Death Valley National Park, California
The name Death Valley National Park already sounds terrifying, so who would want to go there? Almost 1 million visitors enjoy the park each year, mostly to gaze at the beautiful rock formations and the night skies filled with sparkling stars.
Running of the Bulls, Spain
The running of the bulls has been a tradition in Spain since the 14th century. In Pamplona, the city unleashes about 10 bulls to run its packed streets each summer. At least 10,000 visitors and locals attend the adrenaline-packed event.
Hanakapiai Beach, Hawaii
Drawing many beachgoers with its warm, sandy shores and refreshing waters, Hanakapiai Beach is actually one of the most dangerous places to swim in the world. Located along Kauai's Nā Pali Coast, this beach has powerful waves and strong rip currents.
Angels Landing, Utah
Zion National Park in southwestern Utah is home to Angels Landing, a 1,488-foot rock formation. The trail carved into Angels Landing is quite old, but it has led hikers to the jaw-dropping view of Zion Canyon since 1926.
Praia De Boa Viagem, Brazil
Praia De Boa Viagem is a hot destination for beachgoers — and (gulp) sharks. Between 1992 and 2012, officials reported 56 shark attacks, and one-third of them ended in death. Yikes! The majority of the attacks involve bull sharks and tiger sharks.
The Yucatan Cenotes, Mexico
Caves are pretty scary at the best of times, but the deep underwater caves in Mexico take horror to a new extreme. The Yucatan Cenotes, a system of shadowy caves, are among the most dangerous underwater caves on the planet.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho
Located in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, Yellowstone National Park was the first national park to open in the U.S. The wild park is known for its Old Faithful geyser and boiling hot springs, but sometimes the natural wonders make the landscape terrifying.
Volcano Tours, Hawaii
Plenty can go wrong on a volcano tour in Hawaii. From 1992 to 2002, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park logged 40 deaths and 35 major injuries. Unprepared hikers easily get lost and fall victim to the dangers, and the volcanoes put plenty of others in harm’s way by spewing flying rocks and boiling nearby ocean water.
Mount Washington, New Hampshire
The highest peak in the Northeastern U.S., Mount Washington, stands 6,288.2 feet tall. Hikers, cyclists and skiers often visit the mountain, but it's a risky journey. The mountain has claimed more than 150 lives since 1849, with the most common reasons for death including falls, hypothermia and heart attacks.
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Each year a tourist falls and dies at Victoria Falls. Located between the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls drops 355 feet onto sharp rocks. Most fatalities are caused by loss of footing near the falls; however, some deaths are due to swimming.
Chernobyl Tours, Ukraine
The 1986 Chernobyl disaster is considered one of the worst nuclear accidents in history. Consequently, the city of Pripyat was evacuated, abandoned and closed off to the public. The immediate blast caused at least 54 fatalities, but the United Nations believes 4,000 people later died from radiation exposure.
Standing 3,600 feet above sea level, Trolltunga is a rock formation in Hordaland County, Norway that sticks out horizontally from the mountain. One of the most popular cliffs in the country, Trolltunga comes with a breathtaking backdrop of Ringedalsvatnet Lake and surrounding glaciers.