World's 9 Best Places to Go Skydiving
If you're ready to take the plunge, here are some of the most loved skydiving sites, or drop zones, around the globe, each with their own magnificent perspective for your viewing pleasure as you plummet through the atmosphere.
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Palm Jumeirah, Dubai
Relative newcomer amid the leading drop zones in the world, Dubai has been catching up, namely by hosting one of the biggest annual international skydive championships, a competition sponsored by The Emirates Aerosport Federation (EAF) and Skydive Dubai. Unlike the other drop zones in this list, Dubai is a city jump. Here you fly over the Palm Jumeirah, the artificial archipelago made of reclaimed land jutting out from the city’s urban marina, where you’ll get a mind-blowing view of the Persian Gulf and the whole of Dubai.
Fox Glacier, New Zealand
There are a bounty of shockingly beautiful drop zones in New Zealand, a ground zero for extreme sports and arguably the top country in the world for skydiving, perhaps the most extreme sport of all. A consistent favorite here is Fox Glacier, an 8-mile-long glacier located in the remote Westland Tai Poutini National Park on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. As you free fall, knees in the breeze, marvel at the view of the wild coastline along the Tasman Sea and the snowy rugged peaks of the Southern Alps.
Hawaii, United States
Many people will argue that the best place to skydive in all of Hawaii is Waialua — and that may be true — but you can make a case that the best place to skydive in all of the world, is anywhere in Hawaii. From the craggy colored coastlines and vast palm tree-lined valleys to secret swimming holes and awe-inspiring volcano sites, the views from 8,000 feet up are beyond spectacular. Whether you’re taking the leap from Oahu, Kauai, Honolulu or anywhere else, skydiving in Hawaii will give you memories that will last for a lifetime.
With a long history as a hub for adventure sports, Interlaken continues to rank for many divers as one of the most scenic drop zones in Europe. With views of Italy, France, Germany and Austria stretching out past the snow-capped peaks of Jungfrau and the Matterhorn in the Alps, Interlaken skydiving is a thrill for beginners and experienced divers, too. "Barreling down on the Swiss Alps at near terminal velocity speeds is a ride I will never forget," says first-time diver, Andrew Price. And the dive operations here run as one would expect of Switzerland — as smoothly as a cuckoo clock.
North Wollongong Beach, Australia
Captain Ahab would never have believed one could whale watch from 1,400 feet in the air, but if he’d had the chance, I’m certain he’d have done it. Indeed, the feeling of seeing the world from a bird’s perspective is thrilling, and even more so when that view includes the shoreline of Sydney, Australia, with whales and dolphins frolicking in the deep blue waters. Offering both tandem and solo jumps, the dive centers in this area let you land on North Wollongong Beach itself -- so you could opt for a swim right after touchdown. Now that’s a good day, mate.
Snohomish, Washington, United States
As you fall through the sky above Snohomish, Wash., your eyes might pop, but not from the winds that make a falling skydiver’s cheeks and lips flap in the breeze. No, your eyes will pop from the sheer glory of the 360-degree panoramic view that surrounds you, featuring Mt. Rainier and Mt. Baker in the Cascades Mountain Range and the green San Juan Islands. From mountain to sea, this drop zone is renowned for being one of the most gorgeous in the US.
Mount Everest, Nepal
Due to its elevation above sea level, Mount Everest is considered to be the world’s highest mountain. It also happens to be widely considered one of the world’s most spectacular spots for skydiving. Dropping out of a plane over the incredible snow-covered Himalayas in Nepal is a feeling unmatched by any jump in the world. If the ultimate adrenaline rush is what you crave, then free-falling past the world’s tallest mountain is definitely the skydiving adventure for you.
Reportedly the only full-time drop zone in Southeast Asia, the skydiving in Thailand’s Nong Kho Reservoir near Pattaya is an adventure traveler’s dream come true. With a hair-raising view of the western coast of Thailand, you fall into lush green fields to find a safe landing with support from this drop zone’s well-trained international staff. Located about one hour south of Bangkok, the dive center here has a shuttle to and from the backpacker haven of Khao San Road, so you can get back to Bangkok, if you must, in time for a celebratory post-dive curry and Thai massage.
Moab, Utah, United States
In America, there are so many great places to skydive out west — let alone in the state of Utah — that it’s hard to narrow it down to just one favorite. But skydiving over the breathtaking Arches National Park in Moab stacks up just about as high as you can go. With massive sandstone arches, sensational scenic hiking trails and monstrous red-rock monoliths, there aren’t too many backdrops in the U.S. that are this picture perfect for an epic skydiving excursion.