A woman stretches in the early morning of Joshua Tree National Park.

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More Adventures

Just because you aren't an experienced outdoor enthusiast doesn't mean you can't participate in a "hard" adventure vacation. There are many that allow you to learn a new skill while you're there. From surfing camps to rock climbing schools, there are plenty of options if you want to learn the ins and outs of a new and exciting sport.

The Joshua Tree Rock Climbing School will educate you in safety and technique by starting you out on small boulder faces. With personal instruction from experienced climbers, you'll get turned loose on mountain faces by week's end. A basic four-day course can run as low as $430. Many people that enroll in these vacations come in as a novice and leave with a new passion.

Scuba schools can certify you at your destination, many times for much less money than a pre-vacation course would cost. The Cairns Dive Centre in Australia offers a four-day certification course that lets you dive the Great Barrier Reef by day three. After training in a swimming pool, you can choose among several day trips or actually live aboard an 80-foot catamaran where you'll make supervised dives during the daylight and at night.

If you love dogs and cold weather, then a dog-sledding adventure tour is right up your alley. There are many outfitters that offer dog sledding tours, but one of the least expensive is in Minnesota. The Wintergreen Dog Sledding Lodge has several overnight trips to choose from. After some lessons in cold weather camping and dog care, you'll set out on adventure of a lifetime through Minnesota's north woods. You'll trek by dog sled during the day and sleep in warm cabins along the trail at night. This trip is one that attracts many animal lovers as well as adventure seekers. The basic four-day, three-night tour goes for a little over $700, depending on when you book your vacation.

The Dome of the Rock at sunrise in Israel, Jerusalem

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For an enlightening soft tour, a religious pilgrimage may interest you. Many travel companies sell tours that allow you to visit the birthplaces of many different religions. From Buddhist biking tours in India to Holy Land hikes in Israel, you can walk the very steps that many religion's leaders have. Walkways is a tour operator in the Middle East that lets you trace the steps of Christ or take a bike ride to the Dead Sea for some salty swimming. You'll end up with some free time in Jerusalem to do your own exploring.

For more information on adventure travel and vacation destinations, please look into the links on the following page.