For extreme sport enthusiasts, bungee jumping is one of the most popular activities, and has become a common travel trend among adventure tourists. Bungee jumping involves leaping from a fixed object, such as a crane, bridge, or building (although some people jump from helicopters or hot air balloons). The person is attached to a cord, which stretches and allows the jumper to free-fall before recoiling and bringing them back up. The word bungee has many different definitions, but it has long been Kiwi slang for an elastic strap, which perhaps best describes bungee jumping.
Pros and Cons
While bungee jumping may seem incredibly risky, it is actually relatively safe.
The “jolt” that bungee jumpers feel when the cord recoils is not as intense as it may seem to the untrained eye.
Some jumpers may experience dizziness from hanging upside down for a short period of time. Still, it is risky enough to satisfy your quest for danger, and it is certainly an adrenaline rush. Bungee jumping isn’t the cheapest activity out there, which may scare some people off. It typically costs around $100 for each jumper, which isn’t ridiculous but may be more than some people are willing to spend. Bungee jumping is also a great way to discover any hidden injuries you may have, and in the worst case scenario you may actually injure yourself further.
One of the most popular destinations for all extreme sports, not just bungee jumping, is Queenstown in New Zealand. The Kawarau Bridge is where everything began, and while its 43-meter drop may be small by today’s standards, more than 650,000 people have jumped from this historic bridge. It is the only bungee in Queenstown that can be done as a tandem, which further adds to the popularity. Also in Queenstown, the Nevis is another extremely popular jump, and is a contender for the most terrifying bungee jump in the world. It takes a four-wheel drive up a bumpy mountain road before you reach the top in an open-air cable car. The jump includes eight seconds of freefall. The largest jump in the world is the Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado. At 321 meters, this jump is by far the highest bungee jump in the world.
The Road Less Travelled
While most bungee jumps take place in some scenic area, often in a forest or near a cliff, those who live in urban centers can still jump without having to travel extremely far. In Macau, China, for example, you are able to jump from the Macau Tower, which stands at 233 meters. Jumpers leap from the outer rim of the huge tower, giving you a slight peek of mainland China. The Europabrucke in Innsbruck, Austria, is another underrated location. The name translates into “Europe’s Bridge”, and rises 192 meters above the Sill River. It is one of the highest bridges on the continent.
Costs and Savings
While bungee jumping is certainly cheaper than skydiving or mountain climbing, it is still relatively expensive. On average, it costs between $100 and $200 for one jumper. Factor in transportation and accommodation costs, and it can quickly add up. Still, you don’t have to pay for equipment, and typically you can purchase photos after at a relatively cheap price. There are also numerous travel websites and tour packages out there that provide discounts for group bungee jumps which can help save on the cost.