• 10 of the best nighttime adventures

    2015-09-25

    Adventure travelers know better than anyone that nighttime excursions are often the most fun. There's something about paradise after the sun sets that turns it into a mysterious land that ought to be explored.

    Whether you're visiting the snowy mountains of British Colombia or kicking back on the sandy shores of Puerto Rico, travelers are sure to find an exciting nighttime activity to keep things interesting after sundown. According to online travel sources, these are some of the best adventures for travelers after dark.

    1. Hang out at a nighttime zoo
    Always wanted to know what nocturnal animals are up to while everyone else is sleeping? Find out at Singapore's renowned nighttime zoo. Known as one of the first zoos to be open after dark, Night Safari attracts over 1 million visitors every year with the rare 7 p.m. to midnight operating hours. Travel and Leisure recommended this zoo for travelers who aren't afraid to get up close and personal with sloths, jackals and the like on foot or via tram cars.

    2. Explore historic ruins
    According to CNN, one of the most enticing excursions for travelers without a strict bedtime is the exploration of the ancient sandstone temples and tombs of Petra, Jordan. The city glimmers at night as thousands of candles are traditionally lit. Adventure lovers will get a glimpse of the monument of Al Khazneh, featured as the final resting place of the Holy Grail in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade."

    3. Kayak through a bioluminescent bay
    Spend the day basking in the sun on Puerto Rico's Vieques Island and take off on a one-of-a-kind journey at night. Thanks to microscopic organisms called dinoflagellates, the island's waters turn a breathtaking neon blue and green, according to CNN. Affordable two-hour kayaking deals await travelers wanting to glide through the bay's brilliant bursts of color.

    4. Venture through a bone-chilling prison
    This is not an excursion for family travel. Only the bravest of travelers dare themselves to walk through Alcatraz prison, San Francisco. CNN noted that the Alcatraz Night Tour takes place Thursday through Monday and offers guests a boat ride around Alcatraz Island. The prison was once home to some of America's most notorious criminals, such as Al Capone and Robert "Birdman" Shroud. Many were so dangerous that guards had to put them in solitary confinement for years, according to the news source. Daredevils can see the exact holding cells that housed each of these criminals on the nighttime tour.

    5. Go night snorkeling with manta rays
    The Travel Channel calls nighttime manta ray snorkeling "the dive of a lifetime." Experience the beauty of the manta ray up close in Kona, Hawaii. Most of the time you can catch a glimpse of them during the day, but they feed at night, so they are much easier to come across after dark. Unlike stingrays, manta rays don't have stingers, so you can swim side by side with them.

    6. Embark on an underground adventure
    According to CNN, Play Granada's Night Adventure Tour takes customers underneath the Sierra Nevada mountain range in southern Spain, visiting the cultural wonders of Albayzin and the Sacromonte house caves. Every guest should bring their appetite, as most tours end at a tapas bar.

    7. Be amazed by the Northern Lights
    Yukon, Canada, is frequented by travelers interested in seeing the aurora borealis whirling through the night sky. Travel and Leisure suggested trying one of the local businesses that offer overnight trips through the quaint town of Whitehorse, where viewers will see colors pouring through the icy black heavens.

    8. Zip-line through the mountains
    Superfly Zip-lines on Rainbow Mountain, British Colombia, provides adventure travelers with a unique experience.

    "We take heart-pounding, adrenaline-pumping fun to a whole new level," Superfly's Eric Whittle told CNN. Many zip-liners would agree with him.

    Once whisked to the top of the snow-capped mountain, visitors indulge in a multi-course meal eaten in a yurt, according to CNN. Then the fun begins, as participants descend down the steep incline of the mountain through wilderness and snow, hitting speeds of 62 mph in the pitch black.

    9. Spend the night at a museum
    New York's American Museum of Natural History is the perfect overnight adventure for kids excited about learning. The Travel Channel recommended an overnight stay for children between the ages of 7 and 13. Before they unroll their sleeping bags, they can explore the Hall of the North American Mammals or watch one of the museum's featured films in the Imax Theater. There are also scavenger hunts and live animal exhibitions for entertainment late into the night. Tickets are affordable and include an evening snack and morning breakfast.

    10. Bike all night long
    Utah's Rim Tours offer experienced bikers private mountain excursions through some of the toughest trails after dark. According to Travel and Leisure, bicycles are equipped with lighted handlebars to guide travelers down slick-rock trails throughout the rocky Moab desert.

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