The world's coolest urban adventures

From paragliding over Cape Town to climbing a mountain in Santiago, we explore wilderness in unexpected places

Published May 29, 2011 4:01PM (EDT)

When planning a trip to a big city, most of us don't think to pack hiking boots, climbing equipment or a wetsuit. But many of the world's most densely packed megalopolises are tucked into surprisingly wild topography, even if the grid of streets and verticality of modern architecture obliterates the natural lay of the land. With a little planning, you can break the spell and explore both the culture and wilderness on the fringes, even in the same day.

Imagine spending the morning at an art museum, then packing a picnic and skinny-dipping in a pond on a London heath, plunging into an alpine river in Munich, summiting the Andes over Santiago de Chile, claiming an ephemeral patch of sand as your own in Biscayne Bay, or climbing on all fours over treacherous boulders in a gorge just a few miles upriver from Congress. We'd love to hear about your favorite urban outdoor adventures in the comments -- visit to read about more wild places in urban jungles:

By Megan Cytron

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