The Best Bridges to Jump Off - and Survive

When you were young, you probably jumped off stuff all the time – the couch, monkey bars, retaining walls, etc. For some, that daredevil desire to free fall has not only stuck, it has evolved into bigger and vaster challenges … and that’s how extreme sports like bungee jumping and BASE jumping were born. Imagine yourself today with a thick, elastic cord secured to your ankles as you stand on a bridge suspended 300 feet in the air over a gushing river. What if instead of a cord, you were wearing a backpack with a parachute inside? Sounds pretty terrifying, right? If you prefer to live on the edge – literally – then make your way to some of the best bridges in the world to jump off … and survive.

Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge [Otago, New Zealand]

Bridge: Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge, Otago, New Zealand
Fear Factor: Scary

New Zealand’s Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge is not the tallest in the world, but it is the world’s first commercial bungee jump location. For more than 20 years, Kiwis and international travelers have been flocking to this 141-foot bridge strung over the turbulent Kawarau River within the once gold-laden gorge. Visitors wanting to take a leap from the bridge – now a pedestrian pathway on the Queenstown Trail – make arrangements with pioneering bungee company, AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand. While the question of jumping is already decided for most people, those who are willing to take the plunge here must choose one more thing: do they want to get wet? Jumpers have the option of bobbing over the water, touching the water or getting dunked.

Perrine Bridge [Idaho]

Bridge: Perrine Bridge (Potato Bridge), Idaho, U.S.
Fear Factor: Scarier

If you really need an adrenaline rush, lose the bungee cord and head to Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls, Idaho. This expansive, truss arch bridge reaching over the Snake River is one of the top destinations for BASE (buildings, antennas, spans, earth) jumpers. Unlike bungee jumpers, BASE jumpers get to enjoy the world right side up. Those brave souls who decide to leap off the 486-foot bridge do so with specialized equipment. It allows jumpers to free fall for a couple of seconds before a parachute deploys to help them glide safely to the shore, all while taking in a panoramic view of the rocky Snake River Canyon.

Stari Most Bridge [Mostar, Bosnia]

Bridge: Stari Most Bridge (Old Bridge), Mostar, Bosnia
Fear Factor: Scariest

Although shorter than the others on the list, Bosnia’s Stari Most Bridge is rated one of the scariest bridge jump locations because those who jump from this one aren’t wearing anything to break their fall. You read correctly – no bungee cord, no parachute, just a diving cap and some swim trunks. Jumping from Mostar’s landmark bridge to the Neretva river waters nearly 80 feet below has been a rite of passage for Bosnians dating back to the 1600s. The Old Bridge was destroyed during the Bosnian War in the early 1990s, but was rebuilt by 2004 and today stands as a symbol of pride in the country. A formal diving competition has been held annually since the mid-1970s.

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Lauren Elizondo

Autumn foliage, architectural decay, that feeling you get in your stomach when you speed over a dip in the road – these are just a few of Lauren Elizondo’s favorite things she’s had the chance to experience while traveling. When Lauren’s not writing abo

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