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Get Your Jump On (or is that off?)

On a recent trip to Turkey, I was encouraged to face my fear of jumping from high places, usually into bitingly cold water. I mean, are you escaping from a cannibalistic amazon tribe? Running from a ferocious man eating beast? Trapped in a burning building? Are you a vampire loving Bella getting over Edward by doing extreme sports (so I’ve been told – I have NOT watched Twilight’s New Moon…..REALLY)?

Answering NO to all of the above seems a really good reason for keeping your feet firmly on the ground!

But never-the-less I was, through the clever, manipulative means of peer pressure, cajoled into jumping off our perfectly safe, not sinking, not burning, two story boat into the chilling Mediterranean waters.

I screamed the whole way, my wonderful peers not thinking to tell me that mouth shut when hitting the water is always a top idea!


Did I conquer my fear?

I would have jumped off our three story boat in Croatia – if we hadn’t run out of time. And throwing one’s self off a 25 meter bridge in Bosnia-Herzegovina would definitely have been on the cards – if they’d taken credit card for the 25 Euro fee.

But it got me thinking… Where are 10 of the best cliff diving locations in the world? No parachute. No bungee. Good, old fashioned, pure free fall!

So with thanks to some of my past travelling companions for sharing places they would, wouldn’t, or think I should, jump from….. Here’s the list

1. Stari Most – bridge in Mostar – Bosnia & Herzegovina

Height: 25 metres

Scream rating: 😮 😮 😮 😮

This beautiful bridge spans the Neretva River in the old town of Mostar. The 450 year old bridge was partially destroyed during the Croatian-Bosnian war of the 90’s and after reconstruction was reopened in 2004. For years, local men have been taking a leap from the bridge into the icy waters below to show their bravery. Visitors have caught on and have been traveling to Bosnia to give it a try as well.




2. South Point Cliffs – Hawaii – USA

Along with Easter Island, Hawaii is one of the original cliff diving locales. During the reign of the Hawaiian King Kahekili in the 1770s, cliff diving was a means for men to prove their courage and bravery. Enjoy the gorgeous views and warm waters but keep your eyes peeled for sharks and those strong currents threatening to drag you to Japan!

Height: 20 metres

Scream rating: 😮 😮 😮


3. Rick’s Cafe – Negril – Jamaica

Height: 10 – 20 metres

Scream rating: 😮 😮

With jumps varying between 10 and 20 metres and numerous shadows lurking beneath the water’s surface, these cliffs are both treacherous and beautiful. Rick’s Café, a well-liked restaurant and diving site, has also become popular among thrill seekers. The locals provide an excellent diving show and give plenty of encouragement to those tourists who wish to try, but the cliffs are considered very risky.



4. Ord River – Kimberly Region – Australia

Height: 25 metres

Scream rating: 😮 😮 😮

Some of Australia’s best cliff diving sites are inland, on the Ord River in the spectacular Kimberley region. What could be better than taking the plunge into lakes and rivers surrounded by gorges, waterfalls and mountain peaks. Keep an eye out for crocs!


5. Red Rock Park – Vermont – USA

Height: 28 metres

Scream rating: 😮 😮 😮 😮

This one’s not for first-timers, by any means, and really only for the fearless. These 80-foot jumps have earned quite the reputation for being dangerous. They are terrifying not only for the extremely icy waters, but also for the ultra-narrow rock walls you’re sandwiched between on your rapid descent.



6. Wolfgangsee Lake – Austria

Height: 30 metres

Scream rating: 😮 😮 😮 😮

This lake in northwestern Austria is calm and clear, making it a popular spot for diving. There are several unofficial dive sites around the lake, but one of the best places for diving is the Falkenstein cliff wall in Frberg bay, where divers spring off a special high board, about 30m (100 ft.) above the water and do a tuck or somersault before landing in this beautiful lake. Boatloads of viewers cheer as divers resurface. The Red Bull High Diving Championships are often held here.


7. Santorini – Greece

Height: 10 metres

Scream rating: 😮

More than just a pretty sunset, there are plenty of places to tempt fate on the coast of Santorini Island. A great example is Kamari Beach, where there’s a 35-foot rock wall that offers an exhilarating jump into the ocean—with enough depth that makes it safe for beginners. Some other cliffs on the island can be found among the famed black sand beaches.



8. Brontallo – Switzerland

Height: 26 metres

Scream rating: 😮 😮 😮

Switzerland is one of the most well-noted cliff diving destinations in the world. After all, it has been the site of several World High Diving Federation championships. Brontallo is a particularly popular diving destination because of its high cliffs that reach 26 meters, which is over 78 feet tall. The spectacular views and deep waters draw world class athletes to Brontallo even when the climate is not ideal for diving.




9. Tar Creek Falls – California – USA

Height: 23 metres

Scream rating: 😮 😮 😮

This drop, on a condor reserve, is off a rock base adjacent to a waterfall, pouring into ice-cold waters. Nothing like taking the plunge with thousands of gallons of water rushing by you on your way down! If you can stomach it to check out your surroundings as you drop, keep a lookout for condors, ugly pterodactyl-like birds that are among the largest flying creatures in the Western Hemisphere.


10. Quebrada Cliffs – Mexico

Height: 44 metres

Scream rating: 😮 😮 😮 😮 😮

This cliff is one of the most dangerous diving spots in the world because it’s all about timing. Basically, if you don’t jump at exactly the right moment, the vicious waves below will splatter you all over the jagged rocks below… A crazy cliff diving team based in Quebrada put on crazy shows for tourists, including night diving holding candles!




NB: The Amateur Adventurer does not advocate cliff diving. Many of the jumps listed above are and should be, undertaken by professional cliff divers only.

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About The Amateur Adventurer

I call myself an amateur adventurer. You don't need to be a "professional" backpacker, you don't have to drop out to travel. I'm an ordinary person with a 9-5 job and everyday responsibilities. But I've made a point to have extraordinary experiences. And so can you. Follow me on my adventures and find out how.

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