august bucket list, August Bucket List: 33 Unmissable Experiences Around the World

August Bucket List: 33 Unmissable Experiences Around the World

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Welcome to your ultimate August Bucket List!

August is the pinnacle of summer for the northern hemisphere and a sweet respite from winter in the south. It is an ideal time to jet across the globe in pursuit of remarkable travel experiences.

Whether your heart is set on scaling grand mountains, immersing in vibrant cultural celebrations, or simply lazing on a sun-drenched beach, the eighth month of the year offers a feast for the adventurous soul. 

This is also a perfect time for families to check off some bucket lists together. It is still summer vacation for most of North America

In this ultimate August travel bucket list, we unveil 33 unparalleled experiences around the globe that promise to make your summer unforgettable.

August Bucket List: The Great Outdoors

1. Conquer Kilimanjaro by Moonlight

At 19,341 feet, Kilimanjaro’s summit is Africa’s highest peak. But the true magic happens during nighttime ascents. 

In August, the chance to summit under a canopy of stars is the perfect balance of challenge and wonder. 

Trekking agencies organize full moon climbs, allowing climbers to make a remote and soul-stirring pilgrimage under moonlight. 

Remember to layer up—temperatures at the top can plunge below freezing.

There are several routes that you can take, so choose the best one for you:

august bucket list, August Bucket List: 33 Unmissable Experiences Around the World
A line of people hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro or Uhuru Peak. Photo by Crispin Jones on Unsplash.

2. River Raft the Grand Canyon

A multi-day white-water rafting trip through the Grand Canyon is a quintessential adventure. 

The summer is the perfect time to do this as you’ll have long, hot, sunny days to tackle rapids and camp beneath the stars. 

August is often when the monsoon season occurs. This means that you’ll need to be ready for afternoon thunderstorms that add a thrilling dimension to your descent.

3. Embark on the Camino de Santiago

August is high season for pilgrims along the Camino de Santiago. This is a network of routes across Europe leading to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. 

The camaraderie among fellow pilgrims and the beautiful Spanish countryside make this a deeply rewarding experience. 

Start your own spiritual or personal pilgrimage, choosing from a variety of routes that suit your time frame and fitness level.

I would also aim to go at the middle or end of August to reduce crowds.

This is a pretty intense walk…if you are not sure you are down for the full thing or just want a little taste, you can go on the half day tour below:

august bucket list, August Bucket List: 33 Unmissable Experiences Around the World
Blowing a kiss at the The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain, the ending point of the Camino de Santiago.

4. Witness the Perseid Meteor Shower in a Dark Sky Reserve

The world boasts several International Dark Sky Reserves, areas recognized for their exceptional starry nights. 

In August, watching the Perseid Meteor Shower is a particularly spectacular event. 

Pack a tent and head out to one of these reserves, such as Mont-Mégantic in Canada or Aoraki Mackenzie in New Zealand, and you’re in for an otherworldly experience, as the night sky comes alive with shooting stars.

5. Safari in the Maasai Mara during the great migration

There’s no experience quite like witnessing the Great Migration in the Serengeti and Kenya. 

It’s the time when millions of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle migrate across the Maasai Mara in search of greener pastures in Eastern Africa.

This natural wonder is accompanied by thrilling river crossings and abundant predator sightings, making August peak season for game viewing.

august bucket list, August Bucket List: 33 Unmissable Experiences Around the World
A hippo chilling in Serengeti National Park in Tanzania during my African Safari.

6. Stargaze at The Atacama Desert, Chile

The Atacama Desert in Chile, known as one of the driest places on Earth, transforms into a stargazer’s paradise. 

Its clear skies, minimal light pollution, and high altitude offer unparalleled views of the Milky Way and other celestial bodies. 

For the best experience, consider joining a guided stargazing tour. These often include the use of high-powered telescopes and insights from knowledgeable astronomers.

August Bucket List Cultural Immersion

7. Celebrate Swiss National Day in the Alps

Swiss National Day, on August 1st, is an opportunity to see the Alps burst into a spectacle of color and light, with bonfires and fireworks marking the occasion across Switzerland. 

In cities like Zurich, you’ll find a combination of festive spirit, history, and ample opportunities to enjoy local cuisine and crafts.

august bucket list, August Bucket List: 33 Unmissable Experiences Around the World
A joke image between me and my best friend on the Swiss Alps.

8. Visit the Sziget Festival in Budapest, Hungary

The Sziget Festival in Budapest, Hungary, is one of Europe’s largest music and cultural festivals. This transforms Obuda Island (Óbudai-sziget) into a vibrant and eclectic festival town for one week each August. 

It attracts visitors from all around the globe, showcasing a diverse lineup that includes everything from rock and EDM to world music and performance arts. 

Aside from the musical acts, attendees can participate in a variety of workshops, explore art installations, and immerse themselves in the unique “Sziget” community. 

To make the most of your experience, consider packing comfortable clothes suitable for hot days and cooler nights, a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated, and a portable phone charger

Given the festival’s popularity, it’s wise to book accommodations and tickets well in advance to secure your spot at this unforgettable celebration of culture, music, and friendship.

Read More about Budapest – Budapest Bucket List | Hidden Gems of Budapest | Budapest Baths Guide | Hungary Bucket List

9. Explore the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The world’s largest arts festival transforms the Scottish capital into a lively stage for performers of every genre. 

This normally last throughout most of the month of August. With thousands of shows across hundreds of venues, exploring the Edinburgh Festival Fringe ensures you’ll stumble upon unique, edgy, and thought-provoking performances that push creative boundaries.

10. Visit the Burning Man Festival in the Nevada Desert

For the bold and the unconventional, the annual Burning Man Festival takes place in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert at the end of August. 

Participants from around the world gather to create a temporary city that is an experiment in community, art, radical self-expression, and self-reliance. It’s an experience that defies expectation and demands participation.

august bucket list, August Bucket List: 33 Unmissable Experiences Around the World
A peak into the Burning Man Festival in Black Rock City. Photo by Bry Ulrick on Unsplash.

11. Attend the Bula Festival in Fiji

The Bula Festival in Fiji, occurring in late July or early August, is a vibrant celebration of Fijian culture, music, and community spirit. 

Set against the backdrop of Fiji’s breathtaking landscapes, the festival is a spectacle of color, with parades, beauty pageants, and live performances. 

Visitors can immerse themselves in Fijian culture by participating in traditional ceremonies, sampling local cuisine, and dancing to island music. 

The festival also provides an opportunity to witness the warm hospitality of the Fijian people, known for their friendly and welcoming nature. 

august bucket list, August Bucket List: 33 Unmissable Experiences Around the World
Exploring a local village in Fiji.

12. Go to the Grenada Carnival or “Spicemas”

Known as “Spicemas,” the Grenada Carnival is a flamboyant spectacle of culture, music, and dance that illuminates the island every August. 

This vibrant celebration showcases the rich history and traditions of Grenada, featuring colorful costumes, and Calypso music. 

Visitors should prepare for an unforgettable experience of street parades, lively soca music concerts, and the mesmerizing beauty of the Panorama Steel Band competition. 

To fully immerse in this festivity, it’s advisable to plan your visit well in advance, as accommodations can fill up quickly, and understanding the festival’s schedule can help you make the most of the events.

13. Dance to Music at the Antigua Carnival in Early August

The Antigua Carnival is a vibrant celebration that takes place in the heart of Antigua’s capital, St. John’s, every year at the beginning of August. 

This exhilarating event is much more than just a festival; it’s a profound expression of the island’s cultural heritage and history, commemorating emancipation from slavery. The carnival features a stunning array of activities, including colorful street parades, elaborate costumes, beauty pageants, and competitions

Music is a crucial element of the celebration, with Calypso and Soca performances capturing the spirit of Antigua and engaging both locals and visitors in dance and revelry. 

For those planning to attend, it’s recommended to explore the schedule in advance to attend standout events like the Panorama steel band competition and the vibrant J’ouvert morning street jam. 

14. Experience a Traditional Hawaiian Lūʻau

Participating in a traditional Hawaiian Lūʻau is a must-do for anyone visiting the islands. This cultural feast is more than just a dinner; it’s an immersive experience that brings to life the rich heritage and aloha spirit of Hawaii. 

Held at sunset along the picturesque beaches or in the lush landscapes of the islands, lūʻaus typically feature a ceremonial unearthing of the kalua pig, which is cooked in an underground oven known as an imu

Guests are treated to a spectacular spread of traditional Hawaiian dishes, including poi, poke, and haupia, accompanied by live music and performances of the hula and other Polynesian dances. 

Attending a luau provides an unparalleled opportunity to connect with the local culture, savor authentic Hawaiian cuisine, and participate in ancient traditions. 

august bucket list, August Bucket List: 33 Unmissable Experiences Around the World
Enjoying a spectacular Hawaiian beach sunset after attending a Lūʻau at the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Seaside Adventures for Your August Bucket List

15. Surf the Swells in Bali

August is prime surf season in Bali, home to some of the world’s most legendary waves.

 Whether you’re a beginner catching gentle breaks at Kuta Beach or an expert tackling the powerful barrels at Uluwatu, Bali’s expansive coastline offers a wave for every level.

This was the first place I ever surfed! Well…I think “wipeout” would be a more accurate term of my Bali surfing experience. 

Read More About Bali: Indonesia Bucket List | Bali Bucket List

august bucket list, August Bucket List: 33 Unmissable Experiences Around the World
My first time surfing in Bali.

16. Snorkel with Whale Sharks in the Maldives

August is the start of the plankton-rich season in the Maldives, drawing the gentle giants of the sea, whale sharks, to the region. 

Join a responsible tour operator for a chance to snorkel alongside these majestic creatures in warm, clear waters.

It’s an encounter that leaves a lasting impression and is a non-negotiable for your August bucket list. 

august bucket list, August Bucket List: 33 Unmissable Experiences Around the World
A whale shark coming up to the surface. Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

17. Sail the Greek Islands on Deluxe catamaran

Greece’s cycladic archipelago is a striking setting to enjoy the famed Greek hospitality. 

A traditional sail on catamaran that offers luxury and relaxation while cruising the Aegean Sea. 

Anchor at secluded coves, swim in crystal-clear waters, and indulge in authentic island cuisine under the warm August sun.

18. Explore the Caves of Algarve

Portugal’s Algarve region is renowned for its stunning coastlines and hidden beaches.

Navigate through the serene waters to discover secluded caves and the famous Benagil Sea Cave. 

The warm August weather provides perfect conditions for a day of adventure and exploration on the sea.

However, this is near the end of peak season, so book in advance and expect a few crowds. 

august bucket list, August Bucket List: 33 Unmissable Experiences Around the World
Infamous Benagil cave in Algarve, Portugal – a perfect addition to an August Bucket List. Photo by Hasmik Ghazaryan Olson on Unsplash.

19. Witness Sea Turtles Hatch in Costa Rica

This season marks a special time on Costa Rica’s shores, where various species of sea turtles, including the endangered green turtle, come to nest

Participate in a night-time tour to witness the magical moment of baby turtles hatching and making their first walk to the water!

It is truly an August bucket list treasure trove!

august bucket list, August Bucket List: 33 Unmissable Experiences Around the World
Horseback riding on the beaches of Costa Rica.

20. Experience the Majestic Chicago Skyline on an Architecture River Cruise

Discover the architectural marvels of the Windy City from a unique perspective by taking an architecture river cruise. 

Glide along the Chicago River as an expert guide narrates the history behind iconic skyscrapers and landmarks.

The cruise offers a captivating look at the city’s world-renowned architecture, including structures by Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe. 

It’s an educational and visually stunning excursion, perfect for both architecture enthusiasts and first-time visitors, especially under the dazzling August sunlight.

21. Go Whale Watching in Juneau

Venture into the pristine waters of Juneau, Alaska, for an awe-inspiring whale watching experience. 

This thrilling excursion brings you up close with the majestic humpback whales in their natural habitat. With guidance from expert naturalists, you’re likely to also spot orcas, sea lions, and a variety of seabirds. 

August’s long daylight hours maximize your chances of witnessing these magnificent creatures in action, making it an unforgettable part of your Alaskan adventure.

august bucket list, August Bucket List: 33 Unmissable Experiences Around the World
Whale watching in a cruise on Alaska.

22. Swim with Manta Rays in Hawaii

Experience the exhilarating opportunity to swim with manta rays off the coast of the Big Island, Hawaii. 

This unique night-time activity immerses you in the underwater world of these gentle giants. 

Equipped with snorkeling gear and guided by professionals, you’ll float on the ocean’s surface as manta rays gracefully glide below, feeding on plankton illuminated by underwater lights. 

It’s a magical, serene experience that allows for an up-close interaction with these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. 

Tours should be eco-friendly and designed to respect the well-being of the manta rays, ensuring a sustainable encounter. 

The optimal time for this activity is during the evening hours. Manta rays are more active and visible at night, providing a spectacle that is both awe-inspiring and educational for all ages.

august bucket list, August Bucket List: 33 Unmissable Experiences Around the World
A snorkeling swimming with a ton of manta rays! Photo by Sebastian Pena Lambarri on Unsplash.

August Bucket List Historic Havens

23. Embark on a Journey to Machu Picchu

Venturing to Machu Picchu, the iconic 15th-century Inca citadel set high in the Andes Mountains of Peru, is a dream for many adventurers. 

August stands out as an optimal time for this expedition. This is due to the dry season which offers clearer skies and more pleasant hiking conditions. 

I personally embarked on this epic adventure via the Salkantay Trail, which merges with the Inca Trail, leading to Machu Picchu. 

This route offered not just the historical allure of the ancient pathways but also the breathtaking natural beauty of the Peruvian landscape. 

Hiking through this trail in August was a remarkable experience! It was incredible witnessing the lush landscapes in full bloom and experiencing mild weather, making it one of the coolest adventures I’ve undertaken.

Read More about Peru – Skylodge Adventure Suites | Peru Bucket List

august bucket list, August Bucket List: 33 Unmissable Experiences Around the World
My best friend and I looking over Machu Picchu in Peru after our epic 7 day trek through the Andes.

24. Visit the famous site of the Battle of Gettysburg

Visiting the storied grounds of the Battle of Gettysburg, a pivotal event in American history, provides a profound and educational experience.

Located in Pennsylvania, this national military park encapsulates the fierce three-day conflict that was a turning point in the Civil War.

Visitors can explore numerous monuments, witness reenactments, and take guided tours that offer insights into the strategies, hardships, and valor of the soldiers who fought there.

25. Cycle the Danube Bike Path

For a historic and scenic getaway, cycling the Danube Bike Path in August is a treat. 

Enjoy clear skies and warm weather as you pedal from Passau, Germany, to cities like Vienna and Budapest

Each stop offers a glimpse into Central Europe’s diverse history and culture. Plus, you’ll pass by countless castles, vineyards, and charming villages along the way.

Gastronomic Getaways on the August Bucket List

26. Indulge in the Edinburgh Royal Mile’s Food Scene

The historic Royal Mile is a culinary delight in August! It has pop-up stalls, artisanal markets, and gourmet eateries serving delectable treats as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. 

From traditional haggis to contemporary Scottish fusion dishes, Edinburgh’s food scene is an art in itself.

august bucket list, August Bucket List: 33 Unmissable Experiences Around the World
Enjoying my new Scottish scarf in Edinburgh on the Royal Mile.

27. Have a Food Fight in Tomatina Festival in Buñol, Spain

The last Wednesday in August brings about the world-renowned Tomatina Festival. You aren’t gonna believe this! This is where thousands of participants gather on the streets of Buñol to engage in a massive tomato fight!

Join the vibrant spectacle, and afterward, indulge in the local gastronomy which draws on the region’s rich agriculture and culinary traditions.

28. Join the Chardonnay Harvest in the Burgundy Wine Region of France

The annual grape harvest in Burgundy in France starts in late August. It offers the rare chance for visitors to participate in the centuries-old tradition of wine making. 

From grape picking to wine tasting, the event provides an immersive experience into the heart of French viticulture.

august bucket list, August Bucket List: 33 Unmissable Experiences Around the World
Going on a wine tour in France.

29. Partake in the Annual Maine Lobster Festival

Celebrate the Maine Lobster Festival, where you can indulge in every lobster incarnation imaginable. 

From the classic lobster roll to unique takes on the crustacean, this five-day festival in Rockland is a must-visit for seafood aficionados. 

The festival also features live entertainment, cooking contests, and the crowning of the Maine Sea Goddess.

Eco-Adventures on Your August Bucket List

30. Volunteer in the Amazon Rainforest

August brings high water levels, making it the perfect time to explore the Amazon’s waterways and biodiverse ecosystems

Join a conservation program to assist in research, sustainable initiatives, and support the protection of this precious habitat. 

Your efforts will contribute to safeguarding the future of the planet’s lungs.

31. Planting Coral in the Great Barrier Reef

Join an eco-friendly tour to the Great Barrier Reef and participate in a unique initiative to save the world’s largest coral reef system. 

Guided by marine biologists, you’ll learn about the reef’s health and contribute to restoration efforts by planting nourished coral fragments on the ocean floor.

august bucket list, August Bucket List: 33 Unmissable Experiences Around the World
Posing over a lush coral reef in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

32. Hike Costa Rica’s Monteverde Cloud Forest

In August, the absence of mist in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve offers crystal-clear views of its thriving ecosystem. 

Hike through the diverse terrain, which is home to a quarter of all the country’s wildlife, and immerse yourself in the jungle’s green canopy.

33. Explore California’s Redwood National Park

The majestic redwoods in the Muir Woods in California deserve a place on any bucket list. 

In August, the park offer a perfect balance of warm, dry weather and thinner crowds. 

Embark on hikes through groves that contain the tallest trees on Earth, some reaching over 350 feet into the sky.

august bucket list, August Bucket List: 33 Unmissable Experiences Around the World
Redwood trees in California. Photo by Vasilis Karkala on Pexels.

Conclusion of this Epic August Bucket List

An August travel bucket list isn’t just about checking off destinations or activities; it’s about crafting memories that will last a lifetime. 

August is a time of vibrant life, and this list embodies that spirit—encouraging you to engage, explore, and revel in the wonders the globe has to offer. 

After all, there’s no time like the present to live your fullest life.

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