The Best Cliff Diving Destinations
Tombstoning, popularly referred to by many as cliff diving, is an adventure dive sport created for individuals who love a great challenge. If you’re the daring kind, chances are, you will fall in love with this fun activity. But don’t go jumping off cliffs just yet, as this is not a sport for the faint-hearted or the acrophobic. If you’re any of this, it’s best to stick to watching daredevils put their lives on the line from Youtube. Just make sure there is a bag of chips readily available to take the pressure off your fingernails, as you watch with anxiety and raised eyebrows.
Due to the quirks that come with an activity like cliff diving, there are not that many destinations around the world that offer divers with the ultimate cliff jumping experience. With ten of the best cliff diving destinations in the list below, those with daring spirits will be spoilt for choice. You have no reason not to visit at least one, as each offers many activities, in addition to the intentional pumping of adrenaline into your system. We have listed places all over the world, from Hawaii to Greece, the USA, Ireland, and even Canada. You can cliff jump anywhere!
1. HELL’S Gate in the State of Texas
With the word ‘hell’ in the title, there is no doubt that Hell’s Gate is the ultimate destination for those who love to break the rules and boundaries. Lined by two large hills, the Hell’s Gate cliff is located in the heart of Texas. The Red Bull Cliff Diving event got this place all geared up, with an electrifying feel as many divers from across the globe convened to share their only interest; challenging themselves.
Cliff jumping was made illegal from the Hell’s Gates after several mishaps before the Red Bull competitions. Before the hosting of this event, the cliffs in this area were populated by countless cliff jumpers who were searching for adventure. The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series brought these cliffs back to life with the reopening of the event. Prepare your dive watch, go ahead and partake in this exciting event if you are fearless of the fearless.
2. Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, Brazil
About 350 kilometers east of the Brazilian mainland lies the Fernando de Noronha archipelago, a true cliff diver’s paradise. All 21 islands are surrounded by crystal clear warm water, which makes cliff diving easier, especially for beginners. What’s more special is that you can dive up to 40 meters into the depths without a diving suit and with the naked eye, you can even see up to 50 meters underwater. Although underwater offers a breathtaking landscape of tunnels, mountains and rocks await you, along with an outstanding coral reef. These colors and constructs of nature are simply indescribable with 18 corals and 250 species of fish.
3. Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon, Arizona
The Havasu Creek is home to the Havasu waterfall. The cliff stands tall at 90 feet, somewhere within the Grand Canyon, in the USA. With various sites to see and experience in Arizona, the presence of such a spectacle comes as no surprise. The Havasu Falls is the definition of the ‘a light at the end of the tunnel’. The journey to the cliff begins with a hiking trail that stretches for up to ten miles. All rocks walked on are uneven, and the overall trip is one risky activity to engage in if you don’t have the heart of an explorer. Prepare your best walking shoes, because you will walk, lose your breath and you may sweat up a bucket of water, but in time, you will be rewarded with the best cliff diving experience ever to exist in this world, a sign that the journey was worth every second.
From the top you can admire the waterfall in all its magnificence, taking in all the beauties nature has to offer, from the little details to tremendous experience such as the Havasu falls. This cliff jumping area has slowly gained popularity among many hikers, rock climbers and cliff jumpers, such that you need to make an early booking to be able to hike there. Unlike the typical cliff diving, the Havasu Falls offer the adventurous individual with waterfall jumping, a safer and gentler alternative. With this activity, your landing is softened by the churning of the water at the bottom. The cliffs found here are regarded as priceless gems that feature turquoise blue waters and a red, sandy bottom. Decades ago, the Havasu Falls were used as a rite of passage for young men of the Havasupai tribe, but today, the varying heights of cliffs are used by hikers from different corners of the world as a hiking and cliff diving destination. The different heights of cliffs enable both beginning divers and pros to enjoy the beautiful gift from nature.
4. Ka Lae in Hawaii
Hawaii always comes up when fans of this sport start talking about history. The first Polynesians who came to these lands landed at Ka Lae between 400 and 800 AD. At the time of King Kahekili, in the second half of the eighteenth century, the cliffs of Ka Lae were the place where men had to show their courage and loyalty to the king. It even seems that Kahekili himself, nicknamed “Birdman”, flew from the highest and most dangerous cliffs. Now, this is a mecca of many adventurers who seek the leap of his life, although the feat does not seem advisable to all audiences.
Also referred to as the South Point of Hawaii, Ka Lae is every thrill-seeker’s dream come true. After plunging into the deepness of the water, it is easy for divers to exit, thanks to the existence of ladders that were once used to lift boats. Just like the other sites found in Hawaii, care must be taken before any decision is made to jump into the water.
5. The Seven Mile Beach in Negril, Jamaica
Cliff diving is an activity that is more fun when done with others who share you daring abilities. This is the sport for you if you thrive on adrenaline, but you must have a lot of faith in your skills and a right amount of training, before aiming for the water from 40 feet above. Daredevils and thrill-seekers love to experience everything, from the standing atop a cliff with outstretched arms to the jumping off from hundreds of feet into the water below. They live for this leap of faith every chance they get, and we believe you can experience that at The Seven Mile Beach in Negril, Jamaica.
If you are a daredevil, The Seven Mile Beach in Negril is one of the most dreamed of cliff jumping destinations in the world and is just over an hour from Montego Bay. This is one of those beaches that always appear among the best in the world which also offers a cliff diving experience of a lifetime, along with snorkeling activities, so don’t forget to pack your snorkeling fins! One of the safest and most popular cliff diving spots is that of Rick’s Café, which is only eleven meters away from the beach. However, the more adventurous divers tend to climb a little higher to jump into the void.
6. Black Rocks in Marquette, Michigan
Everyone must have cliff diving as a part of their bucket list of the insane things to do before they die and must have a go at it at least once in their lifetime, and it won’t have to be a big jump. When starting, you can start with small drops and work your way up with every adrenaline rush. There’s a feeling that can’t be adequately described, when you’re falling freely into the water, or when you’re being drawn back by a bungee cord. It can’t be explained, it can only be experienced and enjoyed, but one this is certain- the feeling is everything.
There’s no better way to take a dip in the ever famous Lake Superior to cliff jump. The Black Rocks of Michigan are extremely easy to find in Marquette, and these 10 to 15-foot drops are the perfect place for you and your friends to experience if you are starting out with your thrill-seeking. We can guarantee that after your first adrenaline rush experience after making the jump of Black Rocks, you’ll be hooked, literally. These cliffs are like a drug; an addiction you won’t be able to shake off thoroughly.
7. Horseshoe Lake in Alberta, Canada
Located down the northern flank of Mount Adams, across the east side of the Midway High Lakes Area is the Horseshoe Lake. This lake is a Canadian beauty and the perfect stopping place for people looking to bike, sightsee, fish, hike, and camp. It’s not shocking, therefore that it is often called the ‘gem packed in the Jasper National Park’ by visitors and natives. With many adventure sports being held there, the Horseshoe Lake usually goes viral online, drawing more visitors in as a result.
The Horseshoe Lake doesn’t make cliff diving easy. It is a place created by nature for the most daring of our kind, the people who thrive on pushing their limits. It is a nerve-rattling experience, having to jump from this 80-feet high cliff into deep waters. All visitors are warned upon arrival at the lake about the dangers involved with cliff jumping. Interestingly, these warning signs seem to pull them in faster than ever!
8. Serpent’s Lair in Aran Islands, Ireland
From Hell’s Gates, we’ve found yet another destination for the bad guys, the Serpent’s Lair. For most people in the Aran Islands, cliff jumping above the wild Atlantic seems like an extremely odd activity. If you’re not Irish however, the thought of leaping down from a 92 feet cliff into a narrow shoreline pool gets your heart jumping in excitement and anticipation. The Aran Islands are found in the heart of Galway Bay and are enriched with ancient forts and jagged cliffs.
Of all the three islands in Galway Bay, the Inis Mor is a site used for many cliff diving championships, mainly since it’s the largest out of the lot. Locally known as the Serpent’s Lair, the cliff at Inis Mor is another venue for the Red Bull Cliff Diving Series. The height of this cliff has caused authorities to grant access to only experienced divers. This is done with the safety of the public in mind. Take the chance if you’re a professional daredevil diver, and take flight into the chilly waters of the Atlantic from the serpent’s Lair.
9. Devil’s Tears, Indonesia
Indonesia makes an appearance on our list with its tourist attraction, the Devil’s Tears. Known for its spectacular sunsets, this cliff found not far from Bali is regarded by many dividing enthusiasts as the most famous cliff jumping locations for the bravest jumpers. Don’t be deceived, however, by the good looks and charm of the place; the adventure and all it represents is stated clearly in the name. It is highly deceptive, and all activities that take place here are meant for the strong-willed and brave of heart.
However, be wary that the waters below the cliff can be quite unpredictable and dangerous. On some days, the currents are a little too strong with waves crashing into cliffs, whilst on other days, they are calmer. Before visiting, it is vital that you consider some of these factors to ensure your safety.
10. Kahekili’s Leap in Hawaii
Another Hawaiian location makes the cut. Are you courageous? Are your wits enough to have you leaping from an elevation into the shallow waters in Hawaii, just like their ancient warriors did? Welcome then, to one of the most dangerous dives ever to exist, recommended only for pro divers. Cliff jumping at Kahekili’s Leap can be traced back to when the warriors of King Kamehameha leaped 80 feet into the ocean. This helped coin the name ‘Warriors Leap’ for the area. It is believed that jumping here was spearheaded by the Birdman King, who made his warriors prove their loyalty by leaping from the top of the 63-foot falls into the shallow Waters below.
With an ocean floor on Lanai’s southern shore, the Kahekili’s Leap is a rock ledge with a base that juts outwards, a water shallowness of 10 feet to 20 feet and a cliff height of 60 feet. With such scary numbers and alluring lore to fall back onto, we advise that every activity you undertake is done under expert supervision.