Dr. Henry Walton “Indiana” Jones Jr. lived a life that every kid wanted. However, as children grew up – and most probably yourself too – they have realized that it is near impossible to live the life of this 1930 ’s superhero adventurer. Plus, you realize that he was a character brought to life in movies from cartoon strips, and no matter how much you wanted to be him, you just can’t be like him.
Feature Photo Sergio & Gabriella
However, if the travel bug has already bitten you, did you know that there are locations all over the world that are not only featured in the movies but can also bring out your long-hidden inner action hero? These discoveries will bring out of you the spirit of adventure and fun that you had as a kid pretending that your dad’s massive belt was a bullwhip! In honor of this boyhood dream, here is a list of top three places where you can pretend to be Indiana Jones!
4 Places Where You Can Play Indiana Jones
1. Ancient Civilization in Peruvian Jungles
You might have to do a little more than steal an old statue for an angry mob of spear-wielding natives to chase you. In addition, you don’t have to walk the entire Inca Trail just to avoid a large boulder from crushing you, but nothing screams the new Indiana Jones experience more than rushing through a jungle searching for a lost civilization. However, you should know that the Peruvian scenes in the movie were actually shot in Hawaii.
All you need is an organized trek to discover the beauty of Machu Picchu – the Lost City of the Incas – and you will still have to contend with other backpackers and travelers hitting this famous trail alongside you. However, you can just ignore them and pretend they are not even there. The most important thing is that you are in a jungle, the final frontier to gaining the Indiana Jones experience – and, you may award yourself some extra points, or a pat on the back, for knocking a spider off someone’s back!
2. Giant Stone Balls in Costa Rica
One of the most iconic scenes in the movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark” is where a seeming science fiction giant stone sphere nearly squashes Indiana Jones. However, do you know that the featured giant stone is not a work of science fiction or the imagination of Stephen Spielberg and George Lucas? You can travel to or even volunteer in Costa Rica to see and touch the real thing!
Also known as The Balls, Las Bolas or Diquis Spheres, the stone spheres are remnants of the Isthmo-Colombian era that are found in the Diquis Delta. There have been so many conspiracy theories around how the stones came into being that they were eventually added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. The largest sphere weighs approximately 15 tons with a diameter of 8 feet, while the smallest is no larger than a basketball.
3. Club Obi-Wan in Shanghai
At the beginning of the movie “Temple of Doom,” Indiana Jones temple, Short Round and Willie escape from a Shanghai nightclub – the scene was shot in London, in reality. As the car speeds away, you can clearly see the club’s name is Club Obi-Wan, which is also a reference in the Indiana Jones franchise to Obi-Wan Kenobi, the legendary Jedi in “Star Wars.” Shanghai is still home to oriental opulence and art deco that was characteristic of the 1920s.
Get dressed up and hit up the famous casinos and clubs in the city, even pretend that you are there to deal with Chinese triads. However, do not call anyone Short Round under any circumstances!
4. Get Adventurous in Underground Rivers and Lagoons of the Riviera Maya
One of the most adventurous places on earth is the Riviera Maya. One minute you can be driving through the jungle on an amphibious vehicle, the next swimming in an underground river system. Of all the places I’ve been this one makes me feel the most like Indi when I’m rope swinging into Cenotes and ziplining over the jungle.
Finding your inner adventurer through travel is on of the most extraordinary things you can do for yourself and your kids. I hope these places help you find yours.