Climb a mellow volcano.
Credit: Alamy

Mountaineering tragedies raise an existential question: Who really wants to die on vacation? Mexico's 18,490-foot El Pico de Orizaba is the third-highest peak in North America, behind McKinley and Logan, but with a much lower chance that you'll end up as a meatsicle in some hidden crevasse. You'll overnight in the Piedra Grande hut at 14,000 feet before attempting the summit via the relatively nontechnical ramps of the Jamapa Glacier. Basic mountaineering skills suffice here; the best time to go is November through March. International Mountain Guides offers a nine-day trip to Orizaba and 17,300-foot Iztaccihuatl, or stay at Joaquin Canchola's guesthouse in nearby Tlachichuca (skip the Servimont hotel most climbers use). [$2,200;; or e-mail]