The world is full of beautiful places – maybe enough to keep you wandering across the world for your entire life. People who are fond of traveling may be feeling low amidst the current bans on traveling due to COVID-19, thinking that they may never be able to see all the places in the world. But before you fall prey to this existential dread, we’re here to inspire you with 50 beautiful places that you need to add to your bucket list right away.
From swimming in a river that looks as if it is straight out of heaven to coming face to face with the wildlife, this list will help you find all the right adventures for yourself. Some of these places are well-known travel destinations, but others are still particularly hidden. One thing is for sure, though: all of these will leave you planning for your next vacation!
1. Swim in Colombia’s Rainbow Lake – Caño Cristales
Cano Cristale has many different nicknames to describe its beauty. Some call it ‘The River That Escaped Heaven’, and others refer to it as ‘The Liquid Rainbow.’ Regardless of what name you use, there is no denying how beautiful this river truly is. The specialty is that it displays green, blue, yellow, black, and red hues from late May to early November – so we recommend that you head down there between these months to have an experience that is truly out of this world.
2. Stare at Glowworms in New Zealand- Waitomo Caves
If you read the name of the Glowworm Cave without seeing a picture, you may not be interested in heading up to New Zealand just to see a bunch of worms. However, that changes when you look at a picture from this cave. While you may find typical worms disgusting, there is something about these unique glowworms that attracts tourists from all ends of the earth. Since the cave has a lake that flows through it, you can book a boat ride during nighttime into these Waitomo Caves where you can see the miraculous glowworms shining. It almost looks like a painting when you look at it.
3. Discover the Sandy Dunes of Wadi Rum
We all know that Jordan is already a popular tourist destination. With all the beautiful places to explore there, we want you to add just one more on your list. Wadi Rum is a beautiful desert with dunes beyond the lands of Jordan, and it sure looks like it is straight out of the movies. If you are ever wondering how space films find red deserts to shoot their scenes in, its simple: they go to Wadi Rum. Once you get here, you should definitely stay until nighttime. The stars above the sky shine ever so brightly over the sand dunes, and there is no other sight in Jordan that is more beautiful.
4. Trek at The Astounding Parks of Patagonia
If you are somebody who is always complaining about how treks are just long enough for you, here is your one chance to rejoice. The route of Parks of Patagonia ranges over 1,740 miles and crosses seventeen Chilean national parks, including the infamous Atacama Desert. While completing the entire route may sound impossible to most of us, you can always enjoy the incredible natural sights that each part of this trek has to offer. The trail is known to pass through 24 ecosystems, allowing you to take a look at the most unique fauna and flora.
5. Walk the Great Wall of China
Like we all have heard ever since we know it is one of the 7 Wonders of the World, the Great Wall of China is definitely a sight to see at least once in your lifetime. The history of the wall is beyond incredible – since it took hundreds of years to complete and holds much political and cultural significance for the natives. When heading out to the Great Wall, we recommend being an early riser in order to avoid the masses of people who are gathered there almost every day. And whatever you do, never purchase a ‘part of the wall’ from any local vendor who may be trying to fool you.
6. Go Scuba Diving in the Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is known to all tourists who are especially fond of traveling. The reef is always teeming with life and color, since it provides a home to hundreds of species of marine animals such as turtles, sharks, and rays. The unique part about this reef is that it contains a third of all the soft corals on the planet – and can even be spotted from as far as outer space. If you are a conservationist, you can help many different programs if you dive the reef. Remember to do all your research regarding how you can help save the planet to make the most out of your trip.
7. Face Wild Gorillas in Rwanda
Wild mountain gorillas were recently given the ‘endangered’ conservation status, since there are only 800 of them left in the entire world. While many of us think that these wild gorillas can only be found in the wild, they are actually available for the public to see at Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. Remember to only go with a local guide, though. The trek leading to the gorillas is a dangerous one and you will definitely have to take certain safety measures to protect yourself from the wild animals. Despite being a little scary, meeting these wild mountain gorillas is definitely on our bucket list!
8. Look at the Northern Lights
We all have heard about the Northern Lights, simply because they are too beautiful to resist seeing. These are visible from multiple countries across the Northern Hemisphere, but you need to plan out your trip accordingly if you are planning on finding these northern lights in the sky. While the sight is too incredible to worry about the effort, you will have to go through some extremely remote areas and freezing temperatures to find the perfect place to look at the Northern Lights.
9. Boat Through the Pool of Arches in Israel
If you enjoyed The Phantom of the Opera, it is time to leave for Israel right now, This underground reservoir was initially collected in the eighth century, yet it continues to be a popular tourist spot for people who wish to discover more of its underground arches.
10. Stare at the Salt Flats in Bolivia
This is one of the few places on Earth where you will refuse to believe your own eyes. During the drier months, this salt flat creates the perfect optical illusion for your aesthetic photos. During the monsoon season, it automatically transforms into a mirror-like surface that reflects the beautiful sky above onto the floor. So whichever season you choose to visit this place in – your view will always be incredible. However, the only problem is that the salt flat is slightly difficult to reach since it is highly remote, and the surrounding areas do not even have access to Wi-Fi. For some travelers, though, this makes for an even more adventurous trip.
11. Visit Antarctica
If you have ever watched Ice Age, you know that this is the place of your dreams. Just take a look at these breathtaking ice mountains and the clear blue sky – and imagine how much more beautiful they would look in person. However, the seventh continent has always been rather inaccessible due to the harsh weather conditions and underdevelopment. While it may be a difficult cruise to save up for, we would definitely recommend doing it. You don’t even have to be a scientist or an explorer to get to the driest continent – all you need is a little wanderlust.
12. Find the Alternate Rainbow Mountain in Peru
Okay, we all want to see a rainbow mountain. Look at those different layers of unique colors – and imagine what a beautiful sight it would be. While we all know of the incredible Machu Picchu, we also know that it is almost always crowded due to tourists. If you want a more peaceful experience with a rainbow mountain, just head to Vinicunca instead. This place is called the Mountain of Seven Colors, and honestly just looks like a beautiful piece of a rainbow cake.
13. Drink Local Wines in France
France is already on most people’s bucket lists for a wide variety of reasons – the food, the scenery, and the city in general is definitely a sight to enjoy. But one of the more uncommon things to do in France is to explore the several wine routes that the city has. People from all over the world can drive around the beautiful villages of France and try their various local wines. Amongst these routes is the Alsace route, which is the oldest and most famous. It spans over an area of 105 miles and offers all the wine and cheese that your body could possibly handle!
14. Go Camping in the Gobi Desert
Sometimes, we need to remember our roots. To do that, the best place to be is the Mongolian gert where you can sleep under the stars and talk about the wonder that this life is. There are many tours arranged in the area which help you explore the desert, carry out everyday tasks, and learn more about the Mongolian cultures. In this desert, you can also explore the world’s largest fossil reservoir and ride some camels at the end of the day. In our opinion, this sounds like the perfect getaway for somebody who wants to reconnect with their roots. Plus, if you head down there during the winter, you may be lucky enough to spot a desert covered with a beautiful layer of snow.
15. See a Thousand Butterflies Migrating
If you are a fan of nature, this one is particularly for you. Even if you aren’t, the sight of butterflies is incredible to each one of us. If you feel like you haven’t seen a butterfly for way too many years, maybe it is time to fly out to Mexico and take a look at their migration. This occurrence happens once a year when thousands of monarch butterflies fly from Canada to Mexico and hibernate there for the next five to six months. Due to the large number of butterflies present during this migration, entire forests turn into a fluttering orange as butterflies fly around and mate. The area they cover each year is fixed and crosses a Biosphere Reserve as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This migration is considered as a great annual natural event and can be seen by anybody who is present in North America during the time.
16. Try the Snowman Trek in Bhutan and Discover their History
If you thought trekking on your local hill was difficult, meet the Snowman Trek. This is considered to be amongst the most difficult treks in the entire world, especially since it takes you in the remotest of areas in the Bhutanese Himalaya. In case you make your way down there, remember that even Google Maps won’t be able to guide you through. This is why it is important to have a local guide with you who is aware of all the little villages that you will be passing through. Oh and, make sure you have quite some time to complete this trek because it takes about 25 to 30 days.
17. Road Trip in South Africa
If you are one for road trips, this South African route is amongst the best places to be. It expands over a span of 190 miles, extending from South Africa’s Western Cape to the Tsitsikamma Storms River on the opposite end. Due to the rich biodiversity found in this route, it is characterized as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. As you make your way across the country, you will be able explore several national parks, gardens, and exquisite landmarks.
18. Observe the Wildebeest Migration
Similar to the butterfly migration, this is another one of nature’s miracles that you can find in Tanzania or Kenya. Each year, you can see millions of wild animals move across the Serengeti and Masai Mara national parks in search of water. The real experience comes from when you see predators following these animals too, which calls for a real look into the wildlife. If you want the best view of the show, you can also look at this entire miracle from a hot-air balloon.
19. Relax at Australia’s Bubblegum-Pink Lake
Australia may be on your bucket list for many reasons already, but we want you to add one: a bubble-gum pink lake. While there are many similar lakes in the world and even in Australia itself, the Lake Bumbunga is definitely the prettiest because it has a mirror reflection of the sky on to the waves of the ocean. Plus, this adventure is only a day trip since the lake is two hours away from the city of Adelaide. Compared to all the other experiences on our list, this one sounds fairly simple and accessible.
20. Discover Religion at Tibet’s Jokhang Temple
When you have culturally diverse places like these, you can easily ignore the complicated history attached to them. Tibet’s cultural heritage rests peacefully upon this beautiful temple which is considered a holy place in Tibetan Buddhism. This temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is also amongst the city’s most-visited landmarks. You will always find some friendly monks as you walk the walkway around this temple, and the beautiful architecture is enough for any tourist to appreciate it.
21. Go Hiking at Moloka’i’s Kalaupapa National Historical Park
If you are one for hiking, Hawaii is a great place that offers both culture and peace. Moloka’I is relatively unknown to people and thus is still free of overcrowded beaches or unnecessary hotels. Actually, it is illegal to build any building that is taller than a palm tree in this area. This calls for a relaxing vacation away from the bustling city, and you can easily discover a great natural treasure: the Kalaupapa National Historical Park. Due to the rugged beauty of the park, it has been featured in many famous films, including Jurassic Park.
22. Explore the Bornean Jungle
This bucket-list destination is divided between Indonesia and Malaysia and is considered to be the least-developed tropical forests in the world. This means that it allows you to see the forest in its most natural form, including all the biodiversity such as endemic species of animals. The WWF highly recommends you book local tours which generate revenue for the government to ensure that they are encouraged to conserve the forest for years to come.
23. Visit the City Build on Rocks (Sri Lanka)
If you think all cities look the same, it is time to climb an ancient city that is built on top of a 660-foot tall rock. Sigiriya was a small city built back in the fifth century and is still conserved so you can have a good look at it. Being part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city welcomes visitors with open arms. The only downside, though, is that you will have to climb the few hundred steps before you actually reach the city. But even these steps have been decorated with incredible frescoes and other ancient decorations.
24. Discover the Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands are known for inspiring Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution – so if you are a tourist who is interested in his sciences, this is definitely your bucket-list location. This island is amongst the worlds most precious treasures, especially since it is home to many endemic species such as the marine iguanas, giant tortoises, and blue-footed bobbies. The Ecuadorian government is pretty reluctant about letting tourists in, though – but that’s only because they want to continue keeping 90% of the species that Darwin observed still alive on the island.
25. Take Pictures in Lavender Fields in Australia
Like we said, France is on many people’s bucket lists for a variety of reasons. One of them is usually the beautiful lavender fields in Provence that only bloom during the summer. The area is definitely a breath of fresh air – especially since it is surrounded by small farms, cottages, and some medieval villages. If you want an even more breathtaking view of the lavender wonderland, you can book a ride on a hot-air balloon and admire the natural beauty of Provence.
26. Find South Korea’s Mermaids
Mermaids don’t exist in real life, right? Except, they do in South Korea. Haenyeos are the female divers that live on the Jeju Island in South Korea and are well0known for diving up to 30 feet only to catch specialty seafood by hand. These women have spent their entire lives underwater and have gained the title of being real-life mermaids, especially since a majority of these are over 50 years old and still fit enough to dive. To have a chance with these mermaids to dive underwater and catch real fish would definitely be an experience of a lifetime.
27. Don’t Scare Off Sharks in the Philippines
Are you afraid of sharks? Well, we hope not. This next bucket-list item is about to get you up close and personal with some sharks under clear blue waters and is definitely the kind of experience that you are going to want to have. But here’s the thing: the shark will be very quick to swim away if it spots you getting too close. So, if you ever want to interact with a gentle little whale shark, Donsol is the place to be. Remember to only go with a local guide though, because they will help you make sure that you don’t get too close to the sharks and scare them away.
28. Find Biodiversity at the Brazilian Amazon
If there is one thing that we all want to do in our lives, it is definitely to explore some part of the Amazon. Exploring the entire forest is near to impossible since it spans over eight countries, but the Brazilian part of it is enough to fulfill our wanderlust. This part of the world is often described as the earth’s lungs – being the most biodiverse area in the entire planet. You can also ride along the mighty Amazon river and discover a range of endemic species who are exclusive to the rainforest.
29. Appreciate Architecture at Granada’s Alhambra
Spain is already known to be a popular tourist destination, but we recommend adding Alhambra in Granada to your bucket list immediately. This beautiful building is a testament to Arabian architecture, with each wall being an extremely intricate and detailed piece of art. The courts and gardens are enough masterpieces to adore as well. Exploring Alhambra would only take an entire day, so we would suggest that you spend your time here thoroughly as you sip on an Arabic tea and discover the heritage.
30. Explore Some Part of The Grand Canyon in Arizona
Here’s another place that we all want to visit: The Grand Canyon. It is definitely one the world’s most beautiful natural wonders and offers notable sites such as the Wave and the Horseshoe Bend. Regardless of the exact location of this landmark that you explore, you will always find something artistic to admire. After all, there are one too many multicolored strokes in the canyon that twist and turn to form this artistic wonder.
31. Go Hiking in Canada’s First National Park
Banff National Mark in Canada is a sight that looks as if it is straight out of a painting. With majestic snow-capped mountains in the background and tall trees up front, there are too many beautiful things to appreciate about this park. Being Canada’s first national parks, it offers many activities such as kayaking, skiing, hiking, and even camping the night. We can only imagine how beautiful the sky would look above all of those mountains and trees.
32. Uncover Pharaoh History Down the Nile River
If you are somebody who appreciates history, you will want to experience a multi-day cruise down the Nile River. During your cruise, you will be able to explore historic sites such as the Pyramids of Giza and even the city of Luxor where many Pharaohs are supposedly buried. Apart from all the history, the Nile River is definitely a sight to enjoy on its own as well.
33. Discover One of the Azores Islands
Until recent years, the Azores were an undiscovered part of the volcanic Portuguese islands. Now that it is fairly accessible, you can visit Azores and discover unique landforms, beaches, and mountains that you have never seen before. We recommend that the best way to explore Azores is by picking one specific island of your choice, renting a car, and exploring every inch of the beautiful areas this place has to offer.
34. Take a Peak at the Future at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore
Gardens by the Bay is the best version of the future that you would want to look at. It offers a look at the unique Supertree Grove, which consists of massive vertical gardens that resemble actual trees but their purpose is to gather both solar energy and rainwater. These fake trees also provide good habitats for insects, birds, plants, and reptiles that are normally dying out in modern cities. In the future, we hope to see more places like these where we promote natural biodiversity alongside of the use of modern technology.
35. Discover the Quietest Beach on Earth
Located in the middle of the Pacific, most people don’t even know that Tonga is a place that exists. While this may sound like betrayal to you, it has actually helped the island preserve its beaches and water from the implications of tourism. If you visit during the right time of the year, you would be able to meet with humpback whales who come to visit the shores, birth their calves, and remain there to nurture them for the first few days. In Tonga, we promise that you’ll find the clearest of waters, healthy coral reefs, and quiet beaches to relax.
36. Give Up on Showering for Six Days on the Longest Railroad in the World
The Trans-Siberian Railway is truly one of a kind. It connects Moscow to Vladivostok in Russia, and the entire journey takes about six days to complete. As you travel along this beautiful railroad, you will be crossing seven different time zones and earn the honor of traveling through the longest train in the world. If your dreams consist of you gazing out the window, looking at vast seas and forests that are almost undiscovered, the Trans-Siberian railway is the right place to be. However, just remember that you will have to give up Wi-Fi and showers for a few days.
37. Cross the Lycian Way Before it is Destroyed
The Lyrcian Way used to be an ancient trade route that connected Turkey’s Mediterranean Coast. What’s left of it today is simply some Lycian ruins, rock tombs, and Roman baths. If you consider that as a bucket-list adventure, we suggest making your way down there immediately before the route gets further destroyed due to erosion. The highlight of the Lycian Way is the Mount Chimaera – which is a sight worth seeing on your way. Here, flames rise between the cracks of the stones and it definitely looks straight out of a sci-fi novel.
38. Scuba Dive in the Great Blue Hole
While the name might not fascinate you, we promise that the place will. The Great Blue Hole is the largest sinkhole on earth and is considered to be the best scuba diving spot in the world. While we acknowledge that deep diving into the sea may not be everyone’s cup of tea, we still suggest you swim in the outer shallow rims of the hole – only for the sake of appreciating this natural wonder.
39. Stand Next to the Temple IV
There are many places that you could visit in Guatemala to explore ancient Maya sites, but we think the Tikal National Park is the most impressive one. This area is set deep inside the jungle and was once the capital of the infamous Maya empire. The popular Temple IV has a height of 270 feet above ground – which makes it he tallest pre-Columbian building that continues to survive. While you may just look like a tiny ant standing next to it, the experience is definitely worth the struggle.
40. Learn Inner Peace at Rabati Castle in Georgia
If you are a traveler who is seeking inner peace in different areas of the earth, we suggest you pay a visit to the Rabati Castle. Built in the ninth century, this castle is just as beautiful as it is massive. The structures are extremely well-preserved to date – making it one of the most popular landmarks in Georgia. The reason why people go here to find inner peace is because the building represents tolerance and diversity since it has a minaret, a synagogue, a church, and a mosque inside it.
41. Enter the World’s Most Colorful Mosque
There are some incredibly beautiful mosques in the world, and the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque is definitely one of them. The entire building is made with stained-glass windows, meaning that when the sunlight hits the glass – there is a light show to enjoy on the inside. The structure of the mosque is regarded as a tribute to Arabic architecture since it makes use of traditional methods of construction and design. Apart from that, the Pink Mosque is definitely considered one of the most exquisite places of worship.
42. Look at the Dragon Blood Tree in Socotra Island, Yemen
Being remote and isolated from the rest of the world, the Socotra Island has developed in unique ways of its own. Since several endemic species thrive here, there is a unique look to the entire island. This includes the Dragon Blood Tree which is no less than a miracle of nature since it is a tree with stumpy roots in place of branches that reach up towards the sky. The island is UNESCO-listed, and thus is safe to visit and explore.
43. Spend Some Time with Elephants at a Sanctuary in Thailand
Thailand is the kind of country that has so much to offer that you may have to take multiple trips to explore all of it. However, if you want to do something out of the ordinary, we suggest that you spend some time in an elephant sanctuary. These are places who care for rescued elephants who are unable to survive into the wild, thus providing them with safe homes. However, Thailand is a country of fraud, too. Make sure you don’t fall victim to a scam sanctuary since according to our research, there are many of those.
44. Wake Up for Sunrise Angkor Wat
If you are one to follow religion and discover the heritage of various religions, the Angkor Wat is definitely a place to visit. Especially beautiful during the sunrise, the ancient stones in this temple that are carved with beautiful figures become illuminated when the first rays of sunshine hit them early in the morning. Beware, though, because you will have to cover days of temple trekking before you can reach this beautiful sight.
45. Try Helicopter Skiing in Iceland
If you think you have had enough of regular skiing, you need to try out helicopter skiing or heli-skiing. This is a new winter sport that takes you further into inaccessible points of the snow, and then asks you to ski off-trail back to your starting point. The most well-suited place for this extreme sport is definitely the undiscovered landscape of Troll Peninsula of Iceland – which is especially beautiful when covered in thick layers of snow.
46. Enjoy Beach Days with Horses at the Bazaruto Archipelago
This is basically your typical island, if it weren’t taken over by tourist crowd or resort chains. Instead, the Bazaruto Archipelago has intact reefs, breathtaking beaches, and even white sand dunes that are a sight to enjoy. Since this place is remote enough to be inaccessible for most people, it remains undercrowded and protected. The best part about traveling down here is that you can spend your beach day with some of the friendliest resident horses you will ever meet.
47. Explore the Ancient Silk Road Trek in Kyrgyzstan
The Silk Road is an extensive trade network that connected Asia, Africa, and Europe in ancient times. While Kyrgyzstan is often ignored by tourists in the modern age, the silk road is still one of the routes that hold much historical significance. As you make your way down the road, you will be able to explore ancient landmarks such as the Tash Rabat and the Burana Tower.
48. Photograph Wild Animals in India
You might have heard that India is an exotic country, right? But you probably never thought that you could go ahead and photograph some wild tigers that you will not find in any other place in the world without getting attacked. The Ranthambore National Park is a safari park in Rajasthan that allows you to get along with tigers, cobras, monkeys, and even crocodiles. Remember that you won’t be able to pet them though, but maybe it is best that you don’t.
49. Discover the Emerald Waters of Halong Bay in Vietnam
Imagine looking at these beautiful emerald waters covered in mist. This, amongst others, is the kind of sight that people who go on an overnight cruise along the Halong Bay are able to enjoy. The cruises allow for up to 1,500 people at once and provide various activities to keep you engaged, such as kayaking, swimming, and hiking. But above all, it is the landscape that drags people from the ends of the earth to visit the breathtaking Halong Bay in Vietnam.
50. Discover the Lost City Amidst the Jungles of Colombia
If you have ever wanted to discover a new city all by yourself, now is the perfect opportunity. To reach the ‘Lost City’ of the Tayrona civilization, you will have to trek through the jungle for two days. However, it is easy to embark on the trek with a guided tour that is led by one of the four indigenous groups (Kogi, Arhuaco, Kankuamo, or Wiwa) who defend this sacred region from the outsiders.