Looking for the perfect place to take a trip to? Nature offers some of the best rejuvenation destinations. Some people like to travel for adventure sports, some to relax and soak up the scenery. For many who are caught up in the madding urban work culture, taking a retreat into nature’s lap is the best way to find time for oneself. Nature, after all, is awe-inspiring, serene, exciting, gorgeous and holistic all at once. What is more, nature always has something to offer everyone. Whether you like traveling alone or in a group, you are sure to enjoy these 50 exotic and breathtakingly beautiful places.
Rangiroa Atoll: Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia
Rangiroa, in French Polynesia, is the second-largest atoll in the world. It is formed of a cluster of 240 islets loosely set like a ring around the deep blue lagoon popularly called the Infinite Lagoon. It is one of Tahiti’s most breathtaking landmarks and is home to charming land and marine life. From butterflies to turtles, the wildlife here is as charming as the land and seascape. Visit Rangiroa for a date with the dolphins. Dive with the whales and learn the ways of manta rays. Do not forget to check out the indigenous handicrafts, especially the jewelry and the local wines.
Often referred to as Batman Mountain, the 1,500 feet tall Vestrahorn in Iceland is a unique mountain. The black sand beach gives the tall mountain an indescribable and mysterious beauty. The mountain sits above a lagoon and is far from madding crowds. The remoteness of the location gives it a timeless charm. Visit with time in hand, and pack your provisions for a long walk around the peninsula to experience some of the mountain’s most jaw-dropping sites. You could spend hours soaking in the view of the peaks and the sky in the calming ambience of the surrounding waters. Put Vestrahorn in your bucket list of holiday sites for a truly magical getaway.
Lake Tahoe: California and Nevada
A two-million year old water body, the present-day Lake Tahoe is shaped by years of geological changes including erosion and shifting tectonic plates. Lake Tahoe attracts a lot of visitors all year round. The playgrounds, museums, trails and eateries are an added attraction to the lake’s waters, which are a breathtaking shade of emerald. A visit to Lake Tahoe is incomplete without a pit-stop at High Camp, a part of the famous Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows resort situated 8,200 feet above sea level. Visit with friends or family, or you can simply backpack solo. This site will not disappoint the adventure-seeker in you.
Santorini Caldera: Santorini, Greece
Santorini has long enjoyed tourist popularity year round for its jaw-dropping scenic ambience. Its beautiful white washed villas offset the beauty of the Aegean Sea in a manner not many places can. Whether you want to wine and dine for a Grecian holiday or simply enjoy a sunset on the ruins of Kastro, Santorini is a place you will love to visit and revisit. The island’s caldera, a remnant of an old volcanic eruption, is a popular destination wedding site. The architecture as well as the archeology of the island interests people from diverse fields. Summer is the best time to enjoy the magical island.
Grand Canyon National Park: Arizona
The Grand Canyon in Arizona is massive. It measures nearly 277 river miles long, 18 miles wide and is at least a mile deep. The mighty Colarado River is its constant companion, hence it is no surprise that some of the most thrilling experiences of this natural rift is from the river. Rafting and sky-walking are popular tourist activity. Hikers and backwood campers are a regular at the Canyon too. There are several tall glass-floored buildings designed specially for tourists on the rims of the Canyon. Enjoy the thrill of looking down into the deep if you do not have vertigo!
Bisti Badlands/De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area: Bloomfield, New Mexico
The Bisti Badlands entice campers and photographers alike. A rolling landscape of badlands, the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness is a breathtaking desert landscape. Once a swamp, it now comprises several interesting rock formations in an array of colors. These formations are a result of erosion and interbeddings of sandstone, mudstone, silt and shale. The hoodoos formed by the natural weathering of sandstone look like replicas of craters on the moon. The area is known for several fossil findings. Pack a pair of binoculars and plenty of fluids on your trip to the Badlands. It is a popular spot to observe prairie falcons, golden eagles, and ferruginous hawks.
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park: Hawaii
The Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park offers one of the most unique experiences. It rises up to 13,677 feet above sea-level and is home to two of the world’s most active volcanoes, namely, Kīlauea and Mauna Loa. The Crater Rim Drive, which encircles Kilauea, is a popular tourist attraction. If you wish to experience the fascinating biodiversity of the park further, consider taking the Chain of Craters Road, which leads up to the coast at Kalapana, and crosses Makaopuhi Crater on the way. The Halema’uma’u Trail is also a crowd puller as it takes you on a trail of lava (pahoehoe) and Kilauea’s caldera.
Denali National Park & Preserve: Alaska
Denali, which formerly was referred to by the name of Mount McKinley, should feature in every avid mountaineer’s bucket list. The reason for this is simple: it is North America’s tallest peak and has a height of 20,310 feet above sea level. The park and preserve built around the peak offers a rich mix of Alaskan landscape. From deciduous to tundra topography, glaciers to bare rocks, the preserve has it all. Visit the national park for a rejuvenating getaway from city life. Enjoy recreational activities on both land and river sites. In the winter, you could even participate in snowmobiling, dog sledding, and cross-country skiing.
Milford Sound: Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
For an out-of-the-world experience of a locale replete with glacier-cut cliffs and cascading waterfalls, take a vacation at the Piopiotahi fjord in New Zealand. Better known as the Milford Sound, this fjord in the Fjordland National Park, South Island will leave you captivated with its clear navy water and green surroundings. Enjoy the serene beauty of the Lady Bowen Falls and Sterling Falls. Watch the rare erect-crested penguins play in their natural breeding habitat and enjoy the fur seals gambol with their buddies. This is a delightful place to go kayaking. The surrounding rainforests and the black coral deposits add their own charm to the fjord.
The Pitons: Soufriere, St. Lucia
When you need your spirit set free, nothing beats climbing up a gorgeous mountain. Now imagine the mountain rising from the depth of the sea. That is exactly what going up the Pitons at St. Lucia would feel. The twin peaks, Petit Piton and Gros Piton, are volcanic spires that rise up from the Caribbean Sea. They offer grand views all around and are a World Heritage Site. Visit the Pitons to experience the majesty of hot springs, petroglyphs and fumaroles. Get friendly with the local wildlife. Bike, cycle or take a sea cruise around the Pitons and soak yourself in amazing mud baths.
Lake Louise: Banff National Park, Alberta
Lake Louise, Alberta, is where you want to be if you look forward to some magical skiing and skating into the New Year. Located inside the Banff National Park, the beautiful glacial lake is a photographer’s delight. Its sparkling turquoise waters make a beautiful justaposition against the surrounding evergreens and snow-kissed mountain tops. If you plan your visit in the summer, you will be able to hike and cycle along several tourist-friendly trails. To top it all, Lake Louise is peppered with some pretty and vintage teahouses. The place is a gorgeous winter-wonderland for those looking for getaways in the Holiday Season.
Mount Pilatus: Alpnach, Switzerland
Experience the world’s steepest cogwheel railway to visit the Alpine peak of Mount Pilatus in Switzerland. If this is not your preferred mode of travel, you could also use the cable way from the picturesque city of Lucerne or even hike your way up to the incredibly spectacular 7,000-foot peak of Mount Pilatus. The view from the top is breathtaking. Not only can you see the entire lakefront of Lucerne, the panoramic sight of 73 Alpine peaks all at once will take your breath away. For a postcard holiday destination that offers all the perks of mountain adventures, book a trip to Alpnachstad by land, air or water. You will not be disappointed.
Queenstown: New Zealand
If you love adventure-sports, you cannot miss taking a trip to the adventure-capital of the world. A lakefront resort town, Queenstown saw the birth of bungee jumping as a sport at Kawarau Bridge in 1988. From zip-lining to jet-boating, skydiving to skiing, there is an adrenaline park for all kinds of adventure sports. If you want to simply sit back and relax, the lakefront offers a beautiful scenic ambience for shopping and eating. Visit a vineyard for a sip of pinot noir or free-wheel down one of the many trails. Enjoy an evening cruise or a helicopter tour over World Heritage landscapes. Queenstown has something to offer for every visitor.
Pulpit Rock: Songesand, Norway
A visit to Norway is incomplete without a trip to the Pulpit Rock in Songesand. The rock, which officially bears the name Preikestolen, is the apex of a relatively easy hiking trail. It is about 82 square feet and is composed mainly of granite. Naturally flat-topped, it is coveted for the breathtaking sights it offers all around from the top. The tourist season is April to October, although weather permitting the rock is a great spot to be in all year round. It is only a couple of hours from Lysefjorden and is a popular filming location.
Mount Rainier National Park: Washington
Mount Rainier National Park is named after the iconic 14,410-foot-tall active volcano it centers around. This volcano is the tallest as well as the most glaciated in the Cascade Range. Visitors make the hike up to the peaks to enjoy the 25 named glaciers it houses. One can also drive up the mount to enjoy the beauty of the icy rivers and the steamy volcano. The alpine ecosystem is a delight for those interested in flora and fauna all year round. Besides, this is a great place to engage in several recreational activities like sledding, skiing or snowshoeing.
Ölüdeniz is no stranger to those who love tandem paragliding. Tourists throng here for summer adventure water sports. Located on the Turquoise Coast of southwestern Turkey, this resort destination is a hot favorite for scuba divers, Yachting and snorkeling are also very popular among visitors here. The stable weather conditions of the beach add to its popularity. With its breathtaking waterscape, and a bird’s eye view of the Greek islands, the white sandy beaches of Ölüdeniz are perfect for those looking for a romantic getaway as well. You only need to see the sunrise or the sunset here to feel the exoticness of the place.
Wadi Rum Protected Area: Wadi Rum Village, Jordan
The dunes of Wadi Rum attract a lot of tourists in the present times. Once a Bedouin-occupied patch of desert, this 278-square-mile of red rock land became the cynosure of the West when Laurance of Arabia brought it under the limelight during World War 1. A visit to the Wadi Rum village is a thrill for any adventure lover. Spend the night under goat-hair tents and ride a camel to the dunes for some of the most exotic sunset experiences of your life. The ancient petroglyphs and sandstone pillars will inspire awe as you learn more about Beduoin culture and cuisine.
Great Barrier Reef: Australia
The Great Barrier Reef needs no introduction to lovers of the marine world. Ask any diver, snorkeler or scuba diver, and they will tell you that this 1,430 miles long reef is every explorer’s dream destination. Each year the Reef attracts hoards of tourists to Australia. The months of June and July are specially rushed. If you enjoy sailing, you will find several guided tours for the reef from Cairns or Hamilton Island or you could simply enjoy the view from a flight tour. The reef has suffered major coral bleaching in the recent past. Nonetheless, the area is rich with colorful coral and fish.
Victoria Falls: Zambia and Zimbabwe
The Victoria Falls is a nature lover’s dream destination. It is breathtakingly beautiful. At the same time, the route is risky and fraught with challenges. With a height of over 328 feet, the Victorial Falls is recorded as the tallest waterfall in the world. It separates the southern African countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe on the Zambezi River, and is known locally as the Mosi-oa-Tunya (or “The Smoke that Thunders” in the Lozi language) The sound of the water cascading can be heard from over 25 miles away. Visit the Knife-edge Bridge for a panoramic view of the falls.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park: Zhangjiajie, China
If you are looking for an eco-reserve that is replete with wildlife preserved with indigenous means, you will not be disappointed by your trip to the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. Zhangjiajie is the model for the suspended mountains of “Pandora – The World of Avatar” in Disney’s theme park Animal Kingdom. The park is home to various life forms, flora and fauna. The Tianzi Mountain with its misty veils, the small streams and scenic areas like Yuanjiajie are sure to leave you with infinite Instagram worthy photographs. The lush green of the forest park stand in ornate juxtaposition with the eroded sandstone columns that pepper the park.
Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve: Alaska
The Glacier Bay makes it to the bucket list for most tourists heading to Alaska. And why not? It is marked as both a Biosphere and World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The picturesque terrain of evergreen forests and glaciers may sound intimidating to those who are not keen on hiking or cycling. However, there are several comprehensive water cruises available and are offered by mini ships as well as kayaks. In addition, one could choose to flight see the park via helicopter rides. The views, wildlife and the rich ecosystem of Glacier Bay is sure to delight the traveler in you!
Sunwapta Valley: Jasper National Park, Alberta
If you visit Alberta, you cannot miss the opportunity to take yourself to the largest ice mass in the Arctic circle. Sunwapta Valley in Jasper National Park is one of North America’s most fascinating landmarks. Take the Icefield Parkway to drive along a mesmerizing scenery of rapidly receding glaciers. The glass overlook, Glacier Skywalk, on the Sunwapta Canyon is a favorite spot for tourist photography. You can see the glacier vistas from 918 ft above ground from here. It is definitely worth making a stop here unless you have vertigo. The place is usually open to visitors from mid-April to October every year.
Halong Bay: Vietnam
Ha Long Bay, with its string of more than 1600 islands, is a site that brings northeast Vietnam its major share of Tourism economy. It is estimated that the beautiful emerald water of the bay and the rainforest draped limestone islands receive around six million cruisers annually. The beauty of the karst formations here are best appreciated from a cruise. Most of the cruises start from the port of Hanoi. Scuba diving, rafting, hiking and rock climbing are popular sports to indulge in here. Enjoy the uniqueness of the bay but be fully prepared to accost the tropical weather conditions.
Grand Teton National Park: Wyoming, USA
The Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, is a close competition to its neighbor, the Yellowstone National Park, in terms of its geological beauty. It has its own charm in every season. The snowy mountain peaks and the lush evergreen forests are a delight to the eyes. In Fall, the park is a tourist favorite for its golden foliage and for the huge herds of elks that make it their grazing ground. This Wyoming Park is easily accessible from Jackson and offers hikers much to discover. You will love camping with friends, and family here. This is a great getaway for those who love canoeing too.
Whitehaven Beach: Whitsunday Islands, Australia
Although it is just a 7 km stretch on the Whitsunday Island, the Whitehaven Beach is one of the most popular beach destinations among travelers. Its beautiful white sand dazzles in the sunshine and brings a refreshing contrast to the pristine aquamarine of the waters of the South Pacific. The picturesqueness of the beach makes it a hot favorite for weddings as well as for honeymoons. It is also a preferred stop-over spot for visitors who want to sail or fly over the Great Barrier Reef. The whiteness of the sand is a charm no beach lover should skip experiencing at least once in their lifetime.
Gower Peninsula: Swansea, Wales
The Gower Peninsula has the honor of being named one of Great Britain’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A must-visit site for lovers of beach holidays, you will surely appreciate the magic here. Sunset over the quiet beaches is especially breathtaking. The gulls, goldcrests and warblers turn into nature’s own chosen musicians as the moonlight takes center stage in the sky. The Peninsula has several bird watching spots. The boardwalks are great for cycling as well as walking. You could try fishing or crabbing if you feel adventurous. The marshes, cliffs and waterfronts have beautiful trails for hikers as well.
Waimea Canyon State Park: Waimea, Hawaii
If canyons fascinate you, you will definitely want to take a trip to the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” Located to the southwest of Kauai, the Waimea Canyon has a depth of 3,600 feet below its walking path. It spans over 14 miles of Hawaiin terrain and is full of rugged lava peaks. The lookouts of Pu’u ka Pele and Pu’u Hinahina are popular with tourists as they offer some of the most dramatic and spectacular panoramas of the canyon. The foliage in this canyon cover several crests and offer shaded trail routes for hikers and bikers visiting the state park.
Luberon Regional Nature Park: Ménerbes, France
The Luberon Regional Nature Park is a sprawling preserve and covers over 165,000 hectares in Ménerbes. The best time to visit this beautiful park is in the period between June to August. The park houses an impressive array of flowers. However, the lavender is the prime tourist attraction. This medicinal plant has acres and acres dedicated to its plantation here. It is further pressed and processed for its oils in local distilleries and workshops. The Lavender Museum in Coustellet is an added attraction. UNESCO designates the park as a Biosphere Reserve as it is home to a considerable number of life forms.
Road to Hana: Haiku, Hawaii
This is technically not one location but an entire highway. However, this road is packed with nature’s treasure unlike any other and it will be quite a pity to not experience the journey if you are an avid traveler. From canyons to beautiful gorges, beach stretches to valleys and waterfalls, the road to Hana has it all. While you are on the road, pay a visit to the Wai’anapanapa State Park that happens to be just a turnoff away at mile marker No. 32. The black sand beach formed by lava deposits, the fresh water caves and the ancient pictographs are sure to fascinate you.
Set up base at one of the several rented apartments available in the town of Grundarfjördu and hike up to the amazingly awe-inspiring peak of Kirkjufell. Its steep conical shape makes Kirkjufell one of the most unique landforms on the earth’s surface. The shape also makes the mountain one of the most photographed sites across the globe. For the best view of Kirkjufell , relax on the black sand beach on the base of the mountain. Years of compression applied on sedimentary rocks by glacial structures give the mountain its unique shape and color. To top it all, the West Iceland sky makes a spectacular backdrop to Kirkjufell.
K2 Base Camp and Concordia: Pakistan
Trekking to the summit of K2 is a dream for many mountaineers. The apex of the Karakoram mountain range, K2, is the second highest mountain in the world and the route to its crown takes an avid hiker through 19 of the tallest mountains on earth. The journey through the difficult terrain leads one through a variety of flora and fauna. There are several rives and gorges on the way. The base camp of K2 is one that can be accessed from Skardu via the Karakoram Highway. However, it is open for visitors only for a few months each year owing to treacherous weather conditions.
Silk Caye: Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve, Belize.
The coast of Belize is dotted with several thousand sandy cayes. The Gladden Spit and Silk Marine Reserve attracts tourists for its breathtaking picnic spots and beautiful ambience. Moreover, the shallow sea floor provides an opportunity to see several underwater creatures from close quarters. There are several local tours available to the Cayes. Many of these also provide tourists with scuba and snorkel gear at an added cost if needed. If watching whale sharks and loggerhead turtles in their natural habitat excites you, don your wetsuit and head over to the cayes for the thrill fo your life.
Plitvice Lakes National Park: Croatia
This national park is the model for the waterfalls at “Pandora – The World of Avatar” in Walt Disney’s theme park Animal Kingdom. A designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, this Croatian national park offers a spectacular presentation od nature with its variety of flora and fauna. The lush and verdant forest grounds provide a beautiful counterpart to the gurgling streams and gushing waterfalls. Plitvice attracts most tourists year round for its picturesque, serene and reflective lakes. Camp here or enjoy a day’s trip to partake of the recreational activities available in the park. The choice is yours.
Mount Toubkal: Atlas Mountains, Morocco
The Atlas Mountains attract tourists for several reasons. Firstly, Mount Toubkal is the tallest peak in Morocco, and indeed, in all of North Africa. Secondly, the route to its summit is one of the most picturesque yet risky walks in the mountain range. The Toubkal National Park is breathtakingly scenic and brings out the rugged beauty of the African mountains best against the sky during sunrise and sunset. You can camp in Marrakech, which is located about 50 miles away to experience a slice of rustic Berber life. Dine at Kasbah du Toubkal, in the village of Imlil, for a taste of Berber cuisine.
Valley of Flowers National Park: Uttarakhand, India
Pack your bags to the quaint district of Chamoli in Uttarakhand to witness the blooming of acres and acres of multicolored flowers. From rare lilies and orchids to common roses, the valley indeed is a florist’s heaven. The flora assists the ecosystem to sustain a variety of mountain wildlife too, so wildlife enthusiasts will find equal interest in India’s Valley of Flowers. The Zanskar Range and the Eastern and Western Himalayas, provide a lovely snow-capped backdrop to this high-altitude national park. The Valley of Flowers National Park is open to visitors for only a short period annually, from July to October. Late August to early September marks the peak blooming season for most of the flowers.
Mauna Kea Observatories: Hilo, Hawaii
At 33,000 feet above the sea floor, the sacred mountain of Mauna Kea, with its base embedded in the ocean floor, is the tallest known landform on the planet. The installation of deep space observatories also make Moana Kea the most ideal location for studying celestial bodies. The arid air surrounding Mauna Kea facilitates the viewing of spectacular skyscapes. It makes identifying and isolating stars for observation easier. Besides, the location is a hiker’s paradise. The red and black rolling hills attract bikers as well as trekkers and are often linked to the rolling hills spotted on the moon’s surface.
Grace Bay Beach: Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands
One of the most popular beaches on the Carribean shore, this 3-mile-long stretch sparkles with white sand. The beach is actually a bed of pulverized coral and is home to several tiny life forms washed ashore by the Atlantic currents. The clear waters of Grace Bay shine against the white shoreline. The location is serene and houses several posh shoreside eateries, Grace Bay Beach is also an arm’s throw away from the expensive resorts of Providenciale. Hence, despite its popularity, the beach is less crowded than the neighboring beaches. In other words, it is an exotic and slightly high-budget holiday destination for beach lovers.
Mount Desert Island: Maine
The largest island on the coast of Maine, Mount Desert Island is home to the 2 million-acre Acadia National Park which offers land, water and snow recreational activities for adventure enthusiasts of all ages. Whether you want to bike or hike, row or swim, ride a horse or play snowshoe, the park offers several exciting sports. Visit the impressive Cadillac Mountain that gives the Island its highest summit. You will also catch the first rays of the rising sun here. In the nautical town of Bar Harbor, enjoy amazing vistas of the Atlantic from the island. The fjords, granite hills, lush forests and glacier-tipped peaks are sure to regale your senses.
Scala dei Turchi: Agrigento, Sicily
The Scala dei Turchi, which translates to “Stairs of the Turks” in English, gets its name from its unusual terrace like layering of marble and sandstone that gives it the appearance of a stairway. The sedimentation shines a dazzling white and once served as a shelter for marauding Ottoman pirates. The Scala dei Turchi,a favorite diving spot, stands in between the two beach coves of Agrigento. Its whiteness stands out in contrast to the bright and clear blue of the sea. The ever shifting steps of this amazing natural landmark is best experienced in the light of dawn when crowds are scant.
Laamu Atoll: Maldives
If you love surfing, catch the famous Yin Yang wave at the Laamu Atoll on your next surfing trip. The beautiful Maldivian atoll is home to a variety of colorful coral and tropical fish. The transparent waters make it a popular snorkeling destination as well. For a perfect getaway from crowds, Laamu Atoll makes a great holidaying location. Enjoy the company of fascinating green sea turtles as you relax in the heavenly tropical atoll in the Indian Ocean. The atoll is trimmed with barrier reefs and has a total of 82 islands, many of which are uninhabited.
Giant’s Causeway: Bushmills, Ireland
This massive geometric rock formation that juts in the Atlantic Ocean from the shores of Northern Ireland is a crowd-puller. Located a few miles from Bushmills, the Ciant’s Causeway gets its name from a local lore about how a Scottish hero built it to save the land from a giant’s invasion. The structure is made of over 40,000 basalt columns interlocked with each other. Studies suggest that they may have been caused by deposits from a volcanic eruption that occurred millions of years ago. The site is a declared national nature reserve. It is also a World Heritage site designated by UNESCO.
Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park: Arizona and Utah
The Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is famous for its red desert sands. The unusual color of the sand is a result of sandstone rock formations over the years. The spellbinding natural structures rise 400 to 1000 ft. The picturesque desert-scape has served as a shooting location for many movies and is a popular background choice for souvenirs and postcards. The 17-mile-long drive through the park will take you through valleys, buttes and mesas that are protected to preserve tribal landscapes and recreational activities of Navajo. Ride on horseback for the experience of an old Western ambience or take a Jeep tour.
Three Gorges: China
The Yangtze River hold’s the world’s attention today because of the hydroelectric gravity dam named Three Gorges Dam. The scenic river is marked by three beautiful gorges, namely, the Qutang, the Wu and the Xiling, These striking gorges lend their names to the Dam which wad completed in 2012. The gorges are not too steep. They are quite visitor-friendly. Cruises are available throughout the day for a picturesque trip up the Yangtze to see these gorges known for their rich biodiversity as well as to see the dam which holds the record of being the world’s largest power station.
James Bond Island: Thailand
This is one of those places which got a name makeover due to the impact of movies. James Bond Island is the popular name given to the twin islands of Khao Phing Kan and Ko Ta Pu in Thailand. The island consists of limestone hills that surround the Phang Nga Bay. In 1974, the movie “The Man with the Golden Gun” was filmed here. Since then, the name “James Bond Island” has stayed. Once a quiet indigenous site, now it is a popular tourist-hub. If you visit here, try kayaking around the island’s karsts. The island has several caves and sandy beaches to explore.
Li River: Guilin, China
South China is home to Li Jiang (or the Li River in English), one of the most beautiful water bodies in the world. The mesmerizing Li winds its way from Mao’er Mountain in Xing’an County down southward to Guilin in Guangxi Province. Its pristine yet eye-catching jade hue builds a picturesque contrast to the colors of the paddy fields and valleys it flows through. For generations, poets and artists have paid tribute to the beauty of Li Jiang in their work. Avail of the guided cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo to experience some of the most amazing karst formations of the Li.
Funafuti Atoll: Tuvalu
Check out this less-commercialized site of interest if the sun, sand and lagoon-life interests you. This stunning coral atoll consists of 30 islets. It is the capital of Tuvalu, an island nation located in the west-cental Pacific Ocean. The islet of Fongafale is its most developed region in the sense of global urbanization. It not only hosts the country’s airstrip, hospital and hotels, most of the country’s highest officials live in this islet. The wharf and castaway here were built by America at the time of World War II. Fishing and agriculture sustains the economy of this picturesque destination.
Terra Nova National Park: Traytown, Newfoundland and Labrador
Nestled in the lap of the island of Newfoundland, the Terra Nova National Park brings the best of the land and the sea to the nature enthusiast. Explore trails that lead you through the magical boreal forests or go whale-sighting. The range of activities available makes the visit all the more worthwhile. From steep canyons to icebergs, Terra Nova is truly a paradise in the Atlantic. Choose to make your visit exciting by exploring one of the hiking trails or kayak-paddling routes. Enjoy some open-air theater and interact with the marine world using the touch tanks!
Skellig Michael: Ireland
Skellig Michael, or the Skellig Islands, is a crag with a twin peak in County Kerry, Ireland. The island is known for its Gaelic monasteries and is equally infamous for its steep inhospitable valley. The UNESCO has listed the Islands among its World Heritage Sites. Tourists throng by hundreds everyday by boat to climb up 618 stone steps of one of the highest monasteries of the area. The views from the top make the climb a rewarding experience. The Islands feature as Luke Skywalker’s sanatorium in the movies “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”.
Uluru: Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia
Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) is a monolith. Uluru and Kata Tjuta (a conglomerate of 36 red domes) together lend their name to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in the deserts of Central Australia. Both are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and are easy to visit from Alice Springs. The monolith Uluru is a sandstone formation in the brightest hues of red and orange. It is one of the most photogenic natural wonders of the world. Take a guided tour of the area for a wholesome experience. You could camelback ride or hike. You can even try parachuting or ride a hot-air balloon.
Laughing Waters: Jamaica
If you are a fan of the iconic James Bond movies, then Dunn’s River Falls and Park should be a familiar name for you. After all, it rests on the beautiful and pristine golden shore on which Ursula Andress emerges from the water in “Dr. No.” The beach is now a popular wedding destination and attracts shallow water surfers all year round. Plan a stay in Ocho Rios and avail of the cruise rides to the park. Hiking up the rocks that lead to the falls can be slippery, so do invest in a sturdy pair of footwear for the trip!