30 of the Most Beautiful Places
As avid travellers, the current situation has come as a shock to us all. While we all appreciate the need to stay home and stay safe, our hearts yearn to travel. We've taken this time to look into some of the most breathtaking places our planet has to offer to try and soothe some of your wanderlust. We hope that by looking outward and beyond this current crisis we can all have something to look forward to when travel becomes a possibility again.
We hope that you stay safe and healthy, and don't forget to let your imagination fly and your spirits soar with all the places you'll get to go when it is once again safe to travel.
Angel Falls, Venezuela
Angel Falls in Venezuela is the world's highest uninterrupted waterfall, standing a breathtaking 979 metres tall. Named after Jimmy Angel, an American bush pilot who crashed his airplane atop the sandstone-capped mesa in the 1930s, Angel Falls has always been a mysterious and mesmerizing place. This cinematic sight was the inspiration for Paradise Falls in the Disney Pixar's movie - UP.
Antarctica is Earth's Southernmost continent and also its coldest, windiest and driest. It contains 90 percent of all of the ice on Earth in an area just under 1.5 times the size of the United States. Yet it has a stunningly diverse landscape of surreal blue glaciers and active volcanoes surrounded by cerulean waters.
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Japan
Tucked away in the far west of Kyoto is a natural forest of bamboo. It’s one of the most photographed sights in the city, but no picture can capture the feeling of standing in the midst of this sprawling bamboo grove. Japan's Ministry of Environment even considers it a part of the soundscape of Japan.
Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar
The Avenue of the Baobabs is a group of Baobab trees lining a stretch of road between Morondava and Belon'i Tsiribihina in Madagascar. These trees are more than 800 years old and reach heights of nearly 30 metres.
Recently named a UNESCO world heritage site, Bagan in Myanmar is home to more than 3,500 ancient Buddhist temples, pagodas and other religious structures. Spread over about 41 square kilometres, the buildings are between 800 and 1,000 years old. Local festivals are still held there during the full moon. The ideal time to travel is between November and February when the temperature is more temperate
One of Philippines top tourist attractions, Boracay is a tiny tropical island located 315 kms south of Manila. It has superb long white sand beaches, as good as anywhere. Voted as one of the world's top destinations for relaxation, it was closed in 2018 for 6 months for rehabilitation. It is now open with restrictions.
Darvaza Gas Crater, Turkmenistan
For something truly different, the Darvaza gas crater in Turkmenistan is a place of terrifying beauty. It is also referred to as "The Door to Hell" due to the fire, boiling mud and orange flames that have burnt contantly since 1971. It is believed to have been intentionally lit after oil drilling caused a natural gas pocket to collapse. A stunning sight, particularly at night when the glow can be seen from a great distance
Denali National Park, Alaska
Denali National Park is Alaska’s most popular land attraction with its centerpiece the 20,310-ft.high Denali (Mount McKinley), North America’s tallest peak. Visitors who brave the extreme low temperatures to vist Denali, are often rewarded with sights of legendary wildlife that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
The Galapagos Islands are set against the backdrops of spectacular landscapes that range from volcanic peaks to ancient lava fields and lagoons to coral reef-lined bays. The remote volcanic islands, which are part of Ecuador, are located over 500 miles west of the mainland in the Pacific Ocean. Thanks to a lack of natural predators, wildlife in the Galapagos has no fear of humans, making the islands one of the world’s greatest wonders and an incredibly magical destination to visit. A cruise is the best way for visitors to experience the island’s stunning biodiversity.
Grand Canyon, Arizona
Considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon is one of the deepest canyons in the world and offers inarguably magnificent views. Intrepid explorers can traverse the canyon by hiking or whitewater rafting. Scientists believe that the Colorado River carved the Grand Canyon beginning 5 million to 6 million years ago.
Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park
Another amazing natural landmark is the Grand Prismatic Spring in the Yellowstone National Park. It is the third largest hot spring in the world, but what makes it truly beautiful are the colours. Due to micro-organisms in the water that change colour with temperature, the spring has a blue centre with rings of green, yellow, orange and red surrounding it. You will get differing colours throughout the year, with the best views in Summer when the sun is shining on the lake
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Starting at the south coast of Papua New Guinea and stretching for over 2,300 kms, the Great Barrier Reef is immense. Made up of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands, there are so many different things to see. For the best vantage point, don some snorkel gear or scuba equipment and delve under the water to experience the brightly coloured corals and marine life. A highlight is Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays, commonly listed as one of the world's best beaches
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Towering limestone pillars and tiny islets topped by forests rise from the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin making Halong Bay a spectacular location. Declared a World Heritage Site in 1994, Halong Bay is dotted with 1600 limestone islands and islets. Halong Bay features a wide range of biodiversity, and its surrealistic scenery has been featured in countless movies.
Iguazu Falls, Argentina & Brazil
You want to travel to both Argentina and Brazil to catch the best views of this natural wonder - Iguazu Falls. 275 individual waterfalls make up the 2.7 kilometres width known as Iguazu Falls. You need a variety of vantage points to see the falls at their best, including the highest point, which is visible from Argentina, and the panoramic view which is visible from Brazil. An early morning helicopter flight will give you stunning views, with the falls shrouded in mist
Lake Baikal, Russia
Lake Baikal, often called the "Pearl of Siberia", is located in southern Siberia and is the world’s largest freshwater lake. It is also the oldest and deepest lake on earth. In winter Baikala is a fairy tale, transforming into clear sheets of turquoise ice. Temperatures can plummet to -19°C from December to February.
Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
Picturesque by day and dazzling by night, Lake Tekapo is a glacial lake with milky turquoise waters all year round. The area comes alive in summer when the purple, pink and blue-hued lupins bloom and you can swim in the picture-perfect lake. In winter the snow capped mountains provide a perfect backdrop. Lake Tekapo is an UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, making it a great spot for stargazing.
Machu Picchu, Peru
The Incas were clearly inspired by the magnificent vista of Huayna Picchu when they built Machu Picchu in the 15th Century. Rediscovered in 1911, it is a stunning reason to visit Peru. It is a step back into ancient history, with stunning views of the Andes and has been named as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World
Marble Caves - Patagonia, Chile
Another reason to head to the Patagonia region of Chile, is another one of our underground beautiful sights. The Cavernas de Mármol, or "Marble Caves" are a spectacular reason to head off in a boat or kayak and explore. Carved out by the lapping waves over 6,000 years, there are 3 main caves to view. The water changes colour from a Spring turquoise to a Summer cerulean blue
Milford Sound, New Zealand
New Zealand's most spectacular natural attraction, Milford Sound is a fiord that was carved by glaciers during the ice ages. Described by Rudyard Kipling as the 'eighth wonder of the world', it is a breathtaking fusion of spectacular natural features. When it rains in Milford Sound the many permanent waterfalls get amplified with an astounding effect.
A two-hour drive through lush tea plants is required to make it to Kolukkumalai Tea Estate in Munnar, India. Reaching the summit you will find the world's highest elevation tea plantation, with an expansive view to the mist-covered mountains. The plantation still uses traditional tea-making techniques to process the tea and there's much to learn before sitting down for a well-earned cuppa
Namib Desert, Namibia
Whether you go in the wet season or the dry season, Namibia in southwest Africa is like a trip to another world. The red sand dunes stretching out across the Namib Desert is beautiful in its starkness. Venture to the watering holes for another kind of beauty - with herds of elephants, giraffes and even rhinos gathering for a refreshing drink. Be prepared to checkout waterholes after the sun goes down to see these amazing animals cool down after a blazing hot day
Napali Coast, Hawaii
Some of the most stunning places to go aren't necessarily the easiest to get to, and the Napali Coast on Hawaii's Kauai island is just one example. Those that brave the hike are treated to views of immense waterfalls, majestic forests and stunning beaches. Along the coast you'll find golden beaches backing onto towering mountains. Also accessible by helicopter and catamaran, this is one location to add to your next Hawaiian vacation
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
The beauty of the Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia is one that needs to be seen to be believed. The national park features a series of 16 lakes and lagoons connected by waterfalls, and home to animals including bears, wolves and deer. Everywhere you look there's something new to see, with the varying shades of blue and green in the water and the countless waterfalls, you could just wear out the buttons on your camera
For more 'other-worldly' landscapes, Reynisfjara in Iceland with its black sand beach and basalt columns make you feel like you've stepped off-world. For a truly amazing experience, continue on to Vik and take a tour of the ice caves. They change every year with the thawing and freezing of the glacier, but the blue crystal ice caves will make you think you're in a fairytale, or Superman's Fortress of Solitude
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
With an unmatched stark beauty, Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia is the world's largest salt flat. Stretching on for 11,000 square kilometres, it's hard to understand the beauty of this barren landscape until you see it. In the dry season the outlook is of an endless cracked salt flat. In the wet season it becomes the world's largest mirror, reflecting the sky back in stunning clarity
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
A stunning location all year round, if you can make it to Serengeti National Park in Tanzania between January and March you can witness the Great Migration - when herds of wildebeest and zebras take part in a 1,900 km migration through East Africa. An estimated 1.5 millions wildebeest take part each year, making it a sight to see. The Serengeti is also home to other amazing animals, like lions, cheetahs, leopards, rhinos and giraffes.
Torres del Paine National Park - Patagonia, Chile
For stunning views of the Andes, along with rivers, lakes and glaciers, Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, Chile is a must-see. Over 126 species of wildlife also call the national park home, allowing you to see pumas in the wild, along with local animals such as the Andean Grey Fox, Andean Condor, South Andean Deer and the Guanaco, a close relative of the llama.
Vaadhoo Island, Maldives
Vaadhoo Island in the Maldives is one of the world's most beautiful places, particularly at night. The waters off Vaadhoo Island attract micro-organisms called dinoflagellates, which emit a blue glow when disturbed. This "Sea of Stars" can occur at any time of year, but people have the most luck seeing this phenomenon between July and February, with best views during the new moon when the sky is darkest
Victoria Falls, Zambia & Zimbabwe
Stretching 1.7 kilometres in width, and forming part of the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, Victoria Falls is a stunning sight to behold. In the rainy season (between February and May) it is estimated that 500 million litres of water goes over the falls every 60 seconds. If you make the trip in the dry season you may like to paddle in the Devil's Pool, which allows you to experience the top of the falls for a jawdropping photo
There's something truly amazing about the Greek Isles, with the stunning blue water and white sand beaches. Zakynthos is one of the less touristy islands and it houses the picturesque Navagio Beach. It is accessible only by boat, but don't get too close, Navagio means shipwreck, and there's a wreck left right up on the beach as a warning
To help us all keep the travel dream alive, we'd love to hear from you about the places of beauty you've found on your travels. Have you been to anywhere on our list? Where are you planning to go next?
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