If you feel the urge to explore the most amazing places on this beautiful blue planet, but don’t know where to start, look no further! Satisfy your wanderlust by visiting these 50 unforgettable travel destinations.
1. Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, Belize
This amazing natural reef, second only to the Great Barrier Reef, straddles the coast of Belize. It is estimated that 90% of its inhabitants haven’t even been discovered yet.
2. Anywhere in Alaska, USA
Anywhere you go in Alaska, you can prepare to be stunned by mother nature just showing off. Fly fishing, hunting, and hiking excursions from local lodges are some of the biggest draws for the avid outdoorsman in a state over twice the size of Texas, which also boasts over 100 volcanoes and 10,000 glaciers.
3. M’Zab Valley, Algeria
Travel back in time to the 10th century home of the Ibadites, and see their five ksour (fortified cities), in the M’Zab valley.
4. Tassili n’Ajjer National Park, Algeria
Its name means Plateau of Rivers, and this beautiful mountain range in the Algerian section of the Sahara desert is best known for ancient rock art and prehistoric sites from the Neolithic area.
5. Tipasa, Algeria
Not far from all the modern convenience of the Mediterranean, you can find these ancient Roman ruins of a thriving city, which include basilicas, villas, baths, fountains, avenues, and an amphitheater.
6. Sangha Trinational, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo,
This gem in the Congo Basin is made up of three natural parks totaling almost 290 square miles. It is home to a large diversity of plant and animal life, most notably the Nile crocodile, goliath tigerfish, forest elephants, the critically endangered lowland gorilla, and the endangered chimpanzee.
7. Iguazu Falls, Brazil
If you think that the Niagara Falls are big, you have to visit Brazil to see the 275 waterfalls that join forces to create the giant Iguazu Fall’s majestic display.
8. Victoria Falls, Zambia
Forming the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, you will find a spectacular wonder once called “Mosi-oa-Tunya” or “The Smoke That Thunders” by the Kololo tribe living there in the 1800s. Today, it is known as the greatest curtain of falling water in the world.
9. Grand-Bassam Lagunes, Ivory Coast
This historic city in Côte d’Ivoire was the French colonial capital city from 1893 to 1896. The capital city moved to Bingerville after a bout of yellow fever. With portions of the city abandoned for decades, it resembles a beautiful ghost town. In 2012 it was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
10. Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia
A salt lake that freezes at night and is scorched by day, these flats harbor some of the most extreme daily temperatures in the world. The site was created when a prehistoric lake dried up and left a salty crust behind, which becomes a giant mirror when it rains.
11. Sea of Stars, Vaadhoo Island, Maldives
This small island in Maldives is famous for bringing the sky to earth. The phenomenon can be credited to tiny phytoplankton known as dinoflagellates that create a bioluminescence, which makes the “stars” dance through the waves.
12. Ashikaga Flower Park, Ashikaga, Tochigi, Japan
If you love flowers and happen to be in Japan, the Ashikaga Flower Park is a must see. One wisteria tree, called “fuji” in Japan, is 100 years old.
13. Pamukkale, Turkey
As the hot, calcium-rich waters come from deep within the earth to pour over a cliff, they cool down and form white calcium into pools. This has been a popular spa since the Romans built the spa city of Hierapolis.
14. Wind Cathedral, Namibia
These dunes, found in the Namibian dessert, are believed to be 60-80 million years old. They were formed by the Atlantic Ocean drifts that pushed the sands for eons. The winds constantly change their faces, moving the contours and shape of the dunes to create new masterpieces.
15. The Wave, Southern Utah
This sandstone rock formation near the Arizona-Utah border is found on the slopes of the Coyote Buttes. It’s quite a hike to get there, but the photography opportunity is well worth the effort.
16. The Pearl Waterfall, Jiuzhaigou Valley, China
The Jiuzhaigou Valley literally means “Valley of Nine Villages,” and is a beautiful nature reserve on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau known for its many waterfalls, crystal lakes, and snowy peaks.
17. Kaieteur Falls, Kaieteur National Park, Guyana
This unforgettable natural wonder is four times higher than the Niagara Falls. While a few other falls may beat it in height, it is rare to have its combination of height and volume of water challenged, which is why this is one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world.
18. Jacob’s Well, Wimberly, Texas
Considered one of the largest underwater caves in the world, Jacob’s Well is a very popular tourist attraction and swimming hole. With a depth of 120 feet and dangerous underwater caves, it has been the scene of several diving tragedies from attempts to explore the bottom part of the well.
19. Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Antelope Canyon, located on Navajo land, includes two separate slot canyon sections, called the Upper Antelope Canyon, or The Crack, and the Lower Antelope Canyon, or the Corkscrew. It was formed by flash flood waters wearing away the sandstone.
20. Ice Castles in Silverthorne, Colorado
What started as a father making an Ice Castle in his front yard for his children has turned into an annual event. Brent Christensen’s original castle was so popular that word spread quickly. Now, over 25,000 visitors come to see his castles every year.
21. Pongua Falls, Vietnam
One of the most powerful falls in Dalat, the Ponga waterfall is as high as 131 feet and barrels down into a lake below, guaranteeing that you will hear this majestic display long before you see it.
22. Devetashkata Cave, Bulgaria
This natural wonder has seven different-sized holes in the ceiling, bringing in natural light to illuminate its interior. Studies show that this cave has been inhabited during almost every historical era. The earliest findings of humans were during the middle of the Early Stone Age, about 70,000 BC. This cave also houses some of the richest cultural artifacts from the Neolithic period. After visiting his marvel, it’s easy to see why it has always been a prized piece of real estate throughout history.
23. Rice Field Terraces in Yunnan, China
Who could have guessed that a humble grain could have had such a spectacular origin?
24. Mount Roraima, Venezuela
This 1,300-foot mountain, once believe by the indigenous people to be the stump of a mighty tree that held all the fruits and vegetables of the world, continues to provide inspiration today. The creators of the Disney/Pixar animated movie “Up” used this mountain as their creative muse, even climbing it to gain additional insight.
25. Marble Caves, Chile Chico, Chile
Found on a remote glacial lake that spans the Chile-Argentina border, these caves are accessible only by boat. They were formed by more than 6,000 years of waves eroding away the calcium carbonate into swirling smooth stone that reflects the blue waters at differing intensities, depending on water levels and season.
26. Ice Cave in Skaftafeli, Iceland
Ice caves are formed when rain and melted water on the surface of the glacier enter it through channels. The water melts a hole, and then drains toward lower elevations. This forms long, temporary caves along the edge of the glaciers.
27. Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver, British Columbia
If you’re afraid of heights, skip this one. To cross the Capilano Suspension Bridge, which is 460 feet long and 230 feet above the Capilano River, you will have to trust a relatively simple structure. However, the wire cable bridge is much safer than the original bridge made of hemp rope and a deck of cedar planks. This bridge has also been featured in well-known television series such as MacGyver, Sliders, The Crow: Stairway to Heaven, and Psych. It is part of a private facility, but draws over 800,000 visitors per year.
28. Multnomah Falls, Oregon
The Multnomah Falls, the tallest waterfall in Oregon, has two major steps. The upper falls are 542 feet, and the lower falls are another 69 feet. It is fed year-round by the underground springs from Larch Mountain.
29. Ice Canyon, Greenland
The Ice Canyon was recently discovered by NASA using ice penetrating radar, which showed the existence of a giant canyon beneath the ice. This canyon is the longest on the planet, and runs for 466 miles while reaching depths of 2,625 feet.
30. Baatara Gorge Waterfall, Tannourine, Lebanon
This 837-feet waterfall drops into the Baatara Pothole, which is a cave of Jurassic limestone.
31. Preachers Rock, Preikestolen, Norway
Also known as Preacher’s Pulpit or Pulpit Rock, this steep cliff rises 1982 feet above Lysefjorden. The 200,000 visitors per year make it one of the most popular natural tourist attractions in Norway. It was also seen in the second season of the Vikings (TV series).
32. Trolltunga, Norway
Trolltunga means “Troll’s Tongue,” but that’s the last thing you will be thinking about as you survey the scenery from 2,300 above the north side of lake Ringedalsvatnet.
33. Spotted Lake (Khiluk), British Columbia
High concentrations of magnesium sulfate, sodium sulphates, and calcium give this lake its unique appearance when the water evaporates over the summer. Long believed to have therapeutic or sacred waters, the minerals of Spotted Lake were also used in manufacturing ammunition during World War I.
34. Whitehaven Beach, Australia
These white sands consist of 98% pure silica, which gives the beach its brilliant color and makes it comfortable to walk on even on the hottest days, as the sand does not retain heat. Whitehaven Beach was named the top Eco Friendly Beach in the world by CNN.
35. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
This natural phenomenon of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns was the result of an ancient volcanic eruption.
40. Nahiku Waterfall, North Shore, Maui, Hawaii
This is one of many spectacular sights you will see on the famous road to Hana in East Maui. Nahiku averages around 365 inches of rain per year, making it one of the greenest and wettest rainforests on Maui.
41. Monument Valley, USA
This valley is the image many people think of when they visualize the Wild West. It has been featured in film since the 1930, most famously remembered in Stagecoach (1939) and The Searchers (1956). More recently, it was seen in the film Easy Rider (1969), Robert Zemeckis‘ film Forrest Gump (1994), Clint Eastwood‘s film Eiger Sanction (1975), and most currently in the popular United Kingdom television show Doctor Who.
42. Devils Tower, Wyoming, USA
Jutting 5,114 feet out of the surrounding terrain, it is easy to see why aliens would choose this particular spot on planet Earth for their landing site, as seen in the movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
43. Avatar Hallelujah Mountain, Hunan, China
Previously called the Southern Sky Column, this 3,544-feet rock formation was renamed the Avatar Hallelujah Mountain in 2010, after being the inspiration for the fictional world of the blockbuster film Avatar.
44. Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA
Yellowstone National Park is known for many spectacular natural wonders, but the colors seen in the largest hot spring in the US, and the third largest in the world, is worth a line on your bucket list. The striking coloration patterns are created by pigmented bacteria in the microbial mats that grow around the edges of the mineral-rich water. In the summer, the mats tend to be orange or red, and in the winter they turn a dark-green hue. The center of the pool is sterile due to the extreme water temperatures.
45. Palouse Falls, Washington, USA
Washington’s official state waterfall is 198 feet high, and draws many visitors to the 105-acre camping area nearby. It was formerly known as Aput Aput by the Palouse Indians, meaning “Falling Water.”
46. Horseshoe Bend near Page, Arizona
Named for its obviously horseshoe-shaped appearance, this natural formation was created by the Colorado River’s eroding current. The overlook rises 1,000 feet above the river, making for spectacular panoramic views.
47. Tulip Fields, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Beautiful tulip farms may remind you of a scene from the Wizard of Oz, but you don’t need to catch a ride on a tornado to another world to view these beauties blooming from mid-March to the end of May.
49. Mendenhall Ice Caves, Juneau, Alaska
These ice caves are found in the Mendenhall Glacier, located 12 miles from downtown Juneau.
50. Naica Mine, Mexico
Visiting these caves may be too hot to endure without protective suits, but the extreme temperatures are perfect for crystals, and have created some of the largest natural giant selenite formations ever found. The largest crystal found in the cave to date is 39 feet in length, 13 feet in diameter, and weighs 55 tons.