How many times have you stood before a landscape so spectacular that it has felt like being on another planet?
Traveling aways offers unforgettable memories, especially when you find yourself in a place so dazzlingly grand that you feel tiny.
From the Great Blue Hole and the Waitomo Caves to Mu Cang Chai and the Grand Canyon, Mother Nature has gifted our planet with magical places. Here’s a look at ten of the world’s most impressive landscapes that are bound to leave you speechless. How many have you crossed off your list? Let us know in the comments.
1. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
Awe-inspiring: that’s how to describe the world’s largest salt flat, which spans more than 3,860 square miles. Also called Salar de Tunupa, the flat sits at an altitude of about 12,000 feet in southern Bolivia near the Andes mountain range. No longer the means of livelihood for the area’s inhabitants, the Salar has become a tourist attraction. If you visit during November, you might see some baby flamingos!
2. Grand Canyon, United States
Spectacular. As America’s greatest natural wonder, the colors and shapes of this gorge carved by the Colorado River in Northern Arizona will take your breath away. The sun creates varying degrees of contrast throughout the day, so the landscapes of the Grand Canyon seem to change depending on the light. Save this in your memory because you won’t see it anywhere else in the world.
3. Pamukkale, Turkey
Extraordinary. Infinity pools have nothing on Pamukkale. Also known as the “Cotton Castle”, Pamukkale is a unique geological formation that emerged from tectonic movements that created pools of thermal water. It is located in the valley of the Menderes River and is characterized by white tones, a result of the calcium and bicarbonate present in the water.
4. Mu Cang Chai, Vietnam
Amazing. Mu Cang Chai is the most beautiful site in Vietnam, consisting of terraced rice fields and an out-of-this-world green landscape. This ‘Stairway to Heaven’ is located 175 miles from Hanoi in a mountainous area with a number of villages that preserve different tribal cultures. Mu Cang Chai looks like a postcard and is worth seeing once in your lifetime.
5. Iguazu Falls, Argentina and Brazil
Sensational. The Iguazu Falls are considered the world’s most impressive waterfalls and we can attest to that. Located between Argentina and Brazil, they are formed by 275 cascades. The tallest fall with the greatest volume of water is called The Devil’s Throat. The waterfalls, which were discovered in 1541, have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984. While there, we recommend seeing the city of Puerto Iguazu as well.
6. Arashiyama, Japan
Powerful. The mystic energy of the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove will encompass and transport you into an unprecedented state of serenity. The grove is located west of Kyoto in an area frequented by Japanese nobility and where one can also see Sakura. Bathe in the beauty of the forest and immerse yourself in the magic of the bamboo.
7. Vatnajökull, Iceland
Thrilling. Iceland’s biggest glacier – 3,088 square feet – also happens to be the country’s most beautiful. Located in the southeast on a chain of 6,500-foot-tall volcanoes, the glacier forms part of its namesake natural park. See find caves, lagoons, magnificent ice formations, and an unparalleled glacial landscape.
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Not Your Regular Crevasse | Photograph by James Rushforth (@james.rushforth) . “Exploring one of the many temporary ice caves created as the vast expanse of the Vatnajökull ice cap recedes,” writes #YourShotPhotographer James Rushforth. “These subglacial meltwater channels create spectacular exits as they leave the glacier. The upper hole seen here is known as a relict portal, created by a previous higher meltwater channel. Truly an inspiring place to be, nature at its best.” — “This feels like another world. What an amazing place, I bet it was inspiring. I agree with Your Shot photographer Cynthia C.'s who commented, ‘I love how my eyes wonder throughout the frame. The texture and color of the ice cave wall are so well captured. This is perhaps my favorite part. Lovely!’” — @natgeoyourshot Producer David Y. Lee (@davidylee)
8. Okavango Delta, Botswana
Striking. Welcome to the world’s largest inland delta. Here, to the north of Botswana, zebras, buffalo, rhinoceros, and even swimming lions await you! This curious delta does not flow to the sea – in reality, it is more like an alluvial fan. Here, you can explore wildlife from this peculiar ecosystem in thr Kalahari Desert.
9. Great Blue Hole, Belize
Rare. About 62 miles from the coast of Belize is the Great Blue Hole, a perfect circle of more than 180 miles wide and 70 miles deep formed more than 12,000 years ago after the last Ice Age. Today, this area is of particular interest to divers since it contains a great variety of maritime flora and fauna.
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El Gran Agujero Azul es una de las grandes maravillas naturales del mundo, y uno de los sitios turísticos más conocidos de #Belice para una experiencia de buceo única, sus paredes descienden más de 120 metros hacia el interior del océano, donde abundan las estalactitas y estalagmitas y un banco de tiburones de arrecife. #Belice #Turismo #Turistas #SitiosTuristicos #Maravillas #Buceo #Submarinismo #GranAgujeroAzul #Arrecifes #LaVozDeBelice #Noticiero #NoticiasEnEspañol #Belize
10. Waitomo Caves, New Zealand
Unprecedented. These caves located south of Auckland were created from the pressure of underground currents on limestone. They are primarily known for the thousands of glowworms that fly about and illuminate. The caves are also known for their magnificent stalactites. Take a little boat through the dark caves to see the glowing worms for an unforgettable experience – we are sure of it!
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