While your imagination may be wild and vivid, it cannot compare to the natural wonders created by Mother Nature. Our planet is scattered with phenomena that are both strange and stunning, inspiring awe in their mere existence. Many of these remarkable sights are located in remote and less-traveled areas, but each one is undoubtedly worth the effort to experience.
- Banaue Rice Terraces of Ifugao, Philippines
When it comes to remarkable feats of ancient architecture, the Pyramid of Giza stands out as the clear favorite. However, while the Banaue Rice Terraces may not possess the same enigmatic quality and are relatively youthful at only 2000 years old, the vast hand-carved agricultural system spanning 4000 square miles is an awe-inspiring sight to behold.
- Marble Caves, Argentina and Chile
Nestled within the waters of General Carrera Lake in South America, enormous structures made of sparkling marble create a stunning network of caves that offer a warm invitation to adventurous explorers. The lake’s two most prominent formations are the Marble Chapel, located on the northern tip, and the Marble Cathedral, which is closer to the Puerto Tranquilo peninsula in Chile.
- The “Sea of Stars” on Vaadhoo in Raa Atoll, Maldives
For those seeking a mesmerizing display after dark, the beaches of Vaadhoo in the Raa Atoll islands surpass even the bright lights of Vegas. This secluded Maldivian island is home to a vibrant population of bioluminescent plankton, causing its shores to radiate with an enchanting electric blue glow at night. Despite being a cluster of luminescent sea creatures, their beauty has an undeniably romantic quality.
- Sagano Bamboo Forest, Japan
For anyone seeking respite from the demands of urban life, taking a leisurely walk through a towering forest of bamboo trees with no branches in sight can work wonders. It’s almost unbelievable that this tranquil oasis exists so close to the bustling city of Kyoto.
- Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
Although a 4086-square-mile expanse of salt may not initially strike you as a picturesque setting, Bolivia’s world-renowned salt flat boasts a stunningly bright white surface that is truly a sight to behold. It’s not just the sheer grandeur of the salt that will captivate you, but also the diverse animal inhabitants – such as the striking pink flamingos – that flock to this unique habitat in abundance. Additionally, the creative endeavors of humans are also evident, including the remarkable hotels constructed entirely from salt!
- Champagne Pool of North Island, New Zealand
Feeling parched after reading about the salt flat? You might want to resist the urge to drink while gazing at New Zealand’s vibrant hot spring. The Champagne Pool, named after a refreshment typically served cold, boasts scorching temperatures of up to 167 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it does live up to its name due to the effervescence created by the continuous release of carbon dioxide. While it’s not a suitable spot for swimming or sipping, the steaming body of water is an absolute feast for the eyes.
- Buckskin Gulch, Utah
The 12-mile slot canyon located at the end of the Paria offshoot of the Colorado River is just as impressive to admire as it is to traverse. The stunning visual masterpiece is courtesy of the world’s greatest sculptor: water, which has worked diligently over the course of thousands of years to create this natural wonder.
- Kakum National Park, Ghana
For those seeking an adventurous journey into the heart of the wilderness, Ghana – a West African nation – boasts a treetop excursion that far surpasses any elementary school field trip to the local zoo. The quarter-mile-long canopy walkway offers an immersive experience into the captivating world of Ghana’s diverse wildlife, including birds, monkeys, antelopes, elephants, and more – each creature upping the ante on sheer awe.
- Angel Falls, Venezuela
Emanating from Bolivar, Venezuela’s Auyán-tepui mountain, Angel Falls is a natural wonder that is truly awe-inspiring: standing tall at 3212 feet, it is the world’s tallest uninterrupted waterfall. A testament to its sheer magnitude, a significant portion of the waterfall’s outpouring evaporates before reaching the bottom of the mountain. Angel Falls is undoubtedly deserving of your absolute wonder.
- Wulingyuan of Hunan, China
The Wulingyuan area is a breathtaking sight, with over 3,000 quartzite sandstone monoliths towering over 650 feet high. The area emanates a strikingly otherworldly atmosphere, and between the pillars lie ravines and gorges filled with cascading waterfalls and streams, as well as two magnificent natural bridges and around 40 caves.
So there you have it – hopefully, these stunning places have given you some inspiration for your future travels. They are all on my list of places to visit, and I’d love to hear about your experiences if you have already been to any of them. Share your stories in the comments section below.