Planet Earth is an incredible place. Not only is it the only known place that can sustain life, but it’s so diverse from one country to another that you often feel like you’ve gone to another planet.
From different ecosystems to climates to rock formations and trees, Earth is home to a lot of astonishing landscapes. Here are five unforgettable places to add to your travel bucket list this year.
Turkey is one of the most underrated places to visit in the world. This incredible country in the Middle East often gets brushed off as it borders on Iraq, Iran, and Syria. However, it’s also home to a lot of Mediterranean influence and borders the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas.
One of the most incredible places to visit in Turkey is the iconic city, Istanbul. With open-air markets and buildings from thousands of years ago, visiting Istanbul feels like stepping back in time.
In addition to Istanbul, Turkey is home to the fairytale-like Cappadocia. In this rocky expanse, you can find ancient cave dwellings and rock formations under a sky filled with hundreds of hot air balloons. Travel a little further, and you’ll see Pamukkale, a.k.a. Cotton Castle– a series of terraces housing natural springs.
California is larger than many of the countries on this list, despite being a state in the USA. This sizeable coastal area is home to legendary cities and a vast array of diverse ecosystems.
Visit the Redwood National Park in the north to see trees towering hundreds of feet overhead, with bases so wide that you can drive through them. Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada mountains is stark and beautiful while Joshua Tree is one of the most unique areas on Earth.
You can’t experience California without spending some time with your toes in the sand or frolicking in the Pacific Ocean. Stay in a Palm Springs villa and watch the sunset on the shore. Hang out in Malibu and dine at Paradise Cove. Stroll along the Santa Monica pier and take in the sites of this incredible coastline.
Peru is a land filled with ancient wonders, as well as a few genuinely astonishing and unexpected landscapes to behold. Most people know Peru for Machu Picchu, one of the seven wonders of the world. This ancient city in the sky was once home to the Incas. Now, thousands of tourists flock to Peru every year to hike the ancient Inca Trail.
However, there are other places in Peru worth visiting. Huacachina is a town located in the heart of a desert oasis, with soaring dunes towering overhead. Take part in the local pastime of riding dune buggies or sand surfing down the 6000-foot tall dunes. Don’t forget to hop on a boat at Paracas and head to penguin island to see thousands of birds nesting on the rocks. Hike the Rainbow Mountains, which look like a child’s coloring book.
The Maldives are a collection of 1000 coral islands located in the Indian Ocean. The water is so pure and blue that you can see the fantastic creatures that call this place home going about their daily life as you stand above. The population is so sparse that you can relax in the lap of luxury and finally find the peace and quiet you desire.
Sleep in a bungalow above the water. Snorkel with the wildlife and play in the waves. When you’re in the Maldives, you’ll learn a whole new meaning of the color blue.
Namibia is an African country found in the southern region of the continent. It’s known for its incredible animal population. Head there on safari, and you can expect to see cheetahs, lions, elephants, and giraffes.
In the Namib desert, there’s sand for as far as the eye can see. Scorched black trees punctuate the famous red dunes of Sossusvlei. It ends at the haunting Skeleton Coast, an incredible expanse of beach that feels like the edge of the world. This wondrous area is home to numerous shipwrecks that got caught in the currents and storms of the Atlantic.
These five fascinating places are unlike any other on Earth. Add them to the top of your travel bucket list for the rest of this year and next.