Extreme Travel

Unbelievable places you have to see to believe

Are you ready for your daily dose of wanderlust (and then some)? These wonders around the world—from Seussian flower fields to seas that shine like stars—simply must been seen to be believed.

 

  • 1. Zhangye Danxia Landform: Gansu, China

    Zhangye Danxia Landform: Gansu, China

    iStock

    These striped, technicolor mountains are Mother Nature's answer to Photoshop. Red sandstone and mineral deposits have been building up in China's Danxia Landform Geological Park for more than 20 million years, causing the surreal layered effect.

  • 2. Mendenhall Ice Caves: Juneau, Alaska

    Mendenhall Ice Caves: Juneau, Alaska

    iStock

    The ice caves inside Juneau’s Mendenhall Glacier are not easily accessible nor for the faint of heart—those who want to see them in person must first kayak to the glacier and then ice-climb to reach it. But once adventurers stand under the glowing blue ceilings of ice, we’re pretty sure they’ll tell you it’s worth the trek.

  • 3. Swing at the End of the World: Baños, Ecuador

    Swing at the End of the World: Baños, Ecuador

    Alamy

    If you have graduated from your neighborhood playground, try venturing deep into the Ecuadorian wilderness. There you'll find Casa del Arbol (also known as "The Treehouse"), a seismic monitoring station for the active Mt. Tungurahua volcano. The structure's real attraction is the rope swing attached to one of the tree's branches, where people are invited to ride out over the end of the world.

  • 4. The Sea of Stars: Vaadhoo Island, Maldives

    The Sea of Stars: Vaadhoo Island, Maldives

    Alamy

    The beaches at Vaadhoo Island have received their fair share of Internet swooning, and for good reason. The bioluminescent phytoplankton in the waters emanate a dazzling blue glow, making it look as though the stars have somehow found their way down to earth for the night.

  • 5. Hitachi Seaside Park: Hitachinaka, Ibaraki, Japan

    Hitachi Seaside Park: Hitachinaka, Ibaraki, Japan

    Alamy

    Hitachi Seaside Park is a stretch of flora-packed hills in Japan, and it could easily pass for a whimsical Dr. Seuss landscape. The park is filled with kochia plants that turn bright red during autumn.

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