Most of you are busy working in a bustling U.S. city like Chicago or New York and you rarely get to spend much time outside of the office or outside of your studio apartment in Lincoln Park or the West Village. But it’s time you branch out and take a look outside of the country we all live and start to explore!
There are some places on Earth that are so beautiful and unique, that it’s sometimes hard to believe that they’re on the same planet when looking at pictures. Fortunately for us, these incredible sights are all on the little rock we humans call home.
From remnants of past civilizations to natural wonders, the world is full of otherworldly landscapes; here are some that you won’t want to miss.
Tulum is one of the many Mayan ruins that can be found along the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. Though it lacks the majesty of Chichen Itza or the accessibility of Coba, Tulum is unique in its own right as it stands guard over the coast on one of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico. This beach has the benefit of a large reef off the coast, keeping the water clear and turquoise against the white sand beach.
Visiting Tulum is very immersive. As you stand under the ancient stone watchtower watching the waves, you can feel the ghosts of the past in the area. Tulum is also along the scenic Mayan Riviera, with many Tulum villas on Luxury Retreats available for rent.
Japan is home to many otherworldly landscapes, including its formal capital, Kyoto. Lined with historic buildings and temples, beautiful water features, and shrines, visiting Kyoto is like stepping back in time. Visiting in spring gives travelers a chance to see the cherry blossoms in bloom, for an unforgettable display unlike any other in the world.
In addition to the incredible architecture and seasonal wonders, Kyoto is home to Bamboo Grove. Bamboo Grove has thousands of towering bamboo plants, creating a musical effect of rustling leaves and moving trees. The area looks like it was created in a dream, rather than nature.
The State of Arizona (Yes, it’s on this list!)
Arizona is a common winter escape for North Americans living in the colder climates, due to its wonderful dry heat. It’s also home to unbelievable vistas and open expanses. While the Grand Canyon takes the cake for most visitors, those seeking an otherworldly experience should also visit Antelope Canyon.
Referred to by the Navajo people as Hasdestwazi, or “where water runs through rocks,” Antelope Canyon is a narrow crevice that holds near impossible form in some areas. This hidden gem was caused by erosion over many years, and has an otherworldly glow when the sun shines on the red dirt from above.
Isle of Skye, Scotland
The Isle of Skye in Scotland is home to rolling hills for as far as the eye can see, interrupted by incredible rock formations and fairy pools– sparkling blue pools of water along the River Brittle. You can feel the magic in this ancient land that was home to Pagan practitioners and ancient warriors.
With various lakes and cliffs, as well as castles standing strong centuries after being built, the Isle of Skye will bring visitors into the worlds of the legends and adventure books they read as children.
While it’s true that almost anywhere you go in Iceland will have incredible sights to behold, Skaftafell ranks higher than the rest. The Vatnajökull Glacier is the largest glacier in Europe, resting in the southwest region and covering 8% of the country’s landmass. Visitors can hike this expanse of ice with a guide.
In addition to the glacier itself, Skaftafell is home to hidden ice caves. In these caves, the light from outside the thick ice barrier creates an ethereal blue glow that captivates and mesmerizes its visitors. These tours are only open during the winter season, which is also when the aurora borealis shines brightest in the lengthened night.
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
While Croatia has a lot to offer in terms of culture and architecture, the Plitvice Lakes National Park is worth the trip in itself. This park consists of 16 lakes, terraced in limestone and overflowing into one another via beautiful waterfalls of varying shapes and sizes. Veliki slap is the largest waterfall, at 230 feet tall.
Adventure-seekers can hike the walkways and hiking trails that expand throughout the park and cool off with a dip in one of the crystal-clear pools.
There are many hidden gems throughout the world that offer unforgettable sights and unbelievable landscapes. The challenge is choosing which one to visit first. So, go for it. Run away from your studio apartment on your next vacation and try to see some of these amazing places!