27 Shockingly Beautiful Bucket List Places To Visit
From the jaw-dropping beauty of Chile’s Marble Caves to Japan’s ethereal Bamboo Forest, the world is home to dozens of extraordinary places that will take your breath away. Mysterious, visually stunning and otherworldly, these unique places defy the norm as well as go beyond the beauty of a stereotypical landscape and attraction can achieve. While these places may seem like scenes from a dream, they are truly a testament to our engineering ingenuity as well as Mother Nature’s innate ability to amaze even the most traveled people.
Yearning for some spectacular and unusual sights? Tired of gazing on quintessential landscapes of white-sand beaches, rolling hills and azure waters? Then, book a flight, grab your passport, and see these remarkably spots in person!
1. Tianzi Mountains, China
Wonderfully thin and towering, these sky-tapering mountains in China are so alien-like that they became an inspiration to the floating mountains featured in James Cameron’s blockbuster flick, “Avatar”. Formed underwater over 300 million years ago, a strong flow of water incinerated its surrounding sandstones, leaving only these resilient and magnificent stone pillars. Some of the columns in this part of China have reached more than 4,000 feet above sea level.
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2. Trolltunga, Norway
Trolltunga literally means “Troll’s Tongue”, but trust me, that’s the last thing you are going to think about, as you soak in the scenery from 2,300 feet above the Ringedalsvatnet lake.
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3. Grand Canyon, United States
Grand Canyon, one of America’s greatest treasures and iconic landmarks, overwhelms the senses of its beholders with its immense size and sheer majesty. Deemed as one the world’s great seven natural wonders, this bucket-list worthy spot offers a ton of exciting outdoor adventures as well, including trekking and white-water rafting.
4. Tulip Fields, The Netherlands
Whether you love bright colors and flowers or simply have an appreciation for well-designed fields, the lovely tulips in the Netherlands will surely deliver a visual treat. From Holland to Michigan, USA, there are many places across the world that grow and foster tulips, but nothing is quite as striking as what awaits you in The Netherlands.
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5. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
With its extraordinary flatness and seemingly endless expanse of hexagonal tiles, Salar de Uyuni – the world’s largest salt flat – gives you the sensation of stepping into an alien planet. Stretching for over 3,000 square miles, you’ll not only see the mysterious beauty of Salar de Uyuni for miles, but it will also create an illusion of a massive mirror during the right weather circumstances. As an added plus, there are numerous caves to explore in the mountains nearby, making it an even more appealing spot for the adventurous.
6. Sea of Stars, Vaadhoo Island, Maldives
The internet has been, for years, dropping jaws with images of the dreamlike beach in Vaadhoo Island, Maldives. A fantasy-like experience that should be in everyone’s bucket list, this spectacle and phenomena has been fittingly nicknamed as “Sea of Stars”, thanks to its countless of glowing blue bioluminescent phytoplankton.
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7. The Door to Hell, Turkmenistan
It’s technically a geyser, but the moniker “Door to Hell” just sounds a bit catchier and better, doesn’t it? What’s more, the burning pool of the lava in the Karakum Desert resembles exactly what an entrance to the underworld looks like – red, hot and steamy.
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8. Tunnel of Love, Ukraine
Tunnel of Love is a 1.8-mile private railroad passage set deep in the woods of a region in Ukraine. With its serene and beautiful setting, the passage has become a favorite spot for photographers as well as romantic couples. As a matter of fact, it can be a perfect location for a romantic photo-shoot or proposal. Just be sure to steer clear of the tracks, when the train that uses it is in action.
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9. Marble Caves, Chile
Hundreds of years of wave erosion have created the awe-inspiring effect that gives these caves their one-of-a-kind marbleized appearance, which is further enhanced by the pale blue water of the Carrera Lake. Though the entire area is threatened by an idea to build a nearby dam, visitors, for now, can kayak through the caves, when the waters are fairly calm.
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10. Victoria Falls, Zambia
Forming the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, the Victoria Falls are an impressive and thunderous wonder that was once called “The Smoke That Thunder” by the Kololo tribe who lived there in 1800s. Today, this natural extravaganza is known as the world’s greatest curtain of falling water.
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11. Zhangye Danxia Geopark, China
The smooth, shark and multi-colored rock formations that span hundreds of meters through this region in China are a sight that will awestruck any traveler. Praised for its wondrous colors and strangely beautiful natural shapes, this geopark is not just a UNESCO World Heritage site, but has also been voted as one of the most beautiful land-forms in the country by the Chinese media outlets.
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12. Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park, USA
The Grand Prismatic Spring – the third largest spring in the world – is by far the undisputed star attraction of Yellowstone National Park. One of the most fascinating places to see in America, the Grand Prismatic Spring dazzles and stuns its beholders with its incredible size and prismatic waters.
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13. White Desert, Egypt
Sahara el Beyda, or also known as “White Desert”, is an astonishing, magical and surreal site that beckons photography enthusiasts and curious travelers worldwide with its unusual snow-like desert landscapes. Famed for its splendid rock chalk formations, White Desert is speckled with beautiful white masterpieces that were formed through centuries of erosion and desert sand storms. Yes, the sculptures you see in this primo desert weren’t crafted by an avant-garde sculptor, but by nature herself.
14. Mount Roraima, Venezuela
Billed as one of the most wonderful places on earth, Mount Roraima offers breath-snatching views that might stick with you forever. Beloved for its unworldly landscapes, this 1,300-foot mountain is an inspiration to many works of art and movies today. As a matter of fact, the creators of the Pixar/Disney animated film “Up” climbed this mountain to gain additional insight of it.
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15. Machu Picchu, Peru
There’s a good reason why Machu Picchu was inscribed at the top of Lisa Simpson’s bucket list. Though it’s difficult to reach, the place is simply gorgeous and offers you a great opportunity to learn more about a lost culture.
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16. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
The Giant’s Causeway is, according to Irish folklore, the remnants of an ancient rock bridge built by gentle titans, to enable them to cross between Scotland and Ireland. Science, however, tell us that this wondrous phenomenon of 40,000 interlocking basalt columns was the aftereffect of an ancient eruption. Even though the actual origins are less mythical, the Giant’s Causeway is still one of most mystical and strikingly beautiful places on the face of the earth.
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17. Pamukkale, Turkey
Pamukkale is home to a bunch of natural springs that leave travelers speechless and in awe. Just don’t forget to cap your trip with a plunge in one of its impressive and superb natural tubs.
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18. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
Neuschwanstein Castle, one of the most photographed and visited castles in the world, once served as a refuge to an introvert king. Thankfully, the castle became accessible in 1886 to the public, shortly after the King Ludwig II’s death. Disney Fanatics will want to pay a visit to Germany to catch sight of the real-life inspiration for the Beast’s Castle in the 1991 movie, Beauty and the Beast.
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19. The Wave, Utah, United States
The Wave is a majestic sandstone rock formation located near the Utah-Arizona border, and is found on the slopes of the Coyote Buttes. You need to take a challenging hike to get there, but the opportunity to snap a myriad of awesome photographs is totally worth all the effort.
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20. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Headed to Southeast Asia? As far as I’m concerned, Angkor Wat is an intricate architectural and archaeological wonder that should be on everybody’s bucket list!
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21. Great Blue Hole, Belize
More than a hundred thousand years ago, a limestone cave formed naturally in Belize. But, over time, the water levels rose, causing the roof of the cave to collapse. And as a result, the caved turned into a strange and beautiful natural marvel that we now call the Great Blue Hole, which is often deemed as one the world’s top and worthwhile diving spots.
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22. Huacachina, Peru
Surrounded beautifully by huge sand dunes, Huacachina is a tiny, sweet and remote oasis famous for its fabulous collection of resorts and restaurants. Although the place is well-known as a hub for relaxation, this awesome Peruvian town can also get your fix for adventure through its thrilling outdoor diversions, such as sandboarding. And, by the way, did mention that it has a legendary mythical resident on its blue-green lagoon – a mermaid?
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23. Icelandic highlands
Seeing the dazzling Aurora borealis in person is a rare and surreal experience that should be on every travel bucket list. And, one of the best places to see this evening show is in the highlands of Iceland.
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24. Sagano Bamboo Forest, Japan
Kyoto’s Bamboo Forest is often labeled as one of the world’s most beautiful green spaces, but it’s not just its charm that makes it fairly appealing. Additionally, the forest was included to the 100 Soundscapes of Japan, meaning this location is an auditory and visual delight.
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25. Valley of the Ten Peaks, Canada
The Valley of the Ten Peaks is nestled in the world-famous Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. From this spot, you may see and snap pictures of the 10 peaks, including Mount Tuzo, Neptuak Mountain and Mount Fay. Likewise, it’s possible to see a myriad of other peaks from within this vantage point.
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26. Stonehenge, England
There’s plenty of mystery surrounding Stonehenge, and contrary to what those who think it’s just a pile of 25-ton rocks, it is actually quite a sight to behold. Get a guided tour, visit it during sunset, and enjoy a sensational glow of the sun setting between the pillars of Stonehenge.
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27. Easter Island, Chile
Just like Stonehenge, nobody really knows the story behind the eerily beautiful moai statues on Easter Island. Even so, these statues offer visitors great photo ops and an uncommon travel experience. Furthermore, the island has a plethora of options to offer to active and adventurous travelers, such as scuba diving and hiking.
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