If you’re looking for a unique vacation, natural beauty is a must. Our world is full of magnificent places, meaning it just takes a short car ride or flight to get to somewhere you’ve dreamed of. While it’s impossible to list all the beautiful places in the world, we’ll give it a go with the most beautiful scenery in the world.
1. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
For some extreme beauty, check out one of the top national parks in the United States — Yellowstone National Park. The park is located in the northwest corner of the state of Wyoming, but also spreads into parts of Idaho and Montana, and offers incredible sights. Check out active geysers, mountains, volcanoes, wildlife, and more in the park. The park has towering mountains, shimmering blue waters, Old Faithful — the country’s most famous active geyser — bison, badgers, beavers, black bears, grizzly bears, and tons of trails begging to be followed. When visiting Yellowstone, plan your trip outside the summer months, as this is high season in the park. Once in, be sure to always follow park rules and stay on the paths. The animals in Yellowstone are wild and can react unpredictably if scared.
2. Machu Picchu, Peru
Head off in search of one of the greatest wonders of the world, Machu Picchu. The historic Inca site sits in southern Peru as the once-capital of the Inca Empire. Machu Picchu is an ancient civilization atop the massive Andean Mountains of South America. The stone structures and buildings stand high in the mountains, now home to dozens of alpacas and llamas who roam freely through the park. The nearby Huayna Picchu is another mountain you can climb, taking you from the base of Machu Picchu up to the top of the nearby mountain. Huayna Picchu stands at around 9,000 feet and has many more mysterious buildings and settlements along the route. Machu Picchu welcomes around 2,500 visitors per day, and the park is strict with entrance, so be sure to plan ahead.
3. Cappadocia, Turkey
Visit this stunning beauty in the Anatolian Plains, central Turkey. Cappadocia is a semi-arid region, making it something like a desert, but not quite a desert, combined with the plains of Central Asia, making it look more like it belongs on another planet than on Earth. The area is great for hiking, with dozens of trails leading you away into the surrounding region. Check out the towns literally carved into the rocks, and the rich, well-preserved culture in Cappadocia. Wander the Goreme Open Air Museum, the areas of Derinkuyu and Kaymakli, and the caves all around. The region is a popular spot for a sunrise hot air balloon trip, so be sure not to miss out.
4. Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia
The seemingly endless salt flats in southern Bolivia provide an out-of-this-world experience for any visitor. The salt flats are located in the southwestern part of the country, close to the Chilean border. Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt mine in the world. The whimsical looking, reflective salt flat is easiest to reach from the town of Uyuni. Uyuni is great in both the dry and rainy season. During the rainy season, from April to December, the rain and humidity give the salt flat its reflective surface, producing breathtaking views and incredible photos. During the dry season, it’s often colder, but you can take more expansive tours through the region, to reach to spots that might be too difficult to get to during the rainy season.
5. Halong Bay, Vietnam
Dare we say this is the most beautiful beach in the world? Perhaps. Halong Bay sits on the coast of northern Vietnam and the region is full of perfect, clear blue waters, surrounded by towering rock formations and golden sands. The region is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as a national park and is a popular tourist attraction. Despite the large crowds frequently descending upon Halong Bay, it’s well worth the visit. Halong Bay is filled with small inlets, villages, grottos, and beaches to be explored via boat. Popular spots along the way are Halong City, Cat Ba Island, and Lan Ha Bay.
6. Na Pali Coast, Hawaii
The magnificent Na Pali Coast, on the northwestern coast of the island of Kauai, is so vibrant and stunning, you won’t believe your eyes. The state park is known for seaside cliffs along the clear blue Hawaiian sea, rising to around 4,000 feet above the sea. Na Pali Coast State Park is full of hiking trails, streams, waterfalls, like Hanakapiai Falls, and beaches like Kalalau Beach, giving it a little bit of everything, depending on what you’re trying to see. The park is difficult to visit and it’s difficult to see all of it at once. The best way to admire the beauty of the cliffs is on a helicopter tour around the island. You can also take a boat ride out to the coastline to see it from sea level. If you’re the adventurous type, hike up the hills themselves. Rather than having a view of the vastness from above, you get the inside view of all the flora and fauna along the pathways.
7. Great Wall of China, China
Over 12,000 miles long and nearly 374 years old, the Great Wall of China is a world wonder you cannot miss out on. The wall was built in the 17th century as a defense force to protect the Chinese Empire. The massive stone wall spans the mountainous former border of China to protect against the Mongolian Empire. If you’re planning your visit to the Great Wall, try starting in Beijing, where you can hop on a bus tour that takes you to the section of the wall just an hour outside the city. From there, you can walk along the wall, take in the insane views, or learn more about the history. Some other sections of the wall that are popular amongst visitors include Inner Mongolia and the Gobi Desert, and Gansu.
8. Okavango Delta, Botswana
Okavango Delta, in northern Botswana, is like heaven on Earth. Abundant with lush greenery, rivers and streams, and plains, the inland river is also home to wild animals you would never think you could see in person — including zebras, cheetahs, buffalo, rhinos, elephants, lions, giraffes, antelopes, wildebeests, and more. The best way to get to the Okavango Delta Delta is from the small town of Maun. From the town, take a tour of the entire delta region to explore the wildlife and have an adventure of a lifetime.