December is fast approaching and if you’re looking for somewhere to escape to, our world hides the most awe-inspiring natural wonders, architectural masterpieces and hidden gems, just waiting to be explored. While a great number of them remain out of our reach, there’s still a plethora of heavenly destinations that will leave you with life-long memories.
The Grand Canyon, USA
As you lay your eyes on the layers of colourful rock stretching as far as the eye can see, you cannot but feel completely immersed in the beauty of this natural wonder. The steep sides of the Grand Canyon reveal its reddish hues that stand perfectly against the vast, blue sky.
This majestic natural wonder was carved by the Colorado River and it took 5,000 years for it to reach its present form. Seeing the Grand Canyon drenched in the morning sun as it slowly reveals its mesmerising beauty should definitely be on your bucket list.
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
What was once a prehistoric lake now is Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat stretching for more than 4,000 square miles and perched at 11,995 feet, high up in the Andes. Having dried up, the lake transformed into stretches of white salt, resembling a white, heavenly desert.
Apart from the mesmerising view of sparkling salt, this area also features enticing rock formations and islands covered with cacti. At times, out-of-this-world Salar de Uyuni gets covered with clear water, turning into the world’s largest natural mirror.
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
If there’s one tropical haven that you shouldn’t miss, it’s the magical island of Bora Bora. Described as the most beautiful island of French Polynesia, as well as the island of romance, Bora Bora is a picture-perfect luxurious paradise, featuring contrasting landscape of turquoise waters against lush forests and a dormant volcano.
The island’s lagoons hide diverse marine life and rich coral reefs, while its white, sandy beaches inspire relaxation. There’s nothing like relaxing in an overwater villa admiring the awe-inspiring vista of Bora Bora.
The Rainbow Mountains of Zhangye Danxia, China
Located in Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lies nature’s colour palette of most vibrant hues. The rainbow Mountains are a geological wonder that demonstrates the transformational power of erosion. The deposits of iron and trace minerals have coloured the Rainbow Mountains in deep red, yellow, green, blue, brown and even black staining.
The vibrant palette of the Rainbow Mountains is even more mesmerising then the one of the Grand Canyon. The otherworldly sight of these colourful mountains will leave you with a truly memorable experience.
The Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska
The Tracy Arm Fjord is a hidden natural gem of the Juneau region in Alaska, featuring a beautiful narrow inlet set against dramatic, more than 3,000-feet-high cliffs and beautiful waterfalls. The exploration of scenic coves and fjords has always been one of the most popular options for inspiring Alaska holidays and a perfect way to discover the beauties of its stunning scenery.
Located just 45 miles south of Juneau, the Tracy Arm Fjord will charm you with its glacial beauty and different species of seals, whales, bears and eagles. Whether you hop on a cruise ship or sign up for a boat tour, you’re bound to have a true Alaskan adventure.
Petra, an ancient city in Jordan, is a true architectural work of art. Carved into a rock cliff, this city perfectly merges with its setting. Although it was built in 312 BC, Petra remained unknown to the western world until 1812. The entire rose-red city exudes mysticism and spirituality and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Petra is an extraordinary trace of ancient civilisation and history, leaving everyone speechless before its beauty. The view of beautifully carved cliffs takes you back in time as you try to imagine the vibrant city of Petra brimming with life.
The Taj Mahal, India
As a symbol of love and devotion, the marble architectural masterpiece of Taj Mahal remains one of the most extraordinary structures in the world. Taj Mahal was built as an act of romance and love of the ruler Shah Jagan for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died after giving birth to their 14th child. Standing before this mausoleum, you cannot but admire the strength of the love that inspired such a grand gesture.
Featuring white marble with semi-precious stone, intricate designs, beautiful central dome and enchanting gardens, Taj Mahal is a true awe-inspiring architectural wonder.
Each corner of the world is rich in mesmerising destinations that will reveal to you the extent of our planet’s beauty.
Photo credits: Unsplash
Correction made on 27 November 2017 for the spelling of Shah Hagan to Shah Jagan.