Learning about all the wondrous places on our planet has never been easier than in times of Instagram, TikTok, and the like. Surely your feeds are flooded with videos and images of Santorini, Bondi Beach, or the Maldives. But as our world gets ever more connected, these places get increasingly crowded and often lose the charm that initially made them such desirable destinations. Luckily, the world’s beauty is not limited to these few places!
Keep reading to discover lesser-known destinations that might just make their way to the top of your Bucket List!
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Hoh Rainforest, USA
Walking through this forest feels like walking through the enchanted woods only heard of in fairy tales. The trees are covered in hanging mosses from crown to stem, and ferns line the forest floor. This gem is the Hoh Rainforest in the Olympic National Park. It may not seem as though the US climate would allow for rainforests, but the precipitation west of the Olympic Mountains in Washington State is high enough for the Hoh to qualify as one!
Feeling inspired? Check out our Olympic Peninsula Round Trip here!
Cango Caves, South Africa
This cave system is Africa’s largest, with around 29 km (18 miles) of winding and narrow paths connecting the main chambers. You can choose between the standard tour exploring the main chamber and the adventure tour. The latter will have you squeeze through tight passageways and make you feel like a true spelunker!
Khor al-Adaid, Qatar
Aptly named the „Inland Sea,“ at Khor al-Adaid, the sea and desert don’t merely touch but intertwine. The Khor is not only an incredible sight but has also been dedicated as a nature reserve to protect its diverse flora and fauna. Arabian Gazelles roam the dunes of the Khor, while rare sea turtles and dugongs have found a safe haven in the coastal waters. Accessible only by off-road vehicles, a trip to the Khor al-Adaid is undoubtedly an unforgettable experience!
Nestled among the forest in the mountains of Switzerland, you’ll find the very picture of an alpine lake. It is part of a nature park that offers many trails to explore the region. To get a break from hiking, enjoy some sandwiches by the lakeshore or head to the restaurant of the Blausee Hotel for a fancy dinner. A fun way to experience the lake itself is to take a tour on the glass bottom rowboat. The water is clear enough to see all the way to the lake floor!
Need more inspiration? Get the itinerary for our Switzerland Road Trip here!
Jervis Bay, Australia
During the day, Jervis Bay in Booderee National Park is gorgeous enough to rival the world’s most beautiful beaches. But on winter nights, Jervis Bay is without competition. Come nightfall, the algae populating its shores begin to sparkle in a bright blue color – a rare phenomenon called bioluminescence. This otherworldly experience is like no other.
Interested in more? Find our East Coast Australia trip here.
Goblin Valley, USA
Many of Utah’s State Parks are known for their larger-than-life rock formations – but Goblin Valley takes the crown for the weirdest ones. These mushroom-like sandstones are called Hoodoos, or endearingly: Goblins. The state park has some of the lowest light pollution of any place in the world, so consider staying the night to stargaze!
To reach Trolltunga cliff, you must first undergo an adventure. Unless you’re an experienced hiker, you must join a hiking tour and complete the grueling 10-hour trek to the viewpoint. But it’ll all be worth it, once you’re finally standing on the protruding rock and overlooking the landscape that lies beneath you!
Sigiriya Rock, Sri Lanka
Located in the heart of Sri Lanka is Sigirya Rock, an enormous rock plateau towering over the surrounding jungle. In addition to being an incredible sight, Sigirya Rock is also of archaeological importance. In 300 BCE, Buddhist monks first created a monastery within the caves of the rock. It stayed a monastery until the 14th century and even briefly was the royal residence in the 5th century!
Lençóis Maranhenses, Brazil
Lençois Maranhenses is a National Park in Northeastern Brazil. The park is dominated by white rolling sand dunes that reach as far as the eye can see. Rainwater collects in the valleys running through the dunes, forming the freshwater lagoons that give the park its ethereal appearance. These unique features can support a rare ecosystem home to multiple endangered species!
The unique landscape of the Palouse in Eastern Washington State is among the most stunning places anywhere in the world to enjoy a sunset picnic. Rolling hills of farmland fill the view as far as the eye can see, their colors changing with the light and the seasons. The Palouse is a favorite among locals, photographers, and visitors for its picturesque serenity.
Want to know more? Here’s our full Washington State itinerary!
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