People travel all over the world, or at least make plans to do so, for a variety of different reasons. Some just want to get away. Some want to experience the thrill of the unknown that accompanies venturing toward a place they have never been to before. Some want to experience different parts of the world simply for their beauty.
When thinking of all the beautiful places you have heard of, seen and maybe even traveled to, it is hard to imagine that there are places out there that could be even more jaw dropping, if you knew where to look for them. Below is a list of five beautiful places to visit that no one knows about, to expand your horizons and stay as far away from your comfort zone as possible.
1. Machu Picchu: Vertical stairs
You’ve heard of Machu Picchu before. It’s a World Heritage site in Peru bearing evidence of the Inca Empire. The wonders you will see there are breathtaking enough. You probably had no idea there’s a small mountain nearby, called Wayna Picchu, that holds another secret: one you can walk on (sort of).
Hiking up the Wayna Picchu mountain involves climbing a lot of stone steps and squeezing through some pretty tight spots. You would think that the best part of the actual round trip hike would be the part where you get to climb back down, but in this case, the way down is the hardest part.
The trail does not lead you back down the mountain the way you hiked up it, which is where you will come face to face with Wayna Picchu’s vertical stairs, otherwise known as the Stairs of Death.
These vertical stairs are termed so because of their extremely steep incline on the way down. They are pretty narrow, too. It will take all your patience and concentration to climb down these stone steps, but the experience is worth the thrill. You should at least try it once, and if you like terrifying stair climbs, this might give you some more ideas of places you can visit.
2. Madagascar: The Stone Forest
Humans can do a lot of amazing things if placed in front of large bodies of stone and given the right tools. That’s nothing compared to what nature can do all on its own, and this becomes obvious when exploring a lesser-known location called Grand Tsingy, the world’s largest stone forest. As you can guess, it’s quite literally a bunch of rocks you can walk between, explore and enjoy. Take a look for yourself.
This ‘forest’ of rock formations is located within the Tsingy Bemaraha National Park in Madagascar and is home to not only naturally formed stone, but also contains so much exotic wildlife you won’t find most of it at any other location in the world.
These tall, sharp rocks are the shape they are because the area gets such frequent tropical rainfall, it has naturally eroded the rocks to form their infamous sharp top points. It is home to over 10 species of lemur and numerous species of plants, too.
3. Arizona: The Horseshoe Bend
Traveling to the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona is basically a rite of passage for anyone living in the United States, but the equally astonishing attraction you don’t hear about isn’t located too far away. There is a place near the city of Page where the Colorado River winds into a horseshoe shape, carving out a breathtaking formation in the rock surrounding it.
Horseshoe Bend, located near Page, Arizona, is part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. It is a formation called a meander, which in this case means a place where a river curves. The Colorado River takes a winding course through a canyon, forming a horseshoe shape in the rock. Viewed from above, it is a site worth seeing, whether the whole world knows about it or not.
4. Monsanto, Portugal: A town among the boulders
How many times throughout your life have you considered visiting a living museum? That is what many call a particular mountain village in Portugal, since traveling there for a visit almost takes you back in time. It has been around for centuries, and likely has not transformed much in the last several.
Monsanto, Portugal is a village that was built around a series of giant boulders. Monsanto is an ideal place for sightseeing, especially if you are interested in catching a glimpse of very ancient architecture and culture. Many of Monsanto’s cottages stand between boulders, while some boulders actually have structures carved into them. The village was built near the edge of a mountain top that overlooks miles and miles of open Portuguese countryside.
5. Holland: A field full of flowers
Normally, Holland is known for its exquisite museums and beaches, markets and more, but there is something else to search out if you are looking for a garden bigger than you ever could have dreamed to see. You have seen plenty of flowers in your own backyard or around your neighborhood, but surely you have yet to fix your eyes on anything quite as vibrant as this.
Holland, Keukenhof specifically, is home to millions upon millions of colorful tulip flowers. Even if you don’t know a tulip from a rose, even you can appreciate the fields filled with pink and red and yellow plants. Keukenhof contains other types of flowers as well, and if you visit Holland in the spring, you can take a tour through them and experience the natural beauty firsthand.
World travel lets you experience sites and wonders you may never otherwise get the chance to see with your own eyes. There is enough beauty nestled into the most unlikely places in the world. Now it’s your turn to find them.
Whatever your reason for traveling the world, don’t miss out on these five beautiful places. They are unique and will help you form beautiful memories you will be able to keep with you long after you leave.