From the moving glaciers of Argentina to the fire mountains of Lanzarote here are 15 of the unusual landscapes chosen by our adventurous guest writer which have been created only by mother nature herself…
The Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
With an extension of almost 4,100 sq mi, this is the biggest salt flat in the world. A surreal yet very beautiful destination in Bolivia, the area is highly photogenic. It can be found in the Potosi and Oruro regions in the SouthWest of the country. It was formed as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes.
When you get your flights to Turkey this place should be missed. A hot spot on the backpacking trail and one of Turkey’s most impressive natural wonders, the Pamukkale mineral spa, translated as ‘cotton castle.’ Stunning white terraces of calcium-rich warm waters spring up from the earth and cascade over low cliffs, forming the crisp, snow-like landscape.
Punakaiki, New Zealand
Punakaiki is a small settlement on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island which is famous for its “Pancake Rocks.” Many curious tourists visit to see the surreal area, formed by thousands of years of heavy erosion. There are also lots of blowholes where you can get some excellent photographs during high tides as the water hisses and shoots high into the air.
The Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina
With ice walls towering as high as 40 meters, deep blue landscapes and sights, and inclusion within the Perito Moreno National Park, this glacier should be visited if you find yourself in southern Argentina. It is accessible from villages like El Calafate. The glacier is constantly moving outward several feet per day and ice chunks fall into the sea everyday.
The Hills at Zabriskie Point, Death Valley, USA
Perhaps the most famous viewpoint in Death Valley is Zabriskie Point – a brightly coloured, undulating landscape of gullies and mud hills at the edge of the Black Mountains. It was formed by erosion, composed of sediments from Furnace Creek Lake, which dried up 5 million years ago.
Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland’s only Unesco World Heritage site, Giant’s Causeway is an intriguing beauty spot and a popular tourist haunt. With a large area of coastline covered in neatly arranged stone columns it’s easy to see why this unique natural wonder is surrounded by mythical legends.
Cappadocia, also located in Turkey is an amazing region of rock formations, subterranean churches and underground cities, the scale of which is simply overwhelming. There are hundreds of underground buildings in the region and the surrounding area is a popular trekking route amid the breathtaking and alien rock formations called Peri Bacalari or ‘Fairy Chimneys.’
The White Desert, Egypt
The fabled White Desert of Egypt can be found 28 miles north of the town of Farafra. The desert has an otherworldly beauty with bizarre, ghost-white rock formations sprouting from the desert sands. The strange structures are actually huge chalk formations created as a result of occasional sandstorms in the area.
Yellowstone National Park, USA
Yelllowstone National Park is famous all over the world for its unique landscapes and geothermal activity. The Old Faithful Geyser is one of the most popular but there are many other interesting features of the park including the beautiful subalpine forest.
Hverir, geothermal region, northeast Iceland
Iceland is a haven for surreal landscapes, one of which is the Hverir – a geothermal field to the east of Reykjahlid. The area is fairly active, with mud pots and sulphurous puddles bubbling and steaming away. A photographers dream, you will also see boiling springs, fumaroles and vents.
Sossusvlei red dunes, Namibia
While this incredible area can be quite a journey to get to, they are easily one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Namibia. The huge striking red dunes Sossusvlei can be found in The Namib Desert – one of the oldest deserts in the world.
Eaglehawk Neck, Tasmania
Australia is home to many beautifully surreal landscapes with the Red Centre probably being the most famous. Eaglehawk Neck – a narrow isthmus connecting the Tasman Peninsula to mainland Tasmania – is much less well known. This rugged area is home to several unusual landscapes including the Tessellated Pavement, an area of flat rock naturally formed by erosion.
Timanfaya National Park – Lanzarote
You probably won’t get a more ‘Martian-esque’ landscape than the Timanfaya National Park. The Fire Mountains (Montañas del Fuego) were created during the 18th century when more than 100 volcanoes erupted. The beautiful remains were declared a national park and are a popular tourist attraction.
Travellers flock to Ladakh from all corners of the globe. This interesting trans-Himalayan district of Jammu and Kashmir has now become a favourite of both adventure freaks and culture enthusiasts. It’s also home to some very interesting landscapes one of which is this green uneven area close to Tso Moriri lake.
The Cenotes (literally meaning sinkholes) of the Yucatan peninsula are located just south of the holiday resort favourite Cancun. The entire Yucatan peninsula was once a reef beneath the ocean, then the water receded causing the sea life to be fossilised into the walls of deep holes. This formed a huge subterranean universe of large caverns, karst tunnels and sink holes-some even up to hundreds of feet deep. The area is really popular for swimming, snorkelling and experienced diving.
Written by guest author Andy Young. Andy is originally from New York but has been travelling the world for the last two years, he loves seeking new adventure and his favourite travel destinations are Mexico and South America.