Tripadvisor has again announced the winners in the travel world, this time for the year 2014. Among the categories were ’20 surreal places you need to see to believe’. And they really are as surreal and extraordinary as can be. Let yourself be mesmerized by the beautiful images as you scroll down…
20 surreal places in the world
The White Desert, el-Sahara el-Beida, is a national park in Egypt. A chalk-white landscape with alien shapes and boulders of brilliant white. The clear light of noon, the shimmering gold at sunset or the blackened light of a cloud-filled sky all makes the desert an extraordinary place. Many of the formations have names, such as ‘monoliths’ and ‘mushrooms’, ‘ice cream cones’, ‘tents’ and ‘crickets’. Go for an overnight camping safari to experience both the sunset and the sunrise.
Cano Cristales is often named the ‘river of colours’ or the most beautiful river in the world. Though most of the year the river is just a dull green as most other rivers, though for a brief period every year the river flowers blossom in the most beatiful colours. Only between the change from the wet season to the dry season when the conditions in the water is at its right, can one see this magnificent palet of colours.
The Wave is a sandstone rock formation, very famous among hikers and photograpers for its colorful, undulating forms, and the rugged, trackless hike required to reach it. Though to be able to see this spectacular sight you have to be the lucky holder of one of the only ten daily permits, but if you get one, you’ll have a memory for life.
Capillas de Marmol
Aisen Region, Chile
Marble Caverns on Lago General Carrera is a must do/see when travelling in southern Chile. Swirling blue and white patterns stretches across three caves on the lake. Thousands of years of erosion has made the caves what they are today. Sunrise is the absolute best time to visit the caves as the light is mesmerizing at this hour
Grand Prismatic Spring
The Grand Prismatic Spring is located in the Yellowstone National Park and is the largest hot spring in the US. The name comes from the colours of the spring. The spring is approximately 80 by 90 m in size and is 50 m deep. The spring discharges an estimated 2,100 L of 70 °C water per minute. The spring was first found by European explorers in 1839.
Badlands National Park
South Dakota, US
Millions of years of water, wind and erosion has created what is today Badlands National Park, jagged buttes, chiseled spires and deep canyons are only some of the structures to be seen in the park.
Huanglong Scenic Valley
This Huanglong area is known for its colorful pools formed by calcite deposits, ‘fairy land’ and ‘world wonder’ are names popularly given to the area. The numerous ponds scattered around the valley comes in many different shapes and sizes. The name itself means the yellow dragon valley.
“Door to Hell” Gas Deposit
The Door to Hell is a natural gas deposit found in Karakum Desert, it is a collapsed drilling crater measuring 70 m across and 20 m deep. There is a strong smell of sulfate a large area around the crater. Turkmenistan has the fourth-largest reserve of natural gas in the world, and currently produces 75 billion cubic meters each year.
Antofagasta Region, Chile
The Atacama Desert covers a 120 000 square kilometres area in South America. Most of the desert is composed of stony terrain, salt lakes (salares),sand, and felsic lava flows towards the Andes. The desert is the driest in the world and in some parts of it there has been no rain for over 400 years. Today more than a million people live in the desert.
Vale da Lua
State of Goias, Brazil
Vale da Lua, Valley of the Moon, has its name due to the smooth rocks formed by river and ancient lava flow. It is a place almost like a waterpark created by nature with pools, natural water slides and cascades.
The Great Blue Hole
Ambergris Caye, Belize
The Great Blue Hole is a large submarine sinkhole outside Belize. It is more than 300 m across and 124 m deep. The hole is a popular stop for the scuba divers with crystal-clear waters and various species of fish.
Pamukkale Thermal Pools
Pamukkale Thermal Pools is a natural mineral spa, due to its hot calciumladen watersprings. It is named the Cotten Fortress, and has been a spa since the Romans built it.
Khomas Region, Namibia
Sossusvles is a salt and clay pan surrounded by red dunes, located in the Namib Desert. The name means ‘dead-end march’, and is one of the biggest attractions in Namibia. While the pan has been shaped over time by the Tsauchab river, the actual flooding of the pan is a relatively rare event, and sometimes several years pass between one flood and the next one. The river is dry most of the year, and even when it is not, it carries relatively little water to the vlei.
Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland
Rotorua, New Zealand
Wai-o-tapu, sacred water, is the most colourful volcanic area in New Zealand. The area has man hotsprings noted for their colourful appearance. The area has been protected since 1931.
The Pinnacles are limestone formations in the Nambung National Park. The area was unknown to most Australians until 1960, but receives today more than 250 000 visitors every year. August to October is the time to go, when the days are mild and the flowers start to blossom.
Mono Lake is a large shallow saline soda lake, formed more than 760 000 years ago. There is a very productive ecosystem in the lake, mainly based on the brine shrimps.
Bohol Island, Philippines
The Chocolate Hills might be as many as 1776 hills spread over an area of 50 square kilometres. The name comes from the green grass that covers them, and which turn brown in the dry season. The hills are featrured in the provincial flag and symbolize the natural attractions of the region.
Northern Ireland, UK
The Giant’s Causeway is the world famous 40 000 basalt columns found in Northern Ireland. Most of the columns are hexagonal, although there are also some with four, five, seven or eight sides. The tallest are about 12 metres high, and the solidified lava in the cliffs is 28 metres thick in places.