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17 unforgettable travel destinations to choose from
May 14, 2017, 4:18 pm
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When it comes to traveling the globe, life is short. There is an endless sea of sights to see and experiences to immerse yourself in, so narrowing down your bucket list is no easy feat. Here is a list of some of the top sites and activities you can add to your bucket list.
 
 
See the northern lights: The northern lights are one of nature's great displays: a mysterious, multicolored show in which the night sky is suddenly lit up with a wondrous glow that twists and swirls like a heavenly lava lamp. It occurs most commonly in the Arctic region, and in recent years the chance of enjoying the spectacle has become a prime reason to fly north for a winter break, despite the often high costs and the cold.
 
Visit the Galápagos Islands: The Galápagos is probably the most famous wildlife-watching destination in the world. This remote archipelago is a land of stark lava formations, cactus forests, lush green highlands, turquoise bays and quintessential tropical beaches. Within minutes of landing on this dot in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, you can be face-to-face with more strangely fearless and curious animals than anywhere else on Earth.
 
 
Visit the Amazon: The Amazon is a 4,400-mile river with thousands of tributaries. It is a 2,600,000-square mile basin, draining rivers and streams in eight countries, as well as French Guiana. Its broadleaved forest is the largest on the planet and its biome - the forest combined with the savannah, floodplains and rivers - is a region of immense diversity, sheltering more than 30,000 plant species, 1,800 fish, 1,300 bird species, 311 mammals and 165 types of amphibian.
 
Marvel at the Taj Mahal: A first visit to Agra could easily trigger an attack of Agra-phobia. With its notorious sprawl and congestion, this north Indian city has, on the face of it, little to lure visitors...apart from what is arguably the world's most famous building.
 
 
Trek through the Himalayas: Home to the highest peaks on the planet, the Himalayas begin in Pakistan stretching across India, Bhutan and Nepal until reaching China in the east. This is a majestic landscape of mountains, deep valleys and glaciers, dominated by Mount Everest at 8,848m above sea level. The country most closely identified with the Himalayas is Nepal, home to eight of the world's 10 highest peaks, including Everest.
 
 
Visit the Grand Canyon: The Grand Canyon's immensity, sheer intensity of light and shadow at sunrise or sunset, even its very age, scream for superlatives. At about two billion years old, the layer of Vishnu Schist at the bottom of the canyon is some of the oldest exposed rock on the planet. The three rims of the Grand Canyon – South, North and West – offer quite different experiences and, as they lie hundreds of miles and hours of driving apart, are rarely visited on the same trip. 
 
See America from its greatest river: From its source up in Minnesota, Mississippi river flows south for 3,700km to the Gulf of Mexico, touching 10 states and acting as a drainage basin for 41 percent of the land mass of the contiguous US. The Mississippi is great because so much of America’s history and culture has been lapped by its muddy waters. The river was the lifeblood of American Indian life and the starting point for the westward expansion at the beginning of the 19th century that gave birth to the modern US.
 
 
Dive the Great Barrier Reef: The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is a place that generates superlatives - but instantly transcends them. Rated as one of the seven wonders of the natural world, it stretches for 2,300 kilometres (1,430 miles) along the Queensland coast - from Bundaberg to the Torres Strait. In addition to being the world's largest coral reef ecosystem, this World Heritage Site is also the planet's largest protected marine area, supporting 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish and 4,000 types of mollusc.
 
 
Set foot on Antarctica: Accessible only from November to March, Antarctica has no towns, no villages, no habitation bar the odd research station or expedition hut; just grand, icy, unpredictable wilderness. Even if you are travelling there on a cruise ship, as most people do, the solitude and the emptiness will envelop you and bring you down to scale.
 
 
Walk the Great Wall of China: The Great Wall is far more than a triumph of engineering. It is a direct link with the legendary emperors of China's past, and seems to embody our sense of China as a nation separate from the rest of the world. To see the wall - made from brick, stone, tamped earth and wood - snaking away over the parched mountainsides of northern China - is to imagine more than two millennia of cultural isolation and political resistance.
 
 
See the landscapes and wildlife of Namibia: Of all the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, Namibia is arguably the most comprehensively tourist-friendly. Not only does it have exceptional wildlife - including a quarter of the world's cheetahs and the last free-ranging population of black rhino - and a well-developed network of parks, reserves and safari lodges, but the landscapes of its coastline and deserts are some of the most photographed and gasped over in the world, meriting a visit in their own right.
 
Take a trip to the Arctic: The Arctic remains one of the world's uncharted regions, for reasons which are obvious: in winter the pack ice is more than 10ft thick and covers a vast expanse of sea, and even in summer huge slabs and bergs are constantly drifting. This constitutes a formidable obstacle even to nuclear icebreakers. But the Arctic Ocean, the smallest and shallowest of the Earth's oceans, is rich in marine and bird life. The polar bear and the melting ice are central to the narrative of global warming that dominates our times - to see these for yourself will add to your knowledge and heighten your awareness of what is at stake.
 
 
See one of the driest places on Earth: Other than the poles, Chile’s Atacama Desert is the driest place on Earth. As a result, it is almost entirely without greenery, shade, cities or pollution. For landscape photographers – and idle dreamers – the setting is inspiring, with wind-sculpted canyons and salt lakes providing a backdrop that looks Martian. Atacama is also one of the world’s foremost stargazing centres, with three major international observatories taking advantage of its clean air and huge night skies.
 
Discover paradise in French Polynesia: It might be the intense blue of a bewitchingly tranquil lagoon, or a night sky filled with South Pacific stars. Maybe a silhouette of volcanic peaks dramatically lit by a tangerine sunset, or a lunch of poisson cru (raw fish marinated in coconut milk) under the palms to a backing track of lilting Polynesian tunes. Sooner or later, every visitor to these tropical islands has to concede that yes, this really is paradise.
 
Soak up the majesty of South Island: Scenic roads, well-marked trails and peaceful cruises, combined with the pellucid waters and the temperate rainforests that cling desperately to steep mountains make this place a wonderful place to hike, bike, paddle, sail, fly or take photographs.
 
Visit a lost city: Jordan has only been painted on to the global atlas since 1921, but every empire that has risen in the Middle East has, at some point, coveted and conquered the land east of the River Jordan and the Dead Sea which makes up the modern Jordanian state.

 

 

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