With their near vertical drop and gorgeous scenery, cliffs have attracted travelers and adrenaline seekers for hundreds of years. Here is a list of some of the most spectacular cliffs in the world.

Spectacular Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

spectacular cliffs img source

The Cliffs of Moher are amongst the most impressive coastlines in the world, and are widely considered to be one of Ireland’s top tourist attractions, drawing almost one million visitors each year. The spectacular cliffs rise 120 meters (394 ft) above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag’s Head, and reach their maximum height of 214 meters (702 ft) just north of O’Brien’s Tower, eight kilometers away.

The Twelve Apostles, Australia

spectacular cliffs img source

The Twelve Apostles is a collection of limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park, by the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia. Their proximity to one another has made the site a popular tourist attraction. Currently there are eight apostles left but the name remains significant and spectacular especially in the Australian tourism industry.

Trango Towers, Pakistan

trango towers img source

The Trango Towers is family of world tallest rock towers located in the north of Baltoro Glacier, in Baltistan, a region of the Gilgit-Baltistan territory in northern Pakistan. Every year, a number of expeditions from all over the world visit Karakoram to climb the most challenging granite cliffs. The Towers offer some of the largest cliffs and most challenging rock climbing in the world. The highest point in the group is the summit of Great Trango Tower at 6,286 m (20,608 ft). The east face of the Great Trango Tower features the world’s greatest nearly vertical drop.

Preikestolen, Norway

preikestolen img source

Preikestolen or the (pulpit rock) is a mountain formed like a huge pulpit towering over the Lysefjord in Rogaland, Fjord Norway. It consists of a steep cliff which rises 604 metres (1982 feet) above Lysefjorden, with an almost flat top of approximately 25 by 25 metres (82 by 82 feet). Preikestolen is a growing tourist attraction, only accessible via a 3.8 km (2.4 mi.) hike.

Etretat, France

Etretat img source

Étretat is a small coastal village best known for its spectacular cliffs, including a famous natural arch. The spectacular sea cliffs and the associated resort beach attracted famous artists including Gustave Courbet and Claude Monet. The pebbled beach, sparked with quartz geodes, is wrapped in dramatic cliffs eroded into giant formations and offshore needles. Two of the arches can be seen from the town, a third requires a walk at low tide.

Kalaupapa Cliffs, Hawaii

Kalaupapa Cliffs img source

According to the Guinness Book of Records, these are the world’s highest sea cliffs—a 3,900-foot plunge from the top to seaside Kalaupapa village. The village is the site of a former leper colony. Views of these spectacular cliffs are featured in the movie Jurassic Park III. Because of the steep cliffs and surrounding ocean, Kalaupapa cannot be reached by car and visitors are transported by trail descending along the cliffs to Kalaupapa.

Drakensberg Amphitheatre, South Africa

drakensberg amphitheatre img source

Drakensberg Amphitheatre is widely regarded as one of the most spectacular cliffs on earth. They are part of the Royal Natal National Park. The Amphitheatre is over 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) in length and has precipitous cliffs rising approximately 1,220 metres (4,000 ft) along its entire length. The cliff face of the Amphitheatre is roughly three times the size of the total combined area of all the cliff faces in Yosemite’s famous El Capitan. Drakensberg Amphitheatre features a beautiful hiking trail to the top and Tugela Falls, the world’s second tallest falls, plunge over 948 metres (3,100 ft)from the Drakensberg Amphitheatre’s cliff tops.

Acantilados de Los Gigantes, Spain

spectacular cliffs img source

Created by an ancient volcano, Acantilados de los Gigantes or (the Cliffs of the Giants) tower 500 metres (1,500 feet) above the western shore of Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Narrow trails meander along the basalt cliff tops and down Barranco Seco to a secluded beach at the feet of the giants.

Auyán-tepui, Venezuela

auyan tepui img source

It is the most visited and one of the largest (but not the highest) tepuis in the Guiana Highlands. It features Angel Falls, the tallest waterfall in the world, drops from a cleft near the summit. The falls are 979 meters (3,212 ft) high, with an uninterrupted descent of 807 meters (2,648 ft) — a drop nineteen times higher than that of Niagara Falls.

White Cliffs of Dover, England

spectacular cliffs img source

A towering symbol of Britain’s physical and emotional detachment from the rest of Europe, these spectacular cliffs wrap around the southeast coast between Dover and Deal, facing toward France 20 miles across the English Channel. The striking color of the 350-foot-high cliffs derives from white chalk streaked with black flint.

Vermilion Cliffs, Arizona USA

spectacular cliffs img source

The Vermilion Cliffs are made up of deposited silt and desert dunes, cemented by infiltrated carbonates and intensely colored by red iron oxide and other minerals, particularly bluish manganese. They are in the physiographic High Plateaus Section and Canyon Lands Section of the Colorado Plateau Province. The USA has some of the most spectacular cliff formations and areas of natural beauty in the world, so check out these USA travel tips to see what else you could find if you’re planning on visiting.

Cliffs of Eysturoy, Faroe Islands

cliffs of eysturoy img source

Cliffs of Eysturoy look like something out of an epic fantasy movie like “Lord of the Rings”. Cliffs of Eysturoy are located on the second biggest Faroe Island and feature some amazing scenery and waterfall.

El Capitan, California USA

spectacular cliffs img source

El Capitan is a vertical rock formation in Yosemite National Park, located on the north side of Yosemite Valley, near its western end.

The granite monolith extends about 3,000 feet (900 m) from base to summit along its tallest face, and is one of the world’s favorite challenges for rock climbers and BASE jumpers.

Cabo Girao, Portugal

cabo girao img source

Cabo Girão is a lofty sea cliff located along the southern coast of the island of Madeira, in the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira. Cabo Girão is a popular lookout point, especially after a glass-floored viewing platform was installed in October 2012. The location is a popular starting point for hikers.

If you know of any other spectacular cliffs, please let us know in the comments below.

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There’s nothing like a road trip to really experience a country. From coastal highways and dizzying mountain passes, to scenic roads through national parks and bridges over great spans of water; roads are the circulatory system that connects a country. After an extensive search online, the Sifter has compiled a list of some of the most beautiful, challenging and unforgettable roads in the world. We will warn you that some of these roads are dangerous so there is a risk of getting into a car accident. If this happens to you while on a road trip, you may need to contact a Manning car accident attorney to seek compensation.

While hardly exhaustive, this list should provide great inspiration for those planning an upcoming trip. Please feel free to share any additional roads in the comments.

1. Highway 1, Big Sur, California


California is one of the most popular states for a road trip. Its vast, sweeping beauty being taken in by thousands of people every month. Its popularity may cause you to want to take a road trip there and if you do, make sure you pay the Big Sur a visit. Your journey may not be entirely plain sailing though because, with so many people unfamiliar with the roads, lots of accidents occur every year. Keep an eye out for any Car accident news that may impede your progress through the state – it’ll help make your trip as seamless as possible.

State Route 1 (SR 1) is a major north-south state highway that runs along most of the Pacific coastline of the U.S. state of California. The highway is famous for running along some of the most beautiful coastlines in the USA, leading to its designation as an All-American Road.

Highway 1 enters the Big Sur region crossing the San Carpoforo Creek just south of the Monterey County line. For about 90 miles (140 km) from the San Carpoforo Creek to the Carmel River, the road winds and hugs the cliffs of Big Sur, passing various coastal parks in the area. The road also briefly leaves the coast for a few miles and goes through a redwood forest in the Big Sur River valley. This segment of the highway, built between 1919 and 1937, also crosses several historic bridges, including the scenic Bixby Creek Bridge shown above. [Source]

2. Furka Pass, Switzerland


Photograph by Cooper.ch

Furka Pass (el. 2429 m.) is a high mountain pass in the Swiss Alps connecting Gletsch, Valais with Realp, Uri. The Furka Pass was used as a location in the James Bond filmGoldfinger. [Source]

3. The Atlantic Road, Norway

scenic roads

Photograph via KULfoto.com

The drunk bridge / Il ponte ubriaco

Photograph by Giorgio Ghezzi

Opened on July 7, 1989, the Atlantic Road is a National Tourist Route and was honoured as Norway’s Construction of the Century in 2005. The Atlantic is an 8.3 kilometer (5.2 miles) section of Country Road 64 which runs between the towns of Kristiansund and Molde, the two main population centres in the county of More og Romsdal in Fjord, Norway. The road is built on several small islands and skerries, which are connected by several causeways, viaducts and eight bridges.

4. White Rim Road, Canyonlands National Park, Utah


The 100-mile White Rim Road loops around and below the Island mesa top and provides expansive views of the surrounding area. Trips usually take two to three days by four-wheel-drive vehicle or three to four days by mountain bike. All vehicles and bikes must remain on roads. ATVs and non-street legal dirt bikes are not permitted. Pets are also not permitted, even in vehicles.

Under favorable weather conditions, the White Rim Road is considered moderately difficult for high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicles. The steep, exposed sections of the Shafer Trail, Lathrop Canyon Road, Murphy’s Hogback, Hardscrabble Hill, and the Mineral Bottom switchbacks make the White Rim loop a challenging mountain bike ride, and require extreme caution for both vehicles and bikes during periods of inclement weather. [Source]

5. Tianmen Mountain Road, Hunan, China

Tianmen Mountain National Geopark winding mountain road_3

Photograph by About Tiger on Flickr

Road to Tianmen mountain

Photograph by Peter Cheung

Tianmen Mountain is a mountain located within Tianmen Mountain National Park, Zhangjiajie, in northwestern Hunan Province, China. A cable car operates from nearby Zhangjiajie railway station to the top of the mountain. It features 98 cars and a total length of 7,455 meters and an ascent of 1,279 meters. The highest gradient is an unusual 37 degrees. There is also an 11 km road with 99 bends that reaches the top of the mountain and takes visitors to Tianmen cave, a natural hole in the mountain at a height of 131.5 meters. [Source]

6. Seven Mile Bridge, Florida Keys


The Seven Mile Bridge is a famous bridge in the Florida Keys, in Monroe County, Florida, United States. It connects Knight’s Key (part of the city of Marathon, Florida) in the Middle Keys to Little Duck Key in the Lower Keys. Among the longest bridges in existence when it was built, it is one of the many bridges on US 1 in the Keys, where the road is called the Overseas Highway. [Source]

Speaking of which my friend recently had an accident along this road. He decided that it was important to have a Personal injury law firm in Beaufort, SC or similar to legally support him. In the end, he found a lawyer that was a tremendous help to my friend with his case. He got the settlement he deserved in the end.

7. Chapman’s Peak Drive, Cape Town, South Africa

Chapman's Peak Drive

Photograph by Ismail Omar

Chapman’s Peak Drive winds it way between Noordhoek and Hout Bay on the Atlantic Coast of the south-western tip of South Africa. The 9km route, with its 114 curves, skirts the rocky coastline of Chapman’s Peak (593m). The drive is affectionately known as “Chappies” and offers stunning 180° views with many areas along the route where you can stop and take in the exquisite scenery. [Source]

8. Stelvio Pass, Eastern Alps, Italy


The Stelvio Pass, located in Italy, at 2757 m (9045 feet) is the highest paved mountain pass in the Eastern Alps, and the second highest in the Alps, slightly below the Col de l’Iseran (2770 m, 9088 feet). Stelvio was also picked by the British automotive show Top Gear as its choice for the “greatest driving road in the world”, although their search was concentrated only in Europe. This conclusion was reached after the team went in search of a road that would satisfy every “petrolhead’s” driving fantasies in the premiere of the show’s 10th season. Top Gear later decided that the Transf?g?r??an Highway in Romania was possibly a superior driving road. [Source]

9. Col de Turini, France


The Col de Turini (el. 1607 m) is a high mountain pass in the Alps in the department of Alpes-Maritimes in France. It lies near Sospel, between the communes of Moulinet and La Bollène-Vésubie in the Arrondissement of Nice. Anyone interested in Motorcycling in France should definitely pay Col de Turini a visit, as long as they like hairpin corners on a cliff. The road is famous for a stage of the Monte Carlo Rally which is held on the tight scenic roads with its many hairpin turns. The Col de Turini has also featured three times in the Tour de France (1948, 1950 and 1975) averaging 7.2% over 15.3 km when approached from the East starting at the valley of the river Vésubie. [Source]

10. Guoliang Tunnel Road, China


Photograph via Blog-O-Rama

The Guoliang Tunnel is carved along the side of and through a mountain in China. The tunnel is located in the Taihang Mountains which are situated in the Henan Province of China. If you want to get there, you should start your trip in Xinxiang. Leave the city by driving north on Huanyu Avenue (the S229). After 13 miles you’ll enter the town of Huixian. Stay on the S229 for 15 miles more until you reach the junction with the S228. Turn left here and keep following the S229. After 8 miles you reach the village of Nanzhaizen. Turn left again and follow directions to Guoliang, 8 miles further. [Source]

11. Denali Highway, Alaska

Denali Highway

Photograph by Tom Roche

Denali Highway (Alaska Route 8) is a lightly traveled, mostly gravel highway in the U.S. state of Alaska. It leads from Paxson on the Richardson Highway to Cantwell on the Parks Highway. Opened in 1957, it was the first road access to Denali National Park (then known as Mount McKinley National Park). The Denali is 135 miles (217 km) in length. [Source]

12. Karakoram Highway, China/Pakistan

flight to Gilgit 22

Photograph by bjapuri (Ed Sentner)

The Karakoram Highway (KKH) is the highest paved international road in the world. It connects China and Pakistan across the Karakoram mountain range, through the Khunjerab Pass, at an elevation of 4,693 m/15,397 ft. It connects China’s Xinjiang region with Pakistan’s Gilgit–Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa regions and also serves as a popular tourist attraction. Due to its high elevation and the difficult conditions in which it was constructed, it is also referred to as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” The Karakorum Highway is known informally as the KKH, and – within Pakistan – officially as the N-35; within China, officially as China National Highway 314 (G314). [Source]

13. Great Ocean Road, Australia


The Great Ocean Road is an Australian National Heritage listed 243-kilometre (151 mi) stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Warrnambool. The road was built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932, and is the world’s largest war memorial; dedicated to casualties of World War I. It is an important tourist attraction in the region, which winds through varying terrain alongside the coast, and provides access to several prominent landmarks; including the nationally significant Twelve Apostles limestone stack formations. [Source]

14. Sani Pass, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

sani pass kwazulu-natal province south africa

Sani Pass is located in the western end of KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa on the road between Underberg and Mokhotlong, Lesotho. Sani Pass is a notoriously dangerous road that requires the use of a 4×4 vehicle. The pass is approximately 9 km in length and requires above average driving experience. While South African immigration at the bottom of the pass prohibits vehicles deemed unsuitable for the journey, the Lesotho border agents at the top generally allow vehicles of all types to attempt the descent. Border between the two countries closes at 4:00 pm every day and the Pass is often closed due to weather conditions, especially during winter. [Source]

15. Ruta 40, Argentina

Ruta 40

National Route 40 or RN40 (often called Ruta 40), is a route in western Argentina, stretching from Cabo Virgenes in Santa Cruz Province in the south to La Quiaca in Jujuy Province in the north, running parallel to the Andes mountains. The southern part of the route, a largely paved road through sparsely populated territory, has become a well-known adventure tourism journey.

Route 40 is the longest route in Argentina and one of the largest in the world (along with the U.S. Route 66 and the Stuart Highway in Australia. It is more than 5,000 km (3,107 mi) long and crosses 20 national parks, 18 major rivers, 27 passes on the Andes, and goes up to 5,000 m (16,404 ft) above sea level in Abra del Acay in Salta. [Source]

16. Going-to-the-Sun-Road, Glacier National Park, Montana

Going-to-the-Sun Road

Photograph by at38000feet on Flickr

Going-to-the-Sun Road was completed in 1932 and is a spectacular 50 mile, paved two-lane highway that bisects Glacier National Park east and west. It spans the width of the Park, crossing the Continental Divide at 6,646-foot-high Logan Pass. It passes through almost every type of terrain in the park, from large glacial lakes and cedar forests in the lower valleys to windswept alpine tundra atop the pass. Scenic viewpoints and pullouts line the road. In 1983 Going-To-The-Sun Road was included in the National Register of Historic Places and in 1985 was made a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. [Source]

17. Dadès Gorges, High Atlas, Morocco


Photograph by Rosino

Carved over the centuries by the Dades River, the Dades Gorge is now a very popular destination for travellers in Morocco. Travellers in 4WD (with a guide) can follow a mountain loop (at certain times of the year), following Dades Gorge as far north as Agoudal, then turning south to head for Todra Gorge. It can be accessed from the small town of Boumaine which lies 116 km northeast of Ouarzazate and 53 km from Tinerhir. A sealed road runs for 63 km through the Gorge as far as Msemrir, after that 4WD is necessary. The best time to visit the lower valleys is from March to May and the mountains are best from May to July. [Source]

18. U.S. Route 550 ‘The Million Dollar Highway, Colorado


Photograph by flamouroux on Flickr

U.S. Route 550 is a spur of U.S. Highway 50 that runs from Bernalillo, New Mexico to Montrose, Colorado in the western United States. The section from Silverton to Ouray is frequently called the Million Dollar Highway. The Million Dollar Highway stretches for about 25 miles (40 km) in western Colorado and follows the route of U.S. 550 between Silverton and Ouray, Colorado. It is part of the San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway. Between Durango and Silverton the Skyway loosely parallels the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.

Though the entire stretch has been called the Million Dollar Highway, it is really the twelve miles (19 km) south of Ouray through the Uncompahgre Gorge to the summit of Red Mountain Pass which gains the highway its name. This stretch through the gorge is challenging and potentially hazardous to drive; it is characterized by steep cliffs, narrow lanes, and a lack of guardrails; the ascent of Red Mountain Pass is marked with a number of hairpin curves used to gain elevation, and again, narrow lanes for traffic-many cut directly into the sides of mountains. [Source]

19. Trollstigen, Rauma, Norway


Trollstigen (English: Trolls’ Ladder) is a serpentine mountain road in Rauma, Norway, part of Norwegian National Road 63 connecting Åndalsnes in Rauma and Valldal in Norddal. It is a popular tourist attraction due to its steep incline of 9% and eleven hairpin bends up a steep mountain side. Trollstigen was opened on July 31, 1936, by King Haakon VII after 8 years of construction. During the top tourist season about 2,500 vehicles pass daily.

The road is narrow with many sharp bends, and although several bends have been widened during the years 2005 to 2012, vehicles over 12.4 metres long are prohibited from driving the road. At the 700 metres plateau there is a car park and several viewing balconies overlooking the bends and the Stigfossen waterfall. Trollstigen is closed during autumn and winter. A normal opening season stretches from mid-May to October, but may sometimes be shorter or longer due to changes in the weather conditions. [Source]

20. The Amalfi Coast, Italy


Photograph by Wade 48 on Flickr

The Amalfi Coast is widely considered Italy’s most scenic stretch of coastline, a landscape of towering bluffs, pastel-hued villages terraced into hillsides, scenic roads, luxuriant gardens, and expansive vistas over turquoise waters and green-swathed mountains. Deemed by UNESCO “an outstanding example of a Mediterranean landscape,” the coast was awarded a coveted spot on the World Heritage list in 1997. The Amalfi Coast lies along the southern flanks of the Sorrento Peninsula, a cliff-edged promontory that wanders out from the mainland at the southern end of the Bay of Naples. [Source]

21. Transf?g?r??an, Romania

Transfagarasan road romania

Photograph by Horia Varlan

The Transf?g?r??an or DN7C is the second-highest paved road in Romania. Built as a strategic military route, the 90 km of twists and turns run north to south across the tallest sections of the Southern Carpathians, between the highest peak in the country, Moldoveanu, and the second highest, Negoiu. The road connects the historic regions of Transylvania and Wallachia, and the cities of Sibiu and Pite?ti.

The road climbs to 2,034 metres altitude. The most spectacular route is from the North. It is a winding road, dotted with steep hairpin turns, long S-curves, and sharp descents. Top Gear host, Jeremy Clarkson, had said about Transf?g?r??an that, “this is the best road… in the world” – a title the program’s presenters had previously given to the Stelvio Pass in Italy. [Source]

This article originally appeared on: TwisterSifter.com

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In a world of tourist traps, letdowns, overrated destinations and just plain crowds, it’s no wonder we’ve become victims of some major travel burnout.

It’s time to freshen your bucket list with the planet’s rising destinations that are more than ahead of the tacky tourist curve. Visit these rising stars now, and one day you’ll proudly say, “I knew them when…”

José Ignacio, Uruguay
la huella jose ignacio
Only about 300 people actually live here, but in winter (aka South American summer), José Ignacio is clogged with Latin A-listers like Shakira. A new luxury hotel,Bahia Vik, is in the process of opening this spring, and José Ignacio is gearing up to host an international art fair. For at least a while longer, though, you can cruise artsy bohemian boutiques and enjoy savory steaks at La Huella in (relatively) paparazzi-free peace.

Koh Rong, Cambodia
koh rong
Visiting this Cambodian island is like stepping into a screensaver. With only a few bungalows, some killer snorkeling, and fishing villages (there are no roads!), many sayit’s like Thailand was 20 years ago, before tourists trampled the untouched beaches.Ferries started regularly shuttling tourists to Koh Rong only a few years ago, but things are still pretty quiet… until someone figures out how to build an airport, that is.

Soon, someone will realize Bangladesh has the world’s longest uninterrupted natural beach. Though it remains largely unknown to travelers (British ones, at least), the country offers a wonderland of islands, villages, mosques, jungles and mangrove forests. Hop a flight on one of the many major airlines who fly there, and take a river cruise once you’re there (just steer clear of demonstrations and “political gatherings,” as the State Department advises).

Sofia, Bulgaria
Price of Travel named Sofia Europe’s cheapest tourist city for 2014. We’re sure Bulgaria’s capital won’t stay a secret much longer: it’s super walkable and has a young, cosmopolitan vibe mixed with ornate churches, outdoor markets, and Ottoman architecture.

Ambergris Caye, Belize
Belize is set to become Central America’s newest hotspot, and if so, Ambergris Caye will be its crowning destination. TripAdvisor named Ambergris a “Destination on the Rise” last year, probably because tourists are catching on to the immense diving potential of the Great Blue Hole.

shwedagon paya
Myanmar’s tourism industry is “red-hot:” just about 300,000 people visited the country in 2010, but three years later, that number had ballooned to over 2 million tourists. Before prices catch up with you, go ride a boat on Inle Lake, explore a dark cave pagoda, and catch the sunset reflecting off Shwedagon Paya.

Roatán, Honduras
Roatán doesn’t top every beach lover’s list of Caribbean islands, but that’s just because they haven’t heard of it yet. Cruise ships only started stopping here in 2005 (some lines have seen criminal incidents lately, and the State Department warns visitors to exercise caution in the country, even though group tours are typically a safer setting). Undeterred, divers come to Roatán for perfect reefs 35 miles from the coastline. You can take day trips to various keys, where you’ll very likely be the only human on a tiny patch of sand. Flights to Roatán aren’t incredibly frequent, but they’re easy. Snag one to this rising destinations before the secret’s out.

Riga, Latvia
Latvia is Europe’s best kept secret, but all could change now that Riga has been named a European Capital of Culture for 2014. The city also ranked as one of Europe’s cheapest destinations for backpackers this year, with an average cost of just $33/day for food, lodging, transportation and entertainment. Hurry up and peruse Old Riga,ascend St. Peter’s tower, and get fancy at the Latvian National Opera.

Puglia, Italy
puglia italy
With foodie travel on the rise, Puglia (“Apulia” to the English-speaking set) is going to become a household name. In the heel of Italy’s boot, the Mediterranean diet takes one of its purest and most delicious forms:food (think olive oil, artichokes, and salami) is locally sourced and restaurants are quaint yet high-quality. There are plenty of holiday homes around in Italy so you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation too! Did we mention most of this happens beachside?

Zambia and Zimbabwe
victoria falls
Ok, so a place as beautiful as Victoria Falls can’t not be famous already. But the nearest airport has been recently expanded, giving thousands of international travelers easier access to this natural wonder on the border of two countries. Not far away is Hwange National Park, with a “ridiculous amount of wildlife” including one of the largest elephant populations in the world (well over 30,000).

York, United Kingdom
york minster
Aside from charmingly old-school pubs, cafes, and tea rooms (some are built into 16th-century houses!), York proudly displays one of the biggest Gothic cathedrals in Europe. The Tour de France will be stopping through this summer, inevitably turning people on to the magic of this historic little city.

Busan, South Korea
busan temple
When they get sick of Seoul, tourists will likely venture to Busan, where majestic temples abound. This “Destination on the Rise” also boasts an impressive art museum, an outdoor bird sanctuary, and a fish market with scrumptious live squid. When Samkwang Temple lights up around Buddha’s birthday, all bets are off.

Manila, Philippines
Traffic and poverty are present, but that doesn’t mean you should shy away from Manila’s “beautiful chaos.” You can even get one of these cruises to or from Manila to see it that way if you’d prefer to avoid the chaos. According to cost analyses, the average price of a nice three-course meal in Manila is just $18, compared to about $95 in some other big cities. It wouldn’t be surprising if backpackers get tired of Thailand and start hitting the Philippines soon–catch Manila’s art galleries, rich home cooking and shoe museum (complete with Imelda’s footwear, and located just outside Manila proper) while you can.

Phu Quoc, Vietnam
phu quoc
This Vietnamese island is the perfect antidote to busy Ha Long Bay, where backpackers rally to ride boats, see the scenery, and, well, drink a LOT. If you’re looking to celebrate nature in a more subdued environment, Phu Quoc is where you’ll rent a motorbike and weave the red dirt roads before dipping in the uncrowded ocean. Almost everybody agrees Phu Quoc is primed to become Vietnam’s next hot destination, but it’s still “largely underdeveloped.”

With a new title as Lonely Planet’s top country to visit in 2015, Singapore has been exposed as a stellar destination. You might never guess the industrial island was home to stunning gardens and one of the world’s highest man-made waterfalls, not to mention some super-luxe hotels. At 57 stories above the city, the infinity pool in the Marina Bay Sands SkyPark is bound to become every backpacker’s favorite checkpoint.

Kep, Cambodia
It’s teetering on the edge of a tourism breakthrough (there are still remnants of its1920s boom), but right now Kep is more than authentic enough to enjoy. Seafood lovers should make the trip just for the beachfront crab market, where seafood is sold straight out of the ocean then perfectly plated at rustic restaurants on stilts.

The Salinas Grandes, Argentina
Deep in the desert, you might think this massive dried-up lake is a field of snow– but upon closer inspection it becomes a 80-square-mile salt flat that glistens like a giant mirror when it rains. The Salinas Grandes are difficult to get to, but people will probably start making the trek once they’re over Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni salt flats, which are much more well-known and heavily touristed.

This article originally appeared in Huffington Post

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Traveling the world is probably one of the most amazing, fun, and inspirational things anyone can do. Doing it with someone you love makes it that much better. Exploring the world together provides couples with the chance to create some amazing memories together. As the world has so many gorgeous locations, it might be worth doing some research before making your mind up on a travel destination. For those unsure of where to visit, a lot of couples consider escaping on an island getaway to somewhere like Turtle Island in Fiji. A private island vacation does sound idyllic, so perhaps some couples might want to look into that. However, that’s not your only option. There are so many other places to consider too. Here are some more of the most romantic destinations in the world.

St. Lucia

romantic destinations Jade Mountain

Lovers adore the intriguing island of St. Lucia, with its intoxicating melee of beaches, activities and romantic resorts like the Jade Mountain. Sparkling waters contrast with palm-fringed beaches, elegant former plantation homes thrill with the aromas of spicy flavors of cooking and waterfalls tumble through forest rich with rare parrots and magnificent flashes of color.

Charleston, USA


Romantic restaurants, elegant inns and a pervading ambiance of old glamour entice those with romance on their minds to visit charming, historic Charleston. Cobblestone streets and stately squares make for enchanting ambles and carriage tours can carry the two of you through the city’s atmospheric alleys.

Vienna, Austria


Vienna is rich with history, stunning architecture, and a prime location along the sparkling Danube River. Step back in time and tour an imperial castle at Schönbrunn Palace. The grounds include sculpted marble fountains, pristine hedgerows, and picturesque garden views.

Cinque Terre, Italy

cinque terreLoïc Lagarde

The rocky shores of the Italian Riviera belong in the pages of a romance novel. Visitors can explore quaint harbor villages, hike up stunning trails, or stroll through beachfront promenades. Climb the Cinque Terre trails to explore vineyards and villages, and lookout over the sea. The world-famous Giardini Botanici Hanbury features one of the largest gardens in Italy and offers panoramic views of the water. Spend the day touring Portofino, a lush seaside village with cliffside gardens and plenty of people watching.

Kauai, USA

romantic destinations romainguy

Kauai, known as the Garden Island and one of the most romantic destinations in the world, has everything you can imagine in a tropical paradise: lush rain forests, long sandy beaches lined with swaying palm trees and warm sea breezes. You can find many activities where the emphasis is on just the two of you for a romantic getaway treat.

Kyoto, Japan

kyoto Luke,Ma

Regardless of season, it’s hard not to succumb to romance as you wander Kyoto’s atmospheric streets, gazing at the glimmering Kinkaju Pavilion and its lotus ponds and feasting at restaurants over the River Kamo. Glimpse a geisha disappearing down a narrow alley in Old Kyoto as lanterns bob in traditional house doorways.

Bali, Indonesia

baliBertrand Duperrin

A romantic paradise awaits you on the Indonesian island of Bali. From inviting beaches, terraced rice-fields and lush green highlands to a spiritual Hindu culture and village traditions that have remained unchanged over the centuries, not to mention fabulous resort hotels – this is a mystical experience to last a lifetime.

Buenos Aires, Argentina


The birthplace of the sensual tango is an incredibly romantic city to sashay to. Atmospheric old neighborhoods present captivating corners and enticing restaurants to linger in. Restaurants and nightlife options are appealingly priced, making it even easier to enjoy any number of romantic meals out.

Venice, Italy

venice gnuckx

With its stunning architecture and mysterious passageways, Venice is the perfect hideaway for lovers. Glide down one of its many canals in a gondola, dine by candlelight on northern Italian dishes, and take a moonlit stroll through Piazza San Marco. Romance is guaranteed in one the most romantic destinations in the world. You can have similar experience closer to home if you can’t quite afford to go abroad, thanks to being able to go punting along some of the glorious rivers that run through the UK. These are the best we have found for punting in Cambridge for example.

Santorini, Greece

romantic destinations mariusz kluzniak

Whether you’re looking for the perfect sandy beach, that idyllic sunset view, or a traditional waterside taverna, Santorini holds an irresistible appeal. Swimming in balmy seas at dusk, chatting over great local food and drinking under the stars – it’s the simplest pleasures that are the best here. Alternatively, you may find the other islands draw more charm for you. Many people make their way to Corfu or Crete for this romantic purpose, and certainly, there is plenty to do on these islands. So much, in fact, that you may need a hire car (from companies like Rental Center Crete as an example) to give you the full freedom that your romance deserves.

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

bora bora

Considered by many to be the ultimate honeymoon destination, tropical Bora Bora cannot help being one of the most romantic spots in the world. Glide over the clear-blue waters in a glass-bottom boat, share a midnight dinner on the beach with someone special and fall captive to this magical Polynesian island.

Paris, France

parisJames Whitesmith

From its picturesque bridges to its outdoor cafes, no other city says romance like Paris. Stroll along the river Seine, picnic amid the flowers of the 61-acre Luxembourg Garden or toast the sunset from atop Montmartre as the City of Light sparkles below. Surely Paris is one of the most romantic destinations in the world!

Sources: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Inspiration-g1-c2-World.html


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Viewers of this year’s Super Bowl between the Seahawks and Patriots will be treated to some beautiful imagery courtesy of Ecuador Ministry of Tourism. That’s right Ecuador is the first foreign country to advertise during Super Bowl. Kind of a surprise considering that the Super Bowl is watched by over a 100 million people around the world, with some fans taking part in fantasy football leagues and making bets – through somewhere like FanDuel – on games during the season or the Super Bowl.

The “All You Need is Ecuador” commercial will feature the Beatles’ classic “All You Need is Love”. Reportedly the small South American nation of 15.6 million is spending 3.8 million on the 30 second spot.

According to ministry statistics, roughly 259,000 Americans traveled to Ecuador in 2014 and the country is hoping that number will only increase. U.S. is Ecuador’s second-largest tourist market behind Colombia.

“Our small country offers travelers a large array of outdoor adventures, from beautiful beaches on the Pacific Coast, to the Andes Mountains, to the Amazon rainforest, to the Galapagos Islands,” said Nathalie Cely, Ecuador’s ambassador to the United States, in a statement.

The spot will only be shown in select large U.S. markets, such as Miami, New York and San Francisco.

Check out “All You Need is Ecuador” campaign and some awesome images below.


Malcolm Surgenor

View of the Cotopaxi volcano in the Andes mountain range. It is the second highest summit in the country, reaching a height of 5,897 m (19,347 ft).

basilica del voto nacional

Street and Travel Art

Basilica del Voto Nacional in Quito is the largest neo-Gothic basilica in the Americas.

plaza de la independencia

Richard Pluck

Plaza de la Independencia

galapagos islands


Galapagos islands are home to several species of wildlife unique to the islands.

san rafael falls

Drriss & Marrionn

The San Rafael Falls are located at the foot of the highly active Reventador Volcano which rises out of the Amazon jungle east of the Andes.



Quilitoa is a water filled volcanic caldera in the Ecuadorian Andes.

swing at the end of the world

Image credits: tapiture.com

The “swing at the end of the world” at Casa del Arbol or “The Treehouse” lets the brave adrenaline seekers swing out over a canyon. The swing is simply attached to a skinny branch on the tree and features no harness, net or any other safety mechanism.

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Remember when the dollar could take you anywhere? You could go to Canada, backpack around Europe, or head Down Under in search of kangaroos for next to nothing. Sadly, those times are long gone and the dollar’s value has declined greatly over the last 15 years. Of course, they’re all still great experiences and you can even use US Credit cards in canada to save you exchanging money and having canadian dollars left over after your trip, but traveling around the world costs a lot more these days. Luckily, there are still plenty of budget countries around the globe that won’t break the bank. For less than $50 a day (sometimes a lot less), these countries offer the most bang for your vacation buck. Here are 12 countries to visit on a budget. If you are an intrepid globetrotter, make sure to protect yourself against preventable diseases using someone like PharmaVaccs for peace of mind on your travels.


countries to visit on a budget

We think of Fiji as expensive (thanks Fiji water!) but in reality, it’s a popular destination with many travelers because, unlike its expensive island neighbors, it’s actually cheap. Yes, there are many $1,000-a-night resorts, but there are also dorm rooms, hostels, and all-inclusive local guesthouses you can stay in for $25 a night. Transportation around the islands isn’t expensive and the beach is free. It’s easy to splurge here, but you can get pristine beaches, great diving, and tasty seafood while chatting with friendly locals — without having to mortgage your home.




While you could put most of Southeast Asia on the list, Cambodia is one of the best value countries in the region. Everything here is super cheap! You can get a private, air-conditioned room for $20. Local food is $2 and most western meals are $7. This country is very budget travel-friendly and, if you are spending close to $50 a day, you are living large. Cambodia is one of my favorite budget countries in the world with some of the nicest people, most beautiful beaches, ruins, and jungles out there. It’s rough, it’s raw, and it’s stunning.


budget countries


Another cheap Eurozone country is Portugal. Here you’ll find beautiful beaches, wine country, stunning cliffs, and historic cities at bargain prices. Lisbon is also one of the most affordable cities to stay in a 5-star hotel. Throw in helpful, outgoing locals who serve up delicious food (especially seafood), and you have the making of a perfect place. I was blown away by Portugal and how little anybody ever talked about it. Everyone heads to Italy when they should be going to Portugal!




Most people come here attracted to the Inca trail, but there’s a lot more to the country than that. Here you can sail the Amazon, visit the deserted, white sand beaches of Mancora, and explore the ruins of other Inca destinations like Moray and Choquequirao. Meals are rarely more than $5, private guesthouse rooms are around $25, and you can go anywhere in the country for less than $30. Don’t let those jaw-dropping prices for the Inca trail you see online deter you from one of the funniest, happiest, and cheapest countries in South America. Pro tip: If you go to Cuzco, you can get last-minute deals to Machu Picchu for 50 percent off!



China has fascinated travelers ever since Marco Polo traversed the Silk Road. While the days of China being a super-cheap destination are long gone, the country remains a budget destination with many opportunities for savings, especially in the countryside. Rooms are less than $20 a day, food is $2-5 per meal, and local transportation in cities less than dollar. Those who travel in China are richly rewarded with friendly people, delicious food, a country in constant flux, and beautiful mountains, beaches, and valleys on a budget anyone can afford!

South Korea

budget countries


When I went to South Korea earlier this year, I was stunned by how inexpensive everything was. I had heard that South Korea was a bargain, but in many ways its prices rival that of Southeast Asia. With the South Korean won getting 1,113 won per $1 USD and most everything costing only a few thousand won, I can’t imagine busting your budget here. My friend and I went out for Korean BBQ complete with drinks, and we each spent $8. You can pick up bottles of beer in 7-Eleven for less than a dollar. I don’t know why most people don’t talk about it, but if you want a cheap East Asian country with a stunning countryside, South Korea is the place for you.



While India has always been a cheap country, the Indian rupee used to ride high at 39 rupees to the dollar. Now, you get 60 rupees to the dollar — that’s nearly 50 percent more money to travel with. Even if you splurge on mid-range accommodation and food, you’ll be hard-pressed to spend more than $50 per day, unless you book 5-star resorts. Flights to India are the most expensive part, but once you’re there, everything’s a bargain. You might even be able to find some cheap flights online if you do your research properly. That makes the long flight to see the historic Taj Mahal, the beaches of Goa, and metropolises of New Delhi and Mumbai much more appealing.

Bulgaria (or Romania, or Moldova, or…)



The eastern part of eastern Europe (Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, the Balkans) is the cheapest part of the continent, so pretty much anywhere’s affordable. I was living like a king for less than $40 per day, paying $8 a night for a room in Ukraine (obviously things are rough there now), $1.50 for a liter of beer in Bulgaria, and a few dollars for a local meal everywhere. When most people envision a European vacation, they think of Paris, Rome, or Prague, but you can get that same charm in Eastern Europe without the high prices or hordes of tourists. Most foreigners think of these budget countries as decrepit ex-Communist nations. However, make your next visit to Eastern Europe and you’ll find all sorts of old-world charm and castles at a charming price point!




Even before Greece went bankrupt, the country was a European bargain. Now, it’s a budget traveler’s paradise. Gyros cost around $3, you can get a huge lamb dinner for $10, drinks go for around $3, and single rooms can be found for under $30. An expensive night for me in Greece was $55! Declining tourism has only helped ensure cheaper prices. Go there, enjoy historic sights, help the local economy, and save money. Those looking to travel to Crete should definitely consider a car hire service so that you have the mobility to see everything this island has to offer. Visit e-mietwagenkreta to see their range of vehicles.

Guatemala (or Nicaragua, or El Salvador, or…)



Want to roam ancient ruins, trek through the jungle, surf, and eat delicious food with few tourists around? Visit the smaller countries in Central America (El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Guatemala). Here you will find most budget hotels for around $15 per night, meals for $3, most bus journeys for the same price, and beer for less than a dollar (you can’t go wrong with beer for less than a dollar!). Sure, these countries get a bad wrap in the news, but as long as you aren’t roaming bad neighborhoods at night or trying to buy drugs off cartels, you’ll be fine. This Central American travel guide can help you explore some of the most underrated countries in the world! Added bonus: Flights from the U.S. are cheap!

Indonesia (specifically, Bali)



Bali sounds exotic, but will actually let your wallet relax, too. In the touristy south near Kuta, Seminyak, and Ubud, you’ll find overpriced resorts, food, and dirty beaches filled with loud foreigners. However, get out of those areas and you’re rewarded with a beautiful island with affordable rooms ($15-20/night), inexpensive local meals ($2), and activities that cost around $10. And, away from those crowds, you get beautiful rice terraces, black and white sand beaches, volcanoes, food markets, and jungles virtually to yourself. Zig when everyone zags and you’ll be greatly rewarded here!




Despite being a hugely popular destination, Thailand remains cheap. Budget hotel rooms (bed, fan, shared bathroom) cost between $6-10 per night, local street food costs around $5 per day, a beer will cost about $2, and sightseeing activities run at about $15. Even those picturesque islands you see in travel brochures are a bargain. Friendly locals, warm weather, delicious food, lots of activities, jaw-dropping beaches, and stunning jungles mean you’ll have plenty to explore. Thailand has it all.

If you are looking for adventure and budget countries, any of the above regions will allow you to stretch your limited funds without having to sleep on couches or eat ramen noodles. The dollar may not go as far as it used to, but there are still plenty of destinations around the globe where you can vacation for less than you’d spend in a day at home. So get out there and do it!

Matthew Kepnes is a travel writer and author of How to Travel the World on $50 A Day and the creative force behind Nomadic Matt, a website that provides detailed information on how to travel cheaper, better, and longer. His advice is often featured in Time, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Lifehacker, Buzzfeed, National Geographic, BBC, The Guardian, among other publications.

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