Marble Caves, Patagonia, Chile

The Marble Caves of Patagonia, Chile, are beautiful vibrant blue caverns, partially submerged in the equally stunning turquoise waters of Carrera Lake. The lake itself is on the border of Argentina and Chile, with the caves located on the Chilean side. The caves are comprised of three main caverns: the Chapel (La Capilla), the Cathedral (El Catedral), and the Cave (La Cueva). Visitors to the caves can explore them in a small boat or kayak, but only when Carrera Lake’s waters are calm and gentle. A rare and invaluable natural wonder, the existence of these caves is currently threatened by plans to build five… See more pictures of Marble Caves, Patagonia, Chile

Red Rocks of Sedona, Arizona, United States

Sedona, Arizona

Credit: Patrick Payne

The breathtaking Red Rocks of Sedona are a group of several limestone rock formations located near the city of Sedona in Arizona, United States. The rocks are known for the incredibly vibrant red and orange glow they exhibit when illuminated at sunrise and sunset. A few of the better known formations include Cathedral Rock, Devil’s Bridge natural arch, and the Devil’s Kitchen sinkhole. Visitors to Sedona can enjoy endless hiking and mountain biking trails in and around the rocks. A Red Rock Pass must be acquired from the Sedona Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center to use the trails.

Credit: Tom Lussier

Verdon Gorge, France

The stunning Verdon Gorge is a river canyon in the southeastern section of France. The gorge is home to the Verdon River, known for its starling turquoise waters. The Verdon Gorge is a limestone canyon over 15 miles (25 kilometers) long and up to 2,297 feet (700 meters) deep. The canyon is a popular rock climbing, kayaking, hiking, and sight-seeing destination. Either side of Verdon Gorge is easily accessed, and a car ride around the rim is a lovely way to spend a day. The largest nearby towns with the most services and accommodations are Grasse and Aix-en-Provence, with several other smaller towns in the vicinity… See more pictures of Verdon Gorge, France

Annapurna, Nepal

Annapurna, Nepal

Famous Annapurna is a section of the Himalaya mountain range, located in central Nepal. The name “Annapurna” is a Sanskrit name meaning “Goddess of the Harvests”. The massive 22,970+ foot (7,000+ meter) peaks of the Annapurna section are some of the most dangerous to climb in the world. The south face of Annapurna I has the highest fatality rate of all the world’s 8,000 meter or higher peaks. Though the peaks themselves are off-limits to most people, the surrounding scenery can be access by undertaking one of many popular multi-day treks, including the impressive Annapurna Circuit trek, the Kaligandaki River Valley trek, and the Annapurna Sanctuary trek which reaches the Annapurna Base Camp. Annapurna is located within the Annapurna Conservation Area Project, and a permit is required to visit. Permits can be obtained in the Nepalese cities of Pokhara and Kathmandu. Bus service from Pokhara is available, as are many guided tours for trekking. See more pictures of Annapurna, Nepal

Mallorca, Spain

Rock Es Pontas, Cala Santanyi, Mallorca, Spain

Credit: Lucie Debelkova

The beautiful Balearic Island of Mallorca is located off the east coast of Spain in the Mediterranean Sea. Mallorca, also spelled Majorca, is a beautiful paradise popular with European tourists on holiday. Visitors to Mallorca enjoy lounging on the white sand beaches, enjoying the coastal scenery, and just taking it easy. The island also has a lively nightlife and club scene. Mallorca is a perfect summer beach destination with hot and sunny day, warm nights, and little rain. Getting to Mallorca is a breeze, with flights arriving daily from most major European cities. A ferry can also be taken from the other Balearic Islands and several points on Spain’s coast. See more pictures of Mallorca, Spain

Istanbul, Turkey

Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey

The megacity of Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, and the third largest in Europe. A booming center of finance, economics, and culture, Istanbul’s metro area is home to over 13 million people. The city is considered by some to be the epitome of East meets West culture. Istanbul has been known by many other names, most notably Constantinople and Byzantium. With a rich cultural heritage, it’s no wonder that the city is home to a variety of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Also notable is the Byzantine and Ottoman architecture present in the city, and picturesque mosques such as the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and the Sultan Ahmed Mosque. Visitors to this fine city can enjoy all the pleasures and excitements any big city affords, and there is something fun to do for any budget. See more pictures of Istanbul, Turkey

Yosemite National Park, California, United States

Yosemite National Park

Credit: Joshua Cripps

Yosemite is one of the most well known national parks in the world. With over 3.7 million visitors every year, this California park is an incredibly popular nature destination in the United States. Yosemite National Park is known for its awe-inspiring granite cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and over 800 miles (1,300 km) of hiking trails. Half Dome, a massive granite cliff jutting out of the earth, is one of the famous icons of the park, along with Cathedral Peak and El Capitan. Most of Yosemite’s iconic peaks, lakes, and waterfalls are located in the tourist-heavy 7 square mile (18 sq. km) area of Yosemite Valley, but the entire park actually encompasses an area of 1,189 square miles (3,080 sq. km). Yosemite has the honor of being the first national park ever designated, thanks in large part to conservationists like John Muir and Galen Clark. These men and others worked hard to protect the park both for the impressive diversity of plants and animals that lived there, and also for the enjoyment of future generations. Today, the park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is a favorite destination for hikers, rock climbers, campers, and nature lovers of all kinds. See more pictures of Yosemite National Park, California, United States

Lake Powell, Utah and Arizona, United States

Lake Powell, Utah

Credit: A.Hulot

Lake Powell is a man-made reservoir on the Colorado river. Located in the United States between Utah and Arizona, Lake Powell is surrounded by magnificent Navajo sandstone canyon walls in bright oranges, reds, and whites. These striking colors contrast beautifully with Lake Powell’s blue-green waters. Lake Powell is a sprawling, winding lake, and is the second largest man-made lake in the United States. The lake was made when Glen Canyon Dam was constructed in the early 1960s, flooding Glen Canyon. The lake, along with Horseshoe Bend and the notable Rainbow Bridge National Monument rock formation, is now part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Visitors to the lake can tour its waters via boat rental or guided tour. Tour operators and lodging can be found in the nearby town of Page in Arizona. See more pictures of Lake Powell, Utah and Arizona, United States