One of the most popular waterfalls in Yosemite National Park of California in the United States, Vernal fall measures 97 meters (317 feet) high. A hike along the Mist Trail to the fall takes visitors very close to the fall where they become shrouded in its mist. The hike to Vernal Fall is short at only 2.1 km (1.3 miles) long. At the top of the fall hikers enjoy a rest at the Emerald Pool, named for its deep green color, which is a small lake where some visitors choose to swim, though it is against the park rules and can be dangerous if care is not taken. Travelers who wish to visit Vernal Fall should make it a part of a greater trip to the awe-inspiring Yosemite National Park where many other spectacular natural sights can be enjoyed. Accommodation is plentiful at the park and includes hotels as well as campgrounds. There is a $20 fee to enter Yosemite National Park.
Beautiful Lake Tahoe lies in the Sierra Nevada mountain range along the border of California and Nevada in the United States. With 496 square kilometers (192 sq miles) of surface area and lovely mountain scenery, the lake is a major tourist destination year round. There are over 12 ski resorts at Lake Tahoe and visitors can find all manner of winter activities here including snowboarding, skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, snow tubing, and more. Many water sports are also enjoyed here, such as swimming, boating, water skiing, and scuba diving. A large variety of accommodation can be found on the lake, from ritzy expensive resorts to backpacker style hostels.
The stunning Plitvice Lakes National Park lies in the Lika region of Croatia. The park is surrounded by the mountains Plješevica, Mala Kapela, and Medveđak, which are part of the Dinaric Alps. The 16 blue-green Plitvice Lakes, which are separated by natural dams of travertine, are situated on the Plitvice plateau. Waterfalls connect the lakes, and the tallest waterfall is Veliki Slap at 70 meters (230 feet) tall. The Plitvice lakes area boasts a large variety of interesting and colorful flora and fauna. Visitors can enjoy walking and hiking the many pathways and trails, or exploring the lakes by boat. The park itself has 3 hotels and a campsite, otherwise visitors can find accommodation at any of the number of villages and cities nearby.
A short distance from Antigua, Guatemala, lies Lake Atitlan (known locally as Lago de Atitlán). The large lake is surrounded by three volcanoes: Volcán Atitlán, Volcán San Pedro and Volcán Tolimán. Lake Atitlan is an endorheic lake, meaning it doesn’t flow into a sea. The area surrounding Lake Atitlan is home to many small villages, the people of which practice Mayan culture and wear traditional Mayan dress to this day. There are also a number of Mayan archeological sites in and around the lake. For tourists, the best places to stay are in Antigua, or the town of Panajachel which is on the lake’s shore. A variety of accommodations can be found in either town. Visitors can trek up the volcanoes, enjoy a boat trip on the lake, and visit the nearby Atitlan Butterfly Sanctuary.
Tucked away in the mountains of Austria you’ll find the tiny town of Hallstatt. Hallstatt and its population of less than 1000 residents rest on the southwestern shore of the Hallstätter See. In addition to the picturesque view of the town on the lake, tourists can see the world’s first salt mine, enjoy nearby skiing, take a trip to the World Heritage Museum, and visit the Dachstein ice cave. Though this village is very small, there are a few different hotels and restaurants to choose from.
Skiers, snowboarders, hikers, and wildlife lovers should not miss this incredible Canadian destination: Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. This glacial lake is located near the Trans-Canada Highway and the tiny town of Lake Louise. The Eastern shore of the lake is home to the large luxury resort hotel Chateau Lake Louise. Accommodation for the budget-minded traveler can be found in Lake Louise town only 3km (2 miles) away. Other activities to be enjoyed at the lake and surrounding area include mountain biking, horseback riding, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, dog sledding, snowshoeing and more.
On the border of China and North Korea, in a caldera at the top of Baekdu Mountain, you will find Heaven Lake. The caldera was created when the volcanic mountain erupted in 969 CE. Visitors to the lake can enjoy stunning walks, hiking, and horse rides along the mountain paths. Canvas yurts are the most common accommodation for tourists, but there are also more upmarket hotels. The semi-nomadic Kazakh people inhabit the area seasonally. Staying in traditional Kazakh yurts and using their guided horseback tours help them earn the income that they live on for the rest of the year. It can get quite cold in the area, so warm clothes are suggested.