1. Plitvice Waterfalls, Croatia
The Plitvice waterfalls are located in Croatia’s Plitvice Lakes National Park. As some of the most stunning waterfalls on earth, there are 16 cascading pools of crystal-clear, emerald and turquoise hued-water. The waters flowing over the limestone and chalk have, over thousands of years, deposited travertine barriers, creating natural dams which in turn have created a series of these magnificent waterfalls as well as rivers and caves.
The lush forest that surrounds the falls is home to an array of wildlife, including European brown bear, wolf, eagle owl and capercaillie. Some 126 bird species are also said to call the area home.
2.Tianzi Mountains, China
Located in the northern part of Wulingyuan Scenic Area in Hunan Province, Tianzi, translated as “Son of Heaven” Mountain Nature Reserve is one of the four scenic spots in Wulingyuan. It covers a 16,550-acre area with its highest peak soaring to nearly 4,140 feet above the sea level.
Its unique rolling ridges, thousands of peaks and dramatic rocks make for one of the most spectacular views on earth. Visitors often note that pictures fail to capture its sheer size, majesty, depth and vastness. From the top of the mountain, the full extent of Wulingyuan Scenic Area can be taken in, a vista that is sure to take your breath away.
3. Danxia Landforms, Zhangye City, China
The Zhangye Danxia landform is frequently referred to as the eye candy of Zhangye. Many artists admire this masterpiece as it appears like a perfect painting on canvas. In fact, when you first saw this image, there’s a good chance you thought that’s exactly what it was.
The multi-colored rock formations in the northwestern province of Gansu give the Grand Canyon a run for its money with nearly 250 square miles of dramatic peaks and valleys. The unusual colors of the rocks are said to be the result of red sandstone and mineral deposits being laid down over 24 million years. They’re at their most vibrant during a sunset.
4. Gullfoss Waterfall, Iceland
Gullfoss, translated as Golden Falls, is an absolutely magnificent waterfall, located in the upper part of River Hvita along the renowned Golden Circle in Iceland. It cascades down in two steps, one 36 feet high, and the other at 72 feet high, plunging into the more than one-mile long canyon below. When the sun comes out, it also produces colorful rainbows that waft in its mist.
To stand and witness its awe-inspiring beauty and the power of the water, is an uplifting, almost surreal experience. While it’s popular with visitors to Iceland, there are few in the world who can say they’ve viewed Gullfoss in person.
5. Lake Hillier, Australia
The pink hue of Lake Hillier in Western Australia remains a bit of a mystery. Most scientists believe its distinct color is caused by the bacteria in the water which produce a red pigment that helps them absorb sunlight, thus giving the lake its pink appearance.
One thing is undeniable, this amazing body of water is as bright pink as a stick of bubble gum, and it was no accident with food dye. Located on Middle Island in the Recherche Archipelago, its rosy shade contrasts stunningly with the stark white and the lush green of the surrounding beach and forest. This phenomenon also occurs in Senegal’s Lake Retba.
6. Mendenhall Ice Caves, Alaska
Blue light filtering through these ice caves create a surreal experience for any visitor brave enough to explore them. Nature carved the frozen caverns out of a melting glacier, although it’s anyone’s guess as to how much longer they will last as the glacier continues to melt. This other-worldly site has caught the attention of the world in recent years as it’s melting increasingly fast due to global warming.
While the caves are located just 12 miles from downtown Juneau, the journey is rather treacherous involving at least six to eight hours of trekking over rocky terrain. Most feel it’s still well-worth the effort to get there.
7. Quiraing, Isle of Skye, Scotland
The entire Isle of Skye, connected by a road bridge to the west coast of Scotland, offers some of the most surreal, dramatic scenery on earth. Step into this fantasy-like landscape and you’ll feel as if you’re walking into a dream.
The Quiraing, a landslip on the northernmost summit of the Trotternish, is absolutely stunning. It was formed by a great series of landslips and known for its supernatural qualities. If you’re fit enough to walk the narrow path and scramble up and down its steep slopes, you’ll be treated to some of the most unforgettable views and epic sunsets you’ll ever experience.
8. Dean’s Blue Hole, Bahamas
Dean’s Blue Hole is one of the most captivating spots on the planet. Popular with scuba divers and snorkelers, it’s the deepest known underwater cave in the world. Typically, there is very little current and visibility is outstanding.
The brilliant saltwater blue hole has an entrance below sea level, plunging 663 feet in a bay on Long Island. Waterfalls of sand cascade dramatically down the sides, while barracuda and tarpon emerge eerily from the depths. Though it’s considered quite safe for snorkeling and diving, non-swimmers shouldn’t dip their toes in as the drop off from the beach into the hole is extreme.
9. Iguazu Falls in Argentina, Brazil
Iguazu Falls are found on the border of Brazil and Argentina. Not very high (285 ft/87 m), but very impressive: it has 275 cascades, that form a horseshoe and stretch for 8,858ft (2,700 m).
10. Angel Falls, Venezuela
Angel Falls is a waterfall in Venezuela. It is the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall, with a height of 979 m (3,212 ft) and a plunge of 807 m (2,648 ft). The waterfall drops over the edge of the Auyantepui mountain in the Canaima National Park (Spanish: Parque Nacional Canaima), a UNESCO World Heritage site in the Gran Sabana region of Bolívar State. The height figure 979 m (3,212 ft) mostly consists of the main plunge but also includes about 400 m (0.25 mi) of sloped cascades and rapids below the drop and a 30-metre (98 ft) high plunge downstream of the talus rapids.
The falls are on the Gauja River (alternatively known as the Kerep River or Kerepacupai), which flows into the Churun River, a tributary of the Carrao River.