When travelling, most of us usually make a list of popular tourist attractions to visit so that you can actually tell your friends you have been there. I mean, who would believe that you went to Scotland without driving across the highlands or sitting on Arthur’s Seat?
Our planet earth is filled with undeniably beautiful nature, some more beautiful but somehow less well-known than others.
So, here’s a list of hidden gems you most probably didn’t know existed:
1) Sibolangit Waterfall in North Sumatra, Indonesia
The two-coloured Sibolangit Waterfall is nature’s true beauty. With the waterfall flowing from a height of 75 metres and the source of its water from a nearby volcano, Mount Sibayak, Sibolangit Waterfall is a must-visit destination. Deeply hidden within Forest Sibolangit, it’s no wonder why this beauty has received so few admirers!
2) Salt Flats of Uyuni, Bolivia
As a result of years of transformations between several prehistoric lakes, the Salt Flats in Uyuni is the largest in the world. Lithium-rich pools covered by a few metres of salt crust, the Salt Flats (or Salar de Uyuni) are being extracted for their elements.
When covered with water, the extraordinary flatness of the Salt Flats make the most unbelievable sky mirror.
3) Rainbow Eucalyptus in Mindanao, Philippines
Rainbows are living too! Thought to be native to the Philippines, the rainbow eucalyptus is a stunning tree that sheds different parts of its bark annually, exposing a bright green inner bark. More locally known as the rainbow gum or the Mindanao gum (named after the island where it is commonly found), the bark matures and darkens in deep shades of orange, maroon and sometimes even purple and blue!
4) Marble Caves of Chile Chico, Chile
Formed by waves over the last 6,000 years, the cave lures you in with its vibrant blue waters and grey-swirled marble chambers. The breath-taking sight speaks for itself, with natural light reflecting onto the ceilings of the cave, making for a fascinating dancing light show.
5) Yakushima Forest on Yakushima Island, Japan
An island southwest of Japan, the mystic forest of Yakushima is the perfect destination for nature lovers who enjoy a comfortable hike.
Any trekking route from the Jomon cedar tree (the symbol of Yakushima Forest) to the Taiko Iwa lookout will guarantee a different yet scenic view of the Forest.
6) Glaciers of Svalbard, Norway
With more than 60% of the landmass at Svalbard covered with ice, the glaciers are a beautiful mix of ice, snow, rock and mist. Here’s the catch: the average temperature of the place is -4 degree Celsius, but it will be well worth the experience! Kayak across the waters or go deep into the glacial ice caves for a more intimate exploration of the magical landscape.
7) Jiuzhaigou Valley in Chengdu, China
Home to nine Tibetan villages, Jiuzhaigou Valley is known for its multi-coloured lakes, waterfalls and snow-capped peaks. The crystal clear blue and green waters are surrounded by lush green trees in spring and red and yellow leaves in fall, making for a colourful feast for the eyes.
In winter, the valley transforms into a white winter wonderland, with the trees standing in contrast to the blue waters.
8) Aurora Australis in New Zealand
Less famous but just as beautiful as the Aurora Borealis in Iceland (the Northern Lights), the Southern Lights is a sight to remember. Unpredictable and often not very long-lasting, there is often a higher chance of viewing the Aurora Australis in the months of winter (March to September) when the nights are longest and the skies are darkest.