13 Otherworldly Landscapes
Collected by AFAR Traveler, AFAR Contributor
These are the vistas: Rocks and sand twisted into curious shapes; mist hanging low over lakes and seas. These photos capture the mysteries of place. And these places are waiting for you.
Lake Tekapo 7999, New Zealand
Lake Tekapo is a sweet little slice of heaven, and a paradise you'll have all to your own, should you visit outside the high season. The glacial waters running out of the Southern Alps are every bit as mesmerizing as they are refreshing - which is...
Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area, Nantou County, Taiwan
Sun Moon Lake is Taiwan's largest fresh water lake. When I lived in Nantou County, central Taiwan, I would often ride my scooter to Sun Moon Lake for a bit of fresh air and reflection. One day I drove to the lake and traveled up a hill to the...
Oljato-Monument Valley, UT 84536, USA
Nuzzled up against the Arizona border about 100 miles west of Four Corners are some 30 square miles of the most iconic scenery in the American West. Monument Valley is one of those places that you’ll recognize as soon as you see...
Yucatán, 72470 Puebla, Pue., Mexico
Las Coloradas is a small fishermen town in the east corner of the Yucatecan coast inside Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, the Yucatan’s largest wetland area. This little known part of Yucatán has picturesque and unordinary landscapes, a giant salt...
Nordurljosavegur 9, 240 Grindavík, Iceland
Iceland’s largest and most famous geothermal spa lies around an hour outside Reykjavik, quite close to Keflavik Airport. With a dramatic setting amidst large black lava boulders, the steam-filled, creamy-blue pool area is a striking and...
Bell Rock, Arizona 86351, USA
I'll admit, I came here not so much for the scenery but for the alleged 'energy vortex' that locals in Sedona, AZ claim is present in nearby Bell Rock. After standing in place for a few moments and trying to channel something that I was hoping was...
253, Taiwan, New Taipei City, Shimen District, 下員坑路33之6號
Located in the Guanyinshuan National Scenic Area in New Taipei, Taiwan's Yehlio Geopark showcases an otherworldly landscape that is not to be missed. It is the only place in the world where you can see the geological features present in this park,...
Km. 122, Valladolid - Merida, Tablaje Catastral 510, 97753 Xcalacoop, Yuc., Mexico
Situated a few miles south of Chichen Itza lies one of the Yucatan’s most beautiful geologic wonders - a giant sinkhole or cenote called Ik Kil. Often overlooked by tourists in search of maya ruins, giant cenotes like Ik Kil dot the landscape...
Their branches wind all funky-like skyward and do not provide any shade from the stunning sun. The Joshua Tree and namesake of the National Park, line the hiking trails prevalent throughout the park. The Keys View trail is the shortest at just a...
Ruby Beach, Washington 98331, USA
Just before the 101 veers inland after winding its way up the coast of Washington's Olympic Peninsula, a smallish spur road leads down to Ruby Beach, an immense expanse of sand broken by dramatic rock outcrops and the tangled remains of cedar and...
Aydinli Mah., Yavuz Sok. No:1, 50180 Göreme Belediyesi/Nevşehir Merkez/Nevşehir, Turkey
When you travel to the Cappadocia region of Turkey you have to stay in a cave hotel. Sleeping in a room carved out of the area’s ‘fairy chimney’ rock formations is inherently cool. When you realize that your room is also literally cool—even in the...
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