89 of the Most Beautiful Bucket List Destinations Around the World
The world is a wild and wonderful place, full of stunning natural wonders and ancient ruins that exceed our wildest dreams. And we’re not kidding you – these travel destinations actually exist and aren’t a figment of your imagination. We’ve pulled together the most gorgeous bucket-list destinations from around the globe that will have you awestruck at their beauty and rubbing your eyes in amazement. From sparkling caves to cloud castles, rainbow hills to pink waters, a stairway to heaven to a door to hell, these incredible marvels are a testament to Earth’s beauty. If you have major wanderlust, these beautiful places will inspire you to experience what’s out there.
– Additional reporting by Lauren Harano, Hilary White, and Emily Co
Emerald Lake, British Columbia, Canada
Located within Yoho National Park in British Columbia, this scenic spot was made for lovers of the outdoors.
This town can be found on the edge of the Vaucluse plateau, and is comprised of views of the surrounding region of Provence.
Glacier County, Montana
Glacier National Park is sure to take your breath away with every gorgeous view you see.
The coastline of the south-western region of Portugal will present you with stunning views like this, and not just during sunset.
Great Blue Hole, Belize
The Great Blue Hole is a huge submarine sinkhole off the coast of Belize that Jacques Cousteau named one of the top scuba diving sites in the world.
Marble Caves, Chile
Accessible only by boat, the Marble Caves or Cuevas de Mármol are situated on a solid marble peninsula and change colors depending on the time of year and water levels.
Laguna Salada de Torrevieja, Spain
Laguna Salada de Torrevieja is a natural phenomenon, where the water looks pink due to a type of special algae.
Sea of Stars, Maldives
This stunning sight is caused by bioluminescent phytoplankton that emit light when stressed, giving the appearance of a starry night in the sea.
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
The world’s largest salt flats. When it rains, the water makes it look like a giant mirror.
Tunnel of Love, Ukraine
This tunnel is actually still used today – trains chug through it three times a day to deliver wood to a factory. It’s believed that if couples who are truly in love hold hands and cross the tunnel, their wishes will come true.
Lake Natron, Tanzania
This beautiful salt lake with reddish crusted salt on the surface is positively otherworldly.
The black, dead trees against the orange sand dunes in the Namib-Naukluft National Park make the Deadvlei landscape look like a scene out of a painting.
Wisteria Flower Tunnel, Japan
The wisteria flower tunnels in Kawachi Fuji Gardens are beautiful structures to take a stroll through.
Glacier Ice Cave, Iceland
Take a stroll in one of the many awe-inspiring glacier ice caves in Iceland.
Black Forest, Germany
If Germany’s Black Forest looks like something out of a fairy tale, that’s no coincidence. The Brothers Grimm set many of their stories – including “Little Red Riding Hood” – in the dark depths of the evergreen region.
Dragon Trees, Yemen
On the Socotra island of Yemen, you’ll find some odd and unreal-looking dragon blood trees. The name of the tree hails from its alarmingly red sap.
Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Fun fact: the Blue Lagoon is actually not a natural wonder. The water averages 98 to 102 degrees and is said to have curative benefits.
Seven Colored Earth of Chamarel, Mauritius
The multicolored earth in Chamarel was formed when volcanic rock cooled at different temperatures.
White Sand Dunes, Yemen
On the Socotra island of Yemen, you’ll see some of the most unreal-looking sand dunes – so white, they look like talcum powder from a distance.
Fingal's Cave, Scotland
This Scottish sea cave is made up of hexagonally jointed basalt columns created by intense volcanic activity. It’s Gaelic name means “the melodious cave” due to its haunting cathedral-like atmosphere. Creepy.
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Japan
This bright green bamboo grove will transport you to a magical world. It’s located in Kyoto, Japan.
This winding road in Norway is one of the most spectacular manmade views in the country.
Huacachina Oasis, Peru
The Huacachina Oasis is an actual oasis and not a figment of your imagination.
Kjeragbolten, a boulder in the Kjerag mountain located in Norway, is wide enough for you to stand on. The rock measures five cubic meters, and the drop to the bottom is 3,228 feet.
Chateau de Chillon, Switzerland
A picturesque castle that looks like it came straight from a storybook.
Danxia Landform, China
The Danxia landform in Zhangye, China, gets its color from red sandstone and mineral deposits.
Strokkur Geyser, Iceland
This fountain geyser located east of Reykjavík, Iceland, is one of the country’s most famous geysers.
Door to Hell, Turkmenistan
Scientists had the bright idea of burning up this gas field to prevent noxious gas from escaping. They figured it’d burn out in a few days, but it’s been more than 40 years (and counting) since it was first lit.
Stone Forest, China
The tall rocks give the illusion of petrified trees, which is where the name shilin – or stone forest – comes from.
Edge of the World Swing, Ecuador
The swings hanging from La Casa Del Arbol in Baños, Ecuador, will make you feel like you’re on top of the world – literally.
Floating Lantern Festival, Thailand
Though there are many festivals of light celebrated throughout Thailand, the Yi Peng celebration is perhaps the most unique because lanterns are released into the sky rather than over water.
Dead Sea, Israel
The Dead Sea is the deepest landlocked salt lake in the world, and its extreme levels of saline means it cannot sustain animal life – hence the name. Because of the high density of the water, swimming in the lake is more like floating on the top of the water.
Santorini is an island remaining after a volcanic eruption with a unique landscape of steep cliffs surrounding the beautiful blue waters of a lagoon that connects to the sea.
This famous stone monument is in Salisbury, England, and is believed to have been built as long as 4,000 to 5,000 years ago.
Victoria Falls, Africa
These famous falls are located in southern Africa at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. Victoria Falls are considered the largest (not tallest or widest) in the world because when measured by width and height, they form the largest sheet of falling water.
Havasu Falls, USA
We’re aware of the Grand Canyon in Arizona, but there’s another lesser-known sight – the Havasu Falls – that you shouldn’t miss out on. The red rocks and vibrant blue waters make a really stunning contrast.
Grand Canyon, Arizona
This American landmark is well-known but has plenty of quiet spots that travelers can escape to and spend time with one of nature’s most incredible wonders.
Northern Lights, Alaska
The Aurora Borealis is a concentration of charged particles entering the atmosphere and creating incredible lights in the sky when they ionize.
Grand Prismatic Spring, Wyoming
Located in Yellowstone National Park, Grand Prismatic Spring is the largest hot spring in the United States and is known for its vivid gradient of colors.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China
This plush national forest is known for its unique geography and rock pillars that have formed as a result of physical erosion.
Paddy Fields, Vietnam
This terraced land is built into hillsides and used to farm and cultivate semiaquatic rice.
This region of the Eastern European country is known for its history and interesting geography such as the rock formations called “fairy chimneys.”
Trolltunga translates as troll’s tongue and perfectly describes the piece of jutting rock.
Bigar Waterfall, Romania
One look at this waterfall and you’ll see why traveling to it is a must. The stream falls from a cliff onto the moss, which makes the water fall in the interesting patterns you see.
Abraham Lake, Canada
This unique lake in Alberta, Canada, has cool-looking bubbles frozen near the surface. But be careful: the bubbles are full of methane gas, so don’t light a match near them, or there will be an explosion.
Glendurgan Garden, England
The cherry laurel maze at the Glendurgan Garden makes the place one of a kind.
Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
The oldest park in Southeast Europe and the largest national park in Croatia, Plitvice Lakes National Park is known for its cascading lakes. The lakes dazzle with their vast array of beautiful colors, which range from green to blue.
Haiku Stairs, Hawaii
Haiku Stairs are also called the Stairway to Heaven, and many say it is worth the 3,922 steps it takes to get to the top. The view is said to be quite heavenly.
Lake Baikal, Russia
You can’t miss the giant shards of ice of lovely turquoise on Lake Baikal in Russia – they just may be the best-looking ice cubes ever.
Hitachi Seaside Park, Japan
So many unique varieties of flowers and plants abound in the Hitachi Seaside Park.
Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina
Visit Los Glaciares National Park and admire the large glaciers at this awe-inspiring World Heritage site.
Danakil Depression, Ethiopia
The Danakil Depression is the hottest place on earth year-round. You’ll be better off going in the Winter than in the Summer, but keep in mind that it’s still really hot during the colder months, although it’s more bearable.
Ik Kil Cenote, Mexico
A cenote is a natural sinkhole that fills up with water – many people in past civilizations would use it as a natural well for water. Ik Kil is one of the more famous cenotes in Mexico and is well worth a visit.
Fairy Pools in Isle of Skye, Scotland
Stroll to the rushing waters of Scotland’s famous fairy pools.
Caño Cristales, Colombia
This amazing river is also called the River of Five Colors because of its vast array of hues.
Spotted Lake, Canada
Large spots appear on the British Columbian lake during the Summer when the water evaporates.
Horseshoe Bend, USA
One of the most beautiful natural attractions to see in Arizona, known for its horseshoe-shaped river and the glass-like surface of the water.
Lavender Fields, France
Take in the wonderful scent of the flowers as you frolic through the lavender fields in Provence.
Canola Flower Fields, China
These sprawling fields of yellow flowers will brighten any trip you take.
Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
An archipelago off the south of South America, Tierra del Fuego has plenty of natural wonders for tourists to gawk at, including glaciers, forests, and mountains. Some of the island’s trees grow horizontally because of the strong gusts of wind from the Antarctic, and they are a sight to see.
Mount Roraima, South America
Mount Roraima is a mountain range that borders Venezuela, Brazil, and Guyana. What’s unique about this mountain is its flat, tabletop surface, which in the midst of clouds looks like something really magical.
Monasteries precariously perched on top of sandstone rock pillars make Meteora a must-see sight.
Champagne Pool, New Zealand
This geothermal pool is a hot spring that gets its boozy name from the bubbly nature of its waters.
Ait Benhaddou, Morocco
Ait Benhaddou is an impressive fortified city (or ksar) made up of many kasbahs, earthen buildings made from mud and straw.
Chittorgarh Fort, India
One of the largest forts in India, Chittorgarh has amazing views, incredible ruins, and tons of history.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Angkor Wat, first a Hindu and then Buddhist temple in Cambodia, is the largest religious monument in the world.
Katikies Hotel Cave Pool, Greece
This Greek hotel pool boasts crystal-clear water and views of the sea from the confines of a white concrete cave.
Preikestolen, or the Pulpit Rock, is a huge destination point for hikers, adventurous travelers, and anyone else willing to brave the heights for some amazing views.
Shotover River in New Zealand
You can take a jet boat through the winding scenic Shotover River in New Zealand.
Mara River, Kenya
Mara River is definitely worth a visit during the time of the wildebeest migration. Watch the large herd cross the Mara River while battling hungry crocodiles.
Machu Picchu, Peru
Take a trip back in history to the time of the Incas in 1450 when you visit the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. The structures were thought to serve as a royal retreat, ceremonial site, or military stronghold, according to National Geographic. Today, the ancient ruins provide a breathtaking contrast against the backdrop of the Peruvian Andes.
Tulip Fields, Netherlands
These sprawling tulip fields near Amsterdam are the definition of picturesque.