We all love traveling and we are always looking for our next destination. Some of us even has a travel bucket list of amazing destinations we want to see in our lifetime.
For this post, I have selected the best travel experiences you should live at least once in your lifetime.
Whether you end up booking a trip to one of this places or not, this will be very inspiring and great for wanderlust.
1 – Fly in a Hot Air Balloon in Cappadocia
I bet you have seen those pictures of a sky filled with air balloons. Well, that is the magical landscape of Cappadocia, the most popular location in the world for hot air ballooning.
Cappadocia in Turkey has a rich cultural and political history, but that is not what attracts the tourists.
What brings tourists to this beautiful place is the chance to see it from a hot air balloon. The region is a perfect place for this, with a landscape full of cliffs, river valleys and fairy chimneys.
Most companies fly up to 3000 feet, but some of them will take you as high as 8000 feet.
If you are scared, relax: Cappadocia has an excellent safety record and the best world’s pilots are there for you.
Balloons usually take off early in the morning and the average flight time is between 45 minutes an 2 hours, depending on the type of flight you choose.
You can opt for standard flights, which don’t last that long and take more people, but are cheaper ($100-$125); or deluxe flights, which cost more ($200-$25) but carry less people and last longer.
You can go hot air ballooning any time of the year, but the best time to go is during the shoulder seasons: spring (April-June) and fall (September-October).
Definitely a unique experience to include in your travel bucket list!
2 – See the Northern Lights from a Glass Igloo in Finland
Seeing the Northern Lights is an awesome experience that everyone should include in their travel bucket list.
But it does get better if you go to Finland and visit the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort. You won’t just see the Northern Lights, but you will see them from a glass igloo! How amazing is that?
The “world’s most enchanting arctic resort”, as they call themselves, is located in a northern region of Finland called Finnish Lapland.
The roofs of the igloos are made of thermal glass, so the room remains warm and the view is not disrupted.
Aurora Borealis are visible from late August till late April, so that is the best time to visit the resort. However, there are things to do all year round; visitors can ride snow mobiles, go ice fishing, see reindeer or take sled rides with huskies.
Expect to pay around $520 a night for a small igloo for 2. They also have bigger igloos for 4 people and log cabin options.
3 – See the Ancient City of Petra in Jordan
One of the New 7 Wonders of the World, Petra is included in almost every travel bucket list, and for a good reason: it will blow your mind.
Petra was carved into the rose colored sandstone cliffs in 312 BC by the Nabataeans. In 100 AD, the Romans invaded the city, and finally in the 12 century it was abandoned and left to the local people.
But in 1812, a swiss explorer called Johann Ludwing Burckhardt found the lost city of Petra. It was designated a World Heritage Site in 1985 and became Jordan’s most visited attraction.
There are more than 800 registered sites to see in Petra, spread over 60 square km. Temples, tombs, elaborate buildings: Petra has it all.
You can visit Petra from 6AM to 4PM in winter and 6PM in summer. There is a lot to see, so a day may not be enough; you can hike and wander through the city for days and keep discovering new sites.
Petra by night is also amazing, so if you can spend a night there, you won’t regret it.
The most famous and most visited site is called The Treasury, and was featured in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. This building housed the Holy Grail in the famous film.
Another highlights is the canyon that serves as the entry to the city, called Siq.
Visiting Petra is not cheap but totally worth it. A one-day pass will cost you around $70, and if you want to experience Petra at night you will have to pay extra $25.
4 – Visit the Great Barrier Reef in Australia
This is the most spectacular marine attraction in the world. And the good news is that you can swim, snorkel, dive and sail in it!
The reef system is the largest structure on Earth built by living organisms, tiny hard corals. The magnificient structures we see today are a result of a slow process played out over millions of years.
Obviously, here you will find marine life. The Great Barrier Reef has probably the most varied and impressive marine life in the world. In order to protect it, the place was designated a World Heritage site in 1981.
You can visit the Reef year round, because the tropical waters have warm temperatures all the time. Peak tourism time is between April to November.
Visiting the Great Barrier Reef is pretty easy, as there are lots of sail boats that will take you on a day trip to some epic diving and snorkelling spots.
If you can afford it, you can even explore the Great Barrier Reef from the air by helicopter. Trust me, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you will never forget.
5 – Take a Big 5 Safari in South Africa
The term “Big 5” was historically used to refer to the 5 most dangerous animals to hunt on foot Africa: the elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion and leopard.
Nowadays, the term Big 5 refers to the best 5 animals that people hope to see when taking a safari. And seeing them should be in your travel bucket list!
It is not easy to spot all 5 animals in just one safari, but it happens, so maybe you’re lucky! Of them all, the leopard is usually the hardest animal to spot, because it is such an elusive creature.
The best place to experience all this in Kruger National Park, located in South Africa.
This is the largest and oldest national park in the country, and one of the most important reserves in the world. It covers almost 2 million hectares.
The quantity and variety of both its flora and fauna are impressive. Kruger National Park is house to more than 2000 species of plants, 114 species of reptiles, 500 species of birds and 147 mammals, including zebras, giraffes, cheetah, hippo and much more.
The best time to visit is during winter (June-August), when days are sunny and warm and it does not rain a lot.
6 – See the Grand Canyon in Arizona
The views will wonder you. You will find it completely surreal, beyond breathtaking. This is what the Grand Canyon makes people feel.
Words and pictures can’t do justice, you need to see it. And even when you see it, you won’t believe it’s true. It should be a must in your travel bucket list.
The Grand Canyon has been visited by more than 5 million people since 1919, when it was oficially named a national park.
It was formed by the erosion from the Colorado River after the plateau was lifted up by seismic activity, which revealed rock that was over a billion years old.
It can be a very overwhelming place. If you don’t plan properly, you will miss out the best the park has to offer.
Don’t just take some pictures at one overlook and call it a day. Take your time to visit a few viewpoints and fully appreaciate the Canyon.
Also, you should take a hike. There are several trails that offer short routes and stunning views.
The Grand Canyon is an extremely popular destination, so plan ahead and make reservations as far in advance as possible.
The best time to visit the Grand Canyon is during the shoulder seasons: spring (March-May) and fall (September-November). You will find mild temperatures and reduced crowds.
7 – See Galapagos Natural Wonders in Ecuador
This archipelago, located in the Pacific 600 miles off Ecuador, is famous for being one of the best places to see wildlife in the world.
It consists of 19 islands and dozens of islets. They were all formed by a series of volcanic eruptions between 3 and 5 million years ago.
The islands became Ecuador’s first national park in 1959, and a World Heritage Site in 1978. More than 220,000 people visit the Galapagos every year to see the wildlife and landscapes that make this region unique.
In Galapagos you will be able to see:
- 32 species of mammals
- 28 species of reptiles
- 13 species of Darwin’s finches
- 42 species of sea birds
- 34 species of shore birds
- 21 species of water birds
- 49 species of land birds
There is no bad time to visit Galapagos. From June to December you can expect cool temperatures, and these are also the dryer months. However skies can be cloudy and gray. You will need a wet suit to snorkel during these months, as water temperatures can be cold, but the cold current brings a lot of plankton, which attracts marine life in abundance.
From January to March you will find warm temperatures and more rain, but it makes the skies look wonderful.
8 – Get Wet in Argentina’s Iguazu Falls
Iguazu Falls is one of the world’s most incredible natural sights. This is a place you must totally visit at least once in your lifetime. You can’t leave it out of your travel bucket list.
You can visit in Argentina or in Brasil, but it is definitely better to visit in Argentina, as most of the falls are there. In Argentina, the falls are protected by the Iguazu National Park.
You will find more that 275 cascades, and the combined flow of them all is the largest of any waterfall in the world. Iguazu Falls are also much taller than Niagara Falls, and twice as wide.
What makes this site awesome is that you can get really close to the falls. There are lots of impressive walkways, and also there are boats and ferry tours that will take you to the falls themselves (yeah, you will get very wet).
The most famous site of the park is the Devil’s Throat (“La Garganta del Diablo”). Words and pictures can’t do justice, it’s one of those things you need to see. This is also one of the main reasons why visiting the falls in Argentina is far better than visiting them in Brasil.
You will also find birds, butterflies, monkeys, caimans, jaguars and more than 2,000 species of plants.
The best time to visit Iguazu Falls is from April to June, or from Aug to September. These are the dry seasons and temperatures are not so hot. Climate is humid here, so in summer the heat can be very intense. Also, during January, February and Easter, the park can be really crowded.
9 – See the Namib Desert
The Namib Desert extends along the Atlantic coasts of Namibia, Angola and Southern Africa. Covering more than 1,200 miles, this desert is the oldest one in the world.
Some of the world’s highest dunes, reaching 400m high, can be found at Namib Desert. This dunes provide endless views over the vast desert landscapes, and are also excellent for sandboarding.
In Namib Desert you will find a huge diversity of animal and plant species, and even some species that are unique to this place.
The sky over Namib Desert is one of the darkest in the world, which makes it a perfect spot for stargazing.
It is also a great place for history lovers, because it contains a lot of evidence of humans living there since the early stone age era.
Namib Desert is a wonderful destination to soak up the peace and quiet like nowhere else on the world. Be sure to include it in your travel bucket list!
That’s it! Do you agree with this travel bucket list? Would you add any other travel experience to it? Leave a comment and let me know!
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