If you’ve never created a bucket list, allow us to provide a little inspiration. Presenting our curated list of 10 insanely cool places on the planet you have to see and experience in your lifetime. From seeing gorillas in the jungles of Uganda to cruising the Nile and coming up close with flamingos on the most beautiful beach in the Bahamas these destinations promise to induce your wanderlust.
Machu Picchu, Peru
Deep in the heart of the Peruvian Andes nearly 8,000 miles above sea level lies the Incan Citadel of Machu Picchu. Hidden deeply in the thick forest the remains of this 15th-century citadel were completely undiscovered until 1911. Now nearly 1.5 million visitors a year pile into vans on buses or make the 26-mile hike to take in this architectural wonder, which is made up of palaces, temples, monuments, and boundary walls all of which you can explore. For guests looking to gain an extra special view of Machu Picchu, book a stay at the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge with views of the grounds and an exclusive entry time to Machu Picchu that allows you to beat the crowds.
Valley of the Kings, Egypt
Ancient Egyptians had strong beliefs about the afterlife and engaged in many rituals tied to preparing their pharaohs for their next journey. For over 500 years from the 16th to the 11th century, BC elaborate tombs were built deep into the red rocks in the Valley of the Kings. These elaborately painted tombs were filled with jewelry, statues, weapons and chariots all thought to be helpful to the pharos in their next life. Unfortunately, thieves beat the archaeologists to the tombs and upon discovery, only one, the tomb of Tutankhamun remained intact. An entry ticket grants visitors access to the beautiful red rocks and many of the beautiful tombs. Tribe Tip: King Tut was a young King and while he is the most famous his tomb is not the most impressive. Skip the lines and make your way to the more impressive Tomb of Ramses IX.
Step Wells, Rajasthan India
Given their fascinating symmetry and rare style of architecture the step wells of Rajasthan have become a popular site for those exploring the city. The step wells, also known as Baori were originally built for water storage and a cooling system for palaces. The most famous of these step wells is Chand Baori, one of our favorite wonders of the world you’ve never heard of. Built-in 9th Century Chand Baori stands 13 stories tall, over 100 feet into the ground, and features over 3,500 narrow zigzagging steps. On a hot day, visitors and locals will flock to the lower levels of the steps, where the temperatures are known to drop a full 10-12 degrees.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda
In terms of animal adventures, there are few adventures as amazing as seeing Gorillas trekking in Uganda. The endangered mountain gorillas, which live in large family groupings, are among the world’s most fascinating and beautiful animals. This trip is not for the faint-hearted and being physically fit is a prerequisite. Some days you’ll leave your accommodations to spend hours behind your guides hiking quietly through thick vegetation. All the preparation and efforts will pay off when you catch a glimpse of these majestic gorillas in their natural habitat.
Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina
Nestled in Argentina’s southwest providence of Santa Cruz’ the Perito Moreno Glacier is one of Patagonia’s most important natural wonders. In an age where glaciers are disappearing en masse, there’s a sense of urgency in a visit to Perito Moreno. Why this glacier and not one of the world’s many other glacial points? In a word, size. The Perito Moreno Glacier is 100 square miles, stretches three miles wide, and rises 255 feet above the lake Lago Argentino. The town closest to Perito Moreno, El Calafate makes for the perfect base for visits to the petrified forest and Torres del Paine National Park. With a bit of a bohemian feel, El Calafate is brimming with local artisans, craft breweries, and lovely cafes to explore in-between nature adventures.
Ancient City of Petra, Jordan
Petra is one of the world’s most well-preserved ancient cities. Dating back to 300 BC, Petra’s famed ancient ruins are one of the most documented travel locations. Created by the Nabataean people, the massive scale of the carved buildings creates uniquely detailed ornamental facades. Nicknamed the “rose city” the Petra ruins are created from pink iridescent sandstone that casts a reflective light in the sun. Travelers make their way on donkeys, through sunset-colored slotted canyons, to some of Petra’s most iconic ruins like The Treasury. No trip to Jordan would be complete without heading to Wadi Rum and staying in a Bedouin nomadic camp. Experience the traditional lifestyle of Jordan’s nomadic tribes via a visit to the Seven Wonders Luxury Camp.
The Kimberley Region of Australia
Australia is one of the vastest, diverse continents on earth. From its cosmopolitan cities to its gorgeous beaches, iconic Great Barrier Reef, red center, and rugged outback. In Western Australia, spanning the country’s entire north-western corner is the Kimberley region, an ancient landscape that is considered one of the world’s most precious wilderness frontiers. Three times the size of England, but with a population of less than 40000, it’s in this beautiful, remote part of the world that you can discover the best of Australia’s wildlife, national parks, majestic canyons, freshwater swimming holes, and outback stations, and epic 4WD road trips. Beyond its spectacular scenery (epic natural rock foundations, pristine coastline, and lush mangrove forests)The Kimberley’s as they are affectionately known is home to luxury accommodations, amazing restaurants, and Cable Beach in Broome, one of the most stunning and romantic beaches in the country, if not on earth, where a camel ride is a must.
Flamingo Beach, Aruba
For an experience you’ll never forget, add Aruba to your bucket list, where you can take a day trip to Renaissance Private Island, which is home to its famed Flamingo Beach. One of the most Instagrammed and magnificent spots on the 40-acre luxury private Caribbean island, it’s here on its glittering white sands and turquoise waters that flamingos wade free. Only accessible by water taxi, Flamingo Beach is the perfect photo opp and if you’re really lucky, these beautiful pink creatures may even come up close enough to eat out of your hand.
Canals of Venice, Italy
The setting for many iconic Hollywood movies Venice is a floating city straight out of a fairytale. Seeped in history, and romance, Venice is awash with awe-inspiring Italo-Byzantine architecture and Renaissance and Gothic palaces, but it’s Venice’s gondola-filled canals that literally steal the show. There are 150 canals in total, ranging from tiny, quiet side canals to the famed Grand Canal, Venice’s busiest thoroughfare set on an ancient riverbed that will take you through a memorizing tour of the city’s historic center. When in Venice revel in the glamour of the iconic Hotel Cipriani, a luxury hideaway that offers stunning views over the water, and vistas spanning the Doge’s Palace to the church of St Giorgio. Part of its charm is the hotel’s exquisite antiques and local artifacts, Michelin-starred gastronomy, and the only Olympic-sized swimming pool in the city.
Zion National Park, USA
Known for its stunning, steep canyons, through which you can hike to see panoramic views of the park or wade through thigh-high waters, Zion National Park is one of the top national parks in the U.S. The park is home to one of the world’s most treacherous hikes. As you walk the trail along Angel’s Landing, the only thing preventing falling off the edge is a rope, but be brave as the views are worth it. The Narrows, which get their name as they are the narrowest part of the park, involves walking through the Virgin River (you’ll need rain boots for this one) underneath thousand-foot walls of sandstone. Aside from hikes, Zion is a climbers paradise. Tribe tip: the best time to go is March through May or September through November.