We travel to seek beauty around us to escape the mundane and to understand the culture, to replenish our souls with the richness of scenic beauty. Every travel destination in the world is unique and takes us on a journey that gives our lives true meaning.
The world’s beauty has yet to be fully explored and a single person will never be able to do it alone because there are so many fascinating places to visit, some popular and others underrated.
Have you ever visited a place that reminded you of a dream? It felt unreal because you’ve never seen something so exciting, something you’d imagine that was in books or movies. These less known places are known to be the best destinations in the world for you to explore your wanderlust vibe.
So, seek out the traveller in you and give it wings to land in some of the most exquisite and surreal places to visit that are a visual treat.
Here are 27 beautiful surreal places to visit before you die. Add these to your travel bucket list now!
1. Zhangye Danxia landform in Gansu, China
You can’t afford to miss this one if you want to see the universe at its best. The spectacular Danxia Landforms, which are located in the eastern hillocks of the majestic Qilian Mountains, are not just gorgeous, as that would be too short an adjective, but you will hardly believe this astonishing mountain formation even after a magnificent view.
Nature works its magic here, making you forget about the monotony of everyday life. Can you believe there is a ‘real mountain’, that is delineated in rainbow colors? Visit this place if you want to see something out of your ordinary life. It will undoubtedly increase your desire to travel in more ways than one.
2. The swing at the “End of the World” in Baños, Ecuador
La Casa del Arbol, also known as “The Swing At The End Of The World“, is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Baos, Ecuador. This beautiful swing, located on a mountain cliff next to an active volcano, is something you shouldn’t miss while visiting Baos.
These swings are fun, but let’s be honest, they’re also terrifying. This unique location (2600 metres above sea level) draws visitors from all across the globe just to swing over a cliff. It’s a perfect place for nomadic souls and those who dare to swing from this height. In addition, you could even view the mesmerising yet terrifying Tungurahua Volcano.
3. The Great Blue Hole in Belize
A terrifying treat for your eyes, which lies amidst the Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll 70 km from Belize City. The hole is circular in shape, 318 metres in diameter, and 124 metres deep.
It is situated in the midst of a magnificent and tranquil ocean view. Researchers believe that this massive sinkhole formed thousands of years ago during the glacial period. The Great Blue Hole is also one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.
4. Tulip fields in the Netherlands
When you see vast green patches full of magnificent colours, words of praise will naturally come out of your mouth. The Flower Stripe lined in the Dutch countryside which connects Haarlem and Leiden, is also a great place to frolic among the flowers.
It’s a photographer’s paradise, and who can resist taking a selfie amidst the enticing Tulip Fields? However, tulips bloom between late March and early May, but the best time to see them is in mid-April making it a must-visit for travellers to see the tulips at their most colourful patchwork quilt.
5. The Hang Son Doong cave in Quang Binh Province, Vietnam
Hang Son Doong Cave has been referred to as the world’s largest natural cave since its discovery and continues to be so today. It has added attractions in the form of the tallest known stalagmites (80 metres) and precious cave pearls to its magnificence and enormous size. The cave has always been a dream of many travellers around the world.
If you are an adventurous soul, this cave is one of the surreal places you should visit before you die, with the exploration of an underwater tunnel.
6. Hitachi Seaside Park in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki, Japan
Located on the coast of Japan’s largest island, Honshu, the Hitachinaka Park with beautiful flowers, will take your breath away and add to one of the many surreal places to visit. It has tulips, nemophilas, and narcissus bloom in the spring, and poppies, roses, sunflowers, and zinnias bloom in the early summer. And when it’s set against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean, it’s even better.
This park also has a Ferris wheel, which provides excellent views of the park, as well as a roller-coaster, golf area, a labyrinth, a water playground, and other attractions.
7. Mendenhall Ice Caves of Juneau in Alaska, United States
The Mendenhall Glacier in blue and white is a picturesque place in which water flows over rocks below the blue walls within a partly hollow glacier.
This is created when the ice absorbs all of the colors except blue, which reflects back, and it appears incredibly beautiful.
The enchanting ice caves mesmerize any person because they are formed within an ice chunk, with water constantly flowing through the glacier and forming a passageway. When the beauty of the caves meets the dancing blue waters, something heavenly is created. For those who enjoy trekking, this is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
8. Mount Roraima in Venezuela, Brazil, and Guyana
Mount Roraima is the place to visit if you’re looking for an enticing view that makes it seem like a fantasy movie. It has remarkable slopes that add a new dimension to this location. Those who are fortunate enough to reach the summit of Mount Roraima will experience seeing black rocks, wildflower gardens and numerous pools.
Aside from that, Mount Roraima is home to the Canaima National Park (30,000 square kilometres), which is home to the world’s rarest flora and fauna. Such as pitcher plants, heathers, and even a diurnal toad.
9. Ancient Region of Anatolia in Cappadocia, Turkey
Cappadocia’s ethereal landscapes are one of Turkey’s most popular natural wonders. The extraordinary permeable cliffs rise from the Central Anatolian plateau and have served as the landscape for an equally fascinating history over the centuries.
It is also known as Asia Minor by the Romans, the area has become a popular tourist destination and a favorite hot air ballooning location. If you want to experience something surreal and feel the essence of the universe, Ancient Region is the place to be.
10. Sea of Stars on Vaadhoo Island in the Maldives
If you want to swim among the stars, you’ll love the concept called the “Sea of Stars” on one of the Indian Ocean’s islands in the Maldives.
Vaadhoo Island is where you’ll most likely find the magical ‘Sea Of Stars’ thanks to its glowing blue waves. Many tourists visit Vaadhoo Island to witness this spectacular phenomenon, which occurs in late summer in the Maldives’ coral reefs.
The bioluminescence in the water, which makes it appear to be a reflection of the stars above, is caused by phytoplankton, which are marine microorganisms. The effect on the shore is breathtaking, and it is one of the most surreal places to visit before you die.
11. Victoria Falls bordering Zimbabwe and Zambia in Africa
The Victoria Falls, also known as “Mosi oa-Tunya” (“the smoke that thunders”), is located midway along the 2700 km journey of the Zambezi River from its source to the sea.
Don’t worry it’s not an average waterfall, during the rainy season, you can get glimpses of the vast basalt cliff and water sprays which add to the wild beauty of the Zambezi. It’s no surprise that it’s known as the world’s largest curtain of falling water.
12. Trolltunga in Hordaland, Norway
Trolltunga (Troll’s Tongue in English) is one of Norway’s most spectacular scenic cliffs. It’s a rock that juts out of the mountain about 2,000 feet above the ground.
The Hardanger valleys can be seen from the cliff. It is formed of Precambrian rocks and was formed roughly 10,000 years ago during the Ice Age when the edges of the glacier reached the cliff. It is also the most beautiful hike one can take in Norway. Hikers can access it from mid-June to mid-September.
13. Whitehaven Beach at Whitsunday Island in Australia
One of the surreal places to visit is Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island, it will surely make your trip to Australia unforgettable. This beach is well-known for its beautiful white sands and turquoise and blue water. The sand is very fine, and walks along the beach are so fantastical that they appear magical.
It is Queensland’s cleanest beach, as well as the world’s top eco-friendly beach. Activities such as sea kayaking or rafting can be included if you enjoy an adventure.
14. The Grand Canyon in Arizona, United States
Regarded as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon is a magnificent beauty that stretches for 277 miles and is 18 miles wide.
The formation of this started 70 million years ago as a series of smaller canyons, but most of the canyon did not form until much later. Isn’t that fascinating? There is also a Grand Canyon Park in Arizona vividly depicting geologic history in the form of layered colourful rock bands.
15. Marble Caves at General Carrera Lake in Patagonia, Argentina and Chile
There can’t be anything more beautiful than nature. One such fine example is the Marble Caves (also known as the Capillas de Mármol) is one of Patagonia’s hidden-gems to visit. The caves are synchronized and sculpted into marble, which is something to be admired and treasured.
The Marble Caves are the result of over 6000 years of aquamarine seawater washing up against calcium carbonate. It is in the center of General Carrera Lake and people can visit this place with the help of a kayak or boat.
16. The Railway Engulfed in a Tunnel
Ukrainians refer to it as the “Tunnel of Love.” This tunnel is one of the most photographed locations and visitors from all over the world come to see the famous tree tunnel that runs through the small town of Klevan.
It is undoubtedly a romantic spot for lovers to take photos or visit on a date, but one can reportedly trace its origins all the way back to the tensions and secrecy of the Cold War.
17. Salar De Uyuni in the Potosí and Oruro departments of southwest Bolivia
There are many places on Earth that are considered fabulous in a unique and mystical way. One of them is the Salar de Uyuni. In Spanish, it is known as Salar de Tunupa, which translates as “salt flat enclosure.”
This is also the largest salt flat on the earth. During the rainy season, it also transforms into a massive mirror of the sky. The Salar was formed as a result of several changes in prehistoric lakes.
18. Enchanted Well at Chapada Diamantina in Bahia, Brazil
The Enchanted Well, also known as “Poco Encantado,” is situated in Bahia, Brazil’s Chapada Diamantina National Park.
The majestic features of this well are that it is located in a limestone cave and are famous because the crystal clear water along with pebbles and tree stumps are clearly visible. The best time to visit this is between April and September when the deep blue waters are illuminated by the sun’s light.
19. Antelope Canyon in Arizona, United States
As surreal as it sounds, the stunning Antelope Canyon, located near Page, Arizona, is divided into two sections known as Upper Antelope Canyon, and Lower Antelope Canyon. They’re also referred to as “The Crack” and “The Corkscrew”.
This designation is definitely a photographer’s paradise as you will get mesmerising photographs in this with its sublimity and grandeur.
20. Fingal’s Cave on the island of Staffa in Scotland
Fingal’s Cave is the most well-known cave on the Scottish island of the Inner Hebrides. Although this block structure appears to be man-made, it was actually formed by lava flow.
The cave has the feel of a fantasy movie set. It is, without a doubt, one of the most surreal places to go for anyone who is fascinated by mysterious locations.
21. To Sua Ocean Trench in the Lotofaga village on the south coast of Upolu, Samoa
The To Sua situated in Upolu is a beautiful garden park overlooking the southeast coast of the island.
Many consider To Sua to be the world’s most exciting swimming pool. It consists of animated-like vegetation, explosive blowholes and a few hidden coastal tunnels that adds to its beauty. The swimming pool’s water flows into the deep hole through a lava tube tunnel.
22. Bamboo groves of Arashiyama in Kyoto, Japan
This forest’s magnificence and greenery casts a unique spell on all nature lovers, making it one of the most underrated places to visit in Japan.
It is also known as the “Bamboo Forest,” and is popular for long walks or bicycle rides. The giant bamboo groves are quite common in Japan, but there is something about this place that is so unique and fulfiling.
23. Glowworm Caves in Waitomo, New Zealand
The Glowworm Grotto in the Waitomo Caves is a place where glowworms create a starry effect on the ceiling of the cave, making it magical for anyone who visits. The species of this glowworm can only be found in New Zealand.
Most people are only familiar with the three main caves in Waitomo, but did you know that there are hundreds of caves there? Isn’t that amazing?
24. Haiku Stairs of Oahu in Hawaii, United States
The Haiku Stairs, also known as the Stairway to Heaven, is designed to be a steep ladder staircase that was earlier supplied as pedestrian access to former US military bases for Navy communication on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.
While it might be one of the surreal places to visit, climbing those stairs is not a piece of cake. It has a total of 3,922 steps spanning Oahu’s Ko’olau mountain range.
25. Volcanoes of Kamchatka in Russia
Being one of the highest volcanoes with a height of nearly 16,000 feet, the Klyuchevskaya Sopka is definitely one of the most mysterious yet surreal places to visit.
This magnificent chain of volcanoes is located on the Kamchatka Peninsula, and here’s a fun fact, did you know 19 of them are still active?
26. Cenotes of Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico
The mysterious Cenotes of Yucatán are natural sinkholes on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. These sinkholes have been formed as a result of collapsing bedrock and exposing hidden pools of groundwater beneath the soil.
The unique appeal and magical atmosphere of the Cenotes make it a well-known destination among travellers.
27. Kelimutu crater lakes in Flores Island, Indonesia
The Kelimutu crater lakes are a mystery in themselves. Each of the three water bodies at the top of Indonesia’s Kelimutu volcano is a different colour from red to blue.
The two lakes are the Lake of Old People, also known as Tiwi Ata Mbupu, and the Lake of Young Men and Maidens, also known as Tiwu Nua Muri Kooh Tai. The colours change on a regular basis and have become popular among travellers who want a surreal experience.
From volcanoes to caves and mysterious forests, these surreal places to visit aren’t just magical, but a discovery to the depths of your soul.
We hope you enjoyed finding the perfect place to add to your bucket list.