There are many places in the world that deserve to be seen. But we don’t have the time or the resources to see them all in a single lifetime. However, some locations are so beautiful and iconic that they simply must be experienced in person. Whatever else is on your bucket list, make sure you visit and check off these travel destinations. Here are the top 10 bucket list travel destinations you must visit at least once in your life.
Located where three states meet — Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana — this national park is a 3,500 square mile natural wonderland. It is home to the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest volcanic crater in North America. Although the volcano is not expected to erupt anytime soon, there are still many hot springs, geysers, and rainbow-colored lakes all through the park. It is one of the most eerie and beautiful places on Earth. Therefore, if you want to see nature in all its glory, this is the place to visit.
Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Chile
Located in the South Pacific and part of the country of Chile, this amazing little island is home to some of the most unique and mysterious artwork ever created. The “Easter Island Heads” or “moai” are distinctive statues weighing several tons each. A people without access to metal tools, wheels, or horses created them. How the stones were moved from the quarry and erected remains a mystery to this day, although at least one convincing theory has emerged recently.
The largest such project ever constructed, the Great Wall of China is over 13,000 miles in total length. The wall was built during the reign of the first Chinese emperor, Qin Shi Huan, and added to over the centuries by subsequent dynasties. The wall was meant to repel invaders, and is an enduring symbol of China as a nation. It’s possible to walk along parts of the wall between the ramparts, and the wall crosses through some of China’s most beautiful landscapes.
The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The world’s largest reef system is also one of the world’s largest living organisms. It stretches 1,400 miles along the eastern coast of Australia, so it’s large enough to be seen from space! And it’s the home for millions of unique and beautiful species of fish and other sea creatures. If your travels allow you to visit the land down under, then make this one of your must-see stops.
One of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations, Santorini is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea. It sits on an old volcano that once erupted and destroyed the Minoan civilization. It’s said the eruption inspired the legend of Atlantis. Yet, despite its history, it’s surprisingly pristine. Today, it’s nothing but blue seas, blue skies, and distinctive blue roofs.
Machu Picchu, Peru
The jewel of South America, Machu Picchu is an archeological site on a high mountain range in Peru. This Inca stronghold was abandoned during the Spanish conquests of the 15th century, and wasn’t rediscovered until the early 20th century. It’s currently open while restoration continues, and is a remarkable example of Mesoamerican architecture.
No bucket list is complete without the Great Pyramids. Located in Giza, just outside of Cairo, Egypt, they are the only surviving wonder of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. People still argue how these were built; some even claim aliens did it. The Great Sphinx is also part of the pyramid complex. There are no more iconic symbols of the ancient world in existence. Therefore, to see them in person is to touch some of the earliest aspects of civilization.
Victoria Falls, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Victoria Falls, the largest waterfall on Earth, runs between the two nations of Zambia and Zimbabe, and bisects the tremendous Zambezi River. The national parks on either side of the border host wildlife conservation areas. Elephants, giraffes, and water buffalo among other animals can be seen wandering in the protected area. Victoria Falls is one of the most beautiful natural sites on the whole continent of Africa, and definitely worth the trip.
The Taj Mahal, India
Of course, this has to be on your bucket list. Located in Agra, India, the Taj Mahal was built out of stunning white marble in the 15th century by an emperor as a tomb for his favorite wife. Originally, his tomb was to be built alongside, as a matching replica in black marble. Although this plan never came to pass, the Taj Mahal by itself remains a phenomenal site to visit, symbolic of Indian culture and history. It is considered a masterpiece of architecture and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Anghor Wat, Cambodia
Anghor Wat is a fantastic complex of temples in Siem Reap province in Cambodia. Built in the 12th century, this huge structure was originally dedicated to the Hindu deity Vishnu. Later, it was rededicated as a Buddhist enclave. It remained mostly uninhabited for centuries. Because of this, the natural world crept back in, covering the temple with trees, roots, and vines. But the greenery both destroyed and preserved the temple ruins at the same time. Because of that, Anghor Wat is still one of the most beautiful archaeological sites in the world.