If you’re like me, your favorite part of traveling is having your breath taken away by the most magnificent scenic landscapes. Seriously, I will do anything that involves being in the Great Outdoors. If this sounds like you too, then you’ve come to the right place, my friend. I present to you (just a few of) the world’s most beautiful must-see outdoor destinations!
Let’s begin our virtual sightseeing tour of these miraculous places (in no particular order).
1. Patagonia, Argentina/Chile
Sprawled across both Argentina and Chile in South America, Patagonia is comprised of many different terrains. From glaciers, mountains, and fjords to deserts and tablelands,Patagonia boasts a wide range of scenic views. With such a wide variety of geographic conditions comes the ability to partake in an array of outdoor activities. Patagonia is a popular place for hiking, horseback riding, kayaking, biking, fishing, and glacier trekking.
2. Swiss Alps, Switzerland
Within the small country in the heart of the Alpine region, Switzerland’s Swiss Alps Switzerland is home to some of the most notoriously scenic mountain ranges. If you are familiar with the opening scene in The Sound of Music where Julie Andrews dances across a hilltop surrounded by mountains singing “The Hills Are Alive”, that’s the easiest way to envision the Swiss Alps, except they’re even more breathtaking. In the Swiss Alps, the “hills” truly are alive with all the adventurous activities available. From the more obvious skiing and snowboarding to hiking, climbing, and even paragliding, there’s no wrong way to experience the livelihood of the glorious Alps.
3. Landmannalaugar, Iceland
Located in the Fjallabak Nature Reserve in the southern part of Iceland, Landmannalaugar is a geothermal oasis surrounded by colorful mountains, lava fields, and scattered with natural hot springs. When I say colorful, I mean that it quite literally looks like a child painted the hillsides like a rainbow. Landmannalaugar is a camper’s dream– it has exquisite trails for hiking, otherworldly panoramas, dazzling views of the northern lights, and even natural hot springs you can freely bathe in. If any place on Earth could feel like another planet, Iceland is definitely a top contender. Escaping reality takes on a whole new meaning in this destination.
4. Huaraz, Peru
Dubbed South America’s “outdoor capital”, Huaraz is the ultimate destination for dedicated hikers. Lying in the north-central region of Peru in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range, Huaraz has some of the most remarkable mountain trails in the world. You can simply trek the beautiful range or you could take a faster approach and hit the trails with a bike. Feeling vertically inclined? Rock climbing is also a popular activity in Huaraz as well. The ultimate must-see attraction in Huaraz is Laguna 69, reachable via a day-long hike. Laguna 69 is a picturesque, strikingly ice-blue lake surrounded by the profile of white-capped mountains jutting into the sky. It’s no wonder Huaraz has also been deemed the Little Switzerland of the Andes.
5. Milford Sound, New Zealand
Carved out by ancient glacial ice, Milford Sound is an ocean inlet surrounded by magnificent peaks in the Southwest region of New Zealand’s South Island. Recognized as one of the most stunning natural attractions in New Zealand and the world, Milford Sound has it all. Besides hiking the peaks surrounding the water, much of Milford’s draw is what you can do on the water. You can glide through mirror-like reflections on the water by way of kayak or sailboat, and even go fishing. If you would prefer to experience the breathtaking views from the sky, scenic flights are also a popular choice.