World’s 10 Most Breathtaking Waterfalls

Waterfalls, also known as natural roller coasters, are breathtaking whatever height they fall from. Whether deep in the jungle or at the state park, they never fail to amaze you with their power and size, especially when you see them up close. Here are the world’s 10 most breathtaking waterfalls:

1. Iguacu Falls or Cataratas del Iguazu (Brazil/Argentina)

Getty Images / Mark Meredith

The location of this magnificent waterfall, falling from a height of 270 m, is along the Iguazu River on Argentina and Brazil’s borders. The best time to see the falls is fall and spring (May to November).

2. Victoria Falls or Mosi-oa-Tunya (Zimbabwe/Zambia)

Getty Images /
Vasilis Tsikkinis photos

These falls are located along the Zambezi River, which is in between the borders of Zimbabwe and Zambia, and were first discovered by David Livingstone. The water falls from a height of 355 feet and stretches over a mile. If you take a walk around the falls, you will essentially be walking around both countries. The best time to visit these falls is from November to April.

3. Niagara Falls (Canada/USA)

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Who hasn’t heard about Niagara Falls? These falls are truly breathtaking. Niagara Falls consists of 3 waterfalls – The Horseshoe Falls in Canada, the Bridal Veil Falls, and the American Falls in America. These falls have the highest rate of flow and fall from a height of 165 feet. Take a trip on the Maid of the Mist, the first boat to sail close to the falls. The best time to visit these falls is from April to October.

4. Reichenbach Falls (Switzerland)

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This beautiful landmark was the backdrop of Sherlock Holmes’ final stand. The waterfall is located in Bernese Oberland, amid its peaks and gorges. It falls from a height of 250 m. The famous cable railway from Willingen is located along the falls. The best time to visit is from the middle of May to the beginning of October.

5. Kaieteur Falls (Guyana)

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Located in the interior of Central Guyana’s National Park, the Kaieteur Falls fall from a height of 741 feet into the Potaro River. Charter a flight from Georgetown to reach the falls.

6. Yosemite Falls (U.S.A.)

Photograph by Tony Van Le / Getty Images

Located in Yosemite National Park, the water gushing from Yosemite Falls falls at a height of 2,425 feet. Located in California, U.S.A., you can visit them from late spring and up to early summer, after which they start trickling and are completely dry from August to September. Yosemite Falls are 3 waterfalls – Upper Yosemite, middle cascades, and Lower Yosemite.

7. Angel Falls (Venezuela)

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Located in Venezuela, Angel falls is considered the tallest waterfall in the world. Tourists who wish to visit the falls have to take a canoe trip lasting for 5 hours through Venezuela’s tropical forest to reach them. The water falls from a height of 3,212 feet. They are called Merepakupai Meru in the Pemon language of Venezuela. The best time to visit the falls is from May till November.

8. Gullfoss (Iceland)

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Iceland is a fairyland that will make you believe in goblins and elves. It has an otherworld landscape with huge glaciers, hot water spurts, beautifully colored mountains, geothermal springs, and captivating waterfalls. One of the most breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls is the Gullfoss waterfalls. It surges down in multi-steps and falls into a gash. You can see rainbows in the gash when the sun shines.

9. Sutherland Falls (New Zealand)

Ignacio Palacios / Getty Images

These waterfalls originate from atop the mountains, overlooking Milford Sound. They are 1,904 feet high and are located in Fiordland National Park. You will need to hike on the Milford Track, a hiking trail in the Park, to reach the falls. These waterfalls are steady and fall at a steep slope, making them a true spectacle for many tourists.

10. Detian Waterfall (China/Vietnam)

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These waterfalls are located at the Vietnam Chinese border and stretch for nearly 170 miles. Take a bus from Nanning City in China to reach these 3-tiered waterfalls. They are called Detian on the Chinese side and Ban Gioc in Vietnam.

Top 15 Destination Wedding Spots in the World

Getting married is a very personal commitment that people share with their family and friends. Rather than celebrating with a large number of family members and friends in a local reception hall, many brides and grooms are opting to marry farther away from home. Destination weddings usually involve a smaller group of closest family members and friends and are an enjoyable and intimate experience for all involved.

There are many exotic, remote, and breathtaking locales where couples can get hitched. The top 15 destination wedding spots in the world include:

1. Hawaii

There are many destination wedding locations in the Hawaiian Islands. The pristine beaches, exhilarating cliffs, and lush mountains make Hawaii a very popular place for weddings. A fee of $60 and photo IDs are all that are needed in the state.

Hawaii

2. Jamaica

Jamaica provides brides and grooms options of getting married on a white-sand beach or in the mountains. After staying on the island for 24 hours, couples can get married but they have to show their passports, copies of their birth certificates, and $50 for a marriage license.

Beach Wedding

3. South Africa

Perfect for couples who love outdoor adventures, an increasingly popular destination wedding location is South Africa. There are many beautiful spots to get married, including mountaintops and game reserves.

South Africa

4. Costa Rica

Costa Rica provides brides and grooms with many destination wedding settings, including in the rain forest, a volcano or on the beach. Nature lovers and outdoor adventurers can have a wedding of a lifetime in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica

5. Seychelles Islands

The Seychelles Islands are a great place for destination weddings. Large granite boulders can be found on the beaches in the Seychelles, making it unique. Hilltops overlooking ocean coves are options for couples.

Seychelles Islands

6. Bermuda

The pink-sand beaches and clear waters puts Bermuda on this list. The island offers guests English charm. There are many activities for guests to participate in while in attendance.

Bermuda 1

7. Mexico 

The turquoise waters and white-sand beaches draw many couples to Mexico for their destination wedding. Mexico offers couples of all budgets options for their weddings, ranging from the most basic to extreme luxury.

Mexico 1

8. Paris, France

Many consider Paris to be one of the most romantic cities in the world. The “City of Lights” has many landmarks where people like to exchange vows, including the Eiffel Tower, which is especially spectacular at night.

Paris
Luciano Mortula / Shutterstock.com

9. Barbados

A year-round tropical paradise, couples can get married in temperate weather any time of year in Barbados. This West Indies island boasts beautiful beaches and warm oceans that are second to none. Unlike other caribbean destinations, there is a mild hurricane season in Barbados, making it even more desirable.

Barbados

10. Tuscany, Italy

Riding through the vineyards in Tuscany can provide destination wedding goers with an unforgettable experience. The rolling hills provide for breathtaking scenery, while the rich culture and cuisine make for a satisfying stay in Italy.

Tuscany Italy

11. Ireland

For princesses and their knights in shining armor, Irish castles are perfect sites for their weddings. Castles on cliff-sides are ideal backdrops for a couple exchanging vows.

Ireland

12. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Crystal-clear waters and powder-fine sand are a good combination for a destination wedding in Punta Cana. There are many wedding sites of varying sizes scattered throughout this caribbean paradise.

Punta Cana Dominican Republic

13. Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Amsterdam, also known as “the Venice of the North,” is a popular wedding locale for many couples. The meandering waterways, cobblestone streets, and arched bridges make Amsterdam a very romantic location. Getting married above the city’s canals is an option for the couple.

Amsterdam

14. Phuket, Thailand

Many couples choose to get married in Phuket, amidst the majestic rock formations, golden beaches, and emerald coves. The happy couple and their guests can go on an elephant trek as part of their wedding activities.

Phuket Thailand

15. St. George’s Grenada

Getting married on a private beach can be extremely memorable with very close family members and friends. A Spice Island, Grenada has some of the lushest isles in the caribbean.

Grenada

The Best & Most Fascinating Zoos in the World

Almost every major tourist city in the world is home to a zoo. However, there are only a rare few doing the miraculous work that the following ten zoo’s and wildlife parks are doing to promote animal conservation, wildlife protection, captive breeding of endangered species, and general public education and awareness around the importance of animal preservation.

1. Wellington Zoo, North Island, New Zealand

New Zealand’s very first zoo is one of the biggest, situated on 32-sprawling acres with more than 500 animals and 100 different species—many of which are endangered species native to New Zealand, including Sumatran tigers, the miniature Sun Bear, the smallest of the bear species. The zoo is also involved with a group in parts of Asia called “Free the Bears”, lions, and many more. The zoo is dedicated to quality, sustainable enclosures for its population, which include solar heating and power, and intimate one-on-one encounters with the animals to educate on the importance of natural preservation.

Sumatran tiger

2. Toronto Zoo, Ontario, Canada

The Toronto Zoo houses 5000 animals from 460 species around the world. This zoo boasts some truly unique exhibits—such as camel rides, sting ray touch tanks. Plus, enclosures for numerous endangered baby additions like Gaur (a type of Indian bison), spider monkeys, Grevy’s Zebras, African Elephants, Greater Kudu (a type of antelope), Western lowland gorillas, and pygmy hippo. Not to mention many native animals to Canada, such as Grizzly bear, Moose, Wood Bison, raccoons, lynx, and cougar.

Grizzly bear

3. Australia Zoo, Sunshine Coast, Australia

Of course the wildest and most adventurous zoo on earth would have to have been founded by none other than the late Steve Irwin, Australia’s Crocodile Hunter. The zoo encourages hands-on encounters with various snakes, koalas, kangaroos, wombats, tigers, elephants, as well as viewings of over 1000 different animals. Make a reservation if you really want to make the most of your day!

Koala

4. Yokohama Zoo, Japan

Japan’s Yokohama Zoo, lovingly referred to as “Zoorasia” was established in 1999. A massive 100 acres in size, this lush, sprawling zoo gives extended room to it’s over 1500 animals from 150 species. In fact, the zoo is largely green in design, consisting of 7 separate ecological areas—the Asian Tropical Forest, Central Asian Highland, Oceanian Grassland, Japanese Countryside, African Tropical Rainforest, and the Amazon Jungle—all designed to mimic natural habitats. Because it’s so large, binoculars are given to each guest upon entrance for optimal spotting of the inhabitants.

panda

5. Welsh Mountain Zoo, Colwyn Bay, North Wales

This 37 acre hillside park was established by naturalist Robert Jackson in 1963. Today, the Zoological Society of Wales has taken the helm and operates the zoo more like conservation lands for native wildlife within. Guests are treated to wooded acres, tree lined paths, and rolling hills teeming with grey heron, grass snakes, and badgers. The must-see exhibits are the modern Eurasian Otter showcase—outfitted with a river, and waterfall for happy otters to slide and frolic about—and that of the California Sea Lions and the Humboldt Penguin.

San-Francisco-Zoo penguins

6. Berlin Zoo, Germany

The Berlin Zoo is the oldest and most-visited zoo in all of Germany. In collaboration with its associated aquarium, the area is made up of 84 acres and home to over 17,000 animals. The zoo was established with the help of King Frederick William IV of Prussia, who populated the zoo with 850 animals from his very own private collection. It suffered massive damage during World War II, when most of the zoo and almost a hundred animals were destroyed. However, the zoo was rebuilt and the survivors—a pair of lions, hyenas, a bull Elephant, almost a dozen baboons, and a chimpanzee—moved into more natural enclosures and tours, one of which became the Animals of the Bible tour, showcasing animals from biblical reference.

lion

7. Philadelphia Zoo, Pennsylvania, USA

America’s very first zoo is the Philadelphia Zoo, established in 1874. Today the zoo enjoys a reputation for breeding endangered species in captivity as well as simulated natural habitats for its animal population. Home to over 1300 animals, this urban zoo boasts one of the most state-of-the-art primate exhibits in the world, PECO Primate Reserve, a 2.50acre, indoor and outdoor areas that houses 10 different primate species—including  gibbons, lowland gorillas, Sumatran Orangutans, lemurs, and Silverbacks. Cat lovers will purr at the sight of Big Cat Falls, which houses 12 endangered species of felines such as African Lions, Amur Tigers, jaguars, Snow Leopards, and cougars. If you don’t get your fill during the day, stay for a rare overnight experience camps for kids!

tigers

8. Bronx Zoo, New York City, USA

This rather small zoo in the midst of a metropolis is one of the oldest and best zoos in the USA. So much so that the Wildlife Conservation Society established its veterinarian society here, where primary care is provided for over 15,000 animals located at various zoos across America. The Bronx Zoo is particularly renowned for its animal enrichment programs.  Both educational and hands-on in nature, visitors can witness zoo keepers training and interacting with animals—such as the monkey and tiger population—as well as various feedings, animal behavior, and health care for polar bears and various other resident animals.

giraffes

9. San Diego Zoo, California, USA

Near San Diego’s downtown, you’ll discover the wonders of the world-renowned San Diego Zoo. This huge 100-acre spread is home to almost 4000 animals from 800 species. The grounds are grassy and hilly so many guests opt for the 35-minute guided bus tour, or they choose to hop on and off at certain exhibits. The zoo’s Elephant Odyssey is by far the most impressive and educational, tracing the species form the Pleistocene era (i.e. wholly mammoth) to modern day. However, nearby you can pop in to visit the giant sloths, bears, lions and jaguars in their simulated natural habitats.

San-Diego-Zoo

10. Basel Zoo, Switzerland

The Basel Zoo boasts one of the most successful captive breeding programs of endangered species in the world. The uniquely peculiar creatures here are not often seen in other wildlife parks around the world. In fact, the more than 600 species—including snow leopards, cheetah, Indian Rhino, flamingos, pygmy hippopotamuses, Somali Wild Ass, and okapi—would be proud that their zoo is considered among the top 7 by the Zoological Society of London for its successful breeding efforts.

rhino

10 Coolest National Parks in the World

Are you looking for a different kind of vacation? Why not check out the national parks of different countries? National parks are protected lands managed by the governments. They are the stage on which Mother Nature is the star. Some parks have archaeological areas as the scenic backdrop while others have volcanoes, snow-capped peaks and water as the main attraction. Try these for a different kind of vacation.

1. Kruger National Park

In 1926, South Africa established Kruger National Park, the largest game preserve in Africa. It covers almost 8,000 square miles. The park includes some exotic flora but the animals are the stars of the show. Elephant, zebra, rhinoceros, cheetah, giraffe, leopards, hippos and buffalo can be seen through webcams set up in the park.

Kruger National Park

2. Kakadu National Park

Covering almost 8,000 square miles, Kakadu National Park is located in the northern territory of Australia. The stone country, outliers, lowlands, southern hills and basins, floodplains and the tidal are what Australians call landforms. In each is flora and fauna that thrive best in its surroundings. Don’t miss Jim Jim Falls, the largest waterfall in the park.

Kakadu National Park

3. Tikal National Park

In May of 1955, Guatemala established Tikal National Park, which stretches over 200 square miles. It was the first protected property in Guatemala. Tikal was once the capital of the most powerful of ancient Maya kingdoms. On this vacation, the ancient ruins and archaeological finds will be the stars of the show. Some finds date back to 400 BCE.

Tikal National Park

4. Lake District National Park

England christened the Lake District as a national park in 1951 to keep commerce from destroying its pristine landscape. It has nearly 900 square miles of lakes and mountains to enjoy and photograph. Their mountains are called fells and their lakes are called meres, waters or tarns. It is home to the wild fell pony as well as many squirrels, fish and birds.

Lake District National Park

5. Machu Picchu

The Incans built Machu Picchu in the mid-1400s for their emperor in Peru. When the Spanish conquest happened, they missed this area. Its ruins are a major archaeological find and form the basis of many vacations to the area.

Machu Picchu

6. Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands form an archipelago on either side of the equator around 500 miles off Ecuador. The islands are an Ecuadorian province. Known for their turtles, which Charles Darwin documented when he sailed on the Beagle, their other marine life is huge. You should see the size of the iguanas and the crabs.

Galapagos Islands

7. Fiordland National Park

Waterfalls are beautiful, but if you want Mother Nature at her best, check out the glacier-formed fjord. Milford Sound will be found in the national park located at the southwestern tip of New Zealand’s south island. Glaciers were at work here, carving out valleys between mountains and leaving off-shore islands to be discovered.

Fiordland National Park

8. Banff

If you don’t want to travel across the pond to see a national park, there is one closer. Banff is located in the Canadian Rockies. Skiing is the keyword here, but there are mountains to hike and bike as well as fine dining.

Banff

9. Canaima National Park

Venezuela has waterfalls, too, the tallest in the world, Angel Falls, clocking in at one half mile high. Hike the massive rock plateau that covers much of the park and enjoy the stunning flora and fauna.

Angel Falls Venezuela

10. Yellowstone National Park

Americans don’t have to leave their backyard to see a beautiful national park. Yellowstone is spread over parts of three states and includes Old Faithful, Mammoth Hot Springs and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

Mother Nature can take your breath away. Some forms of beauty are simply more than words can convey. After trying the rides in amusement parks and seeing museums and the nation’s capital, try a natural vacation. Experience the majesty and thrill of nature. And don’t forget your camera.

Yellowstone National Park

The Most Popular Family Vacation Destinations

Once summer arrives, it’s a great time to take a family vacation. These trips can create memories that will last a lifetime that both you and your children will remember. Whether that time off is a yearly event or a special occasion, here are ten of the most popular family vacation destinations.

1. Orlando, Florida

Great Florida weather combines with Universal Studios, Disney World and SeaWorld Orlando to present one of the best vacation packages anywhere. Add water parks, numerous resort hotels and discounted tickets to create the right list of activities to please your family.

Orlando Florida

2. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

What will you find in Myrtle Beach? Start with sixty miles of beaches on the Atlantic Ocean, historic lighthouses, NASCAR SpeedPark, mini-golf courses, and roller coasters. End at the boardwalk with dozens of friendly resort hotels and you have an ideal location to relax and enjoy.

Myrtle Beach South Carolina

3. Biloxi-Gulfport, Mississippi

Biloxi-Gulfport provides the perfect combination of recreation and kid happy leisure time. Centered on the Gulf, this resort town showcases sugar-white sand on miles of beaches. When you need a beach break, check out the NASA Stennis Space Center, ocean cruises and miniature golf. A perfect mix of leisure time and activities will entertain every member of the family.

Biloxi-Gulfport Mississippi

4. Arizona

Get spooked in a ghost town, see the London Bridge and travel to the Navajo Reservation to see Monument Valley. Enjoy a day trip to the Grand Canyon or raft the Colorado River. See the O. K. Corral in Tombstone. Pick a dude ranch for your stay and absorb authentic Wild West history. This state delivers a memorable vacation.

Arizona
Vacclav / Shutterstock.com

5. Southern California

San Diego and Los Angeles offer families a busy trip with Disneyland, San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld San Diego, Legoland and the Hollywood Blvd. Step back to other less famous sites with the California Science Center or hit the beaches at Santa Monica and Malibu. This might be more expensive than other venues, but plan ahead and shop for deals.

San Diego Zoo

6. Oahu, Hawaii

Explore Hawaii with boat trips, dolphin shows, surf lessons, Pearl Harbor and sunny beaches. Great together time for the family comes from a visit to the Diamond Head Crater and hiking a tropical rainforest to see Manoa Falls. Include a visit to the Iolani Palace, the Dole Pineapple Plantation and the Waikiki Aquarium. If you want a once in a lifetime vacation, this is your destination.

Diamondhead Crater Oahu Hawaii

7. Nashville, Tennessee

This music city offers water parks, museums, children’s theater and live music. Combine your trip with kid friendly resorts and stellar restaurants. Plan trips to the Adventure Science Center, the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Nashville’s electric atmosphere has something for every family.

Nashville Tennessee

8. Washington, D. C.

Washington, D. C. is an endless list of free attractions steeped in American history. Your favorite museum or monument list should have these favorites: The Smithsonian, National Museum of Natural History, National Air and Space Museum, National Children’s Museum, Bureau of Engraving & Printing and the Washington Monument. Add great hotels and restaurants and bring your camera.

Washington DC

9. Vancouver, British Columbia Canada

For those families that want a foreign trip, Canada is the place to go. Family-friendly with no language hassle, that’s Vancouver. Stanley Park and Granville Island deserve a visit for their abundance of kid-friendly activities. Make the trip to Grouse Mountain to hike or choose Science World for a fun day exploring. Water activities include kayaking, windsurfing, and rafting. You’ll go home tired but rested.

Grouse Mountain Vancouver
Lissandra Melo / Shutterstock.com

10. Southern Texas and Matamoros, Mexico

Water activities prevail in South Padre Island. This resort community on the Gulf delivers surfing, snorkeling, parasailing, dolphin watching, beach tanning, and sandcastle building. Across the Rio Grande thirty miles away, pass over into Matamoros, Mexico for unique shops with handmade goods and delicious food served with history and culture. If that isn’t enough, venture back to San Antonio to visit the historic Alamo, Six Flags Over Texas and SeaWorld San Antonio.

Alamo Texas

The World’s Most Unique Tourist Destinations

Looking for a unique vacation destination? If the idea of going to see the Eiffel Tower or Big Ben does not appeal to you, then maybe a trip to one of the 10 most unique tourist destinations might. There are many places to visit that are off the beaten path and offer exciting and exotic experiences.

1. Sichuan, China

Located in Sichuan, China is the Leshan Giant Buddha. Carved in to the mountainside, this Buddha measures 233 feet tall. The Giant Buddha was carved in the 8th Century and is one of the largest known Buddha images in the world. While in Sichuan, be sure to stay at the Panda Inn featuring the panda image everywhere including on the walls and the furniture. For added fun, the staff dresses as pandas.

Sichuan, China

2. Las Pozas, Xilitla, Mexico

In Las Pozas, there is a surreal landscape of structures created by a wealthy English aristocrat. Edward James wanted to create a fantasyland and chose the jungles of Mexico for his masterpiece. On the 20 acres, he built buildings with names like “House With a Roof Like a Whale” and a staircase to nowhere. Las Pozas translates to the pools in English.

Las Pozas, Xilitla, Mexico

3. Pancake Rocks, New Zealand

Located on New Zealand’s South Island, Pancake Rocks sits on the western edge of Paparoa National Park. Layers of limestone and sandstone gathered on the ocean floor. The sandstone was softer than the limestone, and it began to erode. As this process occurred, rock outcroppings that resembled stacks of pancakes began to form. Of course, this did not happen overnight; the process began 30 million years ago.

Pancake Rocks New Zealand

4. Mont St. Michel, France

Mont St. Michel is a tidal island. When the tide comes in it is surrounded by water, when the tide recedes it is surrounded by land. The island is located off the coast of Normandy, France. On the island is a Gothic Abbey that housed prisoners during the French Revolution.

Mont St. Michel, France

5. Icehotel, Jukkasjarvi, Sweden

Not afraid of a little cold weather? Located approximately 124 miles above the Arctic Circle, sits the Icehotel, but only in the winter months. The hotel is made almost entirely from ice. Here guests sleep on beds made from ice. There is a church, main hall, and bar made from ice. The glasses in the bar are also carved from ice.

Ice Hotel

6. Dean’s Blue Hole, Bahamas

Blue holes contain fresh water, seawater, or a mixture of both water types that extend below sea level. The name blue hole comes from bright blue color that can be seen from above the hole. Dean’s Blue Hole located on Bahamas’ Long Island is the deepest in the world. It has a depth of 600 feet.

Dean's Blue Hole, Bahamas

7. Cancun Underwater Museum, Cancun

In the ocean, just off the coast of Cancun sits the Cancun Underwater Museum. The museum features more than 400 life size sculptures. The underwater sculptures were made from materials to promote the growth of coral. On the sea floor, the sculpture of a man sits on his couch watching television, while schools of fish swim by. This is truly a unique experience.

Underwater

8. Alberobello, Italy

In 1996, the trulli of Alberobello became a UNESCO World Heritage site. This small town in Italy began in the 14th Century when the Count of Conversano colonized it. Here the homes are trulli. Trulli are dwellings made from limestone and appear cone shaped. When the homes were first built, they were made from interlocking rocks that lacked mortar. Since there was no mortar, they could be moved easily.

Alberobello, Italy

9. Ithaa Undersea restaurant, Maldives

Ever wanted to dine with the fish? On the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, there is a Hilton Resort that offers lunch and dinner at the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant. The restaurant is located 16 feet below sea level. The sides and roof are made of clear glass, allowing guests to be surrounded by sea life as they eat. Be sure to make reservation, because the restaurant only seats 12.

Snorkeling 2

10. Pamukkale Thermal Pools, Turkey

In some places, the Pamukkale Thermal Pools look like fields of cotton balls. The name translates to cotton castle. The thermal pools are filled with natural hot spring waters and cascade down inclines to various tiers. The thermal pools are more than a great way to relax or spend the day swimming. They are breathtakingly beautiful. Do not forget the camera!

Pamukkale Thermal Pools, Turkey

Soak Up the Sun: Hawaii’s 10 Best Beaches

Hawaii is known the world over for its beautiful beaches, and everyone has their own idea of the perfect Hawaiian beach. Some imagine beaches with posh hotels and lively crowds while others dream of tranquil seclusion and tropical beauty. No matter what type of beach is preferred, it can be found on Hawaii. From great family destinations to ideal spots for diving and water sports, here are the following ten best beaches in Hawaii.

1. Hanalei Bay Beach, Kauai

Hanalei Bay is the beach everyone imagines when they think of Hawaiian beaches. This two-mile stretch of sugar white sand and blue-green water is hugged by peaceful rivers, awe-inspiring waterfalls, vibrant flowers and emerald green mountains cloaked in misty clouds. With a large, nearby coral reef, Hanalei offers a wide array of water activities ranging from snorkeling to swimming, windsurfing and boating.

Hanalei Bay Beach, Kauai

2. Kaanapali, Maui

Featuring a huge lava rock dividing it in two sections, Kaanapali Beach is a popular beach because it offers so much for everyone from exclusive resorts to luxurious spas and plenty of shopping and restaurant choices. Known for its ideal snorkeling and scuba diving conditions, this beach also offers a wide selection of other water recreation including fishing, sailing, kayaking, boat tours and more.

Kaanapali, Maui

3. Lanikai Beach, Oahu

A favorite among both locals and tourists, Lanikai Beach is the ideal swimming beach. A wide, offshore reef here provides shelter and calm waters perfect for swimming. Plenty of other water activities abound as well like surfing, windsurfing, sailing and kayaking. What’s more, this beautiful beach is a photographer’s dream with its picturesque scene of turquoise waters and powder-soft sands dotted with swaying coconut palms.

Lanikai Beach, Oahu

4. Honaunau Beach, The Big Island

Honaunau Beach is a diver’s underwater paradise. Located on the Honaunau Bay, known as the City of Refuge, this spot is a treasure chest of beautiful coral reef and amazing lava formations made by volcanic eruptions many years ago. Divers here can swim with a large variety of tropical fish as well as the endangered green sea turtle.

Honaunau Beach, The Big Island

5. Ke’e Beach Park, Kauai

Favored for its stunning sunsets, Ke’e Beach Park is a tropical getaway. A beautiful reef lagoon situated on the North Shore between the gorgeous Na Pali Coast and the Limahuli Stream, Ke’e Beach Park is nestled among the lush vegetation of guava plants, ti flowers, coconut palms and ironwood trees. With a plethora of reef fish and sea turtles, this spot is great for snorkeling and diving.

Ke'e Beach Park, Kauai

6. Kapalua Bay Beach, Maui

Because of its tranquil setting and calm waters, Kapalua Beach is the best beach for inexperienced swimmers and families with small children. Situated in West Maui between two lava rocks, this cul-de-sac beach is bordered by a grove of coconut palm trees, creating a quiet and secluded atmosphere.

Kapalua Bay Beach, Maui

7. Hapuna Beach State Park, Big Island

The most popular beach on Big Island, Hapuna Beach, is part of the Hapuna Beach State Park. Clean and well-maintained, this wide beach features white sands and clear water with a shallow sandbar that slopes 25 yards out into the ocean, making it an ideal spot for boogie boarding and swimming. A nearby coral reef teeming in abundant fish species is perfect for snorkeling.

Hapuna Beach State Park, Big Island

8. Papohaku Beach, Molokai

Those who wish to get away from all the crowds will find seclusion and tropical beauty at Papohaku Beach. Hundreds of feet wide and miles long with white sands, this beach stays mostly vacant except for the occasional sea birds and crabs. The conditions here also good for swimming, surfing, body boarding and snorkeling.

Papohaku Beach, Molokai

9. Poipu Beach, Kauai

A natural pool with calm, clear waters, Poipu Beach is an excellent beach for families with children. There is lots of sand here for building sand castles and opportunities for snorkeling. Another great feature is the monk seals that often come up for a visit and a nap.

Poipu Beach, Kauai

10. Hulopoe Beach, Lanai

Once known as the “Pineapple Island” because it was used by the Dole Company to farm pineapples, Hulopoe Beach is now left quiet and remote, making it a perfect spot for romantic couples. The beach is part of a marine reserve that is home to numerous tropical fish species, dolphins and amazing ocean views.

Hulopoe Beach, Lanai

10 Best Spots to Catch the Most Spectacular Sunset

Imagine kicking back on a beach or sitting perched atop a stunning cliff while reminiscing about all the adventures of the day. There is something extremely rewarding about watching the sun go down. And we’ve got ten spots around the world where you can watch that glowing ball erupt into the horizon in all of its glory.

Let yourself be dazzled by our top picks for where in the world you can catch the most spectacular sunset…

1. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, USA

The unique rock formation form a literally point over Bryce Canyon National Park as the sun majestically sets over the desert, creating the most epic view in the west.

Bryce Canyon Sunset

2. Mount Agung, Bali

Sure, the trek up Mount Agung, in Bali, is an arduous one. However, the pay out for your effort is well worth every drop of sweat and blister. The sweeping view across the lake to Mount Batur (another well known peak in Bali) is downright awe-inspiring.

Mount Batur, Bali

3. Uluru, Australia

Dubbed the “devil’s marbles”, Central Australia offers hikers a view that’s one of the most heavenly on earth. Take in the sights as the sun bursts into red flame over the rocks and gradually turns to orange, blue, green, purple, and it dips and disappears in an inky black yawn behind this natural wonder.

Uluru, Australia

4. Inle Lake, Burma

Take the time to close the day at Myanmar/Burma’s, Inle Lake, and you’ll be treated to a sunset over the spectacular mountainous backdrop, with fishing boats gently bobbing to and fro on the lush floating lake gardens. You can even stay in one of the many stilt houses on the lake and watch the scene every night during your stay. A standard, single, stilt bungalow starts at $90 USD per night.

Inle Lake, Burma

5. Largo di Varano, Puglia, Italy

If you venture to the Mediterranean, on the boot of Italy, it’s worth a meander to Puglia’s unspoiled beaches and rocky shores where you’ll find Largo di Varano (or Varano Lake), located on the quaint Gargano Peninsula. Stay in one of the small nearby towns and take a walk at dusk for one of the most unique and memorable sunsets.

Puglia, Italy

6. Okavango Delta, Botswana

Even though the gazelles, hippos, and elephants wind down close to sunset; the crocodiles are ready for hide and seek. So keep your distance from the water’s edge and catch one of the world’s most unforgettable sunsets against the watery plains and lush flora and fauna.

Okavango Delta, Botswana

7. Mount Fuji, Honshu Island, Japan

Nothing makes you feel quite so apart of the larger universe than sneaking a peak at the indigos and pinks over Japan’s highest mountain, Mount Fuji (at 12,389feet). Sure if you want to climb the summit you’ll see a sweeping vista kissed by the setting sun, but the better view is from the popular Yoshida Trail, looking out as the sun disappears behind the mountain peak.

Mount Fuji, Japan

8. Bora Bora, Tahiti

There’s good reason why Bora Bora is known as the “most beautiful place on Earth”. However, all expectations aside, the sunset in vivid colors of fiery red, blazing orange, and royal gold is indescribable and enough to bring the hardest heart to tears.

Bora Bora, Tahiti

9. Shetland Isles, Scotland

The craggy moors and cliffs of Shetland Scotland will treat you to a view that seems straight out of the past. These islands sit furthers north of the UK, which is why they offer Europe’s best sunsets if you happen to find yourself on one of the islands’ lonely, wind torn beaches—particularly in early spring or late autumn.

shetland Island, scotland

10. Great Pyramids, Giza, Egypt

Marvel at one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world as you follow the sun’s languid descent—yellows, golds, and deep oranges—as it soars over the Great Pyramids and into the crystallized sand. You may even be able to coax a camel to take you out under the sky so you can follow the sun’s decline from every direction, as far as the eye can see.

pyramids, egypt