There are some destinations that you can’t miss—Rome, London, and New York City. With access to a private jet, try a destination that’s off the radar for your next big adventure; wonderlands that local residents try to keep to themselves.
Destinations You Never Knew Existed
Apostle Islands, Bayfield Wisconsin
Wisconsin might not be the first place that comes to mind when considering undiscovered destinations. Considered the “jewels of Lake Superior,” the Apostle Islands are a group of 21 islands and a mainland coast that blend natural and cultural elements. Any time of year is a good time to paddle through sea caves, tour historic lighthouses, and cruise along the water. During the winter, the caves fill with spectacular icicles and waterfalls freeze, making them unique sites.
Namaqualand, Namibia and South Africa
Situated along Africa’s western coast, arid Namaqualand, or Namaqua region, explodes with color each spring, between August and October. The barren lands fill with striking orange, purple, red, pink, white and yellow flowers. Go on a safari to see the surreal landscape from a different perspective.
Huacachina, Ica, Perú
Like a mythical oasis surrounded by Paracas desert sand dunes, Huacachina is a resort town built around a natural lake. The area is home to some of the largest sand dunes in the world, making it perfect for sandboarding and dune buggies.
For another hidden gem in the southern part of the country, check out Colca Canyon. It’s two times deeper than the Grand Canyon and surrounded by pre-Incan stepped terraces.
Hinatuan River, Mindanao, Philippines
Nicknamed the “enchanted river,” the Hinatuan River on the island of Midano is dazzling with jade and sapphire colors. The water in the salty river flows from an underground cave, so it seems as if water magically fills this section of the bay. Scientists began actively exploring its depths in 1999, but have yet to reach the bottom. The waters are a snorkeler’s paradise with a variety of wildlife, including several types of turtles.
Crooked Forest, West Pomerania, Poland
Everyone loves a mystical forest. This is exactly what Poland’s Crooked Forest is. The area just outside of Nowe Czarnowo has about 400 pine trees that were planted in the 1930s. As the trees grew, they formed a 90-degree angle at their base. No one knows why the trees grew this way. Theories range from heavy snowfall to human intervention.
Jiuzhaigou, Sichuan, China
In the Jiuzhaigou Valley, everything is beautiful. The area is home to nine Tibetan villages, giant pandas, golden monkeys, rhododendrons and orchids. The remote region stretches over 18,000 acres and is best known for its multi-level waterfalls, conic karst land formations and colorful, crystal-clear lakes.
Kawah Ijen Volcano, Banyuwangi, Java, Indonesia
Indonesia’s Kawah Ijen Volcano is home to two unusual natural wonders: a turquoise-blue caldera lake and an active solfatara that burns electric blue flames. The acid in the volcano’s caldera is so strong (pH levels dip as low as 0.5) that they can dissolve metal. When the sulfurous gases combine with the oxygen-rich atmosphere, they ignite into bright blue flames that illuminate the night sky.