Way Off the ‘Beaten Path’

There are hundreds of fascinating places around the world that you and the vast majorities likely never heard of or about. Below are 5 for your list. As follows:

Aquarium in Rangiroa, French Polynesia

Snorkeling, SCUBA and sea life lovers take note, because within the Tuamotu Islands archipelago is perhaps the world’s most breathtaking natural aquarium. Think picturesque coral atolls and pristine reefs set in warm crystalline waters and inhabited by strong schools of neon-colored fish. The shallow water makes it ideal for swimmers of all ages and abilities and a delightful place to embark on your 1st SCUBA diving adventure. If you ever wanted to take that envy-inducing underwater photo then there are lots of opportunities. Best of all is that this natural wonder is only a short boat ride from the Avatoru and Tiputa tourist villages. Here’s how to visit.

Athabasca Sand Dunes, Canada

In the northern reaches of the Saskatchewan province is Canada’s biggest active sand surface. The rolling Athabasca Sand Dunes, some of which rise to up to 98 ft dominate the southern shoreline of Lake Athabasca. Visiting is only recommended to those with experience in wilderness regions and the only way to get here is by float plane or boat. If you are up for the challenge, then a landscape of desolate beauty and over 40 rare plant species await. Exhumed forests, felt-leaved willow and sand chickweed are some of the botanical highlights. Besides designated camping areas there are no amenities, so you’ll have to bring everything with you. Plan your trip to these 62-mile-long dunes here.

Huacachina, Peru

Close to the city of Ica, some 5 hrs south of Lima, lies the only natural desert oasis in South America. Huacachina is a magical destination, where a small village sits on the shores of palm-shaded Huacachina Lagoon, itself encompassed by huge undulating sand dunes. Climb the dunes and look down on the movie-like setting of the village. Delight in thrill-seeking activities such as dune buggying and sand-boarding. Return to the dunes in the evening to catch the Sunset and then party into the early hours at lakeside bars. Here is the way to visit this desert wonder.

Pangong Tso Lake, India

This lake in India is set 14,270 ft above sea level in the Tibetan Plateau. Pangong Tso Lake is 1 of the world’s highest saltwater lakes and its stunning turquoise waters stretch over 80 miles through India, China and Tibet. With Himalayan peaks rising on all sides, the scenery is spectacular and the Sunrises and Sunsets unforgettable. It’s also a great place for spotting Brahmini ducks and black-necked cranes. Pangong Tso Lake is a 4 hr motor from Leh, in the Jammu and Kashmir region. Here is some information about how to visit the lake.

Taichung Rainbow Village, Taiwan

During the 40’s and 50’s, veteran’s villages were built throughout Taiwan to provide housing for former soldiers and their families. Many later fell into decay and were threatened with demolition, including 1 in Taichung City. An aging veteran, and one of the village’s last remaining residents, known affectionately as Rainbow Grandpa has saved the Taichung village by decorating it with elaborate paintings. Today, brightly-colored animals, dolls and manga characters adorn the houses and alleyways and create a happy, care-free environment. Chances if you travel there you will see Rainbow Grandpa busy painting, too. Here is how to visit the Rainbow Village.

Enjoy your travels…