Lake Natron, Tanzania
Lake Natron is located on the Kenya border in Tanzania and gets it deep red color from it’s high salt and alkalinity levels due to it’s high evaporation rate. Salt loving bacteria begin to thrive in this environment (lake temp averages 104 degrees) giving it’s color. Because of this the lake is pretty much inhospitable to most living things. It has almost no vegetation and no animal life. The exception is the Lesser Flamingo which calls this place home. This is the only regular breeding ground for the 2.5 million Lesser Flamingo’s found in Africa. The Flamingo is in jeopardy of extinction because they don’t breed anywhere else and potential construction projects may threaten them to extinction.
Marble Caves, Chile
The Marble Caves are located on a peninsula in the Patagonian Ande’s are made up of solid marble. They get their color from 6000 years of lake water washing up on the calcium carbonate. They get their deep rich blue and green colors from the reflection of the water and the colors can change depending on the time of the year and the water levels. It is not easy to get to the caves. You need to fly to the city of Santiago then take another two-and-a-half-hour flight to the city of Balmaceda then drive about 120 miles to General Carerra lake then catch a 30 minute boat tour to the island. Once there it is well worth the trip.
The Stone Forest, Madagascar
The forest is located in the Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, within the Melaky region on Madagascar’s west coast. It’s remote location and rugged terrain with it’s huge limestone stalagmite-looking formations make it almost impenetrable to humans. These huge karst formations are made of limestone that has been shaped by streams and rainwater and are very rare, only a handful of similar formations exist on the planet. The water washed through the limestone forming caves and eventually the cave ceilings collapsed giving way to the formations we see today; some of which are almost 400 feet high. The park is only open to visitors during the dry season, from April to November. It is strongly advised that you hire one of the parks guides due to the extreme terrain and high temperatures.
The Laja Falls, Chile
Located in the Laja River, 37 miles north of Los Angeles (not that L.A.) in Chili. In ancient times this was a place of worship that included religious sacrifice as well as ceremonies that celebrated boys turning to me when they would cross the falls by foot. Laja Falls is a series of 4 waterfalls ranging in height from 130-180 feet and make up 455 feet in total width combined. Although the surrounding areas are very commercialized because of the falls but it still maintains all of it’s natural charm and beauty.
Banaue Rice Terraces, Philippines
These ancient rice fields were were believed to be carved into the mountains in the province of Ifugao over 2000 years ago by ancestors of the indigenous people. The rice fields are irrigated by an ancient series of waterways coming from the nearby mountains scattered throughout the area. The fields have been nicknamed “The 8th Wonder of the World” by many Filipinos. The best time to visit is between January-February when the cleaning and planting occurs and June-July when the rice is harvested. If you come it is best to hire a guide because the area is very large, steep and easy to get lost in.
Canola Flower Fields, China
During the peak blooming months of February and March visitors come to see the vast fields of Canola or Rapeseed in full bloom. The rest of the year the area is fairly drab looking until the flowers bloom and turn into a golden sea of yellow as far as the eye can see. All around the small town of Louping the flowers come alive but the best places to see the blooming flowers is Golden Rooster Hill and Hundred Thousand Hills.