Earth — with its fluctuating medley of geography, climate and other natural elements — has gifted its travel-hungry population with a vast playground. Though whittling down the list was a daunting task, these six unusual and all-natural places are sure to spark your clients’ appetite for adventure.
Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Situated within northern Arizona’s Navajo Nation is the mystical Antelope Canyon. Years of rain and wind have sculpted its undulating sandstone walls and tapered passageways, and the slot canyon is an especially magical sight to behold when sunlight beams down through high-up openings. Two sections, Upper Canyon and Lower Canyon, comprise the natural wonder.
Salar de Uyuni Salt Flat, Bolivia
Encompassing more than 4,000 square miles and at 12,000 feet above sea level, Salar de Uyuni owns the bragging rights of being the largest salt flat in the world. The remote salt flat was once part of Lake Minchin, a prehistoric salt lake that stretched across southwest Bolivia. Over time, the lake waned below the blistering Andean sun, and the vaporizing lake’s high salinity formed a copious layer of bright salt crust — Salar de Uyuni — in its place, along with another proximate salt flat and two smaller lakes.
Ice Caves, Vatnajokull National Park, Iceland
Got stressed-out clients who just want to chill? Come winter, direct them to Iceland’s Vatnajokull National Park, where temperatures drop and ice caves dazzle. And here, size does matter: Not only does the colossal Vatnajokull National Park cover about 5,300 square miles, it also contains southeast Iceland’s legendary Vatnajokull glacier — the largest ice cap in the country. Along the edge of the glacier are an assortment of natural ice caves, including the popular Crystal Ice Cave and the Northern Lights Ice Cave. Due to the lack of air in the ice, or the ice’s rigidity, all colors of the visible spectrum are absorbed except for blue, which is reflected instead.
This story originally ran as the cover story for the 12/07/15 issue of TravelAge West magazine.