June 20, 2013

Immerse Yourself in Great Outdoor Wonders

Posted by Treetopia in Features | Travel & Recreation

Immerse yourself in extraordinary adventures and discover some of nature’s great wonders

If you’re bored with your usual summer vacation or if you’re looking for a bigger adventure, why not get in tune with nature by checking out fantastic natural wonders? Here are a few wonderful eco-destinations you can add to your list:

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Fire and Ice
While you may think that Iceland is a cold country, the truth is, you would see much more lush, green environment than harsh, cold ice. The country has about 13 active volcanoes, which have names that are difficult to pronounce (ex. Eyjafjallajökull), balanced by the presence of glaciers. What’s more, the people are committed to practicing green living, and nearly all of Iceland’s power comes from renewable resources. Whether you choose to relax in hot springs or seek out different species of whales, Iceland can offer you the best seats in the country.

file000784788353Life and Water

One of the most protected reef systems in the world is also one of the best spots to visit if you’re a diving enthusiast. Australia’s Great Barrier Reef showcases an underwater paradise where many species of fish and corals thrive and truly make anyone’s diving experience unforgettable.


photo by eutrophication&hypoxia via flickr. CC BY 2.0.

Water and Earth

Sometimes, the world decides to collapse one element in favor of another to create a truly magical place. Hands down, the Hamilton Pool in Austin, Texas is one of those magical places. Formed when the roof of the cave collapsed, the Hamilton Pool is now one of the most awesome natural tourist attractions in Austin and a spot much closer to home.

photo by Modern Relics via flickr. CC BY 2.0
photo by Modern Relics via flickr. CC BY 2.0

Hidden Wonders
One of nature’s mysterious and amazing wonders is forming bodies of land and/or water within or below another body of land and/or water. Two of our great destination contenders are exactly that.

Underground Forest
If you want an exotic vacation far away and an exciting adventure to boot, you might want to check out the Han Son Doong Cave, which has been named the world’s biggest cave, in Vietnam. When experts extensively explored the cave in 2010, they found that the roof of the cave collapsed in one section, allowing sunlight to enter. With the combined sunlight and natural freshwater running in the cave, a forest grew within it, boasting its own ecosystem. Check out the full feature on the Han Son Doong Cave below:

The Quang Binh province government has approved a pilot tour of the Han Son Doong Cave under Oxalis Caving Tours, and if successful, you can expect that it will be open to the public soon.

Underwater… River?
You read that right, we said underwater river. Fact: when limestone collapses, a deep natural pit, called a sink hole, is created. Fact: Sometimes, sink holes expose natural groundwater, and in Mexico, these are called “cenotes.” Mayans believed that a cenote is some sort of gateway to the afterlife and the gods so it’s a sacred place for them. In Mexico, there is what they call the Cenote Angelita which hides an incredible secret: an underwater river. How can a body of water be under, within, and/or separate from another body of water in the same sink hole? It’s actually because of the difference in salinity levels of the water, hence, despite being called an “underwater river,” the body of water below is actually salt water. This is a phenomenon called halocline which separates the salty from the fresh water due to a sharp difference in temperature and density and creates the river illusion. Dive tours are offered to experienced divers to explore Cenote Angelita. So if you’re not yet a licensed diver, you better start your lessons as soon as possible. In the meantime, check out this video of this incredible cenote:

Diving in Cenote Angelita from Jannik Pedersen on Vimeo.

Have you found your next great destination yet?

Don’t be a stranger and help out other readers by suggesting great outdoor destinations you’ve enjoyed.

 

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