Solo trip or group vacation, there’s one constant companion that’s always present in the age of millennial travel — Instagram. With the ‘gram playing a deciding factor in travellers selecting their next destination more and more, here are seven of the most beautiful places in the world that are perfect for Instagram.
Cavernas de Mármol, or Marble Caves, is located in Chile’s part of Patagonia – the remote and sparsely populated area in southern South America that is shared by Argentina and Chile. This natural wonder is not easy to get to and that’s exactly why it remains a hidden gem. The caves have been carved by water over centuries, giving the walls unique textures and niches that reflect light in weird and wonderful ways. Think of a thousand different psychedelic patterns, changing according to the time of day you visit. In places, the walls themselves have curved due to erosion, giving the whole place a sense of mystery. This is 21st century’s very own Narnia!
One of the largest salt deserts in the world, the Great Rann of Kutch is a stunning and stark landscape located in the Thar desert in northern Gujarat. A 7,500 sq km (that’s about 10 Singapores) area of nothing but blinding white salt flats, the Rann is home to the vibrant Kutchi tribals whose colourful attire and stunning faces will make for fantastic photographs. Nearby is the Little Rann of Kutch, home to the world’s only Wild Ass Sanctuary, where you must try and click the horse-like near-endangered Indian wild ass, galloping by the waters of the Gulf of Kutch.
Inside the Zhangye Danxia Geopark, in the Gansu province in northwest China, is located one of the world’s best kept secret: Colourful mountains. Streaks of colour appear on Rainbow Mountains, giving them the appearance of an eccentric artist’s messy palette, thanks to red sand, mineral and iron deposits over millions of years. In the changing light, you can count the hues of red, yellow, green and even blue, so we suggest you make more than one trip to get the full spectrum of the rainbow. This singular geological spectacle was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009, and is truly a sight to behold for the nature lover.
Located in the remote West Papua province of Indonesia that not many may have even heard of, this archipelago has four main islands and over 1,000 smaller ones. A biodiversity hotspot, these islands have some of the richest coral reef systems in the world and offer sublime scenery of azure waters, colourful coral colonies and lush green islands. When you are done with the landscape on ground, go for a snorkelling trip (with a go pro of course) and take snapshots of life under the crystal-clear waters here. A diver’s paradise, these will be some of the most stunning underwater photographs you will ever take.
This is one for the history buffs. At the heart of the ancient city of Samarkand, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world, the Registan is a public square that was once the hub of the 14-century Timurid dynasty. It is home to some of the most stunning examples of Islamic architecture, especially the three distinctive madrasas dating back to the 1400s that stand tall even today, making this ancient site iconic in the world’s history. There’s a lot to see around the Registan Square and indeed all across Samarkand.
Located near Page in Arizona, in south-western America, Upper Antelope Canyon is a narrow and deep canyon carved out by water over millennia. Its entrance is so slim it is often called The Crack by locals. Once inside, the eerie rocky chasm will mesmerise you – think of it as America’s Petra. Light beams come through from various nooks and cracks creating a dream-like landscape, highlighting the various hues of nature. Purple, red and sand colours streak wave-like patterns on the rocks smoothened by water over the years, giving the whole canyon an otherworldly ambience. Make sure that phone is charged because you will want to photograph every inch here.
It’s not always you get to see a bubble-gum coloured lake. Pink Lake in south-eastern corner of the state of Western Australia is exactly that: Pink. Australia is known for bizarre natural phenomena (remember Hanging Rock?) but none are as outlandish as a strawberry milk lake – yes, the Aussies have come up with several names for the salt-rich water body. A unique mix of salt, micro-algae and bacteria is what gives it the pink hue, which has been dulled for a few years now, but is expected to regain its colour as the balance of all three in the water changes again.
All images: Courtesy Shutterstock. Marble caves image: Courtesy Getty.