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BlogTravel buzzSeeking beautiful natural scenery? Here are 6 iconic places you have to visit
Travel buzz

Seeking beautiful natural scenery? Here are 6 iconic places you have to visit

Apr 12, 2023 by Alejandro López

Earth Day is a time to celebrate our planet and the beautiful natural scenery it gifts us with—and at Go Ahead, we do that on every single trip, all year round. To really appreciate something, you need to get to know it first; to us, there’s no better way to do that than by committing to responsible travel.

From the Grand Canyon to the Matterhorn, we never tire of introducing our travelers to amazing natural wonders. So, we put together a list of must-see countries and the top natural sight in each. Give it a scan, and who knows: Maybe we’ll see you on one of our tours!

a collage of clear a tiny island covered with greenery surrounded by clear blue water, a coral underwater, and a turtle swimming

1. Belize

Can’t-miss natural landmark: Hol Chan Marine Reserve

See it on this tour: A Week in Belize: Ruins, Reefs & Rainforests

Tropical temperatures and greenery. Wonderfully warm waters. Travelers from around the world flock to the Caribbean for its sun-strewn beauty and natural sights, and visiting Belize is like looking at the blueprint for a seaside paradise. However, even more memorable views lie just offshore—and just beneath the surface.

Submerged in the sea between Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye, the 4,450-acre Hol Chan Marine Reserve makes up part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef—the second largest coral reef system in the world. This “little channel” (as hol chan translates from Mayan) is one of the most beautiful natural places in Belize, home to a broad array of flora and fauna. No wonder the country named it its first marine park in 1987!

Want to swim among turtles, dolphins, and over 160 species of fish? On our A Week in Belize: Ruins, Reefs & Rainforests tour, your group will learn about these aquatic animals, and the organizations working to safeguard their habitat, from a local marine biologist. Then, you’ll board a boat to one of the best snorkeling spots in the world, accompanied by a guide who’ll offer insight on this famous natural landmark and the country’s efforts to preserve it.

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a collage of Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina- an image of the glacier from a distance with hills in the background, and a traveler traversing rocks with the glacier in the background

2. Argentina

Can’t-miss natural landmark: Perito Moreno Glacier

See it on this tour: Chile to Argentina: Santiago, Patagonia & Buenos Aires

Argentina absolutely sprawls across the South American continent. Thanks to its sheer size and various altitude changes, the world’s eighth-largest country possesses incredible biodiversity—over 3,300 species, and that’s only counting vertebrates. Needless to say, there are plenty of amazing natural wonders to explore in Argentina!

But if you want to see something truly breathtaking, head for the expanses of Patagonia. On the southwestern edge of Argentina’s border with Chile lies the Perito Moreno Glacier, a massive body of ice that ranges 19 miles atop Lago Argentino. What’s even more impressive: This famous natural landmark is one of only a few glaciers worldwide that continues to grow instead of shrink. With its blue-tinged ice and a propensity for spectacular collapses, Perito Moreno serves up cool memories in the land of tango and Malbec.

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a rainbow over the crashing water of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe

3. Zimbabwe

Can’t-miss natural landmark: Victoria Falls

See it on this tour: Botswana & Zimbabwe Wildlife Safari

Sure, Zimbabwe is home to lions, elephants, and rhinos, but this iconic place boasts far, far more than big game. On our small group Botswana & Zimbabwe Wildlife Safari, you’ll zigzag from restful river deltas to woodlands and rainforests teeming with animal life—all larger than life, but none quite as great as the torrential cascade of Victoria Falls.

The crown jewel of the national park bearing its name, this waterfall yawns 5,604 feet wide and stretches 360 feet above the Zambezi River, doubling Niagara Falls in size and dwarfing other amazing natural wonders. As for power, it pours over 287,000 gallons of water each second over its edge, quickly showing why it earned its original Lozi name: Mosi-oa-Tunya, The Smoke That Thunders.

When visiting this famous natural landmark on a Zimbabwe tour with us, you’ll meet with a veteran anti-poaching activist to learn about the battle against illegal hunting. They’ll clue you in on the efforts local groups make to defend wildlife and answer any questions you may have—giving you an intimate understanding of the importance of nature preserves like Victoria Falls National Park.

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a women floating in the Dead Sea in Jordan

4. Jordan

Can’t-miss natural landmark: the Dead Sea

See it on this tour: Israel, Jordan & Egypt: Petra to the Pyramids

With its sweeping, rust-colored sands, life-giving oases, and staggering rock formations, this Middle Eastern kingdom typifies the beautiful natural scenery of desert climates. But beyond Amman and Petra, no Jordan trip is complete without a stop at the Dead Sea. This biblical salt lake lays claim to various records: the lowest point on land and the deepest hypersaline lake in the world, for starters. Additionally, its salt content clocks in at a puckering 34%, nearly 10 times saltier than regular seawater.

That salinity accounts for the Dead Sea’s famous buoyancy, as well as the white crystals that crust its shores. However, those deposits have another, more sinister cause—dropping water levels. Since the 1960s, this amazing natural wonder has receded more than 70 feet, drying up as a result of the rerouting of the Jordan River, nearby industrial activities, and rising temperatures. Each of those factors underscores the importance of Earth Day and the necessity of our Responsible Travel initiatives—two minor measures in the conservation movement.

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the famous red sandstone rock, Uluru in Australia

5. Australia

Can’t-miss natural landmark: Uluru

See it on this tour: Australia & New Zealand

The Great Barrier Reef. The Outback. The Daintree Rainforest. A trip to Australia means a trip to one of the world’s 17 megadiverse countries, and with environments as ranging—and epic—as those, it’s easy to see how 140,000 species of flora and fauna call the Land Down Under home. Just as stunning are the mountains, outcroppings, and other iconic places that dot its territory—but none matter quite as much as Uluru.

This mammoth sandstone formation dominates the flatlands of the country’s Northern Territory. For 22,000 years, indigenous tribes placed Uluru at the center of their spiritual lives; the local Pitjantjatjara Aboriginal people hold the famous natural landmark sacred to this day. You can get a glimpse of its significance, and learn more about the Anangu way of life, on tour with us. As part of our Australia & New Zealand itinerary, you’ll join up with an Aboriginal guide at the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre, who will walk you through millennia of arts, crafts, and history.

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waves crashing against the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland

6. Ireland

Can’t-miss natural landmark: the Cliffs of Moher

See it on this tour: A Week in Ireland: Dublin, Cork & Galway

Of all the natural landmarks in Europe, none tower quite as tall in the imagination as the Cliffs of Moher. A worldwide symbol of Ireland and a key stop on the country’s Wild Atlantic Way, these age-old sea cliffs run for nine miles along the County Clare coast. Shale-and-sandstone promontories climb up to 700 feet in the air, affording visitors commanding views of the North Atlantic Ocean (and unbelievable natural sights).

But the Emerald Isle doesn’t stop there. Even though we feature this iconic place on most of our Ireland itineraries, the entire country rightfully earns praise for its beautiful natural places. From the stark karst landscapes of the Burren to the scenic vistas along the Ring of Kerry, Ireland’s environment offers a beautiful reminder of Earth Day’s significance.

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Love nature and travel? So do we! Learn more about how we travel sustainably, then see it in practice on one of our tours


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About the author | Alejandro López
Alejandro thinks some of life’s enduring moments begin with travel—whether that’s slurping water from a falling brook on the Schlossberg in Freiburg, Germany, or taking silly Polaroid selfies with his wife on a six-hour train to Budapest. Beyond the keyboard, he loves a lunch-break soccer game; at home, he enjoys throwing on some lo-fi beats and cuddling with his six-year-old Wheaten Terrier, Piper.

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