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Unique Travel Experiences: 30 Bucket-List Destinations You Should See Before You Die

We all have a bucket-list, a list of unique travel experiences that we want to see before we die. The human life, however, is too short for most of us to tick everything off the list. Not everyone has the courage to quit their job and wonder the world in a quest to complete his/her bucket list.

Our planet is a beautiful place that has countless breathtaking sights and life-changing experiences that are waiting out there for you to discover them. Some of these places are well known, others not so much, but they all have a special place on my bucket list. Moreover, I hope this post will inspire you to travel more and to cover some of these places. Let’s dig into this list of the most unique travel experiences across the world!

1. Trek to Machu Picchu (Peru)

machu pichu ultimate travel bucket list

We’re starting this list of the most unique travel experiences with the iconic Machu Pichu. Like it’s not amazing enough how did the Incas manage to fit these stones so perfectly together, they also did that at 2400 meters above ground. Even though it was built in the 15th century, and the Spanish invasion happened in the 16th century, Machu Picchu was still unknown to the Western world until 1911. Today, trekking to Machu Picchu is on the top of most travelers’ bucket list and there’s a great reason for that. And if trekking to Machu Picchu isn’t adventurous enough, head 400 kilometers southeast and you’ll discover the world’s highest city- La Rinconada.

2. Visit The Highest Inhabited Town (Peru)

highest town in the world

Sitting at whopping 5,100 meters above sea level, La Rinconada in Peru is officially the highest inhabited settlement in the world. La Rinconada is a small mining town known for its gold mines and breathtaking glaciers that surround the city. The town was inhabited following a Peruvian version of the Gold Rush in the late 1990s and early 2000s and today, it’s home to about 17,000 people.

3. Take a Swim at Devil’s Pool (Zambia)

Devil’s Pool, Zambia

The Victoria Falls are considered to be one of the seven natural wonders of our world and certainly one of the most spectacular places in Africa. The lake is literally located at the edge of the waterfall and is unsurprisingly considered to be one of the seven natural wonders of our world.

4. Visit The World’s Most Isolated Island (UK)

Tristan Da Cunha

Technically a part of the British Overseas territories, Tristan da Cunha is the world’s most isolated island. The island is located roughly 3,000 kilometers away from the coast of South Africa and 4,000 kilometers away from the nearest coast of South America and is named after the Portuguese sailor who discovered the island. And if you would want to visit the world’s most isolated city then I am sure you will love this list of most isolated countries.

5. Go Boarding at an Active Volcano (Nicaragua)

Nicaragua volcano

Cerro Negro is one of Nicaragua’s active volcanos that turned into a tourist destination throughout the years. Adventurists normally hike to the top and board down- either riding or surfing on a wooden sledge. It’s an amazing adrenaline rush to feel coming down with 40 miles per hour from 2350 meters in the air. And if that’s not enough, remember there’s an active volcano behind you.

Enjoying this post? Then you may also be interested in our list of the world’s most bizarre festivals.

6. Experience The Pink Spring (Japan)

cherry blossom japan

The springs in Japan look amazing. There are many amazing sights in this world, but no other is similar to the spring in Japan. From March until May, it’s the season of the iconic ‘Sakura’- the native term for the cherry blossom season. That’s the time of year when Japan looks like it came out of an anime movie.

7. See The World’s Largest Mosque (Iran)

Imam Reza Shrine

The Imam Reza Shrine in Mashhad, Iran is officially the world’s largest mosque. Covering an area of 600,00 square meters (rivalling a small village), the shrine is also the religious and spiritual center of Iran. It was built around the tomb of Imam Reza, the eighth Imam of Twelver Shiites and after the Islamic Revolution it has been expanded with several additional courts, a museum, and an Islamic university, among other additions.

8. Enjoy the Colors of the Northern Lights

northern lights

This natural phenomenon is caused by collisions of electrically charged particles coming from the Sun and entering the atmosphere. Only a few people are lucky enough to see the astonishing colors of the Northern lights moving above the Antarctica Circle. The breathtaking sight is a proof of the work of the greatest magician out there: Mother Nature!

9. Visit The World’s Largest Castle (Poland)

malbork castle largest castles in the world

The Teutonic Knights (a German Catholic religious order) built the Malbork Castle in 1274 to serve as headquarters for their campaigns against Poland but after a few hundred years, in an ironic twist of fate, the castle became a royal Polish residence until the First Partition of Poland in 1772. Stretching across 143,000 square meters, this is one of the most fascinating castles in the world and since the late 90s, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

10. Take The Longest Train Ride In The World (Russia)

longest train ride in the world

If you’re looking for one of the most unique travel experiences, look no further. The train from Moscow to Vladivostok is one of the most exciting travel adventures you can ever experience. In a journey that lasts 2 weeks, the train takes you to the depths of Russia, showing you a glimpse of Russia’s endless stretches of natural beauty and authentic, everyday life in rural Russia.

11. Dip in the Blue Lagoon (Iceland)

blue lagoon iceland

Even though you can hear different opinions about it, this list of the most unique travel experiences wouldn’t be complete without mentioning this amazing place in Iceland. The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa located in a lava field! 70% of the water comes from the sea, while 30% is fresh water. The temperature of the water is around 38 °C. If you’re wondering about the amazing color, it’s due to the blue-green algae and the mineral salts.

12. Explore the Amazon Jungle (Brazil)

amazon jungle

This jungle covers 2.3 million square kilometers; it’s so big, it’s an ecosystem of its own with all of its unique species. Without a doubt, the Amazon jungle a real marvel of our planet and navigating through it is a daring and life-changing experience that deservingly sits at the top of my list of unique travel experiences.

13. Hike on the Edge of The World in Patagonia (Chile)

Patagonia mountains

After reading Bruce Chatwin’s book, there hasn’t been a day not to think about getting blown away by the giant mountain glaciers and crystal blue lakes of Patagonia.  Hanging on the edge of the world, Patagonia covers an area of 400,000 vastly unexplored square miles. Are you planning a trip to this heavenly place soon? Take a look at this comprehensive Patagonia itinerary for some useful information before you go.

14. Visit The World’s Oldest City (Syria)

Damascus oldest city

Even though the recent events in Syria left the country in ruins and on the edge of becoming a failed state, there are still a lot of unique travel experiences you can find in this ancient country. One of them is its capital, Damascus, a city that has seen the rise and fall of countless empires and has been continuously inhabited for close to 9,000 years (in one form or another), making it officially the oldest city in the world.

15. Witness The Serengeti Great Migration (Tanzania)

serengeti migration

Tanzania is most famous for the amazing beaches of Zanzibar but that’s not the only thing worth seeing around here. Serengeti is a geographical region located in Northern Tanzania. The main actors of the Great Serengeti migration are 1.5 million wildebeest and around 200,000 zebras that move annually in pursuit of fresh fields and water. The migration takes place across 150,000 miles of open plains and woodlands.

16. Take a Hot Balloon Ride in Cappadocia (Turkey)

hot air balloons

The movie-like picture of hundreds of hot air balloons disappearing into the pink sunset of Cappadocia has been at the top of many travelers’ bucket lists for a reason. Drifting over the heavenly landscape and valleys scattered with stone houses, beautiful cave hotels, and charming vineyards truly is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But if you think that this place has nothing to offer but hot air balloons and caves, you’re wrong and this Cappadocia guide will give you a lot of useful suggestions.

17. Drive The World’s Most Dangerous Road (Bolivia)

Yungas Road

Conveniently nicknamed “the death road” Bolivia’s Young’s Road is unofficially considered to be the world’s most dangerous road. The 40-mile stretch of single track road is filled with steep cliffs on every step and no barriers to protect the drivers from falling off the road. However, the danger surrounding this road turned it into a tourist attraction among adrenaline junkies.

18. Explore The Grand Canyon (USA)

grand canyon

I know this one is a really mainstream choice and a lot of people mention it in this context, but the Grand Canyon in a natural wonder of this world for a reason. The Grand Canyon might seem like a giant hole in the desert, but it has another way in which it’s beautiful with its jagged edges and seductive crevices that look like they’re hiding the biggest secrets of our world. Every adventurer’s dream, isn’t it?

19. Discover The Lost City Of Petra (Jordan)

Petra ultimate travel bucket list

Petra is an abandoned ancient city that had a historically important location on the crossroads between Egypt, the Arabian Peninsula, and Phoenecia. The city is literally carved inside a rock. My first thought when I saw the pictures from it was: ‘This place looks like it came out of an Indiana Jones movie. It actually did! If you’re thinking of visiting Jordan and Petra, also check out our list of Roman ruins in Jordan.

20. Explore the Driest Place on Earth- Atacama Desert (Chile)

Atacama desert most amazing places to travel

The driest place on Earth has 41,000 square miles of diverse terrain includes spurting geysers, golden dunes, and cliffs of colorfully striped strata known as Rainbow Valley. Atacama also has the best view on the Milky Way’s glittering collection of stars, with April through September being the best time to see it. Therefore, Atacama is the place to be for the Lunar Eclipse. You surely will be stunned by the most amazing natural light shows our planet has to offer.

21. One Of The Most Unique Travel Experiences- Antarctica

Antarctica most amazing places to travel

Antarctica is one of the most amazing places on Earth and a place that a lot of adventurists want to travel to, but very few actually are lucky enough to experience that. It has always been the ultimate endurance test for me that I know I need to pass at least once in my lifetime.

Surviving in the extreme cold, kayaking, hiking and exploring the most unexplored area on our planet is something that had always been a dream for me. One might even say it seems like walking on another planet. It’s all ice and rocks everywhere with trees and plants nowhere to be found (and I was really surprised when I heard that some people actually choose it as their wedding destination)!

22. Climb Mount Everest (Nepal)

when to visit everest

I can wax poetically about this mountaintop for hours, but the truth is I just love the mountains. Besides, being on top of the world always brings a certain sense of achievement. This list of most amazing places to travel to couldn’t be complete without Mount Everest. Since 1969, at least one person died every year trying to conquer the magnificent Mount Everest. Call me crazy, but this makes me want to conquer the top even more.

23. Walk the Great Wall of China (China)

Great wall of Chinca most amazing places to travel

This architectural masterpiece made up of 13,000 miles of walls is much more than an impressive achievement of engineering. The wall has a timeless feeling onnly a few other places on Earth have. It gives you a glimpse at Chinese history and the reasons behind this marvelous creation. As we all know, Chinese culture is very different from anything you saw before with the Great Wall is one of the main reasons for it and visiting it is one of the first steps to understanding the local culture and way of doing things.

24. Hike in Kashmir (India)

most amazing places to travel kashmir

The mountains are the most amazing story keepers. They keep the stories we read, they keep the stories we dream about and they keep the stories we create.  And the Kashmir mountains hide a lot of those. This is one of the few places on this list that I actually crossed off the list. And I must say, it’s one of the most amazing places I’ve seen in my life.

25. Interact With The Wildlife of Galapagos (Ecuador)

Galapagos most amazing places to travel

Galapagos was the island that inspired Darwin’s theory of evolution. Uninhabited by people, visiting Galapagos is a rare opportunity to see endemic species that you probably have never seen before. You can’t get so close to animals without threatening their territories anywhere else on this planet.

But animals here are much more relaxed because the island is protected by UNESCO and besides the increased number of tourists, they don’t have any kind of violent interaction with humans. If this isn’t enough, Galapagos has some amazing beaches, and yes there won’t be many tourists around.

Are you planning to visit the Galapagos Islands soon? Check out this tour if you want to make the most out of your trip without breaking the bank.

26. Explore the World’s Largest Cave (Vietnam)

hang son doong

Since 2009, this has been the biggest cave in the world. Hang Son Doong can easily fit a Boing 747 inside of it and it’s vastly unexplored. When British explorers were exploring the cave in 2009, they hit a large 60 meters high calcite wall, later named the Vietnamese Great Wall.

Behind this wall, there was a cave passage that uncovered what today is the biggest cave in the world. The only way to approach the cave as of now is to pay for a tour that costs a whopping $6,000 for one week.

This cave was definitely one of the things I wish I knew before visiting Vietnam.

27. Witness the Sunset at Angkor Wat (Cambodia)

Angkor Wat sunset

There’s not much that needs to be said about the world’s largest single religious monument. Not only is Angkor Wat an architectural masterpiece and a full expression of Hindu symbolism, but the sunset over Angkor Wat is one of the most amazing sights in this world.

Since I first got to know about it in the history books, I dreamed about seeing the sunset over Angkor Wat. It looked like something different, out of this world. And the experience didn’t fall short of the expectation either. Watching the sun go down behind Angkor Wat is something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime.

Related: travel Cambodia in two weeks

28. See the Timeless Pyramids (Egypt)

pyramids Egypt

No list of the most unique travel experiences can be complete without one of the greatest mysteries of all time. Even today we aren’t sure how did the ancient people with their limited tools manage to build these marvelous architecture creations. Just looking at the pyramids leaves you in awe and is enough to fill your head with questions like who built it, when, why, etc?

29. Visit Easter Island (Chile)

easter island

to see before you die

Located in the Chilean sea, at the end of the world, its giant head statues really makes you wonder who put those heads there and why. And more importantly, how did they do it 1000s of years ago? Some archaeologists recently claimed that the giant heads have their bodies buried underground, which makes these creations even more mysterious. Seeing things like these really makes me wonder about human beginnings and all of the ancient mysteries.

30. Take a Swing at the Edge of the World (Ecuador)

Casa del Arbol

Last but not least, we conclude this list of unique travel experiences with Casa del Arbor. Deep in the forests of Ecuador lies a seismic monitoring station located in a tree house, known as Casa del Arbol. It’s here that adventurers from all around the world come to take a swing at the end of the world at Banos in Ecuador. This seems like an ultimate adrenaline rush, as the only thing separating you from the canyon is the swing beneath your waist that’s holding on to one of the tree’s skinny branches.

Did you like this list of the most unique travel experiences? Which places are at the top of your travel bucket list? Let me know in the comments below.

ultimate bucket list

Rishabh Shah

Tuesday 11th of December 2018

Wow, This is a lovely compilation. In fact it feature most of our bucket list destinations as well surprisingly. I hope to atleast visit Japan in Cherry Blossom season soon while the rest of them will happen at their pace, hopefully soon. Will have to bookmark it to show others when they ask me for my travel bucket list! Thanks for sharing

Passport Symphony

Tuesday 11th of December 2018

Thank you, Rishabh! I hope you get the chance to visit some of these destinations soon!

Anjali W

Tuesday 11th of December 2018

Devil’s pool and Patagonia Hike look so thrilling! This is an amazing bucket list for sure. All the activities and places are so unique. The Northern Lights are high up on my bucket list and also Japan's pink spring looks lovely. You have given me such amazing travel goals for the next year.

Passport Symphony

Wednesday 12th of December 2018

Thank you, Anjali and I'm glad you could get some travel inspiration from this post.

Bhushavali N

Monday 10th of December 2018

OMG! This is indeed a dreamy list! Personally for me, the top 3 would be Petra, Machu Pichu & Amazon! I guess the first practical one for me would be Petra. Gotta go check the flight ticket prices.

Passport Symphony

Wednesday 12th of December 2018

Petra is absolutely amazing! I hope you get the chance to visit soon.


Monday 10th of December 2018

I've been lucky enough to experience some of the ultimate bucket list items already! I can tell you that the Northern Lights and the Grand Canyon are must-sees. This year, I hope to experience a pink spring in Japan and travel to Africa. Patagonia has always been on the top of my bucket list as well!

Passport Symphony

Wednesday 12th of December 2018

Thank you, Martha! I'm glad you already got the chance to experience some of these.

Medha Verma

Monday 10th of December 2018

I love your bucket list because it matches a lot with mine! I really want to make it to Macchu Picchu though I don't think I will be able to do it in 2019. Also, hiking in Patagonia is a dream! I do hope to make it to Iceland's blue lagoon next year though and also see the Northern Lights while I am there. Petra in Jordan and Capaddocia are the only two things that I have already done :)

Passport Symphony

Tuesday 11th of December 2018

Thank you, Medha and I hope you start ticking some of these bucket list items soon