Hey Ya’ll! So, often times (in fact this may be the most commonly asked question I get lol) friends and family ask me what my favorite country or city has been that I’ve visited. And while, it’s very difficult for me to narrow it down to one place, I have compiled a list of the 7 most beautiful places that I’ve been to. =)
7) Arenal, Costa Rica
Arenal is a city located about two hours outside of the capital, San Jose. You have to take a bus to get to the area. It’s right in the middle of the gorgeous Costa Rican rainforest and filled with adventurous activities that extend from hiking the Arenal volcano to zip-lining the forest. It’s a place to go when you want to get away from “city life” and immerse yourself in earth’s natural beauty. The rainforest was absolutely breath-taking. Quite frankly, the pictures I took don’t do it any justice. It’s just one of those places that you have to check out for yourself ;).
6) Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
So you may notice that I specifically put, the Eiffel Tower, and not just Paris. While Paris was beautiful with some fascinating architecture, I was actually not very impressed with the city. I think Americans tend to romanticize Paris and make it out to be more endearing than it is. In all honesty, I found the city to be somewhat dirty, the people incredibly rude and the food mediocre. BUT, I was also traveling on a college student budget. If I were rich, I am sure my experience would have been different lol. The city caters to the wealthy elite.
However, I did fall in love with the Eiffel Tower, especially at night. Starting around 9 PM, the tower lights up and sparkles the Parisian sky for a few minutes at the start of every hour. I do highly recommend seeing the spectacle for yourself, and taking the elevator to the top and catching the gorgeous view of the city.
5) The Riviera Maya, Mexico
Situated between Playa del Carmen and Cancun, The Riviera Maya has some of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen! When I went, I was actually staying in Playa Del Carmen, but it was only a short drive away. It’s a touristic resort town which hinders your ability to familiarize yourself with local culture, customs and food. Nevertheless, the beaches were absolutely spectacular with clear blue water and white sand.
TIP– Go to Xcaret Park and snorkel in the underground rivers ! So beautiful and worth it =)
Pictures below are not mine- needed a waterproof camera to take in the underground rivers ( I don’t have one =( lol)
4) The Bioluminescent Bay, Puerto Rico
The Bioluminescent Bay (often called Bio Bay) is Puerto Rico’s key tourist destination. The water luminescence is triggered by dinoflagellates, oceanic plankton which is able to generate an emerald green and ultramarine illumination when the water is touched. Essentially, a bioluminescent bay is a rare and fragile ecosystem. There is bioluminescence all over the world, but few places classify as a biobay because of their lack of illumination. Subsequently, there are only 5 biobays in the world! … and Puerto Rico is home to 3 of them.
Once again, due to the inability of my camera to take pictures in watery areas, pictures below are not mine lol =)
3 Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Ahhh Amsterdam. This is the city I left my heart in. I just fell in love. If I had to move abroad, I genuinely think this place would be the city I’d choose. With its canals, cutesy coffee shops, greater population of bikes than of actual people, I’d gladly go back in a heartbeat. When I went, weed was still legal, so I was able to to visit the “marijuana coffee shops” and experience that whole phenomena lol. In addition, we visited the Anne Frank house, the Van Gogh Museum, The Heineken Brewery and the infamous I AMsterdam sign. The people are incredibly welcoming and the red light district is surprisingly super clean and family friendly. I have nothing bad to say about this place. VISIT it!!!
2) Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Punta Cana itself is a resort town,so I was disappointed I was not able to explore the Dominican culture more. However, I still strongly recommend visiting, esp. if you’re looking for a relaxing beach getaway.
When I arrived to my hotel in Punta Cana and first took a glimpse at the water, my mouth literally dropped. Yes, DROPPED (this doesn’t happen often) lol. I couldn’t believe how beautiful the color was. It was not really a clear blue, but had more of a green tone to it (without looking dirty). The water is indescribable, and I experienced equally gorgeous sunsets here. Take a look for yourself 🙂
1) Iguazu Falls, Argentina/ Brazil
Iguazu Falls are a series of 275 waterfalls that run along the border between Brazil and Argentina. They are breathtakingly beautiful. If it weren’t for the 90% humidity (well, maybe it wasn’t that humid, but it felt like it) I would get married here lol. The falls are about a 15 hour bus ride from Buenos Aires – yes, long, but very worth it. In addition, in 2011, Iguazu was announced as one of the new seven natural wonders of the world by the New Seven Wonders of the World Foundation. We were also lucky enough to hop on a small boat that took us super close up to the cascades where we were drenched by the refreshing water (deff. recommend doing this, as well).Below is a picture of Devil’s Throat, one of the bigger and more popular waterfalls.