Once you get a taste for adventure, it’s hard to go back.
There are people who are content to stay close to home. There are those who like to go back to the same destinations every year and hate to deviate. Then
there are the free spirits - the adventurers who are on an eternal quest to
find something more exciting, more exotic, more challenging.
Here at Kandoo Adventures we call ourselves travel experts.
Collectively our team has travelled the world seeking new experiences, immersed
themselves in foreign culture and seen and done things our friends and family
have only dreamed about.
The following list is a directory of our favourite places.
It is entirely subjective and is a culmination of the shared passions and
interests of our diverse team of adventurers. Use it as a tick list, use it for
inspiration, use it as a lucky dip for your next trip. The list is by no means
exhaustive and there are so many more iconic places to visit on our stunning
planet earth, however we think we have chosen some of the best bits. Happy
1. Blue Lagoon - Iceland
The Blue Lagoon, Iceland, is a great place to start our 40
places to visit before you’re 40. Iceland sits on a volcanic ridge creating
geothermal hot springs across the country. Swimming culture in Iceland
is huge. Whilst the temperatures outside may be moderate, bathing, floating,
luxuriating in mineral rich hot water is the perfect way to warm up and these
turquoise blue waters are both breathtaking and restorative.
2. Dolomites - Italy
The Italian Dolomites are unique northern mountains in Italy
which are famed for their incredible rock formations and soaring granite peaks.
The Dolomites are popular for walking, skiing, mountain biking and climbing and
can be visited all year round, depending on what you want to do. The Dolomite
mountains are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are famed for their stunning
sheer cliffs, vertical drops, deep valleys and beautiful scenery.
3. Chamonix - France
, is the adventure capital of the
French Alps. The lively town sits at the base of Mont Blanc, the highest
mountain in western Europe, and is a renowned skiing, mountaineering and
paddling destination for outdoor enthusiasts all year round. Chamonix itself is
a gorgeous town with wooden chalets, incredible views and the opportunities for
exploring the natural landscapes makes it perfect for thrill-seekers and less
intrepid travellers alike.
4. Lofoten Islands - Norway
Norway boasts approximately 50,000 islands across its
western and northern shores, which is staggering. One of our favourite places
to visit in Norway
is the Lofoten Islands. These 7 islands feature
soaring mountains separated by fjords carved by glaciers and the North Sea.
Hiking, paddling and exploring here is a truly memorable experience. The
islands are remote, rugged and offer impossibly beautiful views in every
5. Whale Watching in Húsavík – Iceland
The first wildlife experience on our list is whale watching in Iceland
In particular, Húsavík, is a favoured
destination. Iceland whale watching is unique due to the variety of whale,
porpoise, dolphin and sea bird populations that visit this Arctic country. Look
out for minke whales and humpbacks, blue whales and fin whales and if you’re
lucky orcas, beluga whales and sperm whales although these tend to visit the
northern waters where it’s colder.
6. Buckingham Palace – UK
We’re British, we may be biased here, but Buckingham Palace
in London is such an iconic visitor destination for both residents of the
Commonwealth, royalists and non-royalists alike. The palace itself, in the
heart of the British capital, is vast and seeing the King’s Guards with their
traditional uniforms and fluffy black hats is a wonderful picture. If you’re
lucky you may even catch a glimpse of King Charles himself!
7. Plitviče National Park – Croatia
Plitviče National Park is a forest park and UNESCO World
Heritage Site in central Croatia made up of 16 interconnected lakes joined by
waterfalls and split across two different elevations. There are walkways
snaking between the lakes and waterfalls for visitors to explore the forest
park and a huge variety of wildlife reside here from bears and wolves to boar,
deer and rare bird species. This stunning sight features lush forest and
crystal-clear waters and is well worth a visit to Croatia in itself.
8. The Colosseum – Rome
The whole city of Rome is a must-see destination however, if
we were pushed to pick an individual site to explore, the Colosseum comes up
top for us as the largest ancient amphitheatre ever built and one of the seven
wonders of the world. Not only is the architecture of this incredible man-made
building mind-blowing, but the rich history of this place can be seen when walking
through the walls and viewing the arena from above and the labyrinth below.
9. The Pyramids of Giza – Egypt
The pyramids of Egypt are an awesome site, especially when
you consider that some of the oldest were built over 4,500 years ago. Most
famous are the Pyramids of Giza on the outskirts of Cairo. The ancient
structures are a wonder of the world and were built as tombs for Pharoh’s and
their consorts. The largest is the Pyramid of Khufu, also known as the Great
Pyramid of Egypt. These ancient monuments are fascinating site of historical
significance as we’re still not entirely sure how they were actually built!
10. Scottish Highlands - Scotland
This may seem a bit generic but the mountains in the north
of Scotland are beyond beautiful. These vast craggy highlands are one of the
most remote places in the UK. Think movie scenes from James Bond, Braveheart
and Harry Potter with endless valleys flanked by rocky peaks and interspersed
with lochs, or lakes. The North Coast 500 in particular is a 500-mile route starting and
ending in Inverness which explore the coast around the top of Scotland taking
in white sandy beaches, rugged mountains and remote villages.
11. Isle of Skye – Scotland
The Isle of Skye is an island off the northwest coast of
Scotland, the largest island of the Inner Hebrides covered in lush landscapes,
ancient castles and rocky crags. Here you’ll find peace and quiet, endless
coastline and quaint fishing villages. There are two small mountain ranges on
the 50 miles long island,
and it is a popular destination with walkers, climbers, runners and mountain
12. Arctic Circle
The Arctic Circle is the northernmost latitude circumference
and encompasses parts of northern Russia, most of Greenland, northern parts of
Norway, Sweden, Finland, Canada, Alaska and of course, Svalbard
most northern inhabited place on earth at just over 160 miles from the North
Pole. Svalbard in particular is a one-of-a-kind sort of place filled with
ancient glaciers, iceberg filled fjords, polar bears and rare arctic wildlife,
the Northern Lights and the midnight sun. Here is a place unlike any other we’ve
13. Machu Picchu – Peru
is an ancient Inca city high in the Andes
mountains. This awe-inspiring place is super interesting, not least because of
where it has been built, but also because you can see so much of the history in
the archaeological ruins here. You can reach Machu Picchu by trekking the iconic
Inca Trail or get a bus trip if you don’t fancy the high-altitude trek. Either
way, this is another wonder of the world that is definitely worth seeing.
14. Havana – Cuba
Did you know that Cuba
is the most sustainable
country in the world?! When other Caribbean countries built seafront hotels to
attract tourists, Fidel Castro instead championed and preserved the natural
habitats and ecology of the country to boost tourism. Havana is the capital
city of Cuba and is a haven of live music, exciting cuisine and wonderful
architecture. Make sure to visit Habana Vieja, Old Havana, as it is a
celebrated UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as the busy Centro district for bustling
city sights day and night.
15. Mount Fitz Roy – Patagonia
Situated on the Argentina-Chile border, Patagonia
an iconic mountainous destination popular with climbers and mountaineers. Mount
Fitz Roy in particular has a reputation as one of the most attractive and
difficult peaks to climb as at 3,405m high, the peak is often covered in cloud,
the climbing season is short, and the weather can come in fast making
conditions treacherous. You don’t have to climb Mount Fitz Roy to appreciate
it’s beauty, trekking around it offers equally exciting scenery.
16. Galapagos – Ecuador
The Galapagos Islands are a province of Ecuador and are
around 1,000km off the Ecuadorian coast. These unique islands are viewed as one
of the most foremost wildlife spotting locations in the world and were the
inspiration behind Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. This volcanic
archipelago is made up of 4 inhabited islands and many more uninhabited islands
and despite its rocky, dessert like terrain is home to rare species such as
giant tortoises, boobies (birds!) and marine life not found anywhere else. This
is a trip of a lifetime destination, for sure.
17. Ushuaia – Argentina
Ushuaia in Argentina
is commonly known as the end of
the world. It is where the tip of South America meets Antarctica and is the
most southern city in the world, located in the Torre del Fuego Province of
Argentina, on the island of Isla Grande. Ushuaia and Torre del Fuego are full
of breathtaking landscapes, fantastic wildlife especially along the Beagle
Channel, and plenty of trekking opportunities.
18. Rainbow Mountains - Peru
The Rainbow Mountains, Peru
, are named as such beacuse of their colourful striped slopes. These incredible mountains are outside of Cusco in the Andes mountain range and it's possible to visit them in a day trip from the city. The only way to enter these vibrant natural phenomenon is with an official guide. The rocks were formed by different metals in the rock which give the stripes their impressive hues. On the way from Cusco you'll be rewarded with stunning views of the Andes, wild llama and alpaca, red rocky peaks and beautiful lush valleys. Combine a trip to the Rainbow Mountains with a visit to Machu Picchu and catch the best of Peru in one amazing trip.
19. Grand Canyon – USA
I mean it’s the Grand Canyon. There really isn’t that much more
to say! This spectacular natural wonder is estimated to be 5-6 million years
old and was formed as the Colorado River gradually eroded the surrounding rock,
creating a canyon almost 500km long and around 30km wide in places. It is
believed to be a holy site for many Native American tribes, of which only the
Havasupai still reside here. The Grand Canyon is a great place for trekking
into the crevasse, paddling the Colorado River and camping under the endless Arizona
20. Chichén Itzá – Mexico
Chichén Itzá is another of the new 7 wonders of the world and is one of the
best preserved and largest archaeological sites in the world. Built around
1,500 years ago, this Mayan city is in various states of preservation, in some
parts restored, and sprawls an unknown distance from the central site. There
are numerous buildings to see here including the Castillo pyramid, and the Las
Monjas palace and the Osario pyramid. For those interested in architecture
and history, Chichén Itzá should definitely be on your bucket list.
21. Niagara Falls – Canada/USA
Niagara Falls is actually the collective name for three
waterfalls on the border between Ontario in Canada and New York State. The
largest of the fall is Horseshoe Falls which is on the Canadian side, whereas
Bridal Veil Falls and American Falls are on the American side. The falls are a
simply stunning site and are one of the largest falls in the world. Explore from either the American
side or Canadian where you’ll find walks, viewpoints, boat trips and adventure
22. Mauna Kea – Hawaii
For those of you who didn’t know, the volcano Mauna Kea in
Hawaii is actually the tallest mountain in the world from base to summit. The
base of this mountain sits below the surface of the sea and the summit of Mauna
Kea sits at 10,211m high in total. Because the dry elevation of Mauna Kea is
only 4,207m it is often overshadowed by Mount Everest. The tropical island of
Hawaii is a fabulous place to visit and is steeped in culture and history.
Visitors to this volcanic island can expect stunning beaches, amazing surf, a
warm climate and a welcoming reception.
23. Petra – Jordan
The ancient site of Petra, Jordan
, is another wonder
of the world. This incredible city is part-built and part-carved into the
mountain rock and is an important archaeological site as well as a UNESCO World
Heritage Site. Between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, Petra was a historically
important city that is well worth a visit today. Discover the deep passageways,
incredible carvings and rich history of this absolutely stunning place.
24. Ngorongoro crater – Tanzania
The Ngorongoro Crater is, funnily enough, a crater nestled
in an inactive but intact volcanic caldera where its unique microclimate has
let African game animals thrive. Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the
Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home to black rhino, hippo, wildebeest, zebra,
buffalo, waterbuck and gazelles, amongst others. Taking a trip to this isolated
wildlife haven is an awesome experience and an animal-lovers paradise.
25. Marrakech – Morocco
The vibrant city of Marrakech, Morocco
, is a must-try
experience. Navigating the souks of the old town, luxuriating in a local hammam
and sampling sweet mint tea and honey-soaked pancakes for breakfast are all
things we don’t think you’ll find elsewhere. The sounds, smells and colours of
this bustling city are unrivalled. Make your way to Jamaa el-Fnaa, the main
market square to see snake charmers, performing monkeys, intricate pottery and
dazzling textiles. The vibe here is unreal.
26. Serengeti – Tanzania
Most famous for having the largest animal migration in the
world, the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania
sees approximately 1.5m
blue wildebeest, zebra, gazelles and other animals migrate towards Lake
Victoria during the dry season. For those wanting to go on safari, not many
places top Tanzania with its populations of rhino, leopard, lion, buffalo,
hyena, zebra, hippo and hundreds of bird species roaming across savannah such
as the Serengeti.
27. Sahara Desert – North Africa
The Sahara Desert is the largest hot desert in the world. It
spans from the Red Sea in the east to the Atlantic in the west and crosses approximately
12 different countries. This hostile, hot place can reach temperatures of over
50 degrees in the summer and fall below freezing temperatures at night in the
winter. You can visit the Sahara from Mauritania or Morocco most easily but be
prepared for a long hot day’s travel to get there. Sleep in a Bedouin tent
under the endless sky for a pretty special experience in one of the hottest,
driest places on earth.
28. Zanzibar – Tanzania
The tropical island of Zanzibar sits just off the coast of Tanzania
and was once one of the largest slave markets in the world. The island is famed
for its tropical beaches, rich culture and history, fascinating architecture
and local wildlife. Stone Town is a sprawling collection of Persian, Arabic,
African and India influence and the food, markets, crafts and buildings are a
tantalising testament to its fascinating past. Zanzibar is a great place for
couples, history buffs and beach lovers.
29. The Himalayas – Nepal
The largest and longest mountain range in the world, the
Himalayas are home to 9 of the tallest 14 mountains in the world including
Mount Everest and Annapurna, as well as being home to 100 peaks over 7,2000m
high. It is safe to say that the Himalaya are famous for their unique climbing,
trekking and mountaineering opportunities. The Himalaya span across Nepal
, Tibet and Pakistan and are a sight to behold. You don’t have to
climb anything to spot Everest, which can be seen on clear days from Kathmandu,
but journey to Everest Base Camp to appreciate the sheer scale of this iconic
30. Komodo Island – Indonesia
Komodo Island is in southern Indonesia, east of Bali and
west of Timor, and part of the Lesser Sunda Islands. Most notably it is home to
the 3m long komodo dragon monitor lizard after which the island is named. The
whole island is a nature reserve and boasts empty white sandy beaches, crystal
clear waters and stunning scenery. Komodo Island
is best enjoyed by boat
or kayak and on foot and you can reach it from the nearby island of Flores.
31. Tigers Nest Monastery – Bhutan
Perched on the side of a cliff, Tigers Nest Monastery is one
of the highlights of any visit to Bhutan
, amongst a million other reasons to
visit! Known locally as Taktshang Lhakhang, this Buddhist monastery is one of
the holiest places in Bhutan and sits 3,100m above sea level and is so named
for an Indian Buddhist master who allegedly came here to meditate on the back
of a tigress. All Bhutanese people will trek here once in their lifetime, and
we can totally see why. Absolutely not to be missed, and worth the strenuous
hike to get here.
32. Great wall of China – China
It’s a giant wall that is over 2,000 years old and spans
more than 21,000 km. That’s a pretty impressive feat of engineering and it is
easy to see why this is a wonder of the world! Parts of the Great Wall of
China, or Wanli Changcheng, is mostly built wall with natural rivers and ridges
forming barriers in places. Spanning historic dynasties, this incredible site
flows over hills and mountains, often made up of more than one parallel wall
and was historically to keep Eurasian invaders out. Explore the various
preserved sections around Mutianyu which is popular with visitors or visit the
quieter spot of Jiankou for breathtaking views.
33. Mount Fuji – Japan
At 3,776m tall, Mount Fuji, or Fuji-san, is the tallest peak
in Japan and a sacred mountain. It is approximately 100 km from Tokyo and its
perfect shape can be seen on clear days from the capital. This active volcano
is a popular spiritual trekking destination can be easily reached by public
transport. Hike up Mount Fuji or explore around the base for incredible views
of this holy place.
34. The Golden Temple – Japan
Kinkakuji, or Golden Pavillion, is a temple in northern
Kyoto. The reason the Golden Temple is named as such is the top two floors of
the building are completely covered with gold. This fascinating temple is part
of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto which is a designated UNESCO World
Heritage Site and attracts visitors from all over the world. The complex
comprises of a ‘strolling garden’, teahouse and restored samurai accommodation.
The Golden Temple is an exciting example of a Zen temple and will appeal to
historians and spiritualists alike as a wonderful example of Japanese history
35. Jaipur – India
Rajasthan is the largest state in India and the capital city
of this province is Jaipur. Known as the Pink City, Jaipur is one of the most
colourful cities in the world. It is jam-packed with vibrant palaces, such as
the Hawa Mahal, or Wind Palace, and incredible architectural sights such as the
Steepwell or Bawdi. Jaipur has an exciting calendar of events and festivals,
delicious cuisine and friendly locals. We class it as one of our favourite
places to visit in India.
36. Angkor Wat – Cambodia
One of the largest religious structures in the world, Angkor
Wat, Cambodia, is in the ancient city of Angkor which was home to an estimated
1 million people during the time of the Khmer empire as its capital city. It
was mysteriously abandoned around 430AD and historians don’t know why. This
complex of incredible buildings is home to around 1000 temples and collectively
Angkor Wat and Angor Thom are an unmissable UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stay in
Siem Reap beforehand and arrive by tuk tuk for an authentic Cambodian
37. Borneo – Malaysia/Indonesia
The equatorial island of Borneo is the third largest island
in the world and is shared by both Indonesia and Malaysia. It is a mountainous
island, largely covered with rainforest and enjoys a hot and humid climate.
Borneo is most famous for its wildlife, including orangutans, cloud leopards,
monkeys, elephants and various bird and fish species. The unique habitats on
this island make it one of the most biodiverse places in the world and fabulous
for wildlife spotting, snorkelling, diving, eating and exploring.
38. Great Barrier Reef – Australia
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living coral reef in
the world, stretching for over 2,000km across the northeast shores of Australia
– it can even be seen from space. This incredible reef is home to thousands of
species of fish, coral and molluscs, super rare dugongs and endangered large
green turtles. With over 900 islands scattered across the reef this is one of
the most beautiful marine locations on earth. Spend a few hours, days or weeks
here and you’ll discover new delights every day.
39. Ayres Rock – Australia
Almost in the centre of the flat, red interior of Australia
is the gravity-defying Ayres rock, or Uluru. Ayres rock is an important
spiritual place for aboriginal Australian tribespeople and has attracted
visitors for generations. This giant sandstone rock unbelievably has more mass
below ground than above and is a wonder to behold. Camp near here beneath the
stars in a swag bag and see the stars meet the horizon across this beautiful
40. Milford Sound – New Zealand
Milford Sound is a stunning fjord on the western coast of
the South Island of New Zealand. It is known as one of the most beautiful
places to visit in New Zealand and boasts cascading waterfalls from sheer rock
and forest covered slopes, incredibly clear, crystal water and plenty of
wildlife. Come here for awesome hikes, take a visit to the underwater
observatory or a boat trip through the remote waters. Milford Sound’s wild and wonderful
location make it one of the most popular visitor destinations in the world.
Kandoo Adventures don’t offer trips to all of these
destinations as many of them are not notable trekking destinations, although we
might do one day as we can find a good walking trail anywhere, but for now we
have popped in links scattered amongst this blog to take you to the
destinations you can explore with us. We hope to see you on one of our iconic