Since time immemorial, humans have been captivated by water. We often dream of escaping from the humdrum routine and stress of daily life by going to a place where there is water. We imagine ourselves walking on a sparkling emerald coastline, in front of a gushing waterfall, or just chilling on a boat traveling across pristine waters, as far away as possible from where we are now.
Water soothed and cradled us in the womb from the moment we were conceived. It’s no wonder that we feel safe and jubilant when we are around it. We are, after all, made of water (60 percent at least), and it is what hydrates us and keeps us alive. Water also covers two-thirds of our planet. Here are some fascinating wet and exotic destinations into which you may want to dip your toes this summer.
• The holiest of Indian rivers, the Ganges flows from the Himalayas down to the Bay of Bengal. The river is revered as a goddess by the Hindus and it serves as a lifeline to the millions of Indians who live along its course.
• It is the longest river in Southeast Asia, straddling Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The Mekong is a vibrant, working river where you will witness plenty of daily life and even floating markets.
The Columbia River Gorge
• Located in the largest river flowing into the Pacific Ocean from North America, the impressive Columbia River Gorge is a must-see destination if you enjoy biking and hiking. The stunning landscape is full of breathtaking vistas and abundant waterfalls.
• This is the world’s largest river system by volume. It sprawls across six South American countries. Whether you try piranha fishing or navigating through the jungle villages, there is no limit to what you will experience in one the world’s most mesmerizing waterways.
Whitehaven Beach – Whitsunday Island, Australia
• This is one of Australia’s most stunning and cleanest beaches. It is accessible only by boat. The 90 percent pure silica sand makes it bright and white and it does not retain heat as do most beaches (no need for flip flops!).
Bioluminescent Beach – Vaadhoo, Maldives
• It is a gorgeous beach by day, and at night the water turns bright blue, thanks to the bioluminescent phytoplankton.
Loango National Park – Gabon
• The 60-mile coastline that surrounds Gabon’s National Park is considered to be the wildest beach on Earth. Be prepared to come across humpback whales, elephants, and western lowland gorillas in these waters.
Eagle Beach – Aruba
• Expect to see clear turquoise water and powder-soft white sand on the most beautiful beach in the Caribbean. There are plenty of idyllic swaying hammocks, great accommodations, and watersports for the perfect holiday break.
Gullfoss falls, Iceland
• This is a magnificent waterfall located in southwest Iceland. Because of a crevice, the river Hvítá streams into a steep canyon and disappears. On sunny days expect to see picturesque rainbows in its wafting mist.
Niagara falls, U.S. and Canada
• This is perhaps the most famous waterfall in North America, straddling the borders of the U.S. and Canada. It’s also the one with the biggest volume (7,000 cubic meters of water per second). Its dynamic and raw power is something to admire.
Plitvice Falls, Croatia
• This waterfall features plenty of cascading lakes linked by waterfalls and natural dams, in an impressive array of different colors: crystal clear, azure, and turquoise. Water flowing over limestone and chalk over thousands of years has created the different water barriers.
Angel Falls, Venezuela
• At 979 meters, it is the tallest waterfall in the world. In fact it is so high that some of the water evaporates before it reaches the pool below. Unlike most falls, this one is not derived from snowmelt, a lake, or a river but rather from rainfall from tropical clouds. As the falls are located in an isolated jungle, getting there is logistically tricky, but well worth the trek.