Keen to explore four enchanted worlds in Ecuador? In this week’s 123RF World Travel Guide series, we kick start our journey in the Ti Tou Gorge of Dominica for a spooky yet magical experience. Next, we work on our tan in Dominican Republic’s stunning Bahia de Las Aguilas.
Then join us as we travel to the middle of the Pacific to uncover the world’s best ecotourism destination in Ecuador’s Galapagos Island. Finally, we end our journey in a city frozen in time with Italian colonial architecture, deep in northeastern Africa.
Dominica’s Boiling Lake is a sight not to be missed.
Dominica is a must visit for nature lovers. Its Morne Trois Pitons National Park bears testament to Mother Nature’s generosity towards this Caribbean nation. The park blends tropical forests with hot springs, and a boiling lake with five volcanoes. Of the bunch, the boiling lake is perhaps the most standout feature. A crack in the earth allows gasses from the hot lava to escape. Hence, creating a surreal feature. The landscape of this spot certainly is worth a visit, but hiring a hiking guide is advised for first timers. The 123RF World Travel Guide suggests to make the most of your trip here by swimming in its waters.
The Ti Tou Gorge enables visitors to take a dip sandwiched between vine clad lava walls at a mere five feet away – a spooky yet magical experience. If that fails to float your boat then head out to Calibishie. This small town is one of the most beautiful areas of the island and is home to the idyllic Batibou beach. Finally, no trip to Dominica is complete without a visit to Roseau. The capital city is the soul of the island, and its Old Market is the best place to get in touch with the local people and culture.
51. Dominican Republic
The Bahia de las Aguilas is perhaps one of the world’s most beautiful stretch of land.
The Dominican Republic is home to beautiful diverse landscapes. From stunning mountain ranges to gorgeous beaches, this paradise is bound to leave you in awe. Above all, the Bahia de Las Aguilas, is widely regarded by the 123RF World Travel Guide as one of the world’s best beaches. And rightfully so. Translated to Eagles Bay, this picture perfect setting certainly is your private sanctuary to indulge in its aquamarine waters and explore its fascinating underwater life. If you can’t seem to get enough of the beach, then head to Samana.
This peninsula is also an absolute gem for tourists looking to get a glimpse of humpback whales and the ultimate paradise escapade. Additionally, a trip to Santo Domingo gives travelers a chance to step into the past of this Caribbean jewel. La Capital’s maze of cobbled streets are also the best place to take in the architectural wonders of the city. Meanwhile, take a stroll to Malecon for gorgeous sunset views while snacking on tostones.
Cotopaxi Volcano eruption seen from the beautiful town of Quito.
The tiny country has four worlds packed into one. The soaring mountains of the Andes, the charming beaches of the Pacific Coast, the lush Amazon rainforest and the exotic wildlife of the Galapagos Island. Where do we even begin?
The Galapagos was popularized by Charles Darwin and his theory of Natural Selection. However, the island’s allure does not stop there. Situated in the Pacific Ocean and some 1000 km away from Ecuador’s coast, the island’s sheer isolation makes it a living museum and showcase of evolution. The biodiversity here is unlike anywhere else. From marine iguanas to giant turtles, the Galapagos ranks as the world’s best wildlife sanctuary for the 123RF World Travel Guide.
If the Galapagos comes up short on human life, then Quito does well to make up for it. Seated high in the Andes, few cities have a setting as dramatic as Quito. This UNESCO World Heritage City is famed for its Old Town. The Plaza de la Independencia is the town’s heartbeat serves as as the meeting spot for anyone with a pulse. Meanwhile, the Capilla del Hombre represents the country’s finest architecture. If the shear altitude fails to take your breath away, then you bet Quito’s TeleferiQo would do just that.
The majestic Luxor Temple is a testament to the glory of ancient Egypt. Image via Leniod Andronov@123RF.
The cradle of civilization is best known for its mighty Nile and marvelous monuments. The Pyramids of Giza are an everlasting tribute to the power of ancient Egypt. The 123RF World Travel Guide believes a visit here truly enables travelers to step into Egypt’s famed past. However, the sheer glory of this structure gives rise to tales of the pyramid being built by massive angels and aliens – a constant blemish to this monumental achievement. The Great Pyramid of Khufu is the oldest and largest of the collection. The mortuary complex which accommodates boat pits for the afterlife is one of Khufu’s most fascinating sights.
The expedition to uncover the world’s cradle of civilization also takes us to Saqqara. The nation’s largest archaeological site is home to the mammoth cemetery of Memphis. Although Saqqara does not match the allure of Egypt’s poster child, it remains a must see for history buffs looking to explore the treasures of the Old Kingdom. Egypt’s rich history and legendary feats is also highly evident in Luxor. This extraordinary open air museum accommodates 63 grand royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Additionally, it also holds the most significant place of worship in ancient Egypt, Karnak.
54. El Salvador
Take in the picturesque views of El Tunco.
For a country that horribly suffers at the hand of bad press, El Salvador has much to offer. Top rated surfing spots, vast coffee plantations, stunning national parks and colorful towns make this an extremely underrated destination. The 123RF World Travel Guide identifies exploring EL Salvador’s lush landscapes with a trip to Chorros de la Calera. Here, majestic waterfalls cascade into serene natural pools for a breathtaking experience. Meanwhile, El Tunco offers an excellent pit stop for travelers. Situated a short drive away from Sal Salvador, this small town provides an excellent point break in Sunzal Point.
El Salvador’s charm continues with Tazumal. This Pompeii-like ruins includes an excavated temple pyramid where victims were believed to be burned. However, no trip is complete without a visit to San Salvador. The capital city stands out with its mix of charming galleries, museums and churches that are perfect to waltz into in the middle of the day.
55. Equatorial Guinea
The Monte Alen National Park offers a chance to get in touch with nature. Image via Carlos Mora@123RF.
If there’s one thing that Equatorial Guinea is never short of, its oil. The discovery has led to massive allegations of corruptions and failed coups, but this Central African nation still has what it takes to woo travelers. The capital city of Malabo is home to the beautiful St Elizabeth’s Cathedral and delightful colonial architecture. The country’s oil boom has also contributed to the network of upscale eateries and accommodations in its capital city. Therefore, making parts of this nation as the most developed in Africa.
In addition, off the coast of Malabo sits the beautiful Bioko island. The black volcanic beaches and small fishing villages here are a hit with anyone looking for a laid back getaway. Meanwhile, the 123RF World Travel Guide ranks Monte Alen National Park as one of the best kept secrets in central Africa. The series of lakes, waterfalls, exotic flora and fauna never fail to offer a perfect retreat for anyone looking to get in touch with Mother Nature.
Busy streets of Asmara’s central market shopping area. Image via Jackmalipan@123RF.
Looking for an off the beaten track experience? You’ve come to the right place. It’s best to begin uncovering Eritrea in Asmara. The city’s colonial core is highly evident, along with the Italian influence dotted all over. Therefore, be sure to treat your taste buds to delicious pizza, pasta and gelato, or swing by the local cafe for a shot of espresso. For the best experience, opt to stay away from rigid tours. Simply arm yourself with your curiosity and imagination. The 123RF World Travel Guide guarantees you will not be disappointed.
The city is frozen in time, because of the absence of big brands and commercialization. And that’s never a bad thing. Similarly, Massawa is now a city that has lost some of its splendor. Once regarded as the ‘Pearl of the Red Sea’, the city remains well worth a visit for anyone looking to indulge in history. The Imperial Palace is the building that perfectly embodies Massawa’s glorious past with its worn out royal blue and white walls.
Next up on our 123RF World Travel Guide, join us as we uncover Estonia’s beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site in Tallinn and Gabon’s spectacular wildlife. Alternatively, catch up on our previous series which explored the backdrop of James Bond’s Casino Royale and took a magical dive with whale sharks in the waters of Djibouti.
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