Ever wondered where the God’s were created?
In this week’s 123RF World Travel Guide series, we kick start our travels in Mali, where the mud-brick-built Grande Mosque takes center stage. Next, we take a stroll in Malta’s Valletta, ‘one of the world’s most concentrated historic areas in the world’.
Following that, we stand in awe of the heavenly Teotihuacan, Mexico’s birthplace of the Gods. Finally, we end our odyssey in the remarkable dive site of Micronesia’s Palau island.
A rabbit mask being worn during the Dogon dance to mimic the relationship between a hunter and the rabbit.
For the 123RF World Travel Guide, Mali is a land and life carved out from the desert. The turbulent state of affairs has led to neglect of the tourism scene. However, when security improves, Mali is a true masterpiece for anyone looking to indulge in fierce local culture and history, minus the pretentiousness of other countries.
The Grande Mosque is the country’s most iconic landmark. This mud-brick-built religious sight has dazzled travelers through centuries with its unique Sudano-Sahelian architecture. Next, make your way to the legendary Timbuktu. This ancient city was a center for Islamic scholarship for centuries. These days however, Timbuktu seems a little run down. But history buffs would appreciate a visit to its Djingareyber and Sidi Yahia mud mosques.
Finally, head out to the capital city of Bamako and check out the National Museum. This popular attraction offers a great insight into the lives of many ethnic groups, with a series of exhibitions on ritual instruments, clothing and musical instruments.
The beautiful sapphire waters of Malta’s Blue Lagoon. Image via fominayaphoto.
Malta has it all. Its stunning waters are a hot favorite for glamorous super yachts and adventurous backpackers. Its beautiful streets are cobbled and decorated with flower bed balconies. Above all else, Malta has the world’s greatest density of historic sights.
Begin your journey in Valletta. The capital city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is dubbed ‘one of the world’s most concentrated historic areas in the world’. The Saint John’s Co-Cathedral and Hal Saflieni Hypogeum are a testament to the tagline. The former is a 16th century baroque cathedral and the latter an underground burial site.
Malta’s charm also takes us to Blue Lagoon. For the 123RF World Travel Guide, this sheltered cove homes some of Malta’s clearest waters. Therefore, it’ll be impossible to resist a dip, so come with your swimming suits.
108. Marshall Islands
Go nuts on the beautiful beaches of Majuro Atoll.
Situated between Hawaii and Philippines, this chain of volcanic islands accommodates great scuba diving sites and a rich marine life. For the best experience, head straight to Majuro. The main island is home to a series of lovely hotels and beaches. However, you’ll need to travel to any of its smaller islands for clearer waters.
The secluded lagoons here promise to offer a treat for any traveler. Meanwhile, for a step into the unknown, the 123RF World Travel Guide recommends heading to Bikini Atoll. Formerly used as an atomic test area by the US, the abundance of shipwrecks in its waters make for an eerie and fascinating diving experience.
An aerial view of the Grand Mosque in Nouakchott.
The 123RF World Travel Guide picks Mauritania as your gateway to the Sahara. Unfortunately, there’s not a sight of a post-apocalyptic Mad Max like automobile emerging from the shadows. Instead, solo wanderers, farmers, goats and camels rule the orange hued lands. And that’s not a bad thing. For a country that has one of the world’s lowest population, Mauritania allows you to enjoy its landscapes, all to yourself.
The Banc d’Arguin National Park is a World Heritage Site and a true natural wonder. Where else can you find a harsh desert environment, flocks of migratory birds and a thriving marine life, all sitting together? Additionally, for peek into the mud-brick architecture of Mauritania, travel to Chinguetti. This 13th century city homes ancient libraries and a labyrinth of narrow alleyways, perfect for you to wander into before the desert decides to swallow this former trading center.
Celebrate colors in Mauritius in Cap Malheureux.
Mauritius is heaven on land. For the 123RF World Travel Guide, Mauritius is the ultimate paradise and a celebration of colors. Bright, blue waters, powder white sands, green palm fringed lands, and the fascinating Seven Colored Earths, all pay a significant homage to the diversity and charm of this country. For the best experience, head straight for the west coast.
The most popular attraction here is the gorgeous Flic en Flac beach, with underwater treasures situated just off this tourist hot spot. Meanwhile, for adventure enthusiasts, travel to the volcanic lake of Grand Bassin and hike the waterfalls of the Black River Gorges National Park. As for ecotourism travelers, the Ile aux Aigrettes remains the best option to uncover Mauritius’ immense conservation efforts for its rich plant and wildlife species.
However, no trip to Mauritius is complete without a pit stop at Port Louis. Here, head directly for the bustling Mercado Central farmer’s market and get a taste of the daily life, along with the country’s rapidly growing culinary scene.
Ik Kil, one of the world’s most photographed cenotes in Mexico.
Mexico is dangerously addictive. From ancient Aztec temples to stunning cathedrals, and beautiful beaches to bustling towns, Mexico has it all. Therefore, enter at your own risk, because if the jalapeno does not get you, the habanero will.
First, take a step back into the country’s origins with a visit to the extraordinary Teotihuacan. Dubbed ‘the place where God’s were created’, this ancient city was one of the largest in the entire western hemisphere. The Pyramids of the Sun structure is the main highlight here. Although the jury remains out on its original builder, there is no doubting the significance of Mexico’s cradle of civilization.
Next, travel to the kryptonite of the country, Mexico City. This energetic city is undergoing an art and culinary renaissance, with the emergence contemporary galleries and restaurants. However, for the most authentic experience, the 123RF World Travel Guide recommends a wrestling match with flamboyant luchadores for company.
Palau is world famous for its diving and snorkeling activities. Image via SAN HOYANO@123RF.
The tiny isles of Micronesia are the antithesis of the South Pacific. The former is like a speakeasy bar, and the latter holds traces of Kardashian sunscreen in its sapphire waters. Having said that, if privacy and simplicity is what you’re after, then Micronesia it is.
Scuba diving, hiking and simply laying on the beach are the main activities for the 123RF World Travel Guide. The island of Chuuk is famed for its wreck diving, thanks to the Hailstone Operation during the in the World War Ⅱ. Additionally, travel to Yap if you’re up for diving with manta rays and dining with the local community. Although do take note and dress modestly for the latter.
However, Micronesia’s best allure lies in Palau. The island is renowned for its world class dive sites, with the Blue Corner being the pick of the bunch. But bear in mind that Palau is best reserved for experienced divers, due to the strong currents of the Pacific.
Next up on our 123RF World Travel Guide, join us as we gamble away our futures under Monaco’s starry skyline and explore our wild side in Namibia’s wilderness. Also, catch up on our previous 123RF World Travel Guide series where we uncovered the fairy tale castles of Liechtenstein and Maldives’ extraordinary glow in the dark beach.