The Galapagos Islands, consisting of 14 major islands and many other smaller ones, can still enchant the way they enchanted lifetime student Charles Darwin when he visited, documenting and sketching, and formulating his theory of natural evolution as he observed the strange and unique wildlife that thrives only on these islands. A unique once-in-a-lifetime experience.Galapagos Islands is on 1st place in top 10 places to visit.
Angel Falls, Venezuela
Not only is this waterfall the highest in the world, it is a striking sight to see too. If you’re an extreme sports fan, how about parachuting off the top? Getting to this exotic destination is an experience too: traveling by canoe down white rivers, and sleeping in hammocks by the riverside.
The Pyramids of Giza
These stunning structures point to the sky, precise and perfect in their execution. To this day, the feats that it took to construct these is unknown to us; an enigma. The Great Pyramid was built 4 500 years ago as a tomb for the pharaoh Khufu; it is the last of the Seven Wonders of the World to exist. It consists of 2.3 million blocks of limestone that on average weigh more than two tons. Egyptologists today believe that contrary to old belief, these were erected not by slaves, but by citizens as a public work to a vain pharaoh. These wonders are worth visiting to stand in awe at their majesty, and to wonder at the technological mastery of that ancient civilization. A must for students who intend to major in Egyptology or ancient history.The Pyramids of Giza on 3rd position in our top 10 places to visit.
Machu Picchu seems to be on everyone’s list. Only discovered 100 years ago, it was built in the 1400s, and abandoned less than 100 years after it was completed. It is thought that its population was wiped out by a smallpox epidemic, brought by travelers before the Spanish conquistadors even arrived. Until it was discovered by an American, only the local peasants knew of its existence. It is believed that it was a sacred religious site or a royal residence for the ancient Incas. The entire site, on top of a mountain, stretches for eight kilometers, and features more than 3 000 stone steps linking the many different levels. Hundreds of thousands of visitors flock here each year to enjoy this manmade wonder.
The Great Barrier Reef
Not only for the marine biology student, the world’s largest coral reef is visible from space. Consisting of 3 000 reefs and 600 islands, it lies over 2,000 kilometers, off Australia’s north eastern coast. Its residents include whales, dolphins, green turtles, 1 500 other species of fish, 4 000 species of mollusks, and 200 species of birds. This wonder of nature is a dream to dive, even if you only snorkel.
The Aurora Borealis
The Northern Lights are magical to behold, and can be seen in the Northern Hemisphere above 60 degrees latitude. Most of us have seen this phenomenon on TV, but to see it in person as it stretches across the sky is an experience that leaves all who see it awestruck. For the science student: charged particles from the sun get sucked into earth’s magnetic field, flow towards the poles, then collide with our atmosphere. The best times to see it is around the spring and autumn equinoxes, when geomagnetic storms are at their strongest.
Sin City, another manmade wonder! This oasis was created in the 1940s, and has matured into a fun place for all, no matter what your taste. No longer is it only for the seedy gamblers and the eloping couples. Thrilling rides on top of skyscrapers, 5 star restaurants, great nightclubs, theme parks, designer boutiques, water shows co-ordinated to music, spas, even museums. The Strip is still the most popular for visitors, but it is by no means all that Vegas offers. And for the college student who goes there to party, remember: “What happens in Vegas…”
The Grand Canyon
Also in the US, the Grand Canyon is an awesome natural wonder that can’t be beat for its majesty and views. It’s over 1,800 meters deep and 29 kilometers wide, and represents a cross-section of the earth over two billion years. It is recommended to hike through the canyon, and you can choose different packages, from one day to seven days.
Montana Working Ranch
Do a Billy Crystal and join a working ranch to get the whole cowboy experience! There are still cowboys and cowgirls working today in Big Sky Country, and there are many ranches you can choose to visit, and get to work alongside them for a while. Perfect for someone like a student, you get to ride horses, herd cattle, and enjoy the amazing scenery whilst paying a flat fee for food, accommodation and activities.
The Great Migration
Across the ‘land of endless space’, the Serengeti, they come. Every year, the great migration plays out. Compelled by the weather and their need for water and grazing, an estimated 1.5 million wildebeest, accompanied by thousands of gazelles and zebras, make a 500 kilometer trek across northern Tanzania, then towards Lake Victoria. Also accompanying them are the predators: lions, hyenas and cheetahs stalk the herds, looking for the weak. Crocodiles lie in wait as they make their inevitable river crossings. A student of both wildlife and photography will find nirvana here amongst the dramas that play out.