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Machu Picchu

10 Exotic Destinations Around the World

Travel in the vein of the phrase “it’s the journey, not the destination” has taken the world by storm the past several years, but there’s nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned bucket list. From the mountains of South America, to the sands of the Sahara, to the farthest reaches of the Far East, these exotic destinations are betting of a place on yours.

Machu Picchu

Located only a short distance from Cusco, Peru in the Andes Mountains of South America, Machu Picchu is the greatest relic of the ancient Inca civilization. Come here via train on a two-day, one-night trip, or take the four-day “Inca Trail” hike—which, for the record, requires booking far in advance.

Great Wall of China

With a history that goes back almost as far as human civilization, the Great Wall of China has earned its reputation as one of the most visited attractions in the world. Several sections of the Wall are reachable via day-trip from Beijing, including Simatai and Badaling, which you can access by train.

Taj Mahal

Many travelers recognize the Taj Mahal, but few know the story behind it. As you travel to Agra (where the Taj sits) from Delhi, keep this factoid in your mind: Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built it as a monument to love to his second wife Mumtaz, who died bearing one of their children.

Pyramids of Giza

While it’s true that the once-lost Pyramids of Giza now sit within Cairo’s suburbs, don’t let this minor detail deter you from visiting. What’s more is that these iconic pyramids and the Sphinx are but the beginning of the ruins you can find along the west bank of the Nile River in the area formerly known as “Lower Egypt.”

Rome’s Ruins

Some decry the ruins of Rome, Italy for the huge crowds they attract year-round, but nothing can take away from the two millennial of history you find in the streets of the aptly-named “Eternal City.” Even better? Thanks to Italy’s new high-speed train network, the canals of Venice are only a short hop away.

Australian Outback

Australia’s home to some much iconic scenery and wildlife that it’s hard to keep track. Once you’ve explored cosmopolitan Sydney, however, fly inland to the country’s “Red Center,” home among other treasures to Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) and Kata Tjuta (Olgas), not to mention the important aboriginal culture.

Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto is the only complete city on this list, and for good reason. From Kiyomizu-dera Temple in its southeastern reaches, to the Imperial Palace at its center; and from Arashiyama Temple along its western flank to the “Philosopher’s Path” that lines a river in its north, Kyoto is so full of heritage it might explode.

Iguazú Falls

Perhaps the world’s most magnificent waterfall, Igauzú Falls sits sandwiched between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay in the jungles of southern South America. For the best experience, enjoy the falls from above on the Argentina side, and from below in Brazil, with a boat trip underneath. But caution: You will get wet!

Angkor Wat

The “Lost City” to end all lost cities, Angkor Wat is Southeast Asia’s answer to Machu Picchu, the former seat of the ancient Khmer Kingdom that once dominated this land. The best part about Angkor Wat? It sits in such close proximity to the city of Siem Reap that you can explore it on a day trip.

Serengeti Plain

Africa’s full of safari destinations, but not boast as many animals in as scenic a setting as Tanzania’s Serengeti Plain. Whether you book a stay at the luxurious Four Seasons Serengeti, where you can have breakfast in the company at elephants, or choose a more budget-oriented safari, the Serengeti is calling.

About The Author

is the author of 1206 posts on Leave Your Daily Hell. Robert founded Leave Your Daily Hell in 2010 so that other travelers would have an entertaining, reliable source of information, advice and inspiration at their fingertips. Want to travel more often? Subscribe to email updates today!


informs, inspires, entertains and empowers travelers like you. My name is Robert and I'm happy you're here!


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Upcoming Trips

  • I plan to spend the first half of 2021 in Kyoto, Japan, where I'll be taking a Japanese course. While I intend to publish some posts about my travels around Japan here, I encourage you to visit Japan Starts Here for my most up-to-date and in-depth Japan travelogues.

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