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Fingal’s Cave is located on the uninhabited rock island of Staffa, off the West coast of Scotland. This fascinating cave is formed from hexagon shaped basalt columns. The basalt formed into hexagonal columns when a lava flow cooled in the ocean. The lava flow that created Fingal’s Cave also created the amazing Giant’s Causeway rock formation in Scotland. In Gaelic, Fingal’s Cave is known as Uamh-Binn, meaning “cave of melody”, due to the lovely sounds made by echos of waves crashing inside.

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Yehliu is the name of a rocky cape on the northeast coast of Taiwan. The cape is known for the interesting rock formations that were formed when ocean waves eroded part of the rocky shore. The formations, called hoodoos, can be seen in the Yeliu Geopark. Some of the rock formations have names based on objects that resemble their shapes. The most famous hoodoo is called “the Queen’s Head.” Yehliu is within the town of Wanli which is between the cities of Taipei and Keelung.

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A river in Columbia is beautifully exotic and home to a natural phenomenon that earned it many complimentary names like ‘the river that ran away from paradise.’ You can only visit the Caño Cristales river from July to December. Within that time frame is a shorter period when the conditions are perfect to cause blooms in the water that showcase a ‘liquid rainbow’ of ‘yellow, green, blue, black, and especially the red of the Macarenia clavigera.’ During the rest of the year, the water looks like any other river, surrounded by fantastic rock formations that are so steep they are said to hide away the view of numerous waterfalls and natural swimming holes. The rock formations look remarkably similar to Moon Valley in beautiful Brazil, but Rio Caño Cristales has been bestowed with many titles such as “The River of Five Colors,” “The Liquid Rainbow”, “the river that ran away from paradise,” and even “The Most Beautiful River in the World.”

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Lake Powell is a man-made reservoir on the Colorado river. Located in the United States between Utah and Arizona, Lake Powell is surrounded by magnificent Navajo sandstone canyon walls in bright oranges, reds, and whites. These striking colors contrast beautifully with Lake Powell’s blue-green waters. Lake Powell is a sprawling, winding lake, and is the second largest man-made lake in the United States. The lake was made when Glen Canyon Dam was constructed in the early 1960s, flooding Glen Canyon. The lake, along with Horseshoe Bend and the notable Rainbow Bridge National Monument rock formation, is now part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Visitors to the lake can tour its waters via boat rental or guided tour. Tour operators and lodging can be found in the nearby town of Page in Arizona.

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The Marble Caves of Patagonia, Chile, are beautiful vibrant blue caverns, partially submerged in the equally stunning turquoise waters of Carrera Lake. The lake itself is on the border of Argentina and Chile, with the caves located on the Chilean side. The caves are comprised of three main caverns: the Chapel (La Capilla), the Cathedral (El Catedral), and the Cave (La Cueva). Visitors to the caves can explore them in a small boat or kayak, but only when Carrera Lake’s waters are calm and gentle. A rare and invaluable natural wonder, the existence of these caves is currently threatened by plans to build five large dams in the area. If you visit these caves, please treat them with the utmost respect and care.

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Famous Annapurna is a section of the Himalaya mountain range, located in central Nepal. The name “Annapurna” is a Sanskrit name meaning “Goddess of the Harvests”. The massive 22,970+ foot (7,000+ meter) peaks of the Annapurna section are some of the most dangerous to climb in the world. The south face of Annapurna I has the highest fatality rate of all the world’s 8,000 meter or higher peaks. Though the peaks themselves are off-limits to most people, the surrounding scenery can be access by undertaking one of many popular multi-day treks, including the impressive Annapurna Circuit trek, the Kaligandaki River Valley trek, and the Annapurna Sanctuary trek which reaches the Annapurna Base Camp. Annapurna is located within the Annapurna Conservation Area Project, and a permit is required to visit. Permits can be obtained in the Nepalese cities of Pokhara and Kathmandu. Bus service from Pokhara is available, as are many guided tours for trekking.

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The stunning Verdon Gorge is a river canyon in the southeastern section of France. The gorge is home to the Verdon River, known for its starling turquoise waters. The Verdon Gorge is a limestone canyon over 15 miles (25 kilometers) long and up to 2,297 feet (700 meters) deep. The canyon is a popular rock climbing, kayaking, hiking, and sight-seeing destination. Either side of Verdon Gorge is easily accessed, and a car ride around the rim is a lovely way to spend a day. The largest nearby towns with the most services and accommodations are Grasse and Aix-en-Provence, with several other smaller towns in the vicinity.

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Easter Island is an isolated Polynesian island located in the southeastern Pacific Ocean. Politically, Easter Island is a special territory of Chile. Easter Island is famous for the almost 900 stone statues, called moai, that are in the shape of human heads and simple bodies. These moai statues were created by the Rapanui people hundreds of years ago. It is believed that the Rapanui people’s numbers dwindled due to the overexploitation of their tiny, isolated island. Others claim diseases from Europe are to blame for the decline. The island’s name was given in 1722 by a Dutch explorer, who landed on the island on Easter Sunday. The Polynesian name for the island is Rapa Nui, meaning “Big Rapa” in reference to a similar looking Polynesian island called Rapa. Today, Easter Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and destination for history loving tourists.

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