When you’re a nature enthusiast, all you want is to spend your days traveling the globe and seeing all of the world’s natural wonders. The problem is your bank account doesn’t always agree with those ambitions. But don’t fret, there are plenty of destinations around the world that are budget-friendly and contain some spectacular sights.
Hierve el Agua, México
Not only is Mexico an affordable travel destination, but this site also contains a unique geological feature: a rock formation that looks like a waterfall. When looking at the cliffside from a distance, onlookers can see what appears to be a frozen waterfall, which is a bizarre sight to see in the hot temperatures of San Lorenzo Abarradas. However, upon closer inspection, this waterfall is actually created with a formation of mineral deposits from the limestone mountain. There are freshwater pools and springs on the mountain’s ledges, containing calcium carbonate and magnesium. The water from these pools drips down the cliff, depositing minerals along the side of the mountain. Over time, these minerals have gathered in a pattern that gives it the false appearance of a waterfall. This combo natural wonder-meets-optical illusion is the perfect destination for budget-conscious travelers.
Strokkur Geyser, Iceland
Iceland, known for the Blue Lagoon hot springs, is a surprisingly affordable country to visit. Although the Blue Lagoon itself isn’t an entirely naturally occurring phenomenon, there are plenty of natural wonders to visit. Aside from the world-famous Northern Lights, the Strokkur Geyser is one of Iceland’s most spectacular attractions. The most active geyser in Iceland, Strokkur is active almost constantly with eruptions typically occurring every 4-10 minutes. There’s also The Great Geyser, which hasn’t been active for many years but was known for being able to shoot boiling water 230 feet into the air.
Gouffre de Friouato, Morocco
Another budget travel option, Morocco is home to the Gouffre de Friouato which is a deep cave system. More than 65 feet wide and 885 feet deep, this natural wonder was first discovered in 1935. Roughly 520 steps lead to the floor of the cavern… where you can follow the additional 200 steps down to explore the caves. A few caves of note within the formations are the Salle de Lixus and the Salle de Draperies. As the name suggests, these rooms contain rock formations that appear to resemble curtains that have been frozen or calcified. Thus far, speleologists have explored at the depth of 984 feet, but it is believed that the caves continue to roughly 1600 feet.