Tucked away in the remote jungle of Central Java, the ruins of Borobudur extend up the verdant hillside and overlook the smoking top of the volcano Mt. Merapi. Built in the 9th century as a Buddhist temple, the site consists of several Buddha statues hidden underneath latticed domes of stonework. If you climb to the top of the structure, be sure to turn around and admire the view of the treetops and the volcano. If you go at sunrise, the way the light hits the Buddha statues is truly spectacular.
A visit to Borobudur can also be combined with a trip to see the nearby Hindu temple Prambanan, which was built during the same period. If you go at night you can see scenes of the Ramayana performed, with the dancers in full traditional costume. You can also climb nearby Mt. Merapi, or visit cultural centre and semi-autonomous sultanate Yogyakarta, just a few hours to the south.
Looking for a completely different type of outdoor adventure? Then look no further than Iquitos, the port city on the Amazon River and the gateway to Peru’s rainforest. Here you can explore the floating market, visit a wildlife sanctuary, or visit traditional villages and see the rural way of life.
After a few days exploring the city, hire a guide and head deeper into the forest, where you can try your hand at jungle life. For example, you can fish for pirhanas, go on a hike, or paddle a dugout canoe and try to spot any of the unique wildlife, such as pink dolphins, anacondas and many species of birds. Once the sun sets, listen to the forest come alive with the sounds of insects, birds and monkeys reveling in the fresh night air. If you’re feeling brave, you can sample the local healing potion known as Ayahuasca, a potent hallucinogenic made of rainforest herbs. Icelolly offer some great low cost holiday offers so it’s worth checking them out to see if they can help you tick off your bucket list.
Located just miles from Jordan’s southern Red Sea coast, the mysterious ruins of Petra date back to the Nabataean kingdom. Built during the 6th century BCE, the ruins were lost for many years before they were found again in 1929 by the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. Now open to the public, the event is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Tucked away behind pink sandstone cliffs in the desert, visitors walk through a narrow passageway between two cliffs before turning a corner and seeing the intricately carved temple, carved right into the side of the pink cliffs. This is the same place where Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was filmed. You’ll also find other buildings carved into the pink and yellow cliffs, which makes for a stunningly unique landscape.
What are some of the places on your bucket-list? Sound off in the comments below!