Salt flats of Uyuni, Bolivia
From lakes to deserts, Bolivia offers many natural wonders, including the world’s largest salt flat. Set in the southwestern part of the country, the Salar de Uyuni delivers 4,086 square miles of glistening white salt. “Few American travelers ever get to Bolivia, opting for more popular Peru, Chile, and Argentina,” says Rebecca Rhyan, destination specialist, Latin America, for Cox and Kings. “The salt flats are an other-worldly landscape for anyone who enjoys a bit of adventure.” Although the topography is mostly flat, the destination sits on the Altiplano at 11,995 feet above sea level; expect chilly temperatures when the sun goes down. Touring the destination with Cox and Kings includes breakfast in the middle of the salt flat on Pescado (fish island) and overnights in a stylish and luxurious Airstream camper.
Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)
One of the richest archaeological sites in Asia, Bagan (also referred to as Pagan) is home to a collection of more than 2,200 temples, stupas, and pagodas. The collection represents a scenic tribute to the religious history and devotion of the settlers of Myanmar over the centuries; some temples, such as the graceful circular Shwesandaw Pagoda built by King Anawrahta, date back to 1057. Though gaining popularity, Burma is still very much off the beaten track when compared to Thailand and Vietnam, explains Vinni Bernal, destination specialist, Asia for Cox and Kings. The Buddhist culture in Burma is among the most authentic in any Southeast Asian nation, and in Bagan, travelers witness some of the most intact temples in the world. “Burma is like Thailand 30 years ago,” says Bernal. “The Buddhist culture is fully intact and the tourism infrastructure is improving.” While many temples can be explored by foot, an early morning hot air balloon ride over Bagan is one of the best ways to see the site. You’ll want to check out these other popular travel destinations in Asia.