1. The Grand Prismatic Spring
Location: Yellowstone National Park, Midway Geyser Basin, Teton County, Wyoming
Let’s kick off this list with one of the largest hot springs in the world, the 3rd largest one, to be precise. The Grand Prismatic Spring is 113 meters (370 ft) in diameter and 50 meters (160 ft) deep. Just for comparison, a typical 7-story building is about half its depth, and a the size is bigger than that of a football field.
The temperature of the water is around 70 °C (160 °F), which makes it a perfect environment for thermophiles, a variety of heat-loving bacteria that inhabit the spring. In fact, the spring owes its colorful hues to these bacteria.
Depending on the type of thermophile that lives in one specific part of the lake, the colors of the water will vary, hence the beautiful gradient from green to blue, and even purple and pink in some locations.
2. Flower Fields
Location: Hokkaido, Japan
Hokkaido is famous for its beautiful flower fields, so much so that many artists flock up each summer to capture the irresistible landscape. The flowers are grown commercially, but many farms welcome tourist and offer them refreshments and locally-produced goods.
On some farms, like the Shikisai field pictured below, you can admire a variety of colorful flowers, such as sunflowers, anemones and lavender. Other fields specialize in a specific flower, such as moss floxes or lavender, which tint the entire landscape in a bright pink or purple hue respectively.
If you are ready to leave to Hokkaido immediately, do keep in mind that most flowers are seasonal, so to see them in full bloom you’ll have to plan the date of your trip accordingly, although summer and spring are usually a safe bet.
3. Zhangye National Geopark
If you love hiking, consider visiting the so-called “Rainbow Mountains of China” at Zhangye National Geopark. It is one of the most unique and picturesque places in China, as the mountains have unique layered look to them, with each layer having an alternating red, green, blue or yellow hue.
The park is equipped with 4 viewing platforms, situated in different locations and at different heights for visitors to enjoy a hike through this breathtaking scenery.
4. The Mendenhall Ice Caves
Location: Juneau, Alaska
Like it is the case with many ice formations, the Mendenhall are rapidly melting, so enjoy how their irresistible beauty while you still can. This federally-protected natural treasure is still accessible to tourists, it is located in the Mendenhall glacier and is somewhat difficult to reach, as Juneau, the nearest city isn’t connected with roads.
And this is only the beginning, as the specific location of the cave is always-changing, but usually, you have to commit to a 4-hour hike or a kayaking trip to the location of the caves. Still, the views are definitely worth it.
Do keep in mind that guided tours are a must in this location, as the glacier continues receding very fast and there is even a danger of the caveins.
5. Canola Fields
Location: New South Wales, Australia
The bright-yellow canola fields in New South Wales stretch for miles, so if you happen to be in the area, they’re very difficult to miss, as many roads pass right through them.
Canola oil is a valuable export product in Australia, and many farmers opt for growing it in this specific region. Unlike the Japanese flower farms, however, these canola fields are privately owned and farmers discourage visitors to walk through them, as it may jeopardize the quality of the canola seeds or spread pests and diseases throughout the fields.
6. The Red Beach
Location: Panjin, Liaoning province, China
The name of this location is somewhat misleading, as the the Red Beach is no beach at all, but an extensive wetland covered in seepweed. The Red Beach is a protected area, but walking platforms like the one on the picture were designed for the visitors to be able to enjoy the wetlands while they’re “in bloom”.
Seepweed, an aquatic plant that covers the wetlands, is green when it first appears in early spring, but gradually, it tints its leaves into red. Apart from providing a strikingly beautiful view to the tourists, the seepweed forest is home to 400 unique wildlife species and migratory birds, which is why it is a state-protected area.
7. Bluebonnet Flower Fields
Those of you who have been in Texas in early spring will be familiar with the way a seemingly-regular field and roadside will suddenly turn baby blue, completely covered in bluebonnets.
Don’t be tempted to pick up the flowers, though, as locals firmly believe that it will bring you bad luck. The bluebonnet is the state flower of Texas, and it is known for being able to resist the harshest weather conditions and please the eye of locals and tourists alike.
8. Rainbow Village
Location: Taichung, Taiwan
This small village in Taiwan was on the brink of demolition, as most residents left it. The last of its visitors, Huang Yung-Fu, a former soldier, decided to save his home by painting its buildings in vibrant colors and intricate designs.
The 93-year-old Huang began painting the village in 2010. The walls, the roofs and the streets of the village are now covered with paintings of people, animals, decorative designs and flowers.
The man’s plan worked, as the village soon gained popularity among the locals, many tourists started arriving to see the unusual destination and the authorities decided to preserve the village. Thousands of tourists continue visiting it every year.
Location: Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia
Deadvlei doesn’t look real at all, it rather reminds me a Salvador Dali painting than a real location, but my intuition is wrong, and this place really exists. The location is a claypan, which was once flooded by a river.
With the change in climate 600 year ago, all the water was depleted from the area. With time, it became so dry that no plants could survive. For some context, let's just add that Deadvlei today is surrounded by the tallest sand dunes in the world.
So, as you can probably tell, the climate there is so exceptionally dry that even the camel thorn trees couldn't survive, and once dead, they resisted decay for hundreds of years because of the climate, despite the fact that the scorching sun turned them completely black.
10. The Underwater Waterfall
Granted, the so-called “underwater waterfall” is not a real waterfall, but it tricks the eye to see a waterfall, if you are lucky to catch a glimpse of it from a plane, that is.
The breathtaking optical illusion is created by a shelf called the Mascarene Plateau that is much shallower than the surrounding Indian Ocean. Sand slides off the plateau into the deeper parts of the ocean and makes it look like an grandiose waterfall. The yield is a truly heart-stopping view.
Sadly, this was the last location, but we also have an article dedicated to the most-colorful cities in the world, which we also invite you to see by following the link 11 Colorful Cities Around the World.