Related: World's Most Unusual Hotels Blood Falls is just one example of how Antarctica “will change the way you think about life,” says David Dallmeyer, professor of geology at the University of Georgia and guide for Abercrombie & Kent. I’ve seen three-mile-wide icebergs break in half and roll inwards.” With 50 years’ worth of excursions under his belt, Dallmeyer is not easily surprised, but, he admits, “In Antarctica, there is nothing else like the Dry Valleys.
They’re an enigma.” But Mother Nature isn’t the sole creator of these oddities.
The fairy-tale-like rock formations called hoodoos, which pepper the Göreme Valley in Cappadocia, have served as homes, chapels, and schools for 2,000 years.
Equally unexpected are the hoodoo interiors: while some have been given over to goats, others are furnished with all the modernity of a New York apartment.
See It: Check out fighters galore and mighty B-52 bombers on an hour-long tour of the Boneyard, organized through the Pima Air & Space Museum.
Reserve your spot as early as possible—it sells out weeks in advance.
Sure, they may not be as easy to access as, say, the Rockies (which are divine, if not revelatory), but it’s precisely this isolation that has allowed them to evolve their odd characteristics.
Insider Tip: Time your visit to the Xilitla between April and July, when the weather is warm and dry.The scarlet tint derives from a community of sulfur-eating bacteria that dwell deep beneath the glacier in underground lakes—their crimson iron-oxide excretions dye the ice.But death does lurk in the vicinity: so arid are the Mc Murdo Dry Valleys that when lost seals and penguins wander irreversibly inland, they never decompose.“The Love Valley section of the park definitely raises some eyebrows with its giant phalluses,” says Tony Carne, destination manager for Intrepid Travel, an outfitter devoted to sustainable tourism in delicate regions such as Göreme.“Plus,” he quips, “it’s fun to work the word ‘troglodyte’ into casual conversation.” Weird and wonderful destinations like these can elicit double takes and openmouthed awe in even seasoned globe-trotters.James’s surrealist castle home is now a budget hotel called La Posada El Castillo (don’t worry, the boa’s long gone).