August 27, 2015
Top-100 Series: North America, Part 2.
In continuation of my revised and revamped Top-100 of the most remarkable, interesting, enchanting and beautiful places and countries of the world, here’s the next installment: part 2 of the very best – IMHO – places to visit in North America, i.e., the North American continent, which (of course?:) includes Central American countries and the Caribbean islands.
First, for starters, a few pics from this part of the world…
Technically, this oddly misnamed country (Whiteland, hello?:) is a part of the North American continent. I’ve long dreamed of getting here, as it’s full of the natural… excess I adore: glaciers, fjords, mountains. A mysterious place, populated by few, visited by fewer. All the more reason to get there!
The photos of this place look awesome. I like my places extreme, and I think this one might just be able to tick that box: it’s the lowest, driest and hottest area of North America! And I just have to get to Zabriskie Point, naturally :-).
The ancient city and pyramids of the Aztecs. A completely separate branch of modern history of mankind. A climb to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun to gaze at the sunset (or sunrise) – simply obligatory.
13. Cenotes, Cancun (Yucatan)
Unreal underground lakes and rivers. The lakes are mostly perfectly round and contain the most pristine of water. Over the years the river has carved out long labyrinths, tunnels, caves and caverns; example: Rio Secreto – a stalactite-stalagmite jungle. So impressive is it that, as guides told us, some wealthy tourists come from the other side of the world to see just it.
14. Chichen Itza – Mayan pyramids
Another alternative branch of modern history of man. Nearby is the Ik Kil cenote (shown in the above photo). It’s best to arrive hear as early as possible in the day so as to avoid the rush of tourists that flood the place later on. Catching a sunrise or sunset here also isn’t a bad idea – especially on an equinox. On both equinoxes the Temple of Kukulcan features an unusual optical illusion – of a serpent slithering down one of the temple’s sides (check out the clip from the third minute).
The island time forgot – back in the 1950s. Classic American cars (and Ladas!), Cuba Libres and Mojitos, Monte Cristos and Cohibas, Communism of the 21st century, an incredibly healthy national health service, that classic pic of Che Guevara, and the impossibly white beaches of Veradero (factor-50 at a minimum). A unique island of contrasts. Make sure to get here quick – one day Fidel and Raul won’t be around any longer!
16. Costa Rica
I’ve heard so much about this place from my friends in Latin America. They all rave over its outstanding natural beauty, including its mountains, volcanoes, jungles and scenery in general. I’ve sadly only seen its airport and one of its hotels. Must make up for that oversight.
17. Panama Canal
The famous – infamous – strip of water of checkered history connecting the Atlantic (via the Caribbean Sea) and the Pacific. So far I’ve only seen it from up above in a plane. Must get nearer next time…
Cave of the Crystals, Mexico
That’s if for today folks. Next up on this slow crawl across the atlas: South America…
PS: If you’ve any comments or suggestions or additions or corrections to make – please do so in the comments :-).