7 Incredible Places to Connect With Nature
By Rachel Remington
Nature is diverse, powerful, and majestic, and can have incredible effects on human beings. By immersing ourselves in beautiful and wondrous natural landscapes, we can experience emotional and spiritual transformations unlike any other healing power. Spending time in nature can also have physical health benefits, such as improving vision and boosting the immune system, according to Business Insider. There are many ways in which to connect with nature, among which include hiking, meditating, kayaking, or even just sitting and observing the landscapes around us. The key to experiencing the transformative powers of nature is to find suitable places to do so. There are endless places that one can immerse themselves in their natural surroundings, ranging from lush city parks to rugged mountain trails, but we’ve compiled a list of what we consider some of the most incredible places in the world to connect with nature.
1. Salar de Uyuni – Daniel Campos, Bolivia
Imagine a place where it’s hard to distinguish the difference between the ground and the sky, and walking across the surface feels as if you’re walking through the clouds. At the Bolivia Salt Flats (aka “Salar de Uyuni”), the largest salt flats in the world, you can experience such a sensation. According to an article by Roadtrippers, the 4,000 square mile flats are the result of the transformation of prehistoric salt lakes, which turn into a massive reflective surface after rainfall or during the flood season (December to March). Lonely Planet’s book, Ultimate Travel, claims that the reflective quality of the water-covered salt flats convinces your frontal cortex that you’re travelling through the sky.
2. Kauai – Hawaii, USA
The Hawaiian Islands are the ideal location for a tropical vacation because they have so much more to offer than just beautiful beaches: they have incredibly diverse and breathtaking landscapes, lush vegetation, great weather all year round, and endless opportunities for experiencing nature in fun and memorable ways. If you’re interested in visiting a Hawaiian island and want to experience all of the beauty that Hawaii has to offer, you might consider making Kauai your next destination. Kauai is known as Hawaii’s “Garden Isle” due to its lush tropical rainforests, but it is also made up of valleys, waterfalls, mountains, and jagged cliffs. There are many ways to experience the outdoors on Kauai, including hiking, biking, scuba diving, and kayaking, but if you’re planning on kayaking, the Na Pali coast should be at the top of your list. Fifty Places to Paddle Before You Die describes the Na Pali coast as a 17-mile stretch on Kauai’s northwest shore, made up of a rugged coastline, cliffs covered in tropical greenery, and clouds and mist that surround the cliffs. The book also cautions that the Na Pali coast is a challenging paddle route, so kayakers should be experienced and prepared before taking on the paddle.
3. Canadian Rockies – British Columbia and Alberta, Canada
Curt and Mary Remington, the founders of the Holistic Healing Network, visited the Canadian Rockies in the summer of 2015, and concluded from their trip that the Canadian Rockies are a destination with some of the most spectacular scenery in North America. They contain unforgettable mountains, lots of wildlife, and a number of breathtaking lakes. Among the most worthwhile lakes to visit is Moraine Lake, which Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel describes as a “deep teal” lake that is “framed by snow-capped mountains and emerald firs.” There are plenty of opportunities for hiking and backpacking, but be sure to keep an eye out for grizzly bears if you visit the Canadian Rockies.
4. Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve- Monteverde, Costa Rica
Rainforests are already quite magical as is, with colorful vegetation and diverse wildlife, but imagine a rainforest so high in elevation that it is always surrounded in a layer of clouds, giving it a mysterious look and feel. These rainforests are known as cloud forests, which get their name from the cloud cover that almost constantly hangs at their canopies. Located high above the coastal towns of Costa Rica, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is one of the most famous cloud forests in the world, and is known for its excellent bird watching opportunities. Costa Rica Experts states that the high-elevation forest contains over 400 types of vegetation, as well as birds and hundreds of other wildlife species.
5. Alaska – USA
Alaska has been on Curt Remington’s bucket list of places to visit for many years, and when he was finally able to make his way there in 2009, it didn’t disappoint. The US state is a destination that is full of incredibly diverse terrain, beautiful scenery, as well as many opportunities for connecting with nature. The scenery in Alaska includes mountains, glaciers, lots of wildlife, the ocean, and of course the Northern lights. You can experience the majestic wild of Alaska in many ways, including hiking, kayaking, fishing, ziplining, camping, or even on a sleigh ride. Alaska.org suggests that the best time to visit Alaska is between mid-May and mid-September, as the hours of sunlight are longer, the vegetation is vibrant, and the weather is more bearable. If you’re interested in going on an Alaskan cruise, you may want to check out Celebrity Cruise’s article on the best time to visit Alaska on a cruise. There are a number of great ways to experience Alaska, including by cruise ship, by tour, or independently.
6. Fiji – Melanesia
There are plenty of wonderful tropical destinations to visit across the world, but not all have as much to offer as Fiji. Fiji, an island country in located in the South Pacific, is made up of over 300 islands full of beautiful scenery and plenty of opportunities for adventure. There are many reasons that Fiji is a great nature lover’s destination, starting with the incredible beaches. It is also known as one of the best scuba diving and snorkeling destinations in the world. According to the Tourism Fiji website, Fiji’s waters have around 1,000 species of fish and 4,000 square miles of colorful coral reefs, including the famous Rainbow Reef. The islands of Fiji also contain beautiful forests, mountains, waterfalls, wildlife, and rivers. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can experience nature via rafting the Upper Navua River, which Fifty Places to Paddle Before You Die describes as a beautiful river made up of canyons, narrow gorges, and walls of lava and limestone that are covered in greenery.
7. Li River – Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China
When you visit the Li River in China, you are in for far more than your typical river excursion. The river is a 437-kilometer scenic waterway, which National Geographic Magazine lists as one of the world’s top 10 watery wonders. Guilinchina.net describes the scenery surrounding the river as “rolling hills, steep cliffs,” and “fantastic caves”, with a shoreline that’s lined with bamboo. Some of the best ways to experience the river’s beauty are by boat cruise, by bamboo raft, by hiking along the river, or even by helicopter, according to China Highlights. The website also describes the pros and cons of visiting the river at different times of the year, so visitors should choose whichever season best fits their needs.
There are endless places to connect with nature, ranging from your local park to unforgettable locations on your bucket list, but no matter what the location is, anyone can experience the transformative and healing powers of nature. You can connect with nature in many ways, but one effective way of doing so is by meditating in a beautiful natural landscape. In Curt Remington’s blog, you can learn about the various ways in which to connect with nature through meditation. Regardless of how you choose to experience nature, we encourage you to get out into it and see for yourself what it can do for you.