Got vacation on the brain? Hoping to see more of the world in 2016? Make your next trip a photography getaway to one of these breathtaking locations.
1) Machu Picchu
What better way is there to kick off the New Year than with some stunning landscape photography of the ancient Incan ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru? Constructed in 1450 at the height of the Inca Empire, Machu Picchu rests at the crest of the mountain that bears its name, 7,970 feet above sea level. Surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs and enshrouded in mist from the nearby Urubamba River, it’s clear to see why these ruins are a favorite among travel photographers. Besides the ruins, there’s plenty to see and capture on camera in Peru, from snowcapped mountains to great sand dunes you’ll fill up your hard drive in no time at all.
2) New Zealand
Located some 6,782 miles off the coast of California, New Zealand has it all—beaches, fjords, glaciers, rivers, forests, mountains, geysers and just about anything else a landscape photographer could ask for. If you’re looking for a one stop travel destination that’s chock full of nature photography, New Zealand is well worth the trip. Head on over to the Bay of Islands where in addition to traditional island footage you can get up close and personal with pods of dolphins. Travel south to Milford Sound for some remote kayaking alongside sea lions, fur seals, sea birds and colorful rock walls. From the steppe like Pancake Rocks to the iconic Moeraki boulders there are plenty of sights to see in New Zealand.
3) Angel Falls, Venezuela
Travel to South America to bear witness to the tallest uninterrupted waterfall in the world, Angel Falls in Venezuela. The falls are known by another name locally, Kerepakupai Vena
, “waterfall of the deepest place”—a fitting title considering its scale. Standing tall at 3,212 feet, this waterfall plunges 2,648 feet over the edge of the Auyantepui Mountain in Canaima National Park. As one of the highest table top mountains in the Guiana Highlands, the iconic mountain chain is already quite a sight to behold. Add to it arguably the most epic waterfall in the world and you have the makings for photography gold. Getting to the falls isn’t easy however—you’ll have to take a flight into the Canaima camp from Ciudad Bolivar or Puerto Ordaz, and have a Pemon river guide bring you to the falls during the wetter months from June to December, when the rivers are deep enough to be navigated by boat. If you’re feeling up for a genuine adventure, Angel Falls will give you a photo of a lifetime.
4) Uluru (Ayers Rock) Australia
Had enough of winter? Why not travel to the opposite end of the globe to the dunes of Uluru-kata Tjuta National Park? Towering 1,142 feet over the arid flatlands of Australia’s Northern Territory, Uluru or Ayers Rock is a monolithic sandstone rock formation sacred best known for the brilliant red color hues it displays during sunrise or sunset. As one of Australia’s most iconic natural landmarks, the inselberg (literally island mountain), is a must have shot for photographers visiting the continent. While most people will settle for a photograph of Uluru at a distance, it definitely pays to explore the rest of the park and the base of the rock formation—you just might be able to snap a photo of a black-flanked rock-wallaby, red kangaroo or bilby amongst other exotic animals. Indeed, for such a barren looking plain, the biodiversity of the region is not to be understated. As a wildlife reserve, there are 46 species of native mammals, 73 species of reptile and four species of frog in the region.