Many of us are fascinated by the solitude and the endless scope of beauty that can be found in a desert. And exploring a desert is a must on any adventurists bucket list.
With deserts on every continent, how can one decide which desert destinations to visit first? So, here is a compiled list of the top 5 deserts to explore.
1. Atacama Desert, Chile
Atacama Desert is one of the top tourists destinations in the South American country Chile, it’s extraordinary views and vast features make it one of those places on earth that seem to beautiful to be true. It’s one of the driest places on earth and is considered the oldest desert on this planet.
The Atacama Desert travels along the coast of Chile, with the Pacific Ocean outlining it’s outer side and the Andes Mountains on its opposite. The overall landscape is stony; featuring salt lakes, snow in the higher elevated areas and felsic lava underground.
Although it’s open to tourists- the population in Atacama is scattered with small towns along the coast, which benefits the land because there is little to no pollution found in the air. This and the added bonus of little to no clouds and dry air make it a gateway for astronomical observations. A good place for color and beauty.
For those wanting to visit, the ideal place to stay would be San Pedro de Atacama, a town located in the northeastern part of Chile set on a high plateau in the Andes Mountains range. It is close to the Valle de la Luna, a feature point of Atacama Desert.
The best months to visit Atacama would be between October and March.
2. Western Desert (White Desert), Egypt
It’s human nature to be amazed at things we don’t see everyday. And when most of us think of deserts we think of a hot landscape with brown sand. So it’s no wonder why White Desert is a must visit desert destination.
White Desert is located in Farafra, Egypt- with only five thousand inhabitants, Farafra is the least populated town in Western Egypt. But it’s unique composition of white chalk rock formations make it a sight to see.
And with over a hundred wells scattered over Farafra, tourists have found this to be a good swimming spot.
A good time to visit would be between October and April.
3. Wadi Rum, Jordan
Wadi Rum is located in Jordan- a country in Western Asia. It’s the largest valley in Jordan and is also known as The Valley of the Moon.
It’s stunning sandstone and granite rock formations have not only stunned tourists from around the world it has also been used as a setting for many films including Red Planet (2000), Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Oscar-nominated picture of the year The Martian (2015).
Not only is Wadi Rum a sight to see it’s also a place for adventurers, with it’s famous ‘Bedouin Roads’ making it the place for rock climbers. Other activities include trekking, horse-back riding on Arabian horses, and camping underneath the stars.
The best months to visit are between October and May.
4. Wahiba Sands (The Sharqiya Sands), Oman
An endless abyss of rolling sand dunes, with over 200 wildlife species , 150 types of flora and an outstanding 16,000 invertebrates recently discovered by the Royal Geographical Society. Wahiba Sands is the ideal vision, when one pictures a desert.
Travelers enjoy camel trekking and staring at the stars at night.
The best time to go is October through the end of April.
5. Mojave Desert, United States
The Mojave Desert is located in the United States occupying space in California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona. It is home to Death Valley, the hottest place in North America and has an estimated amount of 2,000 plant species.
Although, it’s major point of interest is Las Vegas, Nevada- the Mojave contains three major national parks including Joshua Tree National Park, Death Valley National Park and the Mojave National Preserve.
Other tourists spots in The Mojave Desert are the Colorado Desert and the Red Rock Canyon National Conversation Area. This is also the only desert on our list with it’s very own ghost towns- Calico Mountains and Calico Ghost Towns.
It’s safe to say there is a lot to do and a lot to see in the Mojave Desert. The best months to visit are November through May.