6 Places You Won't Believe Exist

The 13,800-foot climb from Hilo's beaches to the moonscape at the summit of Mauna Kea isn’t for the faint of heart. It marks (to our knowledge, at least) the single longest sustained climb on Earth. —Peter Koch

Beijing water cube

Officially known as the Beijing Water Cube Water Park, Happy Magic is part of the National Aquatics Center and is now Beijing’s most visited tourist spot after the Great Wall. Thanks to a major renovation in 2011, the place looks even more futuristic than on opening day in 2008: Think splashy colored tubes, transporting human water rockets through a system of slides twisting this way and that. — This is the featured place.

An airplane hotel Costa Rica

Hotel Costa Verde is located on a coastal rainforest bluff overlooking the Pacific beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park. The hotel is a shell of an old 1965 Boeing 727, transported to the jungle to make it look like it "landed" among the treetops. The result is part hotel suite, part treehouse.

A template unearthed java, Indonesia

An hour’s drive from Yogyakarta, Borobudur sat relatively undisturbed for a millennium, until 1814, when Sir Stamford Raffles, the British lieutenant governor of Java, heard rumors of an ancient temple buried beneath volcanic ash and overgrown jungle. Now the ninth-century Mahayana Buddhist Temple, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is open to the public.

Fingal cave Scotland

Reminiscent of Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, and just across the sea in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides, Fingal’s Cave on the island of Staffa boasts the same hexagonal basalt columns, but houses them in a cathedral-like sea cave with shimmering turquoise water.

The wave Arizona

This awe-inspiring rock wave in shades of ochre and crimson unfolds through the Paria Canyon–Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness on the border of Utah and Arizona. First water, then wind eroded the Navajo sandstone, revealing layers of sand that blew through the area during the Jurassic period. Access to “the wave” is heavily restricted; the Bureau of Land Management hands out only 20 permits to the Coyote Buttes region a day.

The 13,800-foot climb from Hilo's beaches to the moonscape at the summit of Mauna Kea isn’t for the faint of heart. It marks (to our knowledge, at least) the single longest sustained climb on Earth. —Peter Koch
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