Top 10 Amazing Places to Add to Your New Year’s Resolutions

Visiting the below cities are a must for every traveler’s bucket list and are some of the most Instagrammed places in the world. These ancient wonders have often been described as ‘life changing’, ‘spiritual’ and just flat out ‘awesome’. Regardless of the shape these places are in, being in presence of these ancient cities is an indescribable feeling to say the least. Standing in a spot where our ancestors once stood thousands of years ago is an amazing way to connect with our humanity. Here are 10 cities that will change your life forever.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru. 5th wonder of the world. #peru #earthporn #machu Picchu #vacation #5th wonder of the world

A photo posted by Kenny Rieschick (@kennyrieschick) on

Machu Picchu is the most iconic representation of Incan Civilization. It was built around the year 1450 to serve as an estate for then ruler, Pachakutiq Inka Yupanki. About a hundred years after its construction, the invasion of the Spanish Conquistadores forced an evacuation of the area – the location was not internationally known until 1911. A lot of interesting theories surround its purpose– some noteworthy related ideas are: human sacrifice, aliens, and the site for royal retreat.


Varanasi, India

The exact time when Varanasi was established is unknown but many archeologists consider it to be as old as beginning of Hinduism; roughly 5000 years ago. The place has played a crucial role for three mainstream religions; Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. For Hindus, it is the Holiest of all cities built by one of the supreme deities; Shiva. For Jains, Varanasi was the birth place of two of their important figures. Lastly, for Buddhists, the site holds importance as it is where Buddha gave his first sermon and established the principles of Buddhism. Visiting Varanasi is the best way to experience Hindu culture; besides witnessing various religious ceremonies taking place on the river basin, many old temples and monuments are a must visit!



Crete, Greece

#labyrinth #cretegreece #greece #goddessretreat #travel

A photo posted by Elaine Lemon (@empowerwholeness) on

Existence of humans in Crete dates back almost 130,000 years, although recorded history marks its importance in association with Minoan Dynasty – the oldest known civilization in Europe. It is quite the popular tourist spot and even though modern residents occupy the area, countless ruins of the ancient city can still be visited. The island is popularly known as the birthplace of Zeus and holds a huge significance for many other stories in Greek Mythology.


Petra, Jordan

Amazing day at #petra with @escape_travels #jordan #travel

A photo posted by Dan Latner (@danlatner) on

Petra is considered to be over 2000 years old. It was founded under the Nabataeans’ rule and served as their capitol. It is situated on the slope of the Jebel al-Madhbah mountain – considered to be Biblical Mount Sinai. A major earthquake in 3rd Century CE devastated the city, especially the water system, and many people began to leave. The city was carved within the mountain – a huge milestone for architecture. The city was abandoned by its last inhabitants in mid-6th century due to Arabic invasion and was considered “lost” by foreigners; it was not brought to western knowledge again till 1812.


Pompeii, Italy

#tbt #pompeii one of the coolest places I've ever been

A photo posted by Craig Parker (@craigparker7) on

Archeologists believe Pompeii to be founded around 7th or 6th century BC. It is mainly associated with ancient Romans who maintained their influence since the 4th century BC. The city ceased to exist when Mt. Vesuvius’ erupted. The city became covered with thick layer of ash and eventually all its existence was lost to the world. Until a part of it was discovered in 1599 however, Intentional excavations were not performed until 1700’s. Many buildings from the city still remain and many artifacts can be found in Archaeological Museum of Naples.


Angkor, Cambodia

Angkor came to existence in the 9th century under the Khmer Civilization. The ancient city’s design is heavily influenced by Hindu and Buddhist imagery. By 15th century, the city was fairly abandoned and was only known to exist by the locals. It was in 1860 when a French explorer, Henri Mouhot, had stumbled upon it and found it cloaked by the forest; restoration of the city began in early 1900’s. Interestingly, the ruined city was possibly the most complex of the cities in the world (the city had a complex infrastructure including roads, plumbing, etc.) until the industrial revolution had come to fruition. The most famous of the locations in Angkor is the Angkor Wat, the temple pictured above. However, over 40 different locations are open to travelers with many underground locations are being discovered; the city is estimated to be over 4 times the size of Manhattan so there’s much to be explored.


Palenque, Mexico

Archeologists believe the infrastructure of Palenque to be constructed around 500 BCE. It is the most popular of sites linked to ancient Mayan culture. The city was abandoned between 8th-10th Century C.E and was not known until it was rediscovered in the early 1950’s by the archeologist Alberto Ruz Lhuillier, for which he earned the title of “the Hitchcock of archaeology”.


Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia is quite possibly the most exotic of ancient cities you will ever find yourself in and the best example of our ancestor’s troglodyte living. Although the region had seen civilization as long ago as 5900 BC, the beautiful rock-carved buildings were not made till 9th century CE. Unlike Petra, whose infrastructure was also rock-carving, architecture in Cappadocia emphasizes more interior carvings; amazing rock carved houses and churches are waiting to be seen. The biggest accomplishment of this city would have to be the amazing underground city established in this region; it was once a very complex system allowing inhabitants to successfully protect themselves against invaders.


Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan became a major epicenter in the region around 9th CE and contained majority of the temples and pagodas in the region. Most of the holy sites were constructed between 850-1200 CE. Over 2000 of these ancients buildings can be still seen in the city, although, archeologists claim that over 10,000 had existed at some point. Shwezigon Pagoda, Lawkananda, and Dhammayangyi Temple are a few of many places worthy of checking out. Myanmar is not the most tourist friendly of countries so it’s encouraged that that you do extensive research before visiting. However, the recent changes in the country’s political dynamic has made tourism an attractive industry for Myanmar to grow.


Thebes, Egypt

Established around 3200 BC, the ruins of Thebes play a very vital role in helping us understand ancient Egyptian culture. The city is modernly referred to as Luxor and is currently very much inhabited. However, a great sense of past still remains in the area as many historic monuments can be visited within the city. But the real magic takes place across the river bank in the area knows as Theban Necropolis; this is where you will find many ancient ruins – various historic temples and the famous Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens can be seen here.

For the places you saw on our list, artifacts and truths are still waiting to be discovered. It is bewildering to realize that there is still a portion of history where places are simply “lost”. Since we have the privilege to have discovered some amazing places, we encourage you to plan a future vacation to visit one (and if possible all) of them! If you’ve been lucky enough to visit any of the places on our list, please share your experiences with us!


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