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10 March 2021 | 4 min read

The Most Beautiful Deserts In The World You Must Visit

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Riveting, mysterious and alluring! These are some of the words that describe the arid landscapes of the world that stretches for miles on end with no water yet somehow becomes a home for people. Deserts  have long been a part of our planet’s geography and have been looked at with a sense of bewilderment when it comes to picking them as a travel destination. Of course, this has changed, and with more people opening to new ways and ideas of travels, deserts have also come to the spotlight.

After all, they are mysterious to us from afar, yet they occupy a curious and surreal space in mythologies, folktales and popular cultures. Think One Thousand and One Nights or Aladdin! If any of these have stirred your curiosity ever and you have wanted to visit deserts earnestly, these are a few deserts in the world you cannot miss out on.

1. Atacama Desert, Chile 

If there is a mystical desert that borders on imagination and surrealism, it has to be the Atacama Desert in Chile. This arid desert’s surface seems like a part of the moon’s crater has been sliced and spread out evenly on this vast expanse of land. There is a place in the desert called Valle de la Luna, literally translating to the moon’s Valley. Intriguing right? Just being on this desert seems like you are standing on the surface of the being as it has that distinct blend of stone, sand and wind complimenting each other to create a magical illusion.

Spread out in Northern Chile between two mountain ranges – the Andes and the Chilean Coast, and this desert also happens to be the driest in the world, with rainfall not being more than 1 mm per year.

Fun Trivia – The beautiful landscape of the desert makes it an ideal movie  set, and many popular movies like Motorcycle Diaries and Spy Kids have been filmed here.

2. Patagonian Desert, Argentina

Steeped in ancient history and beauty, the Patagonian Desert is a jewel in Argentina’s touristy attractions crown. This arid and beautiful desert is home to the world’s best-preserved trees, and there is a reason for that. The frost-covered desert emerged from the dense rainforest after it was swamped and fossilised by lava. Spread on around 670,000 sq. km of cold arid land, this desert reflects the moon differently at night, creating the most surreal of vistas you will ever encounter.

Moreover, you will also come across rock formations that have been carved and sculpted, such due to harsh winds over many years. There are also ancient cave paintings that lend it its yesteryear and artistic beauty. This cold desert spread from the Andes on the Argentinian side to the Atlantic Ocean happens to be the 8th largest desert in the world.

Fun Trivia – One of Patagonia’s most famous landmarks happens to be the Perito Moreno Glacier, unique. It is the only glacier that is growing in size every year instead of receding.

3. Arabian Desert, Western Asia 

The most fabled deserts of the world,the Arabian Desert in Western Asia, spread from Yemen to Oman and the Persian Gulf to Iraq and Jordan. It is spread on a vast landscape of around 900,000 sq. making it the world’s fifth-largest deserts. The quicksand and dune that sprung up at unexpected intervals add to the desert’s mysterious elements.

You can go on a camel safari in Jordan as it is one of the most popular and convenient modes of transportation in these arid lands. You can even go bird-watching thanks to a few species of birds that thrive in the extreme heat of the desert. The making of an oasis has also contributed to more birds migrating to the Arabian desert.

Oil, an essential element to be exported from Saudi Arabia, was not discovered in the region until 1936. You will also find the world’s most extensive stretch of sand in this desert.

4. The Sahara Desert, Africa

Spread on 3.6 million sq. miles, and the Sahara Desert quickly covers most of the area of Northern Africa. Being the largest hot desert globally, it is the third-largest desert in the entire world. The desert acquires seven different countries as it stretches from the Red Sea to the Atlantic Ocean.

While the images one associate with the Sahara Desert are gorgeous and silky dunes, it is only a part of the desert’s entire stretch. However, if you plan to visit this Great Desert, you will be astounded by the desert’s changing beautiful landscape from day to night. There are also wells and dry oasis peppered across the desert and an exciting spot for exploring this vast and arid land.

Fun Trivia – This beautiful desert also happens to be the Bedouin nomads home who still travel on camels. You might encounter them on your visit to the desert.

5. The Thar Desert, India/Pakistan

The most populated desert globally, the Thar Desert, is spread out in most parts of North-western India and a fraction of Eastern Pakistan. Also known as ‘The Great Indian Desert’, the dunes here are ever-shifting and changing in shape, and the best way to traverse them is via a jeep or a camel. Camel/jeep safaris are highlights of travel itineraries when you visit places like Jaisalmer in Rajasthan.

Soak in the stunning view that you are treated to when night falls, and the light from the moon illuminates the entire stretch of the Thar desert in a milky light. The nights during winters get cold and beautiful and are perfect for stargazing. Indulge in the local cuisine, enjoy the folklore of the desert and experience a slice of the warm hospitality the people of the desert have to offer.

Fun Trivia – Did you know that India’s first-ever nuclear test was carried out right here in the Thar desert? Yes, and it took place in Pokhran, Rajasthan, on May 18, 1974.

Thrilled and excited to explore these arid lands that exude beauty, charm and history of their own? Make sure you do your research, chart out an excellent itinerary and make all your bookings with Travel Now  by DBS. We bring you the best offers and the lowest airfares and hotel tariffs to ensure you have safe, fun and hassle-free travel. Check out the inaugural offers here.

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