South America | Record breaking: The most extreme places in the world

Record breaking: The most extreme places in the world


While we can all name the highest point on the earth, how many people know the locations of the remotest, coldest and most wettest areas on the planet? We might not be able to find them even if we are told.

Adventurers can reach all the extreme locations in the world, even though not everyone has the patience or skills to do so. Most of them are physically challenging and are located in places that are not easily accessible by mainstream tourists.

Don't worry. There are options that offer a reasonable taste of extremes without having to go all out.

The highest place

WHERE Mount Everest, Nepal/China at 884 metres above sea level

EXTREME Many mountaineering companies offer clients the opportunity to go on trips.Everest  To reach the summit of Mount Everest, you must be proficient in high-altitude climbing and the use crampons and climbing ropes. You also need to be physically fit.

ALTERNATIVE Everest Base Camp The summit at 5364m will give a reasonably fit hiker a close encounter with the highest mountain in the world. It is also featured on the itineraries adventure companies like World Expeditions. You can acclimatize to the altitude by taking a slow ascent and resting for two days. No climbing or technical skills required. Most trekkers return to Lukla after 14 days. You can visit monasteries, villages and other attractions in Nepal .Sagarmatha National Park.

Mount Everest

The most hot place

WHERE Lut Desert, Iran, where 70.7 degrees Celsius was the highest recorded temperature.

EXTREME The Dasht-e Lut in eastern Iran is an example of this.World Heritage-listed Salt desert is known for its impressive rock formations, huge dunes, sinkholes, and ruined castles. Tour companies like, offer tours to the desert. You can either drive from Shahbad.Surf Iran.

ALTERNATIVE National Park of Death Valley California is one the most popular places in the world, with temperatures regularly reaching the high 40s. Furnace Creek, the tourist center, is surrounded by a network of dirt and surface roads as well as scenic walking trails. However, you need to be prepared. You can see beautiful landscapes in mountains, canyons, sand dunes, and occasionally oases.Zabriskie Point.

Lut Desert

The coldest place

WHERE Eastern Antarctic Plateau (-94degC), however Oymyakon, Russia is the coldest continuously inhabited city in the world. The lowest temperature ever recorded is -67.7degC. Antarctica cruises are an option to explore the white continent.

EXTREME The 500-strong population of this eastern Siberian city is not much of an attraction, despite its extreme cold. Tours Visit for ice fishing and encounters with reindeerherding Lena Pillars Nature Park World Heritage-listed because of its frost-shattered rock formations.

ALTERNATIVE Yakutsk is 1500 km west and offers a more comfortable base from which to explore the Siberian wilderness. The Melnikov Permafrost Institute Permafrost Kingdom's underground tunnels are home to giant ice sculptures.

Antarctic Plateau

The most remote city 

WHERE Iquitos in Peru is home to half a million people. It is the largest city that is not connected by roads to the rest of the world.

EXTREME  Iquitos It was a major hub for the rubber trade in the 19th century. Today, it is a small city in the Amazon rainforest and its last navigable port. The ocean lies 4000 kilometers downstream. There is not much to see but Iquitos can be a good starting point.Amazon river cruises.

ALTERNATIVE You can be isolated Perth The largest city with more than 100,000 inhabitants is. It is located 2138 km from Adelaide, the nearest urban centre.

Iquitos | Peru

Saltiest spot

WHERE Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, is the largest salt flat on Earth at 12,000 kilometres.

EXTREME These saltpans at high altitude are also the flattest in the world. Stark and barren, but strangely beautiful.Salar de Uyuni. It is especially stunning after rain when the surface water mirrors that of the clouds.

ALTERNATIVE The Dead Sea Between IsraelPalestine And Jordan It is well-known for its buoyant saltwater and another extreme, it is the lowest point on Earth at 450 metres below sea level. Ein Bokek, a popular resort town, can be reached by an easy day trip from Jerusalem.

Salar de Uyuni | Peru

Fastest speed

WHERE Formula Rossa Abu Dhabi at 240kmh

EXTREME This rollercoaster is for you! Ferrari World Not only does it reach top speeds of 240kmh, but it accelerates from zero down to this in just five seconds. The forces are similar to what pilots feel when they fly off an aircraft carrier. The maximum G-forces during the ride are 4.8G. Protect your eyes from popping with goggles

ALTERNATIVE Although the rollercoaster may seem extreme, even timid people can travel at greater speeds on the fastest roads in the world.Scheduled train services China has top speeds exceeding 350kmh. Average speed of the 1,000-kilometer Beijing-Nanjing route is 318 kmh. It's so quiet that you won't hear any sound and only feel the slightest vibration.


Formula Rossa | Abu Dhabi

Quietest spot

WHERE Orfield Laboratories, Minneapolis, USA at -2.5 decibels

EXTREME Tours The digital recording studio and research lab include a short time in the Anechoic Chamber. You can also pay US$600 (NZ$860), an hour for a private session. However, no one has ever lasted longer than 45 minutes. Only your body can make sounds.

ALTERNATIVE This spot is marked with a redstone and is known as One Square Inch of Silence Deep in the forest of Olympic National Park Washington State claims it is the most peaceful (probably outdoor) state in the US. It boasts stunning mountain scenery and almost unspoiled temperate rainforest.


Orfield Laboratories, Minneapolis

The most isolated islands 

WHERE Tristan da Cunha At 2434 kms from St Helena, the next permanent inhabited place, and at 2816 kms from Africa, the Atlantic Ocean.

EXTREME The 100-kilometre volcanic uplift is rugged and old-fashioned. It can be reached only by a six-day sail from Cape Town. Luxury cruise companies, however, may also be available.Ponant And Silversea Sometimes, you might visit. The main attractions are isolation, hiking, and boasting rights.

ALTERNATIVE  Fernandina Island in Galapagos. Located in the Pacific Ocean, 900 km East of Ecuador. However, they can be reached by a liveboard cruise. There are no inhabitants on this remote island. This is a great place to explore and spot penguins, flightless cormorants and marine iguans, take in the stunning marine life as you snorkel with sea lions and possibly even whale sharks.

Tristan da Cunha


The most rainy place 

WHERE Meghalaya State India, with an average annual rainfall of almost 12,000mm. That's twelve metres of rain.

EXTREME Mawsynram Cherrapunji and Cherrapunji are fighting for the title of world's wettest town in this remote northeast corner. It can rain for up to three weeks in the wet season. Winters are usually dry. Attractions include mountain scenery, waterfalls, and caves that have been carved out of water.

ALTERNATIVE Emei Shan Sichuan Province in China is home to the country's most arid and wettest places. You will find stunning landscapes of forest, trees, and plunging cliffs that look like a scroll painting. It is also home to one of China's sacred Buddhist mountains and is home to many temples and monasteries.


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