The 10 Most Awesome Travertine Terraces of the World

Posted by

Only in very few places in the world, well spread across the globe, geothermal waters have done their magic creating terraced hillside pools on a large scale, sometimes of crazy colors, for the joy of landscape photographers and postcard sellers.

Basically, hot springs eroding rocks high in minerals end up forming deposits of travertine.

Top Travertine Terraces

But to get this shape, like a succession of cascades, the conditions have to be very specific to allow water over-saturated with calcium to sediment into a series of small stone dams.

We selected some representative examples of travertine terraces by their size and beauty, ten wondrous locations where you can find a sight like the following one:

1- The waterfall terraces of Baishuitai are in the Tibetan area of China.

At a height of nearly 2.500 meters, there's anything but hot water running through these pools.
Image by Cammy8888 and Bon So

2- One of the most worldwide famous natural features in China is the scenic valley of Huanglong.
Image by Sam Garza

Huanglong National Park
Well, also it's quite cold here, but hot springs are the source of this composition.
Image by Chensiyuan

Semuc Champey
3- Semuc Champey in Guatemala is a much less well-known spot, but becoming more popular, especially among Central-American backpackers.
Image by Ismael Alonso

Semuc Champey Tour
Semuc Champey is like a tropical version of Huanglong.
Image by Alejo Crisóstomo

Badab-e Surt
4- Badab-e Surt is a hidden gem in the north of Iran.
Image by Elias Pirasteh

Badab-e Surt
Badab-e Surt is not officially protected and there are serious concerns regarding its conservation.
Image by Samaee

Mammoth Hot Springs
5- Mammoth Hot Springs is part of Yellowstone National Park, in Wyoming, USA.
Image by Brocken Inaglory

Yellowstone National Park
Algae adapted to survive in temperatures not far from the boiling point of water have tinted the travertine pools.
Image by Bill Gracey

Hierve el Agua
6- Hierve el Agua, or the water boils, are a few magnificent pools over the edge of a cliff in Oaxaca State, México.
Image by Carlos Adampol

Hierve el Agua Oaxaca
Hierve el Agua from below. As you can imagine, the process of formation of these deposits it's exactly the same as the stalactites or stalagmites do in a vertical way.
Image by Eduardo Robles

Warbrick Terrace
7- New Zealand has plenty of geothermal parks like Waimangu. It's near here where after a volcanic explosion in 1886, legendary Pink and White Terraces disappeared for good.
Image by Birger Hoppe

Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland
We visited the best geothermal parks of New Zealand in this article, you can find out much more information about these colorful areas by following this link.
Image by Tyler Ingram

Blue Pamukkale terraces Turkey
8- However, we could consider Pamukkale hot-spring terraces in Turkey the top of all them. You are even allowed to have a bath in some of Pamukkale's white terraces. Nearby there's also an underground version, the Kaklik caves.
Image by Ray Wewerka

But what makes this Turkish delight stand out from the rest, it's the fact that they are combined with the cultural visit to the ruins of ancient Hierapolis.
Image by Frank Kovalchek

Hammam Meskhoutine
9- Heating water with the power of Hammam Meskhoutine in Algeria.
Image by Alasinta

Hammam Debagh
The grande cascade covers a nearly vertical surface of a hundred feet (30 meters) in height.
Image by Alasinta

Fly Geyser
10- The Fly Geyser in Nevada (USA) has got a few small terraces, but they are the most colorful ones on the list.
Image by Michael Flick

Fly Geyser Black Rock Desert
The story of this spectacular geyser is quite curious, as it was accidentally created in 1916, drilling of a well.
Image by Ken Lund

Travertine hot springs
There are other interesting and photogenic terraces out there. Some of them are found in several areas in Iceland, like these tiny ones in the process of creation.

Also, Plitvice Lakes in Croatia, Kuang Si Falls in Laos, Bagni San Filippo in Italy, Egerszalók in Hungary, or the Havasu Falls in the USA (one of Black Is King locations), feature gorgeous travertine wonders.
Image by Eric Montfort

  1. ....iata motivul pentru care nu lasa dumnezeu lumea noastra pe mana hazardului.Poate vor mai fi si alte planete cu viata in sistemul nostru solar ,daaaar..........asa ceva mai rar

  2. Wow, I had no idea there were more of these places other than Pamukkale in Turkey, which I visited a few years ago and it was spectacular. I guess I've got a few more places to visit!
    -Dana S

  3. The Rabbit Kettle mound in Nahanni National Park in Canada is pretty cool, too!


All comments are reviewed prior to publication