Space; the final frontier. Many of us dream of a time that extensive space travel a la Star Trek or Star Wars will be possible. Discovering new planets, civilizations, and exploring the enigma that is the wider universe. These are exciting times for anyone interested in space, from the world’s leading cosmologists, astronomers, and astrophysicists to us lay folk who follow NASA and Space X on Instagram. Getting boots on the Red Planet in the next couple of decades is becoming more likely. Sadly, those boots on the ground, at least for the foreseeable future, will be exclusively on the feet of specially trained and vetted personnel, specifically trained to take part in experiments to help better our understanding about life on Mars and further explore the Mars landscape. So don’t go looking for cheap flights on the Mars Express or for domes on Mars just yet.
Explore a Mars landscape on Earth
Even though in the movie The Martian there was a glamping dome-like habitat that sheltered Matt Damon, Mars won’t be on the Glamping Hub website anytime soon, mores the pity. But let’s face it, our planet is still incredible. Mountains, rainforests, oceans that have yet to be fully explored, and deserts that are reminiscent of a Mars landscape. We’ve put together a list of some incredible earth-based destinations that look like Mars and are perfect for an expedition into the great outdoors. What’s more, you won’t need to wear a spacesuit to enjoy them!
Visit the set of The Martian at Wadi Rum, Jordan
Ridley Scott’s blockbuster, The Martian did an incredible job recreating a Mars landscape for the film’s protagonist played by Matt Damon. Mars was shown as rugged, desolate, but ultimately beautiful with incredible rock formations and canyons. The movie was actually filmed in Wadi Rum, Jordan. With its red, sandy landscape, Wadi Rum is a valley cut into sandstone and granite in the south of Jordan. Unlike Mars, there are plenty of things to do in Wadi Rum for tourists. From camel rides to stargazing as well as desert tours, you can explore the Martianesque backdrops all while enjoying a Wadi Rum luxury camp accommodation, not too dissimilar to a Mars habitat.
Explore the Mars Landscape of the Atacama Desert
The world’s driest desert, the Atacama Desert is another location that boasts an epic Mars landscape. One of the most amazing places to visit in Chile, the Atacama Desert is the perfect place for intrepid explorers to visit. With some incredible things to do in the Atacama desert, such as desert hiking, hot air balloon trips over the desert, and of course, stargazing, the Atacama Desert offers so much to tourists. So reminiscent of space is the Atacama, that it is even home to the Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley), and the Piedras Rojas (Red Rocks) will leave you wondering if you have actually stumbled through a stargate onto Mars.
Plan a vacation to Death Valley for a secluded getaway
Death Valley, as ominous as that sounds, is a fantastic place to head for a secluded family vacation. With a varied landscape, including some Red Planet style backdrops, there is plenty of chance to explore, hike, and discover the beauty of this unique part of the USA. Spread over the border of California and Nevada, when you visit Death Valley, must-see highlights include Rainbow Canyon, the charcoal kilns in Wildrose Canyon, and for the ultimate off-world vibe, the Ubehebe Crater to give you a sense of being on Elon Musk’s first mission to Mars.
Visit Arizona and Hop, Skip, and Jump into Antelope Canyon
One of the best places to visit in Arizona, Antelope Canyon is a stunning area of the great outdoors in the state. With some incredible areas of natural beauty to explore, the whole family will love a secluded vacation in Antelope Canyon. Visit the stunning Horshoe Bend, and explore the incredible Lower Antelope Canyon with its incomparable rock formations. A visit to the see the rocks in the Lower Antelope Canyon will probably leave you wondering if you ever really need to visit Mars in the future!
Visit Ayers Rock in Uluru National Park
Undoubtedly one of the most iconic natural landmarks, not just in the Northern Territory, but probably in Australia, the red Ayers Rock looks as though it could quite happily be at home on Mars. Glamping in the Uluru National Park gives you direct access to explore the stunning surrounding area, as well as seeing Ayers Rock up close. In terms of the Mars landscape, the red sand and rocky terrain will have both young and old imagining themselves starring in their own sci-fi movie, discovering the uncovered wonders of the Red Planet.