I love a good sunset. I’ve been known to go to great lengths to photograph one, which may or may not include hanging out the window of a hostel clad only in a towel because a shower is not a good excuse to miss a sunset.
I’ve seen some pretty spectacular sunsets around the world, and I picked a few of my favorites to share with you. Which one would you stop to watch?
FOUR MILE CREEK STATE PARK, NEW YORK
Upstate New York is typically not the first place people think of when they think of sunsets, but the sight of the sun setting on Lake Ontario is breathtaking. The campground at Four Mile Creek State Park, just a few miles down the road from Niagara Falls, has a perfect spot for relaxing and enjoying the view.
MIDWESTERN UNITED STATES
Before I moved to Chicago, I never thought that sunsets in the Midwest would be anything special. I was so wrong. Even watching the sunset from the window of my lab while I’m working in the evenings is awe-inspiring. The colors are brilliant, and outside the city, you can see the sun sink into the horizon with nothing to block the view.
MAUNA KEA, HAWAI’I, UNITED STATES
Of course Hawai’i had to show up on this list. Sunsets over the Pacific Ocean are beautiful, and when you are watching one from the top of a volcano, it becomes something truly special. Mauna Kea is the highest point in Hawai’i, at nearly 14,000 feet, and although my visit there was stressful, the view was spectacular.
HAWAI’I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK, HAWAI’I, UNITED STATES
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is famous for many things, but not for its sunsets. Driving through the park to the end of Chain of Craters Road in time for sunset is well worth it if you have the time. We arrived in time to see the sun setting into the ocean beyond the Holei Sea Arch, followed by a magical moonrise. I highly recommend it.
OAHU, HAWAI’I, UNITED STATES
Oahu’s North Shore is famous for its sunsets. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a scientific conference on the North Shore and went out every night to catch the sunset. The light reflecting off the water combined with beautiful palm trees and luxurious sand makes the North Shore at sunset feel like paradise.
KAUA’I, HAWAI’I, UNITED STATES
Kaua’i was wet and rainy for most of the time I was on the island, but a day trip to the drier western side of the island ended in driving back to Lihue while watching the sunset into the ocean.
HIKONE CASTLE, JAPAN
Sunsets in Hikone are made more special by the outline of its feudal castle set against the backdrop of the sun setting over Lake Miwa. Add in some cherry blossoms, and it’s a magical experience.
NEW DELHI, INDIA
TASMAN SEA, NEW ZEALAND
Driving up the western coast of New Zealand’s South Island, we caught this sunset over the Tasman Sea. Despite the chilly weather, it made me want to grab a beer and put my feet up to relax and watch.
A trip onto the Altiplano, the Andean highlands, of Chile involved spend a night to acclimatize in the small mountain town of Putre. The sunset over the Pacific Ocean as we drove into town was definitely a bonus.
ATACAMA DESERT, CHILE
Near the small desert town of San Pedro de Atacama is a valley with a seemingly lunar landscape, appropriately called Valle de la Luna. It was seeing pictures of the sunset there during a Spanish class in college that initially sparked my interest in traveling to Chile. When I ended up doing a semester abroad in Santiago, I was thrilled to find out that a trip to San Pedro de Atacama was one of the program’s planned activities. The rock formations seem to glow as the setting sun casts its light on the valley creating an eerie atmosphere that eludes the camera.
VOLCAN OSORNO, CHILE
Climbing Volcan Osorno, a volcano in the Lakes Region of southern Chile, was an experience, partly due to our guide who insisted that he was a relative of Che Guevara. His stories kept us amused on the way up, and on the way, a beautiful sunset over Volcan Calbuco and a crescent moon occupied our attention.
I was showering in a hostel in Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world, when my friend started shrieking from outside. Slightly annoyed, I turned off the shower to ask what was the matter, only to be told to hurry up and get to the window. Wrapping a towel around myself, I made my way to our dorm in time to see the sun setting over the city. I quickly climbed onto a bunk and opened the window, squeezing myself through it to take pictures with everyones’ cameras. Surprisingly and fortunately for everyone involved, I also managed to keep my towel on.
Where have you seen a spectacular sunset?