Each year, the folks at Guinness World Records celebrate the superlative with their annual book of world records. And, on Nov. 15, they throw down a challenge to the world to attempt to create and set new records with Guinness World Records Day. For 24 hours, people try the crazy and creative to stake their claim. To celebrate this rush for records, we’ve crafted our own list of the peerless with our top 10 record-setting travel destinations around world.
With the sun shining for over 90 percent of daylight hours, Yuma is the place to go for clear skies and a Vitamin D fix. It’s no surprise then that this town on the Arizona-California border is a popular destination for snowbirds. Although the Colorado River skirts Yuma, it has a desert climate, complete with low humidity and cool (or cooler) nights. The sparkling weather is a relief to residents and visitors as well as the local citrus farmers and the many military pilots who train under the area’s endless blue sky. Search and compare cheap flights to Yuma.
Botin Restaurant – Madrid, Spain
Dating back to 1725, Botin claims – by a narrow margin – the title of the oldest continuously operated restaurant. References to the eatery pepper literature and history, most notably in the final chapter of Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. Botin is now run by the third generation of the González family, who took over the restaurant in the early 20th century, kept the doors open through the Spanish Civil War and grew the modest tavern into a popular Madrid landmark, known for its central location, authentic Castilian cuisine and historic setting. Search and compare cheap flights to Spain.
Burj Khalifa – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Opened with much fanfare in January 2010, the towering Burj Khalifa is the centerpiece of the ever-growing skyline of Dubai. Listed as more than 2,716 feet (282 meters) tall and boasting over 160 stories, this engineering marvel owns a laundry list of records beyond tallest building. Beyond its impressive facts and figures, however, the building is a symbol of prosperity and ambition. Home to residential, office and retail tenants as well as the extremely posh Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa is the epicenter of the thoroughly modern and forward-looking Dubai. Search and compare cheap flights to the UAE.
Largest outdoor swimming pool
San Alfonso del Mar – Algarrabo, Chile
Along the coast of Chile about an hour’s drive from Santiago, the resort of San Alfonso del Mar offers ocean-front apartments to rent. Visitors can take advantage of the beach and the surfing, but most are probably drawn to the giant seaside swimming pool. Larger than 20 Olympic-size pools, this salt-water lagoon stretches for 1,000 meters along the beach. It holds 66 million gallons (250 million liters) of water, pumped in and filtered fresh from the Pacific, making it crystal clear – but occasionally chilly. Try taking a boat out to its deepest parts 115 feet down. You should be able to see the bottom. Search and compare cheap flights to Chile.
Nisiyama Onsen Keiunkan – Yamanashi, Japan
In the town of Hayakawa near Mt Fuji lies Nisiyama Onsen Keiunkan, a hotel that first opened in 705 AD. This historic hotel, nestled at the foot of a wooded hill, has welcomed guests for 1300 years. Fifty-two operators have overseen the flow of visitors coming to enjoy its hot springs. Nisiyama Onsen Keiunkan is a testament to the consistency and longevity of Japanese culture and the long-standing draw of the mountain-fed, volcano-heated springs and their curative minerals that have been extolled since ancient times. Search and compare cheap flights to Japan.
Longest ice skating trail
Assiniboine Credit Union River Trail – Winnipeg, Canada
Each winter as the temperatures drop, skaters take to the frozen Assiniboine River, which turns into a long ice trail complete with warming huts, curling matches and broom ball games. Starting at The Forks in downtown Winnipeg, the trail stretches more than five miles and is maintained by a biodiesel-fueled zamboni – that logged more than 1100 kilometers in 2009 – to keep the ice in skating condition. Search and compare cheap flights to Winnipeg.
Largest game reserve
The Selous Game Reserve, a 50-million-square-kilometer zone of protected land in southeast Tanzania, offers elephants, painted dogs, antelopes and hippos a rare sanctuary. This World Heritage Site, which is almost twice the size of Belgium, comprises a mix of terrains and habitats from woodlands and grassland to swamps and rivers. As a result, more than 1 million large animals roam the reserve, including half of Tanzania’s elephant population, which migrate through the park annually. Efforts to secure and protect this land began in the early 1900s and, while photo safaris and controlled hunting are allowed, there are strict limitations in place designed to keep this an unspoiled corner of the world. Search and compare cheap flights to Tanzania.
Aguas Quentes Country Club – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Want the feeling of a free fall without jumping out of a plane? Prepared to scream straight downhill at 50 miles per hour? Then head to Barra do Piraí in Rio de Janeiro and climb to the top of Kilimanjaro. This is not a mountain, of course, but a 160-plus-foot-high (49-plus meters) waterslide with a steep 50 degree decline. In 2009, a “speed chuting” world record of 57 miles per hour was set on Kilimanjaro. If that’s not your speed, there are another 16 pools, including a wave pool, where you can take a splash. Search and compare cheap flights to Brazil.
Great Barrier Reef – Queensland, Australia
Visible from space, this giant living landmark stretches more than 1,600 miles along the northeast coast of Australia (main image by eutrophication&hypoxia). Really a mix of more than 3,000 smaller reefs and islands, the Great Barrier Reef is home to a huge diversity of fish, marine mammals, reptiles and more. Most easily accessed from The Whitsundays and Cairns, this World Heritage Site (also one of the seven wonders of the nature world) is an obvious draw for scuba divers, and the numerous islands and cays offer above-water entertainment for sailors, naturalists and beachgoers alike. Search and compare cheap flights to Australia.
Highest external walk on a building
CN Tower – Toronto, Canada
Looming high above Toronto, the CN Tower is an impressive sight to look up at. And now visitors have a new option for looking down from that vista. The EdgeWalk lets you snap into a harness and take a lap around the roof of the CN Tower’s restaurant. In groups of six, adventure seekers gear up and then step outside at 1,168 feet (356 meters) above the ground. Tethered to the tower, EdgeWalkers spend 20-30 minutes circumnavigating the building and taking in unmatched views and excitement. Talk about a walk on the wild side! Search and compare cheap flights to Toronto.