What makes a rain forest beautiful? Is it the dense trees? Or maybe it’s the wild animals? For us, a beautiful rain forest is one that isn’t in the travel guides. There are no noisy tourists drifting by with selfie sticks or clicking cameras. So, here are our top 5 lesser-known, but no less beautiful, rain forests.
Most people go to Hawaii for the beaches, the surfing, and the volcanoes. But being a tropical island in the middle of the Pacific means that Hawaii is covered in tropical rain forests. Head into the jungle to explore what the little set of islands really has to offer. Remember to check with the locals regarding safety and wild animals if you are doing a solo trek. Of course, it’s usually better to explore jungles with a friend.
In Northeast Queensland, Australia, you’ll find the untouched Daintree Rainforest. It’s a completely different side of Australia. There are no hot, red, dusty deserts or beaches full of surfers. Instead, you can take in the dense trees and get a glimpse of Australia’s many wild animals. Moreover, Daintree Rainforest plants are extremely diverse—more than any other ecosystem in Australia. So grab your sketchbook or camera and prepare to document some truly unique wildlife.
If you want to see tropical birds in their natural habitat, head to Harapan Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia. This place is biologically diverse and far less-known than Borneo. You’ll find brightly-colored tree frogs, tigers, elephants, and over 305 species of birds. You can take a one or two-day guided tour of the forest with local guides, and yes, stay overnight in the forest!
Head to southern India to experience the Western Ghats. This mountain range is covered in dense rain forest and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Like many of South Asia’s rain forests, it’s one of the eight biodiversity hot-spots. There are over 9,200 species of plants, over 130 species of mammals, over 6,000 species of insects and over 500 species of birds.
If you’re in the Western Ghats, you’ll want to take advantage of your geographical location and head to Sri Lanka. There, you’ll find the Sinharaja Rainforest, another UNESCO World Heritage site. Because of how difficult it is for commercial vehicles to get there, Sinharaja is untouched by the logging industry, making Sri Lanka’s only rain forest one of the most pristine in the world. To keep it that way, tread carefully and leave no trace behind when you visit.