The world’s most extreme places

Chimborazo, Ecuador

Farthest point from the Earth’s centre

Due to the Earth’s equatorial bulge, the farthest point from the centre of the planet is not Mount Everest, but the Chimborazo volcano in Ecuador. It is 6,384.4km from the Earth’s centre – Everest is 6,382.3km.

Take me there

Several travel companies, including Responsible Travel and Mountain Kingdoms, offer trekking holidays in Ecuador featuring treks to Chimborazo and Cotopaxi, Amazon treks, and a journey on the famous Devil’s Nose railway.

Dallol, Ethiopia

The world’s hottest inhabited place

At Dallol, in the Denakil Depression, Africa dips to a depth of 116m below sea level, and the temperature soars. Dallol has the highest average air temperature in the world, calculated at 34.4°C

Take me there

Cooling temperatures from November to March make a winter visit more viable. http://www.imageethiopia.com offers specialised tours.

Dead Sea, Jordan/Israel

The lowest point on Earth

At 424 metres below sea level, the Dead Sea’s shore is the lowest point on Earth. It is also one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water, allowing bathers to float with ease.

Take me there

Longwood Holidays and Thomson offer packages to Israel that include day trips to the Dead Sea.

Krubera Cave, Georgia

The world’s deepest cave

With a depth of 2,191m, Krubera Cave (also known as Voronya Cave) is the world’s deepest known cave.

Tanggula, China

The world’s highest railway station

At 5,068m above sea level Tanggula is the world’s highest train station. It is found on the Qingzang railway line which runs from Qinghai to Lhasa, in Tibet.

Take me there

Telegraph Travel’s Fionnuala McHugh embarked on a 4,000 mile rail journey from Hong Kong to Lhasa last year, including a stop at Tanggula. CTS Horizons offers packages to the region, including train tickets.

Titicaca, Bolivia/Peru

The world’s highest navigable lake

Considered the highest navigable lake in the world, at 3,821m, Titicaca is popular with tourists and is known for its floating islands. The lake, and its islands, had a mythological significance to the Incas.

Take me there

The best place to stay is Copacabana in Bolivia. Guesthouses and hotels are plentiful, and boat tours can be booked from the lakeside.

Mount Thor, Baffin Island

The greatest vertical drop on Earth

Found in the Auyuittuq National Park on Baffin Island, Canada, Mount Thor is a base jumpers dream, possessing a face with a sheer drop of 4,100 feet.

Take me there

The mountain is popular with adventurers, but notoriously difficult to access. Cold Climate Expeditionsoffers trips to Baffin Island.

Bouvet, Norway

The world’s most remote island

This uninhabited volcanic island – a dependency of Norway – is found in the South Atlanitc Open. The closest land is Queen Maud Land in Antarctica, which is 1,100 miles to the south. The closest inhabited land is Cape Agulhas in South Africa, 1,400 miles to the northeast.

Take me there

The only way you’re likely to get there is with a research expedition.

Tristan da Cunha

The world’s most remote inhabited island

Tristan da Cunha has a population of 270, and their nearest neighbours are 1,750 miles away in South Africa.

Take me there

Arranging a visit is possible. You’ll need to apply for permission and book a berth on one of the scheduled ships from Cape Town. Some small cruise ships also visit the island. Try Oceanwide Expeditions.

Angel Falls, Venezuela

The world’s highest waterfall

The world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall tumbles for nearly a kilometre over the edge of the Auyantepui mountain in Venezuela.

Take me there

Numerous tour operators, including Exodus and Journey Latin America, offer packages that include an excursion to Angel Falls. Itineraries will typically include several days trekking, canoeing, and overnight accommodation in hammocks.

Dry Valleys, Antarctica

The world’s driest place

This ice-free region of Antarctica is considered to be the driest place on Earth. The conditions are created in part by katabatic winds that reach speeds of 200 mph that evaporate all water, ice and snow.

Take me there

Helicopter trips to the Taylor Valley are possible. Aurora ExpeditionsHeritage Expeditions and Quark Expeditions all visit the Ross Sea region, from where you may be able to make the trip. Seehttp://www.mcmurdodryvalleys.aq/activities for more information.

Aswan, Egypt

The world’s driest inhabited place

Along with parts of the Atacama desert, Aswan is one of the world’s driest inhabited places. The city sees just a millimetre or two of rainfall every few years.

Take me there

Dozens of tour operators offer trips to the city. It is also a popular stop on Nile cruises.

Lut Desert, Iran

The world’s hottest place

The hottest place on Earth – with a record temperature of 70.7C – is the Lut Desert in eastern Iran.

Take me there

The Foreign Office currently advises against all travel to Iran. If you really must go, hire a guide from the city of Kerman.

Cherrapunji, India

The world’s wettest place

In 1861 this small town on the southern slopes of the Eastern Himalayas saw a remarkable 23 metres of rainfall. It average annual rainfall is a relatively paltry 11.4 metres, the vast majority of which falls between April and September.

Take me there

Cox & Kings offers tours of the often overlooked state of Assam, where Cherrapunji is found.

Kilauea, Hawaii

The world’s most active volcano

The black sand beach at Kilauea, on the Hawaian island of Kauai, sits next to one of the world’s most active volcanoes. It has been continuously erupting since 1983, spewing lava into the ocean.

Take me there

One of the world’s most easily visited volcanoes, Kilauea lies at the heart of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. There are 150 miles of hiking trails in the park, and daily ranger-led programmes. The park’s website,nps.gov/havo, includes up-to-date reports on lava-viewing possibilities.

Bishop Rock, UK

The world’s smallest island

According to the Guinness Book of Records, Bishop Rock – at the westernmost tip of the Isles of Scilly – is the world’s smallest island with a building on it. It contains just a 49-metre lighthouse.

Take me there

The Isles of Scilly can be reached by helicopter or boat from Penzanze or by plane from Bristol, Newquay, Exeter or Southampton.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

The world’s flattest place

The world’s largest salt flat, at 4,086 square kilometres, is extraordinarily flat. Its average altitude varies by no more than one metre over the entire Salar.

Take me there

Dozens of outfits offer three-or-four day jeep tours from the backpacker town of Uyuni. Itineraries include visits to the Salar, as well as stops at strangely-coloured, flamingo-filled lakes, hot springs and unusual rock formations.

Ojos del Salado, Argentina/Chile

Highest volcano and lake

The Ojos del Salado, on the border between Chile and Argentina, is the world’s highest volcano in the world. It also contains the world’s highest lake, at 6,390m.

Take me there

Tours to Ojos del Salado can be booked from Copiapó, halfway between Antofagasta and La Serena.

Oymyakon, Russia

World’s coldest inhabited place

Oymyakon’s extreme subarctic climate means the ground is permanently frozen, while the lowest recorded temperature was -71.2C.

Take me there

The nearest major settlement is Yakutsk.

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