Hunting down monsters is as good a reason to travel as any other. Luckily, myths and legends place the world’s scariest creatures in some of the most scenic places on earth. In other words, search for a monster and you’ll find beauty all around.
Its name translates to “goat sucker”. It has the head of a dog and the skin of a snake. It hops like a kangaroo and it screeches when it’s angry. It is the Chupacabra. While sightings have placed it from South America all the way up to Maine, the chupacabra’s home is in Puerto Rico where you’ll find it slaying livestock and reigning terror on farms. If you don’t manage to find the real thing, then explore the next best option: The Chupacabra Trail zip line tour in Toro Verde Nature Park.
This famous lake in Scotland is also the name to one of the most famed monsters in history. Nicknamed “Nessie”, the Loch Ness monster is supposedly a long lost member of the plesiosaur dinosaurs. Its numerous sightings have made the surrounding city of Loch Ness a popular tourist attraction with plenty of tours available. Make Loch Ness a side trip if you’re in Inverness or plan on visiting the nearby Cairngorms National Park.
Everyone knows Bigfoot and thanks to Harry and the Hendersons, most people love him. Though he has reported sightings all over North America, Washington State is regarded as Bigfoot’s main hangout. The hairy creature is more specifically tied to Ape Canyon, in Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Surrounding the area, you’ll find plenty of Bigfoot themed cafes, espresso stands, and souvenir shops. What’s more, it’s an easy day trip from stunning Mt. Rainier and innumerable outdoors destinations.
Bigfoot’s frostbitten cousin is essentially a big white ape man who prowls the Himalayas. Also known as the Abominable Snowman, the Yeti is a central part of Tibetan and Nepalese folklore. Hit any part of Nepal’s snowy peaks and you’ve got a chance to see him. When you aren’t hunting him down, check out Kathmandu, one of the most colorful, dense, and vibrant cities in all of the world. It’s like Disneyland for backpackers.
While not technically a monster, Dracula the literary character has been linked to Vlad the Impaler, a Transylvanian prince who had a habit of impaling his enemies. Transylvania is a distinct part of Romania, bordered by the Carpathian mountain range and home to some of the spookiest towns on earth. Visitors will find frequent heavy fog, dense forests, and old castles to tour, plenty of places to get lost and terrified all at once.