Want the stories of your next vacation to last a lifetime? Consider traveling to a destination with a bit of legend built in. Here are some vacation spots to capture your imagination.
Isla de las Muñecas, or Island of the Dolls, is an allegedly haunted island in Mexico City’s Xochimilco. Years ago, Don Julian Santana encountered a little girl who had drowned in the river. When he later found a doll, he hung it up on a tree in hopes of cheering the dead girl’s spirit. The man continued to find dolls and hang them on trees around the island, hoping to protect the island from evil. However, as the dolls began to deteriorate the island took on a decidedly grisly vibe. Some say that Don Julian believed the dolls he found in the river were real children he was rescuing. One day he told his son that he was hearing mermaids beckoning to him. Shortly after, he was found drowned in the river just like the girl that started the whole cycle. Today the island is a macabre tourist site where tourists claim to hear voices in the woods whispering to them. To visit, hire a colorful gondola called a trajinera and be sure to ask for a stop at the Isla de las Muñecas – not all gondoliers will stop there.
Are mysterious creatures your style? There are several destinations that might be up your ally. The granddaddy of them all is Loch Ness. Located in the highlands of northern Scotland, Loch Ness is a 23 mile freshwater loch that legend says is home to a giant monster, possibly a plesiosaur. Although the most famous Nessie photo turned out to be a hoax, believers still travel to the loch in hopes of seeing the famed creature. Another sea creature closer to home is Champ, who allegedly lives in the depths of Lake Champlain in Vermont. Land-lubbers might find the woods of Tennessee, Alaska or the Himalayas to be their calling, allegedly home to Big Foot, the Sasquatch or the Yeti.
Roswell, New Mexico. On one point, all interested parties agree: in July 1947 something happened in the fields outside Roswell. Apart from that, stories vary. The original news headline printed on July 8 read, “RAAF Captures Flying Saucer on Ranch in Roswell Region.” Later, the Air Force held a press conference stating that a weather balloon had crashed. Conspiracy theories have run wild ever since. Visitors can tour the Roswell UFO Museum, stop in a kitchy UFO-themed restaurant downtown or take a private tour to the original crash site and the hangar that allegedly held the rumored spaceship and alien bodies. Other UFO-themed vacations tour Sedona, Arizona, home of mysterious vortexes and the infamous Area 51 in Nevada.
The Bermuda Triangle, which extends from Miami to Bermuda and Puerto Rico, first became a “thing” in the 1960s after people noted multiple mysterious disappearances in the Atlantic, including the loss of U.S. Navy bombers on a training mission. While many organizations are named for the Bermuda Triangle, few have anything to do with paranormal phenomena – perhaps they don’t want to be associated with mystery. If you’re still determined to experience the triangle itself, consider a sailing the Charleston Bermuda race, which passes straight through the triangle, or scuba diving Bimini Road, an area off Miami legend holds may be ruins of the lost civilization of Atlantis.
Whether your legend-based vacation includes investigating a haunted site, checking out UFO rumors or searching for a mythical monster, it’s sure to be a vacation to remember.