Instagram has become an integral part of travel for everyday people. You need pictures on the app, or it didn’t happen, right? So, we thought, why not mix things up a little? Instead of letting the destination decide which Instagram filter you should use, let the filter decide which destination you should travel to!
No one can deny Iceland’s charm and beauty with or without filters, but if you’re chasing the Halo filter, the Northern Lights—or Aurora Borealis—are an obvious choice. Located at the southern edge of the Arctic Circle, Iceland has the rare geographical advantage of being not too high, and not to low on the latitude-longitude spectrum. Hot springs, frozen glaciers, shiny cities and tranquil darkness, this rare blend makes Iceland a truly perfect auroral storm-getaway.
While the Northern Lights can be visible here year-round, the best time to catch them is between September and March, from dusk to dawn. All you need is a dark, clear, moonless night. The brightest light shows occur on and around the spring (March 19, 2020) and autumn (Sept 22, 2020) equinoxes.
The Thingvellir National Park in Reykjavík is a great spot to catch the show, as is the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon near Höfn, Skógar, the Kirkjufell mountain, and the Snaefellsnes peninsula.
FILTER: Neon Valentine
It’s just shy of a month to Valentine’s day and who in their right mind would want to waste this opportunity for a grand romantic gesture for their loved ones? While this filter usually goes with copious amounts of cheese on the ’gram, try using it as inspiration for an epic Valentine’s trip this year. Might we suggest the Seven Coloured Earths in Mauritius?
This destination gives the proverbial ‘pretty in pink’ a different meaning all together. The classic tale of great destruction paving the way for great beauty, these psychedelic sand dunes in Chamarel, Mauritius, are a result of volcanic activity.
What is love without a little chemistry? Elements like iron and aluminium came together to form a patchwork of rosé that’s constantly changing, shifting, mixing and merging. And if there’s ever a tale of surviving the odds, these sand dunes haven’t eroded despite Mauritius’ torrential rains. Take note, Romeo and Juliet. Love will keep us alive!
FILTER: Light Leak
Chasing the rainbow never gets old. But what does get old are selfies at your work desk with the Light Leak filter flooding your face with some trusty ol’ VIBGYOR.
For some real life rainbows in action—ones for which you don’t need a precarious balance of rainfall and sunshine—head to Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park in the Gansu province in northwest China. Dubbed the Rainbow Mountains of China, these geological marvels have cretaceous sandstone and siltstone deposits from even before the Himalayas were even formed. These deposits contain iron and other minerals, which are responsible for the brilliant colours.
FILTER: Red Sun
That blazing red glow from the Red Sun filter is perfect for conveying a mood. This tricky filter can either be a hit or a miss. But what definitely is not a miss is the Door To Hell—Darvaza Gas Crater—in Turkmenistan.
This enormous glowing, fiery crater in the Karakum desert is no happy accident, much like the filter. In 1971, a Soviet drilling rig hit an undergroung natural gas cavern that caused the ground to collapse and fall into a massive crater. As the poisonous fumes began leaking in large amounts, the Soviets set the crater on fire, hoping it would burn up the fuel in a few weeks. Nearly five decades later, the crater is still, well, lit.
The Red Sun filter-esque glow from the crater can be seen from miles away. Hot damn!
FILTER: LED Starburst
DESTINATION: Nevada, USA
Starburst, bright lights, celebration, that’s what this filter makes us think of. So what better destination than the strip of all glittering dreams, Las Vegas?
Casinos, parties, weddings, bachelorettes, just the high life in general, Las Vegas knows how to do light, and do them well. If you’re looking for a fun filled weekend on the strip with showgirls, cards, slot machines and luxury, you won’t even need the LED Starburst filter to get your message across. The destination does it for you!