If the photos of the current trips are compared with those of ten years ago, one conclusion can be drawn: yes, they are prettier now. The passion for getting a good frame, the democratization of editing apps and access to much more affordable cameras has made it possible for anyone to take a high-quality snapshot. So far so good, but things are getting out of hand.

They no longer take photos to have memories but to gain likes. This new paradigm has brought with it two dramas: the first, that this obsession is the only motivation for the trip and the second, that many places have become unreal. That is,  there are  onlyafter hours of waiting or after a few touch-ups that are not makeup: they are, directly, visual drag. 

Gates of Heaven in Lempuyang, Bali

This site takes the first prize in terms of presence in social networks and misrepresentation of the image in equal parts. Mainly, because there is no water in the place, but instead it is a mirror that people put under the camera. And the deception does not end here. Many travelers photograph themselves doing yoga, sitting looking at infinity or doing anything else that inspires peace, solitude and harmony with the environment. Nothing could be further from the truth. To be able to take this photo in Bali you have to wait more than an hour in line. Time that could be used for something better, such as enjoying the trip, right?

Mountain of the seven colors, Peru

The Vinicunca in Peru, better known by its commercial name of The Mountain of Seven Colors, is a place of recent discovery, but surprisingly it has been placed as a priority in the itinerary of every photo-seeking traveler. Here the weather influences a lot: if it is cloudy you cannot distinguish any color, but if it is sunny you will see it. Of course, never like in Instagram photos. However, the trekking experience is worth it even if the final views are not that great. But beware, what is never said is that it requires being in good physical shape, something that the travel agencies that have joined the bandwagon omit. Some misfortune has already been experienced, such as that of the tourist with heart problems who died on the way because he had not been warned about the hardness or the altitude (5000 meters) that usually causes altitude sickness. As if that were not enough, the sudden influx of mass tourism is annoying the fauna of the area, specifically the wild ducks that can no longer migrate to a nearby wetland because it has been converted into a parking lot. A less visited alternative to Vinicunca is the Palcoyo mountain.

Sunrise at Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat and the gigantic jungle territory dotted with temples is probably the most incredible archaeological park on the planet. And, also, the most ignored, since thousands of tourists omit its historical and artistic wonders to focus on only one thing: the sunrise in this place. Many imagine an idyllic moment in which the sun  rises from behind Angkor Wat while the sounds of the jungle grow in crescendo and this wonder appears as a heavenly place. But the reality is quite different. The colors aren’t that bad and you also have to fight with thousands of other people to make your way among a noisy tangle of flashes. Much better to see the sunset from other places in Angkor, such as Pre Rup or Phnom Krom. 

Ko Phi Phi Island, Thailand

The island of Ko Phi Phi in Thailand became famous for being the most beautiful location in Leonardo DiCaprio ‘s The Beach movie. Based on the Alex Garland novel, a backpacker swims to a legendary beach – Maya Bay – untouched by tourism. Nothing is further from reality. The place itself is beautiful: turquoise waters surrounded by mountains that emerge abruptly from the water. But nowadays there are more people there than in the Tokyo subway at rush hour. So much is the influx of tourism that the Thai authorities decided to close it to the public temporarily. 

U-Bein Bridge in Myanmar

If you search for U-Bein in Google images, what you see is a string of similar photographs: a teak bridge over the water on which a couple of picturesque locals walk, like a monk in a maroon robe or a lady carrying something on her back . head. And many times with the yellowish light of sunset. Sounds good right? What is not realized is that it is the place where everyone goes and that this image also only exists in the rainy season. For this reason, anyone who plans a trip through this country in the dry season will only see a desolate dry area where a crowd of people strive to take a photograph that makes them believe that it was worth getting there. Near the U-Bein bridge there is another tourist attraction: theTime to eat in Amapura. It is impressive to see the line of monks waiting for their food to be served, the bad thing is that all this is surrounded by tourists taking pictures without stopping. 

Land of the Seven Colors of Chamarel, Mauritius

Africa is not far behind in the list of places that only exist on Instagram and something similar to the Mountain of Seven Colors in Peru occurs here: it takes sunshine and a lot of imagination to see the same colors that appear in tourist brochures. To realize this, you don’t need to be a genius because in all the images the sky, which is always a reference because it is the same all over the world, appears with an unrealistic phosphor blue. It is a clayey soil that combines the volcanic origin of Mauritius Island with other minerals, so they say that you can see red, violet, blue, purple, gold and brown sections. In this last color they are right, because what is seen is a reddish brown, a bluish brown, a greenish brown, etc.Anyway, this place has something very good and that is that it is inhabited by giant tortoises. Seeing them live does have to be an experience.

Sunset in Santorini

Santorini is a Greek island with a town of white houses and two blue domes (yes, only two) that show a very beautiful landscape from one of its terraces. And his sunset takes the cake.  The funny thing is that the perspective that everyone knows is not seen from there but from the opposite side that is crowded with people . And when the sun goes down there is a backlightIf you look towards the houses on the cliff, it is not very photogenic. Even so, all the photos of Santorini transmit peace and tranquility, what is not perceived is that the photographer has had to bump into hundreds of people. But he doesn’t care, he knows that his travel companions will not reveal his secret and that is, that the place is overcrowded. There are many other Greek destinations that can well give us that feeling that Santorini tries and also, really.

Las Vegas sign, USA

From the capital of vice… what could you expect? It’s nothing more than a poster! Of course, it is an iconic sign that welcomes Las Vegas with the motto “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas”. The city of fun, scene of so many hooligan movies either for its party or for those who take advantage of its numerous casinos. Surely there are many places from which to take a curious photo of the largest city in the state of Nevada. But there are few places where people queue to get snapshots. Some manage to get an interesting image with the billboard in the foreground and illuminated attractions in the background. But that is only for the expert level , most do not get more than a hotel, palm trees and electricity poles around them.

Trevi Fountain

This baroque fountain may be the most beautiful in the world. That is not in doubt. The problem is that everyone wants to see it and the clear space around it is reduced . The Trevi Fountain is located between alleys and the number of tourists increases the closer one gets to it. Therefore, to take a photo pretending to be enjoying this Roman jewel, you have to queue. An unreal image of the fountain as its nature is to be crowded. There is an option that is to go in low season and get up at four in the morning. Many do it and also put on dream dresses when everyone knows that it is very cold at that time.  

Aurora borealis

This is an unpopular view bigger than the pine trees that appear in the photos of the northern lights. A natural spectacle that is sold as something magical and surreal: those green curtains that dance in remote places in the Arctic or near Antarctica. There is no doubt that the photographs are absolutely stunning. What nobody says is that, live, you can never see anything like it. They are pretty, yes, but not like in the photos. Many of the photographs are taken with a long exposure, that is, they are capturing the light that is emitted for several seconds,while your eye only perceives the present moment. But here it is not so simple. The same thing happens, for example, with the photos of the Milky Way and nobody protests about it. The auroras are one of the claims of the Nordic destinations before a seasonal tourism in summer, due to its low temperatures and its very short -or non-existent- days in winter. Is it really worth traveling to the Arctic at this time of year? If the answer is not resounding, you can always travel to very northern places such as Greenland , for example , since the auroras can be seen from the second half of August and it is still summer.

Christ of Corcovado, Rio de Janeiro

The Christ the Redeemer or Christ of Corcovado is a huge statue of Jesus with his arms outstretched looking out over the city of Rio de Janeiro. It has a height of thirty meters to which must be added the eight that its pedestal measures. Everyone is familiar with this figure who achieved the controversial title of New Wonder of the Modern World , taking the place from places of such quality as the aforementioned Angkor Wat or the Alhambra in Granada. So, how not to take a photo with such wonder, never better said? Well, it’s not that easy, it’s impossible to get into a frame where the hundreds of tourists around don’t come out and at the same time fit this gigantic religious figure. At most you can take a vertical photo in low angle. In other words, with a double chin. Marvelous?

Lake Braies

Lake Braies in Italy became popular through the most famous traveler accounts on Instagram. This area of ​​Italy resembles its nearby Switzerland and this landscape proves it. A pristine lake surrounded by forested mountains with a wooden pier from which to take beautiful snapshots… as long as you wait a long time because there are more influencers with the same idea of ​​photographic framing.  In summary, all the images of Lago di Braies make you believe that it is a place of peace and tranquility but it only seems so. Being alone and listening to the melody of nature can be done anywhere else.

Rue Cremieux, Paris

Recently, this place has jumped to the media for having prohibited access to tourists since they prevent its inhabitants from leading a normal life . And the measure is not a bad idea. In fact, there are many places that would relieve congestion if they were prohibited from taking pictures. A round of applause to the Parisians for this measure. Of course, then do not complain if the most cute cafeterias lose influx…

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