Top Ten Extreme Destinations

Some people push life to the limits, seeking out locations from the pages of Guinness World Records like they are a packing to-do list. These ten destinations represent the most extreme climates in the world and offer unparalleled stories once you land back on home turf.
By Jodi Helmer
Yuma, Arizona
Daybreak hits the horizon in Yuma, Arizona, the world’s sunniest locale. (markhillary/Flickr)

Sunniest: Yuma, Arizona
In need of a little vitamin D? Skip Hawaii and the Caribbean and head straight to the desert Southwest, home of the sunniest place on earth: Yuma, Arizona. Just ten miles from the United States-Mexico border, Yuma gets the most sunshine of any city in the world. According to Guinness World Records, of the possible 4,456 hours of sunlight annually, the sun shines in Yuma for 4,050 hours—that's nearly 90 percent of the time.

It should come as no surprise that all that sun makes the temperatures rise (and the skin toughen). During the summer, the average thermostat reading is 107 degrees; it drops only to an average of 69 degrees during the coldest months. Yuma records an average of 242 cloud-free days and receives just three inches of rain annually. With a relative humidity of 32 percent, the phrase "it's not the heat that will get you, it's the humidity" is no flub.


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