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
Arica, Chile
The dusty outskirts of rainless Arica, Chile (Teosaurio/Flickr)

Driest: Arica, Chile
Arica gives new meaning to the word drought. Between 1964 and 2001, the average annual rainfall for the Chilean port town was just 0.5 millimeters, a record that has been held for 59 years.

Just 12 miles from the Peruvian border, the lack of moisture is surprising considering it is a developing seaside resort town with a lively nightlife and a phenomenal reputation among surf enthusiasts.

Despite the fact that it's in the Atacama Desert and receives virtually no rain, Arica is just as humid as other cities on the equator. Oddly, Arica rarely sees any extreme temperatures. The average annual temperature of 67 degrees F helped Arica earn the nickname "City of Eternal Spring."


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