You may have experienced the giddy feeling of standing in two different states at the same time. Or perhaps you’ve jumped between countries in destinations like Vatican City and Italy, posing for pictures in two places at once. There’s something intrinsically awe-inspiring about being in multiple places simultaneously, almost as if you’ve cracked the code on time travel. Cross off numerous bucket list destinations in half the time with these cool locations where you can set foot in multiple places at once.
(Northern & Southern Hemispheres)
Situated along the equator, a visit to Quito, Ecuador allows you to be in two hemispheres at once. The name Ecuador quite literally comes from the country’s location on the equatorial line. While the true line lies 16 miles north of the city of Quito, you can visit the exact point where the two hemispheres meet at Mitad del Mundo.
As the most visited site in all of Ecuador, Mitad del Mundo is a monument constructed at the convergence of the northern and southern hemispheres. You can quite literally walk down the equatorial line, standing at latitude 0°, 0’, 0”. The park itself also includes several museums based on the ancestral peoples of Ecuador, cacao production, and a planetarium. The area known as the Equatorial Village, built around the base of the monument, resembles a traditional settlement to further educate visitors.
Four Corners, USA
(New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado)
The only place in the contiguous United States where four states meet, the Four Corners is a memorable landmark to visit on a trip out West. Standing atop the Four Corners Monument will earn you the right to be able to say you stood in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado all at once. With dozens of beautiful national parks within close driving distance, the Four Corners is a great addition to a Western U.S. road trip. One of the most popular in this area is known as The Grand Circle and takes you in a perfect loop through the very states that meet in the Four Corners.
As the home of the Ancestral Puebloan People, also known as the Anasazi, the Four Corners is now located within the Navajo Reservation itself. Local artisans gather in the shops that surround the Four Corners, selling everything from leather goods to traditional Native American silverworks and jewelry. You can learn more about the local Native American history at Mesa Verde National Park, only an hour’s drive from the Four Corners and home to one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in the world.
Rainbow Bridge, Niagara Falls
(U.S. & Canada)
Spanning the gap between the United States and Canada, Niagara Falls Rainbow Bridge unites the two countries in 1,450 feet of steel. This arched bridge is not only a beautiful representation of the friendship between Canada and the U.S. but also an active immigration point. The Rainbow Bridge was reconstructed in 1940 as the previous Honeymoon Bridge had been destroyed by ice formations in the Niagara River.
You can cross the bridge on foot, by bicycle, or by automobile as long as you have the proper documentation. Stand at its edge and peer down to witness the power of Niagara Falls, the waterfall with the highest flow rate in the Northern Hemisphere at 168,000 cubic meters of water a minute. To see the Rainbow Bridge from a distance, head to the Niagara Falls Observation Tower for stunning views of not only the bridge but the falls and tumultuous Niagara River below. If you’re lucky you might see an iconic rainbow, rising above the falls from the mist.
(Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, & Botswana)
The only place in the world where four countries intersect, the African quadripoint is an intrinsically unique place. Outlined by the roaring Zambezi and Chobe rivers, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Botswana meet here in the heart of southern Africa. The ever-shifting water has led to discrepancies in the quadripoint's validity in recent years but environmental shifts haven’t put an end to its significance just yet.
The quadripoint connects within some of the best safari territory in all of Africa. Botswana’s Chobe National Park is one of the densest areas of wildlife on the continent while Zambia’s stunning Victoria Falls lie only 40 miles downstream. From Namibia visitors can view the quadripoint at the confluence from the Four Corners Baobab on the Caprivi Strip.
The brand new Kazungula Bridge hovers above the quadripoint, connecting Botswana and Zambia and giving you a bird's eye view of the rivers below. Prior to the bridge's completion in 2021, it would often take days to cross this area of the river due to water levels and traffic.
Thingvellir (Þingvellir) National Park, Iceland
(Eurasian & North American Tectonic Plates)
Thingvellir National Park, located along Iceland’s Golden Circle just outside of the capital of Reykjavik, is a unique destination where you can be in two places at once. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004 for its geographical and geologic significance, here you can quite literally stand in between two continents.
Walk down the paved path between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates, which are pulling apart from each other at a rate of 2 centimeters per year and have been doing so for a millenia. If you’re not afraid of the icy cold water you can even snorkel or dive between the tectonic plates at the Silfra Fissure, an opening between the two continents that was created after an earthquake in 1789 cracked open the Earth and allowed glacial water from the nearby Langjökull Glacier to fill the fissure. Upon entering the turquoise water you’re floating within a volcanic canyon, quite literally between the continents.