Sweet spots in the sun
Oases captivate the imagination. These unexpected dots of lushness in the middle of a desert are intriguing because of the contrast they create with the surrounding landscape. In these places, the switch from sand to greenery is usually abrupt. Some people think these naturally irrigated outposts are romantic; destinations like the palm-covered oasis in Douz, Tunisia, are popular with honeymooners. Other oases are a source of national pride. The Peruvian desert lake of Huacachina (pictured here) graces the back of the country’s 50 sol banknote.
To the desert dwellers and travelers of the past, oases were not picturesque curiosities. They were important pit stops, and often the only thing between life and an unpleasant death from dehydration, hyperthermia or some other arid-climate affliction. These oases were once important desert water sources. Some still are, but they're also popular among tourists and curiosity seekers who want to see Mother Nature’s desert gardens for themselves.