It has not been the best of summers for Britain with cloudy conditions overhead and torrential storms wreaking havoc across the nation. It’s been more umbrellas than parasols, unfortunately. But the UK is not the only place on the planet to experience damp and dismal weather, and really, it can sometimes be nice to feel the warm rain pound against your skin – relief against humid conditions. So here is a look at some of the wettest locations on earth, places where you can run out into the streets and sing in the rain.
The Highlands of Scotland
Poor old Blighty has a reputation for rain, and it is not totally undeserved. While the total amounts of rainfall in the United Kingdom are actually quite modest most of it falls as light drizzle, meaning you can have inclement conditions for weeks on end. And the rainiest part of this waterlogged land is the Highlands, where dark clouds are never far from the horizon. And in fact Fort William, considered by many to be the very heart of the Highlands, is one of the wettest towns in the nation, receiving over 76 inches of the wet stuff each year. Yet the Highlands are also known for their stunning scenery, windswept vistas and rugged hiking routes. Perfect for any mountain biking trip, if you are looking for the best cycling holidays in the UK, remember to check out this beautiful, mysterious and mountainous land. Just remember to wear your waterproofs.
Costa Rice is known as one of the most idyllic corners of our globe, an Arcadian paradise of lush tropical jungles, beautiful wild-flowers, exotic birds and interesting fauna. And this Eden-like state depends primarily on one thing – water. For, as beautiful and as hot as Costa Rica is, it needs huge amounts of rainfall to constantly replenish the fertile soils and give life to its unique wilderness. In fact some regions here experience more than 360 inches of precipitation each year, making the Highlands of Scotland seem as dry as the Sahara by comparison. Yet any visit to Costa Rica on holiday, whether on an eco-tour, a tropical retreat or on walking holidays, will show that all that wetness is just about worth it.
Weather in Meghalaya can prove to be uncomfortably humid during the summer months, so the arrival of monsoon rains are always thought of as something of a blessing. This is despite the fact that monsoon season brings heavy rains that fall and simply do not stop for weeks on end. In fact one part of Meghalaya, the magnificent East Khasi Hills, is said to be the rainiest region on planet earth, with over 484 inches of rain falling every year, a staggering amount. Flash floods, torrential waterfalls and acres upon acres of mud characterise this region during monsoon season, but sacred forests, great hiking trails, tea plantations and ancient ruins keep the tourists coming back to this hidden and spectacular corner of India.
Though most visitors to Hawaii arrive on these lush, idyllic islands expecting guaranteed sun for their beach holiday, this archipelago state is actually one of the wettest regions in the world. Over 450 inches of precipitation falls on the mountain tops in Hawaii, with much of that water streaming down over cliff edges to make for incredible, cascading waterfalls. And even those down at sea level will frequently get showered by a sudden burst of drizzle. So when setting off on your tropical adventure in the sun, think about bringing a brollie, and some wellies too, you never know when you might need them.
John is an experienced travel writer who has written for dozens of online and print publications about topics as diverse as walking holidays through Spain and camping in America’s Wild West.