Band-e Amir National Park, Afghanistan
Photo and caption by Dave Luo
In Band-e Amir, Afghanistan's first national park, Band-e Haibat ("Dam of Awe") is the most accessible in a series of six linked lakes possessing intense deep blue waters. The lakes were created by natural dams formed of limestone deposits from mineral springs, which also contribute to the water's striking color. The park's natural beauty and its water's reputed healing quality draw thousands of Afghan and expat tourists each spring and summer. This November 2012 shot shows first snow on surrounding mountains, a sign of the harsh winter to come that will close down the park until next year.
Location: Bamyan Province, Central Highlands, Afghanistan