Active + Adventure

How to Vacation Like Indiana Jones

by Douglas Wright

Sunken Lost City of Yonaguni, Japan

What some believe to be the remnants of the lost city of Atlantis lie off the coast of Yonaguni, the southernmost of Japan's Ryukyu Islands, in the China Sea. Rising from a depth of 82 feet, the Yonaguni Monument is a submerged megamonolith, with what appear to be carved steps ascending to different levels of the flat-top pyramid structure. It's believed to date back to 10,000 B.C. by those who consider it to be man-made (it could be much older if it's a natural formation). The underwater ruin is just a short boat ride offshore and at a relatively easy depth for scuba divers, who can examine the massive walls and stone staircases that slope to terraced platforms, and swim through channels and hallways now lorded over by hammerhead sharks and schools of parrot and clown fish. As for the Atlantis connection, well, that might be a bit of a stretch. But the possibility that the sunken city could be evidence of the lost continent of Mu, a fabled landmass in the Pacific and mythical cradle of civilization, has sparked new theories on the legend.

Follow the right path: There are two flights per day from Ishigaki to Yonaguni Island; a ferry departs on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Open Coast is a U.S.-based tour outfit that organizes an 11-day Yonaguni Dive Tour. Divers are advised to be PADI-certified before taking the plunge.

Next: Curious caves in Vietnam >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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