Towns sometimes outlive their own usefulness, and when they do, it looks freaking awesome. Here are 8 cities that were left to ruin, but it definitely didn't ruin the interesting view.
Creepy Abandoned VillaPhoto Credit : Zach Frailey
1) Sanctuary Resort, Costa Rica
Not quite a ghost town so much as a ghost villa complex, but just as much eeriness. Sanctuary Resort was once a high-end 4 star villa-style resort, but when visitors just stopped coming in, they had to stop current construction and close down the majority of the resort. Weirdly, there are still a few workers, and you can still rent out a room, if you want to live without amenities and with the estranged whispers of the past . If you visit, you'll find gorgeous graffiti done by locals and haunting visuals.
Abandoned Mining CityPhoto Credit : Jorge Felipe Gonzalez
2) Sewell, Chile
Sewell was originally created by the American mining enterprise Braden Copper Co. in 1904. This copper mining town had no roads only stairs and a train to move workers to the mine and back. In its peak, it hosted 14,000 people and remained prosperous for over half a century, until in the late 1970s, when Braden Copper began to move its workers to a different mine in the valley, and the city was abandoned.
Now, it is protected and restored as an UNESCO World Heritage Site, and remains a striking sight high in the Andes.
Real de Catorce Abandoned cityPhoto Credit : oxtopus
3) Real de Catorce, Mexico
Another on the list of abandoned mining towns, Real de Catorce currently keeps a population of just under 1,000 inhabitants, which is quite the decline from its former glory of around 15,000. It has long been a pilgrimage site to its famous Parish of Immaculate Conception on the festival of St. Francis of Assisi. But it is also becoming a more popular tourist attraction due to its beautiful desert mountain landscape and so-called "spiritual energy".
Santa Laura Salitreras, ChilePhoto Credit : Carlos Varela
4) Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works, Chile
Two dusty Atacama desert towns created as saltpeter refineries in the early 1900s, driven to abandonment with the beginning of the Great Depression. Has all the beautiful , classic eeriness of the empty desert town. Both have became protected under the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Villa EpecuÃ©n, ArgentinaPhoto Credit : rodoluca88
5) Villa Epecuen, Argentina
Unlike the others, Villa Epcuen was a small tourist village of a 1,500 inhabitants, but with capacity to house over 5,000 tourists. However in 1985, when a storm broke the local dam, floodwaters rose progressively, up to 33 feet deep at its peak, and quickly made the town uninhabitable.
25 years later, the flood waters have receded, and the ghost town has one sole resident who returned to his home.
Arenal Lake covering the former city of ArenalLocated near Nuevo Arenal
Much like Villa Epecuen, the former city of Arenal had the mysterious fate of disappearing into a nearby lake in 1978 when flooding caused the lake to rise and never recede. Never, that is, until June of this 2013. The subtlest of the ghost towns listed, the town still remains in the majority underwater. But on a clear day, they say you can see the steeple from the former church. And, of course, it remains an adventurous scuba diver's paradise, if you can avoid the ghostly structures!
Machu Pichu in PeruPhoto Credit : Tomer Arazy
7) Machu Picchu, Peru
Alright, you probably know about this one, but that's just because it is freaking cool. Known as the "Lost City of the Incas" (ooooh scary). It was built around 1450 AD, with an abandonment just 100 years later, a direct result of Spanish conquest. It is believed that most of its inhabitants died from smallpox introduced by the Spaniards.
It has a killer venue in the middle of the Sacred Valley mountain ridge. It was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide internet poll, and is one of the most visited tourist sites in Latin America, probably because it is haunting and beautiful.
Fordlandia, BrazilPhoto Credit : The Henry Ford
8) Fordlandia, Brazil
In 1929, Henry Ford was at the top of his automobile game. He was at the forefront of the industry, and had an idea to make his process even more efficient. He needed to produce the rubber for his cars right where it was. So he bought 15,000 sq km of jungle in the Brazilian rainforest, and designed an American Utopia, white picket fences, schools, libraries.
It turned out that the city wasn't planned as well as they thought, however, since the factory turned to disaster when the Brazilian workers revolted in 1933. By then, they had not produced a single ounce of rubber. And the place was deserted, all of its domestic beauty covered in years of vines and dust.
Today, a small village has taken over the ruins. Many of the buildings still lay in disarray, but do so next to a bike repair shops and tiny coffee house.