World’s best natural sites

| July 5, 2013 | 0 Comments
Los Glaciares National Park is one of the best places to see glaciers.

Los Glaciares National Park is one of the best places to see glaciers.

(1) Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina
A land of ice and snow punctuated by soaring peaks, Patagonia in southern Argentina is home to Los Glaciares National Park, an area of exceptional beauty, said to be the best place to see glaciers in action.

(2) Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The largest living structure on Earth, the Great Barrier Reef is home to 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish and 4,000 types of mollusc. Visible from space, it confirms the beauty of the natural world, while underscoring the fragility of our pale blue dot, to borrow a line from Carl Sagan.

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

(3) Iguaçu National Park, Brazil
Literally meaning “big water,” the world famous Iguaçu Falls offer a breathtaking sub-tropical experience in the jungles of Brazil or across the border in Argentina.

(4) Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
A series of cascading lakes carving their way through layers of limestone has raised Croatia’s Plitvice Lakes National Park to the very top of must-see natural wonders in Europe. Close to one million are said to visit this area each year, thanks to its beauty and accessibility.

The Grand Canyon is a universal symbol of natural beauty.

The Grand Canyon is a universal symbol of natural beauty.

(5) Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Made famous by the father of evolutionary theory, Charles Darwin, this remote archipelago off the coast of Ecuador in South America is home to one of the world’s most unique and diverse collections of bird and marine life.

(6) Tikal National Park, Guatemala
Located in northern Guatemala, Tikal National Park protects 22,100 hectares of pristine rainforest and 54 species of mammals. It is also home to one of the largest Mayan ruin sites, which supposedly housed 90,000 people at its height between AD 700 and 800.

Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands were made famous by Charles Darwin.

Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands were made famous by Charles Darwin.

 (7) Komodo National Park, Indonesia
The protected home of 5,700 Komodo dragons, a large and unique form of lizard, the park actually consists of 29 separate Indonesian islands, the largest three being Komodo, Padar and Rincah. For scientists, the park offers a chance to study evolution. For travellers, it offers stunning flora and fauna.

(8) Lake Baikal, Russia
Lake Baikal is more than just the oldest and deepest lake in the world. It is a wellspring of Russian folklore and music and a source of soulful inspiration as deep as the unique animals in and around it. Nearly two-thirds of the plant and animal life in and near Lake Baikal is unique to the area.

Iguaçu National Park in Brazil is famous for its falls.

Iguaçu National Park in Brazil is famous for its falls.

(9) Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania
Like an ancient, solitary guardian, the volcanic massif of Mount Kilimanjaro tower above the African savannah as the central focus of an expansive and increasingly threatened nature preserve.

(10) Grand Canyon National Park, U.S.
A universal symbol of natural beauty, it also eludes mere description. Any visit to the American Southwest would be incomplete without a stop at this landmark an intricate, ever-changing ballet of light, shadow and sandstone.

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