50 awe-inspiring natural wonders for your bucket list (2022)

Table of Contents
1. Pulpit Rock, Preikestolen, Norway 2. Gran Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia 3. Ngorogoro Crater, Tanzania 4. Paria Canyon, Arizona, United States 5. Volcanic eruptions, Stromboli, Italy 6. Mud volcanoes, Gobustan, Azerbaijan 7. Jeita Grotto, Nahr al-Kalb Valley, Lebanon 8. Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail, Wales 9. Pangong Tso Lake, India-China 10. Geirangerfjord and Naeroyfjord, Norway 11. South Kaibab Trail, Grand Canyon, Arizona, United States 12. Mount Roraima, Guyana/Brazil/Venezuela 13. Verdon Gorge, Provence, France 14. Jiuzhaigou National Park, Sichuan Province, China 15. Lake Nakuru, Kenya 16. Uluru/Ayers Rock, Australia 17. Siwa Oasis, Egypt 18. Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, Iceland 19. Perito Moreno Glacier, Patagonia, Argentina 20. Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada 21. Cascate del Mulino, Saturnia, Tuscany, Italy 22. William Bay, Western Australia 23. Jeju Island Lava Tubes, South Korea 24. Angel Falls, Venezuela 25. Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland 26. Cliffs of Moher, Ireland 27. Skaftafell National Park, Iceland 28. Lake Titicaca, Bolivia/Peru 29. Wadden Sea, Germany and the Netherlands 30. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, Palawan, Philippines 31. Plitvice Lakes, Croatia 32. Mosi-oa-Tunya/Victoria Falls, Zambia and Zimbabwe 33. Finistere, France 34. Fernando De Noronha, Brazil 35. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Australia 36. Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst, Hungary and Slovakia 37. Mount Bromo, Indonesia 38. Freycinet National Park, Tasmania, Australia 39. Iguazu National Park, Argentina 40. Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve, Madagascar 41. Cueva de los Cristales/Cave of Crystals, Mexico 42. The Bay of Fundy, Canada 43. Halong Bay, Vietnam 44. Punkaharju Esker Nature Reserve, Finland 45. Frozen Sea, Lulea, Sweden 46. Trango Towers, Pakistan 47. Fox Glacier, South Island, New Zealand 48. The Shilin Stone Forest, China 49. Na Pali Coast, Kauai, Hawaii, United States 50. Lake Baikal, Russia FAQs Videos

(CNN) — Water, fire and ice have combined to make some of the most spectacular scenery in the world -- from giant crystal caves to mud volcanoes and rock formations that look like works of art.

If your office and daily commute aren't a fitting reminder of the extraordinary natural diversity of planet earth, get some inspiration from these incredible scenes.

1. Pulpit Rock, Preikestolen, Norway

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If there are any preachers here, they'll be telling you to get back.

Courtesy L.C. Nøttaasen/Creative Commons/Flickr

With a 604-meter drop from a flat plateau down to Lysefjord with no safety railings, this is not a place for vertigo sufferers. Keep well back from the edge and you can still enjoy the fantastic scenery over Kjerag peak, which itself drops 984 meters. Preikestolen is south of Jorpeland. From the designated car park it's a 90-minute hike to the viewpoint.

2. Gran Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

The Gran Salar de Uyuni in southern Bolivia takes in more than 10 square kilometers of salt. It feels more like a desert than a lake. The flat, white landscape causes optical illusions and reflects colors. There's even a hotel made almost entirely of salt and an island where giant cacti grow in the middle of the salt lake. Gran Salar de Uyuni is 533 kilometers south of La Paz and 200 kilometers southwest of Potosi.

3. Ngorogoro Crater, Tanzania

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More than enough room to swing a very big cat.

Courtesy Sarah Skiold-Hanlin/Creative Commons/Flickr

The Ngorogoro Crater is Africa's Eden. Created when a huge volcano exploded 2-3 million years ago, the 300 square kilometer caldera now offers the best chances of seeing Africa's wild animals. Lions, rhino, leopards, elephant and buffalo are the "big five" present among around 25,000 animals, and nearly every species present in East Africa, which call the area home.

Besides that, the crater itself offers dramatic vistas, especially at sunrise. From Kilimanjaro International Airport you can fly or drive the 55 kilometers to Arusha, from where you can organize tours and accommodation inside and outside the crater.

4. Paria Canyon, Arizona, United States

Not all great waves can be surfed.

Jeff Topping/Getty Images North America/Getty Images

The Paria River in northern Arizona carved its own smaller version of the Grand Canyon. Some of the rock formations, including The Wave, are just as spectacular. Visitors need a permit from the Bureau of Land Management -- the permit for an overnight trek comes with a "human waste bag," so if you want to visit this natural wonder, you'll have to prepare to pack your waste. The Paria Contact Station is 69 kilometers east of Kanab. You can hire a guide through the Bureau of Land Management.

5. Volcanic eruptions, Stromboli, Italy

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A fireworks show millions of years in the making.

GIOVANNI ISOLINO/AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Part of the Aeolian Islands off the coast of Sicily, Stromboli is a small volcanic island with several hundred brave inhabitants. Unlike most volcanoes, Stromboli's is constantly spewing lava fountains, gas and ash. Fascinating for volcanologists, but also great for day-trippers who fancy seeing live lava action.

For natural fireworks, take a boat trip around the island at night. Arrange boat tours from harbors on the north coast of Sicily (Messina, Cefalu, Palermo).

6. Mud volcanoes, Gobustan, Azerbaijan

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One of the few places you can bathe in a volcanic eruption.

Courtesy Mark Ireland/Creative Commons/Flickr

Mud lovers trek to Gobustan's strangely Martian landscape, 65 kilometers south of Azerbaijan's capital Baku, where thick gray mud regularly spews from small volcanoes. The mud is thought to have medicinal qualities, so don't be surprised if you see people stripping down and lathering themselves in the goo. Look out for the area's Roman inscriptions and the petroglyphic rock art. About 70 kilometers west of Baku.

7. Jeita Grotto, Nahr al-Kalb Valley, Lebanon

Eighteen kilometers northeast of Beirut, Jeita Grotto is comprised of underground limestone caves were inhabited in prehistoric times and continue to attract human visitors with their vivid colors and stalactite formations. The biggest stalactite in the world is here. The caves consist of a network of chambers -- with an upper and a lower gallery -- stretching out for nine kilometers and accessible by an underground river. The nearest town is Juniyah, just a few kilometers away. Cave tours last two hours.

8. Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail, Wales

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You can almost hear the male choirs in the distance.

Courtesy Robert Haandrikman/Creative Commons/Flickr

This path twists 300 kilometers from St. Dogmaels to Amroth in southwest Wales. It's often wet and windy, but if you strike lucky on a sunny day this is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Scented gorse and crimson heather brighten the way. Look for seals in the waters below. Paths are signposted -- join the path on the coast between St. Dogmaels and Amroth. Details on guided walks and activities can be found on the National Trails website -- including self-guided walks with baggage transfer.

9. Pangong Tso Lake, India-China

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Beautiful to look at. But swimming here is only for masochists.

Courtesy Alosh Bennett/Creative Commons/Flickr

This saltwater lake deep in the Himalayas at an altitude of 4,350 meters lies astride a disputed border area between India and China-governed Tibet. Don't let that put you off -- the rarefied air make the colors and clarity of the lake intense.

Pangong Tso is reached by a mountain road from the Indian town of Leh, but you'll need to get a permit via a registered tour guide. Get to Leh by road from Jammu, or by plane from Delhi. At Leh arrange a permit and travel by road four to five hours to the lake. Permits and tour guides can be arranged through reputable travel agents such as Kuoni

10. Geirangerfjord and Naeroyfjord, Norway

Not a Norwegian motor car.

Courtesy Kamil Porembiński/Creative Commons/Flickr

If you only have time to visit two fjords in your lifetime, make it the Geirangerfjord and Naeroyfjord in southwest Norway. These are among the world's longest and deepest fjords, with high vertical cliffs, deep waters and giddy waterfalls. Both are on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Trips can be arranged from Bergen and Alesund.

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11. South Kaibab Trail, Grand Canyon, Arizona, United States

"Ooh Ah Point" awaits the adventurous.

Courtesy Mac H (media601)/Creative Commons/Flickr

Most visitors view the canyon from South Rim viewing stations. Considering that it has taken the Colorado River the past 17 million years to carve this wonder out of rock, it seems only fair to take a closer look. Built by the National Park Service in 1924, the South Kaibab Trail takes you to the wonderfully named "Ooh Ah Point" and, for the adventurous, further into the canyon's depths. Plan carefully, heat stroke is no fun.

In the northwest corner of Arizona, visitors usually head to South Rim Village (120 kilometers northwest of Flagstaff on route 180) or the North Rim Village. Free shuttle buses service the South Rim in summer months. Ranger-led day hikes and walks take place throughout the year.

12. Mount Roraima, Guyana/Brazil/Venezuela

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1. Climb. 2. Catch breath. 3. Stand in awe.

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South America's answer to Uluru, this impressive sandstone plateau is surrounded on all sides by 400-meter cliffs, creating an isolated and unique ecosystem. If you want to follow in David Attenborough's footsteps (he's filmed several times here), organize a trek from the Venezuelan side. Hiking up Mount Roraima is best done from Venezuela. The Paratepui Route is the easiest for non-technical climbers and trips can be arranged from San Francisco de Yurani.

13. Verdon Gorge, Provence, France

The gorgeous turquoise waters of the Verdon River flow through one of Europe's most beautiful gorges for 25 kilometers. Swim in the translucent waters of Lac de St. Croix and stare in awe at the 700-meter walls of the Verdon Gorge in France. If you've got a head for heights, it's a popular destination for rock-climbing. The Verdon Gorge is on the border of the departements of Var and the Alpes de Hautes Provence.

14. Jiuzhaigou National Park, Sichuan Province, China

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All the colors of nature in one park.

Courtesy Jeremy Thompson/Creative Commons/Flickr

The three valleys that form this biosphere reserve in China contain a network of connected lakes, waterfalls and rivers -- the most spectacular of which are the Pearl Waterfalls. Spot the ancient tree trunks under the clear waters of Five Flower Lake. Wooden paths and shuttle buses help visitors get around. In the north of Sichuan, the nearest town to Jiuzhaigou National Park is Songpan.

15. Lake Nakuru, Kenya

And you thought your city was crowded.

Wild Horizon/Universal Images Group Editorial/UIG via Getty Images

A streak of blue (and pink) in Kenya's Great Rift Valley, Lake Nakuru is home to thousands of pink flamingoes that flock here to feed on the lake's algae. A UNESCO Heritage Site, Lake Nakuru National Park is also home to hippos, white and black rhino, giraffe and buffalo. Take a matatu 156 kilometers northwest of Nairobi, or a plane to the Naishi airstrip.

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16. Uluru/Ayers Rock, Australia

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Better from afar.

Chris Jackson/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images

Australia's favorite giant sandstone mass is 350 meters high and more than nine kilometers in circumference. It's a sacred and spiritual site for its custodians, the aboriginal Anangu, so climbing the rock is considered disrespectful to them. It can also be dangerous. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is about 440 kilometers southwest of Alice Springs. Flights are available from most major cities to Ayers Rock airport.

17. Siwa Oasis, Egypt

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Yes, you can swim in the Sahara.

Courtesy Heather Cowper/Creative Commons/Flickr

This isolated oasis has natural springs and fertile land, providing access to spectacular stretches of Sahara desert. It's a great spot for star gazing from your tent in the sand, but bring your bathing suit for a dip in its hot and cold natural pools. A 10-hour drive west of Cairo. Public buses take much longer. Desert safaris can be arranged in Siwa.

18. Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, Iceland

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A waterfall you can stand beneath without getting wet.

Courtesy Guilhem Vellut/Creative Commons/Flickr

Waterfall connoisseurs agree it's not size that counts. The biggest and the highest may be impressive, but when it comes to cascading water, Iceland's Seljalandsfoss has style. The sight of the Seljalandsa River dropping 62 meters down the sheer cliff face has made it a must-see Iceland attraction. There's a path that goes behind the cascade, so bring your waterproof camera. On Road 1, it's 125 kilometers southeast of Reykjavik.

19. Perito Moreno Glacier, Patagonia, Argentina

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We got ice, who brought the drinks?

Courtesy Matito/Creative commons/Flickr

This 30-kilometer glacier in Patagonia's Los Glaciares National Park (not to be confused with the Perito Moreno National Park) grows and contracts, often forming a natural ice dam on the "elbow" of Lago Argentino. The force of the trapped water causes a spectacular rupture every four to five years. Even when the ice isn't exploding, the sight of the glacier's blue peaks is a lifetime attraction. Fly from Buenos Aires to El Calafate in Patagonia. The alternative is a very long bus journey.

20. Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

How many natural features can you fit into one picture?

Courtesy Mark Doliner/Creative Commons/Flickr

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Deep in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Moraine Lake -- together with its sister Lake Louise -- is one of the most photographed landscapes in Banff National Park. It's known as the jewel of the Rockies for its deep crystalline waters that mirror pine forests, soaring mountains and endless sky. Drive or take a direct bus 128 kilometers west from Calgary to Banff.

21. Cascate del Mulino, Saturnia, Tuscany, Italy

Steaming hot spring water comes out of the ground at 37.5 C and cascades over a series of small waterfalls into dozens of pools on consecutive levels. Niagara Falls it ain't, but the cascading thermal springs at Saturnia are a lot of fun. Soak in the natural sulfurous mineral water and just maybe cure ailments from rheumatism to muscle ache. About 10 kilometers north of the small Tuscan town of Manciano, northeast of Orbetello.

22. William Bay, Western Australia

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Yes, these rocks do look a little like elephants. But only a little.

Courtesy fvanrenterghem/Creative Commons/Flickr

A five-hour drive south of Perth, William Bay in Denmark, Western Australia, has turquoise waters that lap around white sands and the Elephant Rocks, which shelter an area of rock pools and granite terraces called Green's Pool. The calm waters are perfect for snorkeling, while the more adventurous have the Great Southern Ocean on the other side. Fifteen kilometers west of the town of Denmark.

23. Jeju Island Lava Tubes, South Korea

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What Ireland and Korea have in common.

Courtesy garycycles/Creative Commons/Flickr

This volcanic island in South Korea -- it's on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list -- has mountains, stunning coastal rock formations and the finest system of cave lava tubes in the world. The Jeju caves have towers of petrified lava, while the Cheju-do cliffs have tube-like formations similar to the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland. Jeju Island is 130 kilometers off the southern coast of South Korea. It's accessible by boat from Busan or air from Gimpo airport in Seoul.

24. Angel Falls, Venezuela

Nature 1, Extreme Kayakers 0

FEDERICO PARRA/AFP/AFP/Getty Images

The highest waterfall in the world, the water at Angel Falls travels 979 meters, which includes a free fall drop of 807 meters. It cascades over one of the biggest table-top mountains in the Canaima National Park in southern Venezuela, known to the local Pemon people as Devil's Mountain. Most of the water evaporates as mist before reaching the bottom. Angel Falls is in remote jungle near the Canaima airstrip, which can be reached by plane from Ciudad Guayana or Ciudad Bolivar. Local Pemon people work as guides.

25. Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland

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Stunning views of Lauterbrunnen valley.

Courtesy Kosala Bandara/Creative Commons/Flickr

Deep in the Swiss Alps the Lauterbrunnen Valley, or Lauterbrunnental, is a deep cleft cut in the topography running between steep limestone precipices. The waterfalls that dot the rift often disappear into wisps of spray before hitting bottom, and include Staubbach Falls, one of Europe's highest unbroken waterfalls at 270 meters. Get to Lauterbrunnen, the village in the valley, by narrow-gauge train from Interlaken Ost station in the Bernese Highlands.

26. Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Eight kilometers of awesome.

Courtesy Jeremy Polanski/Creative Commons/Flickr

South of the village of Doolin in County Clare, the Cliffs of Moher rise 213 meters above the Atlantic Ocean and stretch for eight kilometers. They are one of Ireland's biggest natural tourist attractions, but they also attract Atlantic puffins, razorbills and other wild birds. Don't miss the spectacular views of the Arran Islands, Galway Bay and the Burren. The Cliffs of Moher are an 80-kilometer drive southwest of Galway.

27. Skaftafell National Park, Iceland

Just one of Skaftafells' impressive features.

Courtesy The Conservation Volunteers/Creative commons/Flickr

Formed over millions of years by volcanic eruptions, rivers and glaciers, the Skaftafell National Park in southern Iceland has a variety of striking landscapes. These include an overhanging wall of geometric black basalt rocks on the Svartifoss waterfall, which inspired the architecture of Reykjavik's National Theatre, and the majestic Skaftafellsjokull glacier that seems to have frozen in mid-flow.

Drive Road 1 for 326 kilometers east of Reykjavik. Buses from Reykjavik run to the park in summer. Self-guided hikes of Skaftafell are outlined on the official website.

28. Lake Titicaca, Bolivia/Peru

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The lake of a thousand legends.

Courtesy Vlad Podvorny/Creative Commons/Flickr

At an altitude of 3,811 meters above sea level, Lake Titicaca is one of the largest lakes in South America by volume. It is also the highest commercially navigated lake in the world and is home to indigenous people including the Aymara and the Quechua. Its vast expanse of water is often cloaked in light mist and has inspired numerous local legends. Lake Titicaca can be visited from the Peruvian town of Puno or from Copacabana on the Bolivian side, 150 kilometers from La Paz.

29. Wadden Sea, Germany and the Netherlands

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Not much to look at, but still spectacular.

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UNESCO describes the Wadden Sea as "the largest unbroken system of intertidal sand and mud flats in the world." In other words, it's a surreal hinterland along the coast of Germany and the Netherlands that combines wide-open stretches of sand and shallow seas.

It's also home to migratory birds. Go there and you'll feel a million miles from anywhere else on earth and about as small as one of the clams at your feet. This 600-kilometer stretch of coast lies between the towns of Den Helder in the Netherlands and Niebull in Germany.

30. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, Palawan, Philippines

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After trains and caves, here's another way to get underground.

ROMEO GACAD/AFP/AFP/Getty Images

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Nominated as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River runs for 8.2 kilometers underground and boasts limestone karst formations, stalactites and stalagmites. You can cruise down the river in a canoe. Watch out for the Palawan stink badger, an adorable little skunk that lives in the area. The underground river is 76 kilometers northwest of Puerto Princesa city on the western coast of Palawan.

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31. Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

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Freshwater snorkeling at its best.

courtesy Mark Doliner/Creative Commons/Flickr

This series of shallow lakes in the heart of Croatia are a nature lover's paradise, with clear waters pooled in between rocky canyons and dramatic waterfalls gushing over cliff edges. Wooden walkways make access to Plitvice Lakes for visitors. Swimming is forbidden inside the national park, but there are places for a dip outside, such as Korana Village. Look out for freshwater fish and brown bears in the surrounding hills.

The park is a two-hour drive north of Zadar. There are also good bus services. Guided tours for groups are available on request -- see website.

32. Mosi-oa-Tunya/Victoria Falls, Zambia and Zimbabwe

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More water than you'll bathe in, drink and flush in your lifetime.

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The Zambeze River cascades over a cliff stretching more 1.7 kilometers, making Victoria Falls, known by its local name as Mosi-oa-Tunya (smoke that thunders), a stunning sight. With its highest-ever recorded flow rate of 12,800 cubic meters per second, a lot of water makes the 108-meter drop into the Zambeze's gorges. Swimmers can take a dip in Devil's Pool when water levels aren't too high -- it's right on the edge of the waterfall. Check safety notices first. Visit the falls from Livingstone in Zambia.

33. Finistere, France

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One of Pointe du Raz's rare calm moods.

Courtesy Greg_Men/Creative Commons/Flickr

The remote headland in Brittany really does feel like the end of the world (its name is derived from the Latin finis terrae). In front lies the Atlantic Ocean, while along the coast natural rocky harbors and inlets create a rugged landscape. Tourists flock to Pointe du Raz, which points like a craggy finger at a lighthouse in often choppy waters, but on sunny days the abers are peaceful and protected from the elements. Accessible from Brest, Brittany.

34. Fernando De Noronha, Brazil

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Join turtles, dolphins and sharks for a look.

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Fernando De Noronha is an archipelago of 21 tropical islands, 350 kilometers from mainland Brazil, is famed for its idyllic sandy beaches, marine life and hiking trails. It's now a marine national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site, where hawksbill turtles, dolphins, sharks and endangered species are protected. The island life wasn't always a paradise. Between the late 18th century and 1957 there was a prison on the main island.

35. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Australia

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Swimming with the fishes, in a good way.

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Made up of nearly 3,000 individual reefs, the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland extends for 2,600 kilometers and is the world's largest structure made of living organisms. It's even visible from space. A favorite on UNESCO's World Heritage list, this delicate ecosystem is home to porpoises, green sea turtles, whales and dugongs. But the reef is threatened by climate change and coral bleaching that occurs when water temperatures rise.

Base your visit from any of the towns on the east coast of Queensland between Gladstone and Thursday Island. Choose a tour operator approved by the Marine Park authority.

36. Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst, Hungary and Slovakia

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Fairy tale-feel underground.

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This vast karst landscape of limestone plateaus and more than 700 caves is home to the world's highest stalagmite. The 21-kilometer Baradla-Domica cave stretches over the Hungary-Slovakia border. The Gombasek cave is probably the more photographed, with its impressive rock formations giving it the feel of a fairy tale city. Drive 240 kilometers northeast of Budapest to the Aggteleki National Park.

37. Mount Bromo, Indonesia

Watch out for pickpockets and live-chicken throwers.

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This smoking crater inside the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park sits in a sea of sand. It's actually a small active volcano inside the much larger caldera of an ancient extinct volcano. While the volcano is still active and has recently been closed off to the public, it's still a point of pilgrimage for Javanese Hindus, who congregate every year in the Kasada festival, during which live chickens are thrown into the crater. Travel to Mount Bromo by train or bus from Surubaya, or hire a car and do the two-three hour drive.

38. Freycinet National Park, Tasmania, Australia

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Worst thing about Wineglass Bay -- the water sports that make you feel lazy.

Courtesy Kristina D.C. Hoeppner/Creative Commons/Flickr

Freycinet's white sand beach at Wineglass Bay, pink granite rock formations and Hazards peaks are among Tasmania's most stunning coastal scenery. The park is northeast of Hobart. Hiking, snorkeling, kayaking and boating are popular pastimes, but so is lying on the beach and admiring the scenery. Spirit of Tasmania run a night ferry from Melbourne to Devonport. Use Tasmanian Redline coaches to reach Freycinet National Park.

39. Iguazu National Park, Argentina

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Great reward at the end of a rainforest trek.

Courtesy Miguel Vieira/Creative Commons/Flickr

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The Iguazu River drops up to 82 meters over a 2.7 kilometer-wide ledge of the Parana Plateau. The waterfalls are accessible from Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. A walk through the national park will take you not only to the Devil's Throat and close to the curtain of water, it will also give you a chance to spot coral trees, butterflies, toucans and hummingbirds. Buses travel from most cities in the region to Puerto Iguazu, or you can fly to Iguazu International Airport.

40. Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve, Madagascar

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Not easy to navigate, but worth it.

Courtesy Marco Zanferrari/Creative Commons/Flickr

Spiky limestone rock formations and mangrove forests are part of the tropical and otherworldly landscape of the Tsingy de Bemaraha nature reserve on the western side of Madagascar. The reserve is home to chameleons, lemurs and endangered birds. Also part of the landscape is the Manambolo River, which runs red with eroded sediment from the highlands of Madagascar. The reserve is 400 kilometers west of Antananarivo.

41. Cueva de los Cristales/Cave of Crystals, Mexico

In 2000, a group of miners tunneling in the Naica mine, in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, found an underground cavern containing giant selenite crystals -- some as long as 11 meters. The size and beauty of these gypsum crystals brought the Cave of Crystals instant fame. But the future of the cave is uncertain. While access is currently possible for short periods, the cave may be closed and flooded in the future to stop the crystals from disintegrating. The Naica mine is 135 kilometers southeast of the city of Chihuahua.

42. The Bay of Fundy, Canada

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Climbs and falls more than the NYSE.

Courtesy minniemouseaunt/Creative Commons/Flickr

One of four places on Earth with extreme tidal highs and lows, the Bay of Fundy sees a vertical rise in sea level of as much as 17 meters twice a day. More than 100 billion tons of seawater rush in and out of the bay daily, sculpting unique basalt shapes out of the rocks along the coast. Travel between the bay's islands and coastal towns is possible by small car ferry.

43. Halong Bay, Vietnam

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Turning every visitor into a photographer.

PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Thousands of small islands and standing stacks, or karsts, overgrown with green shrubbery, protrude from Halong Bay, a peaceful bay. The popular way to explore is in a traditional Chinese trading ship -- the brown-paneled sails of the junks have become as much a part of the landscape as the towering rocks. Most visitors to Halong Bay come via Hanoi -- 170 kilometers away, or five to six hours on a public bus. Private cars can be hired. Even rented helicopters make the journey.

44. Punkaharju Esker Nature Reserve, Finland

This seven-kilometer esker, or sand ridge, was formed during the Ice Age and has been an important trade route in eastern Finland for millennia. Calm lakes lie on either side and tall pines provide shade for moss, toadstools and blueberries -- easy to see how fairy tales are born. You expect a frog with a crown to hop off the nearest giant mushroom, or a mystical hand to reach out of the lake. Take a train from Helsinki to Punkaharju or drive the 350 kilometers northeast of Helsinki.

45. Frozen Sea, Lulea, Sweden

This isn't the only place in the world where the sea freezes over, but the town's location -- jutting out into the sea -- makes the frozen water a welcome extension of the town's streets in the depths of winter. From December to February, locals skate, snow-trek and sled across the bay, while some roads -- across the sea -- are passable only in winter.

Signs advise you to remove your seat belt for a quicker exit should your car come across thin ice. There are several daily flights to Lulea from Stockholm, which is easier than driving the 900 kilometers.

10 things to know before you go to Sweden

46. Trango Towers, Pakistan

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When you leave a deposit for a chopper rescue you know it's serious climbing.

Courtesy Guilhem Vellut/Creative Commons/Flickr

Some of the highest cliffs in the world are in northeastern Pakistan in the Karakoram mountain range. Trango Tower, for instance, rises a kilometer above the other granite spires in its ridge and has an elevation of more than 6,200 meters above sea level. It's a sight that's just too tempting for intrepid climbers and base-jumpers. Take a local bus or taxi from Islamabad to Skardu.

47. Fox Glacier, South Island, New Zealand

A beautiful scene, but don't get too close.

Courtesy Bernard Spragg. NZ/Creative Commons/Flickr

Along with the 12-kilometer Franz Josef Glacier (a short distance up the coast), the 13-kilometer Fox Glacier on New Zealand's South Island is one of the most easily accessible ice masses in the world. Fox Glacier reaches almost to the coast, just 250 meters above sea level. Large chucks of ice breaking off the face make it dangerous to get too close. Fox Glacier is in Westland National Park, 200 kilometers west of Christchurch. Get information on guided tours here.

48. The Shilin Stone Forest, China

The historic Stone Forest.

Courtesy shizhao/creative commons/flickr

Spread over 350 square kilometers in Yunnan province, these stone needles look like an ancient petrified forest -- the rock formations stand tall and emerge vertically from the ground. The karst rocks are more than 270 million years old. Local legend says the forest was created when a young woman was forbidden to marry her love -- she rebelled by turning herself into stone. Shilin Stone Forest can be reached by road 96 kilometers southeast of Kunming in Yunnan province.

49. Na Pali Coast, Kauai, Hawaii, United States

The best of a spectacular bunch.

Courtesy Matt Wunderle/Creative Commons/Flickr

Whether sandy beaches, giant waves or volcanic craters, Hawaii has plenty of breathtaking landscapes. But the drama and scale of the Na Pali coast of Kauai, along the 17-kilometer Kalalau trail, may top them all. The lush green mountains ripple with scree slopes and ridges for more than 1,300 meters before dipping into the Pacific. Accessible only by 17-kilometer hike from Ke`e Beach to Kalalau Valley, or by boat.

50. Lake Baikal, Russia

50 awe-inspiring natural wonders for your bucket list (44)

A lake so big it has its own monster.

Courtesy Aleksandr Zykov/Creative Commons/Flickr

Lake Baikal in southern Siberia is not only the deepest and oldest lake in the world (more than 1,600 meters deep and more than 25 million years old), it holds almost 20% of the world's freshwater supply. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is a unique ecosystem that supports more than 2,600 species of plant and animals. There have even been reports of a "Baikal Monster," likely to be a giant sturgeon. The nearest city is Irkutsk, about 120 kilometers north of the Mongolian border.

Editor's note: This article was previously published in 2012. It was reformatted, updated and republished in 2017.

FAQs

What are the 25 natural wonders of the world? ›

25 Natural Wonders From Around The World You Need To See At Least Once
  • Parícutin, Michoacán, México. ...
  • Yosemite, California. ...
  • Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia. ...
  • Grand Canyon, Arizona. ...
  • Zhangjiajie, China. ...
  • Aurora Borealis, Iceland. ...
  • Krem Liat Prah Cave, India. ...
  • Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
28 Oct 2020

What is natural tourist attraction? ›

Natural attractions are named features which appeal to tourists because of the nature of the landform or the beauty of the landscape in which the attraction is set. Natural attractions include: Lakes. Rivers and landforms such as waterfalls and gorges.

Which is the No 1 beautiful place in the world? ›

According to the study, the most beautiful place in the world is Peyto Lake in Canada. This natural wonder is known for its neon blue water surrounded by dazzling mountains.

What is the beauty of nature? ›

But the beauty of nature is more than the greenery. Everything you feel and see around, including Mountains, Forests, Rivers, Birds, Plants, Animals, Air, etc. – all are a part of the beauty of nature. Nature is the lifeblood of all living creatures in the world.

Is there 12 wonders of the world? ›

The 12 famous wonders of the world are all magnificent. With their history and origin, they provide a sensational experience to all the visitors who see them.

Why natural attraction is important? ›

A Natural attraction is an attraction that has been created by nature. Many of these areas have been given a status to protect their environment and provide facilities so that people who visit are able to enjoy the sites. Natural attractions are also known as areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONB).

What is the importance of nature tourism? ›

Nature-based tourism has valuable outcomes on a country's nature, improving livelihoods, economy and tourism promotion locally and globally and governments can work on and exchange ideas from each other.

What is the nature of travel? ›

The Social Nature of Travel Travel is brought about by the social nature of man. Human beings, as social animals, feel comfortable in a tour group. They feel that their trip is more enjoyable.

What is the 8th Natural Wonder of the world? ›

Niagara Falls is the 8th wonder of the natural world and there's no better time to book your vacation to Niagara than now!

What are the original 7 natural wonders of the world? ›

What are the 7 natural wonders of the world?
  • Mount Everest. Mount Everest is renowned as the highest spot on earth, at 8,848.86 metres above sea level. ...
  • Harbour of Rio de Janeiro. The famous Sugarloaf mountain sticks out of Guanabara Bay. ...
  • Great Barrier Reef. ...
  • Victoria Falls. ...
  • Paricutin Volcano. ...
  • Grand Canyon. ...
  • Aurora Borealis.
17 May 2022

What is nature in our life? ›

Our forests, rivers, oceans and soils provide us with the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we irrigate our crops with. We also rely on them for numerous other goods and services we depend on for our health, happiness and prosperity. These natural assets are often called the world's 'natural capital'.

What is the most natural thing in the world? ›

So August is the National Breastfeeding Month, I wonder how many people other than moms who breast feed know that such a day exists. Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world so why do people have such strong opinions about how and where it can and cannot be done?

What is the 9th natural Wonder of the world? ›

9. Victoria Falls, border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. A gorgeous and one of the most popular waterfalls in the world is found on the Zambezi River in Africa. The water of the river falls down in a straight line for 354 ft (108 m).

What are natural wonders of the world? ›

These 7 natural wonders of the world include the Northern Lights, the Grand Canyon, Paricutin, Mount Everest, Harbor of Rio de Janeiro, Victoria Falls, and the Great Barrier Reef. Many of these naturally-formed displays require an aerial view to capture the vastness of each phenomenon.

What were the original 7 natural wonders of the world? ›

What are the 7 natural wonders of the world?
  • Mount Everest. Mount Everest is renowned as the highest spot on earth, at 8,848.86 metres above sea level. ...
  • Harbour of Rio de Janeiro. The famous Sugarloaf mountain sticks out of Guanabara Bay. ...
  • Great Barrier Reef. ...
  • Victoria Falls. ...
  • Paricutin Volcano. ...
  • Grand Canyon. ...
  • Aurora Borealis.
17 May 2022

What is the official 7 wonders of the world? ›

The Seven Wonders of the World are the Taj Mahal, the Colosseum, the Chichen Itza, Machu Picchu, Christ the Redeemer, Petra, and the Great Wall of China. Our world is filled with the most unique structures that are both man-made and natural.

What is the 8th Natural Wonder of the world? ›

Niagara Falls is the 8th wonder of the natural world and there's no better time to book your vacation to Niagara than now!

Which is the No 1 wonder in world? ›

1. The Great Pyramid of Giza. Of all the ancient seven wonders of the world, the Great Pyramid of Giza is the one and only wonder that has survived to stand tall through thick and thin.

Why do you wonder at the things in nature? ›

Answer. Nature itself a wonder, the ways it balances every sinlge Being on earth ,at exact time, distance and speed , even the way we can breadth is itself a wonder . We all are itself nothing but a wonder of nature.

Why are there 7 Wonders of the World? ›

The number seven was chosen because the Greeks believed it represented perfection and plenty, and because it reflected the number of planets known in ancient times (five) plus the Sun and Moon.

Is Niagara Falls a 7 wonder of the world? ›

While there is no 'official' seven wonders of the world list, Niagara Falls is commonly listed amongst various lists as a seventh wonder, as a candidate for the 'natural wonders of the world', or as an honorary 8th wonder of the world.

Who decides 7 wonders of the world? ›

These Seven Wonders of the Ancient World were originally chosen by Hellenic travelers passing through Persian, Babylonian, and Egyptian lands. They made careful note of these structures in travel guides, artwork, and poems.

How many wonders are there in the world answer? ›

The Seven Wonders of the World are a group of places around the globe that are considered to be of great importance. These are: The Colosseum in Italy, Petra in Jordan, Chichén Itzá in Mexico, Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, Machu Picchu in Peru, Taj Mahal in India and The Great Wall of China.

Which is the oldest 7 wonder? ›

Pyramids of Giza, the oldest of the wonders and the only one of the seven substantially in existence today.

How many wonders are there in the world in 2022? ›

Ans. The Seven Wonders of the World are the Taj Mahal, the Colosseum, the Chichen Itza, Machu Picchu, Christ the Redeemer, Petra, and the Great Wall of China. Our world is filled with the most unique structures that are both man-made and natural. Q What are the 7 Wonders of the World 2022?

How many of the 7 Wonders still exist? ›

Of the original Seven Wonders of the World, only one — the Great Pyramids of Giza — still exists. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Temple of Artemis, the Colossus of Rhodes, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus have all faded to dust and memory.

Are the pyramids a 7 wonder? ›

While the entries have varied over the centuries, the seven traditional wonders are the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Colossus of Rhodes, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Temple of Artemis, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

Is Eiffel Tower a wonder of the world? ›

The Eiffel Tower is not considered one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. It was a finalist in the contest held by the New 7 Wonders Foundation, however, it was not selected.

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