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Wonders of Nature
An Unforgettable Holiday with Wonders of Nature
Victoria Waterfall, Zimbabwe
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Exploring the Natural Wonders of the World
Sometimes, all you need from a vacation is to appreciate the spectacle that is Mother Nature. Whether it’s at the snowy peaks of a mountain, a serene riverbank, or a majestic canyon, nature has a special way of turning the eye of the mind inwards. As we explore the blessings of nature hidden among its hills, leaves, and waterfalls, we, in fact, are on the path of self-exploration. Plan it solo, with family, or friends—you’re bound to return a different person from your trip. Purchase a wonders of nature package for adventure. It’s a great opportunity to tap into nature’s rhythm and find peace before you go back to the hectic cacophony of daily life.
What Are some of the Official Natural Wonders of the World?
Here are some of the official natural wonders from continents all across the world, according to Seven Natural Wonders Foundation.
Natural Wonders in Africa
As the world’s second-largest and second-most-populous continent, Africa covers one-fifth of the Earth’s land area. Tucked between the Tropic of Cancer in the north and the Tropic of Capricorn in the south, the continent is believed to be named after the Greek word a-phrike, which means “without cold.” The ambassador wonder in Africa is Victoria Falls, one of the world’s Seven Natural Wonders. Situated on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, the waterfall offers beautiful vistas in addition to activities like white-water rafting, hiking, or observing local wildlife. You can stay at one of the lodges to prolong your experience. Another natural landmark to see in Africa is Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania, the world’s largest unbroken caldera and home to over 30,000 animals, including most of the Big 7. You can enjoy an African safari in Ngorongoro Conservation Area while witnessing one of the most wonderful sights on the planet. Bearing the title of the world’s longest river (6,650 kilometres), the Nile crosses through 10 different countries. The Nile Valley resembles an open-air museum with monuments, tombs, and temples. The world’s largest hot desert, the Sahara, covers 11 countries and is home to sand dunes as high as 180 meters.
Natural Wonders in Asia
The world’s largest and most populous continent, Asia was home to many of the first civilisations and the birthplace of all the world’s major religions. However, it does not lack natural feats, thanks to its vast area of various extreme climates. The world’s tallest mountain above sea level, with 8,849 metres, Mount Everest is probably one of the most frequent items on bucket lists. A part of the Himalayan mountain range, Everest requires top mental, physical, and psychological conditions, so it takes some preparation. Another natural wonder to see in Asia, along its border with Europe, is the Caspian Sea, the world’s largest inland body of water. Fishing, sailing, or water sports is the perfect excuse to plan a trip to this beautiful landscape. The Maldives is an excellent option for families with kids, a collection of innumerable coral islands and 26 atolls scattered around the Indian Ocean. Enjoy the crystal-clear water, pristine sand beaches, or go scuba-diving to explore the majestic realm underwater. Discovered in 2009, Son Doong Cave is the world’s largest cave when measured by cross-section. In addition to unusual formations, giant stalagmites, and underground rainforests, the cave is home to the Great Wall of Vietnam, a 90-metre-high calcite barrier.
Natural Wonders in Europe
The second smallest continent globally, Europe is the cradle of Western civilisation, dating back to ancient Greece and ancient Rome. Due to its highly complex geology, the continent has many landscapes, from highlands to mountain ranges. As the ambassador wonder of Europe, Aurora Borealis (a.k.a. Nothern Lights) is one of the most magical sights one can see in life. Mainly visible between October and March in the Nordic regions, this luminescent spectacle is created when blasts of charged particles from solar storms collide with atoms in Earth’s upper atmosphere. Make sure to check the weather forecast for a cloudless sky and get away from the light pollution of the cities to enjoy this natural phenomenon. Another natural highlight in Europe is the Volga River, the longest one on the continent. It runs for 3,530 kilometres through central Russia, crossing no other country’s border, and meets the Caspian Sea. Standing 5,642 metres in height, Mount Elbrus is the highest mountain in Europe and is part of the Caucasus Mountains. Located in Croatia, the Plitvice Lakes is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List and is home to lakes connected by waterfalls, dense woodlands, and deer and rare bird species.
Natural Wonders in North America
North America spans approximately 16.5% of the world’s land area. Reached by its first human populations nearly 40,000 to 17,000 years ago, the continent has a substantial repertoire of natural wonders. The ambassador wonder of North America, the Grand Canyon has layered red rock, steep gorges, and unique ridges, which are best experienced from the South Rim. Explore the canyon from a lower perspective by descending down the ridges. Perched on the Niagara River, the Niagara Falls consists of three separate falls: Horseshoe Falls (Canada) and the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls (US). Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed Central Park in New York City, the Niagara Falls State Park provides the perfect background to witness this gargantuan wonder of nature. Yosemite National Park is another sight to behold in North America with sequoia trees, granite monoliths, glaciers, and lakes. It has 13 camping grounds for those who wish to spend a few nights in the arms of nature. Part of the Yucatan Peninsula, Sistema Sac Actun is the largest underwater cave system in the world. It offers a peerless swimming experience in these sinkholes filled with fresh water and is perfect for underwater photography due to its very clear waters.
Natural Wonders in South America
Dominated by the Andes mountains in the west and highland, lowlands, and river basins in the east, South America is home to many endangered animals and rare flora. The ambassador wonder of the continent is the Harbour of Rio de Janeiro, the world’s largest natural deep-water bay, surrounded by granite mountains. Known as the most extensive river system worldwide, the Amazon River is part of the vast Amazon Rainforest. You can go on a tour along the river or visit the Brazilian city of Manaus to truly enjoy both the river and the jungle. Comprising 21 islands, the Galápagos Islands are located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Ecuador. Home to the Galápagos National Park and the Galapagos Marine Reserve, the archipelago was where Charles Darwin stayed for five weeks for his research on the theory of evolution. Located in southwest Bolivia, Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat, left behind by prehistoric lakes. With tours in Uyuni and Tupiza in Bolivia and San Pedro de Atacama in Chile, this dazzling natural wonder turns into a reflecting mirror during the rainy season.
Natural Wonders in Oceania
The smallest land area in the world, Oceania, has Australia at its heart, the most popular of the 14 countries it comprises. The world-renowned Great Barrier Reef is the ambassador wonder of Oceania. Facing the risk of endangerment, the reef offers one of the most unbelievable sights in the world with its diverse marine life in addition to tropical islands and natural riches. Go scuba-diving to explore a splendid underwater world inhabited by whales, turtles, and more than 400 species of fish and coral. Another natural landmark worth seeing is the Pinnacles Desert, a collection of limestone formations rising from the sand. Located within Nambung National Park, the desert is one of the world’s most unique natural landscapes. This area was important to the semi-nomadic Aboriginal tribes because the Nambung River seasonally provided them with water. Mount Wilhelm, rising 4,509 metres in height in Papua New Guinea, is the highest mountain in Oceania. With a trekking tour, you can spend a couple of days hiking in the fresh air, and reward yourself with extraordinary views at the summit. Marovo Lagoon in the New Georgia Islands is the largest saltwater lagoon throughout the continent and is perfect for an adventure holiday with a range of outdoor activities.
Looking for Some Alternatives to the Official Natural Wonders of the World?
You can also purchase natural wonder vacation packages to explore “unofficial” natural wonders of the world. They are just as majestic as their more famous counterparts and are often less crowded compared to major highlights of nature.
Located in the southwestern city of Denizli, Pamukkale is home to calcium travertines, one of the world’s most fascinating natural wonders. The water emerging from these springs is rich in calcium carbonate. When it surfaces, carbon dioxide de-gasses from the water, depositing the calcium carbonate, eventually crystallising into travertine. The water temperature varies from 35-100°C; that’s why it’s been used as a spa since the second century BC. You can plan your trip in spring to enjoy mild weather and longer days and stay at one of the hotels in the area. Then, climb the glittering steps to the top to see the ancient ruins of Hierapolis. Soak yourself in the calcium-laden mineral water at the Antique Pool with marble columns at the bottom, remnants of a Temple of Apollo. Other sights to visit include the Hierapolis Archaeology Museum, housed in a Roman bath with a display of artefacts from Hierapolis and Laodicea. For a truly unforgettable experience, we suggest paragliding above the travertines!
Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
The tallest mountain in Africa and the tallest single free-standing mountain in the world, Mount Kilimanjaro, has three separate volcanic cones: Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira. Climbing Kilimanjaro can be arranged through tour operators in the area. The best months to climb are January, February, and September. You can also opt for camping or stay at the huts. If you can reach Uhuru Peak at 5,895 metres at sunrise, you can see the curvature of the Earth. Since the mountain is under the preservation of Kilimanjaro National Park, you have to be accompanied by a Kilimanjaro National Park qualified guide to trek around the mountain. Offering seven routes to choose from with different rates of challenge, Kilimanjaro definitely deserves the attention it’s getting. The key to enjoying this majestic mountain is trusting professional guides and improving your physical condition before the trip.
Milford Sound, New Zealand
Nestled in the heart of Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound is one of those natural highlights for which it’s just as exciting and fun to get there as it is to explore. The famous Milford Road goes by several attractions, including Eglinton Valley or the Mirror Lakes, which is frequented by photographers thanks to the mesmerising reflection of the landscape on the surface of the water. Since the park receives a high amount of rainfall throughout the year, it’s home to roaring waterfalls and well-flourished flora and fauna. The best time to visit is during the New Zealand summer, which is between December and February. There are walking trails of different lengths. In addition, you can see the Milford Deep Underwater Observatory, where you can get a unique view of the fascinating underwater environment. Since freedom camping is forbidden at Milford Sound, you can stay at the park’s camping site or lodge, but most tour operators in the area offer drop-off and pick-up services. The best activity is kayaking, enabling you to explore wildlife on an off-beaten track uncrowded by tour groups.
Approximately 40 kilometres in length and lined between steep mountains, Lysefjord lies between two plateaus, Pulpit Rock and Kjerag, in western Norway. Named “light fjord” due to the light-coloured granite rocks along the sides, it’s accessible via car, bus, or private transfer and is best visited in the summer months. Other attractions in the area are Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock), an impressive cliff towering 604 metres; Mount Kjerag, a popular hiking and base-jumping destination; and the 400-metre-high Hengjanefossen Waterfall. You can go hiking away from the crowds at Pulpit Rock or join the base-jumpers to inject a shot of adrenaline into your vacation.
Lake Salda, Türkiye
Located between the Taurus Mountains, Lake Salda is a tectonic crater lake surrounded by rocky lands and small alluvial plains in Burdur. Rich in magnesium and soda, the lake is world-famous for its white sand and turquoise waters, which earned the nickname “Turkish Maldives.” However, the most interesting thing about Lake Salda is that it contains carbonate minerals and depositional features similar to those found in Jezero Crater on Mars. The lake and its surroundings include wetlands, streams, dunes, woodlands, and mountain steppes with endemic plant and animal species. The swimming season is between June to mid-September, during which islands emerge with the retreat of waters. However, the lake also deserves a visit in winter for a skiing vacation at Salda Ski Centre, about 10 kilometres from the lake.