40 stunning natural wonders everyone should see in their lifetime



Slide 1 of 41: 
 From waterfalls to mountains, there are plenty of
 beautiful places to enjoy nature all over the world. 
 Peyto Lake in Banff National Park in Canada is known
 for its bright turquoise water. 
 El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico is the most
 biologically diverse forest out of all the US' national
 forests. 
 Spencer Lake in Australia is naturally bright
 pink. 
 Visit Insider's
 homepage for more stories. 
 There may only be seven official natural
 wonders of the world, but there are plenty more 
 breathtaking natural sights all over the globe worth
 exploring. From the rushing waters of Niagara Falls in New York
 and Canada to the snowy peak of the Matterhorn in Switzerland,
 it's hard to narrow down the list of bucket list destinations. 
 Keep scrolling for 40 beautiful sights worth seeing all over the
 world.
Slide 2 of 41: 
 It's no mystery why these travertine stone steps and tiered pools
 are called Pamukkale, which translates to "cotton
 castle" in Turkish.
Slide 3 of 41: 
 From rocky escarpments to areas forested with acacia, Lake Nakuru
 National Park's flora is almost as spectacular as its fauna -
 including 
 white rhinos, leopards, and the flamingos the titular lake is
 known for.
Slide 4 of 41: 
 Whether observed day or night, from a viewing platform or from a
 boat, the 
 3,160 tons of water that flow over Niagara Falls
 every second are a sight to be seen.

Slide 5 of 41: 
 It's hard to believe that Peyto Lake's sparkling turquoise water
 is natural, but the color actually comes from significant amounts
 of glacial flour (tiny rock particles that result from glacial
 erosion) that are deposited into the water.
Slide 6 of 41: 
 In Arashiyama, a district in Kyoto, Japan, you'll find one of the
 most unique forests in the world: the Sagano
 Bamboo Forest. The tightly packed bamboo grove is especially
 beautiful when the sun filters through the stalks.
 As you can imagine, the grove is a tranquil site - so peaceful,
 in fact, that Japan's environmental ministry included the forest
 on its list of "100
 Soundscapes of Japan," a compendium of the
 country's most significant natural, cultural, and industrial
 noises.
Slide 7 of 41: 
 Salar de Uyuni is the world's largest salt flat, located in
 southwestern Bolivia. All it takes is a thin layer of water on
 the flat's surface to create a mirror-like appearance on the
 ground that extends into the horizon.
Slide 8 of 41: 
 Stromboli, one of the major islands of Sicily's Aeolian
 archipelago, is 
 famous for having an active volcano that erupts every 15
 minutes. Daring visitors can even take an eight-hour "fire
 trek" to the volcanic crater.
Slide 9 of 41: 
 Mount Bromo, the only active volcano on the island of Java,
 is known for its unparalleled views of the sunrise.

Slide 10 of 41: 
 The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, and, at its widest point, 18
 miles across. You can explore various areas of the massive canyon
 at the Grand
 Canyon National Park.
Slide 11 of 41: 
 Zhangjiajie,
 China, is not for those who fear heights. The incredible forest
 is said to have inspired the stunning scenery depicted in
 "Avatar."
Slide 12 of 41: 
 Located on the west coast of Ireland, the Cliffs of Moher reach a
 whopping 
 702 feet at their highest point.
Slide 13 of 41: 
 This bubblegum pink lake in Australia may not seem natural, but
 it actually gets its neon
 color from a chemical called carotene, which is produced by
 algae.
Slide 14 of 41: 
 Vietnam's Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage
 Site, and with good reason. The bay is dotted with
 approximately 1,600 islands and inlets, including many massive
 greenery-covered limestone pillars.

Slide 15 of 41: 
 Due to its exceptionally high salt content, there are no animals
 or life forms besides bacteria in Israel's Dead Sea. You
 can also easily float in the salt-filled waters, and the mud in
 the area is said to have healing qualities.
Slide 16 of 41: 
 Utah is known for its beautiful red rock formations, specifically
 at Arches
 National Park. There are 2,000 named arches in the park,
 although about one collapses per year due to natural causes.
Slide 17 of 41: 
 Uluru, also known as Ayer's Rock, is located in a remote area
 in Australia's Northern Territory, home to the Anangu
 Aboriginal people. The giant sandstone formation has a
 circumference of about 5.8 miles.
 As of 2019, 
 you can no longer climb Uluru but you can still visit the
 park.
Slide 18 of 41: 
 Perhaps best known for their impact on Charles Darwin's theory of
 evolution, the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador are
 home to a unique enclave
 of species who have survived the Islands' harsh conditions.
Slide 19 of 41: 
 From mud pots to hot springs to the famous Old Faithful geyser,
 Yellowstone National Park is full of natural wonder. Visitors
 have been enjoying all Yellowstone has to offer since it was
 established as the world's
 first national park in 1872.
Slide 20 of 41: 
 The 
 Iguazu Falls, which span Argentina and Brazil, comprise the
 largest system of waterfalls in the world.
Slide 21 of 41: 
 Located in the Verdon River Canyon in southeastern France, Verdon
 Gorge is known for its unique blue-green waters that are perfect
 for kayaking, swimming, and other water activities.
Slide 22 of 41: 
 Azerbaijan's sedimentary volcanoes, commonly known as mud
 volcanoes, are a mesmerizing geological
 phenomenon in which pockets of gas underground force their
 way to the Earth's surface and consequently bubble up.
Slide 23 of 41: 
 Pulpit
 Rock looms almost 2,000 feet over the Lysefjord in
 Norway. Geologists speculate that the giant mountain plateau was
 shaped by ice expansion about 10,000 years ago.
Slide 24 of 41: 
 Located outside the city of Klevan, Ukraine, the Tunnel of Love
 is a verdant
 wonderland that encompasses two miles of a private railway. 
 Although a train transporting wood to a nearby factory passes
 through the tree tunnel three times a day, it's better known as a
 romantic destination.
 Folklore says that couples who frequent the tunnel will be
 granted a wish - if their intentions are sincere, that is.
Slide 25 of 41: 
 Northern California's famous redwood trees can be found in
 Sequoia
 National Park. The park is home to about 8,000 Sequoias,
 which are the largest and longest-living trees on Earth.
Slide 26 of 41: 
 Puerto Rico's El Yunque National Forest, located just
 outside of San Juan, is one of the most biologically diverse of
 all of the US' national forests.
Slide 27 of 41: 
 The largest hot desert in the world has an area of 3.552
 million square miles, and spans 10 countries -
 Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger,
 Sudan, and Tunisia.
Slide 28 of 41: 
 View South Africa from over 2,600 feet in the air from a hike in
 the Blyde
 River Canyon. The area is known for its colorful rock
 formations and lush greenery.
Slide 29 of 41: 
 These caves, formed by thousands of years of erosion, are also
 called the 
 "Marble Cathedral."
Slide 30 of 41: 
 The Matterhorn is more than just a classic ride at Disneyland.
 The actual mountain, located in Switzerland, is known for its
 "chiseled rock
 pyramid" look, after which the Disney roller coaster
 was modeled.
Slide 31 of 41: 
 Situated at a high altitude in the Himalayas, Valley of Flowers
 National Park is known for its gorgeous
 meadows of alpine flowers and its biodiversity. Unique and
 endangered species such as the Asiatic black bear and bharal
 (Himalayan
 blue sheep) inhabit the region.
 The valley is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site alongside
 its mountainous sister park, Nanda Devi.
Slide 32 of 41: 
 The Gran Sabana ("Great Savanna"), a 
 remote plateau on the border of Venezuela, sits at an
 altitude of more than 3,200 feet above sea level. 
 Characterized by waterfalls
 and table mountains known as tepuis, the region - which
 extends to the neighboring countries of Brazil and Guyana -
 boasts a dramatic landscape.
Slide 33 of 41: 
 Towering nearly 200 feet, Seljalandsfoss is one of Iceland's
 most picturesque waterfalls. It's not only beautiful from afar -
 visitors can get up close and personal with this majestic natural
 site by walking behind it.
Slide 34 of 41: 
 Spanning from northeastern Hungary to southeastern Slovakia, the
 Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst are a UNESCO World
 Heritage-designated outcrop of more than 1,000 caverns.
 The Baradla-Domica cave system, distinguished by an
 active stream, is the most intriguing, thanks to its
 proliferation of stalactites and stalagmites.
Slide 35 of 41: 
 Fox Glacier - an eponymous glacier and village in the foothills
 of the Southern Alps - is a gateway to adventure, whether you
 want to go ice-hiking or
 experience the bioluminescent wonder of the area's glowworm
 caves.
Slide 36 of 41: 
 Ruins
 are the main draw of the Yucatán Peninsula, but the region is
 also known for its cenotes - deep natural wells or sinkholes
 created when surface limestone collapses to reveal groundwater
 underneath.
 Ik Kil, also known as the "sacred blue
 cenote," is located near Chichen Itza. Visitors can swim in
 the 60-foot-deep water, or dive into it if they're the
 adventurous sort.
Slide 37 of 41: 
 Separated from mainland Arabia 34 million years ago, the islands
 of Yemen's Socotra archipelago are 
 defined by an ethereal landscape.
 In fact, 37% of Socotra's flora - including the trees of the
 Dragon's
 Blood Forest - are not found anywhere else in the world.
Slide 38 of 41: 
 As the world's
 largest contiguous system of intertidal sand and mud flats,
 the Wadden Sea is a breathtaking coastal wetland. Its area of
 more than 4,400 square miles encompasses parts of Denmark,
 Germany, and the Netherlands. 
 The sea, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, features diverse habitats
 ranging from tidal channels to sea-grass meadows.
Slide 39 of 41: 
 Running
 186 miles along the Welsh coastline, the Pembrokeshire Coast
 Path takes visitors through a diverse maritime landscape of
 rugged cliff tops and twisting estuaries.
Slide 40 of 41: 
 The multihued fields of the Czech Republic's
 Moravia region are a feast for the eyes - and provide 
 no shortage of inspiration to photographers.
Slide 41 of 41: 
 Victoria Falls sits on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe,
 where a giant curtain of water  often creates rainbows amid the
 mist and surrounding rainforest. 
 Read more: 
 The 50 most beautiful cities in the world 
 THEN AND NOW: 8 tourist attractions that became
 popular in the 2010s 
 10 tourist attractions opening in
 2020 that we're excited for

There may only be seven official natural
wonders of the world, but there are plenty more
breathtaking natural sights all over the globe worth
exploring. From the rushing waters of Niagara Falls in New York
and Canada to the snowy peak of the Matterhorn in Switzerland,
it’s hard to narrow down the list of bucket list destinations.

Keep scrolling for 40 beautiful sights worth seeing all over the
world.

Pamukkale, Turkey

It’s no mystery why these travertine stone steps and tiered pools
are called Pamukkale, which translates to “cotton
castle” in Turkish.

Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya

From rocky escarpments to areas forested with acacia, Lake Nakuru
National Park’s flora is almost as spectacular as its fauna –
including
white rhinos, leopards, and the flamingos the titular lake is
known for.

Niagara Falls, Canada

Whether observed day or night, from a viewing platform or from a
boat, the
3,160 tons of water that flow over Niagara Falls
every second are a sight to be seen.

Peyto Lake, Banff National Park, Canada

It’s hard to believe that Peyto Lake’s sparkling turquoise water
is natural, but the color actually comes from significant amounts
of glacial flour (tiny rock particles that result from glacial
erosion) that are deposited into the water.

Sagano Bamboo Forest, Japan

In Arashiyama, a district in Kyoto, Japan, you’ll find one of the
most unique forests in the world: the Sagano
Bamboo Forest. The tightly packed bamboo grove is especially
beautiful when the sun filters through the stalks.

As you can imagine, the grove is a tranquil site – so peaceful,
in fact, that Japan’s environmental ministry included the forest
on its list of “100
Soundscapes of Japan,” a compendium of the
country’s most significant natural, cultural, and industrial
noises.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat, located in
southwestern Bolivia. All it takes is a thin layer of water on
the flat’s surface to create a mirror-like appearance on the
ground that extends into the horizon.

Stromboli, Aeolian Islands, Italy

Stromboli, one of the major islands of Sicily’s Aeolian
archipelago, is
famous for having an active volcano that erupts every 15
minutes. Daring visitors can even take an eight-hour “fire
trek” to the volcanic crater.

Mount Bromo, Indonesia

Mount Bromo, the only active volcano on the island of Java,
is known for its unparalleled views of the sunrise.

The Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA

The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, and, at its widest point, 18
miles across. You can explore various areas of the massive canyon
at the Grand
Canyon National Park.

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China

Zhangjiajie,
China, is not for those who fear heights. The incredible forest
is said to have inspired the stunning scenery depicted in
“Avatar.”

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Located on the west coast of Ireland, the Cliffs of Moher reach a
whopping
702 feet at their highest point.

Spencer Lake, Australia

This bubblegum pink lake in Australia may not seem natural, but
it actually gets its neon
color from a chemical called carotene, which is produced by
algae.

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage
Site, and with good reason. The bay is dotted with
approximately 1,600 islands and inlets, including many massive
greenery-covered limestone pillars.

The Dead Sea, Israel

Due to its exceptionally high salt content, there are no animals
or life forms besides bacteria in Israel’s Dead Sea. You
can also easily float in the salt-filled waters, and the mud in
the area is said to have healing qualities.

Arches National Park, Utah, USA

Utah is known for its beautiful red rock formations, specifically
at Arches
National Park. There are 2,000 named arches in the park,
although about one collapses per year due to natural causes.

Uluru (Ayer’s Rock), Australia

Uluru, also known as Ayer’s Rock, is located in a remote area
in Australia’s Northern Territory, home to the Anangu
Aboriginal people. The giant sandstone formation has a
circumference of about 5.8 miles.

As of 2019,
you can no longer climb Uluru but you can still visit the
park.

The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Perhaps best known for their impact on Charles Darwin’s theory of
evolution, the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador are
home to a unique enclave
of species who have survived the Islands’ harsh conditions.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

From mud pots to hot springs to the famous Old Faithful geyser,
Yellowstone National Park is full of natural wonder. Visitors
have been enjoying all Yellowstone has to offer since it was
established as the world’s
first national park in 1872.

Iguazu Falls, Argentina and Brazil

The
Iguazu Falls, which span Argentina and Brazil, comprise the
largest system of waterfalls in the world.

Verdon Gorge, France

Located in the Verdon River Canyon in southeastern France, Verdon
Gorge is known for its unique blue-green waters that are perfect
for kayaking, swimming, and other water activities.

Mud volcanoes, Gobustan, Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan’s sedimentary volcanoes, commonly known as mud
volcanoes, are a mesmerizing geological
phenomenon in which pockets of gas underground force their
way to the Earth’s surface and consequently bubble up.

Pulpit Rock, Norway

Pulpit
Rock looms almost 2,000 feet over the Lysefjord in
Norway. Geologists speculate that the giant mountain plateau was
shaped by ice expansion about 10,000 years ago.

Tunnel of Love, Ukraine

Located outside the city of Klevan, Ukraine, the Tunnel of Love
is a verdant
wonderland that encompasses two miles of a private railway.

Although a train transporting wood to a nearby factory passes
through the tree tunnel three times a day, it’s better known as a
romantic destination.

Folklore says that couples who frequent the tunnel will be
granted a wish – if their intentions are sincere, that is.

Sequoia National Park, California, USA

Northern California’s famous redwood trees can be found in
Sequoia
National Park. The park is home to about 8,000 Sequoias,
which are the largest and longest-living trees on Earth.

El Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico’s El Yunque National Forest, located just
outside of San Juan, is one of the most biologically diverse of
all of the US’ national forests.

The Sahara Desert, Africa

The largest hot desert in the world has an area of 3.552
million square miles, and spans 10 countries –
Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger,
Sudan, and Tunisia.

The Blyde River Canyon, South Africa

View South Africa from over 2,600 feet in the air from a hike in
the Blyde
River Canyon. The area is known for its colorful rock
formations and lush greenery.

Marble Caves, Chile

These caves, formed by thousands of years of erosion, are also
called the
“Marble Cathedral.”

The Matterhorn, Switzerland

The Matterhorn is more than just a classic ride at Disneyland.
The actual mountain, located in Switzerland, is known for its
“chiseled rock
pyramid” look, after which the Disney roller coaster
was modeled.

Valley of Flowers National Park, India

Situated at a high altitude in the Himalayas, Valley of Flowers
National Park is known for its gorgeous
meadows of alpine flowers and its biodiversity. Unique and
endangered species such as the Asiatic black bear and bharal
(Himalayan
blue sheep) inhabit the region.

The valley is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site alongside
its mountainous sister park, Nanda Devi.

Gran Sabana, Venezuela

The Gran Sabana (“Great Savanna”), a
remote plateau on the border of Venezuela, sits at an
altitude of more than 3,200 feet above sea level.

Characterized by waterfalls
and table mountains known as tepuis, the region – which
extends to the neighboring countries of Brazil and Guyana –
boasts a dramatic landscape.

Seljalandsfoss, Iceland

Towering nearly 200 feet, Seljalandsfoss is one of Iceland’s
most picturesque waterfalls. It’s not only beautiful from afar –
visitors can get up close and personal with this majestic natural
site by walking behind it.

Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst, Hungary and Slovakia

Spanning from northeastern Hungary to southeastern Slovakia, the
Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst are a UNESCO World
Heritage-designated outcrop of more than 1,000 caverns.

The Baradla-Domica cave system, distinguished by an
active stream, is the most intriguing, thanks to its
proliferation of stalactites and stalagmites.

Fox Glacier, South Island, New Zealand

Fox Glacier – an eponymous glacier and village in the foothills
of the Southern Alps – is a gateway to adventure, whether you
want to go ice-hiking or
experience the bioluminescent wonder of the area’s glowworm
caves.

Cenotes of the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico

Ruins
are the main draw of the Yucatán Peninsula, but the region is
also known for its cenotes – deep natural wells or sinkholes
created when surface limestone collapses to reveal groundwater
underneath.

Ik Kil, also known as the “sacred blue
cenote,” is located near Chichen Itza. Visitors can swim in
the 60-foot-deep water, or dive into it if they’re the
adventurous sort.

Socotra Archipelago, Yemen

Separated from mainland Arabia 34 million years ago, the islands
of Yemen’s Socotra archipelago are
defined by an ethereal landscape.

In fact, 37% of Socotra’s flora – including the trees of the
Dragon’s
Blood Forest – are not found anywhere else in the world.

Wadden Sea, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands

As the world’s
largest contiguous system of intertidal sand and mud flats,
the Wadden Sea is a breathtaking coastal wetland. Its area of
more than 4,400 square miles encompasses parts of Denmark,
Germany, and the Netherlands.

The sea, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, features diverse habitats
ranging from tidal channels to sea-grass meadows.

Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail, Wales, UK

Running
186 miles along the Welsh coastline, the Pembrokeshire Coast
Path takes visitors through a diverse maritime landscape of
rugged cliff tops and twisting estuaries.

Moravian Fields, Czech Republic

The multihued fields of the Czech Republic’s
Moravia region are a feast for the eyes – and provide

no shortage of inspiration to photographers.

Victoria Falls, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls sits on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe,
where a giant curtain of water often creates rainbows amid the
mist and surrounding rainforest. 

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