Nature is the best architect, creating masterpieces for the ages. No one can assess all the natural sights with their own eyes, for this man is simply not enough life. But to visit the most unique and amazing of them is quite possible. The traveler, who will ask for such a goal, can begin by studying the rating of natural wonders of the world.
They include only those objects that did not have a hand in the creation of man. These places will unquestionably make a great impression and will be remembered for a lifetime, even if you can visit not all of them, but one or more of them. And certainly they will inspire you to further explore the beauty of nature.
With the help of a worldwide popular vote a list of 7 natural wonders of the world was compiled, identifying from a huge list of the most outstanding creations of natural perfection. Among the winners of the poll were both quite popular tourist spots and objects known to far from every experienced traveler. The final list includes the Grand Canyon, the Northern Lights, Paricutin, the Great Barrier Reef, Rio de Janeiro Harbor, Mount Everest and Victoria Falls. These are the ones tourists are advised to add to their checklist of natural wonders of the world.
1. Aurora borealis, or northern lights
To see the aurora borealis, not only do you have to make a trip to the northern part of the hemisphere, but you also have to be lucky, because you may not catch it during a short stay. The Aurora Borealis is an optical phenomenon, the glow of the upper layers of the atmosphere. This natural phenomenon is capable of disarming observers with a spectrum of colors: first it appears as phosphorous spots, and then the sky turns into a string of emerald, red, purple and blue lights or moving bands of light. The glow is like a dance of colors in the sky, and it is not for nothing that the traditions of northern peoples explained this phenomenon by the dance of the dead in the sky or by the games of the spirits.
The intensity of the northern lights appears as you move north to the magnetic pole in the Arctic. You can admire it in the far north of Canada, Alaska, Norway, Iceland, Finland and Sweden. But to avoid disappointment after a long trip, it is worth setting aside a few days for this point in your trip, as the aurora is unpredictable. Therein lies some of the charm of this natural wonder of the world: to see it, several factors, beyond human control, must come together, making the encounter with it sometimes fateful. It is better to choose the winter months: the likelihood of seeing the light increases, and the dark winter sky makes it more visible.
2. Grand Canyon
It's enough to look around once standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon to understand why it's on the list of places to visit for millions of tourists. The giant stone chasm represents the destructive power of nature, coupled with its talent for creating masterpieces even out of destruction. A cluster of rocks and cliffs resembling walls, towers and pagodas, caves and crevices combine to create an incredible landscape.
For a trip to the canyon, most visitors choose its southern part. There are viewing platforms and other tourist infrastructure. Many hiking trails start from here, including the easiest short-distance hikes with minimal elevation gain. Another highlight of the southern edge of the Grand Canyon is the preserved Indian reservations. The Grand Canyon is a paradise for fans of extreme tourism and challenging hiking trails. A hike down into the canyon along one of the many trails will turn into a thrilling adventure with unforgettable experiences to last a lifetime.
The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is suitable only for experienced and hardy hikers, and many parts are closed to hikers due to the danger and complexity of the trails. If, however, you are interested in the creation process of the Grand Canyon and its geology, a visit to the local geological museum is worthwhile. The nearest major cities where you can stay to visit the canyon are Las Vegas and Phoenix, Arizona, USA.
It is quite possible that this name may be completely unfamiliar to you. But a visit to this natural wonder of the world is definitely worth it.
Paricutin is a young volcano in Mexico. One would think that a guide to the natural wonders of the world would include some of its more famous "brothers," such as Kilimanjaro, Fujiyama, or Yellowstone. But the feature of Parikutin that makes it unique is that humanity witnessed its birth and phenomenally rapid development. From a hole of a few centimeters with smoke billowing from it, noticed by a local farmer in his field, it turned into a fiery mountain within days, spewing deadly magma for nine years. In a few months the volcano reached a height of more than 300 meters and incinerated everything around it.
The last time the volcano erupted was in 1952, creating a scorched lava valley around it. It has calmed down, but it hasn't completely cooled down: after it rains, sulfurous steam smokes over its vent. You can visit the volcano on a 12-mile hike or on horseback any time of year. Stop in the town of Urapan at the foot of the volcano, or come from the capital; it takes about 7 hours to get there from Mexico City.
4. Victoria Falls
This natural wonder of the world on the Zambezi River separates the two African states of Zimbabwe and Zambia. For a complete experience, it is better to see the waterfall from both sides. In Zimbabwe, of course, the views of the waterfall and the surrounding landscape are spectacular. But after crossing the border, you can have a closer experience, such as giving yourself a test of courage and a swim in the Devil's Pool, located almost on the edge of the waterfall in Zambia. If that's not enough, you can book a helicopter tour and admire the falls from above.
When visiting this site, consider the rainy season, which usually lasts from late November to early April. It is better to come here just after it ends, when the volume of water is still high, but the weather is pleasant. It is easy to get here from either Zimbabwe or Zambia, but Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport in Zambia is closer to the falls. Also a large number of tourists arrive here by air from Johannesburg. But in that case carefully calculate the weight of your luggage - local small planes have stricter restrictions.
5. Mount Everest
This mountain rises over 8,800 meters above sea level, attracting climbers and extreme athletes from around the world. Everest is located on the border of Nepal and Tibet and is part of the Himalayan mountain chain. It is considered the highest place on Earth, surpassed only by Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii, but only if you count its height from the seabed.
To conquer the highest peak of the Earth is a dream of many climbers, adventurers and fans of extreme tourism. Neither high probability of avalanches, nor lack of oxygen, acutely felt at an altitude of over 7925 meters, nor horrible frosts at the summit, not even a few deaths do not stop the brave ones on their way to their dream. Thousands of ascents are made every year, and for those who manage to reach the summit, this adventure will be one of the major achievements in life.
Even if climbing the mountain doesn't appeal to you, it's a place worth visiting. Take a sightseeing flight around the mountain for a spectacular view. Soak up the atmosphere and take in the beauty of the landscape with a visit to one of Everest's two base camps, the strongholds for climbers heading to the summit. Or take memorable photos of the stunning views of Everest from the lodge at the mountain station in Nepal.
6. The Great Barrier Reef
The largest coral reef in the world is a multifaceted ecosystem of more than 900 islands, some 3,000 individual reefs and seaweed beds. It extends more than 2,300 kilometers along the northeast coast of Australia. It is the only living structure visible from space.
The Great Barrier Reef resembles a whimsical exotic garden, where fish of the most bizarre shapes and colors flit around the motley coral reefs like tropical butterflies around rare flowers. It's easy to see sharks, attracted to the reefs by the abundance of fish and plankton, and in summer to see turtles coming to lay their eggs.
For the most part, the world's largest colony of coral polyps is a long way offshore, but you can visit this wondrous garden and see its many inhabitants firsthand on one or more days of diving, snorkeling, and reef tours and excursions. This natural wonder of the world can be visited from several popular starting points - the tourist town of Cairns, picturesque Port Douglas and Whitsundays Island.
7. Rio de Janeiro Harbor
This natural landmark is located in one of the largest bays in the world, Guanabara Bay in Brazil. The entrance to the bay is guarded by several high mountains, such as Sugar Loaf Peak, which is shaped like a piece of raffinate, or Mount Corcovada, from the top of which the statue of Christ the Redeemer blesses travelers. Above the sea surface towers a scattering of islets with attractive beaches and granite peaks covered in greenery. The harbor is surrounded by picturesque hills, cliffs, and the majestic forest of Tijuc National Park.
A traditional trip to see the sights of the Rio de Janeiro harbor includes a ride on the cogged railroad to Tijuc Park, which stretches 3.5 kilometers up to the statue of Christ. Enjoy breathtaking views of the water, beautiful beaches, and mountains in the distance. Early in the morning here is more likely to view the statue and the surrounding area without the crowds. But the most unbeatable experience tourists can get from a helicopter ride around the statue above the harbor. This breathtaking view is sure to be one of your most memorable experiences.