- Wonders of the World: 22 Most Beautiful Places on Earth
- Mount Roraima, Venezuela
- Marble Caves, Argentina/Chile
- White Harbour Beaches, Australia
- Ice Canyon, Greenland
- Uyuni salt marsh, Bolivia
- Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
- Chocolate Hills, Philippines
- Grand Canyon, USA
- Fingalow Cave, Scotland
- Petra, Jordan
- The Colored Rocks of Zhangye Dangxia, China
- Batu Caves, Malaysia
- Pearl Falls, China
- Big Blue Hole, Belize
- Cappadocia, Turkey
- Faroe Islands, Denmark
- Shondong Cave, Vietnam
- Weddell Sea, Antarctica
- Nike Cave, Mexico
- Pamukkale, Turkey
- Iguazu Falls, Argentina/Brazil
- Glacial Lake Moraine, Canada
*Review of the best according to the editorial board. About the selection criteria. This material is subjective, not intended as an advertisement or a shopping guide. Specialist consultation required before purchase.
Our world is full of beauty – created both by the hand of man and the forces of nature. It would probably take a lifetime to see with your own eyes all the extraordinary, fascinating places on the planet that take your breath away. Our experts have selected for you some of the many amazing, unparalleled places in the world and offer a virtual journey to them.
Wonders of the World: 22 Most Beautiful Places on Earth
|In a World of Wonders: The 22 Most Beautiful Places on Earth||1||Mount Roraima, Venezuela||5.0|
|2||Marble Caves, Argentina/Chile||4.9|
|3||The Beaches of White Harbor, Australia||4.9|
|4||Ice Canyon, Greenland||4.8|
|5||Uyuni Salt Marsh, Bolivia||4.8|
|6||Plitvice Lakes, Croatia||4.7|
|7||Chocolate Hills, Philippines||4.7|
|8||Grand Canyon, USA||4.7|
|9||Fingalow Cave, Scotland||4.6|
|11||Zhangye Dangxia Colored Rocks, China||4.5|
|12||Batu Caves, Malaysia||4.5|
|13||Pearl Falls, China||4.5|
|14||Big Blue Hole, Belize||4.5|
|16||Faroe Islands, Denmark||4.4|
|17||Shondong Cave, Vietnam||4.3|
|18||Weddell Sea, Antarctica||4.3|
|19||Nike Cave, Mexico||4.2|
|21||Iguazu Falls, Argentina/Brazil||4.2|
|22||Glacial Lake Moraine, Canada||4.2|
Mount Roraima, Venezuela
Rating of the attraction: 5.0
This unique natural site is located on the border of 3 countries at once: Brazil, Venezuela, and Guyana. And while there are many beautiful and high mountains in the area, Roraima attracts the most attention. This natural attraction is located at an altitude of more than 2,800 meters and is even more attractive because it can be climbed. True, for this the traveler will have to be properly prepared: to stock up on provisions, warm waterproof clothing and mosquito repellent.
Around the plateau there are dense clouds, like milk foam, formed due to the proximity of several rivers: the Ontario, Amazon and Essekibo. They originate at the foot of the mountain. Beautiful waterfalls flowing over the surface of Roraima complete the spectacular picture. For a long time the mountain remained unexplored.
It was not until 1884 that its summit was conquered by the first daredevils: two British scientists, Thorne and Perkins. It was they who told the world about the unique mountain ecosystem. Their notes inspired the famous Arthur Conan Doyle to create the fantasy novel The Lost World, which was home to prehistoric creatures. That’s partly true. Roraima – home to unique animals. This place is home to endemics (fauna found only on the plateau).
Fun fact. Most of the inhabitants of Mt. Roraima are black in color – dragonflies, butterflies and tiny toads that make what sounds like a whistling sound before it rains.
By the way, it is not only the color of the animals that dominates in black: the surface of the plateau itself is black. This is due to the “activity” of microscopic algae. But where the water hits, the color of the plateau is naturally bright pink. And there is a lot of water here: peat bogs, crystal-clear lakes and violent rivers, decorated with crystals of rock crystal along the whole length.
Marble Caves, Argentina/Chile
Rating of the attraction: 4.9
Not far from the small Chilean town of Chile Chico is one of the deepest lakes in the world – Lago General Carrera or Lago Buenos Aires (Chilean and Argentine names accordingly). The glacial lake, high in the Patagonian Alps, covers 1,850 km
The reservoir has become famous all over the world for the unique Marble Cave, which is a real geological labyrinth, bearing the name Marble Caves. They are practically in the middle of the lake (on the Chilean side). Scientists explain the unusual shape of the column-like vaults by the effect of thousands of years of waves. Of course, the walls of the underground formation are not made of marble: they are limestone, but the unusual bluish hue of the surface, reflected in the cold turquoise water, creates a truly fabulous impression.
The most famous and popular among travelers are three grottoes: the Marble Cathedral, the Marble Chapel, and the Marble Cave. All the grottoes were once completely hidden beneath the water column. But the glacier that filled the lake began to melt over time and the amazing outlines of the marble labyrinths are revealed to the eye.
Recently, the construction of several dams near the lake has begun to pose an increasing threat to the caves. They can simply flood the limestone labyrinth.
White Harbour Beaches, Australia
Rating of the attraction: 4.9
The white beaches in Australia’s Holy Trinity Archipelago aren’t just your average white-sand beach. This is an incredible place, on which nature has worked like a professional designer. Perfectly white, almost pristine snow, the sand on the beaches of White Harbor never warms up and crunches just like snow.
Even in the hottest heat you can safely walk barefoot on the sand without fear of burning your feet. The stable coolness is explained simply: the coastline is 98% made up of tiny silica particles washed up by water from dying reefs. White Harbor is located on the largest of the 74 islands that make up the archipelago. Seven kilometer long stretch of coastline made into a national park. You’ll find no cafes, bars or water activities, just a snow-white desert fringed by clear turquoise water. Fabulous beautiful place, mesmerizing with its wild purity.
Tourists who come from all over the world to see the natural wonder stop at nearby Hamilton Island, which has all the necessary infrastructure for a comfortable holiday. And at a convenient time go to White Harbor to admire its beaches.
Ice Canyon, Greenland
Rating of the sight: 4.8
Ice Canyon is a cold, inaccessible, but no less attractive natural sight. The cold river carries surprisingly clear water from ancient glaciers directly into the ocean, sculpting amazingly shaped ice canyons along the way and filling them with pure moisture.
Greenland is the largest and one of the most remote islands on the planet: most of it is above the Arctic Circle. Located this natural wonder in Denmark. More than 80% of its area is always covered with ice and snow. But because of the planetary warming in recent years the island “cover” began to thaw intensively. This is how amazingly beautiful canyons appeared in the Greenland ice.
The most unusual of them all is Ice Canyon. In some places, the depth of Ice Canyon reaches 40 meters. This is one of the most amazing places on the planet and it is completely untouched by human hand. But it is not only the “wild” glaciers that make Greenland beautiful. Here you can enjoy active recreation: master dog-sledding, kayaking, fishing in the Atlantic waters, get your adrenaline pumping, practicing ice climbing, and much more.
Uyuni salt marsh, Bolivia
Rating of the sight: 4.8
The Uyuni salt marsh is the largest and most famous in the world. It is a huge salt mirror, covering a colossal area of 12,106 km
The eyes of all travelers who set out to see this unusual creation of nature, opens an amazing landscape: something surreal, like an endless desert, blinding its snow-white. This is what the salt marsh looks like in times of drought. Some tourists like a totally different view of the solonchak: an endless mirror in which the same vast blue sky is reflected. This is the appearance of the Uyuni during the rainy season (January-February).
But this huge salt marsh is known not only for its mesmerizing scenery: it is a valuable source of salt. About 20 tons are mined here each year. And its total reserve is estimated at more than 10 billion tons. There’s also a valuable mineral here, lithium. The salt marsh deposits make up around 70% of the world’s reserves. This is enough time to create telephone batteries for the next 100 years.
Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
Rating of the attraction: 4.7
The most significant natural attraction of the country and one of the most outstanding on the planet. Huge national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Back in 1949 it was decided to preserve the pristine corner of nature for posterity. And so the country’s first national park was born. The unique natural site strikes the imagination and takes one’s breath away: the local scenery looks like something straight out of a painting.
There are numerous waterfalls, lush greenery in various shades of yellow, red and green (including pine vegetation that infuses the air with a spicy aroma), karst lakes with clear turquoise water framed by white limestone rocks, hidden trails for peaceful hikes, a variety of caves and a rich fauna on the territory of the park.
The unique landscapes can be explored not only on foot along trails and on wooden decks: travelers can take ferries, boats, and buses. To explore the beauty of the natural monument in full, you will have to spend about 8 hours.
Chocolate Hills, Philippines
Rating of the attraction: 4.7
A curious, if not more, natural (according to experts) landmark of the Philippines. The chocolate hills are the calling card of Bohol, one of the most famous and visited tourist destinations. Not just because the valley gets its name from the cocoa trees. It’s not like that at all. The terrain is a plateau, covered with a scattering of perfectly rounded limestone formations ranging in height from 30 to 100 meters. Their exact number is uncertain and varies from 1,268 to 1,776.
But why chocolate hills? Because in times of drought, the grass, with which the uplands are densely covered, becomes tough and the surface of the hills takes on an unusual appearance, similar to chocolate chips. And the shape makes the hills look exactly like a confectionary product – a chocolate truffle. Experts are still unable to find a sensible explanation for such a natural formation – so well formed and so unusual.
Grand Canyon, USA
Rating of the attraction: 4.7
One of the most important and most visited wilderness areas in the United States. A huge chasm with a surface area of 5000 m is spread out on the Colorado Plateau
The canyon is 450 kilometers long and in some places up to 29 kilometers wide. An incredible cluster of rock formations in bright shades of yellow and brown, many caves, canyons, waterfalls and small reservoirs – this is the Grand Canyon. The flora and fauna are incredibly diverse, and so is the climate. If at the bottom of the canyon air can heat up to +40
That’s why you’ll find an unusually abrupt change of zones here, from coniferous to desert. If you like active rest, you can make a hike through the plateau, go kayaking, SUP-boarding, etc. Advocates of a more measured, contemplative vacation enjoy views of the canyon from an observation deck, on a mule or even from a helicopter.
Fingalow Cave, Scotland
Rating of the sight: 4.6
One of the world’s most famous and unusual caves is located on the wild island of Staffa (part of the Hebrides). Formed about 66 million years ago, the depression in the basalt rock has been forming for thousands of years under the “onslaught” of sea waves. Today it is a not very large cave (exact dimensions not established) about 20-23 meters high and about 66-85 meters deep.
Its entrance is in the form of a huge arch, and the walls are like hexagonal basalt columns, in stark contrast to the still water that fills the bottom of the cave. In the 19th century, Fingal Cave was visited by many historic figures: Jules Verne, John Keats, William Wordsworth, Walter Scott, and even Queen Victoria of Great Britain admired its view. And Mendelssohn was so struck by the beauty and unusual appearance of the rock formation that he created an overture entitled “Hebrides, or Fingal Cave”.
The cave has a unique acoustics thanks to the domed vault: the sound of the surf sounds like something magical here. Especially for tourists, a small trail has been created over the water, which you can use to get inside on your own. By the way, from Fingal Cave you can see the sacred Isle of Aion, the burial place of the ancient kings of Scotland.
Rating of the attraction: 4.6
Lost in the rocks, this ancient city was in ancient times the capital of the Nabataean kingdom. It is located in the narrow gorge of the Siq, about 1 meter above sea level. It is one of the world’s new wonders and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The history of the city goes back to the 18th century BC.je. (!). The Idumeans, then the Nabataeans, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Arabs, and even the Crusaders all ruled here.
The Great Stone City was once very influential, as it was located at the crossroads of important trade routes and benefited immensely from the sale of spices. But after the Romans discovered the trade route to the East, the city lost its former influence and gradually got lost in the desert sands. It would probably have remained unknown to the modern world if it were not for a Swiss traveler who discovered it in 1812.
In Petra there are more than 800 monuments of antiquity: baths, huge colonnades, temples, tombs, even the palace-mausoleum of the king of the ancient Nabataean kingdom. The El Khazneh Palace. It is carved right into a huge rock. Specialists and ordinary citizens wonder how ancient builders managed to create such a colossal structure without scaffolding (there are simply no trees in the area) and special equipment.
Behind the rock face there are numerous houses, arches, stairs, and even a Roman amphitheater with a capacity of 4000 spectators. One of the most important sights in the city is El Deir Monastery, which is 45 meters high and stands majestically on top of a rock. To see the city frozen in stone, you have to walk a few kilometers through the desert to get there, but the spectacular Petra is definitely worth it.
The Colored Rocks of Zhangye Dangxia, China
Rating of the attraction: 4.5
The famous multi-colored mountains of China are a very curious place, whose hills are “painted” in all possible shades of red, yellow and brown. Tourists from all over the world come here to see this riot of colors. When you see the rocks, you feel as if a giant artist painted them with a giant brush.
Well, if to approach the question scientifically: experts believe that more than 100 million years ago in this area was a reservoir with a lot of silt. Over time the colossal pool of water has dried up, exposing its bottom. Everything that had collected there over thousands of years has oxidized in the air and takes on an unusual color.
When word of the Colored Mountains spread beyond China, travelers from all over the world flocked to the nearby town of Zhangye. And instead of a sleepy, time-forgotten settlement, it quickly became an active tourist spot. This is where the hike to Zhanggye Dangxia begins.
Batu Caves, Malaysia
Rating of the attraction: 4.5
A unique sight – a mixture of works of nature and human hands. The incredible splendor of this tourist attraction is only 13 kilometers away from the capital, Kuala Lumpur. Batu is a cave complex, one of the oldest on the planet: its approximate age is about 400 million years.
For many years Batu served as a refuge for local hunters, until in 1878 they were discovered by an American naturalist. The complex consists of 10 rooms: 3 large and 7 smaller. The “Dark Cave” is the most impressive one. It’s 122 meters high and 2 kilometers long. This is all stalactite “scenery” – a bit bleak and majestic.
Batu is not only a natural attraction, but also the most famous Hindu temple outside of India, where some 1.5 million pilgrims come every year for the Taipusam festival. At this time here are quite unusual rituals, which many European tourists seem at least strange, and some – unpleasant.
Pilgrims march to the caves to the beat of drums. Some of them fall into a trance and pierce their tongue or cheeks, sometimes their naked body. For those who would like to visit the cave complex and not bump into Indian pilgrims, it is useful to know when the festival takes place (January/February).
Pearl Falls, China
Rating of the sight: 4.5
Part of a nature reserve and one of its main attractions, the falls attract thousands of travelers eager to enjoy the magical sight of crystal clear water tumbling down. The waterfall got its name because the falling water breaks against a rock into tiny drops resembling tiny pearls. The waterfall looks the most impressive in the spring, when it rains and melts snow in the mountains.
The waterfall begins in the mountains of Utrish, from where the Great Caucasus Range is formed. Hundreds of miles around, there are relict forests and no signs of man. The scenery here is unbelievably beautiful, but you can only get here on foot, because there are no highways nearby.
Running down the slopes, the water falls from a height of 5 meters directly onto the beach, and, after a few more meters, merges with the sea. In the summertime, the slope on which the waterfall falls is covered with twisting vegetation, reminiscent of a tropical escape. Even on hot days, the water is cool: those who want a refreshing dip in the clear streams of the creek. By the way, the water here is crystal clear and delicious – you can even drink it.
Big Blue Hole, Belize
Rating of the attraction: 4.5
The largest sinkhole on our planet. The entire American Statue of Liberty can fit in there, and there will still be about 30 meters to go. But the Great Blue Hole wasn’t always a sinkhole, as the great explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, who discovered it, found stalactites in it. This means that the formation was originally an above-ground cave, because stalactites are not formed under water. A thousand years ago the sinkhole was terrestrial and quite probably inhabited.
A circular depression at the bottom of the ocean, 302 meters in diameter and 102 meters deep, is one of the ten best diving spots on our planet. But to make the dive to the Blue Hole one has to get there by boat for a couple of hours (almost 100 km from the mainland). After diving into the enormous crater, you can “walk” in a system of water-flooded caves with stalactites. But you have to be very careful: it is very easy to get lost in this system. Not for nothing that the second (unofficial) name of this place is the Cemetery of divers.
Those who do not have enough experience in diving, it is recommended to stop at a depth of 30 meters. Here you can get acquainted with representatives of the marine world: see sea turtles, perch, harmless nurse shark, etc. You can also enjoy the view of the Big Blue Hole from above, flying over it in a helicopter. And for the hardcore ecstatic, they offer a blood-soaked parachute jump directly over the sinkhole.
Rating of the attraction: 4.4
The heart of modern Turkey and an unexpected side of this country for many travelers. Many people think this Turkish region is alien, so unusual and fascinating its landscapes: there are snow-capped volcanoes, huge rocky massifs, peaceful peaceful peaceful valleys, etc.
One of the most popular sights in the world. Every day over the colorful region hundreds of balloons fly up with tourists, eager to see the fairytale beauty of Cappadocia with their own eyes. Cappadocia is beautiful all year round. You just have to choose the right season.
Underground cities, cliff lookouts, inexpensive tasty meat, and fragrant wine (by the way, one of the best in Turkey, because Cappadocia is a wine region) are always open for travelers here. By the way, it is colder here than in the rest of Turkey, and in the underground cities even more, so you can’t do without warm clothes.
Faroe Islands, Denmark
Rating of the attraction: 4.4
The North Atlantic islands are located on the open ocean. And although in fact they belong to Denmark, it is not Denmark that governs life there, but its own laws – the laws of nature. There are no azure waters and cozy hotels here, but for those who yearn to enjoy the views of absolutely wild nature, the Faroes are a heavenly paradise.
Magazine National Geografic in one of the issues called the Faroe Islands the best in the world, and perhaps it’s hard to argue with this. With 18 islands Faroes is unique not only in a natural sense. Their economy is based practically on herring and sheep, the weather is often gloomy and cold, and everyday necessities have to be “mined” 1500 kilometers away, yet the standard of living here is one of the highest in the world.
But travelers don’t come here to find out about simple, if not down-to-earth, and yet comfortable life of local people. They come here to unite with the amazing nature, creating the impression of being at the ends of the earth.
Shondong Cave, Vietnam
Rating of the attraction: 4.3
The largest cave in the world, one of the most unusual and beautiful caves in the world. Not only is Shongdong truly huge, this cave complex has an ecosystem of its own. Located in a nature park, the attraction was only recently discovered to the world.
In 1991, a local farmer on a walk in the forest heard the sound of water and wind whistling. He found a crevice in the rock, but the roar was too loud and the descent was too steep, so the farmer was afraid to go in. And only 18 years later the cave was first explored – there went down a group of British speleologists.
The dimensions of Shondong are incredible: the cave has a volume of 38.5 million meters
Besides its gigantic size, the cave surprises with its ecosystem: since it has been inaccessible for millennia, it has managed to form its own microclimate. In some places, the sunlight enters inside, and the underground water serves as a feeding system for the local vegetation (some trees are several meters high) and animals (monkeys and flying foxes live here).
Although the part of Vietnam where the cave is located is characterized by a hot, dry climate, in the underground formation it is always cool and humid. And when warm masses of air get inside, a unique phenomenon forms: subterranean clouds.
Weddell Sea, Antarctica
Rating of the attraction: 4.3
The Weddell Sea is considered the clearest body of water on earth. A 1986 study of its waters found average visibility at a depth of 79 meters. It’s a measure of distilled water. The Weddell Sea is not a small sea: its area is 2.9 million km
The sea has a very beautiful shade of sky-blue water, and there is a huge amount of ice floating around all year round. Despite its appearance and crystal clarity, the reservoir is not popular with travelers; only the bravest and most experienced dare to swim in this sea. Not every expedition will risk going there: drifting ice-floes pose a great danger to ships. And yet, the Weddell Sea is an amazing place with crystal clear, never freezing water (even at -25
Nike Cave, Mexico
Ranking of the attraction: 4.2
Mexican desert, as it turned out, can surprise: in 2000 mining brothers, laying a new mine tunnel, came across an unusual underground formation: an underground cavity at a depth of 300 meters with huge crystals in the form of beams, reaching 11 meters. Resembling an underground labyrinth, the cavity has been filled with mineralized water for hundreds of thousands of years, according to scientists. Over such a long period of time, large crystals of the gypsum variety (selenite) have formed in it.
Shortly after the cave was discovered, water was pumped out of it, and 5 years later a decision was made to isolate this unique natural site from the outside environment in order to preserve. Nevertheless, it will not be another tourist attraction, because it is simply dangerous for humans: the crystals are too fragile, the air inside is hot, humid and saturated with hydrogen sulfide. The air temperature in the cave reaches +50
Rating of the attraction: 4.2
The world-famous Cotton Castle (this is how the place’s name translates from Turkish) is a major tourist attraction and therapeutic resort. If you look at Pamukkale from above, it really does look like a lot of fluffy cotton boxes put together into a jigsaw puzzle.
Looking at the panoramic pictures of Pamukkale, many tourists mistakenly thought they could recover by taking a bath right in the “cotton” terraces. But it is not so. Their particular mineral composition makes the water unsuitable for swimming. For this purpose, the resort has special pools also of natural origin.
This place is often (and rightly so) called “Cleopatra’s Pool”. Staying in the water of such pools creates a sensation similar to being in champagne. The reason is its unique composition: it is saturated with calcium sulfate and bicarbonate, carbon dioxide (the same used in carbonated water) and has a high level of ionization. Only half an hour in such a mineral “cocktail” is enough to make the nervous system, the gastrointestinal tract, the musculoskeletal system, the heart and the skin say “thank you” (and from the bottom of their hearts).
Unfortunately, over the years of tourism, the natural pools of Pamukkale have changed from “cotton” to trampled and snowy, and not in the best sense of the word. But after the Turkish authorities appealed to UNESCO (incidentally, the resort is one of the World Heritage sites), many terraces were restored to their former snow-white beauty.
Iguazu Falls, Argentina/Brazil
Rating of the sight: 4.2
Iguazu Falls are one of the 7 official wonders of the world. River waters have worked their way into the soft surface of the rock, but have failed to cope with the basalt deposits. So numerous islets were formed, creating a real 3-kilometer network of hundreds of rapids, channels, powerful waterfalls and canyons.
Both countries on whose territory the waterfall system is located consider these wild places a nature park. The most impressive views of the cascade are on the Brazilian side, though most of the falls are on the Argentine side. But the most spectacular, no doubt, is the “Devil’s Throat” – a huge vertical cliff: from 82 meters high water falls into a huge horseshoe-shaped basin, above which a rainbow forms.
For the convenience of contemplating the beauty of tourists equipped with numerous bridges and viewing platforms. The most courageous people can take a ride on a rubber boat almost to the bottom of the falls, and fans of panoramic pictures will appreciate all the beauty of the cascade from a helipad.
Glacial Lake Moraine, Canada
Rating of the attraction: 4.2
The unique beauty of the lake with a glacial “past” is located in Banff National Park. This is its main attraction and a point of pride for Canadians. The water in the lake is of glacier origin and is therefore crystal clear and transparent as glass. Water temperature is quite cool, which is not surprising, considering that the ice melts only with the arrival of June.
The lake is not a big lake, its area is less than 0.5 km
The lake was discovered relatively recently, at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, by naturalist Walter Wilcox. For 10 years, starting in 1969, the lakescape was featured on the $20 bill. The picturesque countryside abounds with hiking trails of varying difficulty. However, some of them cannot be walked on at certain times because of the possibility of a grizzly bear attack.
In the summertime, especially popular among travelers are canoe trips on the crystal clear blue water. In fall the valley is particularly enchanting, covered in the golden hues of autumn foliage. In winter the view of the valley is no less attractive: The serene lake covered with ice and the mountain tops “clothed” in snowy hats evoke peace and give a feeling of tranquility.