The best natural wonders of the world

Six of the seven wonders of the ancient world have been lost, but keen travellers can still make it a point to see the seven best natural wonders of the world. Scattered across six continents, they would make up a trip of a lifetime.

Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Located off the northeast coast of Australia, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest of its kind in the world, covering nearly 350,000 square kilometres. Home to an incredibly diverse set of corals and sea life, it offers unparalleled snorkelling and diving opportunities. Cairns is widely considered the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, and is where tourists will find the widest selection of reef tours.

Victoria Falls, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Victoria Falls is known as ‘the smoke that thunders’ in the local language, and was only first discovered by Europeans in the mid-19th century. Since then, it’s become a major tourist attraction. Visitors can view the falls from either Zambia or Zimbabwe. The best time to visit is between December and March, when water levels are at their highest.

Grand Canyon, United States of America
Carved out by the mighty Colorado River over a span of 40 million years, The Grand Canyon’s size is its most striking feature, followed closely by its seemingly endless layers of rock face in varying hues of red, copper, and tan. A prime destination for hikers, rafters, and sightseers, this national park is open year round to visitors.

Harbour of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
16th-century European explorers were awestruck by the scale of what it now called the Harbour of Rio de Janeiro. The largest harbour in the world by volume, it stretches 20-miles inland and runs up against imposing granite monoliths. The best way to appreciate the scale and beauty of the harbour is to head to high ground. Lookout points on Sugarloaf and Corcovado Mountain offer stunning views of the city and harbour below.

Northern Lights, Arctic Circle
A phenomenon shared by multiple countries near the Arctic Circle, the Northern Lights is a spectacle caused when energetic particles collide with the earth’s thermosphere. The result is a striking display of coloured light streaking across the skies. The most popular places to view the Northern Lights are Alaska in the United States, Iceland, Canada, Sweden, Finland, and Norway.

Mount Everest, Nepal
Scaling the world’s tallest peak is not for the faint of heart. For most visitors the hike from Lukla to Everest Base Camp provides more than enough in terms of adventure. The trek takes 9 days, and reaches an elevation of 5380 metres. The weather in this part of the world can be unpredictable, so it’s recommended that visitors to Nepal purchase travel insurance. The cheapest travel insurance is typically available from companies who specialise in adventure travel.

Paricutin Volcano, Mexico
This cinder cone volcano erupted in an explosion of smoke, ash, and lava in 1943. Surrounding towns were destroyed by the high heat and lava that Paricutin spilled. Visitors today can head to the town of Angahuan, which survived the eruption, to view the lava fields and eerie remnants of the towns destroyed underneath it.

Greg is a freelance writer who loves to write travel blog pieces. Visit his blog to see more!

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