Natural world wonders are some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring powers of nature on the planet. If you’re searching for the very best natural world wonders, this list gives helpful information with stunning pictures.
What are the top 12 natural world wonders?
- Norwegian Fjords, Western Norway
- Grand Canyon National Park, United States (Arizona)
- Victoria Falls, Zambia
- The Swiss Alps, Switzerland
- Galápagos Islands, Ecuador (Pacific Ocean)
- Icelandic Landscape, Iceland
- Great Barrier Reef, Australia
- Mount Everest, Nepal/China (Himalayas)
- Milford Sound, New Zealand
- Niagara Falls, Canada/United States (Ontario/New York border)
- Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
- Ring of Kerry, Ireland
Beautiful Norway is located in the northwestern corner of Europe. Breathtaking fjords are scattered along the entire western coastline of the country. The air is crystal clean, pure, and still. It’s so gorgeous that it almost looks fake. Is this for real??
What are Norwegian fjords? Fjords are skinny passages of water that extend from the ocean into the coastal mountains. They swerve in and out like long fingers of water. Fjords fall between steep dramatic mountains on 3 sides. Water melts from glaciers or snowy peaks and runs down into the fjords, flowing back out to the ocean.
Some of the best Norwegian fjords to visit include:
- Lysefjorden – This is probably the most famous fjord you often see in pictures of Norway. It includes a massively tall and flat rock called Preikestolen (The Pulpit Rock, in English). It’s almost 2,000 feet high! The views are out of this world.
- Geiranger Fjord – This fjord is packed with more beauty than you can imagine. It’s officially declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There’s a cozy tourist village and a magical waterfall called The Seven Sisters in the area.
- Nærøyfjord – This is definitely one of the most exquisite fjords in all of Norway. It’s also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The area gives mind-blowingly beautiful photos, even for amateur photographers. If you can imagine what heaven on Earth looks like, this is pretty much it.
What to wear to the Norwegian fjords: Definitely pack sweaters, winter coats, hats, scarves, gloves, and warm shoes. In the winter, the average high temperature runs around 39 degrees Fahrenheit. In the peak of summer, the high is around 67 degrees. Night time ranges from the 30’s – 40’s all year round, so pack warm!
Grand Canyon National Park
Where is the Grand Canyon? It’s located in the United States in the state of Arizona. The Colorado River runs through it.
How did the Grand Canyon form? Lava flowed from volcanoes across the path of the Colorado River. As lava cooled, it turned into a softer kind of volcanic rock that the river carved through. It took many years for a deep canyon to form as layers of rock gradually washed away.
Which Grand Canyon rim is the best?
- The South Rim – This is the most famous rim that everyone takes pictures of. It’s the most popular part of the park. If you have kids, this is definitely your best bet since there are things for them to do. You’ll also be more comfortable with better lodging and restaurant choices.
- The West Rim – This rim is the closest point to Las Vegas (128 miles away). People who visit say that staying at the ranch makes the trip worthwhile. You can walk through a skywalk made of glass that lets you view the canyon directly under your feet!
- The North Rim – Over 8,000 feet in elevation, this side is closed in the winter due to snow. It’s difficult to find nice places to stay on this side (there’s one historic lodge and a campground). But if you prefer difficult hikes and the great outdoors, this might be for you.
- The East Rim – This rim is absolutely gorgeous. If you want to get away from the flood of tourists, this might be a better choice. If you don’t mind a long drive, you’ll be rewarded with deep blues and blood red colors along the river through smaller, more intimate canyons.
Victoria Falls is located in Zimbabwe, which is in the lower half of Africa. It’s famous for being the largest waterfall in the world. It’s also known to have a lot of rainbows.
What to do in Victoria Falls:
- Victoria Falls National Park is the most popular attraction around the falls. You can see all kinds of exotic animals through a safari or on foot. The roaring mist from the falls is energizing and exhilarating to breathe in. Tourists love getting wet from the crashing falls.
- Sunset Cruises – You can take a dinner cruise along the Zambezi River as you enjoy the golden sunset.
- Livingstone Island Tour – This exclusive protected area is available to smaller groups with reservations. You’ll experience an amazing speedboat ride on the Zambezi River followed by a daring visit to the Devil’s Pool. You can bathe at the top of the drop as you look over the edge of the falls. Incredible! (Note: Devil’s Pool is only open for a few months per year when the falls slow down, for safety reasons–be sure to check correct dates.)
What is the best month to visit Victoria Falls?
- If you want to see rainbows and the greatest volume of water pour down the falls, then the best months to visit Victoria Falls run approximately from April through June (seasons may vary).
- If you’d rather have less fog and crashing mist around you, you’ll see the falls better during the peak season that runs around July through September (seasons may vary).
- If you want to swim to the top of the falls and visit the Devil’s Pool, it’s only open from approximately September to December (check with your tour guide for correct dates). Water levels are at their lowest and the falls are not as magnificent. Be warned that the weather can be uncomfortably hot during this time.
- The falls generally have a medium flow of water around January and February, which some people prefer for clearer photos.
- (All dates above are approximate: check with local authorities to verify. The flow rate of the falls changes year to year and cannot be exactly predicted).
The Swiss Alps
Where are the Swiss Alps? The Swiss Alps are located in the heart of Europe in the small country of Switzerland. They run along the southern portion of the country, making up about a third of the landscape.
The entire region looks like something out of a magical fairy tale. Crystal blue lakes, dramatic snow-capped peaks, and rolling green hills all set the stage for an otherworldy vacation. If you want to get away from it all and unwind, this is a dream destination.
Here are some of the best places to visit for a Swiss Alps vacation:
- Highest Railway in Europe, Jungfraubahn – For a scenic and exciting trip up into the Swiss Alps, catch a ride on this train and enjoy the view. It takes you up through some of the most breathtaking heights where the mountains are viewed in all their glory. You’ll arrive at a futuristic building, called the Top of Europe, where you can dine, walk the glacier, shop, and visit an ice palace. It’s amazing. Dress warm!
- Zermatt – This is a gorgeous little town at the top of the Swiss Alps, just at the base of the famous Matterhorn mountain. The entire town has a car-free policy to prevent air pollution. The air is crystal clear, all while maintaining the luxurious comforts and high standards of excellent restaurants, hotels, and activities. This is an oasis for skiers.
- Interlaken – This beautiful town lies at the base of the Swiss Alps. It has wondrous views of the mind-blowing mountains above. Radiant turquoise lakes line the entire region. It’s a great place to stay if you want to set a home base for exploring the alps.
The Gálapagos Islands are part of Ecuador in South America. They’re located just over 600 miles west from the mainland of Ecuador. If you want to see how animals likely lived in ancient times, without the disturbance of man, this is the natural world wonder to visit.
The best Gálapagos Islands to visit are:
- Santa Cruz Island – If you’re looking for luxury accommodations, some civilization, and gorgeous scenery, this is your island.
- Bartolomé Island – For the best pictures of the Gálapagos Islands in their pristine and natural state of beauty, this where to go.
- Fernandina and Isabela Islands – If you want to see penguins, these 2 islands are probably your best bet. There are penguins on Bartolomé as well.
What Gálapagos Islands are inhabited?
|ISLAND||POPULATION (estimated 2020)|
|Santa Cruz Island||12,000 people|
|San Cristóbal Island||6,000 people|
|Isabela Island||2,000 people|
|Floreana Island||100 people|
|Baltra Island||(only personnel from the military of Ecuador)|
Iceland is an island nation in the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean. Settlers named the country “Iceland” to prevent tourists from crowding it and spoiling their land. They gave Greenland its name to make it appear warmer and more attractive to tourists, even though it’s a lot colder than Iceland! Iceland’s pristine beauty is still preserved today.
Iceland is so clean, you can drink the tap water out of any faucet. They actually bottle and sell it around the world for a high price!
Iceland is famous for the northern lights. On cold still nights, you can see a glowing show of dancing aurora in the sky, full of electric neon colors. They’re one of the most stunning natural world wonders in the world.
One of the best things to do in Iceland is visit the natural geothermal hot springs. You can bathe in huge lakes of water that’s as warm and cozy as a jacuzzi. The water is full of all kinds of minerals that are relaxing and good for the body. The very best geothermal spa to visit is called The Blue Lagoon, in Reykjavik. I’ve been there and it’s my favorite place in the world!
Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is located in the Coral Sea, just off the northeast coast of Australia. It’s the largest natural coral reef in the world.
This natural world wonder is known to host an amazingly diverse range of aquatic creatures. If you’re brave enough to go in the water, you can see all kinds of rainbow fish, nautili, manta rays, whales, sea cucumbers, turtles, and sharks.
Mount Everest is the tallest mountain on the planet and one of the most feared natural world wonders. It’s located in the Himalaya Mountains on the border of China and Nepal. Some people try to climb to the top, but many have died trying. It’s much harder than it looks! Surprisingly, going down the mountain is more dangerous than going up it.
The air is so thin at the top of the mountain that most people require supplemental oxygen in order to breathe. It’s also necessary to wear powerful eye protection near the top. The Sun is so strong at this elevation that it can burn the cornea of the naked eye in a short amount of time. This phenomena is called snow blindness.
Mount Everest was named after George Everest. He was born in Wales and became the Surveyor General of India. He actually didn’t want the mountain named after him, but reluctantly agreed.
Milford Sound is a gorgeous natural world wonder that’s located in southwest New Zealand. It’s tucked away in Fiorland National Park.
Gushing waterfalls crash down the sides of steep mountains. Boat tours run across the virginal blue waters. It’s truly a sight to behold. And therapy for the soul.
Milford sound is full of life, rich natural greens, expressive blues, and an energy of stillness that inspires peace. If you’re looking for the place to take in nature at its finest, this will definitely do the trick. You can ride in the boat or kayak down the river yourself.
This is a place you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Nature doesn’t get much more beautiful than this.
Niagara Falls is located on the border of New York state and Ontario, Canada. The Niagara River runs through it and drains into Lake Ontario.
Niagara Falls is one of the most powerful and exciting natural world wonders. The waters fall about 70 feet down. If you want to get right in the action, take the boat ride that goes down to where the water hits. They’ll give you a disposable plastic jacket to wear because everyone gets sprayed from the mist. It’s so much fun to feel alive!
If you don’t want to get wet, you can take the adventurous journey that leads you through tunnels behind the falls. You can see what it looks like from inside the rock, behind the water. It’s quite a captivating and humbling experience, one you’ll never forget.
Plitvice Lakes National Park
Plitvice Lakes National Park is located in Croatia. Even though you’re in Europe, the waters look like the blue Caribbean Sea.
This natural world wonder is full of lakes that cascade into each other. You can see many different shades of blue as a result of the various minerals and microorganisms in the water.
There are waterfalls in the park that are wonderful just to listen to. You can tour the grounds on paths at your own leisure. The walkways are exciting and swerve through tall plants, trees, jungles, and even have wooden pathways running right through the falls themselves. It feels like you’re in an Indiana Jones adventure. This place puts people in a good mood.
Ring of Kerry
The Ring of Kerry is located in southwestern Ireland. It’s arguably the most beautiful region in the country. The landscape is full of rolling green hills, pastures, puffy white clouds, sheep, blue skies, rainbows, and lakes.
There’s a convenient road in the shape of a ring that takes you on a country drive through breathtaking scenery. Just remember that they drive on the left-hand side of the road! The Ring of Kerry is a photographer’s dream come true.
The Ring of Kerry is a natural world wonder that’s hard to compete with. It’s rare to find such soft and spacious beauty anywhere else in the world. This is probably the best road trip anyone can take on Earth. You can stop anywhere on the ring and be surrounded by gorgeous nature as far as the eye can see. There’s never a dull moment on the drive. Amazing!
These 12 natural world wonders are some of the most beautiful and inspiring places on the planet. They fill the body, mind, and soul with nature and give the best vacation memories ever.
Hopefully you found this article of natural world wonders with pictures and information helpful.
Planet Earth is amazing. We just need to get out of the house and breathe a little. There’s so much to see out there! Carpe diem.
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