Do you have a bucket list, or perhaps a travel list of places and things you want to see before you die? I do. The thing is the list keeps on growing. And growing, and growing (and after putting this article together, that list grew just a little bit more).
In 1997, CNN released a list of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World:
- Grand Canyon
- The Great Barrier Reef
- The Harbor at Rio de Janeiro
- Mount Everest
- Northern Lights
- Paricutin Volcano
- Victoria Falls
The thing is you can’t possibly round it down to seven. Seriously now, seven? I have no idea how CNN accomplished narrowing their list down. However, regardless of how they did it, it gave me an idea: to share my list (and this list) with you, because it is truly a beautiful and wondrous world we live in.
1. Ha Long Bay
Located in the Quang Ninh province of Vietnam, this bay is one incredible sight that runs along the coastline. What makes it so amazing? The thousands of limestone islands, karsts and isles that are completely covered in jungle vegetation.
2. The Great Blue Hole
This incredible underwater sinkhole measures 984 feet across and plunges 394 feet deep. It’s one of the top 10 best scuba diving spots in the world. You’ll find it off the coast of Belize.
3. Salar de Uyuni
From first glance it looks like a huge white ocean, but the truth is this flat is thought to contain over ten billion tons of salt. It’s the largest salt flat in the world and spans 4,086 square miles in southwest Bolivia. As part of the Andes, it is located 11,995 feet above sea level.
4. The Aurora Borealis/Northern Lights
People travel far and wide to Norway, Alaska and Yellowknife to view this magnificent sight! Legend has it that the Northern Lights aka Aurora Borealis occur when the spirits of those who’ve died pass over the heavens while the whistling crackling noise that tends to accompany the lights are the voices of those spirits. The scientific explanation: when highly charged electrons from the solar system meet elements such as oxygen and nitrogen from earth’s atmosphere, various colors burst forth. The color of the lights depend on the individual atoms struck and at which altitude. The dance or shift, flow and movement of the lights is caused by the constant shift of magnetic and electrical forces reacting to each other.
5. Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth in any land mass and has the highest concentration of salt in the world. It’s called “dead” because living creatures and plants are unable to survive thanks to its high salinity and yet it provides all sorts of health properties to those who swim…er float in it.
6. The Blue Grotto
There is an intense blue light that floods this famous cave in Capri, Italy. The brilliant blue color is caused by two tiny holes in the cave wall that are barely visible to those you look for it. If you place your hand underwater it will “glow” mysteriously thanks to the cave conditions and nature of the light.
7. Paria Canyon, Arizona
Paria Canyon spans across Utah and Arizona and just happens to be one of the most unique hiking locations in the southwest. In addition to the amazing natural red sandstone structures, The Wave is an exceptional formation that tourists flock to, thanks to the red streaks and wave patterns.
8. Lac Rose
Lake Retba aka Lac Rose is located in Senegal, just north of the Cap Vert peninsula. As you can tell by the photo and its name, the lake is completely pink! The shade is caused by the Dunaliella salina algae in the water which produces a red pigment that turns the waters a shade of rose. Like the Dead Sea, this lake is full of salt, so those who swim in it float easily.
9. Mount Kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro is the highest free-standing mountain in the world at 19,341 feet above sea level. It is also the highest mountain in Africa and although dormant, this stratovolcano could very well erupt again as the last major eruption occurred between 150,000 and 200,000 years ago.
10. Eye of the Sahara
The Eye of the Sahara aka Richat Structure is located in the Sahara desert of west-central Mauritania. It’s an incredible structure consisting of volcanic rocks, lava flows and carbonatites. Scientists once thought the dome was created by an asteroid impact, but now they say it is a deeply eroded geologic dome. Regardless of the exact cause of this natural wonder, it is certainly an incredible sight to behold!
11. Harbor of Rio De Janeiro
Guanabara Bay aka Harbor of Rio De Janeiro, is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It is the largest bay int the world and is surrounded by the famous Sugar Loaf Mountain, Tijuca hills and Corcovado Peak.
12. Devil’s Marbles
These massive granite boulders can be found scattered in clusters in Australia’s outback near Wauchope in the Northern Territory.
13. Moraine Lake
I’ve always wanted to visit Moraine Lake, a glacially-fed lake located in the Valley of the Ten Peaks just outside the Village of Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada.
14. Travertine Pools at Pamukkale
Pamukkale, Turkey is home to the infamous travertine pools. At first glance these hot springs resemble liquid marble when in fact the formation is caused by the mineral composition of the water. There are 17 hot water springs in this area all ranging from 95 °F to 212 °F. According to history, Cleopatra came to bathe here!
15. The River of Five Colors
Caño Cristales in Columbia is widely known as “The Liquid Rainbow” or The River of Five Colors” thanks to the incredible colors at the bottom of the river. This explosion of color occurs during a short period of time when the plant Macarenia clavigera turns red, joining the green and yellow sand and crystal clear blue waters.
16. Paricutín Volcano
Paricutín is one of the seven natural wonders in the world and is located in Michoacan, Mexico. It is the youngest volcano in America and the reason for being named a “wonder” – its birth was witnessed by a human.
17. Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system. It spans an area of over 344,000 kilometers and consists of 900 islands and over 2,900 individual reefs. The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system. It spans an area of over 344,000 kilometers and consists of 900 islands and over 2,900 individual reefs.
18. Mount Everest
Located in the Himalayas, Mount Everest is the 5th tallest mountain measured from the center of the Earth and the Earth’s highest mountain reaching 29,029 feet above sea level.
19. Moeraki Boulders
Hundreds of jumbo marbles are scattered across the Koekohe beach in New Zealand. Are they dragon eggs? Some prehistoric fossil? They are almost completely spherical and believe it or not they were formed over time with concretion and erosion.
20. Marble Caves, Chile
In the center of Lake General Carrera you will find the incredible Marble Caves with Marble Chapel and Marble Cathedral. It has been estimated that this massive block of marble weighs approximately 5 billion tons and has formed caves, tunnels and caverns thanks to 6,200 years of wave movement.
21. Grand Canyon
It is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and spans 277 miles long, 18 miles wide and has a depth of over 6,000 feet. The Grand Canyon has eroded and formed thanks to the Colorado River cutting its channels through layers of rock over the course of 17 million years.
22. Victoria Falls
Based on width (1.7 km) and height (360 feet), Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall in the world. You’ll find the falls between Zimbabwe and Zambia.
23. Stone Forest
The Yunnan Stone Forest in Shilin, Kunming China was known as the ‘First Wonder of the World’ and were discovered back during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.). Massive stones, caves span across 96,000 acres.
24. Spotted Lake
Osoyoos Lake gets its large spots in the summer months when the water evaporates leaving pools of minerals behind. The “Spotted Lake” is the most mineral-rich lake in the world and is said to have healing powers.
25. Grand Prismatic Spring
No that isn’t a Photoshopped image! The amazing and colorful Rainbow Lake is the largest hot spring in the USA and the third largest in the world. Its vivid colors are caused by the combination of the mineral-rich water, the pigmented bacteria found in the lake and its temperature.
Measuring 14,690 feet high, The Matterhorn is one of the highest peaks in the Alps and the iconic emblem of the Swiss Alps in general.
27. Angel Falls
At 3,212 high, the Angel Falls in Venezuela is the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall.
28. Bryce Canyon
What makes the Bryce Canyon so spectacular? The geological structures called hoodoos that reach up to 200 feet high. They are created and formed by the lake bed sedimentary rocks, stream erosion and frost weathering.
29. Crystal Cave in Bermuda
Loads of stalactites and soda straws meet the most stunning deep azure blue lake in the Crystal Caves on the island of Bermuda.
30. Nile River
The Nile River is the longest river in the world. Located in northern Africa it stretches 4,132 miles and spans 10 countries.
31. Mount McKinley
Denali is the highest mountain peak in North America reaching 20,320 feet above sea level. You’ll find Denali in the Alaska Range.
32. Redwood Forest
You’ll find the tallest and most massive tree species on earth (the coast redwood) in the Redwood National and State Parks in northern California.
33. El Tatio Geysers
Head into the Andes Mountains of northern Chile and you’ll find El Tatio, a geyser field with over 80 geysers.
34. Reed Flute Cave
It’s over 180 million years old, is located in Guilin, Guangxi, China and is filled with stalagmites, stalactites and rock formations. The Reed Flute Cave’s is a natural limestone cave with stunning multicolored lighting.
35. Bay of Fundy
It has the highest tidal range in the world and has over 115 billion tons of water flowing in and out of it each and every day. The Bay of Fundy has the highest tidal range in the world and can be found between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
36. Niagara Falls
It doesn’t matter how many times I visit Niagara Falls, this incredible waterfall never gets old. It’s located between Niagara Falls, Ontario and Niagara Falls, New York. Over 168,000 cubic feat of water flow over the edge of the falls every minute!
37. Uluru/Ayers Rock
Australia’s most recognisable natural landmarks appears to change color during the course of the day with shades from terracotta to flaming red. It stands 1,142 feet high with most of its bulk underground (2,831 feet above sea level).
38. Cascate del Mulino, Saturnia, Maremma
Located outside the town of Saturnia in Tuscany, these hot springs remain 37°C year-round. Their picturesque beauty will leave you breathless!
39. Fox Glacier, New Zealand
Take a trip to Westland Tai Poutini National Park in New Zealand and you’ll spot the 13 km long Fox Glacier that ends among the rainforest. How incredible is that?
40. Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon is essentially 5,500,000 square kilometers of rainforest and is home to the largest collection of animal species and living plants in the entire world.