By Graham Ray
Planet Earth is filled with legions of breathtaking natural sites, but only a few can stake a claim as one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. Though some lists might vary, here is the most common list of the 7 natural wonders of the world.
If you’re an adventurous soul, you can set out for one – or all – of these natural wonders, earning Cashback on your travel bookings through DubLi.
#1 – Mount Everest
The highest peak in the world, Mt. Everest (29,029 ft./8,848 m) runs along the border of Tibet and Nepal. The subject of many books and movies, Everest’s summit was first reach by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tensing Norgay in 1953.
If you don’t want to risk your life and invest tens of thousands trying to climb to the summit, then you can get a great vantage point from afar if you hike to the Rongbuk Monastery.
This is not a short trek at 48 miles, but it is far less strenuous than climbing Everest, and most able-bodied tourists can handle it. You can easily find a local guide in Shigatse who will take you to the monastery for a small fee. The monastery provides stunning views of Mt. Everest, and includes a hostel where you can stay for a night or two before heading back.
#2 – Victoria Falls
For North Americans, Niagara Falls is the holy grail of waterfalls. For comparison, Africa’s stunning Victoria Falls is double the size of Niagara Falls, at more than a mile wide (1,708 m) and 354 feet (108 m) high.
Located in the Zambezi River along the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, the roaring falls can be heard from a distance of nearly 25 miles (40 km). Victoria Falls was likely formed slowly over millions of years, as the Zambezi eroded its way through solid volcanic rock.
The best time to visit Victoria Falls is from February to May, directly after the region’s summer rains, when you’ll see the world’s largest sheet of falling water flowing at its greatest volume.
#3 – Grand Canyon
The only natural wonder on the list located in the United States, the Grand Canyon winds nearly 300 miles long and up to 18 miles wide through Northern Arizona. Some parts of the Grand Canyon reach a depth of more than a mile — 6,093 feet at its deepest.
This enormous geological phenomenon created billions of years ago led to the creation of Grand Canyon National Park, which features scenic overlooks, hikes and rafting up the Colorado River.
#4 – Great Barrier Reef
Perhaps no other aquatic landmark can match the natural beauty of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The reef stretches 1,800 miles along Queensland’s coast, and is actually made up of almost 3,000 individual reefs and 900 islands. The reef is larger than the massive Great Wall of China and is the only living thing on earth visible from space.
The Great Barrier Reef claims the world’s largest collection of coral – over 400 species – and features rays, dolphins, more than 1,500 species of fish. The reef is also a breeding ground for humpback whales and is the habitat for the endangered dugong, a relative of the manatee.
#5 – Northern Lights
A miracle of science, the dancing Northern Lights are actually collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that penetrate the earth’s atmosphere. The Northern Lights are typically seen during winter in high latitude regions; Alaska, Canada and the Scandinavian countries are the places where the most sightings occur.
Aurora Borealis is the name used for the lights in the Northern Hemisphere, while Aurora Australis is the name for the Southern Hemisphere. The remoteness of Antarctica makes the aurora much easier to see in the Northern Hemisphere.
#6 – Parícutin Volcano
Geology lovers can head 200 miles west of Mexico City to check out the now-dormant cinder cone volcano, Parícutin. It is the youngest of the 7 natural wonders, which surged suddenly from the cornfield of local farmer Dionisio Pulido in 1943.
The volcano’s eruption was unique; it presented the first occasion that the formation of a volcano was witnessed from its conception. During the nine-year life span of Parícutin, scientists sketched and mapped it, took samples and thousands of photographs of the volcano.
You can take a guided tour – either on foot or by horse – up to the 1,400-foot-high crater rim of Parícutin, taking in stunning views of the surrounding landscape, including the hardened-lava covered ruins of San Juan Parangaricutiro Church.
#7 – Harbor of Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro is one of the world’s most desirable destinations, and its breathtaking harbor, also known as Guanabara Bay, is a primary reason.
The harbor features a majestic blend of skyscrapers, islands, water, giant granite monoliths and Sugar Loaf Mountain. The world-famous Copacabana Beach – acclaimed to host some of the most beautiful people in the world – rings the harbor.
Perhaps the best view of the bay is from atop Corcovado Mountain (2,310 ft/704 m), home to the famous Christ the Redeemer statue that overlooks the harbor.
Carnival – known as the world’s biggest festival, is one of the events that shape Rio’s tourist identity. Additionally, Rio has been an epicenter of international sports lately, boasting record tourist numbers at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final, and hosting the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics.
So there you have it, the breath-taking 7 natural wonders of the world! If you’re looking for your next adventure, let DubLi help you find great deals on all your travel bookings and accommodations!