Have you been looking for the ultimate trip of a lifetime to really blow all your other travels out of the water? While some people want to do something a bit challenging like climbing one of the seven peaks or sailing around the world, a far more achievable dream for most is to visit one – if not all! – of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. We’ve all heard about the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, but what are the natural ones and how can you visit them all? Have a look through this short guide to the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and start planning that trip to check them out through Justfly so you can save yourself a bundle on flights.
Rio Harbour – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Also known as Guanabara Bay, the Rio Harbour is one of the most impressive natural wonders of the world. Holding the record as being the world’s largest bay by volume of water, it’s visible from surrounding viewpoints such as Sugarloaf Mountain and the Christ The Redeemer statue (which is a New Wonder of the World itself if you want to kill two birds with one stone!).
Getting to it: Fly into Rio International Airport, which is actually located on an island in the bay itself. To experience the bay in its full glory, consider taking one of a number of ferries from one side to the other, or catch a taxi and drive across the bridge that connects both sides without having to go the long way around.
Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s most iconic and important regions of biodiversity. It holds the record of also being the world’s largest coral reef system and is home to almost three thousand individual reefs and nine hundred islands. It’s considered to be the icon of Australia’s state of Queensland and is visited by hundreds of thousands of locals and tourists a year. The quality of corals and sea life is phenomenal, and numerous species of fish are found only in this one reef system.
Getting to it: Fly into Brisbane or Sydney if coming from outside Australia. If you’re already Down Under, fly to Cairns and from there you can book a number of great excursions out to the reef.
Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA
One of the most beautiful sites in the United States, the Grand Canyon attracts visitors from around the world to marvel at its sheer size and depth. Formed over millions of years by the Colorado River slowly wearing down the rock, showcasing impressive history of the land from a geological standpoint through different layers of sediment. Today the Canyon is one of the premier tourist attractions in the world, with over five million visitors annually. While it may seem that the only thing to do at the Canyon is to look at it, visitors can go on helicopter tours, white water rafting, hiking and other adventurous excursions in the area.
Getting to it: Fly into either Las Vegas or Phoenix and either drive or catch one of the regular tours that head out to the area. If you prefer to spend a few days exploring, consider renting a campervan and staying a few days in the Grand Canyon National Park.
Aurora Borealis, Various
One of the world’s most beautiful phenomena, the Aurora Borealis – often called the Northern Lights – are one of those things that many want to witness at least once in their lifetimes. Created through powerful solar winds bouncing off the Earth’s atmosphere, these delicate, dancing lights usually appear in northern countries in the winter and shoulder seasons. The countries that are fortunate enough to have these impressive light displays include Canada, Iceland, the Scandinavian countries and parts of Russia.
Getting there: It depends which country tickles your fancy really, but Scandinavia and Iceland are both places with fantastic tourist infrastructure regarding the Aurora Borealis. To be more assured a chance of seeing them in Canada, you’d have to go quite north to the likes of Iqaluit, Yellowknife or Whitehorse where there is little else to do in terms of tourism.
Victoria Falls, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls is one of the most impressive and beautiful waterfalls on the planet. While it’s not the tallest waterfall on Earth, it’s considered to be the largest when taking height and width into consideration, both of which mean it has the world’s largest concentration of water that falls over the ridge. Thrill seekers are known to sneak to the edge of the falls to sit in what’s referred to as ‘Devil’s Pool’, a small rocky dip with light current that allows visitors to get right up to the edge.
Getting there: Fly into either Lusaka (Zambia) or Harare (Zimbabwe) and book a trip through a reputable travel agent or your hotel. Zambia has considerably more infrastructure in terms of tourism, but for the adventure-seeker, Zimbabwe will prove enthralling and a bit of a challenge.
Paricutin, Michoacan, Mexico
For those who love geology and volcanology, the Paricutin volcano in Michoacan, Mexico is the ultimate destination. Formed in 1948 after a fissure opened in a farmer’s cornfield, the volcano proceeded to erupt consistently over a period of several years, decimating around two hundred kilometers around it with ash and molten lava. The result is several volcanically preserved villages – or what remains of them – and a dormant volcanic cone that visitors love to climb.
Getting there: Fly into Mexico city and make your way to Uruapan, about three hundred kilometers west. You can climb the volcano by asking around in the village, with many local guides being available. You can also stay overnight at one of the local lodges for a small fee.
Mount Everest, Nepal and China
Probably the most well known mountain in the world for climbing, Everest is notorious for being one of the most deadly and most difficult. Many have attempted the ascent over the years, but these days with more adventure companies offering the opportunity to attempt the summit, it’s become far easier and safer. Check out any of the adventure companies such as Everest Expedition to explore options and pricing. Not ready to try the summit? You can always opt for a base camp trek, which takes you to Everest Base Camp – a challenge enough for many!
Getting there: Most people fly into Kathmandu, Nepal and organise a trek from there. There’s also the Chinese side of Everest, but the Nepalese side has far more options in terms of treks and companies to go with as well as better infrastructure in place for those who want to give the world’s tallest mountain a whirl.
So if you’re looking for something new and exciting, consider travelling to or around the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. With so many interesting options, the only question you will have is ‘where to start’?