Published on June 22nd, 2021
National Geographic had published a special Edition titled 100 Places That Will Change Your Life in 2016. We have picked 80 places from the list. How many of these places have your visited?
1. Qufu, China
Qufu is a city in China’s Shandong province, once the capital of Lu State (1042–249 B.C.). It’s known for being the hometown of Confucius, born nearby in 551 B.C., and for sites associated with the Chinese philosopher. The Kong Miao (Confucius Temple) was established in 478 B.C., with the current sprawling complex mostly dating from the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Widely considered the gastronomic capital of Mexico, Oaxaca is best known for its seven classic varieties of mole, a thick, complex sauce served with meat and rice. Don’t miss tlayudas, Oaxaca’s version of a pizza: an enormous fried tortilla covered in lard, beans, lettuce, avocado, meat and cheese.
It is the municipal seat for the surrounding Municipality of Oaxaca. It is in the Centro District in the Central Valleys region of the state, in the foothills of the Sierra Madre at the base of the Cerro del Fortín, extending to the banks of the Atoyac River. Heritage tourism makes up an important part of the city’s economy, and it has numerous colonial-era structures as well as significant archeological sites and elements of the continuing native Zapotec and Mixtec cultures.
3. Loire Valley, France
The Loire Valley is famous for its world-class wines. The Valley is laced with vineyards all the way from Sancerre to the ocean, and it offers wines ranging from to suit every palate from sparkling vouvrays to vibrant sancerres. Lots of the vineyards offer public tours of their vines and cellars as well as tastings.
The Loire Valley, spanning 280 kilometres, is a valley located in the middle stretch of the Loire river in central France, in both the administrative regions Pays de la Loire and Centre-Val de Loire. The area of the Loire Valley comprises about 800 square kilometres.
4. Jerusalem, Israel
Jerusalem is a city in Western Asia, on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, and is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority claim Jerusalem as their capital, as Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there and the State of Palestine ultimately foresees it as its seat of power. Neither claim, however, is widely recognized internationally.
5. Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a rugged, rainforested Central American country with coastlines on the Caribbean and Pacific. Though its capital, San Jose, is home to cultural institutions like the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, Costa Rica is known for its beaches, volcanoes, and biodiversity. Roughly a quarter of its area is made up of protected jungle, teeming with wildlife including spider monkeys and quetzal birds.
6. Hay Festival
One of the world’s biggest and best literary festivals happens every year in late spring in the little borders town of Hay on Wye. Between sessions, visitors can relax in deckchairs on the village green, browse the stalls and visit a festival bookshop which stocks 55,000 titles by visiting speakers.
The Hay Festival of Literature & Arts, better known as the Hay Festival, is an annual literature festival held in Hay-on-Wye, Powys, Wales, for ten days from May to June. Devised by Norman, Rhoda and Peter Florence in 1988, the festival was described by Bill Clinton in 2001 as “The Woodstock of the mind”.
7. Brooklin, Maine
Brooklin is a town in Hancock County, Maine, United States. The population was 824 at the 2010 census. It is home to WoodenBoat Magazine, Atlantic Boat Company, Brooklin Boat Yard, and numerous boatbuilders, artists, writers, musicians, and potters.
It is a town in Hancock County, incorporated on June 9, 1849, under the name of Port Watson, from a portion of land set off from the town of Sedgwick. On July 23rd of the same year, its name was changed to Brooklin, named for the brook which formed the line (“brook line”) between the new town and Sedgwick.
8. Missouri River
The Missouri River is the longest river in North America. Rising in the Rocky Mountains of western Montana, the Missouri flows east and south for 2,341 miles (3,767 km) before entering the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, Missouri. The river drains a sparsely populated, semi-arid watershed of more than 500,000 square miles (1,300,000 km2), which includes parts of ten U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. Although nominally considered a tributary of the Mississippi, the Missouri River above the confluence is much longer and carries a comparable volume of water. When combined with the lower Mississippi River, it forms the world’s fourth longest river system.
9. Neptune Islands, South Australia
The Neptune Islands consist of two groups of islands located close to the entrance to Spencer Gulf in South Australia. They are well known as a venue for great white shark tourism.
The Neptune Islands consists of two groups of islands, the North Neptune Islands and the South Neptune Islands. These both sit on the southern aspect of the Australasian continental shelf separated by a distance of 9 km (5.6 mi). The North Neptune Islands which are 27.8 km (17.3 mi) south south-east from the mainland at Cape Catastrophe, consist of a large island of 49 m (161 ft) height and a small islet of 29 m (95 ft) height located 300 m (980 ft) from the main island’s north-east point with a combined area of 2.43 km2 (0.94 sq mi).
10. Death Valley National Park, CA
Death Valley, structural depression primarily in Inyo county, southeastern California, U.S. It is the lowest, hottest, and driest portion of the North American continent. Death Valley is about 140 miles (225 km) long, trends roughly north-south, and is from 5 to 15 miles (8 to 24 km) wide.
The largest national park south of Alaska, Death Valley is known for extremes: It is North America’s driest and hottest spot (with fewer than two inches/five centimeters of rainfall annually and a record high of 134°F), and has the lowest elevation on the continent—282 feet below sea level.
Cuba is famous for its cigars, its rum made from sugar cane, its ladies, Salsa and other Cuban dance styles, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, 1950s-era cars, Spanish-colonial architecture, Cuban National Ballet, Buena Vista Social Club and Guantanamo Bay.
Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba, is a country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. Cuba is located where the northern Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and Atlantic Ocean meet.
Norway is known as the Land of the Midnight Sun. It is famous for its phenomenal fjords, lakes and magical skies. Norway is also famous for its languages, Vikings and folklore, being eco-friendly, and oil production. Also, many inhabitants of Norway are renowned ski fanatics, frozen pizza lovers, and Tesla drivers!
Norway is a Scandinavian country encompassing mountains, glaciers and deep coastal fjords. Oslo, the capital, is a city of green spaces and museums. Preserved 9th-century Viking ships are displayed at Oslo’s Viking Ship Museum. Bergen, with colorful wooden houses, is the starting point for cruises to the dramatic Sognefjord. Norway is also known for fishing, hiking and skiing, notably at Lillehammer’s Olympic resort.
Florence, capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, is home to many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture. One of its most iconic sights is the Duomo, a cathedral with a terracotta-tiled dome engineered by Brunelleschi and a bell tower by Giotto. The Galleria dell’Accademia displays Michelangelo’s “David” sculpture. The Uffizi Gallery exhibits Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” and da Vinci’s “Annunciation.”
The city is noted for its culture, Renaissance art and architecture and monuments. The city also contains numerous museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Pitti, and still exerts an influence in the fields of art, culture and politics.
14. Cape Town
Cape Town is a port city on South Africa’s southwest coast, on a peninsula beneath the imposing Table Mountain. Slowly rotating cable cars climb to the mountain’s flat top, from which there are sweeping views of the city, the busy harbor and boats heading for Robben Island, the notorious prison that once held Nelson Mandela, which is now a living museum.
The city is known for its harbour, for its natural setting in the Cape Floristic Region, and for landmarks such as Table Mountain and Cape Point. Until the Witwatersrand Gold Rush and the development of Johannesburg, Cape Town was the largest city in South Africa.
15. Mendoza, Argentina
Mendoza is a city in Argentina’s Cuyo region and the heart of Argentina’s wine country, famed for Malbecs and other red wines. Its many bodegas (wineries) offer tastings and tours. The city has wide, leafy streets lined with modern and art deco buildings, and smaller plazas surrounding Plaza Independencia, site of subterranean Museo Municipal de Arte Moderno, displaying modern and contemporary art.
Mendoza, Argentina, is a cosmopolitan city known for its tree-lined streets, sunny climate, Malbec wine and world-class restaurants and spas.
16. Roman Forum, Rome, Italy
The Roman Forum, also known by its Latin name Forum Romanum (Italian: Foro Romano), is a rectangular forum (plaza) surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum.
Roman Forum, Latin Forum Romanum, most important forum in ancient Rome, situated on low ground between the Palatine and Capitoline hills. The Roman Forum was the scene of public meetings, law courts, and gladiatorial combats in republican times and was lined with shops and open-air markets.
17. Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky’s largest city, sits on the Ohio River along the Indiana border. Every May, its race course Churchill Downs hosts the Kentucky Derby, a renowned horse race whose long history is explored at the Kentucky Derby Museum. Baseball is celebrated at the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, where Major League bats are produced and a giant baseball “slugger” marks the entrance.
Today, the city is known as the home of boxer Muhammad Ali, the Kentucky Derby, KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken), the University of Louisville and its Cardinals, Louisville Slugger baseball bats, and three of Kentucky’s six Fortune 500 companies: Humana, Kindred Healthcare, and Yum!
Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George’s Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth.
The geography of Ireland comprises relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain, with several navigable rivers extending inland. Its lush vegetation is a product of its mild but changeable climate which is free of extremes in temperature. Much of Ireland was woodland until the end of the Middle Ages.
19. North Carolina
North Carolina is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States. North Carolina is the 28th largest and 9th-most populous of the 50 United States. It is bordered by Virginia to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Georgia and South Carolina to the south, and Tennessee to the west.
North Carolina is an alluring destination year-round with its diverse landscapes, historic sights and thriving arts and culture. Its mountain ranges offer a majestic setting for skiing, horseback riding and hiking while its Atlantic coastline entices visitors to relax on its spectacular beaches or enjoy an ample range of activities like fishing, surfing and kayaking.
20. Kerala, India
Kerala, a state on India’s tropical Malabar Coast, has nearly 600km of Arabian Sea shoreline. It’s known for its palm-lined beaches and backwaters, a network of canals. Inland are the Western Ghats, mountains whose slopes support tea, coffee and spice plantations as well as wildlife. National parks like Eravikulam and Periyar, plus Wayanad and other sanctuaries, are home to elephants, langur monkeys and tigers.
Kerala is one of the prominent tourist destinations of India, with coconut-lined sandy beaches, backwaters, hill stations, Ayurvedic tourism and tropical greenery as its major attractions.
21. Glasgow, Scotland
Glasgow is a port city on the River Clyde in Scotland’s western Lowlands. It’s famed for its Victorian and art nouveau architecture, a rich legacy of the city’s 18th–20th-century prosperity due to trade and shipbuilding. Today it’s a national cultural hub, home to institutions including the Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet and National Theatre of Scotland, as well as acclaimed museums and a thriving music scene.
Glasgow hosted the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the first European Championships in 2018; and is also well known in the sporting world for football (particularly the Old Firm rivalry between Celtic and Rangers), rugby, athletics, tennis, golf and swimming.
Antarctica, the southernmost continent and site of the South Pole, is a virtually uninhabited, ice-covered landmass. Most cruises to the continent visit the Antarctic Peninsula, which stretches toward South America. It’s known for the Lemaire Channel and Paradise Harbor, striking, iceberg-flanked passageways, and Port Lockroy, a former British research station turned museum. The peninsula’s isolated terrain also shelters rich wildlife, including many penguins.
23. Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon is in the northwest corner of Arizona, close to the borders of Utah and Nevada. The Colorado River, which flows through the canyon, drains water from seven states, but the feature we know as Grand Canyon is entirely in Arizona.
The Grand Canyon was carved over some 6 million years.
Geological activity and erosion by the Colorado River created the Grand Canyon as we know it today. It is one of the most studied landscapes in the world, with extensive fossil records, a multitude of geologic features and rich archeological history.
24. Lapland, Sweden
Lappland, often anglicised as Lapland, is a province in northernmost Sweden. It borders Jämtland, Ångermanland, Västerbotten, Norrbotten, Norway and Finland. Nearly a quarter of Sweden’s land area is in Lappland. Lappland originally extended eastward.
Lappland originally extended eastward. However, in 1809 the Russian Empire annexed the eastern part of Sweden, and created the Grand Duchy of Finland, which in effect split Lappland into a Swedish part and a Finnish part, both of which still exist today.
Peru is a country in South America that’s home to a section of Amazon rainforest and Machu Picchu, an ancient Incan city high in the Andes mountains. The region around Machu Picchu, including the Sacred Valley, Inca Trail and colonial city of Cusco, is rich in archaeological sites. On Peru’s arid Pacific coast is Lima, the capital, with a preserved colonial center and important collections of pre-Columbian art.
Peru is well known for its beautiful beaches, and it is no secret that this is a destination surfers will not want to miss. Top surfing spots are the beaches of Herradura, Costa Verde, and Punta Rocas – all located to the south of Lima, Peru’s Capital.
26. Atlas Mountains, Morocco
The Atlas Mountains are a terrific location for trekkers who want to take in different sights. Nature is the true attraction here. You will find remote valleys, windswept canyons and mighty peaks that offer jaw-dropping views.
The Atlas Mountains are a mountain range in the Maghreb. It separates the Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines from the Sahara Desert. It stretches around 2,500 km (1,600 mi) through Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. The range’s highest peak is Toubkal, which is in central Morocco, with an elevation of 4,167 metres (13,671 ft). The Atlas mountains are primarily inhabited by Berber populations. The terms for ‘mountain’ are adrar and adras in some Berber languages.
27. British Columbia & the Canadian Rockies
Shimmering glaciers and vibrant lakes, limestone caves and craggy peaks, alpine meadows and dense forest—the vast landscape of the Canadian Rockies is a treasury of scenic splendor.
The Rocky Mountains begin in Canada and are part of what’s known as the Canadian Cordillera which includes mountain ranges located from Canada’s Prairie Provinces westward to the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Portions of the Canadian Rockies can be found in Alberta as well as British Columbia.
28. Wind Cave National Park
Wind Cave is a very unique type of cave. However, if you’ve seen a few stalagmites and stalactites in your day and you’re looking for some unique cave features, then Wind Cave is definitely worth a tour. It is famous, and thus given the National Park designation, because of its unique boxwork found throughout the Cave.
29. Pembrokeshire, Wales
Rated by National Geographic magazine experts as the second best coastline in the World. With 186 miles of magnificent and varied coastline and over 50 beaches, there’s plenty of space for everyone.
Pembroke is famous as the birthplace of the Tudor Dynasty. In 1447 Jasper Tudor (half brother to Henry IV) was appointed Earl of Pembroke and into his care was sent his 13 year old sister-in-law Margaret Beaufort who gave birth to a son in Pembroke Castle, a son destined to become King Henry VII.
30. New River Gorge, West Virginia
The New River Gorge National Park and Preserve is a unit of the United States National Park Service (NPS) designed to protect and maintain the New River Gorge in southern West Virginia in the Appalachian Mountains. Established in 1978 as a national river, the NPS-protected area stretches for 53 miles (85 km) from just downstream of Hinton to Hawks Nest State Park near Ansted. The park was officially named America’s 63rd national park, the U.S. government’s highest form of protection, during the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the relief bill.
The park is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities. New River Gorge is home to some of the country’s best whitewater rafting, mainly from the Cunard put-in to the Fayette Station take-out, and is also one of the most popular climbing areas on the East Coast.
31. St. Andrews, Scotland
As a 600-year-old institution, it’s no surprise that the University of St Andrews is known across the globe as a world leader in education. Our consistently high rankings in both national and global league tables place us within the top 100 world universities.
Packed with history, tradition and scenic views – St Andrews is a real Scottish gem. This small city is set on the coast of Fife to the northeast of Edinburgh. It’s only an hour away from Edinburgh so you could easily take a day trip, but it’s worth taking your time.
32. Ciudad Perdida, Colombia
Ciudad Perdida (Spanish for “Lost City”) is the archaeological site of an ancient city in Colombia’s Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. It is believed to have been founded about 800 CE, some 650 years earlier than Machu Picchu. This location is also known as “Teyuna” and “Buritaca 200”.
Ciudad Perdida consists of a series of 169 terraces carved into the mountainside, a net of tiled roads and several small circular plazas. The entrance can only be accessed by a climb up some 1,200 stone steps through dense jungle.
33. White Mountains, New Hampshire
The White Mountains are a mountain range covering about a quarter of the state of New Hampshire and a small portion of western Maine in the United States. They are part of the northern Appalachian Mountains and the most rugged mountains in New England.
Pleasures and fun abound year-round in cozy hotels and resorts, great food, snowy mountain trails and pristine lakes. … The vistas from aerial tramways, valley & mountain railroads and the famous Mt. Washington Auto Road will take you to the top of the world.
34. Sossusvlei, Namibia
Sossusvlei is a salt and clay pan surrounded by high red dunes, located in the southern part of the Namib Desert, in the Namib-Naukluft National Park of Namibia. The name “Sossusvlei” is often used in an extended meaning to refer to the surrounding area, which is one of the major visitor attractions of Namibia.
Sossusvlei, famous for its huge red sand dunes, is one of Namibia’s iconic destinations. The vlei, or pan, is found in the heart of the Namib-Naukluft National Park. This is one of Africa’s largest parks and incorporates the dunes, river courses and mountains of the Namib desert said to be the world’s oldest.
35. Queensland, Australia
Queensland is an Australian state covering the continent’s northeast, with a coastline stretching nearly 7,000km. Its offshore Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system, hosts thousands of marine species. The city of Cairns is a gateway to the reef and tropical Daintree Rainforest. The capital, Brisbane, is flanked by the surfing beaches of the Gold and Sunshine Coasts.
Queensland is Australia’s second largest state. Queensland is famous for its pristine beaches and tropical islands. Over 200 national parks cover more than 6.5 hectares across the state, plus there are lush mountainous rainforests, bushlands and creeks and flat table lands perfect for farming.
Istanbul is a major city in Turkey that straddles Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait. Its Old City reflects cultural influences of the many empires that once ruled here. In the Sultanahmet district, the open-air, Roman-era Hippodrome was for centuries the site of chariot races, and Egyptian obelisks also remain. The iconic Byzantine Hagia Sophia features a soaring 6th-century dome and rare Christian mosaics.
Istanbul, Turkish İstanbul, formerly Constantinople, ancient Byzantium, largest city and principal seaport of Turkey. It was the capital of both the Byzantine Empire and the Ottoman Empire.
37. Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, generally known as the Appalachian Trail or simply the A.T., is a marked hiking trail in the Eastern United States extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine.
The trail is about 2,200 miles (3,500 km) long, though the exact length changes over time as parts are rerouted or modified. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy describes the Appalachian Trail as the longest hiking-only trail in the world. More than 2 million people are said to take a hike on part of the trail at least once each year.
Thru-hikers attempt to hike the trail in its entirety in a single season. The number of thru-hikes per year has increased steadily, with 715 northbound and 133 southbound thru-hikes reported for 2017.
38. Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications that were built across the historical northern borders of ancient Chinese states and Imperial China as protection against various nomadic groups from the Eurasian Steppe.
The Great Wall extends about 7,300 kilometers (4,500 miles) from the Shanhai Pass on the east coast to the Jiayu Pass in modern Gansu province. Below is a map showing the Great Wall’s starting point at the Shanhai Pass in the east and its ending point at the Jiayu Pass in the west.
39. The Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Visitors to the massive spa complex may not even see the nearby power plant, much less realize that it is the source of the Blue Lagoon magic. … The warm waters are rich in minerals like silica and sulfur and bathing in the Blue Lagoon is reputed to help some people suffering from skin diseases such as psoriasis.
Pools and hot tubs often serve as a hub of social activity in Iceland, and while the Blue Lagoon may not provide that every time, it’s a good place to get started. It’s worth the trip for the opportunity to take in the natural beauty of Iceland: in its waters, its views and way of life.
40. The Dolomites, Italy
The Dolomites, also known as the Dolomite Mountains, Dolomite Alps or Dolomitic Alps, are a mountain range located in northeastern Italy. They form part of the Southern Limestone Alps and extend from the River Adige in the west to the Piave Valley in the east.
Some tourists prefer to travel to the Dolomites during the summer, between May and September, when the weather is pleasantly warm and the mountains lively and colorful. Early spring, when crocuses, Alpine snowdrops and scented bushes of Daphne bloom through the melting snow, is equally beautiful.
The Dolomites are renowned for skiing in the winter months and mountain climbing, hiking, cycling, and BASE jumping, as well as paragliding and hang gliding in summer and late spring/early autumn.
41. Mount Fuji
Japan’s Mt. Fuji is an active volcano about 100 kilometers southwest of Tokyo. Commonly called “Fuji-san,” it’s the country’s tallest peak, at 3,776 meters. A pilgrimage site for centuries, it’s considered one of Japan’s 3 sacred mountains, and summit hikes remain a popular activity. Its iconic profile is the subject of numerous works of art, notably Edo Period prints by Hokusai and Hiroshige.
Why is Mount Fuji famous? Rising to 12,388 feet (3,776 metres), Mount Fuji is the tallest mountain in Japan and is known for its graceful conical form. It is the country’s sacred symbol, and temples and shrines are located around and on the volcano.
Alberta is a province in Western Canada. Its landscape encompasses mountains, prairies, desert badlands and vast coniferous forests. It has more than 600 lakes, and rich mineral deposits. In the west, the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks have glaciers in the Columbia Icefields. The Waterton Glacier International Peace Park is a biosphere reserve that straddles the southern border with the USA.
43. Baden-Baden, Germany
Baden-Baden quickly became a world-renowned hub for Roman bath culture, its two main thermal baths – the modern Caracalla Spa and the historic Friedrichsbad, drawing royals, celebrities, and politicians from around the world to experience the water’s impactful healing effects.
Baden-Baden is a spa town in southwestern Germany’s Black Forest, near the border with France. Its thermal baths led to fame as a fashionable 19th-century resort. Alongside the Oos River, park-lined Lichtentaler Allee is the town’s central promenade. The Kurhaus complex (1824) houses the elegant, Versailles-inspired Spielbank (casino). Its Trinkhalle has a loggia decorated with frescoes and a mineral-water fountain.
44. Ring Road, Iceland
Route 1 or the Ring Road is a national road in Iceland that runs around the island and connects most of the inhabited parts of the country. The total length of the road is 1,322 kilometres.
Is the Ring Road in Iceland worth it? Definitely! Driving the Ring Road of Iceland is a great road trip idea. As it circles the island, you will be able to reach the different parts of Iceland (except the highlands and Westfjords).
45. Santa Fe National Historic Trail
The Santa Fe Trail was a 19th-century route through central North America that connected Franklin, Missouri with Santa Fe, New Mexico.
From 1821 until 1846, the Santa Fe Trail was a two-way international commercial highway used by both Mexican and American traders. Then, in 1846, the Mexican-American War began, and a few months later, America’s Army of the West followed the Santa Fe Trail westward to successfully invade Mexico.
46. Mount Kilimanjaro
Mount Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano in Tanzania. It has three volcanic cones: Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira. It is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest single free-standing mountain in the world: 5,895 metres above sea level and about 4,900 metres above its plateau base.
Kilimanjaro is very popular with both experienced hikers and first time adventurers because it is considered to be the easiest of the seven summits. Kilimanjaro is not only Africa’s tallest peak, but also the world’s tallest free standing mountain.
Botswana, a landlocked country in Southern Africa, has a landscape defined by the Kalahari Desert and the Okavango Delta, which becomes a lush animal habitat during the seasonal floods. The massive Central Kalahari Game Reserve, with its fossilized river valleys and undulating grasslands, is home to numerous animals including giraffes, cheetahs, hyenas and wild dogs.
Approximately two-thirds of the country lies within the Tropics. Botswana is well known for having some of the best wilderness and wildlife areas on the African continent. 38% of its total land area are devoted to national parks, reserves and wildlife management areas.
48. Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Is it still worth trekking in the Annapurnas? Yes, there is no doubt that trekking Annapurnas is well worth doing. As discussed it is possible to avoid the road in most places due to NATT. Both of these hikes are good options if you are looking for a lodge based trek in Nepal.
The Annapurna Circuit is a trek within the mountain ranges of central Nepal. The total length of the route varies between 160–230 km, depending on where motor transportation is used and where the trek is ended. This trek crosses two different river valleys and encircles the Annapurna Massif.
Greece is a country in southeastern Europe with thousands of islands throughout the Aegean and Ionian seas. Influential in ancient times, it’s often called the cradle of Western civilization. Athens, its capital, retains landmarks including the 5th-century B.C. Acropolis citadel with the Parthenon temple. Greece is also known for its beaches, from the black sands of Santorini to the party resorts of Mykonos.
Greece is known for being the cradle of Western Civilization, the birthplace of democracy, the Olympic Games, and its ancient history and magnificent temples. Ancient temples in Greece include the Parthenon at the Acropolis in Athens, the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, and the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion.
50. Badlands National Park, South Dakota
Badlands National Park is in South Dakota. Its dramatic landscapes span layered rock formations, steep canyons and towering spires. Bison, bighorn sheep and prairie dogs inhabit its sprawling grasslands. The Badlands Loop Road (Highway 240) winds past scenic lookouts. Several trails begin near the Ben Reifel Visitor Center. The Fossil Exhibit Trail is a boardwalk with displays on fossils uncovered in the park.
The Lakota people dubbed this region “mako sica,” or “bad lands,” long ago because its rocky terrain, lack of water and extreme temperatures made it difficult to traverse. Today, the Badlands are a great place for hiking, fossil hunting, taking a scenic drive and spotting wildlife.
51. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
Plitviče Lakes National Park is a 295-sq.-km forest reserve in central Croatia. It’s known for a chain of 16 terraced lakes, joined by waterfalls, that extend into a limestone canyon. Walkways and hiking trails wind around and across the water, and an electric boat links the 12 upper and 4 lower lakes. The latter are the site of Veliki Slap, a 78m-high waterfall.
Is Plitvice Lakes worth visiting? First things first, Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia really is as beautiful as the photos make it seem and it is definitely worth visiting. Much like the rest of the country, the scenery and landscape is stunning.
52. Isla Del Sol Traverse (Bolivia)
Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun) is an island in the southern part of Lake Titicaca. It is part of Bolivia, and specifically part of the La Paz Department. Geographically, the terrain is harsh; it is a rocky, hilly island with many eucalyptus trees. There are no motor vehicles or paved roads on the island. The main economic activity of the approximately 800 families on the island is farming, with fishing and tourism augmenting the subsistence economy. Of the several villages, Yumani and Challapampa are the largest.
53. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Angkor Wat, located in northwest Cambodia, is the largest religious structure in the world by land area, measuring 162.6 hectares. At the centre of the temple stands a quincunx of four towers surrounding a central spire that rises to a height of 65 m above the ground.
Though just one of hundreds of surviving temples and structures, the massive Angkor Wat is the most famed of all Cambodia’s temples—it appears on the nation’s flag—and it is revered for good reason. The 12th century “temple-mountain” was built as a spiritual home for the Hindu god Vishnu.
54. Lourdes, France
Lourdes is a town in southwestern France, in the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains. It’s known for the Sanctuaires Notre-Dame de Lourdes, or the Domain, a major Catholic pilgrimage site. Each year, millions visit the Grotto of Massabielle (Grotto of the Apparitions) where, in 1858, the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to a local woman. In the grotto, pilgrims can drink or bathe in water flowing from a spring.
French watering resort famous for miracle cures. In 1858 the Virgin Mary reportedly appeared in a grotto to the peasant girl Bernadette Soubirous (1844-1879), later canonized as St. Bernadette in 1933.
55. Pune, India
Pune is a sprawling city in the western Indian state of Maharashtra. It was once the base of the Peshwas (prime ministers) of the Maratha Empire, which lasted from 1674 to 1818. It’s known for the grand Aga Khan Palace, built in 1892 and now a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, whose ashes are preserved in the garden. The 8th-century Pataleshwar Cave Temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.
Pune is widely regarded as the second major “IT hub of India” and the top “automobile and manufacturing hub of India”. It is known as the Oxford of the East with the presence of a wide range of educational institutions.
56. Milford Sound, New Zealand
Milford Sound is a fiord in the southwest of New Zealand’s South Island. It’s known for towering Mitre Peak, plus rainforests and waterfalls like Stirling and Bowen falls, which plummet down its sheer sides. The fiord is home to fur seal colonies, penguins and dolphins. Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory offers views of rare black coral and other marine life. Boat tours are a popular way to explore.
Magical views in Milford Sound, Fiordland
This is New Zealand’s wild side at its absolute best. Famously described by Rudyard Kipling as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’, Milford Sound was carved by glaciers during the ice ages.
57. Ohrid, Macedonia
Ohrid is a city in North Macedonia and is the seat of the Ohrid Municipality. It is the largest city on Lake Ohrid and the eighth-largest city in the country, with the municipality recording a population of over 42,000 inhabitants as of 2002.
There is no doubt that Ohrid is a tourist treasure trove just waiting to be discovered. Its natural beauty, Instagram-worthy scenery and budget friendly activities marks it as an up and coming choice for tourists looking for their next spot, so go before the tourist circus begins.
58. Shikoku, Japan
Shikoku is the smallest of Japan’s major islands. It’s encircled by a 1,200km, 88-temple Buddhist pilgrimage route (henro) honoring the 9th-century monk Kukai. Shikoku’s major cities include Matsuyama, home to 8 of the pilgrimage temples, plus feudal Matsuyama Castle and Dogo Onsen, one of Japan’s earliest known hot-spring spas. The island’s mountainous interior has hiking trails and rivers with whitewater rapids.
Shikoku is also famous for its 88-temple pilgrimage of temples. The pilgrimage was established by the ancient Buddhist priest Kūkai, a native of Shikoku. According to legend, the monk would still appear to pilgrims today. Most modern-day pilgrims travel by bus, rarely choosing the old-fashioned method of going by foot.
59. Pitcairn Island
The Pitcairn Islands, officially the Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands, is a group of four volcanic islands in the southern Pacific Ocean that form the sole British Overseas Territory in the Pacific Ocean.
Pitcairn Island, in the South Pacific, is a case study in fascination. It is the smallest and most remote inhabited place in the world. You likely know of Pitcairn even if you didn’t realize it. Fletcher Christian and the Bounty Mutineers immortalized it in the famous Mutiny on the Bounty.
60. Teotihuacan, Mexico
Teotihuacan is a vast Mexican archaeological complex northeast of Mexico City. Running down the middle of the site, which was once a flourishing pre-Columbian city, is the Avenue of the Dead. It links the Temple of Quetzalcoatl, the Pyramid of the Moon and the Pyramid of the Sun, the latter two with panoramic views from their summits. Artifacts in the Museum of Teotihuacan Culture, on-site, include pottery and bones.
Teotihuacan is well-known for its colorful murals painted on plastered walls. They can be found in the city’s many apartment compounds as well as on other buildings identified as palaces and temples.
61. Lalibela, Ethiopia
Lalibela is a town in the Amhara region of northern Ethiopia. It’s known for its distinctive rock-cut churches dating from the 12th and 13th centuries, which are pilgrimage sites for Coptic Christians. Carved out of rock, the subterranean monoliths include huge Bete Medhane Alem, and cross-shaped Bete Giyorgis. Many are joined by tunnels and trenches, and some have carved bas-reliefs and colored frescoes inside.
Lalibela, the best-known Zagwe emperor, ruled at the beginning of the 13th century and is known for building the monolithic rock-hewn churches at the Zagwe capital, which was later renamed for him.
62. Atacama Desert
The Atacama Desert is a desert plateau in South America covering a 1,600 km strip of land on the Pacific coast, west of the Andes Mountains.
Surprisingly, around one million people call the Atacama Desert home. Crowding into coastal fishing villages, mining areas and oasis towns. Inhabitants grow dry-weather produce such as olives, tomatoes and cucumbers, and herd alpacas for a living. The desert is also famous for mining copper.
Myanmar (formerly Burma) is a Southeast Asian nation of more than 100 ethnic groups, bordering India, Bangladesh, China, Laos and Thailand. Yangon (formerly Rangoon), the country’s largest city, is home to bustling markets, numerous parks and lakes, and the towering, gilded Shwedagon Pagoda, which contains Buddhist relics and dates to the 6th century.
64. Camino De Santiago De Compostela, France/Spain
The Camino de Santiago (Latin: Peregrinatio Compostellana, “Pilgrimage of Compostela”; Galician: O Camiño de Santiago) known in English as the Way of St. James, is a network of pilgrims’ ways or pilgrimages leading to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition holds that the remains of the saint are buried. As His Holiness Benedict XVI said, “It is a Way sown with so many demonstrations of fervour, repentance, hospitality, art and culture which speak to us eloquently of the spiritual roots of the Old Continent.” Many follow its routes as a form of spiritual path or retreat for their spiritual growth. It is also popular with hiking and cycling enthusiasts and organized tour groups.
65. Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
Mesa Verde National Park is in southwest Colorado. It’s known for its well-preserved Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings, notably the huge Cliff Palace. The Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum has exhibits on the ancient Native American culture. Mesa Top Loop Road winds past archaeological sites and overlooks, including Sun Point Overlook with panoramic canyon views. Petroglyph Point Trail has several rock carvings.
66. Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe
Victoria Falls is a waterfall on the Zambezi River in southern Africa, which provides habitat for several unique species of plants and animals. It is located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe and is considered to be one of the world’s largest waterfalls due to its width of 1,708 m.
Victoria Falls is a safe place to visit. In Victoria Falls petty crime of course does exist as with anywhere in the world, but it is at a very low level and certainly should not deter anyone from visiting this amazing place. As a city or town goes you are safer here than many many cities around the world.
67. Kakadu National Park, Australia
Kakadu National Park is an enormous, biodiverse nature reserve in Australia’s Northern Territory. With terrain encompassing wetlands, rivers and sandstone escarpments, it’s home to some 2,000 plant species and wildlife from saltwater crocodiles and flatback turtles to birds. Aboriginal rock paintings, dating to prehistoric times, can be viewed at sites such as Nourlangie, Nanguluwur and Ubirr.
Kakadu National Park is renowned for the richness of its Aboriginal cultural sites. There are more than 5,000 recorded art sites illustrating Aboriginal culture over thousands of years. The archaeological sites demonstrate Aboriginal occupation for at least 20,000 and possibly up to 40,000 years.
68. Virunga National Park
Virunga National Park is a national park in the Albertine Rift Valley in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was created in 1925 and is among the first protected areas in Africa. In elevation, it ranges from 680 m in the Semliki River valley to 5,109 m in the Rwenzori Mountains.
Mauritius, an Indian Ocean island nation, is known for its beaches, lagoons and reefs. The mountainous interior includes Black River Gorges National Park, with rainforests, waterfalls, hiking trails and wildlife like the flying fox. Capital Port Louis has sites such as the Champs de Mars horse track, Eureka plantation house and 18th-century Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens.
70. Experience Cheetah Conservation in Africa
Cheetah Experience is a registered non-profit endangered species breeding centre, originally based in Bloemfontein but in March 2021 we finalized the move of the facility to to Bela Bela, Limpopo. At Cheetah Experience, our animals come first, and everything we do is for our animals.
71. Baja California, Mexico
Baja California is a Mexican state on the Baja California Peninsula, bordering the U.S. state of California. The landscape spans mountains and beaches on the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of California. Towns near the U.S. border include Tijuana, famous as a nightlife and shopping destination, as well as the town of Rosarito, with its wide, sandy Pacific beaches.
72. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The Galápagos Islands is a volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. It’s considered one of the world’s foremost destinations for wildlife-viewing. A province of Ecuador, it lies about 1,000km off its coast. Its isolated terrain shelters a diversity of plant and animal species, many found nowhere else. Charles Darwin visited in 1835, and his observation of Galápagos’ species later inspired his theory of evolution.
73. Australian Outback
The Outback is the colloquial name for the vast, unpopulated and mainly arid areas that comprise Australia’s interior and remote coasts. The Red Centre, in the Northern Territory, exemplifies the Outback. Its gateway is the isolated town of Alice Springs and its landmarks include Uluru, Australia’s iconic red-rock monolith. In the north, Kakadu National Park has Aboriginal rock paintings and billabong oxbow lakes.
74. San Francisco, California
San Francisco, officially the City and County of San Francisco, is a cultural, commercial, and financial center in Northern California. San Francisco is the 16th most populous city in the United States, and the fourth most populous in California, with 881,549 residents as of 2019.
San Francisco is as famous for its restaurants and food trends as it is for its Golden Gate Bridge and cable cars. Among the unique or regionally typical foods to be sampled in San Francisco are abalone, Dungeness crab, sand dabs, bay shrimp and crusty sourdough French bread.
Cambodia is a Southeast Asian nation whose landscape spans low-lying plains, the Mekong Delta, mountains and Gulf of Thailand coastline. Phnom Penh, its capital, is home to the art deco Central Market, glittering Royal Palace and the National Museum’s historical and archaeological exhibits. In the country’s northwest are the ruins of Angkor Wat, a massive stone temple complex built during the Khmer Empire.
Angkor Wat is the main reason tourists flock in their numbers to Cambodia. It is the world’s largest religious building and considered one of the wonders of the world. In 1992 it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list.
76. Nairobi, Kenya
Nairobi is Kenya’s capital city. In addition to its urban core, the city has Nairobi National Park, a large game reserve known for breeding endangered black rhinos and home to giraffes, zebras and lions. Next to it is a well-regarded elephant orphanage operated by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Nairobi is also often used as a jumping-off point for safari trips elsewhere in Kenya.
Nairobi, popularly known as “Green City in the Sun” has an amazing culture, which is unparalleled in any other city. The city is known for its sheer natural beauty that will take your breath away. … Nairobi is a lively city, full of culture, historically rich, home to beautiful national parks and wildlife.
77. Patagonia (Argentina/Chile)
Patagonia is a region encompassing the vast southernmost tip of South America, shared by Argentina and Chile, with the Andes Mountains as its dividing line. The Argentine side features arid steppes, grasslands and deserts, while the Chilean has glacial fjords and temperate rainforest. Argentina’s famed RN-40 highway passes the pinnacles of Monte Fitz Roy and Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glaciares National Park.
78. Gulf of Maine, Maine
The Gulf of Maine is a large gulf of the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast of North America. It is bounded by Cape Cod at the eastern tip of Massachusetts in the southwest and by Cape Sable Island at the southern tip of Nova Scotia in the northeast.
The Gulf of Maine is a one of the world’s most dynamic environments. Nourished by cold ocean waters and characterized by a complex geomorphology made up of deep basins and shallow banks, this sea semi-enclosed sea is one of the most biologically productive marine ecosystems.
Borneo, a giant, rugged island in Southeast Asia’s Malay Archipelago, is shared by the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, Indonesian Kalimantan and the tiny nation of Brunei. It’s known for its beaches and ancient, biodiverse rainforest, home to wildlife including orangutans and clouded leopards. In Sabah is 4,095m-tall Mount Kinabalu, the island’s highest peak, and, offshore, the famed dive site Sipadan Island.
80. Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai is most famous for its beautiful ancient temples, though there is much more to see and do. The striking mountainous landscape around the city provides a lot of wonderful natural attractions and is home to two tribal villages.
Chiang Mai is a city in mountainous northern Thailand. Founded in 1296, it was capital of the independent Lanna Kingdom until 1558. Its Old City area still retains vestiges of walls and moats from its history as a cultural and religious center. It’s also home to hundreds of elaborate Buddhist temples, including 14th-century Wat Phra Singh and 15th-century Wat Chedi Luang, adorned with carved serpents.