Our incredible planet is home to dozens of breathtaking natural wonders, formed over millions of years. Water erosion, wind, volcanic action, and other forces have created some of the most beautiful natural places in the world.
Of course, no one list could mention all of the world’s beautiful natural places so we’ve picked out a few of our favorites from different continents. Here are our choices for unique vacation spots and must-see natural wonders.
Pulpit Rock, Preikestolen, Norway
One of Scandinavia’s most incredible natural tourist attractions is Pulpit Rock, known locally as “Preikestolen.” The rock consists of a mountain plateau, formed over thousands of years by ice expansions, which towers 604 meters of the Lysefjord, in Rogaland county in Western Norway. The plateau was named as one of the world’s most spectacular natural observation points.
Although the mountain has existed for over 10,000 years, it wasn’t until the 1900s when explorers first scaled its ominous heights and discovered a 25 by 25 meter flat ridge – perfect for base jumping and for observing the strikingly picturesque landscape.
In 2014, access to the site was vastly improved, and today, over 200,000 visitors annually travel to the site. We recommend visiting in the summer months, as snow and ice make the hike far more difficult during the winter.
Rock of Gibraltar, British Territory of Gibraltar
The Rock of Gibraltar is one of the most iconic and recognizable natural wonders in the world. The monolithic promontory was formed 5 million years ago by Jurassic limestones and dolomites. At its highest point, the Rock stands at 1,350 feet above sea level and is accessible via an aerial tramway known as the Gibraltar Cable Car.
In addition to the fascinating geology of the region, the site’s annual tourists can visit the Gibraltar Nature Reserve, home to millions of migrating birds, including partridges and kestrels, Barbary apes, and several critically endangered reptile species.
Living Bridges, India
India is home to many natural tourist attractions and unique wonders. Perhaps the most captivating from a geological perspective is the Living Bridges, located in the East Khasi Hills, part of the Northeast Indian state of Meghalaya.
The bridges are formed by guiding routes from Ficus elastica trees across rivers and streams. Over time, these roots grow naturally until they form a perfectly usable bridge. These roots can extend over 50 meters and can accommodate up to 500 people.
As well as the Living Bridges, Meghalaya is also home to one of the world’s most incredible subtropical forests with a rich biodiversity of animals, plants, and birds. The region attracts thousands of annual sightseers, and there is a range of adventure tourism opportunities on offer, such as mountaineering, trekking, and rock climbing.
Dead Sea, Israel
In southern Israel, at the western border of the Judean Desert, lies the Dead Sea, a natural salt lake which is also the lowest point on Earth. The hypersaline water enables visitors to float buoyantly, rather than swim
Along the coastline there are many spas and resorts offering cosmetic and aesthetic treatments, using the regions natural mineral-rich mud. Due to the area’s tropical climate, the sea remains warm year-round, and the surrounding region is filled with many famous archaeological and historical sites.
Iguazu Falls, Brazil
Located on the border between the Brazilian state of Paraná and the Argentine province of Misiones, the Iguazu Falls is the largest waterfall system in the world and one the most beautiful natural places in the world to visit. The falls consist of an extraordinary, natural staircase format, formed by three layers of basalt.
In recent years, the Brazilian government has invested heavily into the region, creating a national park with convenient access routes for tourists. Helicopter rides are available where you can see survey the majestic beauty of the Falls from the sky.
In 1991, marine engineers successfully harnessed the awesome power of the Falls by constructing the enormous Itaipu Dam. Today, the dam provides almost 40% of power to both Brazil and Argentina.
Mammoth Cave National Park, USA
Located in the state of Kentucky, the Mammoth Cave National Park is an intricate system of subterranean passages and caves and of the most unique places in the world. The caves were first discovered by Stephen Bishop in 1857, and today over 365 miles of the enormous limestone labyrinth has already been mapped. Explorers are still discovering new caves and no one knows just how large the underside truly is.
Over 10 miles of caves are available for visitors, and rangers operate daily guided tours whereby tourists can marvel at the incredible expanse of the underground maze.
Table Mountain, South Africa
The continent of Africa is one the most unique places to travel, filled with natural tourist attractions and wonders of the world. One of our favorites is the famous Table Mountain, located in Cape Town, South Africa. The mountain is one of the country’s most popular hiking destinations, and each year, thousands of tourists scale the various slopes and hiking trails. Cable car rides are also available for those who prefer to take a more leisurely route to the top of the mountain. Rock climbing, mountain biking, and caving opportunities are also offered.
The mountain overlooks Table Bay, one of the most scenic and photogenic beach resorts in the entire continent.