We have all had that moment staring into our phones wondering “can that be real?” Inspiring, creative, powerful, and jaw-dropping wonders of the world exist in some of the most unsuspecting places. The originals are incredible…but this list will shock you.
Of the original seven wonders of the world, only the Pyramids of Giza are still standing. The remaining six are Halicarnassus, the Colossus at Rhodes, the Pharos, the Temple of Artemis, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and the Statue of Zeus. In 2007 there was a global contest to vote on the new seven wonders of the world. That new list includes The Great Wall of China; The Taj Mahal; Petra; The Colosseum; Christ the Redeemer; Chichén Itzá; and Machu Picchu. While the original and new Wonders of the World deserve the official honor, here are a few wonders we think should be added to the list.
Ciudad Perdida, Colombia
Believed to be more than 600 years older than Machu Picchu, Ciudad Perdida is a gem along the Caribbean coast of Colombia. Tairona people built the city, which they called Teyuna. Hidden deep in the jungle this “Lost City” was not rediscovered until the 1970s. The city you’ll most likely start your journey from is Cartegena and the hike to get there is far from easy but trust us, it’s worth it.
Atacama Desert, Chile
The Atacama Desert holds the record for the oldest desert in the world. It also happens to be one of the driest in the world. There are parts of this desert that have experienced no reported rainfall in a given year. Visually different than any other desert in the world, the Atacama is often compared to Mars. In fact, many movies have been shot on this 600-mile plateau west of the Andes Mountains. Fly into Santiago to get your adventure started.
Uyuni Salt Flat, Bolivia
Located in Bolivia, the Uyuni Salt Flat is the largest salt flat in the world. In the dry season, you’re able to see that patterns emerge from the texture and grain of the salt formations while in the wet season you can expect to see huge reflections. This place is affectionately referred to as ‘where Heaven meets Earth’ and for good reason. The Uyuni Salt Flats are over 11,000 feet above sea level so plan for a bit of acclimatization. Getting there will most likely start in La Paz before visiting the small town on Uyuni.
Karijini National Park, Australia
Western Australia’s Karijini National Park is packed with waterfalls and swimming holes. The beautiful blue water pools set in the red dirt create a stunning landscape while the park gigantically gives that authentic Australia outback feeling. To get to Karjini National Park you’ll fly into Paraburdoo Airport, from there it is a 100km road trip. Who doesn’t love a road trip Down Under?!
Derawar Fort, Pakistan
Still miles away from the Derawar Fort in the Cholistan Desert you’ll see the tall bastions rising out of the sand. This nearly 300-year-old fort was built in the 9th Century and the architecture is truly awe-inspiring. There are some signs of extreme wear so it’s unclear how much longer it will be in good enough shape to see. Visiting the Derawar Fort is easily one of the best things to do in Bahawalpur, Pakistan, and is absolutely an instance of a visit before it is too late.
Chand Baori, India
Chand Baori is a 13 story intricately carved stepwell with a temple on one side. There are over 3,500 narrowly cut stairs zig-zagging their way to the bottom in the most gorgeous way. The stepwell was once a central landmark of the community used for gathering drinking water, prayer, and cooling off on hot days. Next time you’re in Jaipur, plan to visit Chand Baori.
Lac Rose, Senegal
Located just a short hours drive from Dakar you will find Lac Rose, also known as Lake Retba. Providing a beautifully serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, part of what makes this lake so special is the vibrant pink color it gives off when the sun hits it right. Thanks to the combination of extremely high salt content and Dunaliella salina algae, you can catch this gorgeous sight when the light hits just right for the color to really pop. Your best chance of that happening is with a visit in the dry season.
Iguazu Falls, Brazil & Argentina
Made up of over 275 individual waterfalls, it’s no surprise Iguazu Falls holds the title for the largest waterfall system in the world. Here, you’ll find cascading water for as far as the eye can see. While beautiful, the sheer power and size of the falls can at times even be overwhelming (in all the best ways). Don’t miss out on the main attraction, the horseshoe-shaped waterfall named Devil’s Throat. If you visit the Argentinian side you can get quite a bit closer or if you’re feeling adventurous there is also a speed boat option.
Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
Would you believe us if we told you you can see the entire “big 5” inside the Ngorongoro Crater? 2.5 million years ago, a volcano nearly the size of Mt. Kilimanjaro erupted and then collapsed into itself creating a natural wonder you have to see to believe. Located just an hour’s drive from Arusha, there are few locations better to go on safari. One of the best parts of a Ngorongoro Crater safari is that you still have a chance to see the nearly extinct rhino.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park’s stunning mountains are what inspired the floating peaks in the movie Avatar so, to say these views are out of this world would be an understatement. The park is filled with lush green trees and incredible jagged limestone pillars. Here you will also find the world’s largest glass-bottom bridge and the world’s largest cable car. At 102 square miles, the park is enormous with many fantastic viewing platforms to soak in all the unbelievable views.