40 Stunning Natural Wonders Everyone Should See In Their Lifetime

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Zoe Miller and Madeline Diamond

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Ha Long Bay, Vietnam.Jimmy Tran/Shutterstock

There may only be seven official natural wonders of the world, but there are plenty more breathtaking natural sights all over the globe worth exploring. From the rushing waters of Niagara Falls in New York and Canada to the snowy peak of the Matterhorn in Switzerland, it's hard to narrow down the list of bucket list destinations.

Keep scrolling for 40 beautiful sights worth seeing all over the world.


Pamukkale, Turkey

 Pamukkale. Shutterstock

It's no mystery why these travertine stone steps and tiered pools are called Pamukkale, which translates to "cotton castle" in Turkish.

Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya

 Lake Nakuru. Anna Om/Shutterstock

From rocky escarpments to areas forested with acacia, Lake Nakuru National Park's flora is almost as spectacular as its fauna — including white rhinos, leopards, and the flamingos the titular lake is known for.


Niagara Falls, Canada

 Niagara Falls. Shutterstock/SurangaSL

Whether observed day or night, from a viewing platform or from a boat, the 3,160 tons of water that flow over Niagara Falls every second are a sight to be seen.

Peyto Lake, Banff National Park, Canada

Peyto Lake. TRphotos/Shutterstock

It's hard to believe that Peyto Lake's sparkling turquoise water is natural, but the color actually comes from significant amounts of glacial flour (tiny rock particles that result from glacial erosion) that are deposited into the water.


Sagano Bamboo Forest, Japan

The Sagano Bamboo Forest. Guitar photographer/Shutterstock

In Arashiyama, a district in Kyoto, Japan, you'll find one of the most unique forests in the world: the Sagano Bamboo Forest. The tightly packed bamboo grove is especially beautiful when the sun filters through the stalks.

As you can imagine, the grove is a tranquil site — so peaceful, in fact, that Japan's environmental ministry included the forest on its list of "100 Soundscapes of Japan," a compendium of the country's most significant natural, cultural, and industrial noises.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

 Salar de Uyuni. Shutterstock/Vadim Petrakov

Salar de Uyuni is the world's largest salt flat, located in southwestern Bolivia. All it takes is a thin layer of water on the flat's surface to create a mirror-like appearance on the ground that extends into the horizon.

Stromboli, Aeolian Islands, Italy

 Stromboli. maudanros/Shutterstock

Stromboli, one of the major islands of Sicily's Aeolian archipelago, is famous for having an active volcano that erupts every 15 minutes. Daring visitors can even take an eight-hour "fire trek" to the volcanic crater.

Mount Bromo, Indonesia

 Mount Bromo. Shutterstock/panutc

Mount Bromo, the only active volcano on the island of Java, is known for its unparalleled views of the sunrise.

The Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA

 The Grand Canyon. Shutterstock/Galyna Andrushko

The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, and, at its widest point, 18 miles across. You can explore various areas of the massive canyon at the Grand Canyon National Park.

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. thanat sasipatanapa

Zhangjiajie, China, is not for those who fear heights. The incredible forest is said to have inspired the stunning scenery depicted in "Avatar."

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

 Ha Long Bay. Shutterstock/Jimmy Tran

Vietnam's Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and with good reason. The bay is dotted with approximately 1,600 islands and inlets, including many massive greenery-covered limestone pillars.

Spencer Lake, Australia

 Spencer Lake. Shutterstock/vvvita

This bubblegum pink lake in Australia may not seem natural, but it actually gets its neon color from a chemical called carotene, which is produced by algae.

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

The Cliffs of Moher  shutterupeire/Shuttterstock

Located on the west coast of Ireland, the Cliffs of Moher reach a whopping 702 feet at their highest point.

The Dead Sea, Israel

 The Dead Sea. Shutterstock / Nickolay Vinokurov

Due to its exceptionally high salt content, there are no animals or life forms besides bacteria in Israel's Dead Sea. You can also easily float in the salt-filled waters, and the mud in the area is said to have healing qualities.

Arches National Park, Utah, USA

 Arches National Park. Andrew S./Shutterstock

Utah is known for its beautiful red rock formations, specifically at Arches National Park. There are 2,000 named arches in the park, although about one collapses per year due to natural causes.

Uluru (Ayer's Rock), Australia

Uluru. leodaphne/Shutterstock

Uluru, also known as Ayer's Rock, is located in a remote area in Australia's Northern Territory, home to the Anangu Aboriginal people. The giant sandstone formation has a circumference of about 5.8 miles.

The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

  The Galapagos Islands. Brendan van Son/Shutterstock

Perhaps best known for their impact on Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador are home to a unique enclave of species who have survived the Islands' harsh conditions.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

 Old Faithful geyser. Lorcel/Shutterstock

From mud pots to hot springs to the famous Old Faithful geyser, Yellowstone National Park is full of natural wonder. Visitors have been enjoying all Yellowstone has to offer since it was established as the world's first national park in 1872.

Iguazu Falls, Argentina and Brazil

 Iguazu Falls.R.M. Nunes/Shutterstock

The Iguazu Falls, which span Argentina and Brazil, comprise the largest system of waterfalls in the world.

Verdon Gorge, France

 Verdon Gorge. RossHelen/Shutterstock

Located in the Verdon River Canyon in southeastern France, Verdon Gorge is known for its unique blue-green waters that are perfect for kayaking, swimming, and other water activities.

Mud volcanoes, Gobustan, Azerbaijan

 Azerbaijan's mud volcanoes. Arkady Zakharov/Shutterstock

Azerbaijan's sedimentary volcanoes, commonly known as mud volcanoes, are a mesmerizing geological phenomenon in which pockets of gas underground force their way to the Earth's surface and consequently bubble up.

Pulpit Rock, Norway

 Pulpit Rock. Tatiana Popova/Shutterstock

Pulpit Rock looms almost 2,000 feet over the Lysefjord in Norway. Geologists speculate that the giant mountain plateau was shaped by ice expansion about 10,000 years ago.

Tunnel of Love, Ukraine

The Tunnel of Love. Vitalia_Ponomarova/Shutterstock

Located outside the city of Klevan, Ukraine, the Tunnel of Love is a verdant wonderland that encompasses two miles of a private railway.

Although a train transporting wood to a nearby factory passes through the tree tunnel three times a day, it's better known as a romantic destination.


Folklore says that couples who frequent the tunnel will be granted a wish — if their intentions are sincere, that is.

Sequoia National Park, California, USA

 Sequoia National Park. Shutterstock

Northern California's famous redwood trees can be found in Sequoia National Park. The park is home to about 8,000 Sequoias, which are the largest and longest-living trees on Earth.

El Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico

 El Yunque. Shutterstock/Dennis van de Water

Puerto Rico's El Yunque National Forest, located just outside of San Juan, is one of the most biologically diverse of all of the US' national forests.

The Sahara Desert, Africa

 Sahara Desert dunes. Shutterstock/sunsinger

The largest hot desert in the world has an area of 3.552 million square miles, and spans 10 countries — Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Sudan, and Tunisia.

The Blyde River Canyon, South Africa

 Blyde River Canyon. Shutterstock/ Riccardo Zambelloni

View South Africa from over 2,600 feet in the air from a hike in the Blyde River Canyon. The area is known for its colorful rock formations and lush greenery.

Marble Caves, Chile

 Marble Caves. Flickr/Javier Vieras

These caves, formed by thousands of years of erosion, are also called the "Marble Cathedral."

The Matterhorn, Switzerland

 The Matterhorn. bozulek / Shutterstock

The Matterhorn is more than just a classic ride at Disneyland. The actual mountain, located in Switzerland, is known for its "chiseled rock pyramid" look, after which the Disney roller coaster was modeled.

Valley of Flowers National Park, India

 The Valley of Flowers. yakthai/Shutterstock

Situated at a high altitude in the Himalayas, Valley of Flowers National Park is known for its gorgeous meadows of alpine flowers and its biodiversity. Unique and endangered species such as the Asiatic black bear and bharal (Himalayan blue sheep) inhabit the region.

The valley is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site alongside its mountainous sister park, Nanda Devi.


Gran Sabana, Venezuela

 The Gran Sabana. Newikky/Shutterstock

The Gran Sabana ("Great Savanna"), a remote plateau on the border of Venezuela, sits at an altitude of more than 3,200 feet above sea level.

Characterized by waterfalls and table mountains known as tepuis, the region — which extends to the neighboring countries of Brazil and Guyana — boasts a dramatic landscape.

Seljalandsfoss, Iceland

 Seljalandsfoss. Shutterstock/TTstudio

Towering nearly 200 feet, Seljalandsfoss is one of Iceland's most picturesque waterfalls. It's not only beautiful from afar — visitors can get up close and personal with this majestic natural site by walking behind it.

Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst, Hungary and Slovakia

The Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst. Shutterstock

Spanning from northeastern Hungary to southeastern Slovakia, the Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst are a UNESCO World Heritage-designated outcrop of more than 1,000 caverns.

The Baradla-Domica cave system, distinguished by an active stream, is the most intriguing, thanks to its proliferation of stalactites and stalagmites.


Fox Glacier, South Island, New Zealand

 Fox Glacier. travellight/Shutterstock

Fox Glacier — an eponymous glacier and village in the foothills of the Southern Alps — is a gateway to adventure, whether you want to go ice-hiking or experience the bioluminescent wonder of the area's gloworm caves.

Cenotes of the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico

Ik Kil, a cenote in the Yucatán Peninsula.  BorisVetshev/Shutterstock 

Ruins are the main draw of the Yucatán Peninsula, but the region is also known for its cenotes — deep natural wells or sinkholes created when surface limestone collapses to reveal groundwater underneath.


Ik Kil, also known as the "sacred blue cenote," is located near Chichen Itza. Visitors can swim in the 60-foot-deep water, or dive into it if they're the adventurous sort.

Socotra Archipelago, Yemen

 Socotra. Shutterstock/Naeblys

Separated from mainland Arabia 34 million years ago, the islands of Yemen's Socotra archipelago are defined by an ethereal landscape.

In fact, 37% of Socotra's flora — including the trees of the Dragon's Blood Forest— are not found anywhere else in the world.


Wadden Sea, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands

 The Wadden Sea. Olha Rohulya/Shutterstock

As the world's largest contiguous system of intertidal sand and mud flats, the Wadden Sea is a breathtaking coastal wetland. Its area of more than 4,400 square miles encompasses parts of Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands.

The sea, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, features diverse habitats ranging from tidal channels to sea-grass meadows.

Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail, Wales, UK

 Sunset on the Pembrokeshire Coast. matt_train/Shutterstock

Running 186 miles along the Welsh coastline, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path takes visitors through a diverse maritime landscape of rugged cliff tops and twisting estuaries.

Moravian Fields, Czech Republic

 The rolling fields of Moravia. Pawel Uchorczak/Shutterstock

The multihued fields of the Czech Republic's Moravia region are a feast for the eyes — and provide no shortage of inspiration to photographers.

Victoria Falls, Zambia and Zimbabwe

 Victoria Falls. Shutterstock / Neil Burton

Victoria Falls sits on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, where a giant curtain of water often creates rainbows amid the mist and surrounding rainforest.

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