One of the best travel choices is by visiting national parks, where you can enjoy an adventurous trip of rock climbing, wildlife watching, or hiking in mountain peaks. National parks are a perfect choice for families who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, for those passionate in archaeology, or for those who find comfort in nature.
Plus, some of these sites are also World Heritage Sites! These include the Kruger National Park in Africa, the Machu Picchu in Peru, the Fiordland National Park in New Zealand, and the Yosemite National Park in the United States. So, pack your bags and set off to these 10 Best National Parks in the World!
10- Guilin and Lijiang River National Park
Located in the southeastern portion of China, the Guilin and Lijiang River National Park is famous for its stunning landscape like limestone cones, cylinders, and hills.
But the main attraction of the park is their 30-mile boat trip cruising the Lijiang River, which will take you from Guilin to Yangshuo. The hills located in the park, which have charming names like “Dragon Head” and “Elephant Trunk” have even been included in the country’s paper currency!
9- Kakadu National Park
The Kakadu National Park in Australia has been conversely known as a World Heritage Site. It is most famous for its cultural reserves like cave paintings, rock carvings, and other archaeological structures maintained by the ethnic community in Australia – known as the Aborigines.
This community has been living in the park itself for more than 50,000 years! They are prehistoric hunter-gatherers who have been continuously occupying the land. Other than that, the park’s flood plains and plateaus also shelter thousands of species of birds, fish, insects, and reptiles like the saltwater crocodile.
8- Fiordland National Park
Located in the South Island of New Zealand, the Fiordland National Park is the country’s largest national park. The park includes a number of mountain ranges, 14 stunning fiords, and majestic waterfalls.
It is a complete nature package! With all these natural landscapes, the most famous attractions are the Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound, offering carved peaks and rounded hills. So what can you do in Fiordland National Park? You can enjoy bird watching, kayaking, mountain biking, hunting, and hiking!
7- Galapagos Island
Awarded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Galapagos Island is the oldest national park in Ecuador. It features an unspoiled natural reserve and wildlife sanctuary, swarming with numerous different species like the giant tortoise and land iguanas.
The good thing about this island is that it has maintained the land’s preservation, despite the increasing tourist activities in the area. You can also dive in its clear waters and swim together with the penguins, or you can immerse with the locals and learn their culture.
6- Yellowstone National Park
Probably the first national park in the world is the Yellowstone National Park in the US. It is most known for its natural beauty and abundant wildlife. Basically, it shows how the continent looked like centuries ago.
A few of the most popular attractions in the park are the Old Faithful and Yellowstone Lake. You may also encounter numerous wildlife while walking around the area. Plus, now that there are more accommodation options and dining services, families can enjoy a longer and more convenient trip.
5- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Also known as the Smokies, the park is the most visited park in the United States according to the National Parks Service. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which was founded in 1940, boasts of 800 miles of hiking trails, with almost 16 of them higher than 6,000 feet!
These trails include the Appalachian Mountain peaks. It also features numerous rivers, streams, and waterfalls. With all that, visitors can either enjoy having a picnic, hiking in the mountains, or watching the wildlife.
By spring and early summer, the park features a majestic bloom of wildflowers. That’s why it has also earned the nickname Wildflower National Park.
4- Yosemite National Park
Another stunning national park in the US is the Yosemite National Park which boasts a land area of 1,200 square miles – almost the size of Rhode Island. What makes this national park famous is its granite cliffs and gigantic sequoia groves, which makes it an excellent choice for rock climbers, hikers, and wildlife watchers.
It is also great for families, too! Other than those, it also features a collection of spectacular waterfalls, especially during the month of May where the mountain snowmelt keeps them flowing endlessly.
3- Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon in Arizona is one of the world’s most renowned national parks. It was even included in the 7 Natural Wonders of the World and often as the sole US site to be included in the prestigious award. Basically, the park includes North and South Rims, although the south area is more accessible especially for first-timers.
Nevertheless, both areas boast of jaw-dropping natural structures and breathtaking colors. Also, the Colorado River makes it a perfect choice for those who want to try the white-water rafting.
2- Machu Picchu
Everyone wants to go to Machu Picchu in Peru! It is the first thing that comes to mind whenever someone wants to explore breathtaking archaeological sites. The Machu Picchu depicts the way of living of the once-striving civilization of the Inca Empire.
To get all the way around the vast area, visitors can use the area’s train services. But most people opt to walk around on their own, although it is more advisable to stay in groups as there are structures that can be quite hazardous. With its increasing number of visitors every year, clearly Machu Picchu has not yet lost its charm.
1- Kruger National Park
If ever you are looking for an African Safari adventure, the best place to be is at the Kruger National Park. It is the perfect wildlife sanctuary to visit for those who want to directly interact with wild animals such as lions, tigers, zebras, elephants, different species of birds, and many others.
One of the main attractions in the park is its elephant safari. Aside from that, you can also immerse yourself with the local communities and learn their tribal culture and practices. While there are daily flights for transfer, many adventurous visitors opt to travel by land – which is more exciting!