10 of the Most Stunning World Heritage Sites
The world is a beautiful place and is full of many wonders. So much so that UNESCO offers funding and protection to several of these wonders all across the globe and here we look at 10 of the most beautiful of these world heritage sites, a place listed by the UNESCO as a location of special cultural or physical significance.
Bagan City - Myanmar
A city filled with beautiful ancient temples dating right back to the 9th century, it has Pagan, Mongol and Buddhist roots in its culture and institutions that are unlike anywhere else in the world.
During a period of around 200 years from the 11th to 13th centuries, over 10,000 Buddhist temples were built in the city and 2200 of these temples and pagodas remain today for intrepid explorers to discover.
Göreme National Park - Turkey
A park known for its unique rock formations called the 'fairy chimnies', this spot is in the central region of Turkey which was vital to each of the warring empires of Greece and the Ottomans , between 1800 and 1200 B.C and so the culture is mixed and vibrant, especially as many Christian settlers moved in during the rise of the Roman empire.
Grand Prismatic Spring - USA
The largest hot spring in the USA, and third largest in the world, Grand Prismatic spring has mineral-rich water that creates its vibrant blue that contrasts brilliantly with the different soil layers around it.
Situated in amongst the many awe-inspiring sights of Yellowstone National Park, this tops it all with its vivid colors capturing the eye and imagination.
Banaue Rice terraces - Phillippines
Carved into the mountainside around 2000 years ago, these rice terraces give the landscape a gloriously layered, visual effect and are fed by an ancient irrigation system.
Said to be so vast in their size and length that the steps, if put end to end, would circle half of the globe.
Sigiriya - Sri Lanka
An ancient rock fortress dating back to 477BC, the rock is over 200 meters high and dominates the surrounding landscape.
One of the best-preserved examples of ancient urban planning, its sides are decorated with colorful frescoes and part way up to the top is a gateway guarded by two massive lions carved from stone.
Great Barrier Reef - Australia
A coral reef off the coast of Australi, it is filled with unique marine life and plants only found in that spot and is a massive ecosystem all of its own. Composed of nearly 3,000 individual reefs.
It is world’s largest single structure made of living organisms and can even be seen from space.
Iguazu Falls- Brazil
On the Argentina/Brazil border, these falls are subject to much myth and legend where a deity planned to marry a beautiful woman named Naipí, who fled with her mortal lover Tarobá in a canoe. In a rage, the deity sliced the river, creating the waterfalls and condemning the lovers to an eternal fall.
One of the largest waterfalls in the world, it is 269 feet high with 275 drops in it.
Galapagos Islands - Ecuador
An archipelago of islands off the coast of Ecuador, they are home to a unique range of biodiversity.
So unique is it that you have to attain special passes to get to certain islands and they are famed for a visit by a one Charles Darwin where his theories on the origin of the species were informed.
Los Glaciares National Park - Argentina
The largest national park in Argentina, it is in the stunning Patagonia region and is home to giant ice cap in the Andes range that feeds 47 large glaciers, the largest glacier outside of Greenland or Iceland.
So vast are the glaciers that about 30% of the park is ice.
Serengeti National Park - Tanzania
This national park is so vast that it covers both parts of Tanzania and Kenya and is home to over 2 million wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle.
Every year the annual migration sees these animals traverse the park making it the largest animal migration in the world.