The world is full of a diverse range of breathtaking landscapes, spectacular wildlife, and incredible wonders that will blow your mind. Thankfully, many of these amazing places have been protected for current and future generations to enjoy by being designated as National Parks. Each year, new parklands are protected for travelers to enjoy, so the list of wonderful places to visit is only growing. If you are anything like me, then you probably want to visit as many of these beautiful parklands as you can. Well, you are in luck because I have put together a list of the 100 best national parks in the world for travelers to visit.
We are getting close to the top of my list of the 100 Best National Parks in the World for Travelers to Visit, and in this installment, I am going to cover the parks that I rank between 21-40 on my list. There are some absolutely iconic park names on this segment of my list, with everything from the world’s 6th largest desert to one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks making an appearance. In addition to these incredible landscapes, there are also more than a few renown wildlife parks listed in this edition of my top national parks list that will get the wildlife enthusiasts among you excited. So, strap on your seatbelt, because the parks from here on out are legendary!
|The 100 Best National Parks in the World – Part 1 (81-100)|
|The 100 Best National Parks in the World – Part 2 (61-80)|
|The 100 Best National Parks in the World – Part 3 (41-60)|
|The 100 Best National Parks in the World – Part 4 (21-40)|
|The 100 Best National Parks in the World – Part 5 (1-20)|
40. Jasper National Park, Canada
It is no secret to travelers that the continent of North America has some of the most beautiful national parks in the world. While there is a wealth of incredible parklands to explore throughout the continent, some of my absolute favorites are located in the breathtaking Rocky Mountains in the western part of the continent. Amongst these parks is one of the world’s most spectacular and revered mountain parklands. Established in 1907 to protect some of the most stunning mountains in Canada’s Rocky Mountains and the region’s wealth of extraordinary wildlife, the gorgeous Jasper National Park is the largest parkland in the Canadian Rockies.
The park is renowned for its rugged mountain peaks, jaw-droppingly beautiful alpine valleys, large and imposing glaciers, and large and beautiful forests. Jasper National Park is wild in every sense of the world. Visitors to Jasper will be overjoyed with the wealth of wildlife viewing opportunities in the area. Amongst the animals that visitors can expect to see include grizzly bears, grey wolves, moose, and elk. In addition to its incredible wildlife, the park is also a magnet for outdoor adventure enthusiasts around the world.
The park’s many amazing alpine hiking trails, beautiful lakes, and challenging climbing routes mean the park is perfect for outdoor adventurists looking for challenging day hikes, fun mountain biking trails, and inspiring kayaking opportunities. With so much to offer visitors, it is no wonder that Jasper National Park is rated near the top of my list of the top National Parks in the world for travelers to visit.
39. Gunung Leuser National Park, Indonesia
So far on my list of the top national parks in the world for travelers to visit, I have introduced you to some of the world’s most incredible wildlife destinations. While every continent on this planet has incredible wildlife for visitors to explore, I believe the continents of Africa and Asia have the largest wealth of wildlife. One of the most amazing of Asia’s wildlife destinations is the renowned Gunung Leuser National Park in Southeast Asia. Straddling the border of North Sumatra and the Aceh provinces, the park is one of the last places on Earth where the critically endangered orangutans can still be found in the wild. In addition to these amazing primates, the park is also home to an abundance of other incredible wildlife. This includes elephants, rhinos, tigers, siamangs, Thomas leaf monkeys, macaques, and gibbons.
One of the most popular activities for visitors to the park is taking one of the many guided wildlife treks. Most of the park treks are multi-day adventures, but there are shorter treks available for visitors who are just looking to get a taste of this spectacular wildlife destination. The park also has several wonderful mountain treks for visitors to enjoy as well. Most of these hikes involve exploring the amazing Gunung Leuser, which is an 11,167-feet (or 3,404-meter) mountain at the center of the park that gives the park its name. Whether you want to visit to see the endangered wildlife or to challenge yourself on some of the park’s many wonderful, guided treks, Gunung Leuser National Park is definitely a park that all travelers should have on their bucket list.
38. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia
I have highlighted several unique and spectacular national parks so far in my countdown of the top national parks in the world for travelers to visit, but there are very few parks that are as unique and amazing as the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia. Named after two of Australia’s most infamous landmarks: the renowned sandstone monolith of Uluru and the red domes of Kata Tjuta, the park highlights the absolute beauty of Australia’s Outback region. The park is owned by the Anangu people and features a wide array of cultural sites and artifacts for visitors to enjoy.
If you are a student of history, you will be enthralled with all there is to learn while in the park. For adventurous travelers, the Valley of the Winds walk offers hikers breathtaking views over the desert plains. If you aren’t up for hiking, there are also camel rides around Uluru that are available to visitors as well. For the ultimate thrill, you can also book a helicopter ride to get a bird’s eye view of these wonders of the world. It is an experience you will never forget. So, if you are in the mood for a unique and memorable parks trip in the near future, I can think of few national parklands better to visit than Australia’s Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
37. Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park, Mongolia
More than likely, the country of Mongolia isn’t one of the first countries that come to mind when you think about national parks. However, those who overlook the incredible parklands in this beautiful country are definitely missing out. One of the most breathtaking of Mongolia’s national parks is the amazing Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park, which is located in the south-central region of the country. The park covers a gigantic area of over 10,400 square miles and is highlighted by dry valleys, rugged mountains, salted wetlands, and of course the stunning sand dunes that the park is renowned for. While there are plenty of incredible things to see in the Gobi Desert, the highlights for visitors are undoubtedly the Yol Valley, Khongor Sand Dunes, and Khermen Tsav.
In the Yol Valley, visitors can explore permanent glaciers and rare animals such as the bearded vulture, snow leopard, and the Mongolian antelope. It is an absolutely breathtaking green valley oasis in the middle of a vast desert, which makes it the perfect place for visitors to hike and explore. If big and beautiful sand dunes are your thing, then you certainly won’t want to miss the Khongor Sand Dunes. Also known as the “singing sands”, these are some of the largest of the white sand dunes that the Gobi Desert is famous for. The dunes stretch for more than 120 miles and can get as high as 2,600 feet (800 meters) tall.
You also don’t want to miss out on seeing the Khermen Tsav when visiting the park. If you are a fan of the Southern Utah region of the United States, this region of the Gobi Desert will look very familiar. This incredible canyon oasis is filled with incredible rock formations and sandstone cliffs. Adventure travelers and hardcore hikers will revel in the area’s amazing hiking trails and backcountry adventures. With so many incredible things to see and do in Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park, Mongolia is certain to attract more and more outdoor adventure travelers in years to come!
36. Pyrénées National Park, France
While there is an abundance of incredible mountain parklands in Europe to rave about, I would be remiss if I didn’t include the amazing Pyrénées National Park in my list of the top national parks in the world for travelers to visit. Formed along the border between France and Spain, the Pyrénées Mountain range is a dreamland for outdoor adventurers. Highlighted by breathtaking mountain peaks, a seemingly endless number of hiking and mountain biking trails, enchanting small towns and villages, and even natural thermal baths for visitors to enjoy, the Pyrénées has long been a favorite destination for serious mountain lovers.
Above all else, the Pyrénées are renowned for their walking trails. Expert or novice, there are trails for everyone to enjoy. One of the most beautiful and popular hiking areas within the park is undoubtedly the Cirque de Gavarnie, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It gets its name from the French word for an amphitheater, and the Cirque de Gavarnie is one of the most stunning examples of an amphitheater that you will find anywhere in the world. The park is also home to the incredible Gavarnie Falls, which is the tallest waterfall in mainland France and one of the most beautiful, tiered waterfalls in Europe. It is one of the many incredible landmarks that you will encounter while hiking in this amazing park.
For those with the time and the will, the Pyrénées is also home to one of the world’s most incredible multi-day hikes and religious walks. The sacred pilgrimage known as the Camino de Santiago stretches from France to Spain across the Pyrénées Mountain range and attracts many visitors from around the world each year. Also known in English as the “Way of St. James”, this pilgrimage has many starting spots, but all trails lead to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. This is the place where tradition holds that Saint James is buried. It is just one of the many incredible walks thru this amazing park that has made the Pyrénées National Park one of the most incredible national parklands in the world.
35. Krka National Park, Croatia
For those of you who follow my blog closely, there are a few things that you probably know about me by now. The first is that I am absolutely infatuated with national parks. Whether in the United States or scattered elsewhere in the world, I have a strong affinity for parklands because they are typically some of the most beautiful places in the world. The second thing that you likely know about me is that I absolutely love coastlines and waterfalls. I cannot tell you how many breathtaking stretches of coastline I have photographed during my travels and how many beautiful waterfalls that I have gone out of my way to see and take pictures of. If you are like me and love parklands, coastlines, and waterfalls, then you will be absolutely enthralled with the Krka National Park in Croatia. Located on the North end of Croatia’s stunning Dalmatian Coastline, the park is home to some of Europe’s most beautiful lakes and waterfalls.
Being a big user of Instagram, I have seen dozens and dozens of photographs of the Plitvice Lakes and its enormous, beautiful network of waterfalls, but seeing pictures of this park really doesn’t do it justice. The park looks like it was lifted right out of Peter Pan’s Never Never Land, with landscapes that will make your jaw drop around every corner. You can spend your day hiking, swimming in the waterfalls, or just staring in absolute disbelief at the park’s beauty. The best part of all is that this park is incredibly easy to access. While many of the beautiful parks on my list of the top national parks in the world for travelers to visit really make you earn your visit, Krka National Park is easily accessible from any of the cities along Croatia’s Dalmatian Coastline. It’s an easy day trip from cities like Split, Zadar, and Sibenik. This makes Krka National Park an absolute must-see park for any traveler planning to visit Croatia!
34. Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
There are several incredible wildlife parks in Africa on my list of the top national parks in the world for travelers to visit, and all of them are a model for success in protecting wildlife. However, there is one success story that I think stands above all others in terms of the impact that it has made in protecting wildlife. When the beautiful Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe was first established as a wildlife reserve back in 1928, the amount of wildlife left in the area because of hunting was almost non-existent. It was so bad that as few as 1,000 elephants were estimated to remain in the park.
Today, Hwange National Park has some of the largest and healthiest elephant herds in Africa. Hwange National Park is a big five park, and there are more than 100 mammal species found in the park, including elephants, giraffes, hippos, buffalos, zebras, wildebeests, white rhinos, black rhinos, lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, wild dogs, antelopes, and gemsbok. The park is also home to the painted dog Conservation Center, which is trying to rehabilitate and rebuild the African painted dog population throughout Southern Africa.
Hwange National Park is only a few hours from the city of Victoria Falls, which makes it a wonderful day trip option for travelers planning to visit the falls. For travelers who love wildlife experiences, going on safari in Africa is an absolute must and Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe is one of the best parks you can choose to visit.
|Hwange National Park Safari Guide|
33. Jim Corbett National Park, India
While the continent of Africa may get a lion’s share (get the pun?) of the attention from travelers when it comes to the world’s top wildlife travel destinations, the continent of Asia certainly should not be overlooked. In particular, the country of India has some absolutely spectacular wildlife parks that rival Africa’s big parks in every way. One of my favorites of India’s wildlife parks is the renowned Jim Corbett National Park, or otherwise known as just the Corbett National Park. Tucked away in the state of Uttarakhand, this wildlife paradise is one of the most amazing collections of wildlife that you will find anywhere in the world. In fact, it was in this park that the prestigious “Project Tiger” was launched back in 1973.
The park covers over 500-square kilometers of land, which consists of everything from marshy swamps to beautiful lakes, to incredible rolling hills. Among the many different animal species that you will find within the park include tigers, leopards, Asian elephants, chital deer, sambar deer, hog deer, barking deer, wild boars, rhesus monkeys, jackal, and over 600 different species of bird. Even though most visitors to the park come to see the lions and the elephants, the bird watching within Corbett National Park is so good that it has become one of the world’s most renowned birdwatching destinations.
In addition to going on safari, there are also many other activities for visitors to enjoy within the park. This includes, but is certainly not limited to, such things as river rafting, wilderness hiking, and camping. So, if you are a wildlife enthusiast who is looking for a unique and wonderful wildlife adventure, make sure you keep the incredible Jim Corbett National Park in India on your list of the top national parks in the world to visit.
32. Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand
If breathtaking mountains and incredible alpine hiking trails are your jam, then you are definitely going to want to visit the South Island of New Zealand. Not only are the Southern Alps some of the world’s most beautiful mountains, but the South Island is chock full of amazing national parks for visitors to enjoy. One of the most popular of these parks is the renowned Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. Home to the legendary Aoraki Mountain, it is the tallest mountain in New Zealand and one of the most beautiful mountains in the world. There is a wealth of amazing hiking trails within the park, ranging from easier day hikes all the way to multi-day backcountry hikes for the die-hards. Many of the trails include jaw-droppingly beautiful suspension bridges that have made the park infamous among Instagram posters.
For those who are looking for a little added adventure, there are also helicopter flights that will take you up the glaciers for some incredible glacier hiking. We were able to do some glacier hiking while on the South Island and it was one of the most incredible hiking experiences that I have ever had. The enormity of these mountains and the glaciers overwhelms you when you see them up close.
There are also some great opportunities to do some sky diving in the Aoraki\Mount Cook area, for those who are looking to maximize their adventure when visiting. There is nothing more beautiful and exhilarating than falling from the sky while getting a bird’s eye view of one of the world’s most incredible mountain ranges. Whether you are looking to do some die-hard hiking or just want to enjoy the beautiful mountain vistas with a hot chocolate in your hands, the beautiful Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park on New Zealand’s South Island is among the top national parks in the world that all park enthusiasts should visit.
31. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda
Many of the travelers who visit Africa to go on safari come to see the “Big Five” animals of the continent. This includes the African elephant, the African lion, the Cape Buffalo, the African leopard, and the Black or White Rhinos. While seeing these amazing creatures in their natural habitat is an incredible experience, and one that I have been lucky enough to experience multiple times, there are other incredible wildlife species throughout Africa that you may want to plan to travel to see as well. One of the most remarkable of these other wildlife experiences is seeing the African highland gorillas in Rwanda and Uganda. They are such powerful, yet gentle creatures, and seeing them in the wild is an experience you will never forget. One of the best places to travel to see these gorillas is the spectacular Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda.
The park lies in the southwestern part of Uganda, near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo and next to the Virunga National Park. It covers an area of over 128-square miles, and most of that land is covered by thick lowland and mountain forests. In addition to the incredible guided gorilla treks, where you will be able to hike up to see these amazing animals feeding and socializing with one another, the park is also known to host an abundance of other wildlife that you might see as well. This includes red-tailed monkeys, L’Hoest’s monkeys, Vervet monkeys, Colobus Monkeys, forest elephants, Golden cats, Jackals, Giant forest pigs, Chimpanzees, Bushbucks, Blue monkeys, Baboons, African civets, Buffaloes, Duikers, Clawless otter, Bats, De Brazza monkeys, Potto, Spectacled and Demidoff’s Galagos.
While my list of the top national parks in the world for travelers to visit has many wonderful wildlife destinations on it for travelers to consider, I can think of few, if any, destinations that are as spiritual as seeing the gorillas in Uganda. The experience of seeing these wonderful creatures in the wild and watching them interact with you is an experience that will stick with you forever. It is definitely a trip that I would recommend and that is why the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda is so high on this list.
|Trekking to See Gorillas in Rwanda|
30. Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal
Because of the incredible Himalayan Mountain range, the country of Nepal is certainly no stranger to travelers. Each year, thousands of travelers flock to Nepal to trek on the country’s many alpine trail circuits and to climb its breathtaking mountain peaks. However, one thing that many travelers may not know is that the country of Nepal is also home to one of the world’s premier wildlife parks. That’s right, the crown jewel of mountain destinations is also a renowned wildlife destination as well. Much of that is thanks to the incredible Chitwan National Park. Established in 1973, Chitwan became Nepal’s first official national park. While some travelers may flock to Sagarmatha National Park to view Mount Everest, others make their way to beautiful Chitwan to enjoy the country’s rich wildlife.
What sets Chitwan apart from the rest of the country is its subtropical location in the southern part of the country. It is here, nestled in the Inner Terai lowlands, protected by the Himalayan foothills, that you will find the ideal habitat for the endangered Bengal Tigers. While other parks in Asia, and even in Nepal, may also offer visitors an opportunity to spot the tigers, Chitwan is by far the best park in the country, if not all of Asia, to spot some of the continent’s other endangered species. This includes the incredible single-horned Asiatic rhinoceros, which Chitwan National Park is famous for protecting, and the gharial crocodile, which is one of the longest-living crocodilians on Earth.
Visitors to Chitwan have the opportunity to see the wildlife in the park in several different unique and amazing ways. Like most wildlife parks in the world, they offer jeep safaris for those who want to see the wildlife from the protection of a vehicle. However, if you are more adventurous, the park also offers elephant safaris, which allow you to tour the park on top of an elephant to get a more intimate view of the park. If you have the time, I also recommend taking one of the park’s excellent boating or canoeing adventures, as well as a jungle walk to learn more about the amazing park. So, if you are looking to add some adventure to your Nepal travel itinerary, I would strongly suggest you consider a stop at the amazing Chitwan National Park to see for yourself why it is one of the best national parks in the world for travelers to visit.
29. Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
Renowned by National Geographic as being “the most biologically intense place on Earth in terms of biodiversity”, the incredible Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica is the next national parkland that I would like to feature on my list of the top national parks in the world for travelers to visit. Located on Costa Rica’s remote Osa Peninsula, Corcovado looks like it could have been lifted right out of a Jurassic Park movie. Thick jungle, stunning beaches and coastline, and some of the most exotic and incredible animals that you will find in the world make this place famous.
As soon as you enter the park, the immense sounds of scarlet macaws and howler monkeys will greet you in this untouched paradise. On your jungle walks into the park, you will see wildlife almost everywhere you look. Ever since the park was created back in the 1970s to protect the land from illegal gold mining and logging, the park has been a haven for some of Costa Rica’s most amazing and endangered animals. Among the many animals that can be spotted in the park include Squirrel Monkeys, White-Faced Capuchin monkeys, Spider monkeys, Baird’s tapirs, Northern Tamandua, Margay, Three-toed sloths, White-Nosed Coati, the American crocodile, and of course the legendary jaguar.
So, if you are a wildlife enthusiast that is looking for a unique wildlife adventure for your next big trip, I would implore you to consider the incredible Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica. One look at this breathtaking cloud forest and the amazing diversity of wildlife that call it home, and you will be in love with Costa Rica forever.
28. Zhangye National Park, China
Being a national parks enthusiast who has visited many different parks throughout the world, I thought I had seen most of the breathtaking landscapes that this world has to offer. Then, I heard about a park in China that made me realize that what I have seen is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to jaw-droppingly beautiful landscapes. If you aren’t familiar with what I am talking about, then I implore you to Google the incredible Zhangye Danxia National Geopark in China. The park’s gorgeous rainbow-colored hills look like they have been lifted out of a fairytale, or some hippie’s tie-dyed t-shirt. There are colors in these hills that you don’t even realize existed before you see them with your own eyes. Without a doubt, this park is one of the must-visit destinations for park enthusiasts who love photography.
Located in the northern foothills of the Qilian Mountains, in the counties of Linze and Sunan, the park showcases one of the largest collections of colored peaks (the other being the Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain in Peru) you will find in the world. As you approach the different viewpoints in the park, the landscape seems to come alive with shades of yellow, red, emerald, green, orange, and every other color in between. You will sit in stunned silence as your eyes try to convince your brain that what you are seeing is in fact real. However, if you do decide to visit the beautiful Zhangye Danxia National Geopark, try and plan your visit for after a rainfall. The colors on the peaks are even more impressive when they are damp. However, no matter when you visit, you are certain to have an experience you will remember for a lifetime.
27. Chobe National Park, Botswana
For travelers who would like to go on safari in one of Africa’s many legendary wildlife national parks, I can think of very few that offer wildlife viewing experiences as incredible as those offered at Botswana’s famed Chobe National Park. Each year, thousands of visitors travel to Chobe to see some of Africa’s most incredible wildlife up-close in their natural environment. Because of its close proximity to the city of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, it is easier to visit Chobe National Park than some of Southeastern Africa’s other wildlife destinations. However, even though it is convenient to access, Chobe is unlike other accessible parks in Africa in many ways. Unlike parks in other countries, the national parks and game reserves in Botswana are renowned for being as wild and authentic as you will find in all of Africa. It isn’t uncommon for hyenas, elephants, and even lions to roam thru the campgrounds at night, which is the wild experience that many adventure travelers and wildlife enthusiasts are looking for. It is what draws so many people to Chobe and Botswana’s other parks each year.
However, Chobe National Park isn’t unique just because it is so wild and untamed. It is also one of the few parks in Africa where you can take a boat safari within the park. Because the mighty Chobe River runs thru the heart of the park, the animals within the park typically congregate near the river’s banks to drink. This creates the perfect opportunity for visitors to take a guided boat ride down the river to get a unique perspective of the animals from the water. It isn’t uncommon to see hippos, crocodiles, cape buffalo, and even elephants in the water. When we visited, we even got to see an elephant swim across the river using its trunk as a snorkel. Combine a boat safari with a land safari to see the park’s many lions, leopards, and abundant antelope species and it makes Chobe National Park in Botswana one of the most unique and incredible places to go on safari in all of Africa.
|Chobe National Park Safari Guide|
26. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, United States
So far in my list of the top national parks in the world for travelers to visit, I have covered some very unique and beautiful landscapes. However, I think few, if any, of the parks I have mentioned on my list are as unique or as fascinating as the incredible Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in the state of Hawaii in the United States. Known for having both the largest (Mauna Loa) and the most active (Kilauea) volcanoes in the world, the park harkens visitors back to a time when more of the world was in its volcanic transformation period. The park was formerly part of the Hawaii National Park, which was formed back in 1916 by American president Woodrow Wilson but has since been given its own park designation.
Visitors to the park can explore the park in the safety of their car by taking the Chain of Craters Road, which traverses roughly 20 miles through volcanic landforms within the park between the Kilauea Crater and the Holei Sea Arch. For those who are more adventurous, you can also do some hiking within the park. Some of the more popular hikes are to the Kilauea Iki Crater Overlook, which gives you a fascinating view into the world’s most active crater, and the Thurston Lava Tube, which is a tube that a lava river carved roughly 500 years ago that visitors can now walk through. However, in my opinion, the very best experience to have in the park is to drive the Crater Rim Drive, which follows along the edge of the Kilauea Crater and allows you to see the lava hitting the ocean and throwing up steam. It is a spectacular thing to experience and something that all visitors to Hawaii should have on their travel bucket list.
25. Ao Phang Nga National Park, Thailand
For those who are big fans of the James Bond 007 films, the next park on my list of the top national parks in the world for travelers to visit should look very familiar. Featured in the Bond film “The Man with the Golden Gun”, the breathtakingly beautiful Ao Phang Nga National Park in Thailand looks like it could have been made up using Hollywood Special effects. Seriously, it may be one of the most stunning stretches of coastline that you will find anywhere in the world. This untouched gem is renowned for its unique topography that showcases roughly 40 different islands that are surrounded by beautiful blue waters and littered with incredible limestone pillars that reach up to the sky from out of the water. One look at the views, and you will instantly fall in love with Ao Phang Nga National Park.
In addition to its breathtaking scenery, there is a wealth of activities for visitors to enjoy in the park as well. With waters teaming with marine wildlife, it is one of the world’s premier snorkeling and scuba diving destinations. One of the most popular spots to view the marine life in the park is the infamous Phang Nga Bay. For those who aren’t up for getting into the water, you are also able to take boat tours of the park that allow you to fully appreciate the park’s beauty without having to get wet. One of the most popular tours is the amazing Khao Phing Kan, which is a mystical limestone pillar that is one of the most recognizable landmarks within the park. And when you are done exploring, there are also plenty of incredible beaches for you to enjoy within the park to get some rest and relaxation as well. You will find no shortage of beach lovers on the incredible Ao Phang Nga, which is one of the most beautiful beaches in Asia, if not the world. Regardless of the reason you choose to visit Ao Phang Nga National Park, it is certainly an experience you will never forget.
|The 25 Top Beaches in the World to Visit|
24. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
While there are many incredible landscapes in the parks listed on my list of the top national parks in the world, every so often you come across a landscape that simply defies the proper words to describe it. Such is the case with the Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia, which is simply too beautiful and unique to truly do justice to with words. The park is comprised of 16 interconnected lakes that tumble from top to bottom from one into another. Connecting the lakes are a series of awe-inspiring waterfalls that will absolutely make your jaw drop when you see them in person. Not only are the waterfalls themselves beautiful, but the crystal-clear water changes color from blue, to turquoise, to green, seemingly every hour. The beauty of this ever-changing landscape looks like it could have been lifted right out of the movie Avatar.
Each year, over 1.1 million visitors flock to Plitvice Lakes National Park to gaze upon its beauty, swim in its lakes and waterfalls, and hike from one beautiful viewpoint to another. If you are a landscape who likes to photograph incredible landscapes, then you certainly won’t want to miss Plitvice Lakes. Each photograph you take will look different depending on the time of day and the number of minerals and organisms in the water at the time. This makes it one of the most fascinating and exciting places for travel photographers to visit. However, you don’t need to be a die-hard photographer to enjoy the park. Its beauty will certainly mesmerize you, camera in hand or not.
23. Yosemite National Park, United States
The United States of America is renowned for its wealth of incredible national parklands. Not only the sheer number of parks that it has but the spectacular variety of different landscapes that are protected by the national park status. Many of the parks that are on my list of the top national parks in the world for travelers to visit are located within the United States. One of the most famous of America’s beautiful parks is the amazing Yosemite National Park in the state of California. Located in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range, Yosemite National Park is a breathtakingly gorgeous mountain park with a plethora of wonderful things for visitors to do and see.
If you are an outdoor adventurer, there are very few national parks in the world that offer as many challenging hiking trails to explore, difficult rock-climbing routes to climb, and amazingly beautiful camping locations to enjoy. The Yosemite Valley is infamous for its gigantic rock walls that are highlighted by the monolithic Half Dome and El Capitan rock formations that have been the centerpiece of many popular rock-climbing movies, including the recent blockbuster “Free Solo”, starring famed free climber Alex Honnold. However, you don’t need to be a famed rock climber to enjoy the park. One of my favorite parts about the park is the spectacular hiking trails within the park. One of the most infamous of these trails is the trail to the top of Half Dome. This strenuous full-day hike involves a chain-guided accent to the top of these steep rock formations that will leave even the most experienced hikers with weak knees.
So, whether you are an outdoor adventurer looking to bag a difficult climbing pitch, a hiker looking to test your mettle on one of the park’s more challenging trails, or just want to enjoy the beauty of the park from the comfort of the valley floor, Yosemite National Park in America is definitely a park that should be on everyone’s travel bucket list.
|California National Parks Road Trip|
22. Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina
So far, we have seen quite a few national parklands in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America on my list of the top national parks in the world for travelers to visit, but it would be a tremendous mistake to neglect some of the incredible parks in South America. In my opinion, South America is one of the most beautiful continents on Earth. From the continent’s many incredible beaches to the vastness and beauty of the Atacama Desert, to the breathtaking beauty of the Andes Mountains, South America has it all. One of my favorite national parks in South America is undoubtedly the Los Glaciares National Park located in Argentine Patagonia. While there are over 300 national parklands in South America, none are bigger than Los Glaciares National Park.
This roughly 336 square-mile park features over 300 different glaciers and is characterized by beautiful ice fields and an enchanting mountain range that forms the park’s backdrop. The park is part of the Patagonian Andes that is shared by Argentina and Chile and sits right on the border between the two countries. On the Chilean side of the border sits the famed Torres del Paine National Park, which is equally as beautiful as Los Glaciares in every way. While many visit the parks to hike on the many alpine trails and to summit the beautiful Mount Fitz Roy or Cerro Torre, you don’t need to be a mountaineer or an avid hiker to enjoy the park’s beauty. There are many glaciers, such as Perito Moreno, that are very accessible with just short hikes. So, if you are looking for a beautiful South American destination to visit for your next big national park adventure, I would strongly consider the beautiful Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina.
21. Göreme National Park, Turkey
When I started comprising my list of the top national parks in the world for travelers to visit, I was a little bit overwhelmed by how many breathtakingly beautiful parks there are in the world to see. While nearly all of them are beautiful, some seemed just too pretty to be real. One of the parks that you would think was just a made-up creation by the minds of Hollywood is the incredible Goreme National Park in Turkey. This is one of the most stunning, and absolutely dreamiest, places that you will ever set eyes on. The park is surrounded by the Hasan and Erciyes Mountains and is characterized by incredible fairy house-shaped rock formations and incredible caves and underground cities, churches, and houses.
The breathtaking formations that are found in the park valley were formed over hundreds of years by the rivers that originated in the surrounding mountains. Today, the park is one of Turkey’s most popular tourist attractions. Visitors to the park will be in absolute awe as they set their eyes on the valley full of rock formations that resemble fairy house chimneys and ancient houses that date all the way back to the Byzantine Empire. While there are many things for visitors to do in the park, such as touring the open-air museum, visiting the incredible Deverent Valleys, and checking out the incredible Bezirhane Churches, one of the most popular activities for visitors is to take a hot air balloon ride over the valley. From the air, you will truly get to appreciate the spectacular beauty of the park. And if you want to stay for multiple days, I also recommend staying in one of the park’s many cave suites. It is a perfect way to cap off an incredible visit to one of the world’s most amazing national parklands!
I great list – I want to see them all! (Actually, I’ve been to Jasper…) I’ll be spending 6 nights in the Pyrenees this summer and I’ll be at Uluru the following summer. Still so many left to go, though! I can’t believe I’ve never been to Yosemite, and that one in China looks fabulous!
Thanks so much!!! You absolutely have to make it up to Jasper/Banff. It is incredible!!! Amazing that you will be visiting the Pyrenees and so excited for you and your Australia trip!!!! So must be so excited!!
You’ve been to some amazing places and have some spectacular photos, Josh.
Thank you so very much!!! I have been blessed to have been able to travel to these places and have enjoyed sharing these experiences. Hopefully it inspires others to travel 😄