The provisional New 7 Wonders of nature were announced last week at the New 7 Wonders headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. Elected by public votes taken from all over the world, the New 7 Wonders were whittled down from over 440 initial locations from over 220 countries. These 7 Wonders are all stunning examples of natural beauty, and we currently visit five of them on our tours and holidays. How many have you seen so far, and what’s on your list?
First on the list (and pretty impressive when you look at the numbers involved here) is the Amazon. The Amazon basin covers 7 million square kilometres, with the rainforest covering some 5.5 million square kilometres. Representing over half of the world’s remaining rainforests, the Amazon in South America is by far the largest rainforest on the planet. The famous Amazon River is the world’s largest river by volume, with more river flow than the top ten rivers of the world combined. Incredibly, there is not one bridge that crosses the Amazon River! Aside from all the amazing statistics, the Amazon is a hugely important conservation area, with the rainforest supporting more species than any other. Good choice!
A must-see region of the country on any tour or holiday to Vietnam, Vietnam’s picturesque Halong Bay features thousands of limestone karsts and islands. Many of the islands are hollow with enormous caves, some have beautiful lakes, and others support entire floating villages of fishermen, who play the shallow waters for the many species of fish and molluscs. Already a UNESCO World Heritage site, these limestone peaks offer some of the best rock-climbing in Southeast Asia. The ideal way to explore Halong Bay is onboard a traditional Chinese style Junk boat which can either be privately chartered or shared. Enjoy a cruise on a Junk and explore remote offshore islands, kayak and swim in the warm waters and capture an incredible sunset over the peaks.
Located off the southern coast of South Korea, Jeju-do is the largest volcanic island in Korea. A central feature is Hallasan, the tallest mountain in South Korea and a dormant volcano. Definitely one of South Korea’s top spots, Jeju-do has largely developed its own unique history, traditional dress, architecture and linguistic traditions. With a moderate climate, Jeju-do has a sub-tropical southern side and a temperate northern region. On Jeju Island you’ll find exquisite botanical gardens, sandy beaches, lava caves, a folk village and the O’Sulloc Tea Museum where you can learn about South Korea’s famous traditional tea culture.
One of the most recognisable peaks in the world, South Africa’s Table Mountain owes its appearance to unique flat-topped peaks that rise over 1000m above sea-level. Table Mountain also features the richest floral kingdom in the world, with over 1470 floral species (many of them completely unique to the region) concentrated in a relatively tiny area. The top of Table Mountain has spectacular views in all directions and gives one a bird’s eye view of the city. The upper cable car station is situated at 1067m and the revolving cable car makes sure that your trip up and down gives one a great view in all directions. A fitting end or beginning to many safaris and holidays in Africa, Table Mountain is the gateway to the continent.
Extending over 2700m in a semi-circular shape, the Iguazu Falls in South America’s Iguazu River are one of the world’s largest waterfalls. Iguazu Falls are on the border of Brazil and Argentina, and are surrounded by two national parks, both of which are subtropical rainforests that host hundreds of rare and endangered species of flora and fauna. Of the 275 falls that collectively make up the Iguazu Falls, ‘Devil’s Throat’ is the tallest at 80m tall.
Indonesia’s Komodo National Park includes the three larger islands Komodo, Rinca and Padar, as well as numerous smaller ones, for a total area of 1,817 square kilometers (603 square kilometers of it land). Founded in 1980 to protect the Komodo dragon, the national park was later dedicated to protecting other species, including marine animals.
Puerto Princesa Underground River
The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is located about 50 km north of the city of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines. It features a limestone karst mountain landscape with an 8.2 km navigable underground river. A distinguishing feature of the river is that it winds through a cave before flowing directly into the South China Sea. It includes major formations of stalactites and stalagmites, and several large chambers. The lower portion of the river is subject to tidal influences. The underground river is reputed to be the world’s longest. At the mouth of the cave, a clear lagoon is framed by ancient trees growing right to the water’s edge.
Read more about the New 7 Wonders of Nature on the official website.