If our sensational escapes weren’t already good enough, you’ll be jumping for joy when you find out our destinations take you to some of the most iconic places on the planet. Discover world wonders and natural beauty at its finest with these UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
What are UNESCO World Heritage Sites?
These bucket-list landmarks are once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Carefully selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation – UNESCO, the sites chosen are usually in the greatest need of protection.
To qualify the landmark selected has to meet a certain criteria such as being part of a special culture, playing a significant part in human history and displaying unique features.
Old Havana – Cuba
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Adopting its World Heritage title in 1982, Old Havana is a time capsule of its original urban layout. A mix of Baroque and Neoclassical monuments, and home to several major attractions – you’ll learn a thing or two with the large amount historical landmarks here.
In fact, Old Havana is the largest Caribbean city and its vintage character only adds to its charm. Almost as old as Columbus himself, you can enjoy attractions such as the National Museum of Fine Arts, exhibiting inspiring collections from the colonial times to present-day masterpieces.
Ride around in vintage cars and head to Morro Castle, a fortress guarding the entrance of Havana bay. The lighthouse here is now an exhibition holding ancient guns and cannons.
Architectural wonders are never hard to come by in Old Havana.
Plitvice Lakes – Croatia
You only have to take one look at the Plitvice Lakes to see why this is a UNESCO site. Taking six hours to explore this heavily forested national park, every step is worthwhile. Lured in by 16 shimmering lakes that tumble into each other, the views are simply breathtaking.
Watch the waters carve through rocks and find hidden caves and cascading waterfalls during your explorations. These unique sapphire waters are one of Croatia’s most visited spots, with 15,000 holidaymakers flocking here every day.
Considered one of the most natural sights in Europe and renowned for its distinctive colours, Plitvice can be tackled by foot, bike or boat. But be sure to keep your eyes peeled for bears, wolves and other rare species living here.
Chichen Itza – Mexico
Nothing makes your Mexico holiday more memorable then visiting one of the Seven Wonders of the World. A complex of Mayan ruins, the Temple of Kukulcan stands proudly in the centre of the ancient city.
Dedicated to the feathered serpent god, it’s the biggest pyramid in Chichen Itza. Most of the Maya temples were built to reflect astronomical events. During an equinoxes, the shadow of a serpent slithers along the side of the Kukulcan’s northern staircase, creepy right?
It’s the largest of the archaeological sites of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization and one of Mexico’s most visited spots. After all – there’s something quite spectacular about a cultural heritage that’s over 1000 years old.
The reason it was abandoned is unknown, making this landmark all the more mysterious.
Ha Long Bay – Vietnam
Another natural wonder, Ha Long Bay also known as the ‘bay of descending dragons’ – boasts beautiful emerald waters and thousands of towering limestone. Made up of over 1,000 islands and islets, each rock formation is unique.
The bay makes for the perfect watersport spot, with swimming, fishing, snorkelling and kayaking at your feet. And these are only a few of the ways you can take advantage of this Vietnam UNESCO site.
Everglades National Park – Florida
This bucket-list hotspot is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. As an international treasure, the Everglades are made up of unparalleled landscapes and are home to numerous rare and endangered species.
With 15 million acres of wetland, famously known as the river of grass, catch a glimpse of crocodiles, dolphins and manatee. Soak up the views from the shark valley’s 65-foot observation tower – a great place to catch the sun setting over Flamingo, the southernmost point in mainland Florida.
Grand Canyon – Las Vegas
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Someplaces deserve our fullest protection, to be preserved for all future generations. We believe our National Parks, Monuments, all NPS units and public lands should be afforded these protections for us all. •••••• Thank you Kendra @kendrajwp for sharing the issues. ・・・ Should ecosystems and natural resources have legal rights? If corporations can enjoy some of the rights that people do (thank you Citizens United), why not a river? An environmental group is asking this very question and has filed a lawsuit asking the court to declare the Colorado River ecosystem a “person” that has a right to "exist, flourish, regenerate, be restored, and naturally evolve." The Colorado River is highly regulated (and overdrawn from). If the court grants the River rights, it could then have its interests represented in court. What do you think? Should natural entities have rights? [Sources: 9News NBC, The Aspen Times, The NY Times] ——– #nationalparkgeek #FYPyes #nps #nationalpark #nationalparks #americasbestidea #findyourpark #goparks #nationalparkfoundation #everykidinapark #nature #naturelovers #npca #nationalparktrust #protectourpubliclands #climatechangeisreal #grandcanyon
Just a quick two-hour drive or 45-minute helicopter ride from Las Vegas is the 277-mile long crater, the Grand Canyon. Over six million years, the Grand Canyon has expanded and people from all over the world come here to gaze at its breathtaking red and orange rock formations.
The Grand Canyon was formed by erosion from the Colorado River, revealing rock that is over a million years old. The Skywalk is a great way to take in the views, this horseshoe-shaped bridge is a glass walkway on the edge of the Canyon – cameras at the ready!
There’s also a village which accommodates holidaymakers visiting the iconic landmark. Plus, it’s the perfect lookout point for the sunrise and sunset.
The Dolomites – Italy
It’s no surprise that the Dolomites made it on the UNESCO list, this Italian mountain range has 18 snow-topped peaks which soar above 3,000 metres. You won’t find scenery quite like it, flower-filled meadows, waterfalls and shimmering lakes.
These summits also make for a great skiing spot, but what makes this natural delight all the more mesmerising are the mountains’ pink and purple glow when the sun hits. It’s a great place to get lost too with hiking trails that fitness fanatics will fall head over heels for.
Once you’ve been lured in, there’s no looking back. The Dolomites are a great place for that get-away-from-it-all vibe and with an interesting background, you could say it’s a cultural melting pot.
Bucket lists at the ready, these UNESCO World Heritage Sites are never far away with our out-of-this-world holidays.