7 New Wonders of the World

Are you ready to be awed? Check out our picks for the new 7 wonders of the world.

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Chichen Itza is the largest known city of the Mayan civilization, located in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The powerful city flourished from AD 800 to 1200 and was a trading center for cloth, slaves, honey and salt. 960 1280

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The main attraction of Chichen Itza is the pyramid also known as El Castillo. Built sometime between 1000 and 1200, the pyramid was used as a temple to the god Kukulkan. Archaeologists believe that the pyramid also served as a calendar for the Mayas. In total it has 365 steps -- one for each day of the year. 960 1280

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The Christ the Redeemer statue stands at the top of the 2,330-foot-tall Corcovado Mountain, looming over the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 960 1280

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The 130-foot-tall statue of Jesus Christ was completed in 1931 and is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone. It is one of the largest Art Deco statues in the world, and it weighs in at 2.5 million pounds. 960 1280

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The Roman Colosseum was built between AD 70 and 80, and it was in used for gladiatorial events, battle reenactments, animal hunts and other performances for 500 years. 960 1280

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The Colosseum sat nearly 50,000 spectators, and its design still influences the construction of modern-day amphitheaters. Earthquakes and stone-robbers have left the Colosseum in a state of ruin, but portions of the structure remain open to tourists. 960 1280

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The Great Wall of China, actually a series of many walls, stretches 5,500 miles across northern China. 960 1280

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Built between the 5th and 16th centuries BC to protect China's borders from invasion by nomadic tribes, the Great Wall is the world's longest manmade structure. 960 1280

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Machu Picchu, a 15th-century Inca archaeological site, sits 7,000 feet above sea level in the Andes Mountains of Peru. It is often referred to as the 'Lost City of the Incas,' because it was known only to locals until it was discovered in 1911 by American historian Hiram Bingham. 960 1280

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Archaeologists estimate that 1,200 Incas could have lived in Machu Picchu, although many believe it was most likely a retreat for Incan rulers, built as an estate for the emperor Pachacuti (1438-1472). 960 1280

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Petra, an archeological city in Jordan, is known for its dusty pink buildings carved out of rock and its impressive water conduit system. Built sometime around the 6th century BC, Petra was the capital city of the Nabataeans. 960 1280

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The entrance to the city of Petra is through a narrow gorge, flanked on either side by 250-foot cliffs. The most recognizable building in Petra is the Treasury, carved completely out of rock as a tomb for a Nanataean king. The building's façade stands almost 150 feet high. 960 1280

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Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan was so distraught by the passing of his third wife Mumtaz Mahal, that he commissioned an elaborate mausoleum to be built for her. The Taj Mahal shines as a symbol of eternal love and was built entirely of white marble. Construction stretched over a period of 22 years, beginning in the 1630s. 960 1280

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The Taj Mahal, located in Agra, India, is just one part of a vast complex that consists of a main gateway, an elaborate garden, a mosque, a guest house and several other magnificent buildings. 960 1280

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Chile
Chile

Chile

On Easter Island, one of the world's most remote inhabited islands, we imagine the models stood out as much as the moai, 887 mysterious, monumental statues created by the early Rapa Nui people. 960 1280

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Namibia

Namibia

While the desert's dunes served as a striking backdrop, the models were hardly stranded. They stayed in the luxurious Swakopmund Hotel, a converted train station with equal access to both the dunes and the ocean. 960 1280

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Nature Friend Safaris

Nature Friend Safaris

The 84,000-acre Onguma Game Reserve is home to 550 species and The Fort -- including luxury tents and open-air tree houses, all offering unparalleled views and predator protection. 960 1280

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Wolwedans Lodge

Wolwedans Lodge

After going on safari with Namab Desert Tours, the crew retreated 570 miles to the south, where the luxurious Wolwedans camp offers a night sky like you've never seen (and where SI claims Brangelina has stayed -- twice.) 960 1280

Wolwedans Reservations  

China

China

We particularly envy the SI crew's 10-day shoot in south central China. While at the sprawling Shangri-La Hotel, we imagine they took full advantage of the nearby street markets' mouthwatering Guilin delicacies and the spa's 8 private treatment rooms. 960 1280

Shangri-La International Hotels and Resorts  

Spain

Spain

SI stayed in the heart of Seville's old city at the famed Gran Melia Colon, a favorite haunt of Ernest Hemingway and matadors (acknowledged by a subtle bullfighting motif). The 5-star hotel's recently renovated rooms seem ideal for a siesta. 960 1280

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Antarctica

Antarctica

We can only imagine the looks on the (few) faces when SI cover girl Kate Upton arrived aboard Le Boreal, bikini in hand, at the "end of the world." The last leg of her lengthy journey (New York to Buenos Aires to Antarctica) was chartered by the 50-year-old exotic travel company Abercrombie & Kent. 960 1280

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Las Vegas

Las Vegas

SI says that right before they arrived in Vegas, the cast of The Hangover Part III was filming at Caesars Palace, where villas in the newly-opened Octavius Tower can go for $40,000 a night. 960 1280

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The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

While the "viral athletes" spread was shot at Caesars Palace, the crew stayed at the plush Cosmopolitan Hotel up the Strip -- and we imagine the models let their collective hair down at its posh nightclub, Marquee. 960 1280

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas  

Bahamas

Bahamas

And now for something a little more expected of a swimsuit edition: The picturesque Grand Isle Resort & Spa. Sports Illustrated knows to skip the sky-scraping hotels in Nassau in favor of Georgetown, the capital of the exotic Exuma Islands district. 960 1280

Grand Isle Resort & Spa  

Australia

Australia

There's nothing separating you from the elements at Hayman Island, a jaw-dropping resort in the heart of Australia's Great Barrier Reef, where the villas are beachfront, infinity pools have unobstructed views and the canopy of trees overhead is full of exotic fauna. One photo assistant told SI, it "feels like Jurassic Park!" 960 1280

Sports Illustrated / Hayman