Travel’s Best Wonders of the World 2015 Pictures
Photo By: Jordan Tourism Board
Photo By: Maxime Coquard/Tourism Australia
Photo By: Bard Loken/Visitnorway.com
Photo By: Matthew Micah Wright/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images
Photo By: DreamPictures/Getty Images
Photo By: Mr Anujak Jaimook/Moment Open/Getty Images
Photo By: Pascal Boegli/Moment/Getty Images
“The ancient Rose-Red City of Petra in Jordan is much more than a scene from Indiana Jones; it’s one of the world’s most impressive ancient sites,” says Matt Long. “From the 3/4-mile-long entrance through a narrow slot canyon to the massive building carved into the mountain, Petra rarely fails to impress visitors, as it has done for more than 2,000 years.”
Great Barrier Reef
Off the coast of Queensland, Australia, sits an underwater treasure: the largest coral reef system in the world, known simply as the Great Barrier Reef. “Its size is daunting — it can be seen from outer space — but that doesn’t stop the millions who visit every year to experience not only the warm tropical waters, but also the amazing diversity of life hidden just beneath the waves,” says Matt Long.
“The great polar wonder of the aurora borealis has captivated imaginations for millennia, but it’s also one of the world’s most impressive natural wonders,” says Matt Long of LandLopers.com. “These dancing sheets of greens and pinks across the night sky may have their origins in outer space, but their effect on those of us here on Earth certainly can’t be denied.”
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
The lost city of Angkor is one of the world's most impressive architectural wonders. With more than 100 intricately carved 12th-century Khmer temples and sacred shrines, Angkor Wat is epic in size, scope and artistic detail, says travel junkie Julia Dimon. “A visit here is almost a mystical experience.”
“It’s huge, it’s maddeningly hard to get to, and it’s all but impossible to thoroughly explore, but that’s what makes it great,” says Expedition Unknown host Josh Gates. Ships are crossing the Drake Passage in record numbers to give visitors a look at our mysterious seventh continent, “one of the most silent, raw and spectacular landscapes on Earth.”
Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar
The shining star of Myanmar, this soaring temple and ancient Buddhist stupa sits on a high hill at the heart of the country’s largest city, Yangon. The temple is like a small city, dominated by a 325-foot gilded spire at its center, says Expedition Unknown host Josh Gates.
Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe
Straddling the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, this incredible natural wonder is one of the world's largest waterfalls. “A visit here makes you appreciate why the locals call it Mosi-oa-Tunya, which means ‘the smoke that thunders,’” says Julia Dimon. “Upon arrival to the falls, travelers will journey down a trail, leading them just a few hundred feet from the unrelenting, cascading waters” of the Zambezi River.