In an age of ever growing cities and increasing deforestation, it is reassuring to know that there are still national parks across the globe that are protected against human destruction and are a safe haven for wildlife. Whether it’s the turquoise waters of the Great Barrier Reef or the lush rainforests and waterfalls of Iguazu, these areas contain some of the most breathtaking natural wonders on the planet. Sit back and enjoy, as the following are ten of the most beautiful national parks in the world.
Banff National Park – Canada
If you want to visit a national park that contains all the best natural beauty and wildlife North America has to offer then Banff is the perfect location. Situated in the northern Rockies of Alberta, Banff contains lush forests, beautiful lakes, stunning mountains and incredible glaciers. If that wasn’t enough of a reason to make Banff one of the most beautiful national parks on the planet, it is also home to wild moose, grizzly bears and wolves!
Etosha National Park – Namibia
Etosha is not only one of Africa’s best national parks but one of the most impressive on the whole planet. The beautiful landscape is home to a wide variety of exotic wildlife, including leopards, giraffes, elephants, zebras, lions and rhinos. And if the beautiful landscape and incredible wildlife wasn’t enough of a reason to make the trip, the fact Etosha is home to thousands of ancient rock paintings makes it an absolute must visit.
Goreme National Park – Turkey
Goreme National Park is renowned for its world famous ‘fairy chimney’ rock formations but there are many other reasons to visit this beautiful region. The park is also home to rock churches, pigeon houses carved into the rock and entire underground towns! If that wasn’t enough, there is also the opportunity to take to the skies in a hot air balloon and see the stunning chimneys from above.
Arenal Volcano National Park – Costa Rica
Just one visit to Arenal Volcano National Park is all you need to understand why it had to be included on this list. The beautiful landscape is filled with lush rainforest, exotic wildlife, secret waterfalls, bubbling hot springs and, most impressive of all, the small fact it has an active volcano right at its centre!
Yosemite National Park – USA
Yosemite National Park is arguably one of the most famous national parks in the world and there’s a very good reason for this: It’s absolutely stunning. Not only is the park filled with beautiful lakes, lush forests, stunning waterfalls and snow-capped peaks, it is also home to one of the most famous cliff faces on the planet. The Half Dome stands at 4,737 feet above the valley floor and is famous for being one of the most spectacular and toughest climbs in the world.
Plitvice Lakes National Park – Croatia
As the name may suggest, the main attraction at Plitvice Lakes National Park are the 16 stunningly beautiful emerald lakes. Each lake is connected by a number of waterfalls, differing in size and strength and visitors get to walk along wooden pathways that wind their way straight through the middle and around the whole park.
Serengeti National Park – Tanzania
Africa is famous for its wildlife and there is no better place to see the continent’s most spectacular animals than in Serengeti National Park. The park witnesses The Great Migration every year, which sees around 1.7 million wildebeest, 470,000 gazelles and 260,000 zebra make the annual journey across the Serengeti. If that wasn’t reason enough to visit the park, it is also home to one of the largest lion populations in the world and provides the perfect opportunity to watch these biggest of cats in the wild.
Yellowstone National Park – USA
Yellowstone National Park is located on North America’s largest volcanic area and this has created some truly spectacular sights. The park is home to huge geysers, multicoloured hot springs, crystal-clear lakes, alpine rivers and incredible canyons. Yellowstone also happens to be home to the largest herd of free-roaming bison on the planet.
Iguazu National Park – Argentina / Brazil
In terms of truly breath-taking sights, few national parks can match the view of the Iguazu Falls on the border of Argentina and Brazil. Iguazu is the largest waterfall system in the world and walking around these incredible falls is a once in a lifetime experience. If that wasn’t reason enough to visit the park, it is also home to exotic wildlife and a lush rainforest that contains over 2,000 different species of plants.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park – Australia
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park isn’t only one of the most beautiful national parks in the world, it is also one of the most spectacular places on the whole planet. Whether diving down to explore the incredible coral reefs, snorkelling among the thousands of beautiful exotic fish or taking a plane ride above the world’s largest living organism, the Great Barrier Reef has something for just about everyone.