TravelPirates always emphasizes the idea that life is short and opportunities to experience the world's incredible offerings are getting smaller by the day. In our opinion, one of the items (or seven, actually) on everyone's bucket list should be the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Below we've complied a list and our suggestions on the best times to visit!
Great Barrier Reef
Best Time to Visit: June - November
Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)
Best Time(s) to See: September - October; March - April
Best Places to See: Alaska, Iceland
Aurora Borealis, a.k.a. "the Northern Lights," is certainly a sight for sore eyes and a wonder to behold. It is visible only from the Northern Hemisphere. These northern polar lights appear from September to October and March to April. Often seen as a greenish glow or occasionally a faint red, the lights consist of solar wind and particles that appear as “curtains” or streamers extending in an east-west direction across the sky. Shaped by the earth’s magnetic field, the lights are constantly changing and evolving. The Cree call this phenomenon the “Dance of the Spirits.”
Best Time to See It: ALL YEAR ROUND
Americans don't have to look to far to tackle one of the seven wonders, as the Grand Canyon extends 400 kilometers through the Colorado Plateau in northwest Arizona. The canyon, which was formed by erosion due to water, ice, and wind, is considered one of the seven wonders of the world. The layers of sedimentary rock were formed over millions of years ago and provide significant insight into the earth’s geologic timescale. Take a tour there, or explore it yourself.
Best Time to Visit: October - April
Located in the Mexican state of Michoacán, the first man to witness the eruption of the Parícutin Volcano was a Tarascan Indian farmer, named Dominic Pulido. The Parícutin is a monogenetic cone, which means it stems from a single point of eruption. The volcano now stands at 410 meters above ground. Its hardened lava covers 16 square kilometers and its volcanic sand covers 32 square kilometers. Named after a small Tarascan Indian village, Parícutin is now counted as one of the seven wonders of the world.
Best Time to Visit: October - April
Hailing from the Zambezi River is one of the greatest attractions in Africa, and one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world: Victoria Falls. This wonder of the world stretches 1.7 kilometers wide and is shared by the countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe. Aside from the incredible view that visitors can experience on their own or via sightseeing tours, Victoria Falls offers water rafting trips, bungee jumping, river surfing, kayaking, heart stopping gorge swings, zip wires, and other amazing activities.
Harbor of Rio de Janeiro
Best Time to Visit: September - October, or February - March
The Harbor of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is one of the seven wonders of the world due to its many illusions. The Harbor is renowned for its ability to be viewed in multiple ways to the point that it appears differently and deceptively. One illusion to look out for is the mountains' ability to create an entrance into the bay which makes it appear to be a lake. However, when the Portuguese explorers arrived in 1502, they believed the bay was a large river and named it Rio de Janeiro, the “River of January,” in honor of the month they arrived. Rio is also one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world and offers visitors a plethora of activities and places to visit.
Best Time to Visit: April - May/Mid June, September - October
Last but not least is a little hill that lays on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau. Those who are not familiar with it have must likely been living under it. Mount Everest stands as one of the most impressive of the 7 world wonders. Like the rest of the Himalayas, Mount Everest rose from the floor of the ancient Tethys Sea and is the highest mountain in the world. It continues to grow today at the rate of a few millimeters each year. Mount Everest and the Himalayas are traditionally revered by the local people as the homes of the gods and are still considered sacred.
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