Lizards, beaches, cliffs, and birds are the spirit of this group which is a part of the 218 Best National Parks in the World, just a small part of the AWT MegaLists Series.
28. Komodo, Indonesia
Photo Credit to Joshua J Cotten
This extraordinary archipelago is a haven of biodiversity and natural wonders. Established in 1980 and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the park encompasses three main islands: Komodo, Rinca, and Padar, along with numerous smaller islets.
Photo Credit to Fajruddin Mudzakkir
Central to the park’s allure are the Komodo dragons, the world’s largest lizard species and a living testament to the planet’s ancient past. These awe-inspiring creatures, with their prehistoric appearance, roam freely across the islands, captivating visitors with their raw power and fascinating behavior.
Photo Credit to Rhys Evans
Beyond the dragons, Komodo National Park boasts diverse ecosystems, from lush forests to vibrant coral reefs. The underwater realm is a paradise for divers, offering a kaleidoscope of marine life, including colorful corals, manta rays, and diverse fish species. The park’s status as a marine reserve underscores its commitment to preserving the rich biodiversity of both land and sea.
29. Cinque Terre, Italy
Cinque Terre National Park, nestled along the rugged Italian Riviera, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its charming villages, vibrant landscapes, and coastal allure. Comprising five colorful fishing villages—Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore—Cinque Terre captivates visitors with its terraced vineyards, pastel-hued houses clinging to cliffs, and panoramic sea views.
Photo Credit to Timothy A. Gonsalves
Each village exudes its unique character, connected by scenic hiking trails like the famous Sentiero Azzurro, offering breathtaking vistas of the Ligurian Sea. The Via dell’Amore, a romantic coastal path, provides a leisurely stroll between Manarola and Riomaggiore.
Photo Credit to Siret K.
Beyond hiking, exploring the picturesque harbors, indulging in local seafood, and savoring Ligurian wines are must-do activities. The charming beaches and crystal-clear waters invite relaxation and sun-soaked enjoyment.
Train services efficiently connect the villages, making exploration seamless. Nearby cities, such as Genoa and La Spezia, serve as gateways to the Cinque Terre, with their own historic charm and attractions.
Photo Credit to Chetan KVS
Interesting facts include the centuries-old tradition of cultivating vineyards on the steep terraces, producing the renowned Cinque Terre wine. The park’s dedication to preserving its cultural and natural heritage is evident, making Cinque Terre a quintessential destination for those seeking a harmonious blend of coastal beauty, vibrant culture, and outdoor adventure.
Photo Credit to unsplash.com/@hayek5
30. Canaima, Venezuela/Guyana
Canaima National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Venezuela, unfolds as an expansive and enchanting wilderness, spanning nearly 30,000 square kilometers in the Gran Sabana region. The park’s defining feature is the awe-inspiring Angel Falls, cascading from Auyán Tepui, the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall. Boat journeys along the Carrao River provide a captivating approach to witness the majestic beauty of Angel Falls amidst the lush rainforest.
Photo Credit to Juan Manuel Pérez
At the heart of Canaima’s allure is its indigenous culture, embodied by the Pemon people. Visitors have the opportunity to engage in immersive experiences, delving into local traditions, participating in traditional dances, and admiring the vibrant artistry of Pemon handicrafts.
Photo Credit to Manalo Gomes
While Angel Falls is the star attraction, Canaima National Park boasts other natural wonders, including the mesmerizing landscapes of Roraima and Kukenan tepuis. Trekking adventures unveil ancient formations and showcase the unique biodiversity thriving within the park.
Access to Canaima is primarily by air, with flights departing from Ciudad Bolivar or Puerto Ordaz. The gateway town of Canaima offers accommodations and services, facilitating exploration of this extraordinary national park. Canaima National Park stands as a testament to Venezuela’s natural splendor, blending breathtaking landscapes with vibrant indigenous culture in a destination of unparalleled beauty and cultural significance.
Photo Credit to Navid Moazzez
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