Illustrated picture. Photo: Mixi
Illustrated picture. Photo: Mixi

Whether it’s manmade or a natural phenomenon, visiting the wonders of the world is on most people’s bucket list. However, with global warming and over-tourism on the rise, soon many of these wonders may disappear.

List of 7 Breathtaking Natural Wonders to See Once in Your Life

1. The Amazon Rainforest

2. Komodo island

3. The Dead Sea

4. Ha Long Bay

5. Iguaçu Falls, Brazil

6. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, Philippines

7. Table Mountain, South Africa

Which are the 7 Breathtaking Natural Wonders to See Once in Your Life?

1. The Amazon Rainforest

Photo: Popular Mechanics
Photo: Popular Mechanics

The Amazon Rainforest in South America, one of the newest natural wonders, is the largest rainforest in the world. Not only does the Amazon forest enable you to broaden your cultural horizon, experience complete remoteness and sample a variety of unknown foods and natural remedies, it also offers the best biodiversity lesson you could get, as the rainforest is home to 10 per cent of all plant and animal species known on planet Earth.

Sadly, the rainforest is under threat due to deforestation. Year after year, trees are torn down to create space for soy plantations and cattle ranching. To date, we have already lost 20 per cent of the rainforest. If you're visiting, travel in the most eco-conscious way by finding an eco-friendly charter or by staying at an eco-lodge.

2. Komodo island

Photo: PT TOURS
Photo: PT TOURS

Home to pink sand beaches, breathtaking sunsets and Komodo dragons—the largest lizard on earth—it's no surprise that Komodo Island has made it on the new seven wonders of nature list. Komodo Island is the only place on earth where you can find Komodo dragons roaming free, and the reptile’s 3m, 135 kg build is impressive enough to attract visitors from all over.

Two months ago, local media announced that the government was considering closing the island for one year due to recent smuggling of Komodo dragons and over-tourism. The island has been struggling with tourists taking the iconic pink sand home and leaving rubbish behind, so if you're planning to visit before the site closes, join an eco-tour to ensure you give the environment utmost respect.

3. The Dead Sea

Photo: Times of India
Photo: Times of India

The Dead Sea, located at the border of Jordan and Israel, may not have made it on the New7Wonders of Nature list, but it was a finalist and rightfully so. The Dead Sea, which is actually a lake, is the lowest point on Earth and has over 34 per cent salinity—meaning your body will float in it with natural buoyancy. It has long been considered a place of healing, and tourists flock to the site every year to enjoy mineral-rich mud treatments and salt baths.

Lately, water hasn’t been flowing into the turquoise lake at the same rate it is being evaporated, leaving environmentalists concerned that the Dead Sea could be drying up. Experts believe it could be completely gone in 100 years.

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4. Ha Long Bay

Photo: KKday
Photo: KKday

With a backdrop of limestone formations and emerald waters, Ha Long Bay in Vietnam has long been a popular destination, earning it a spot on the New7Wonders of Nature list. The picturesque ocean karst topography has been a source of fascination and inspiration for everyone from artists to geologists.

With over 5,000 tourists converging in the bay every day, Ha Long Bay is suffering from mass tourism. With more and more tourist boats ejecting oil and petrol into the bay and tourists carelessly littering, water pollution has become a serious problem. Avoid using plastic while you're there and opt for environmentally-friendly tours.

5. Iguaçu Falls, Brazil

Photo: Intrepid Travel
Photo: Intrepid Travel

These amazing waterfalls straddle the border between Argentina and Brazil, and can be approached via national parks in either of the countries. With the equivalent of an Olympic swimming pool cascading down these rocky staircases every second, the falls create an awesome roar, and are made up of some 275 drops, the highest of which is a whopping 82 metres.

Mists created by the ceaseless falling of the water refract sunlight to create rainbows in the sky above. The falls are best seen up close from the 1.1 km walkway that stretches out on the Argentinian side over the river to the Devil’s Throat fall. For the most panoramic views, however, approach from the Brazilian side. Marvel at the falls on an 11-day tour of South America with Riviera Travel.

6. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, Philippines

Photo: Hotels.com
Photo: Hotels.com

The Puerto Princesa Underground River is part of the Saint Paul Mountain Range, on the western coast of the island of Palawan – perhaps best known for its picturesque rocky coves and sugar-white sandy beaches.

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1999, in part due to the incredible biodiversity of the area, it has eight of the 13 forest types found in tropical Asia, as well as 165 different bird species, including the white-breasted sea eagle. Inside, you’ll be able to hear your voice echo around the 360-meter-long Italian's Chamber, which is one of the largest cave rooms in the world.

7. Table Mountain, South Africa

Photo: Science Photo Library
Photo: Science Photo Library

Rising above Cape Town, Table Mountain is probably South Africa’s most iconic landmark. The stunning flat-topped mountain is home to the widest variety of flowers and other plant life in the world and, in fact, contains more species of plants than exist in the entire British Isles – despite being smaller than London.

Standing at 1,085 metres above sea level, many opt to take the cable car to the top, although more ambitious hikers will be well rewarded by making a day of it and walking up. Once you reach the summit, you’ll be able to soak up panoramic views of Cape Town, Table Bay and the rest of the surrounding peaks.

Jeju Island, South Korea

Photo: Global Travel
Photo: Global Travel

Sometimes referred to as South Korea’s Hawaii, owing to its sub-tropical climate compared to the rest of the country, this self-governing province is popular with tourists. People from nearby Asian countries flock to its warm waters and pristine beaches. Formed in the wake of underwater volcanic activity, it has a unique ecological profile and is home to plant species not found anywhere else.

Jeju contains a large number of magnificent waterfalls and the highest mountain in South Korea, Hallasan Mountain, considered to be the island’s most beautiful feature. It's worth taking a day to hike to the top for its breathtaking views.

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