Photo: Shindig Web
Photo: Shindig Web

When thinking of the wonders of the world, the Great Pyramids or the Colosseum may spring into mind. While unmistakeably incredulous, the list below describes the wonders that Mother Nature created at her own will to enchant and put humans in awe at the mere sight of these wonders.

From mountain peaks to waterfalls, underwater marvels and dazzling sky optics, each natural wonder highlights a different aspect of the beauty of Earth’s natural world.

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What Are The 7 Natural Wonders of the World in 2023/2024?

1. Mount Everest


When thinking of some of the most impressive natural landscapes in the world, it is impossible not to think of Mount Everest. Mount Everest is known as the tallest peak on Earth and measures 8,848.86 meters tall. Generally, people think of it as the tallest mountain in the world, but that isn’t quite accurate. Mauna Kea, in Hawaii, is actually a taller mountain, but much of it is underwater, and thus it does not have the tallest peak ‘above sea level.’ This is why Everest is generally considered to be the overall tallest, as it is much easier to see and comprehend the sheer size of the mountain and its summit.

Mount Everest is part of the Himalayan mountain range, and is located along the China(Tibetan)-Nepal border. The official border line actually runs across the summit of the mountain, meaning it technically belongs to both countries. The English name, Everest, is named after George Everest, who was a surveyor of India. The Nepali term for the mountain peak is Sagarmatha, and in Tibet it is known as Chomolungma, which roughly translates to “Mother Goddess of the World.”

Did you know? While Mount Everest is the highest spot on earth, it is not actually the tallest mountain. That distinction belongs to Mount McKinley in Alaska, which is the tallest mountain when measured from above sea level. The tallest mountain in the world whose base is mostly under water is the Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii, which extends 4.2km into the air and around 6km into the sea.

When to visit: October-November (start of dry season) or February-April (end of dry season), as Mount Everest is safely locked away by stormy snow for most of the year.

How to get there: Fly into Beijing or Shanghai, then fly or train to Lhasa.

Travel insurance: Canstar researches and rates travel insurance to visit China, and many insurance providers that we rate offer cover for snow sports and rock climbing. Cover to actually climb Mount Everest would require phoning up and giving them all the details to make sure you can get adequate cover.

On top of this, the Chinese and Nepalese governments both require that you get climber’s insurance before climbing. In Nepal this simply gives permission to climb, while in Tibet it covers helicopter evacuation, ranger camps, seasonal staff, and maintenance of the mountain environment.

2. Paricutin Volcano

Photo: Visit México
Photo: Visit México

The Paricutin Volcano is a cinder cone volcano located in Michoacán, Mexico. The world has watched this volcano grow since it began forming in 1943 in farmer Dionisio Pulido's cornfield, and it is actually the youngest volcano in the world. According to Pulido, it grew between two and 2.5 meters in height within the first 24 hours of its formation. As of 2021, it is estimated to be between 9,101 and 10,397 feet tall. Paricutin erupted from 1943 to 1952. Visitors can view this natural wonder from its base or even from its crater.

Did you know? Access to Paricutin is usually via Angahuan, the town that survived the volcano’s eruptions. They survived because they lived on a mountain rather than living in the valley where the volcano sprang out of the ground.

When to visit: October-April (avoiding rainy season).

How to get there: Fly into Mexico City and travel to Anguhuan.

Travel insurance: Canstar researches and rates travel insurance to visit the USA, so your best option would be to choose our five-star rated travel insurers for the USA and contact them about your travels to Mexico.

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3. The Grand Canyon


The Grand Canyon is a striking canyon located in Arizona, United States. The canyon was formed by the natural erosion of rock and soil by the Colorado River, over the period of billions of years. The canyon is stunning not only for its deep rust-red colours, and the visible layers of rock and sediment that can be seen throughout its cliff walls, but mainly it is impressive for its size and depth.

The Grand Canyon is aptly named, as it measures some 446 kilometers in length, up to 29 kilometers wide at its widest point, and a whopping 1.8 kilometers deep. The magnitude of the canyon is awe inspiring, but the age is also astounding, as the phenomenon reveals millions of years of geological history. Many visitors choose simply to gaze at the sight, but it is also possible to hike along the top of the canyon cliff, in the ravine, or raft and boat in the river below.

Did you know? At 1.8km deep and 446km long, the Grand Canyon is neither the steepest nor the longest canyon in the world. It was chosen as a natural wonder for its overall scale, size, and beautifully coloured landscape.

When to visit: Debatable. In winter the North Rim roads are closed, cutting off some great views, and in summer it reaches Aussie summer temperatures. Over 5 million people visit the Grand Canyon every year, so be sure to book your travel early.

How to get there: Fly into Las Vegas, Phoenix, Flagstaff, or Los Angeles for a guided tour leaving from these destinations. You can also make your way to the town of Williams and take a historic steam locomotive on the Grand Canyon Railway to Grand Canyon Village.

Travel insurance: Canstar researches and rates travel insurance to visit the USA, and most of the insurance providers we rate offer cover for water sports such as white water rafting and rock climbing.

4. Victoria Falls

Photo: Askideas
Photo: Askideas

Victoria Falls, the largest waterfall in the world, is located in southern Africa on the borders of Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Zambezi River serves as the falls' water source. Victoria Falls measures over 5,600 feet across and 3,000 feet high, and it has an average depth of about 328 feet. This sprawling natural wonder occupies portions of the Victoria Falls National Park of Zimbabwe, the Zambezi National Park of Zimbabwe, and the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park of Zambia.

Rainbows can often be seen arching over these falls, even at night when the water refracts the light of the moon (these are referred to as "moonbows"). If you do visit, be prepared to get wet—the Victoria Falls spray plume has been known to reach a height of 1,640 feet.

Did you know? Victoria Falls is neither the highest, nor the widest waterfall on the planet, but it is the largest single sheet of flowing water when you consider both its height and width.

When to visit: June-July (for “prettiest” water levels of waterfall).

How to get there: Fly direct to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, or fly into Livingstone in Zambia or Maun in Botswana.

Travel insurance: Canstar researches and rates travel insurance to visit South Africa, but we currently do not rate travel insurance to Zambia or Zimbabwe.

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5. The Harbor Of Rio de Janeiro


The Harbor of Rio de Janeiro can be found in the southeast of Brazil. Also known as Guanabara Bay, it is the world’s largest natural bay, based on volume, and that is why it is classified as one of the seven Natural Wonders of the world. The bay is a huge expanse of water, which is surrounded by granite rock formations and monoliths which add to the striking visual appeal of the area.

Though the harbor has also become a massive hub of human activity, from the city of Rio to public beaches such as copacabana and an active harbor, the natural beauty of the bay remains, and it is clear to any visitors that the region is a true natural beauty.

Did you know? Rio de Janeiro means “River of January” in Portuguese and is the second largest city in Brazil. There’s no river there, but the Portuguese explorer Gaspar de Lemos thought that Guanabara Bay was part of the Tejo River when he arrived there in January, 1501.

When to visit: September-October, before the humidity seats in.

How to get there: Easy-peasy, just fly right into Rio de Janeiro.

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6. Great Barrier Reef

Photo: Time Magazine
Photo: Time Magazine

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world. It is made up of 2,900 smaller reef sections and 900 islands which together make up some 2,300 kilometers of reef across 344,400 square kilometres of ocean. These reefs, or reef system, is located in the fittingly named Coral Sea, which is off the coast of Queensland, Australia.

The reef contains a huge variety of coral, fish and marine species, from plantlife and tiny aquatic organisms to sharks, turtles and rays. This region has historically been one of the most biologically diverse areas, and the array of colours and life that can be found here is remarkable.

Visitors and tourists come from all over the world to marvel at the reefs and the sea life that lives among them, diving and snorkelling amongst the forests of coral and reef. Though tourism and climate change have had negative affects on the reef, conservation efforts hope to protect this beautiful and delicate habitat to ensure the world does not lose this amazing natural wonder.

Did you know? While people often claim (wrongly) that you can see the Great Wall of China from space, it is fact that astronauts and satellites have taken photos of the Great Barrier Reef from space.

How to get there: Fly direct to Cairns, Port Douglas, Airlie Beach, the Whitsunday Islands, or Townsville. There are tours starting from almost every major city along the eastern coast of Queensland.

Travel insurance: Canstar rates domestic travel insurance for travel within Australia, so you’re all set there! Most of the insurance providers we rate offer cover for water sports such as snorkelling on the reef.

7. Northern Lights

Photo: Tourist Journey
Photo: Tourist Journey

Just as there is a natural wonder below sea level there is also one above it, in the sky. The Northern lights, more scientifically called the Aurora Borealis, is a natural phenomenon which marks the seventh natural wonder of the world. The Aurora appears as a light show of beautiful dancing colours - usually greens blue and purples - when electrically charged particles caused by sun flares or extreme sun activity reach the gaseous particles found in the Earth’s atmosphere. The result is a moving and awe-striking rainbow of moving color that has to be seen to be truly taken in. This is a natural wonder as it is a striking example of how a naturally occurring phenomenon - such as a sun flare - can result in a beautiful event on Earth.

Generally the northern lights can be seen more clearly and frequently closer to the Arctic Circle. Polar regions have some of the most phenomenal displays, especially as light pollution from cities is virtually nonexistent there. However, the aurora can be seen in several countries including the US state of Alaska, large sections of northern Canada, as well as Iceland, Greenland, Norway, Sweden and Finland.

Each of the seven wonders offers a different look at a natural phenomenon that has occurred or continues to occur on Earth. By reflecting on these wonders, we can help to appreciate the beauty around us, as well as marvel at the stunning natural phenomena around the world.

Did you know? There is also a Southern Aurora that occurs in the southern hemisphere, but this is less well-known.

When to visit: This can depend on where you are going. For example, the best time to see the Northern Lights in Iceland is typically between August to April. To see the Northern Lights in Norway, you should generally go between late September and late March.

How to get there: You can travel to many different places on earth to see the amazing Aurora phenomenon.

Travel insurance: Canstar researches and rates travel insurance for many destinations that may bring you close to the Aurora Borealis, such as the USA, the UK, and Europe. Simply compare travel insurance on our website when you’re planning your trip.

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