UNESCO has added 20 new sites to its World Heritage List for 2018.
Every year, the United Nations’ cultural agency meets to decide which sites around the world will join the ranks of destinations like Yellowstone National Park and the Galápagos Islands on the highly coveted UNESCO World Heritage List, which currently lists 1,092 heritage sites worldwide. To warrant inclusion, landmarks must be deemed of “outstanding universal value” and fulfill one of 10 criteria categorizing each destination as a location of either unmatched natural beauty or environmental, cultural, or historic significance.
The 42nd World Heritage Committee session took place in Manama, Bahrain, from June 24 through July 4, 2018. During the convention, representatives from 21 countries debated and unveiled which sites would be added to UNESCO’s catalog this year. Here’s a closer look at some of the most impressive newly announced additions for 2018.
Sansa, Buddhist Mountain Monasteries, Korea
Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains, South Africa
Ancient City of Qalhat, Oman
Located in the Wuling mountain range in southwest China’s Guizhou Province, Mount Fanjingshan is home to many plant and animal species that originated between 65 million and 2 million years ago in the Tertiary period. At an altitude that ranges from 1,640 to 8,431 feet, the isolated mountain range hosts a high degree of biodiversity and endemic species. Within the subtropical forest, which is considered a Buddhist holy site, there are hiking trails and small villages for travelers to explore.
Chiribiquete National Park, Colombia
See below for the rest of UNESCO’s confirmed 2018 World Heritage Sites:
Denmark: Aasivissuit—Nipisat, Inuit Hunting Ground between ice and sea
Saudi Arabia: Al-Ahsa Oasis, an evolving cultural landscape
Germany: Archaeological border landscape of Hedeby and the Danevirke
Spain: Caiphate city of Medina Azahara
Turkey: Göbekli Tepe
Japan: Hidden Christian sites in the Nagasaki Region
Italy: Ivrea, industrial city of the 20th century
Germany: Naumburg Cathedral
Iran: Sassanid archaeological landscape of Fars Region
Kenya: Thimlich Ohinga archaeological site
India: Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai
France: Chaine des Puys-Limagne fault tectonic arena
Canada: Pimachiowin Aki
Mexico: Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley: origin habitat of Mesoamerica
Russia: Bikin River Valley
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