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Adventurous Natural UNESCO Sites

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Grab your hiking boots because there’s no other way to experience these UNESCO sites than to get moving. With so many amazing cultural heritage sites on the UNESCO list, the natural sites often get overshadowed. But from hiking Machu Picchu to camping in Wadi Rum, the journey IS the experience and the awe-inspiring surroundings are the icing on the cake.
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Machu Pichu, 08680, Peru
This month marks the hundred-year-anniversary of the "re-discovery" of this Inca citadel by Hiram Bingham. Machu Picchu deserves its clichés--'place of a lifetime,' 'bucket-list destination'...'mystical'...'amazing'... Sometimes, it's okay...
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Strada Micurà de Rü, 48, 39036 Badia BZ, Italy
Shuffling onto my balcony at Lagació Mountain Residencein Alta Badia armed with a cup of steaminglatte, I found an electric-green carpet spread before me. Plush with pines and dotted with medieval churches and tinyrifugi(mountain huts)clustered in...
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Arguably the most famous fjord in Norway, the Geirangerfjord is known for its emerald forests, slender waterfalls, and picturesque hamlets. To get up close and personal, take the car ferry that runs between the villages of Geiranger and Hellesylt,...
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Jungfraujoch, 3801 Jungfraujoch, Switzerland
The last remnants of winter were still on the ground as we awaited the final train at Kleine Scheidegg. Already the views were nothing short of magnificent: a panorama of the mighty Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountains reaching up through the...
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Haida Gwaii, Skeena-Queen Charlotte E, BC, Canada
Haida Gwaii (also known as the Queen Charlotte Islands) is a very special (and spiritual) destination with plenty of gorgeous beaches. About 20km from the town of Masset on Tow Hill Road you can find beach access points, such as Agate Beach...
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Bankass, Mali
Centuries ago, the ancient Tellem people of Mali built their mud homes high up on a cliff ledge on the Bandiagara escarpment. When I first saw the Tellem cliff dwellings, I was at ground level looking up at them; they looked like several rows of...
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North Island, New Zealand
There's no other day hike in all of New Zealand that is as diverse as the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. The terrain is so unique, the location was used to portray "Mt Doom" in the Lord of the Rings films. The nearly 20 kilometer trail winds into high...
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Blue Mountains, Jamaica
Lush source of the mellow, world-famous Blue Mountain coffee, Jamaica’s longest mountain range is nature at its best, seemingly a world away from nearby bustling, noisy Kingston. In these mountains 7,400...
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Beijing, China
The Great Wall of China runs more than 21,000 kilometers (over 13,000 miles), not as one continuous wall but rather as fortified wall sections. Some of the sections date back more than 2,500 years, though only 8.2 percent of the existing wall is...
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1 Tiandu Ave, Tunxi Qu, Huangshan Shi, Anhui Sheng, China
The "sea of clouds" is best observed just before and just after sunrise at the summit of Huangshan (especially in the area of "Refreshing Terrace" and "Lion Peak"). One needs to spend the night at the summit—or preferably several nights, as the...
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Yaki Point Rd, Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023, USA
The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is one of the most iconic hiking destinations in the world. There are many options for day hikes—or, with advance planning, overnight treks into the canyon. Popular hikes include the South Kaibab Trail, the...