Four Natural Wonders to See in Person

Keen travellers are likely to have seen several wonders of the world but some amazing sights require more than a passport and ticket.

Four Natural Wonders to See in Person | #travel #naturalwonders #explore | Chasing Departures

The following is a guest post. 

With careful timing and dedication, you’ll get to see natural wonders which eclipse anything humans have produced.

1. The Yangtze River

China’s majestic Yangtze River is truly a sight to behold. Stretching for 6,300km throughout China, it’s the longest river in Asia and the and the third longest in the entire world.

There are so many sights and sounds to experience along the Yangtze’s magnificent length, and a leisurely cruise is the perfect way to take it all in. The river is home to many endangered species to look out for, including the Chinese alligator – thought to be the inspiration behind the mythological Chinese dragons.

There’s also the natural splendour of the Three Gorges to marvel at, as well as the man-made spectacle of the Three Gorges Dam itself – which is the biggest hydroelectric power station on earth.

2.  The Jurassic Coast

If dinosaurs are your thing, then the Jurassic Coast is the place for you. This UNESCO World Heritage site stretches for 154km along the South West coast of England, UK – and it’s surely one of the reasons why this region attracted 2.6 million visitors in 2017 alone. Lulworth Cove and the magnificent natural rock arch known as Durdle’s Door are particularly popular sights, but the coast is most famous for one thing: its ancient fossils.

Successive years of erosion and landslides have exposed the fossilised remains of ancient creatures from up to 185 million years ago in layers of sedimentary rock – hence the coast’s striking name. A series of important discoveries here have made invaluable contributions to the field of paleontology over the years – and who knows, perhaps you’ll find a dinosaur of your very own when you visit?

3.  The Northern (or Southern) Lights

Four Natural Wonders to See in Person | #travel #naturalwonders #explore | Chasing Departures

The Northern Lights – Aurora Borealis – and their southern equivalents, the Aurora Australis, are bucket-list items for many but can prove elusive.

Caused by the solar wind’s charged particles hitting Earth’s atmosphere, the dancing green waves of light take their name from the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek word for the north wind, Boreas.

For the next few years, reduced solar activity is expected to curtail displays, and you’ll certainly have to head north – Scandinavia, Iceland, Greenland and Alaska are your best bets.

Tromso in Norway or Icelandic capital Reykjavik are popular venues in the ‘Aurora Zone’. October to March is peak viewing time, with Tromso’s season extending a little either side.

4.  Angel Falls

Four Natural Wonders to See in Person | #travel #naturalwonders #explore | Chasing Departures
Photo by Ron Brinkmann

With a drop of almost 1km, Venezuela’s Angel Falls is the world’s highest waterfall and a sight that really can be appreciated only in person.

This is one of those views that you should try to see from the air as well – appropriate, as they are named after US pilot Jimmie Angel, who is credited with revealing the falls to the outside world (and who crash-landed nearby a few years later).

The falls are a big tourist draw for Venezuela and a bit of planning is needed to get to them, but you will not be disappointed – check for any travel alerts because of Venezuela’s turbulent political situation.

What natural wonders have you seen? Share your recommendations with us.

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