20 of the Most Beautiful National Parks in the World

A tour among the most amazing natural wonders of Planet Earth

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By Asmita Sarkar

Most Beautiful National Parks in the World

National Parks are natural areas protected and subject to specific regulation. They represent real treasures of our cultural and natural heritage. Among these some 4,000 exceptional sites, the lunar landscape of the Grand Canyon, the wonderful waterfalls of Iguaçu in South America, the Mercantour in France, Plitvice in Croatia and many other destinations. So much biological diversity and exceptional landscapes are preserved in these parks since the 19th century.

The most beautiful National Parks in the world

Let’s take a small, non-exhaustive tour of these breath-taking horizons, in some of the most beautiful National Parks in the world existing today:

Yellowstone National Park – United States

9 000 km² of impressive geothermal phenomena and steaming geysers. Welcome to Yellowstone, USA. This is the oldest existing national park in the US and certainly one of the most famous, confirmed by its 3 million annual tourists. Straddling the States of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, the Yellowstone national park hosts exceptional flora and fauna, including many endangered species. (Official Site)

20 best national parks in the world
The Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park is the largest hot spring in the U.S.A.

Tortuguero National Park – Costa Rica

Located in the Limón province, Tortuguero national park includes lagoons, marshes, forests and beaches. It is accessible only by plane or boat. (Official Site)

20 best national parks in the world
Tortuguero National Park – Costa Rica

Kruger Park – South Africa

North-West of South Africa extends 20,000 km² of one of the most famous national park in the world, which is the habitat for many animal species.

It is home to an impressive number of African animals, including the big five and is rightfully in our selection of the most beautiful parks in the world. There are numerous animal viewing points within the park, as well as a road network that allows you to explore the area and see its inhabitants more closely, whilst preserving their free-ranging status. It is possible to stay in lodges or campsites; this last solution, being the cheapest, is by far used by young tourists and backpackers, also because no special permits are required. Safaris (otherwise called “game drives”) can take place both during the day and at night, to allow tourists to see the animals in action, especially during the hunt (Official Site)

most beautiful national parks in the world
Sunset at Kruger National Park.

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Los Glaciares National Park – Argentina

Let’s move to South America. It is possible to discover in this South American national park, stretching 600,000 hectares, two huge glacial lakes and the majestic mountains Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre. (Official Site)

Iguaçu National Park – Brazil / Argentina

Stretched along the border of the Brazil and the Argentina, this park consists of more than 200 breath-taking waterfalls, surrounded by lush vegetation. (Official Site)

20 most beautiful national parks in the world
The spectacular falls at Iguaçu National Park – Brazil / Argentina

Torres del Paine National Park – Chile

Between the Patagonian steppe and the Andes mountains stands Torres del Paine National Park. This park boasts 242,000 hectares of granite peaks, glaciers and lakes. (Official Site)

Etna National Park – Italy

Established in 1987, it is one of the most picturesque national parks in the world, with the highest active volcano in Europe at its center. The park was divided into two areas corresponding to different levels of protection, from the top of the volcano to the upper belt villages of Etna. (Official Site)

10 best national parks in the world
The distinctive lunar landscape of the Etna volcano.

Banff National Park – Canada

Located in the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, in the province of Alberta. Banff National Park is first Canadian national park. Its history dates back to 1883, when three workers at the Canadian Pacific discovered a cave containing hotsprings. (Official Site)

Parque Nacional Galapagos – Ecuador

The Galapagos Archipelago, located off the coast of the Ecuador, consists of 19 big islands and a multitude small isle. Discovered by humans only in 1535, the park enjoys exceptional flora and fauna. (Official Site)

The Grand Canyon – United States

440 kilometers long, 4,927 km2 of area, up to 1,800 meters, 4 million annual visitors, this majestic American site located in Arizona, is arguably one of the most popular panoramas in the world and needs no presentation. Carved by the Colorado River, the canyon is home to geological layers of different ages, including the oldest of 1.7 billion years aged. (Official Site)

20 most beautiful parks in the world
The unique horizons of the Grand Canyon.

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Etosha National Park – Namibia

22,000 km² Nature Reserve, the nation of Etosha Park was established in 1907. Meaning “the big empty”, it consists of a dried-up lake. For several million years, many species of birds flocked here together in the rainy season. (Official Site)

The Everglades – United States

Located south of Florida, the vast Everglades marshes which covers an area of 15 000 km²  are more than 6,000 years old. Meaning “grassy water” in native American, Everglade Park is a world heritage of UNESCO. It is home to 50 species of reptiles. It is also a good film set known to film buffs! (Official Site)

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – United States

An International Biosphere Reserve since the eighties, Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park includes the volcanoes of Mauna Loa and Kilauea, two of the most active volcanoes on the planet. (Official Site)

Plitvice National Park – Croatia

Let’s now move towards Europe, to discover the largest national park of Croatia, consisting of 16 inter-connected lakes, a huge forest and a number of lovely waterfalls. This natural wonder is surrounded by woods populated by numerous species of mammals, birds and insects.

The lakes are formed by two rivers, the White River and the Black River. Their characteristic lies in the water, which is very rich in calcareous salts, which have formed layers of travertine over the centuries. It is precisely this rock that gives the waters this clarity and dyes the lakes with incredible blue shades. It is possible to explore the park through the numerous paths, on foot or by bike, by boat or even by train. (Official Site)

20 best national parks in the world
Plitvice National Park, Croatia

Lençóis Maranhenses National Park – Brazil

Located in northeastern Brazil, Lençóis Maranhenses National Park is a mesmerizing destination that captivates tourists with its unparalleled natural beauty. This unique park offers an unrivaled experience for those seeking to immerse themselves in the pristine wonders of nature.

The park is renowned for its extraordinary expanse of white sand dunes, stretching as far as the eye can see. These breathtaking dunes, sculpted by wind and time, create an ethereal landscape that is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

What makes Lençóis Maranhenses National Park truly exceptional are the countless freshwater lagoons scattered amidst the vast expanse of sand. These crystal-clear oases, formed during the rainy season, provide a refreshing respite for visitors.

In addition to the surreal scenery, the park is also home to a rich array of animal species that have adapted to thrive in this unique environment. From colorful birds soaring through the clear blue skies to elusive mammals and reptiles navigating the sand dunes, the park is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers alike.

Best parks in the world: Lençóis Maranhenses National Park
Surreal scenery at Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Brazil.

Hortobagy Park (Hungary)

Hortobagy was the first area to be named a national park in Hungary, in 1973. Colonies of wild horses live in this area, as well as more than 340 species of birds, some of which are currently at risk of extinction.

This area is considered a paradise for birdwatching, thanks to the presence of numerous species of migratory birds.

most beautiful national parks in the world
Hortobagy Park in Hungary: a true paradise for birdwatching enthusiasts.

Jotunheimen National Park – Norway

Jotunheimen National Park is the largest in Norway. It includes the highest peaks in Northern Europe and the biggest glacial valleys. (Official Site)

20 most beautiful national parks in the world
Beautiful winter scenery at Jotunheimen National Park in Norway.

Khao Sok National Park – Thailand

Khao Sok is one of the oldest rainforests in the world. Here you can admire Chew Lan Lake, the rafflesia, the largest flower in the world, as well as gibbons. (Official Site)

Tongariro National Park – New Zealand

A land that the local populations consider sacred, this national park is the fouth oldest in the world. A unique heritage site, home to active volcanoes, as well as many Maori religious sites. (Official Site)

Kakadu National Park – Australia

A vast stretch of land with approximately 20 000 km² area. Kakadu National Park, North of the Australia, is home to diverse wildlife. Traces of life dated more than 40,000 years have been found here. (Official Site)

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