20 of the Most Beautiful National Parks in the World

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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.

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)

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)

Tortuguero National Park - Costa Rica

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. (Official Site)

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Los Glaciares National Park – Argentina: 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)

Mount Fitzroy, Los Glaciares

Mount Fitzroy, Los Glaciares National Park – Argentina

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)

Iguaçu National Park - Brazil / Argentina

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)

Torres del Paine National Park - Chile

Torres del Paine National Park – Chile

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)

Etna National Park - Sicily, Italy

Etna National Park – Sicily, Italy

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)

Galapagos Islands' trendiest inhabitants

Galapagos Islands’ trendiest inhabitants

The Grand Canyon – United States: 440 kilometers long, 4,927 km2 of area, up to 1,800meters, 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)

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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)

Etosha National Park

Etosha National Park – Namibia

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)

Hawaiʻi 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. (Official Site)

Plitvice National Park, Croatia

Plitvice National Park, Croatia

Mercantour National Park – France: the Mercantour Park is one of the most famous French national parks. Located in the Provence and Alps-Maritimes district, it is one of the wildest metropolitan parks in Europe. (Official Site)

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)

Jotunheimen National Park - Norway

Jotunheimen National Park – 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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