National parks are home to hundreds of different species of flora and fauna. Governments go to great lengths to protect them from destruction by industry or natural disasters. Many of the parks are an important part of their country’s rich heritage. Visiting a national park is an incredible experience for both children and adults. The following National Parks attract millions of visitors every year and will provide the ideal vacation activity for visitors.
1. Galapagos Island, Ecuador
Charles Darwin made many of his observations here that led to his theory of natural selection. The Galapagos Islands are the most visited UNESCO World Heritage Site. The most famous resident is the giant tortoise, and the islands take their name from this member of the animal population. Thousands flock to this unspoilt paradise each and every year. Many travel agents offer guided tours.
2. Sagarmatha, Nepal
This park sits on the slopes of the world’s highest mountain and offers a unique experience for visitors. Mount Everest is home to the Sherpa tribe who regularly interact with the tourists. There are many stunning hotels and different types of accommodation to be found in khumbu. Those who can stand higher altitudes can take advantage of cheaper accommodation and better availability.
3. Yellowstone Park, the United States
This spectacularly beautiful national park offers everything from rolling hills to picturesque lakes. Thousands of species of animal exist here including bears that will often approach cars to greet the tourists. The fee to enter the park is extremely low when considering how much it has to offer.
4. Kruger, South Africa
An African safari is at the top of most people’s bucket list. Lions, tigers, elephants and giraffes are waiting to make your acquaintance. You can even socialise with the local tribes that still live here. All of the accommodation is pure 5-star luxury and is located either within the park or just a short drive away. You can hire a tracker who will guide you around the park and introduce you to the park’s magnificent animal population.
5. Machu Pichu, Peru
Over 500,000 tourists visit Machu Pichu annually leading towards a potential crisis that could seriously affect the local wildlife and environment. The park’s captivating history and ancient archaeological site is the main attraction as well as its spectacular landscape. It has become one of the most visited places in all of Peru. A train service runs within the park to help visitors move around, but simply wandering around the park and drinking in the ancient culture is the best way to see everything.
6. Fiordland, New Zealand
Fiordland is the largest of 14 national parks in New Zealand and is home to deer, seals, dolphins, and kiwis. The park is ideal for hiking and walking and has many different paths that cross its 12,500 km squared open space. Stunning glaciers and deep fiords give this park an otherworldly atmosphere.
7. Kakadu, Australia
Kakadu National park is the same size as the country of Slovenia. Aboriginal people still occupy the area as well as 60 different types of mammal, 280 species of birds and 10,000 insect species. You will need a car to explore all the wild beauty of this spectacular place. Your travel company can arrange rental cars, tour guides or even helicopter tours.
8. Swiss National Park, Switzerland
The Swiss National Park is the only one of its kind in Switzerland. It forms a part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and was one of the first national parks in Europe. The park has strict rules and guests are not allowed to leave the road when visiting. Camping, building fires or sleeping outside of the designated areas is strictly forbidden. Guests are also not allowed to bring dogs into the park even if they are on a lead.
9. Guilin and Lijiang River, China
This exotic, awe-inspiring national park creates an impression on all who visit it. Visitors can cruise along the River Li enjoying the various sights along the way. Great writers have composed poems based on the natural beauty of the famous three hills known as Elephant’s Trunk, Dragon’s Head and Five Fingers. Continue up to the city Yangshuo to experience traditional Chinese culture.
10. Yosemite National Park, the United States
In the heart of California lie five spectacular waterfalls that have become a top tourist destination. A wide variety of plant and animal species reside here amongst the hanging valleys and lakes. Make sure you hire a guide to take you around the most beautiful spots such as the Half Dome which is the most popular hiking spot.
National parks are an incredibly important part of the landscape and provide a respite from modern society. Those of us living in large cities and urban areas have almost lost touch with nature and need a helping hand to reconnect. Just spending a single day wandering around the wild beauty of a national park will help to calm your mind and relax your body bringing you to a much more healthy psychological state.