The world is brimming with opportunities for unforgettable adventures, nowhere more so than in the hundreds of UNESCO World Heritage Sites that span the glob. These are areas deemed to have "outstanding universal value" to the planet, and are thus typically identified by their unique and exceptional history, beauty, and character.
Here are just a few of the over 1,000 sites listed that are guaranteed to offer an unforgettable experience.
Listing 20 minute outside the popular tourist town of Siem Reap, this massive and legendary temple complex is especially popular between November and February, when the weather is dry and temperatures are coolest.
This ancient citadel of Athens is brimming with history and architectural splendor. You can take a tour to the site or wander there on foot. Taking the route along Adrianou Street to the back entrance is considered easier than the Dionysus Theatre entrance.
Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Located nearly 1,000 kilometers from mainland Ecuador, the islands are serviced by flights from Quito and Guayaquil, although multi-day boat cruises are generally the best way to explore the islands. You can view wildlife and ecosystems found nowhere else.
Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia, Turkey
This remote site in central Anatolia features ancient underground ruins, surreal rock formations, and a colorful hot air balloon displays. You can even find hotels that are cut out of the rock.
This historic religious center hosts numerous ancient ruins and temples amid rice fields and pristine nature. Bus service is available overnight from nearby Goa, with trains stopping by regularly from other major Indian cities. You can find a good range of reasonably priced accommodations throughout this idyllic village.
Machu Picchu, Peru
There are several multi-day treks to this pristine ancient city, but it can also be reached by train from Cusco, allowing for a phenomenal view of the mountains and valleys. A visit to neighboring Wayna Picchu, another set of old ruins, gives you a panoramic view of Machu Pichu – but not, only the first 400 visitors are allowed each day.
Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
Just 25 kilometers southwest of Cairo along the Nile River, this astounding monument complex from one history’s first civilization can be visited in just a one day trip from Egypt’s capital. Stand amid thousands of years of history on the edge of the city.
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