National Parks of the World
In the time of Covid, I’ve visited 9 U.S. national parks in 8 months and it made me wonder. In all my travels around the world, how many national parks have I visited? I don’t visit locations solely for the reason that they are national parks but for the adventure and beauty they represent. I thought it was more but I’ve visited 22 national parks outside of the U.S. Here is my list separated by continents and in no specific order.
Blue Mountains National Park is west of Sydney and gets its blue hue from the sun reflecting off of the trees. It has wonderful panoramic views and amazing hikes that include waterfalls along the canyon.
Kakadu National Park is a massive, biodiverse, reserve in the northern territory of Australia. If you like the path less traveled, this is your spot.
Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is located on the west coast of Palawan. The river is 5 miles long but don’t worry, you’ll only stay around the entrance when you visit.
Sohoton National Park takes some work to get to. You have to make your way to the beautiful island of Siargao and then take a boat ride to Bucas Grande Island. It’s an ahh-inspiring sight made up of torques lagoons filled with caves and friendly jellyfish.
Phi Phi Islands National Park was immortalized in the film “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio. Maya Bay has been closed due to the pollution brought on by the hoards of people that were visiting the location. The bay is just a small portion of the islands and I would still visit the islands, even with the closure of the bay.
Banff National Park is about a two hour drive from Calgary and has some of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Winter brings great skiing for those who love winter sports.
Tulum National Park is famous for its Mayan ruins and its located near Cancun which makes it highly visited. You don’t want to miss its beautiful beaches as well.
Cahuita National Park is your typical Costa Rican park with it’s beautiful beach and wildlife. The difference is its on the Caribbean side of the country. The west coast is less traveled making the park less crowded than the west coast where the majority of the hotels are located.
Manuel Antonio National Park is the most popular park in Costa Rica located on the west coast. It’s a tropical paradise filled with exotic animals that can be seen along its trails. After hiking, cool off on the parks beautiful beach.
Poas Volcano National Park is located in the central area of Costa Rica near the capital of San Jose. There are some great hikes in the area. But, the trails could be closed if the sulfur levels are high, perils of a live volcano.
The famed Galapagos National Park located off the coast of Ecuador, where the animals are unique from one island to another. It should be on everyone’s bucket list.
The Amazon National Park in Brazil is filled with amazing creatures but they are not so easy to spot. The thick rainforest is a perfect hiding places for these amazing animals.
Rapa Nui National Park (Easter Island) is a fair distance from South America. Chile was the only country interested in the islands and it’s now one of their top destinations. The moai are huge and very impressive and the island is still shrouded in mystery and myths.
Patagonia National Park is in the southern section of Chile. The park is also part of the Andes and has some of the most stunning landscapes you’ll ever see. And, of course, it has amazing hiking trails.
Thingvellir National Park is east of Reykjavik and it’s a historic site, the location of Icelands first parliament. The landscape is spectacular as well.
Vatnajokull National Park is a large park filled with glaciers, ice caves, snowy mountains, and some beautiful waterfalls. The park has a little bit of everything you’d look for in a far north destination.
Jozani Forest National Park is located in the beautiful island of Zanzibar. It’s not a large park but it’s the home to the endangered red colobus monkey.
Skeleton Coast National Park is often shrouded by fog which has a negative affect on ships traversing the coast. The beaches are littered with shipwrecks.
Etosha National Park is a game reserve in the unforgiving desert. Life is centered around the multiple water holes that dot the landscape.
Hell’s Gate National Park is a unique park. One of the very few parks in Africa where you can hike along the road and see the animals up close. Also, it’s the inspiration for the movie “The Lion King”.
Lake Nakuru National Park is famed for its thousands of flamingos. Unfortunately, I went in the wrong time of year and only saw a few of them. It’s also famous for the endangered white rhinos.
The famed Masai Mara National Park is located in the savannahs of Kenya, along the border with Tanzania. It’s said to have the largest number of lions and I’d agree. The grasslands are filled with game and the sight will leave you in ahh.
As civilization encroaches on the wilderness, the national parks have become vital to ensuring the future of many species. I hope more parks are dedicated throughout the world to preserve the flora, the fauna, and the beautiful landscapes we all admire. As I continue to venture throughout the world, I’m sure to visit more of these amazing national parks.
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