The New 7 Wonders of the World

In 2007 National Geographic announced the new 7 Wonders of the World, following a contest organised by the New7Wonders foundation. Here we explore these 7 wonderful destinations AND their surrounding area so you can make the most of your visit!

 

Chichén Itza, Mexico

  • © iStockphoto.com

On the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico lies the ancient city of Chichén Itza. For hundreds of years this famous Mayan city served as a political, religious and economic centre. The most well-known ruin is The Pyramid of Kulkulkán, which is 80 feet high with four staircases – each compromising of 91 steps!

 

Jean Laffite Pirate Dinner Cruise: This comedy show offers a fantastic nights entertainment and a gourmet dinner with dishes such as lobster and steak on offer. The scenery of the beautiful sunset around you is breath-taking and makes this cruise worth every penny!

Palancar Reef: This stunning coral reef towers 20-30 feet out of the sand and even has tunnels in the reef for you to swim through.

Temples of Uxmal: These temples have a very magical ambiance about them. It is one of the few places that still allow you to climb on and explore the ruins.

 

Christ the Redeemer Statue, Brazil

  • © Marco Polo Travel Magazine

The statue of Jesus in Rio de Janiero is one of the city's most well-known monuments. It stands at 98.5 feet tall on top of Mount Corcovado. After a train ride up the steep hill, there are more than 200 steps to climb to reach the statue! Local residents and tourists flock there every day to see statue and the beautiful view of Rio de Janiero that comes with it.

 

Sugar Loaf Mountain: There are stunning views of Guanabara Bay to be seen from this 1,299ft mountain, especially at sunset.

Ipanema Beach: A world-famous beach, which provides a sense of traditional life in Rio. There are also boutiques, gourmet restaurants and luxurious apartments close by.

Santa Teresa: This quaint area of Rio is a great alternative for those wanting to see something other than the beach scene. The cobblestone streets lead up to a hillside which overlooks the city and gives a great view of Santa Teresa’s colonial buildings!

 

Colosseum, Italy

  • © Tim Kelly

Even though only half of it survived, it is still the largest building in Rome. Around 264AD it was a place where countless gladiators and wild animals were slaughtered, but today the Colosseum is a memorial in opposition to the death penalty. Since 1999 it has been bathed in green light every time a death sentence somewhere in the world is not carried out or a state decides to abolish the death penalty. The Colosseum was the first freestanding amphitheatre and it is so awe-inspiring to see it almost 2000 years later. It almost takes you back in time as you walk in the same footsteps as thousands of gladiators and spectators.

 

The Trevi Fountain: Rome’s largest and most popular fountain occupies a little square surrounded by shops, restaurants and gelato parlours. The Trevi Fountain is a magical place to be at night as it is lit up and the atmosphere is incredible. It is said that if you throw a coin over your shoulder into the fountain, it will ensure your return to Rome.

The Vatican: A spiritual centre for a billion Roman Catholics. It is home to the Sistine Chapel and many of the world’s greatest treasures.

The Pantheon: An ancient temple displaying architecture at its best. It is Rome’s best-preserved building.

 

Taj Mahal, India

  • © DuMont Photo Archive / Georg Knoll

The Taj Mahal is a huge white marble mausoleum built in the 17th century. It is the most well-known Indian landmark and required more than 20,000 labourers to build. It stands as a symbol of love as it was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife. Today it is considered one of the most stunning monuments in the world.

 

Agra Fort: There are stunning mosques and palaces to be seen at this medieval landmark. It displays the best of early Mughal architecture and provides a great view of the Taj Mahal from the upper storeys.

Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah
: It is very similar to the Taj Mahal but on a much smaller scale. The structure is extremely striking and it is another good example of early Mughal architecture.

Birbal Bhavan: A very peaceful location which has been really well preserved. The floral and geometrical patterns carved into the walls are outstanding.

 

Great Wall of China

  • © DuMont Photo Archive / Michael Riehle

The Great Wall of China is a 13,170 mile long wall, which is formed of several different structures connecting it all together. Most tourists normally flock to Badaling to see the wall as this section has recently been restored and it isn’t too far from Beijing.

 

Dule temple: The Gate Hall and the three-storey Guanyin Hall of this Buddhist monastery are among China’s most significant architectural treasures.

Eastern Qing Tombs: Five of the ten Manchu emperors along with their wives and concubines lie buried here. The temples are preserved really well in comparison to other tombs closer to the city.

National Museum: After remodelling and modernization, it is now allegedly the largest museum in the world. It will take you through the history of China and the Chinese revolution.

 

Petra, Jordan

  • © Tim Kelly

The rock city of Petra is the highlight of any trip to Jordan. Around 800 monuments are preserved in Petra and its surroundings. The Nabataeans strove to bring their magnificent architecture into harmony with nature by carving the facades of their temples, treasure chambers, houses and tombs into the pinkish-red rock. The entrance to the rock city lies in the village of Wadi Mussa.

 

Mount Nebo: 10km/6miles west of Madaba you’ll find one of the most important Christian pilgrimage sites in Jordan, Mount Nebo. From here Moses is said to have seen the Promised Land following the Exodus. On a clear day, there is an overwhelming view across the Dead Sea to Jericho.

Ma’in Hot Springs: A bendy road offering pretty views leads into Wadi Zarqa Ma’in. Since the Roman era, the thermal springs have been attracting visitors and rheumatic patients. Natural stone basins invite you to take a bath in hot water fed from a 25m/82ft waterfall.

Karak and Shobak Castles: Ancient architecture fans should schedule a trip to these scenic castles, which represent the architectural and military traditions of their time.

 

Machu Picchu, Peru

  • © iStockphoto.com

The Machu Picchu Inca ruins are situated in the middle of a mountain forest. It is a well-known tourist location because of its extraordinary beauty and the fact that it was only rediscovered in 1911. Until then, it was hidden amongst the forest and clouds for over three centuries.

 

Inca Salt Wells: Over 2,000 salt wells provide salt for the citizens of Peru’s sacred valley. The thousands of small puddles lie on the mountain side and divert water from the naturally salty spring.

San Blas: The San Blas district resembles a maze; there are so many fascinating sights to see and you could spend the whole day just wandering around it!

Pisac Market: This is the perfect place to shop on a Sunday; you will find everything and anything from art to produce.

 

Written by Bryony Whitlock

 

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