Megan Bryant is a passionate writer and traveler who has combined her two loves to help others fulfill their traveling dreams. When she isn’t writing, she’s usually curled up with her 3 Dachshunds and a good book or planning her next adventure—wherever that may be.
Each and every one of the 195 countries on planet Earth is home to beautiful nature. But there are arguably some countries that stand out above the rest.
From the fjords in Norway and the rainforests in Brazil to the lavender fields in France and the northern lights in Iceland, here are some of the countries whose natural wonders are understandably their biggest attractions.
Australia has a huge range of diverse landscapes and natural wonders, so it probably comes as no surprise that it’s made its way into the top 14. Firstly, Australia is home to the world’s largest—and most famous—coral reef system, The Great Barrier Reef. Stretching over 2,300 kilometers, The Great Barrier Reed is teeming with marine life and draws in millions of visitors to Queensland every year.
In addition to its underwater natural wonder, however, Australia is also home to impressive coastlines, outback and desert landscapes, and National Parks that showcase distinct ecosystems and wildlife. You can even find rainforests, waterfalls, mountains, and caves throughout the country—its natural wonders really are endless!
South America’s largest country, Brazil, boasts a plethora of natural wonders that will leave you wanting more. With Brazil hosting the majority of the Amazon Rainforest and Amazon River, its biodiverse jungle is a global hotspot for animal and nature enthusiasts alike.
Alongside the country’s rainforests, however, you can also find world-famous waterfalls like the Iguazu Falls and the Kaieteur Falls, as well as pristine beaches, rock formations, and National Parks that work to preserve Brazil’s natural heritage.
Canada is known for a few natural wonders, including the Aurora Borealis (the Northern Lights), the Great Lakes, impressive ice fields, and majestic mountain ranges.
What’s great about Canada is it takes conservation seriously, and the country’s National Parks, including Banff, Jasper, and Pacific Rim, are home to some of the most impressive natural sights you’ll ever see.
France has a varied geography which makes it one of the world’s top countries for natural wonders. From the coasts in the French Riviera and the white chalk cliffs of Normandy to the French Alps and the expansive lavender fields in Provence, France has plenty of UNESCO World Heritage-listed natural sites to explore, making it an ideal destination for those in search of mother nature’s beauty.
If you want front-row seats to the world’s most impressive light show—the Aurora Borealis—then Iceland should be at the top of your bucket list. Iceland is one of the best places on Earth to witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights, and it can thank its proximity to the Arctic Circle and its minimal light pollution for that.
However, if the Northern Lights weren’t impressive enough, Iceland’s glaciers, ice caves, hot springs, volcanoes, and lava fields would definitely take your breath away.
Indonesia has over 17,000 islands which collectively make it the largest island country in the world. And although all 17,000 islands have unique natural wonders, the country’s most popular destinations, like Bali, Komodo Island, Java, and Sumatra, offer stunning landscapes and rich biodiversity.
With some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, volcanic landscapes featuring active volcanoes, lush rainforests, and rolling rice fields, Indonesia is up there as one of the top countries for natural wonders—especially ones you won’t find anywhere else.
Japan is yet another country where natural attractions are in abundance. Most famously, Japan is known for its cherry blossom trees which bloom throughout the spring season, turning Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Tokyo, and Yokohama a beautiful shade of pink.
However, although the cherry blossoms are one of Japan’s biggest attractions, the country also boasts geothermal hot springs, picturesque coastlines, active volcanoes, and Mount Fuji—the country’s tallest peak.
Nepal may just be home to one of the most impressive natural wonders in all of the world—Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak. Housing a significant portion of the Himalayan mountain range, visitors to Nepal can also marvel at the country’s dramatic landscapes, deep valleys, and pristine lakes, which give the most perfect reflection of the surrounding mountain ranges.
New Zealand is renowned for its diverse scenery as it famously served as a backdrop for well-known movies like “The Lord of the Rings.” Firstly, New Zealand—situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire—has various geothermal attractions, including geysers, hot springs, and mud pools.
But on the complete opposite end of the scale, New Zealand is also a top destination for those in search of glaciers, fiords, and snow-capped mountain ranges, making it a one-stop shop for all things natural wonders.
Renowned for its magnificent fjords—some of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites—Norway is one of the best destinations for natural attractions. Beyond the fjords, however, Norway also ranks as one of the best places to see the Northern Lights, as well as being popular amongst travelers in search of glaciers, mountains, waterfalls, pristine lakes, and beautiful coastlines.
Some of the world’s most unique landscapes can be found in Peru as this South American country plays host to the Andes Mountains, the Amazon Rainforest, Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca, and the desert oasis of Huacachina.
But, one natural wonder that stands out above the rest is the Rainbow Mountain in Cusco which has vibrant stripes of red, yellow, green, and purple thanks to the exposure and erosion of the sedimentary mineral layers that were built up inside the mountain.
Some of the most stunning mountain scenery in the world is located in Switzerland, but its incredible mountain peaks aren’t the country’s only natural wonder. Switzerland also has dozens of breathtaking glaciers, lakes, waterfalls, and National Parks—all of which showcase the true beauty of the country and all it has to offer.
Tanzania is known for the world-famous Serengeti National Park and Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro. But most people aren’t aware of the country’s other natural wonders. The Ngorongoro Crater, for example, hosts a remarkable concentration of wildlife that is often referred to as the “Garden of Eden.”
And acting as a juxtaposition for Tanzania’s semi-arid grasslands, just off the coast, lies the Zanzibar Archipelago, which has stunning white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and vibrant coral reefs that are teeming with marine life.
United States of America
And natural wonders even lie in our own backyard, as the United States may just have one of the most diverse natural landscapes of any country on the planet. The world’s third-largest country encompasses a wide range of climates and terrains that result in lush forests, arid deserts, majestic mountains, and mesmerizing coastlines.
Most impressively, however, are the country’s natural landmarks like the towering redwood trees in the Redwood National and State Parks, the captivating hoodoos in Bryce Canyon, and the towering buttes in Monument Valley.
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