Amazing National Parks of the World — Part I


National parks are for those who love everything about nature- verdant mountains, lush forests, pristine lakes, wild prairies, sand dunes, meandering rivers, untamed countryside- list is endless. It basically means stepping out under the sun (or moon) in an area, which is preserved by the state for habitats of the planet with minimal man made infrastructure. Idea is simple, to keep the beauty of nature eternal, for the benefit of future generations under the watchful eyes of government authorities.

Yellowstone was the first national park in the world, created in 1972. Since then, more than 7000 national parks have been formed around the world. We have compiled a list of our favorite national parks around the world, 3 parks for each continent. They are famous for their water bodies, wildlife, mountain ranges, plains and natural beauty. We have compiled a list of our favorite national parks around the world, 3 parks for each continent. We will publish in two parts.

North America

  1. ) Yosemite National Park

Where :- Califronia State, USA

Best time to go :- March, April, May

Famous for :- Waterfalls, meadows, cliffs, unusual rock formation

Yosemite National Park is a place of extremes. It has high mountains. It has valleys formed by ancient ice that cut deep into the Earth millions of years ago. There are thirteen beautiful waterfalls in Yosemite Valley. One of these waterfalls, Yosemite Falls, is the fifth highest on Earth. Up in the mountains are clear lakes, quick-moving small rivers, and huge formations of rock. One huge rock is called Half Dome. It rises more than two thousand seven hundred meters into the air. Yosemite has a beautiful slow-moving river and large grassy areas where you can see wild animals.

Image Source :- Senthil Balakrishnan

2.) Grand Canyon National Park

Where :- Arizona State, USA

Best time to go :- March- May and Sep-Nov

Famous for :- Its plunging depths; temple-like buttes; and vast, multihued, labyrinthine topography

Probably the world’s most famous national park, if not the most photographed, Arizona’s Grand Canyon did not achieve national park status until 1919, three years after the National Park Service was created. Some five million people visit it annually, to see its glorious canyon one-mile deep and ten miles across, carved by the Colorado River over millions of years. Visitors can take in both the South Rim, which offers the park’s renowned panoramic views, and the North Rim, which is 1,000 feet higher and features wildflower meadows, aspen and spruce. It is also one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Its horizontal strata retrace the geological history of the past 2 billion years.

Image Source :- Francesco Riccardo Iacomino


3.) Banff National Park

Where :- Alberta, Canada

Best time to go :- Jun- Aug and Dec-March

Famous for :- Glacial lakes, towering mountain crags, a quaint town

Banff — the birthplace of the world’s first national park service — is part of UNESCO’s Canadian Rocky Mountain World Heritage site. Banff offers amazing wildlife viewing and sightseeing, plus plentiful shopping and dining options, any time of the year. Summer is popular for hiking, paddling, mountain biking and cycling, photography, and climbing. The best time for viewing seasonal color is fall, when the larch trees — the only coniferous trees to lose their needles in winter — turn yellow. In winter, the mountain landscape makes for incredible downhill and cross-country skiing. In fact, three major downhill ski resorts operate within the park.

Image Source :- Lopaka Holmberg


South America

  1. ) Parque Nacional Torres del Paine

Where :- Chile and Argentina

Best time to go :- October – April

Famous for :- Birdlife, Scenic lakes, Hikes, Dense native forests

Tierra del Fuego, the Land of Fire, lies at the southern tip of the South American continent.A triangular archipelago surrounded by the stormy South Atlantic and the Strait of Magellan, Tierra del Fuego offers plenty of natural beauty: scenic glaciers, lush forests, astounding mountains, clear waterways and a dramatic sea coast. The very name evokes feelings of distance, fear of the elements, isolation, and loneliness. Unlike other Andean Patagonian parks, the forests contained in this reserve lie close to the sea coast.

Image Source : Rafael Muffato


2.) Iguazu Falls National Park

Where :- Argentina

Best time to go :- October – April

Famous for :- Splendid Waterfalls

Declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1984, Iguazu Falls is often revered as the world’s most spectacular waterfall. Situated on the border of the Brazilian state, Parana, and the Argentine province of Misiones, Iguazu Falls spans 1.7 miles (2.7km) in width, and features 275 individual waterfalls, with heights ranging from 60–82m (196–270ft). The name ‘Iguazu’ is loosely translated from the indigenous Guarani language as “big water”. Unsurprisingly, former first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, reportedly exclaimed “Poor Niagara” upon seeing Iguazu Falls for the first time. Iguazu Falls is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular treasures of our natural world. The falls form part of both the Iguacu National Park (Argentina) and the Iguazu National Park (Brazil), which have both been declared World Heritage sites. Approximately, 80% of the falls are located in Argentina and 20% in Brazil.

Image Source :- Joaquin hernandez


3.) Galapagos National Park

Where :- Ecuador

Best time to go :- Dec- Jan

Famous for :- Beaches and unique wildlife.

This UNESCO world heritage site It is 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador. This beautiful isolated archipelago is composed of 15 main islands, 3 smaller islands, and 107 rocks and islets. It houses astonishing endemic creatures such as the blue footed booby, giant sea tortoises, lava lizards and the sea iguana. When you see the Galapagos Islands you’ll easily understand why Charles Darwin ( British Scientist, Theory of Evolution) why he defined the Galapagos as: ‘A little world within itself’. It is a heaven for ecotourists, who come here to catch a glimpse of the Galapagos Islands’ unspoiled natural habitats. There are many thrilling activities you can do too, such as swimming with dolphins, snorkelling among sharks, diving with manta-rays and exploring timeless landscapes.

Image Source : Francis Capilitan


Europe

  1. ) Cairngorms National Park

Where :- Scotland

Best time to go :- October – April

Famous for :- Mountain Wilderness and Outdoor activities

The Cairngorms National Park officially opened on the 1st of September 2003. It is Scotland’s second national park, and the U.K’s largest at 3800 square kilometres (1400 square miles). It is almost three times the size of London and more than twice the size of Scotland’s original national park, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. It’s a living, working landscape with wild land at its heart, and umpteen number of outdoor attractions and activities to enjoy in a compact and accessible area. The park contains some of the best wildlife habitats in the UK and its ancient pine forests, arctic mountain tops, lochs, rivers and moorlands are home to a quarter of the nation’s threatened species. Regardless of age or interest the park and its communities offer something for everybody, from castles, distilleries and gentle strolls to fun parks, quad bikes and extreme sports.

Image Source :- Andrew Downie


2.) Plitvice National park

Where :- Croatia

Best time to go :- July – September

Famous for :- Turquoise lakes and trekking

It is arguably the most beautiful national park in the world. It’s comprised of 16 cascading lakes, separated by natural (travertine) dams and connected by a succession of waterfalls, giving it a beautiful terraced appearance. Surrounding it all to form a gentle pocket are mountains covered in dense woods. The lakes float crystal water, which changes colours from crystal clear to azure, to turquoise. This along with crisp clean air, truly is a feast for your senses. It is crisscrossed by wooden boardwalks and can be covered only on foot, they do have boats and bus to ferry you from one point to another, when you want to jump the route. Clicking an awe inspiring shot is easy when the place brims with beauty.

Image Source : Shobhit Agarwal


3.) Lake District National Park

Where :- England

Best time to go :- July – September

Famous for :- Lakes, Mountains and Woodland.

The Lake District, in England’s Northwest, is its largest park, carved out by glaciers about 15,000 years ago. It has:

  • four mountains over 3,000 feet including England’s highest
  • about 50 lakes and tarns, including England’s biggest and deepest
  • rich cultural heritage that spans the centuries from prehistoric times to the present day
  • connections with leading literary figures, including Wordsworth, Coleridge and de Quincey

Go for Britain’s finest scenery, greenest countryside and grandest views. Covering a total area of just over 885 square miles, the Lake District National Park has been protected since 1951, and its picturesque patchwork of lakes, valleys, woodlands and fells make it one of the best places in Britain to get out and experience the great outdoors, whether it’s on a leisurely bike ride down country lanes or a day-long hike across the hills.

Image Source :- Mario Rodgers

This article originally appeared here.

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