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Hidden Gems Around the World | Viator.com
Hidden Gems Around the World

Top 10 National Parks Around the World


Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, England.
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This article was originally published on Tripadvisor.com. Viator is part of the Tripadvisor Media Group. Follow Viator on Instagram at @viatortravel, and Tripadvisor at @tripadvisor.

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This was the year that travelers sought out spacious skies, sprawling plains, and sandy shores—and these national parks delivered. From the caves of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Vietnam to the sweeping panoramas and stone cottages of the Yorkshire Dales, these are the Tripadvisor 2021 Travelers' Choice award winners.


Yala National Park

A Sri Lankan leopard in Yala National Park. Photo: Ondrej Prosicky / Shutterstock

Sri Lanka

There are many different reasons to add Yala National Park to your must-see list: the chance to go on safari and see a wild boar or majestic Sri Lankan leopard, the winding trails, and the fact that in some places the park even touches the Indian Ocean. However, two of the most popular reasons to visit are Sithulpauwwa, a Buddhist rock temple, and Magul Maha Viharaya, where folklore says an ancient king wed an abandoned princess. The history and artifacts found here transport you back to those ancient times.

Find things to do in Sri Lanka

Jim Corbett National Park

Tigers and elephants can be found at the Jim Corbett National Park. Photo: Dchauy / Shutterstock

India

Situated in Uttarakhand, the Jim Corbett National Park—the oldest of its kind in India and one of the most popular—has long been a haunt for tourists and wildlife lovers. Home to more than 400 different species of flora and over 550 different species of fauna, the park is best known as a protected area for the critically endangered Bengal tiger. Tourism is allowed in selected areas of the Corbett Tiger Reserve and there are many accommodation facilities at Ramnagar, as well as at the Corbett National Park.

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Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park is one of the best in the world. Photo: Oomka / Shutterstock

Wyoming, US

Situated near Jackson Hole, Grand Teton National Park's crown jewels include the Cathedral Group of peaks and the majestic Snake River. The dramatic spires that inspired Ansel Adams rise straight from valley floors, providing awe-inducing views—see them at their most compelling from the comparatively gentle Jenny Lake and Hermitage Point's trails or the switchbacks of Death Canyon. Jackson Lake is favored for windsurfing and sailing, while the Colter Bay Visitor Center contains an Indian Arts Museum.

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Arenal Volcano National Park

The Arenal Volcano is an imposing sight in the park of the same name. Photo: Bob Hilscher / Shutterstock

Costa Rica

If waterfalls, hot springs, wildlife, and volcanoes are your thing, then Arenal Volcano National Park is the place to be. One of the world’s most active volcanoes burps tufts of smoke in the background as you make your way through forests and old lava fields. Take a rafting tour or hit the beach, then retire to a comfy hotel.

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Torres del Paine National Park

The Torres del Paine National Park is a must for travelers in Chile. Photo: kavram / Shutterstock

Chile

Torres Del Paine National Park’s beauty lies in its diversity. Located in Chile’s Patagonia region, the area is home to sparkling ice fields, blue-green lagoons, golden pampa grasslands, and quiet river villages. One such village, the pueblito Serrano, is known as the gateway to the park and is where travelers gather to fish and immerse themselves in the tranquility of everyday local life. Those looking to kick things up a notch can sail on Lake Grey or hike towards the horn-shaped peaks of the Mirador Cuernos.

Find things to do in Chilean Patagonia

Fiordland National Park

Fiordland National Park is one of New Zealand's star attractions. Photo: Ronald Nieves / Shutterstock

South Island, New Zealand

Hailed by Rudyard Kipling as "the eighth wonder of the world," the breathtaking Milford Sound is the star of glacier-carved Fiordland National Park, providing an emerald-green and waterfall-rich backdrop for hiking, biking, and kayaking. Frequent downpours only enhance this South Island beauty, sending numerous waterfalls cascading down the cliffs. Passionate nature lovers should book in advance to hike the 33-mile (53-kilometer) Milford Track, a legendary route through alpine passes and temperate rain forest.

Find things to do in Fiordland & Milford Sound

Yorkshire Dales National Park

Sweeping Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Photo: Andrew Fletcher / Shutterstock

North Yorkshire and Cumbria, England

One visit to the Yorkshire Dales and it’s easy to understand why the unspoiled countryside is the setting of so many novels. Must-see sights among the land’s lush woodlands and expansive moors include Hardraw Force (the longest single-drop waterfall in the north), Gordale Scar, and well-known hill range, the Three Peaks. Less adventurous visitors can rest easy, walking through the manicured lawns of Parcevall Hall Gardens or appreciating Skipton Castle’s medieval architecture. Although some prefer to take in the land’s wild beauty by foot or horseback, the most popular way is via one of the park’s famed cycling routes.

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Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

The Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park caves are a sight to behold. Photo: Vietnam Stock Images / Shutterstock

Vietnam

The karst formation of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park has evolved since the Paleozoic era (some 400 million years ago) and is the oldest major karst area in Asia. Subject to massive tectonic changes, the park’s karst landscape is extremely complex with many geomorphic features of considerable significance. The vast area, extending to the border of Laos, contains spectacular formations including 40 miles (65 kilometers) of caves and underground rivers.

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Vatnajökull National Park

Vatnajökull National Park is truly otherworldly. Photo: Enken / Shutterstock

Iceland

The largest national park in Europe, Vatnajökull combines thick blue ice caves, black-sand beaches, waterfalls, and even lush green fields to create an otherworldly landscape that begs to be explored. Ásbyrgi, a canyon known for its distinct horseshoe shape, is a must for those hoping to discover local woodland. Whether climbing Iceland’s highest peak, Hvannadalshnúkur, or hiking to the Detifoss waterfall, the country’s scenic terrain and breathtaking geological formations can’t be missed.

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Freycinet National Park

Wineglass Bay in the Freycinet National Park, Tasmania. Photo: ian woolcock / Shutterstock

Tasmania, Australia

Visit the Freycinet peninsula (home to the national park of the same name), and it’s clear why this area is known as the “jewel of Tasmania’s coastline.” The land’s scenic beauty showcases warm white beaches, deep azure waters, and the rosy pink hue of the Hazards mountain range. A trip to Wineglass Bay promises one of the state’s most celebrated views, as well as the chance to breathe in the crisp sea air. Pitch your tent, park your caravan, and get ready to spend the day fishing, sea kayaking, and relaxing in this stunning locale.

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Hi, I'm Tripadvisor!

This article was originally published on Tripadvisor.com. Viator is part of the Tripadvisor Media Group. Follow Viator on Instagram at @viatortravel, and Tripadvisor at @tripadvisor.

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Hidden Gems Around the World | Viator.com
Hidden Gems Around the World