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The world's most unforgettable natural landmarks

Our new research reveals which stunning natural landmarks make the biggest impression on visitors; find out the world’s most ‘unforgettable’ places to visit here. 

From the majestic peaks of Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro to the spell-binding Wadi Rum rock formations in Jordan, natural landmarks offer a diverse and enriching travel experience. But which ones are truly unforgettable?

To find out, we worked with our walking and trekking tour guides to identify more than 150 popular natural landmarks worldwide. We then delved into travel review data to find what percentage of reviews for each landmark used the words “unforgettable” or “memorable” to describe their experience of it.

As well as looking at natural phenomena around the whole world, we also looked at natural landmarks in the United Kingdom to discover which local wonders are making the biggest impression on visitors.

Come along with us as we reveal the natural landmarks that have captivated travellers, with this ultimate travel bucket list of unforgettable destinations.
 

The Top 20 Global Natural Landmarks

 
Rank Name Country Continent % of reviews that include unforgettable/memorable
1 Mount Kilimanjaro Tanzania Africa 11%
2 Gobi Desert Mongolia, China Asia 10%
3 Mount Cameroon Cameroon Africa 9.2%
4 The Amazon Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Educador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela, French Guiana South America 8.7%
5 Caucasus Mountains Georgia Europe/Asia 8.3%
6 Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst Hungary, Slovakia Europe 8.3%
7 Mount Everest Nepal Asia 7.3%
8 Maasai Mara National Reserve Kenya Africa 5.6%
9 Cocos Island National Park Costa Rica South America 5.2%
10 Na Pali Coast USA North America 5.1%
11 Sundarbans Bangladesh Asia 4.6%
12 Okavango Delta Botswana Africa 4.0%
13 Nile River Egypt Africa 3.9%
14 Mount Yasur Vanuatu Oceania 3.8%
15 Mount Wilhelm Papua New Guinea Oceania 3.6%
16 Boiling Lake Dominica North America 3.4%
17 Ngorongoro Crater Tanzania Africa 3.3%
18 Pangong Tso Lake India, China Asia 3.2%
19 Wadi Rum Jordan Asia 3.1%
20 Jaco Island/Jako Island East Timor Asia 2.9%

1. Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania (Africa)

Mount Kilimanjaro claims the top spot as the most unforgettable natural landmark in the world. Located in Africa’s Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro stands as a symbol of adventure, attracting both active explorers and nature enthusiasts. The significant percentage of reviews citing the experience as "unforgettable" or "memorable" (11%) reflects the inspiring power of this iconic landmark. It’s snowy-covered summit contrasts beautifully with the lush greenery and pretty wildflowers below; the hike to the summit is often described as climbing through the four seasons, with the forest floor becoming heath and moorland as you ascend, and then transforming into an alpine desertscape before you reach the ice cap. Beyond its physical beauty, Kilimanjaro holds a cultural significance deeply rooted in the local Chagga people’s traditions. 

2. Gobi Desert, Mongolia, and China (Asia)

Coming in as a close second, the vast and unique landscape of the Gobi Desert captures the imagination of travellers, with a high percentage of reviews describing the Gobi Desert as unforgettable (10%). It covers the southern part of Mongolia and the northern and northwestern parts of China and is known for its dunes, mountains, and rare animals such as snow leopards and Bactrian camels.

3. Mount Cameroon, Cameroon (Africa)

Rounding off the top three is Mount Cameroon, another remarkable African landmark. In contrast to Mount Kilimanjaro’s snow-capped peak, Mount Cameroons’ unique landscape is defined by its active volcanic nature. Located in the southwest region of Cameroon and rising from the Gulf of Guinea, it’s a rare sight where dense forests meet volcanic landscapes and occasional lava flows. It’s a unique adventure for those who want to explore diverse ecosystems and witness the power of mother nature firsthand.  

The region’s cultural richness adds another layer of significance to the experience, with communities around its base, particularly the Bokwaongo and Buea villages, offering a warm welcome to visitors. 

4. The Amazon Rainforest, South America

The Amazon Rainforest, often referred to as the "Lungs of the Earth," is an unparalleled natural wonder that has captured the hearts and minds of countless explorers and eco-enthusiasts.

Whichever country Amazon visitors are seeing it in  (it stretches across nine! Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela, and French Guiana), they are blown away its sheer scale and incredible biodiversity, with 8.7% of the Amazon’s reviews describing it as an unforgettable or memorable experience.  From jaguars to sloths, spider monkeys to pink dolphins, the Amazon is home to millions of species of plants, insects and animals including mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians - many of which can’t be found anywhere else on earth. As well as its mind-blowing wildlife, the Amazon is also home to numerous indigenous communities that have inhabited the region for thousands of years. These communities have a deep cultural connection to the land and its biodiversity, and help preserve the Amazon as one of the world’s most memorable locations.

5. Caucasus Mountains, Georgia (Europe/Asia)

The rugged beauty of the Caucasus Mountains, weaving between Europe and Asia, attracts adventure seekers and nature lovers alike. It’s also the ‘most unforgettable’ natural landmark located in Europe – at least partly! 

The towering peaks of the Caucasus Mountains, including the iconic Mount Kazbek, not only provide a Mecca for walking enthusiasts and nature lovers but also offer ancient traditions and a vibrant culture. The best time to visit is either side of July or August with spring in full bloom and the autumnal foliage providing a beautiful backdrop for those exploring Georgia on foot.

6. Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst, Hungary/Slovakia (Europe)

Another of Europe’s breathtaking natural landmarks follows in sixth place: the Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst. This mesmerising underground world shared by Hungary and Slovakia has earned its reputation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and sets the stage for an extraordinary subterranean adventure. The interconnected cave systems create a mysterious atmosphere. Each cavern tells a geological tale, and the underground rivers and chambers contribute to a memorable experience. Visitors also enjoy the fact that you can enter the cave system in Hungary and come out in Slovakia, as described in some of the reviews.

7. Mount Everest, Nepal (Asia)

As the world's highest peak, Mount Everest is a bucket-list destination for so many explorers, and it’s therefore no surprise it made its way into the top 10 most unforgettable landmarks worldwide. Considered the crown jewel of the Himalayas, Mount Everest leaves an enduring imprint on those who venture to its Base Camp and beyond.  Embarking on the journey to the Base Camp is an unforgettable adventure, providing the chance to enjoy the stunning flora and fauna of the Asian mountains, with a forest floor of birch, firs, rhododendrons and blue pines, which give way to shrubs and mosses before you reach the permanent snow line. Hikers pass through Namche Bazaar, a bustling Sherpa town surrounded by huge mountains. The trail takes you through a beautiful valley with colourful prayer flags, offering a glimpse of the traditional Sherpa villages and their unique way of life. 

8. Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya (Africa)

The Maasai Mara National Reserve has rightfully earned its place among the most unforgettable natural landmarks, as one of Africa's most celebrated destinations. It offers a front-row seat to one of nature's most spectacular events, which is the annual Great Migration, where millions of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle migrate in a clockwise direction across the ecosystems of the Serengeti (Tanzania) and the Maasai Mara (Kenya). It usually takes place at the start of July, but the timing depends on the rains.

Beyond the migration, the Maasai Mara is a year-round draw for wildlife enthusiasts. The expansive grasslands are home to the "Big Five" – lions, elephants, buffalos, leopards, and rhinoceros - ensuring a memorable experience. 

9. Cocos Island National Park, Costa Rica (South America)

We return to South America, where the Cocos Island National Park, a remote and pristine marine sanctuary off the coast of Costa Rica, ranks 9th overall. The island's isolation and protected status contribute to its rich and diverse aquatic life, featuring hammerhead sharks, rays, dolphins, and an abundance of colourful fish. 

Beyond the aquatic variety, Cocos Island offers a diverse range of waterfalls, lush greenery and a rugged landscape that adds to the destination’s allure and further emphasises the island's designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Whether exploring vibrant coral reefs, encountering underwater species, or appreciating the untouched beauty of the island's landscapes, visitors to Cocos Island are left with memories that resonate long after their departure. 

10. Na Pali Coast, USA (North America)

Rounding off the top 10, the Na Pali Coast solidifies its status as a must-see destination. Exploring the Na Pali Coast often involves a mix of activities, from walking along the Kalalau Trail with its breathtaking views to sailing along the coastline on catamarans or kayaking through the sea caves. Such diversity of experiences no doubt contributes to the percentage of reviews expressing the memorability of the Na Pali Coast adventure. 

The Na Pali Coast is not only a natural wonder but it also holds a significant cultural and historical importance. It used to be home to ancient Hawaiian communities and visitors can still find old ruins and ancient terraced fields here. The area is rich in legends and stories which have been passed down through generations, adding to the mysteriousness of this landmark and ensuring unforgettable memories. 

The Top 10 Natural Landmarks in the UK

Rank Name Country % of reviews that include unforgettable/memorable
1 The Old Man of Storr Scotland 0.93
2 Giant's Causeway Northern Ireland 0.86
3 Loch Ness Scotland 0.77
4 Seven Sisters England 0.65
5 The Fairy Pools Scotland 0.60
6 The Needles England 0.48
7 Cheddar Gorge & Caves England 0.42
8 Claigan Coral Beach Scotland 0.38
9 Arthur's Seat Scotland 0.37
10 Derwentwater England 0.27
At the top of the list is "The Old Man of Storr" (Scotland), earning its reputation as the UK’s most unforgettable sight. This iconic rock formation on the Isle of Skye’s Trotternish Ridge is a superb example of Scotland’s enchanting highland landscape, with its grassy slopes that turn golden in the sun and its craggy steep rock faces overlooking the still depths of Loch Fada. It’s a popular destination for hikers, with many of these visitors so awe-struck by the place that The Old Man of Storr boasts the highest percentage of reviews, among UK landmarks, mentioning just how unforgettable and memorable it is.
Following closely, in second place, is the "Giant's Causeway" in Northern Ireland, which attracts plenty of visitors who wish to witness the area’s unique hexagonal basalt columns, created by ancient volcanic activity.

Loch Ness, another Scottish gem, secures the third spot. Its mysterious allure and the legend of the mythical Loch Ness Monster draw in hundreds of thousands of visitors each year; even if there are no sightings of Nessie, visitors are still spellbound by the sheer size of the loch, as well as the tranquil and peaceful atmosphere it provides. 

Moving to England, the "Seven Sisters" cliffs follow in fourth place, showcasing the breathtaking beauty of the UK’s southern coastline. 

Scotland’s "Fairy Pools" (another entry from the Isle of Skye) captivate visitors with their magical and pretty charm, rounding off the top five of the most unforgettable natural landmarks in the UK. 

Whether you're an avid trekker, a nature enthusiast, or simply seeking inspiration for your next adventure, these captivating natural wonders are sure to ignite your wanderlust. Ready to embark on an unforgettable journey? Take a look at our stunning walking holidays abroad.

Methodology
To find the world’s most unforgettable natural landmarks, we created a long list of over 150 natural landmarks around the world that are commonly described as unforgettable or scenic or ‘must see’. For each landmark, we found calculated the percentage of its reviews on popular travel review websites that include the terms ‘unforgettable’ and ‘memorable’. The landmarks with the highest percentage of reviews that mention these terms are ranked as the world’s most unforgettable natural landmarks. Data correct as of January 2024.