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Top 10 Most Beautiful Places in the World

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Aaron Cameron
They’re breathtaking. They’re eye opening. They’re jaw dropping. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Most Beautiful Places in the World. For this list, we’ll be looking at the most beautiful locations the natural world has to offer. #10: Palawan Island Philippines Picture a place where the most intensely unnatural colors are real, where jagged rock formations seemingly drip into hopelessly clear water, surrounded by rich lagoons and richer forest, and you’ve pictured Palawan. Largely untouched by man, it’s been voted the world’s most beautiful island more than once, with its beach El Nido also topping lists. Cartoonishly colorful and psychedelically vivid, this hidden gem is accessible by plane or boat and is home to unique wildlife, including the Philippine mouse-deer and purple crabs. #9: Seljalandsfoss Iceland These falls are among the best known in Iceland and rank among the most beautiful in the world. Part of the Seljalands River, the falls and their 197-foot or 60-meter drop are fed by waters from the volcanic glacier Eyjafjallajökull. A land of seemingly never-ending rainbows, Seljalandsfoss has the added bonus of a cave behind the falls’ aquatic curtain, allowing visitors a surreal viewpoint. Best still, the location itself is relatively easy to access and can be seen from a nearby, well used ring road. #8: Plitvice Lakes National Park Croatia One of Southeastern Europe’s oldest national parks, and a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979, Plitvice Lakes National Park has over 73,000 acres or 297 square kilometers of something for everyone. Overflowing with waterfalls, cascades, hiking trails and limestone canyons, it’s hard to know where to look. But the lakes, and their vivid colors, are the park’s main dish. Plitvice actually features 16 interconnecting lakes – all of which change color thanks to minerals, organisms and a trick of the sun. #7: Algar de Benagil Portugal Located on Portugal’s southern coast, this seaside gem was once a fishing-based region, but today the Benagil Sea Cave draws visitors based on looks alone. It’s best accessed by water – by kayak, boat, or swimming – but your efforts will be rewarded with unfathomable beauty. Like a vast cathedral of divine handiwork, this natural grotto – with its rocky walls, silky sand and weathered skylight – is enough to make you feel small and insignificant, and yet protected against everything else the world has to offer. #6: Cliffs of Moher Ireland Dismantled during the Napoleonic wars, today the only reminder of the fort for which these gorgeous cliffs were named is an old watchtower. Rising 390 feet or 120 meters at Hag’s Head to a height of 702 feet or 214 meters down the coast, the cliffs are home to 30,000 birds from 20 different species, including adorable puffins. A look in any direction provides a view of other Irish dreamscapes, including the Twelve Pins mountain range, the Aran Islands and the Maumturks mountains. #5: The Great Barrier Reef & Whitehaven Beach Queensland, Australia The world’s largest structure made by living organisms, the Great Barrier Reef was constructed by coral. It’s home to diverse aquatic species, from whales, dolphins and clownfish, to leatherback turtles and nine kinds of seahorse. What’s more, the nearby Whitehaven Beach is considered one of the planet’s most beautiful – and eco-friendly – beaches. The coast is lined with glorious white, 98% pure silica sand, which doesn’t retain heat, meaning you can walk the shore ‘til your heart’s content and never burn your feet. #4: Antelope Canyon Arizona, USA Known to the Navajo as “the place where water runs through rocks,” Antelope Canyon is more majestic than its name suggests. It’s the product of millennia of rainfall and floods eroding and smoothly carving deep corridors into the Navajo Sandstone. But the canyon walls are only part of the attraction: the rest is sunlight, sneaking its way through the canyons and creating the appearance of fire. Naturally, summer’s the best time to visit, as the light beams are more plentiful and more interesting. #3: Iguazú Falls Argentina / Brazil One of the modern natural wonders of the world, this staggering waterfall system – the largest of its kind – sits on the Argentina-Brazil border. Meaning “big water” in native languages, this natural attraction is unique in that it can easily be accessed from three countries, given its additional proximity to Paraguay – because something this beautiful needs to be shared. Effectively a chain of mini-waterfalls, the lion’s share of the river passes over a U-shaped chasm known as the Devil’s Throat. #2: Moraine Lake Alberta, Canada Situated just 9 miles or 14 kilometers outside the village of Lake Louise in Banff National Park, in view of the Rocky Mountains, is Moraine Lake. Fed by glaciers, this rock-flour-blue lake was once featured on the Canadian $20, earning one view the moniker the “Twenty Dollar View.” Among the country’s most photographed locations, the lake is, unsurprisingly, popular with hikers. It crests in late-June, but visitors can take in the Rockies or their reflection on Moraine Lake nearly year-round. Before we unveil our top pick here are a few honorable mentions: - Wulingyuan China - Valle de Cocora Colombia - Tianzi Mountain China #1: Salar de Uyuni Bolivia Resembling a vast, unending mirror, these are the world’s largest salt flats, covering a roughly 4,100-square mile or 10,000-square kilometer area. Once a proper lake in prehistoric times, today the flats are made of a 10 billion ton layer of salt, under which sits between 50-70% of the world’s lithium reserves. Sparse in terms of vegetation and wildlife, the almost unnaturally level flats are also packed with chemicals like magnesium, potassium and borax. But, more importantly, they’re eerily beautiful.
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Transcript
They’re breathtaking. They’re eye opening. They’re jaw dropping. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Most Beautiful Places in the World.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most beautiful locations the natural world has to offer.

#10: Palawan Island
Philippines
Picture a place where the most intensely unnatural colors are real, where jagged rock formations seemingly drip into hopelessly clear water, surrounded by rich lagoons and richer forest, and you’ve pictured Palawan. Largely untouched by man, it’s been voted the world’s most beautiful island more than once, with its beach El Nido also topping lists. Cartoonishly colorful and psychedelically vivid, this hidden gem is accessible by plane or boat and is home to unique wildlife, including the Philippine mouse-deer and purple crabs.

#9: Seljalandsfoss
Iceland
These falls are among the best known in Iceland and rank among the most beautiful in the world. Part of the Seljalands River, the falls and their 197-foot or 60-meter drop are fed by waters from the volcanic glacier Eyjafjallajökull. A land of seemingly never-ending rainbows, Seljalandsfoss has the added bonus of a cave behind the falls’ aquatic curtain, allowing visitors a surreal viewpoint. Best still, the location itself is relatively easy to access and can be seen from a nearby, well used ring road.

#8: Plitvice Lakes National Park
Croatia
One of Southeastern Europe’s oldest national parks, and a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979, Plitvice Lakes National Park has over 73,000 acres or 297 square kilometers of something for everyone. Overflowing with waterfalls, cascades, hiking trails and limestone canyons, it’s hard to know where to look. But the lakes, and their vivid colors, are the park’s main dish. Plitvice actually features 16 interconnecting lakes – all of which change color thanks to minerals, organisms and a trick of the sun.

#7: Algar de Benagil
Portugal
Located on Portugal’s southern coast, this seaside gem was once a fishing-based region, but today the Benagil Sea Cave draws visitors based on looks alone. It’s best accessed by water – by kayak, boat, or swimming – but your efforts will be rewarded with unfathomable beauty. Like a vast cathedral of divine handiwork, this natural grotto – with its rocky walls, silky sand and weathered skylight – is enough to make you feel small and insignificant, and yet protected against everything else the world has to offer.

#6: Cliffs of Moher
Ireland
Dismantled during the Napoleonic wars, today the only reminder of the fort for which these gorgeous cliffs were named is an old watchtower. Rising 390 feet or 120 meters at Hag’s Head to a height of 702 feet or 214 meters down the coast, the cliffs are home to 30,000 birds from 20 different species, including adorable puffins. A look in any direction provides a view of other Irish dreamscapes, including the Twelve Pins mountain range, the Aran Islands and the Maumturks mountains.

#5: The Great Barrier Reef & Whitehaven Beach
Queensland, Australia
The world’s largest structure made by living organisms, the Great Barrier Reef was constructed by coral. It’s home to diverse aquatic species, from whales, dolphins and clownfish, to leatherback turtles and nine kinds of seahorse. What’s more, the nearby Whitehaven Beach is considered one of the planet’s most beautiful – and eco-friendly – beaches. The coast is lined with glorious white, 98% pure silica sand, which doesn’t retain heat, meaning you can walk the shore ‘til your heart’s content and never burn your feet.

#4: Antelope Canyon
Arizona, USA
Known to the Navajo as “the place where water runs through rocks,” Antelope Canyon is more majestic than its name suggests. It’s the product of millennia of rainfall and floods eroding and smoothly carving deep corridors into the Navajo Sandstone. But the canyon walls are only part of the attraction: the rest is sunlight, sneaking its way through the canyons and creating the appearance of fire. Naturally, summer’s the best time to visit, as the light beams are more plentiful and more interesting.

#3: Iguazú Falls
Argentina / Brazil
One of the modern natural wonders of the world, this staggering waterfall system – the largest of its kind – sits on the Argentina-Brazil border. Meaning “big water” in native languages, this natural attraction is unique in that it can easily be accessed from three countries, given its additional proximity to Paraguay – because something this beautiful needs to be shared. Effectively a chain of mini-waterfalls, the lion’s share of the river passes over a U-shaped chasm known as the Devil’s Throat.

#2: Moraine Lake
Alberta, Canada
Situated just 9 miles or 14 kilometers outside the village of Lake Louise in Banff National Park, in view of the Rocky Mountains, is Moraine Lake. Fed by glaciers, this rock-flour-blue lake was once featured on the Canadian $20, earning one view the moniker the “Twenty Dollar View.” Among the country’s most photographed locations, the lake is, unsurprisingly, popular with hikers. It crests in late-June, but visitors can take in the Rockies or their reflection on Moraine Lake nearly year-round.

Before we unveil our top pick here are a few honorable mentions:
- Wulingyuan
China

- Valle de Cocora
Colombia

- Milford Sound
New Zealand

#1: Salar de Uyuni
Bolivia
Resembling a vast, unending mirror, these are the world’s largest salt flats, covering a roughly 4,100-square mile or 10,000-square kilometer area. Once a proper lake in prehistoric times, today the flats are made of a 10 billion ton layer of salt, under which sits between 50-70% of the world’s lithium reserves. Sparse in terms of vegetation and wildlife, the almost unnaturally level flats are also packed with chemicals like magnesium, potassium and borax. But, more importantly, they’re eerily beautiful.
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