18 Best National Parks to Discover the Diversity of Our Planet

18 best national parks in the world

National parks are an unmodified charm with untouched nature and specific wildlife calling that place home. Being the most stunning spots around the world, national parks contain a natural landscape and rare plants, rich wildlife, and remarkable scientific and learning opportunities. 

From the flat steppes to the rocky mountains, icy glaciers to heartbreaking fjords, you’ll find all kinds of adventure.  

So we have broken down some of the most attended and remarkable national parks for you to explore and enjoy!

National Park 1. Ranthambore, India

Ranthambore National Park
Ranthambore, Source Dreamstime/ Source © Neil Burton

This park is very remarkable with its unique royal Bengal tigers. Being here ‘the legal owners’, the best months for observing them are late fall and spring.  

Other rarely-met examples of wildlife are spotted as well. It’s about striped hyenas,  leopard, and Melursus ursinus in their innate habitats.  

Besides exotic fauna, you’re welcome to sightseeing to ancient ruins of a momentous fortress that reigns in the jungle. From its highest viewpoint enjoy proud eagles and vultures flying over the blue sky. 

National Park 2. Vatnajokull, Iceland

Vatnajokull National Park
Vatnajokull, Source Dreamstime © Prakobkit

Glacial ice and active volcanoes, stunning waterfalls, and magical valleys are what make Vatnajokull park epic. This must-visit national garden is spectacular as it’s the largest one in Europe with the superb ice glacier enveloping its borders.   

Vatnajokull is worth visiting every season of the year. There are tons of ways to get the most out of this park. Trekking and skiing on ice, boat-riding between the iceberg lakes, and even safari rides are the coolest activities you can take in this park.

National Park 3. Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio National Park
Manuel Antonio | Source Canva Pro

This smallest game reserve is praised for its exquisite wildlife. Despite its sizes, there is an insane flow of tourists to this place. That’s why the authorities had to limit the entrance of the guests on Mondays for nature to retrieve. 

To avoid crowding, visit Manuel Antonio as early as possible. Tropical animals will give you a warm welcome and make you feel the exotic touch of the place. The national park is also known for its astonishing beaches encompassed with savage jungle. 

National Park 4. Etosha, Namibia

Etosha National Park
Etosha, Source flickr/jonrawlinson

When it comes to exciting flora and fauna, Africa is on the top charts. Etosha (‘Great White Place’) meaning is considered the next-largest reservoirs of Namibia.

The park is famous for its white salts surrounding its borders. It’s a well-known place to watch wild animals and plants, especially in the winter months. The inhabitants of this park are rare animals like lions and rhinos, elephants, and giraffes… all kinds of fauna innate to Africa.

You may go around your car or with a guided tour through these captivating natural forest, but remember you’ll not be allowed to go outside and just walk for obvious reasons 🙂 

National Park 5. Jiuzhaigou, China

Jiuzhaigou National Park
Jiuzhaigou, Source dreamstime/© Grace5648

Jiuzhaigou is an extremely rare scenic nature park. Nested in central China, Jiuzhai Valley (as it’s sometimes called another way) means ’Valley of Nine Villages’. It’s said ancient Tibetans lived in this place. 

In Jiuzhaigou reside giant though cute pandas and golden monkeys, and sightings here are extremely rare.

There are a lot of reasons to attend this natural conservation area. Mountains eroded from wind and water bear the seal of many years. Abundant lakes with all tints of blue are shining all shades of these colors. 

Don’t miss watching the attractive Jade Pool (Five Color Pool) known for its changeable coloring of the water.  

Also, visit Long Lake. The snow-white peaks and breathtaking forests surrounding it will give you grounds to take unforgettable photos for all your lifetime.

National Park 6. Torres del Paine, Chile

Torres del Paine National Park
Torres del Paine | Source Canva Pro

Everybody knows Chile is famous for its peerless beauty and mysterious structures.  Situated in the Patagonian region, the ‘Towers of Paine’ contains three torres (towers). Keep your eyes peeled for icy glaciers and snow-capped peaks, lofty lakes, and exotic wildlife. The park is an enticing destination for extreme-lovers and hikers. 

There are several racetracks for doing hiking. For example, choosing the W hiking circuit, it’ll take 4-5 days to complete it. The more days requiring tracking is the O circuit demanding 6-10 days to reach to the finish.  

But if you’re just yearning for leisure, you’ll have the opportunity to go around the Grey Glacier with a kayak and go for an unbelievable experience.

National Park 7. Plitvice, Croatia

Plitvice National Park
Plitvice, dreamstime/ Source© Aleksei Stroganov

Croatia is famous for its innate charm and wonderlands. Its wildlife parks are not an exception. Plitvice is home to sixteen stunning lakes and forests located in twelve upper and 4 lower lakes. That means you’ll witness the astonishing beauty of evergreen changing colors depending on the Sun position. 

Your hiking experience within the wild green trees lakes will make your time a real paradise watching over the vertebrate animals like wolves and bears, capercaillies, and cats. 

Plitvice is famous for its diverse types of birds. Almost 126 species are registered in the park. So imagine the euphory of the bird watchers visiting this park!

National Park 8. Yosemite, USA

Yosemite National Park
Yosemite, Source Flickr/Dawn

Yosemite has many charming things to boast. Located in California, this remarkable reserve is notorious with its dangling waterfalls and plenteous lakes. You’ll enjoy your day to the fullest extent by just watching to its granite rock tops and huge sequoia orchards. 

This is a real paradise for hikers! 1.200 km is yours. Get the most out of your hiking trails regardless of your bodybuilding level. 

But the queen of Yosemite is Glacier Point. Whichever course you take, put your final destinations to this point. From this spot, you’ll feel your heartbeat by a dazzling view over a beautiful valley.

All kinds of activities are available. A good horse riding, mountaineering, even golfing are what will end your day with superb impressions. 

Don’t forget your binoculars! There are 150 species of birds waiting to be contemplated.  

National Park 9. Kakadu, Australia

Kakadu National Park
Kakadu, Source Wikipedia/Nigel Malone

Kakadu is the vastest national park in Australia. It’s a unique place to feel the touch of native culture and dive into environmental activities. 

Countless amounts of outstanding wildlife species are waiting to be discovered! Among them, barramundi fish, a wealth of native birds and mammals. 

Breathtaking clifftops such as Nourlangie and Ubirr Rocks are the spectacular examples of innate history dating back thousands of years. 

Natural Park 10. Canaima, Venezuela

Canaima National Park
Canaima, Source Dreamstime/© Peter Sobolev

Take your time to visit Canaima, Venezuela. Observe its cascading waterfalls and verdant prairies, and steal two or three days of pleasure from this life. 

Most people pay a 2 or 3-night visit to Canaima to hike or take a canoe trip to the base of Angel Falls. 

If trekking is your hobby, then this natural site will give you a huge edge! Monte Roraima (where you’ll make the most out of your trekking) will last 4-8 days to reach to the peak of the mountain. But your efforts will be awarded the stunning view from the mountain top over Venezuela and bordering countries (Guyana and Brazil).

Natural Park 11. Komodo, Indonesia

Komodo National Park
Komodo, Source Canva Pro

Komodo Dragons (3m, 70kg!) are the kings of this national park. Komodo reserve is hosting for tons of habitats species calling this park home. You’ll spot here wild bears and horses, buffalos and macaques, etc. So the variety of wildlife is guaranteed!

Komodo is speaking volumes with aquatic inhabitants such as crustaceans. To imagine their abundantly, just to mention 260 breeds of marine creatures.

Yet other activities are common to this national park. It’s especially interesting for divers and water-lovers. Shark and dolphin sightings are of special fascinations. Even whales might be seen from this coast. But if you have brought your authorization to diving (given by PADI), you’ll be allowed to a diving spot called Pygmy.

National Park 12. Kruger, South Africa

Kruger National Park
Kruger, Source Flickr/Arno & Louise

Kruger is an iconic park in South Africa. The tantalizing point in fourteen diverse ecozones which are formed by encompassing Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Each of these areas is famous for its specific wildlife and diverse nature.  

Kruger is the most ‘user-friendly’ park you’ll ever know. You don’t need to join any guided group if you drive in the safety of your vehicles.

We have good news for those wanting to hike as well. Each coast of the park has something of value to every kind of activity-lovers. Go to the southern parts for wildlife sighting, and the north-for birdwatching. 

National Park 13. Fiordland, New Zealand

Fiordland National Park
Fiordland, Source Dreamstime/© BiancoBlue

The major highlights about Fiordland are exquisite fjords making the site really remarkable. If you are in New Zealand, don’t miss your chance to visit Milford Sound. This phenomenal fjord is possible to achieve by the road (really impressive, since it’s a rarity to reach any fjord by land).

Fiordland is the favorite of millions of people due to its spectacular natural beauty of stunning waterfalls and soul-crushing mountains. This is a perfect place for meditation as nowhere else is more isolated and inspiring.

No other place is worth naming more beautiful than Fiordland being home for exotic flora and fauna. Take your time and make a cruise in the Lake of Te Anau and contemplate the magical sight of underground caves enlightened by glowworms. 

National Park 14. Iguazú, Brazil

Iguazu National Park
Iguazú, Source Dreamstime /© Jorisvo

The most attractive part about Iguazú is the splendid waterfall of the same name. Settled in the borders of two different countries (Argentina and Brazil), this national park is worth attending at least once in your lifetime.

Iguazú has many things to be applauded for. It’s a part of Atlantic Forest where thousands (specifically 2000) sorts of plants and hundreds (specifically 400) birds to be contemplated while walking around.  

National Park 15. Banff, Canada

Banff National Park
Banff, Source Flickr/satoru_kikuchi

Banff is praised for the mesmerizing nature and top-notch mountains. The town of Banff, (along with Lake Louise town) makes the base for this gorgeous national park.

These are the only witnesses of civilization, though. The rest of the preserve is untangled giving chances for observing wildlife without being disturbed. All sorts of wild creatures, such as mountain lions and grizzly bears, bighorn sheep, and moose are feeling home in this place. 

If you an avid-lover of exceptional views, take a gondola ride up to the mountain or hike to the alpine meadows.

National Park 16. Galápagos, Ecuador

Galapagos National Park
Galápagos, Source Dreamstime/© Kseniya Ragozina

The distinctive point about this garden is its exclusive ecosystem. It’s home for exotic birds and lizards like penguins and iguanas, that are not commonly spotted in this part of the Earth.

In Galápagos has not only diverse wildlife but also rich marine life. Big sea turtles and sea lions, even marine iguana are the natural habitats of Galápagos National Park. 

If you’re not on a budget, go for a cruise around the islands to get unforgettable sensations. 

National Park 17. Yellowstone, US

Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone, Source Dreamstime/© Oscity

Sprayed with utmostly astonishing sweltering geysers and hot springs, Yellowstone seems to be cut off from this world. Nested on the biggest volcano, it’s like nowhere else can be found similar to Yellowstone on the globe. 

Founded in the middle of the 19th century, this park is considered to be the first national park in history. Its main purpose was to protect the unparalleled wildlife and the innate beauty of the site.

National Park 18. Serengeti, Tanzania

Serengeti National Park
Serengeti, Source Flickr/lince

Serengeti is the must-see hotspot national parks around the world. Offering riveting opportunities for wildlife watchers, Serengeti meaning ‘Endless Plains’ is known for the wildebeest annual migration when millions of gazelles and zebras are taking their path towards Serengeti in the search of the water. 

But the Great Migration is not the only time to visit Serengeti. This protected environment is offering a golden opportunity for a glamping experience and balloon safari.  

We’re sure this list will come in handy once you decide to travel around the world and visit different national parks. The selection is based taking into account the highlights and feedback of travelers and national-park-lovers. We’ve brought together the most attended ones and those who will really make a good impression.   

Previous article16 Best Deserts in the World
Next articleWhere to Travel in 2021 After COVID-19?
For the last 10 years, Ara Davtyan has been providing the best values in travel and entertainment to the readers. From long-term journeys to one-day vacations, he has experience planning it all. Ara is an accomplished explorer, a passionate traveler who is in a constant search for adventures and powerful landscapes. To share his visions, Ara founded ‘The Best Travel Destinations’ blog. Ara’s richly-drawn travel images and thought-provoking scenes have earned him an army of devoted readers. As he loves stating ‘Wonder less, wander more"


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here