UNESCO Heritage Sites That Should Be on Your Bucket List

UNESCO Heritage Sites That Should Be on Your Bucket List

Obtaining a World Heritage Site designation means that a site is naturally and/or culturally significant, and designating it a UNESCO World Heritage Site will protect these sites for future generations to enjoy.

If you’re looking for adventures that include seeing remarkable natural beauty, incredible human achievement, and more, consider adding a handful of UNESCO Heritage Sites to your ever-growing bucket list!

There are 1,154 monuments listed in UNESCO sites across 167 countries. Below we have listed just 10 of these amazing sites that our consultants think are a must to experience!

Machu Picchu

Cloaked by mist and surrounded by mountain forest and steep cliffs, the expansive Inca citadel of Machu Picchu lives up to even the highest of expectations!

In a spectacular location, it’s the most famous archaeological site on the continent and a must-see for all visitors to Peru.

Machu Picchu will easily be the highlight of your South America travels!

Ancient Kyoto

Kyoto is a perfect image of old Japan, with everything from atmospheric temples and magnificent gardens to traditional teahouses.

Kyoto was the capital of Japan until the mid-19th century. Its UNESCO status includes 17 locations made up of 198 buildings and 12 gardens that date back between the 10th – 17th centuries.

The Zen Buddhist temple Kinkaku-ji and Kamigamo Shrine, one of Japan’s oldest Shinto shrines, are some of the most popular sites.

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is the heart and soul of Cambodia and the world’s largest religious monument. It contains amazing remains from the 9th – 15th century Khmer Empire.

Angkor Wat is the national symbol of Cambodia and the epicenter of Khmer civilization. It has never been abandoned to the elements and has basically been in continuous use since it was built almost 900 years ago!

With more than two million travelers a year visiting, this architectural masterpiece is one of the most-visited historical sites in the world!

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is among the best parks in the USA! Here you will find all sorts of picture-worthy meadows, waterfalls, streams, mountains, and a variety of plants and animals. From the waterfall-striped granite walls, the emerald-green Yosemite Valley to the giant sequoias at Mariposa Grove.

The Half Dome, El Capitan, the mists of Yosemite Falls, the gemstone-colored lakes, and the glacial Hetch Hetchy valley are some of the highlights of this amazing National Park.

Easter Island, Chile

Easter Island is one of the most isolated places on Earth!

The Polynesian Island is known for its 887 surviving monumental statues. With shrines dating back to the 10th century, the landscape is unlike any other you’ll ever see. If you’re looking for an eco-travel destination, Easter Island is a great choice.

Easter Island is much more than an open-air museum. Diving, snorkeling, and surfing are must-do activities while on the island. On land, travelers can experience the island’s savage beauty walking, cycling, or even horseback riding. But if you’re looking to relax, the island has some white sand beaches to enjoy.


Petra, the great Ancient City that lies half-hidden in the wind-blown landscape in southern Jordan, is one of the world’s most treasured UNESCO Heritage Sites.

The stunning sandstone city of Petra was built in the 3rd century BC by the Nabataeans, who carved palaces, temples, tombs, storerooms, and stables from the soft stone cliffs. The elaborate construction of this world-famous site is the reason it is on so many travelers’ bucket lists!


The Acropolis in Athens, Greece is one of the most important ancient sites in the world! Topped by the Parthenon, it stands guard over Athens, visible from almost everywhere within the city.

Revered sculptors and architects designed the monuments you’ll see within the Acropolis where theatre, democracy, philosophy, speech, and freedom of expression were eventually established. Restoration at the site is ongoing and there are almost always a ton of tourists exploring. It is best to visit very early in the morning or the last thing at night to avoid the crowds.

Chichén Itzá

Did you know Chichén Itzá is well over 1,500 years old? It is one of the greatest places to visit in Mexico, there’s so much to enjoy here from ancient carvings in the structures to sound and light shows in the evenings.

The stunning 30-meter step pyramid makes Chichén Itzá stand out among Mexico’s best ruins. Chichén Itzá is the most famous and best restored of the Yucatán Maya sites and a must-see for anyone visiting Mexico.

Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is not only one of the most colorful places on Earth but also the planet’s largest coral reef system. Diving and snorkeling are just a couple of ways to experience this wonderfully rich ecosystem. Choose to sail, enjoy a scenic flight, and explore the reef’s towns and beautiful islands!

This captivating reef is home to 400 kinds of coral, more than 900 islands, more than 2,000 types of plants, and even some endangered species of marine life. The massive Great Barrier Reef can even be seen from outer space!

Serengeti National Park

Visit Serengeti National Park to see the highest concentration of large mammals on the planet, including the Big Five – lion, Cape buffalo, leopard, elephant, and rhinoceros, plus around 500 species of birds! If a safari has been on your bucket list for a while, look no further than Serengeti National Park.

If you time it right you’ll have the opportunity to experience the most magnificent natural event in the world, the great wildebeest migration. Between October and November two million wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of zebras and gazelles migrate south, truly an amazing spectacle to witness!


When you’re ready to start checking UNESCO sites off your bucket list, contact one of our TierOne Travel agents. They have extensive experience in life-changing travel experiences and will be able to craft something incredible that is suited to your unique needs!

One call; endless experiences!

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” – Anonymous

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