Welcome to Zhangjiajie National Park, a mesmerizing natural wonderland nestled in the heartland of China. With its breathtaking landscapes, towering sandstone pillars, lush forests, and vibrant flora and fauna, Zhangjiajie National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site that attracts travelers from around the globe.
Located in the northern part of Hunan Province, Zhangjiajie National Park covers an area of over 13,900 square kilometers, encompassing four main sections: Zhangjiajie Forest Park, Tianmen Mountain, Suoxiyu Nature Reserve, and Tianzi Mountain Reserve. Each section offers a unique and awe-inspiring experience, providing visitors with an opportunity to explore the diverse beauty of this extraordinary region.
The national park gained international fame when its mesmerizing landscapes served as inspiration for the floating mountains in the blockbuster movie, “Avatar.” The breathtaking sandstone pillars that seemingly defied gravity became an iconic symbol of the park, drawing curious travelers eager to witness the stunning scenery for themselves.
Whether you are an adventure seeker, nature lover, or simply looking for a serene escape, Zhangjiajie National Park has something for everyone. From thrilling hiking trails and panoramic views from the glass bridge to encounters with rare wildlife and cultural experiences with the local Tujia ethnic minority, the park offers a wealth of experiences that will leave you in awe of its natural beauty.
So, pack your bags, put on your hiking boots, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure in Zhangjiajie National Park. This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to plan your visit, including how to get there, the best time to go, top attractions to explore, hiking trails to conquer, accommodation options, dining recommendations, and essential safety tips. Let’s dive into this enchanting destination and discover the wonders that await you in Zhangjiajie National Park.
Location of Zhangjiajie National Park
Zhangjiajie National Park is located in the northern part of Hunan Province in Central China. It is situated in the Wulingyuan Scenic Area, which spans an area of approximately 397 square kilometers. The park is part of the larger Wulingyuan UNESCO World Heritage site, which includes other scenic areas such as Suoxi Valley and Tianmen Mountain.
The park’s geographic coordinates are approximately 29.1177° N latitude and 110.4793° E longitude. It is surrounded by lush mountains, crystal-clear streams, and dense forests, creating a picturesque landscape that astounds visitors with its natural beauty.
With its central location, Zhangjiajie National Park is easily accessible from major cities in China. It is approximately 36 kilometers away from Zhangjiajie City, the nearest urban center, and 260 kilometers away from Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province.
While Zhangjiajie National Park itself is the main attraction, there are also other nearby attractions worth exploring, such as the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, Tianmen Mountain, and the Baofeng Lake. These attractions offer additional experiences and add to the overall allure of the region.
The park’s location in a subtropical climate zone means that it experiences mild winters and hot summers. The area is known for its abundant rainfall, which contributes to the lush vegetation and vibrant ecosystem within the park.
As you journey through Zhangjiajie National Park, you will be immersed in a landscape that seems almost otherworldly. The towering sandstone pillars, lush greenery, and meandering streams create a surreal and ethereal atmosphere that is unlike anything you have ever seen before. It truly is a location that will take your breath away and leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
History and Background of Zhangjiajie National Park
Zhangjiajie National Park has a rich history that spans centuries, beginning with the indigenous Tujia people who have called this region home for thousands of years. The name “Zhangjiajie” itself is derived from the combination of two Tujia words: “Zhang” meaning “altar” and “Jiajie” meaning “family estate.” This name reflects the historical presence of ancestral altars in the area.
The rise of Zhangjiajie as a popular tourist destination can be credited to the late 20th-century efforts to promote and preserve its unique natural beauty. In 1982, Zhangjiajie Forest Park became the first national forest park in China, with the aim of safeguarding its remarkable geological formations and diverse ecosystems.
One of the most significant milestones in Zhangjiajie’s history was its recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992. This designation further solidified the park’s reputation as a global natural treasure and helped to foster international interest in Zhangjiajie National Park.
Zhangjiajie gained even more international acclaim in 2010 when the ethereal sandstone pillars and lush landscapes of the park served as the inspiration for the stunning floating mountains depicted in the blockbuster movie, “Avatar.” The film’s director, James Cameron, was captivated by the surreal beauty of Zhangjiajie and incorporated its imagery into the fantastical world of Pandora.
Today, Zhangjiajie National Park continues to attract millions of visitors each year, drawn by its unparalleled natural beauty and the iconic sandstone pillars that now bear the name “Avatar Hallelujah Mountains” in honor of the movie. The park has undergone significant development to accommodate the influx of tourists, including the construction of glass walkways, aerial trams, and observation platforms that provide unrivaled views of the stunning landscapes.
As Zhangjiajie National Park welcomes visitors from around the world, it remains committed to striking a balance between tourism and environmental conservation. Efforts are made to preserve the park’s delicate ecosystems and protect its unique flora and fauna, ensuring that future generations can continue to marvel at the extraordinary beauty of this natural wonderland.
How to Get to Zhangjiajie National Park
Getting to Zhangjiajie National Park is relatively easy, as it is well-connected to major cities in China by air, train, and bus. Here are the main transportation options:
- By Air: The Zhangjiajie Hehua International Airport serves as the main gateway to the national park. It offers direct flights from major cities in China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chengdu. International flights from places like Seoul, Bangkok, and Kuala Lumpur are also available. Once you arrive at the airport, you can take a taxi or a shuttle bus to reach the national park, which is approximately 5 kilometers away.
- By Train: Several trains operate daily to Zhangjiajie Railway Station, which is connected to major cities in China, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chengdu. The train station is located in the city center, and from there, you can easily find buses or taxis to take you to the national park. It’s worth noting that high-speed trains offer a faster and more comfortable option for those traveling from distant cities.
- By Bus: Zhangjiajie is also accessible by long-distance buses from nearby cities. There are regular bus services from Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province, as well as from other cities like Fenghuang and Wuhan. The bus journey may take several hours, depending on the distance. However, it can be a scenic route, allowing you to enjoy the countryside views along the way.
Once you have reached Zhangjiajie City, the nearest urban center, you can easily reach the entrance of Zhangjiajie National Park by transport options such as buses, taxis, or private car rentals. Public buses are the most convenient and affordable means of transportation, with designated routes that take you directly to the park’s entrance gate. Taxis and car rentals provide a more flexible but relatively more expensive option.
During your visit to Zhangjiajie National Park, you can make use of the park’s comprehensive shuttle bus system, which allows you to navigate through different sections and attractions within the park. This system is an efficient and eco-friendly way to explore the vast landscapes and minimize congestion.
With various transportation options available, reaching Zhangjiajie National Park is a straightforward process, allowing you to begin your adventure in this natural wonderland with ease.
Best Time to Visit Zhangjiajie National Park
Zhangjiajie National Park offers a stunning visual spectacle throughout the year, but certain seasons provide the most favorable conditions for exploring and enjoying the park’s natural beauty. The best time to visit Zhangjiajie National Park is during the spring and autumn seasons, specifically from April to June and September to November.
Spring (April to June):
Spring in Zhangjiajie brings mild temperatures, blooming flowers, and lush greenery. The park becomes a colorful paradise as the cherry blossoms, azaleas, and rhododendrons paint the landscape with vibrant hues. The weather during spring is generally pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). This is an ideal time for outdoor activities and hiking, as the trails are not too crowded, and the air is crisp and fresh.
Autumn (September to November):
Autumn is another excellent season to visit Zhangjiajie National Park. During this time, the weather is cool and comfortable, with average temperatures ranging from 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F). The foliage transforms into a stunning display of golden and fiery colors, creating a picturesque setting for photography enthusiasts. Autumn also offers clear skies and less rainfall, ensuring optimal visibility for enjoying the panoramic views from the mountaintops.
Summer (July to August):
While summer brings warm temperatures ranging from 25°C to 35°C (77°F to 95°F), it is the peak tourist season in Zhangjiajie. The lush greenery is at its fullest, and the park’s waterfalls are at their most spectacular due to increased rainwater. However, it is important to note that summers can be humid, and the park can get crowded, especially during Chinese national holidays. If you plan to visit during this time, it is advisable to book accommodations and tickets in advance and arrive early to beat the crowds.
Winter (December to February):
Winter in Zhangjiajie is cold, with temperatures ranging from 0°C to 10°C (32°F to 50°F). While the park may be less crowded during this time, it is important to note that some trails and attractions may be temporarily closed due to inclement weather or maintenance. However, if you enjoy a quieter and more serene experience, winter can still offer captivating views of frozen landscapes and a unique perspective of the park’s beauty.
Ultimately, the best time to visit Zhangjiajie National Park depends on your personal preferences and tolerance for weather conditions and crowds. Spring and autumn provide a pleasant balance of favorable weather, beautiful scenery, and fewer crowds, making them the ideal seasons to immerse yourself in the natural splendors of this extraordinary national park.
Attractions and Highlights in Zhangjiajie National Park
Zhangjiajie National Park is renowned for its stunning natural beauty and unique geological formations. The park offers a plethora of attractions and highlights that will leave you in awe of its breathtaking landscapes. Here are some of the must-visit attractions within the park:
- Avatar Hallelujah Mountains: These towering sandstone pillars, also known as the Southern Sky Column, served as the inspiration for the floating mountains in the movie “Avatar.” These majestic formations rise high above the lush forests and provide an otherworldly and unforgettable sight.
- Golden Whip Stream: This scenic 7.5-kilometer-long (4.7-mile-long) stream winds its way through the park, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, verdant forests, and crystal-clear water. A leisurely stroll along the trail by the stream allows you to immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature.
- Tianzi Mountain: Known as the “Son of Heaven” mountain, Tianzi Mountain offers captivating panoramic views of the entire park from its summit. Take a cable car ride or challenge yourself with a hike to reach the top and be rewarded with sweeping vistas of the breathtaking landscapes.
- Yellow Stone Village: Nestled amidst the mountains, the Yellow Stone Village is a picturesque spot known for its unique rock formations, stunning viewpoints, and traditional Tujia ethnic minority architecture. Capture the essence of rural China as you explore the village and enjoy the serene beauty of the surrounding countryside.
- Tianmen Mountain: Located near Zhangjiajie, Tianmen Mountain is another remarkable attraction worth exploring. Ride the world’s longest cable car to the summit and walk on the breathtaking glass skywalk, which offers stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. The Tianmen Cave, also known as Heaven’s Gate, is an iconic landmark carved through the mountain.
- Yuanjiajie: This scenic area within Zhangjiajie National Park offers mesmerizing views, including the famous Avatar Hallelujah Mountains. Visit the First Bridge Under Heaven, a natural bridge suspended between two mountain peaks, and Emperor Mountain, which offers spectacular vistas of the surrounding landscapes.
These are just a few of the many extraordinary attractions within Zhangjiajie National Park. As you explore the trails, viewpoints, and natural wonders, be prepared to be captivated by the ethereal beauty that surrounds you. The park’s majestic landscapes and unique geological features create a truly magical experience that will leave an indelible mark on your memory.
Hiking and Trails in Zhangjiajie National Park
Zhangjiajie National Park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and avid hikers, offering a vast network of hiking trails that lead you through its stunning landscapes and remarkable rock formations. Lace up your hiking boots and get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure. Here are some of the best hiking routes in Zhangjiajie National Park:
- Golden Whip Stream Trail: This leisurely 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) trail follows the meandering path of the picturesque Golden Whip Stream. Along the way, you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery, towering sandstone peaks, and the soothing sound of flowing water. It’s a peaceful and scenic hike that showcases the beauty of the park’s natural landscapes.
- Yuanjiajie to Tianzi Mountain: This trail begins at Yuanjiajie and takes you through some of the park’s most iconic spots, including the Avatar Hallelujah Mountains. As you hike up to Tianzi Mountain, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. The trail is approximately 8 kilometers (5 miles) long and offers a moderate level of exertion.
- Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge and Skywalk: For thrill-seekers, the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge and Skywalk offer a unique and exhilarating experience. This 430-meter-long (1,410-foot-long) glass-bottomed bridge is suspended over the stunning Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, providing unparalleled views of the deep gorge below. The nearby skywalk offers a challenging but rewarding hike along the cliffside.
- Bailong Elevator Trail: This trail takes you to the Bailong Elevator, also known as the Hundred Dragons Elevator. This towering elevator provides a thrilling ride up the side of a cliff, offering a stunning aerial view of the surrounding landscapes. From the top, you can explore various hiking routes that lead to breathtaking viewpoints and rock formations.
- Zhangjiajie Forest Park: Zhangjiajie Forest Park is a vast expanse of unspoiled natural beauty, and there are numerous hiking trails to discover within its borders. The network of trails ranges from easy walks to more challenging treks, allowing you to explore the park’s unique flora and fauna while immersing yourself in its serene atmosphere.
Before embarking on any hiking adventure in Zhangjiajie National Park, it is essential to come prepared. Wear comfortable and sturdy hiking shoes, dress in layers, and bring plenty of water and snacks. It’s also advisable to have a map or guidebook and familiarize yourself with the trail routes and safety guidelines.
As you hike through Zhangjiajie National Park, immerse yourself in the natural beauty that surrounds you. Take your time to appreciate the stunning rock formations, breathtaking viewpoints, and the tranquil atmosphere that makes this national park such a remarkable destination for outdoor exploration.
Wildlife and Flora in Zhangjiajie National Park
Zhangjiajie National Park is not only celebrated for its stunning landscapes and unique rock formations but also for its rich biodiversity. The park is home to a wide array of flora and fauna, making it a haven for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Here’s a glimpse into the fascinating wildlife and flora you may encounter during your visit to Zhangjiajie National Park:
The park is home to numerous species of wildlife, including some rare and endemic ones. Keep your eyes peeled for sightings of the elusive and endangered Chinese Horseshoe Bat, which can be found in the caves within the park. You may also spot other bat species, including the Greater Horseshoe Bat and the Mustached Bat.
One of the most iconic and visible wildlife species in the park is the endemic golden snub-nosed monkey. These charismatic primates, with their distinctive golden fur and upturned noses, inhabit the mountainous regions of Zhangjiajie National Park. Spotting these playful and social creatures in their natural habitat is a thrilling experience.
Additionally, the park is home to a variety of bird species, including the spectacular silver pheasant, which flaunts its vibrant plumage. Other notable avian residents include the crested serpent eagle, the Hodgson’s hawk-eagle, and the green-tailed sunbird.
Zhangjiajie National Park boasts a rich diversity of plant life, with over 1,000 species of trees and plants. The park’s mountainous terrain and varying climatic conditions contribute to the growth of unique and remarkable flora.
One of the most iconic plants in the park is the Chinese dove tree, also known as the handkerchief tree. During the spring, these trees bloom with beautiful white bracts that resemble handkerchiefs, adding a touch of ethereal beauty to the landscapes.
The park is also known for its lush forests, which are dominated by various tree species, including Chinese fir, Chinese tulip tree, and Chinese yew. Mosses, ferns, and orchids can be found adorning the forest floors, adding to the enchanting ambiance.
It’s worth noting that Zhangjiajie National Park is also home to many medicinal plants, which are an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine. The indigenous Tujia people have long used these plants for their healing properties.
When exploring Zhangjiajie National Park, remember that it is crucial to respect the wildlife and flora by observing them from a safe distance and not disturbing their natural habitats. Take the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of these incredible creatures and the diverse plant life that make Zhangjiajie National Park a truly extraordinary natural destination.
Accommodation Options in Zhangjiajie National Park
When visiting Zhangjiajie National Park, you’ll find a range of accommodation options that cater to various budgets and preferences. Whether you prefer to stay within the park itself or in the nearby Zhangjiajie City, there are plenty of choices to suit your needs. Here are some popular accommodation options:
- Hotels and Resorts within Zhangjiajie National Park: There are several hotels and resorts located within the park, offering the convenience of being close to the attractions. These accommodations range from luxury resorts with stunning views to mid-range hotels with comfortable amenities. Staying inside the park allows you to experience the tranquility of nature and the bonus of being able to access the park in the early morning or evening, making it an ideal option for avid hikers and nature enthusiasts.
- Hotels in Zhangjiajie City: Zhangjiajie City is located near the park and serves as a convenient base for exploring the area. The city offers a variety of hotels, ranging from luxury international chains to budget-friendly accommodations. In Zhangjiajie City, you’ll find a wide range of amenities, such as restaurants, shops, and transportation options, making it a popular choice for those seeking convenience and a wider range of facilities.
- Guesthouses and Homestays: For a more authentic and immersive experience, consider staying in a guesthouse or homestay in the nearby villages surrounding Zhangjiajie National Park. These accommodations offer a glimpse into the local culture and provide an opportunity to connect with the friendly locals. You’ll typically find simple rooms with basic amenities, but the warmth and hospitality of the hosts make up for it.
- Hostels and Budget Accommodations: If you are a budget-conscious traveler, there are several hostels and budget accommodations available in Zhangjiajie City. These options provide affordable rates, communal spaces, and a chance to meet fellow travelers. While they may lack some amenities found in upscale hotels, they offer a comfortable and sociable environment for backpackers and solo travelers.
It’s advisable to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak seasons, to secure your desired choice. Consider factors such as location, amenities, price, and proximity to the park when making your decision.
Ultimately, your choice of accommodation in Zhangjiajie National Park will depend on your travel preferences, budget, and the kind of experience you seek. Whether you opt for a luxury resort, a budget-friendly guesthouse, or a cozy hostel, you’ll find suitable options to enhance your visit to this remarkable natural wonderland.
Food and Dining in Zhangjiajie National Park
When it comes to food and dining in Zhangjiajie National Park, you’ll have a variety of options to satisfy your taste buds. From local specialties to international cuisines, there is something for everyone. Here’s a glimpse into the culinary delights you can expect during your visit:
Local Hunan Cuisine:
Zhangjiajie is located in Hunan Province, known for its flavorful and spicy cuisine. You’ll find a wide array of Hunan dishes in the local restaurants and eateries around the park. Indulge in signature dishes like “Chairman Mao’s Red Braised Pork” (Hongshao Rou), “Spicy Frog” (Laobao Shuidong), or “Stir-Fried Duck with Chili” (Laoya Ya). Hunan cuisine is renowned for its bold flavors, generous use of chili peppers, and aromatic spices, providing an unforgettable culinary experience.
Tujia Ethnic Minority Cuisine:
The ethnic Tujia people are an integral part of the local culture in Zhangjiajie. Explore their traditional cuisine, which features dishes made with local ingredients and unique cooking techniques. Sample Tujia specialties such as “Picked Fish in Sour Soup” (Suancaiyu), “Tujia Bacon” (Tujia Huarou), or “Stuffed Tofu Skin” (Yongfu Zha). Tujia cuisine offers a delightful blend of flavors and a chance to appreciate the culinary traditions of this indigenous community.
International and Western Options:
If you are craving international cuisine or seeking familiar flavors, you’ll find restaurants and cafes in Zhangjiajie that cater to diverse palates. From Chinese regional cuisine to Western dishes, there are options available to suit different tastes. In Zhangjiajie City, you’ll find international chain restaurants, fast-food outlets, and cafes where you can enjoy a variety of cuisines.
Exploring the streets near the park’s entrance, you’ll come across various street food vendors offering delectable snacks and local delicacies. Try street-side favorites like skewers of grilled meat, stinky tofu, savory pancakes, or steamed buns stuffed with various fillings. It’s a great way to taste local flavors and experience the vibrant culinary scene of Zhangjiajie.
Vegetarian and Vegan Options:
If you have dietary restrictions or prefer plant-based meals, there are vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants in Zhangjiajie that cater to your needs. Many restaurants offer vegetarian versions of local dishes or international vegetarian options, ensuring that you can enjoy flavorful meals without compromising your dietary preferences.
When dining in Zhangjiajie National Park, it’s important to note that prices and quality can vary. If you’re on a budget or seeking an authentic local experience, venture into smaller, family-run restaurants and eateries for a taste of homemade dishes.
Exploring the culinary offerings of Zhangjiajie is not only a way to satisfy your appetite but also an opportunity to delve into the local culture and traditions. Embrace the diverse flavors and indulge in the gastronomic delights that this region has to offer.
Safety Tips and Guidelines for Visiting Zhangjiajie National Park
When visiting Zhangjiajie National Park, it’s important to prioritize safety to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some essential safety tips and guidelines to keep in mind:
- Stay on designated trails: Follow marked paths and stay on designated trails when exploring the park. Venturing off-trail can be dangerous and may result in accidents or damage to the delicate ecosystem.
- Wear appropriate footwear and clothing: The park’s terrain can be rugged and uneven, so wear sturdy, comfortable footwear with good traction. Dress in layers and consider the weather conditions to ensure you’re prepared for changing temperatures.
- Stay hydrated and pack snacks: Bring plenty of water and stay hydrated throughout your visit. It’s also a good idea to pack some snacks to keep your energy levels up during hikes and exploration.
- Follow park regulations: Observe and follow all park rules and regulations. These may include restrictions on certain activities or areas to protect the park’s natural resources and maintain visitor safety.
- Be mindful of wildlife: Respect the park’s wildlife and keep a safe distance. Do not feed or approach animals, as it can alter their natural behavior and pose risks to both humans and animals.
- Take caution during inclement weather: Zhangjiajie can experience variable weather conditions. Be prepared for rain, fog, or chilly temperatures, particularly during the spring and autumn seasons. In case of storms, follow park guidance and seek shelter if necessary.
- Carry a map and emergency contacts: Have a map or guidebook handy to navigate the park’s trails. Familiarize yourself with emergency contacts and know the location of nearby emergency facilities, such as first aid stations or ranger stations.
- Use caution on glass bridges and skywalks: If you plan to visit attractions like the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge or skywalks, exercise caution and follow safety guidelines provided. Pay attention to designated pathways, especially if you are afraid of heights.
- Dispose of waste properly: Help protect the park’s pristine environment by disposing of trash in designated bins. Leave no trace and respect the beauty of your surroundings.
- Follow COVID-19 protocols: In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential to follow any health and safety guidelines provided by local authorities and the park management. This may include wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and maintaining good hygiene habits.
With these safety tips in mind, you can fully enjoy your visit to Zhangjiajie National Park while ensuring your well-being and the preservation of this natural wonderland. Embrace the beauty of the park, savor the stunning vistas, and create unforgettable memories while prioritizing safety at all times.
Visiting Zhangjiajie National Park is like stepping into a fantastical world of awe-inspiring landscapes and natural wonders. From the iconic sandstone pillars that served as inspiration for the floating mountains in “Avatar” to the tranquil streams, lush forests, and breathtaking viewpoints, Zhangjiajie National Park offers a truly mesmerizing experience for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.
In this comprehensive guide, we have explored the location, history, and highlights of Zhangjiajie National Park. We’ve provided valuable information on how to get there, the best time to visit, must-see attractions, hiking trails, wildlife, and accommodation options. We’ve also emphasized the importance of safety and adhering to guidelines to make the most of your visit.
Whether you choose to hike through the winding trails, gaze upon the stunning vistas from towering viewpoints, or encounter rare wildlife in their natural habitat, Zhangjiajie National Park offers a diverse range of experiences that will captivate your senses and leave you with memories to cherish.
Make sure to immerse yourself in the local culture by savoring Hunan cuisine and exploring the nearby villages. Engage with the Tujia ethnic minority and gain insight into their traditions and way of life. Zhangjiajie is not only a visual feast, but it’s also an opportunity to connect with nature and appreciate the delicate balance of its ecosystems.
Remember, safety should always be a priority. Follow the guidelines, stay on designated paths, dress appropriately, and respect the park’s wildlife and environment. By doing so, you can help preserve this remarkable destination for future generations to enjoy.
So, pack your camera, lace up your hiking boots, and prepare to be enchanted as you embark on an unforgettable adventure in Zhangjiajie National Park. Let the stunning landscapes and natural wonders take your breath away and leave you with a profound appreciation for the magnificence of our planet’s beauty.