7 Wonders of the World – the New, The Natural, and the Ancient

Written By: The Planet D

The other day, I was looking at some lists of the New Seven Wonders of the World and realized that Dave and I have been to all of them. I then did some more digging to find out that we’ve also been to many of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and even to the only remaining Ancient Wonder of the World.

We are so lucky to have seen these wonders of the world with our own eyes and want you to see them, too. Traveling was our dream for nearly two decades before we finally took the plunge and made travel blogging, photography, and video our careers. Since then, we’ve seen a lot. So, while I’m feeling a little nostalgic today, I thought I’d share our thoughts on some of the seven Wonders of the World that we’ve seen.

New Seven Wonders of the World

new seven wonders of the world

The New Seven Wonders of the World came about in 2000 when a company based in Zurich, Switzerland, “The New 7 Wonders Foundation (N7W)”, decided to launch a campaign to name the New 7 Wonders. Considering only one of the original ancient Wonders of the World was still standing, it made sense. More than 100 million votes were cast (This was long before bots came into play on the Internet, so I trust that it was mostly real people), and in 2007, the New Seven Wonders of the World was announced.

It was not without controversy. Many people disagreed with the outcome. However, the votes were cast, and the wonders were named. We have been to them all and must admit, we agree with most of them. There are other amazing places on earth, but the place below definitely filled us with awe and wonder.

Petra, Jordan

new 7 wonders of the world petra
The Treasury of Petra Jordan

We had been to many ancient cities before we made our way to Petra. We thought we had seen it all until we walked through the 1.2km long Aiq (a narrow gorge with high rock walls reaching 80 meters into the air) leading to the incredible Treasury building. The journey was beautiful, but once we arrived at the opening in the middle of a canyon, we gasped in awe. This archaeological site was hidden from the outside world for centuries.

It is believed that Petra was built 2000 years ago by the Nabateans who lived in the Wadi Musa Valley. An earthquake in the 2nd century damaged it and fell into ruin.

It wasn’t until 1812 that it was “discovered” by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. Also known as the Rose City and the Lost City, Petra has become Jordan’s premier tourist attraction.

Great Wall of China

seven wonders of the world great wall of china

We have had the privilege of visiting The Great Wall of China, not once but twice! We have been to two sections: the Muytianyu Wall and the Badaling Great Wall. Both were equally impressive. We really feel that the Great Wall of China lives up to the hype. The location is breathtaking as it weaves through the mountains and spans for miles and miles. Even with the crowds of Badaling, which is close to Beijing, we loved it. The wall was built in the 7th century and spanned nearly 9000 km.

Christ the Redeemer, Brazil

christ the redeemer was named one of the new seven wonders of the world

Rio de Janeiro is one of our favorite cities on earth. Christ the Redeemer stands proudly overhead high on Corcovado Mountain, overlooking the city, and can be seen from all vantage points. The most amazing experience we had was taking a doors-off helicopter ride to view Christ the Redeemer from above. The statue of Jesus perched on Mount Corcovado began construction in 1926. Standing 30 meters tall, it is a massive achievement and has made Rio one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet.

Colosseum, Italy

7 wonders new colosseum rome

It has always been our dream to see the Colosseum of Italy. When we finally made it to Rome, we not only had the chance to see it, but we stayed in the most incredible apartment right beside this wonder with a view of the ruins from our window. Built-in the 1st century, this amphitheater has a bloody past with Gladiators fighting to the death and Christians being thrown to the lions. Animals were used and abused here, and it is thought that half a million people and nearly one million animals died within its walls. Today, it stands in ruins and no longer sees bloodshed. Instead, it sees many tourists, more than 6 million people visiting it each year!

Machu Pichu, Peru

new seven wonders of the natural world machu picchu peru

When we first arrived at Machu Picchu in Peru, it was shrouded in clouds. I’ll never forget Dave’s dejected look. It was our one and only time visiting this wonder of the world, and we weren’t going to see it! Luckily, as the morning progressed, the heavens opened up, and we witnessed the awe-inspiring sight of this ancient city high in the Andes mountains.

Often referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas,” Machu Picchu is one of the most iconic and celebrated sites globally and was designated as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. This ancient city is perched high in the Andes Mountains of Peru, at an altitude of about 2,430 meters (7,970 feet) above sea level, overlooking the Urubamba River valley.

Discovered by the Western world in 1911, the Incan City is believed to have been inhabited in the 1600s. Machu Picchu deserves to be on this list with its impressive location. Located at an altitude of 2400 meters, the city’s terraces plunge into the valley below. How they built these structures on the side of a mountain hundreds of years ago is beyond my comprehension, but seeing it today will blow you away.

Chichen Itza, Mexico

chichen itza in mexico wonder of the world

Chichen Itza was the first of the new wonders of the world that Dave and I ever visited. In fact, our trip to Mexico in 1999 was one of the first international trips we ever took together. I’ll never forget a friend telling us to go, and I am glad we listened. Back then, you could still walk up the ancient pyramid, and it was harrowing. We understood why they closed it to tourists; it was steep and scary, but it was also an experience we’ll never forget. The Mayan City of Chichén Itzá was the center of Maya Civilization. It is located in the Yucatan Peninsula and dates back to the 9th century. It is closely tied to astronomy with buildings precisely made to coincide with the Spring and winter equinox. The Great Pyramid also has 365 steps and a platform dedicated to Venus.

Read more about Chichén Itzá and the Yucatan

Taj Mahal, India

taj mahal in india seven wonders of the world

The Taj Mahal in India was our least favorite of all the new seven wonders to visit, but it is still impressive. We actually never wrote about our time there as we didn’t love Agra or the Taj. Obviously, many people disagree with us as it was named one of the seven. The Taj Mahal is considered one of the finest examples of Mughal Architecture, with its beautiful white marble walls that change color depending on the time of day. It is also considered to be a beautiful love story as it was completed in 1658 by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, who built it for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. She died in 1631, just three years after he began construction, but he continued on to honor her memory.

The Taj Mahal is beautiful, and we stood in line early in the morning to be the first people in. We quickly grabbed the iconic shot at the reflecting pool before running around frantically, staying ahead of the crowds to see it without the masses. I’d like to go back to give it a second chance. Perhaps I would fall in love with it as so many others have.

These are our experiences at the new seven wonders of the world. What do you think? Do you agree with the list? Have you been to any? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Before we leave you, we thought we’d share a few of our experiences at other wonders of the world. As we dug deeper, we saw that there are so many lists of wonders, so let’s explore a bit more shall we?

The 7 Natural Wonders of the World

When looking at the 7 wonders of the Natural World we were shocked to learn that we’ve been to six of the seven! We now know what is on our bucket list of places to see, you guessed it the 7th. What of the 7 natural wonders are we missing? Read on to see.

Mount Everest

nepal travel guide mount everest one of the natural seven wonders of the world

We had wanted to see Mount Everest for more than a decade before finally making our way to the is Sagarmatha Region of Nepal. Trekking to Everest Base Camp was a trip of a lifetime. Throughout our journey through the Himalayan Mountain Range, we caught views of the highest mountain in the world standing 8848 meters above sea level. the Himalayas are one of the most beautiful places on earth. While trekking to Everest Base Camp, we kept commenting that you really do feel as if you could reach out and touch heaven.

Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef in Australia natural seven wonders of the world

The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is not only a natural wonder it is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Area. Spanning 344,000 square km this underwater marine park in Queensland, Australia is a sight to behold. We took a helicopter from Port Douglas out to a diving platform to explore the massive reef system from above and below the surface. The Great Barrier Reef is actually more than one big reef, it is made up of 2900 individual reefs with 900 islands scattered throughout.

Victoria Falls

seven wonders of the natural world victoria falls

We had the opportunity to visit Victoria Falls while cycling through Africa. During the world’s longest cycling race, we had two rest days at the “Smoke That Thunders.” Taking a helicopter tour through the gorge of the Zambezi River to overlook Victoria Falls was the most incredible way to see this massive waterfall. We live near Niagara Falls and let me tell you, Victoria Falls dwarfs our mighty waterfall. Located on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls spans 1.7 km and plunges 108 meters into the gorge below. While not the longest or highest waterfall in the world, it is the largest by water volume and you truly feel its power when walking beside it.

Harbour of Rio De Janeiro

wonders of the world rio de janeiro

Wow! Rio de Janeiro is so impressive it is on two wonders of the world lists! The Harbour of Rio de Janeiro is one of the natural wonders and we agree. This Brazilian city located on the Atlantic Ocean is a beach lovers paradise. The iconic beaches are impressive, but it is the scene of being framed by the unique mountains of Sugarloaf and Corcovado that make it truly unique. It is one of the most beautiful waterfronts we have ever seen. As we said above, make sure to get up in the air to really take it in, and don’t miss going up to the top of both mountains to see its beauty from all angles.

Northern Lights

Northern Light Churchill Manitoba are one of natures seven wonders of the world

If you haven’t witnessed the Aurora Borealis, make your way to northern Canada, Greenland, Iceland or even Northern Michigan! It’s true, we saw incredible northern lights in the state of Michigan. The Aurora Borealis one most certainly one of the world’s most incredible natural wonders. The show of colorful dancing lights in the sky needs to been seen to be believed. Make your way to a dark sky preserve far away from light pollution to really see the spectacular colors on display. One of the best places we saw them was in Jasper, Alberta where there is an annual dark sky festival each November.

Grand Canyon

Best Things to do in the Grand Canyon one of the seven wonders of the world

If we hadn’t seen the Grand Canyon with our own eyes, I would say it shouldn’t be on the 7 natural wonders of the world list. However, we have been there and when you do lay eyes upon the Grand Canyon in Arizona, it is spectacular! When standing on the ledge of the South Rim seems surreal. It looks as if you are staring at one giant painting. At 1.8km deep and 446km long, the Grand Canyon is massive but it isn’t the largest canyon in the world. However, it is so beautiful it was chosen as a one of the seven wonders thanks to having the whole package. The Grand Canyon is millions of years old, it is beautiful and it is easily accessible.

Paricutin Volcano

Well, we have come to the place where we haven’t been to one of the natural wonders. The Paricutin Volcano is located in Michoacán, Mexico and we have yet to visit there. Why was this chosen as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World? It is because it was formed in 1943. It is the only volcano that was humans (humans that are still living that is) actually witnessed and documented. Before 1943, the area around the volcano was flat. It erupted for 19 years and grew to a height of 3000 meters. Today it is dormant and you can hike to its crater.

New 7 Wonders of Nature

And finally, from the same people that brought you the New7Wonders of the World, we end with the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Similar to the 7 Natural Wonders of the World, the 7 Wonders of Nature look at natural formations and landmarks on earth. I am including it, simply because we’ve been to most of them and think they are beautiful and worthy too!

Table Mountain, South Africa

South Africa Travel Table Mountain is considered one of the new seven wonders of the world

When visiting Cape Town South Africa, Table Mountain is truly an incredible sight. The flat-top mountain towers of the city, dwarfing everything below. Table mountain looks like a cut-out in the sky sanding above the waterfront. One of the best ways to see it is to take a boat ride or go to Robben Island to tour where Nelson Mandella was imprisoned for so long. It is a beautiful view from a very dark place in history.

Iguazu Falls

iguazu falls brazil one of the natural seven wonders of the world

Like Victoria Falls, Iguazu Falls blew our minds. Each waterfall around the world is so different. Iguazu Falls may not be the largest waterfall in the world, but it is the most beautiful. Located on the border of Brazil and Argentina is is truly a natural wonder of the world. Spanning 2.7 kilometers in width, it comprises a series of 275 waterfalls with the highest reaching a height of 80 meters. We took a jet boat tour and a helicopter flight at Iguazu Falls to really take it all in. Plus, we stayed right in the centre of the National Park which allowed us to explore it at sunrise and sunset with nobody around. Read more Fun and Interesting Facts about Brazil

Ha Long Bay

best things to do in vietnam ha long bay one of the seven wonders of the world
The wonderful Halong Bay, Unesco world heritage in Vietnam

We love the fact that Ha Long Bay in Vietnam made the list of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is made up of 1500 islands and karst formations in a bay of the South China Sea. Going on an overnight sailing trip in a junk boat is a trip of a lifetime as you are surrounded by high cliffs in the calm waters. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is always on the list of the top things to do in Vietnam.

Amazon Rainforest

Adventure on the Amazon River nature's seven wonders of the world

No best of nature article would be complete without including the Amazon Rainforest. This natural wonder is the world’s largest rainforest

Jeju Island

When looking this up, I had never even heard of Jeju Island, but it is now on my list! It is the largest island in South Korea and its dormant volcano is the tallest mountain in South Korea. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its lava tubes and it has a series of basalt stone pillars on its coast similar to the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland.

Komodo Island

komodo dragon on komodo island is one of the seven wonders of the world

We have kicked ourselves repeatedly for not going to Komodo Island when spending a month in Bali and the Gili Islands. We were enjoying ourselves too much just chilling out on the beach. I wish we got our acts together enough to hop on a boat to see the endangered and mythical Komodo Dragons. I had always wanted to see them ever since watching The Freshman with Mathew Broderick and Marlon Brando. If you haven’t seen it, watch it! It’s hilarious.

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

Finally, the underground river system in Palawan, Philippines is the last of the 7 wonders on our list that we haven’t been to yet. But as the famous travel quotes goes: “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list!” Read more quotes: Best Adventure Quotes For Outdoor Lovers

Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

Great Pyramids of Giza

The Pyramids of Giza the only original of the seven wonders of the world still standing

Only the Great Pyramid of Giza, in El Giza, Egypt, is the only one that still exists. Oddly enough, it is the earliest of all the 7 wonders. Those Egyptian slaves certainly made a good product. We have been to the Pyramids of Giza and Cairo Egypt twice. They are incredible to see. They almost don’t seem man-made, perhaps aliens really did land on Earth!

What Are The Original 7 Ancient Wonders of the World?

Other Ancient Wonders of the World were named in the 2nd century BCE, so as you can imagine, not many are left. In fact, it is only the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. But if you want to know more, here are the others.

Colossus of Rhodes, in the harbor of the city on the Greek Island of Rhodes

Hanging Gardens of Babylon in Iraq

Lighthouse of Alexandria, in Alexandria, Egypt – stood on the small island of Pharos, connected to the city of Alexandria in Egypt by a causeway. Constructed during the reigns of Ptolemy I and his son Ptolemy II (around 280 BC), this impressive structure served as both a landmark and a functional lighthouse, guiding mariners into the bustling harbor of Alexandria.

Over the centuries, the Lighthouse of Alexandria suffered damage from a series of earthquakes and eventually fell into ruin by the 14th century. Its remains were used in the construction of the Citadel of Qaitbay in the 15th century, a fort that still stands on the original site of the lighthouse.

Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, in Turkey was designed by the Greek architects Satyros and Pythius of Priene. It stood approximately 45 meters (148 feet) tall and was built on a large rectangular platform. The structure was surrounded by 36 Ionic columns and topped with a stepped pyramid roof, which culminated in a statue group featuring Mausolus and Artemisia riding a four-horse chariot, symbolizing their journey to the afterlife.

The Statue of Zeus at Olympia – in Olympia, Greece was a crafted by the famous sculptor Phidias around 435 BC, this colossal statue was made primarily of ivory and gold, known as chryselephantine. Located within the Temple of Zeus it depicted Zeus seated on a majestic throne, which was also elaborately decorated with gold, ebony, ivory, and precious stones. The statue itself was about 12 meters (40 feet) tall,

Temple of Artemis at Ephesus – Selçuk, Turkey. The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, also known as the Artemision, was another of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, celebrated for its extraordinary size and architectural magnificence. This temple was dedicated to Artemis, the goddess of the hunt, nature, and childbirth, and it was located in the ancient city of Ephesus. hroughout its history, the Temple of Artemis was destroyed and rebuilt several times due to events such as arson by Herostratus in 356 BC and plundering by the Goths in 262 AD. Each reconstruction attempted to restore its former glory, although it never fully regained its original splendor.

There are dozens of 7 Wonders of the World lists from the Industrial wonders of the world (We’ve been to all of them too!) to the 7 Wonders Cities of the World. We could go on and on. CNN, USA Today and the BBC have all polled their own 7 Wonders of the World with very different outcomes. They are all subjective and all controversial with some countries feeling that their wonder should be included on the list.

We tend to agree, that while the 7 Wonders of the World are fun to round up, there are beautiful wonders all around the world so why not put them all in one place every once in a while right?

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About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

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5 thoughts on “7 Wonders of the World – the New, The Natural, and the Ancient”

  1. You can visit North Eleuthera located in the Bahamas, the Glass window bridge is very interesting to see before hurricane Andrew the side wall was smoothe as glass, the locals use to slide down the walls landing into the sea, the bridge connects the southern and northern part of the Island, due to the hurricane the walls was not repaired back but the significance of the bridge is that one side is the Atlantic(which is very dark blue in colour) and the other side is the Pacific ( beautiful light green in colour), there’s also the blue holes large ocean holes( 2 locations Rock sound & the northern part of the island) many caves to visit, many historical sites. truly a must see!

  2. Your blog is very informative but you fail to mention other places from which you can see the northern lights. You missed out places such as Alaska, Norway and even Scotland. I was living in Inverness, a city in the north of Scotland, in the centre of the town, not a place of dark skies and no lights, and saw the most amazing northern lights that I have ever seen, even better than watching it on TV. The most common colour to be seen is green, but on 29 October 2003, from my front door of my city centre flat, I saw the full spectrum of colours on display. Unfortunately I was just so enthralled by what I was seeing I didn’t think to grab my camera and take a photo!!