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Updated by Joanna James on Mar 12, 2018
Headline for Top 05 National Parks in the World - Sanctuaries of Wonder
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Top 05 National Parks in the World - Sanctuaries of Wonder

Across the world there are amazing national parks that promise to stun and awe nature lovers. Varied environs, scenery and wildlife thrive amongst exotic flora unique to these nature reserves.

1

Corcovado National Park – Costa Rica

The bio-diversity of this park is its main feature; it has actually been acknowledged by National Geographic as 'the most biologically intense place on earth in terms of bio-diversity'. Costa Rica's largest park, Corcovado is located on the Osa Peninsula and is a 164 square miles in total. The reserve contains cloud forests, montane forests, mangrove swamps and prairie. The wildlife is astounding including all of the 4 species of monkeys found in the country, two species of anteaters and sloths, collared peccary, poison dart frogs, crocodiles, caiman as well as rare species such as jaguars, harpy eagles and Bairds taipur. In the sea you will find dolphins, whales, seals, sharks and much more. An added bonus is Cano Island just off the Peninsulas coast; there you can enjoy excellent diving and snorkelling adventures.

2

Galapagos National Park – Ecuador

This is the first UNESCO World Heritage Site honoured in 1978. Since the days of Charles Darwin this volcanic island located 563 miles from Ecuador's coast has intrigued mankind. The environs are very diverse; you will find the Santa Cruz Highlands are a verdant oasis while alien like lava fields of Bartolome are rustic and stunning. Galapagos houses some of the world's most exotic endemic species; examples include the laughable blue footed boobies, marine iguanas used to ocean-bottom feeding and the miniature Galapagos penguins. Here the wildlife will not shy away from you, instead cheeky sea lions will swim up close to check you out while the flightless cormorant and waved albatross will brazenly build nests right next to the footpaths. A definite must visit the island is foremost on any discerning nature lovers list. You can learn more about natural sites browsing the Cinnamon Magazine.

3

Grand Canyon National Park – USA

This is Americas second most favourite park drawing an average of 5 million visitors a year. The park is quite large measuring at 277 miles in length, a width of 18 miles and depth of a mile containing over 1900 square miles. It's no wonder the park is one of the world's 7 natural wonders; quite a sight the dazzling colours are a result of 5 to 6 million years of geology which has been revealed by the powerful Colorado River. In summer the rim is visited by a host of tourists eager to take in the stunning surroundings, although the real treats are revealed when hiking into the depths of the canyon. You will come across a diverse eco system consisting of desert and forest. Wildlife consists of black bear, elk and the California condors. The Grand Canyon has over the ages been home to the indigenous Pueblo people; to whom the area is a sacred site.

4

Great Barrier Reef National Park - Australia

This is the planets largest natural reef and one of the world's 7 natural wonders. Located in the Coral Sea off Queensland, sadly this is also one of the Earths most endangered eco-systems. The damage is partially caused by coral bleaching due to increased temperatures as well as hordes of tourists eager to experience the Great Barrier Reef while it is still verdant. This magnificent reef is made up of 2,900 individual reefs and over 900 little islands that extend across 133,000 sq. miles. The verdant reef is home to 1,500 species of fish, 30 varieties of cetaceans, 6 types of sea turtles and close to 125 species of stingrays and sharks.

5

Jim Corbett National Park – India

This is India's oldest national park which was established in 1936 as the Hailey National Park; the purpose of this sanctuary was to protect the endangered Bengali Tiger. Located in Uttarakhand a sub-Himalayan state the park is made up of rivers, lakes, marshes, grasslands and hills. Covering an area of 201 sq. miles the places elevation ranges from 1,300 to 4,000 feet.

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