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Tops of the most beautiful places on earth according to world travellers.

The 200 most beautiful places in the world

Most rankings of the most beautiful places to visit are based on the author’s subjective opinion. However, this one here is different. We carried out a large survey between 17th and 20th May 2019, with 581 people who’d done a long, multi-country trip. We asked them which places they liked best. We’ve ranked these places depending on how many times they were mentioned.

The Salar de Uyuni and Sud Lipez in Bolivia

Full moonrise on the Salar de Uyuni

Full moonrise on the Salar de Uyuni

Credit: @lodyssee.des.renards on Instagram

The Salar de Uyuni is located in the south-east of Bolivia at an altitude of 3,556 metres. It’s the largest salt flat in the world. It stretches over 11,000 km² and contains more than 10 billion tons of salt.

The bright white salt turns into a perfect mirror when covered with water during the rainy season (from December to January).

South of the Salar, the Sud Lípez is a region of high plateaus dotted with natural wonders: colourful lagoons, volcanoes, geysers, hot springs and intriguingly shaped rock formations.

The temples of Bagan in Myanmar

Sunrise over the temples of Bagan, Myanmar

Sunrise over the temples of Bagan

Credit: @skyistheborder on Instagram

At the centre of Myanmar is Bagan, one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. It competes with Machu Picchu and Angkor, but for now there are fewer tourists. The setting is sublime: a 50 km² green plain, partly covered with palm trees and tamarinds, nestled in a meander of the Irrawaddy river and framed by distant misty mountains.

The plain is dotted with hundreds of remarkable temples built by the kings of Bagan between 1057 and 1287. Their kingdom was swept away by earthquakes and the Mongol hordes of Hublai Khan. Nonetheless, 2,230 of the original 4,450 Buddhist temples are still standing.

Most of the temples are excellently preserved and have been restored by UNESCO and other organisations. Many contain frescoes, sculptures and Buddha statues of all sizes.

The temples of Angkor in Cambodia

The temples of Angkor overrun with vegetation

The temples of Angkor overrun with vegetation

The Angkor temple complex is one of the largest religious structures in the world.

Dating back to the golden age of the Khmer civilisation, between 800 and 1300, Angkor was originally built as a Hindu temple, then gradually transformed into a Buddhist temple.

The surrounding jungle gives the impression of being in a lost and mysterious world. Some temples, like Ta Prohm and Preah Khan, are wrapped in roots, vines and giant trees.

The site is often mistakenly called Angkor Wat. In reality, this word only refers to the largest temple in this monumental complex.

By timing your visit well, you can avoid the crowds, find hidden spots and immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere that reigns at Angkor.

Easter Island in Chile

Moai statues on Easter Island, Chile

Moai statues on Easter Island

Credit: @chaussetvous on Instagram

Isolated in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Easter Island is one of the most remote places in the world. The flight to get there from Santiago de Chile takes more than five hours.

Rapa Nui, as its inhabitants call it, was made famous by the mystery that surrounds its 1,000 giant stone statues, the Moai, which are up to 21 metres tall. Archaeologists from all over the world have flocked to the island since 1940 in an attempt to solve this mystery, but some pieces of the puzzle remain unknown today.

Lots of travellers are drawn to the mystery of the Moai, but soon realise that Easter Island has much more to offer than its history. The unique blend of Polynesian and Chilean cultures and the island’s secludedness make it one of the world’s most unique places.

Machu Picchu in Peru

The view on the site of Machu Picchu

The view on the site of Machu Picchu

Credit: @worldtourma on Instagram

Visiting Machu Picchu is an unforgettable experience. The sense of awe you get when you’re on this site is partly due to the mystery that surrounds it. The ruins were discovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, a young American archaeologist who inspired the character of Indiana Jones.

Historians can only speculate on the original use of the site. Most agree that it was probably built for the Inca emperor, Pachacútec, in the 15th century and may have served as a winter retreat to escape the cold Cusco. Its lack of military importance probably explains why it wasn’t destroyed by the Spanish conquistadors and remained unheard of for centuries.

Lots of photographers say that it’s impossible to take a bad picture of Machu Picchu, as the panorama of Inca buildings and the Huayna Picchu’s green peak are so beautiful.

The Perito Moreno glacier in Argentina

Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina

Perito Moreno’s intense blue colour

Credit: @bymailys on Instagram

You can’t fully appreciate Perito Moreno until you’re looking at it over Lago Argentino. No photo can capture the feeling you get when standing in front of the glacier.

Perito Moreno is part of Los Glaciares National Park. The glacier is 5 km wide and 30 km long. Even though the highest point of the glacier is 70 metres high, two thirds of it is still below the water level.

Although they’re impressive, none of these figures can prepare you for the incredible experience of gazing up at the huge glacier while listening to the deafening sound of ice blocks shattering and falling in the water.

Perito Moreno is also one of the only glaciers in the world that’s still advancing. As, due to global warming, almost all glaciers are rapidly retreating.

El Chaltén and mount Fitz Roy in Argentina

The Mount Fitz Roy hike from El Chaltén

The Mount Fitz Roy hike from El Chaltén

Credit: @acityastory on Instagram

Nestled at the base Mount Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre is the charming village of El Chaltén. Its ideal location at the base of the emblematic peaks of Los Glaciares National Park has made it the Argentine capital of hiking and climbing.

El Chaltén is the Tehuelche name for Mount Fitz Roy. It means “smoking mountain” in this Native American language, as the high peaks of the mountain were often surrounded by clouds.

Hikes are the main attraction in El Chaltén. The most famous ones are Laguna de los Tres, Laguna Torre, El Mirador de los Cóndores and El Mirador de las Águilas. All the paths start in the village and are well marked.

Bali Island in Indonesia

Terraced paddy fields in Bali

Terraced paddy fields in Bali

Bali is a backpacker’s paradise. It’s the most popular destination in Indonesia, a focal point for travellers, yoga-lovers, honeymooners and digital nomads.

The island caters to backpackers’ needs, but also offers accommodation for travellers looking for a little more comfort.

Despite lots of people visiting Bali, it’s still beautiful, cheap and there’s a lot to see there. The countryside is amazing, the beaches (outside of Kuta) are untouched and you can do some great hiking there.

The key to travelling in Bali is to get out of Kuta and Ubud. Outside of these cities, you’ll discover a serene island without being bothered by a mass of tourists. We also strongly recommend getting out of the standard Java – Bali – Lombok route in Indonesia. Sulawesi, Sumatra, the Maluku Islands, West Papua and the Sunda Islands are definitely worth a visit!

Iguazú falls between Brazil and Argentina

A rainbow in Iguazú Falls

A rainbow in Iguazú Falls

Credit: @sarahj3dd4 on Instagram

One of the compelling reasons to travel is to contemplate the raw power of nature. When it comes to the power of nature, Iguazú Falls is where it’s at: around 1,500 cubic metres of water per second to be exact.

Igauzú means “great water” in Tupi-Guarani, the local Native American language. There are 270 falls over a length of 2.7 km, plunging twice the height of Niagara Falls. As you approach, you’ll hear the roar coming from inside the Garganta del Diablo long before you see them.

Take the time to admire the rainbows that form in the splashes, walk around the surrounding national park and learn about the animals that live near the falls. You can also take a boat on the rapids to get closer to the base of the “great water”.

Inle Lake in Myanmar

A fisherman on Inle Lake

A fisherman on Inle Lake

Credit: @escapadadeux on Instagram

Inle Lake is the perfect place to decompress after a dusty trip through the rest of Myanmar. The country’s second largest lake is easily accessible from Nyaungshwe, in Shan state, bordering Laos, China and Thailand.

Most of the people who live near the lake are Intha people. They’re self-sufficient farmers and fishers who have a unique way of rowing with their feet. Nyaungshwe Township is a good place to relax for a few days.

On the lake, you’ll also see the locals elegantly gliding their longboats between villages on stilts, stopping at Buddhist temples, tending to their floating gardens and going to the market where members of other ethnic groups come to sell their goods.

Overall ranking

Some countries are visited more often than others by RTW travellers. This influences the ranking. A site located in a country where lots of RTW travellers go through is therefore more likely to be well ranked.

Place Country Number of mentions
Salar de Uyuni and Sud Lipez Bolivia 70
Bagan Temples Burma 62
Angkor Temples Cambodia 61
Easter island Chile 47
Machu Picchu Peru 46
Perito Moreno Glacier Argentina 42
El Chalten and Fitz Roy Argentina 40
Bali island Indonesia 39
Iguazu Falls Argentina, Brazil 38
Inle Lake Burma 35
Atacama Desert Chile 31
Luang Prabang Laos 31
Annapurna massif Nepal 26
Tongariro National Park New Zealand 25
Ha Giang Province Vietnam 23
Galapagos Islands Ecuador 22
Terrestrial Halong Bay and Ninh Binh Vietnam 20
Mount Cook New Zealand 20
Sydney Australia 20
Lake Titicaca and Isla del Sol Bolivia, Peru 19
Rio de Janeiro Brazil 19
Chiang Mai Thailand 18
Java Island Indonesia 18
Cordillera Blanca and Huaraz Peru 17
Hoi An Vietnam 17
Torres del Paine National Park Chile 17
Halong Bay Vietnam 16
Amazon South America 15
Great Wall of China China 15
Koh Rong Island Cambodia 15
Tokyo Japan 15
Colca Canyon Peru 14
Salta Argentina 14
Bromo Volcano Indonesia 14
Kawah Ijen Volcano Indonesia 14
Koh Tao Island Thailand 13
Nusa Penida Island Indonesia 13
Kyoto Japan 13
Banaue and Batad rice fields Philippines 13
Great Barrier Reef Australia 12
Maupiti Island Polynesia 12
Moorea Island Polynesia 12
Palawan Island and El Nido Philippines 12
Sumatra Island Indonesia 12
Isle of Pines New Caledonia 12
Hpa An area Burma 12
Valparaíso Chile 12
Mekong River South East Asia 11
Hawaii Islands United States 11
Muang Ngoi area Laos 11
Buenos Aires Argentina 10
Komodo Islands Indonesia 10
Lake Baikal Russia 10
Bolaven Plateau Laos 10
Sapa region Vietnam 10
Taj Mahal India 10
Uluru (Ayers Rock) Australia 10
Budapest Hungary 9
Cusco Peru 9
Milford Sound Fjord New Zealand 9
Koh Lanta Island Thailand 9
Tasmania Australia 9
Everest Massif Nepal 9
Yellowstone National Park United States 9
Queenstown New Zealand 9
Singapore Singapore 9
Varanasi India 9
Loop of Thakhek Laos 8
Carretera Austral Chile 8
Choquequirao Peru 8
Coron Island Philippines 8
Flores Island Indonesia 8
Kampot Cambodia 8
Mount Fuji Japan 8
Abel Tasman National Park New Zealand 8
Peninsula Valdes Argentina 8
Pucon and Villarica Volcano Chile 8
Ushuaia Argentina 8
Acatenango Volcano Guatemala 8
Fakarava Atol Polynesia 7
Bangkok Thailand 7
Hong Kong China 7
Cat Ba Island Vietnam 7
Lake Wanaka New Zealand 7
Kruger National Park South Africa 7
Quebrada de Humahuaca and Tilcara Argentina 7
Vinales region Cuba 7
Cocora Valley and Salento Colombia 7
Alaska United States 6
Yucatan Cenotes Mexico 6
City of Petra Jordan 6
City of Tikal Guatemala 6
Gobi desert Mongolia, China 6
Ha Noi Vietnam 6
Ometepe Island Nicaragua 6
Island of Borneo Indonesia, Malaysia 6
Miyajima Island Japan 6
Island of Siquijor Philippines 6
Gili Trawangan, Air and Meno Islands Indonesia 6
Whitsunday Islands Australia 6
La Paz Bolivia 6
Medellin Colombia 6
Penang Malaysia 6
Coromandel Peninsula New Zealand 6
Port Barton Philippines 6
Pai region Thailand 6
San Cristobal de las Casas Mexico 6
Sukhothai Thailand 6
Quilotoa Volcano Ecuador 6
Amed Indonesia 5
Rangiroa Atol Polynesia 5
Lake Bled Slovenia 5
Cafayate Argentina 5
Kuang Si Waterfalls Laos 5
Chapada Diamentina Brazil 5
Chiang Rai Thailand 5
Krakow Poland 5
Hampi India 5
Highlands Scotland 5
Bora Bora Island Polynesia 5
Island of Tahiti Polynesia 5
Vancouver Island Canada 5
Islands of Raja Ampat Indonesia 5
Kotor Montenegro 5
Lhasa China (Tibet) 5
Ljubljana Slovenia 5
melbourne Australia 5
Mount Huayna Potosi Bolivia 5
Sajama National Park Bolivia 5
Torotoro National Park Bolivia 5
Prague Czech Republic 5
Pantanal region Brazil 5
Yangshuo region China 5
Siem Reap Cambodia 5
Salkantay trek Peru 5
Vienna Austria 5
Bariloche Argentina 4
Bryce Canyon United States 4
Bukit Lawang area Indonesia 4
Byron Bay Australia 4
Cali Colombia 4
Capetown South Africa 4
Goa India 4
Great Ocean Road Australia 4
Camiguin Island Philippines 4
Florianopolis Island Brazil 4
Lombok Island Indonesia 4
Similan Islands Thailand 4
Istanbul Turkey 4
Jaisalmer India 4
Jerusalem Israel 4
Koh Pha Ngan Thailand 4
Koh Rong Samloem Island Cambodia 4
Konglor Cave Laos 4
Lake Tekapo New Zealand 4
Lencois Maranhenses National Park Brazil 4
Nong Khiaw region Laos 4
Karijini National Park Australia 4
Zhangjiajie National Park China 4
Peak Gokyo Ri Nepal 4
Tadoussac Canada 4
Trans-Siberian Russia 4
Apo Reef Philippines 3
Arequipa Peru 3
Ouvea Atol New Caledonia 3
Berlin Germany 3
Brisbane Australia 3
City of Calakmul Mexico 3
Kolkata India 3
Cameron Highlands Malaysia 3
Charyn Canyon Kazakhstan 3
Cartagena Colombia 3
Cinque Terre Italy 3
Tatacoa Desert Colombia 3
Wadi Rum desert Jordan 3
Massif of the Dolomites Italy 3
Fraser Island Australia 3
Guilin China 3
Holbox Island Mexico 3
Koh Lipe Island Thailand 3
Koh Phayam Island Thailand 3
Koh Yao Noi Island Thailand 3
Malapascua Island Philippines 3
Siargao Island Philippines 3
Sipadan Island Malaysia 3
Perhentian Islands Malaysia 3
Iquitos Peru 3
Kaikoura New Zealand 3
Kerala India 3
Lake Pukaki New Zealand 3
Bacalar Lagoon Mexico 3
Mandalay Burma 3
Mazunte Mexico 3
Mendoza Argentina 3
Minca Colombia 3
Mount Rinjani Indonesia 3
Mrauk U Burma 3
Nara Japan 3
Okinawan Japan 3
Shwedagon Pagoda Burma 3
Paraty Brazil 3
Etosha National Park Namibia 3
Taroko National Park Taiwan 3
Munnar region India 3
san francisco United States 3
Seoul South Korea 3
Tortuguero Costa Rica 3
Venice Italy 3
Yukon Canada 3