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These 9 National Parks Are Some Of The Most Beautiful In The World

The great outdoors. You know, that place where you can’t find a Starbucks on every corner. It’s wild, it’s free, and it’s home to some of the most drop-dead gorgeous national parks this side of Mars.

As seasoned globetrotters who’ve trekked more national park trails than we care to admit (because, let’s face it, bragging is unattractive), we’ve seen it all – from selfie stick-wielding tourists to honey badgers with an attitude.

But hey, we’re not here to gatekeep paradise. Instead, we’re here to spill the tea on the most stunning national parks around the globe, the ones so beautiful you’d swear they’ve been photoshopped.

So, strap on your hiking boots (or don’t; we’re not your mom) and join us on this little adventure.

1. Banff National Park, Canada

moraine lake at sunrise with a backdrop of mountains just getting hit by sunlight with the shadows shining on the lake in front
© Depositphotos

Nestled in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park is not just Canada’s first national park—it’s also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site swag club. That’s right, it’s got credibility AND looks. It’s like the Beyonce of national parks.

With over 2,500 square miles of terrain, you’ll find more photo ops than a celebrity wedding. Picture turquoise lakes, snow-capped peaks, and wildlife that actually poses for pictures.

And forget about chasing waterfalls; in Banff, they just sort of show up, all nonchalant like they’re not Instagram gold.

To Do On A Visit:

  • Explore Lake Louise
  • Take The Banff Gondola to Sulphur Mountain

2. Lake District National Park, United Kingdom

a sunny day at the lakefront with a lake in the foregound and mountains in the background under a sunny day with puffy clouds in the sky
© Depositphotos

Lake District National Park is England’s very own outdoor playground, where the mountains are on permanent flex mode, showing off their rugged peaks and with more lakes than a Minnesota license plate claim.

Here, you can wander for miles and still not stumble upon another soul, mostly because they’re all at the local pubs or trapped in a Beatrix Potter gift shop.

Besides being the rainiest spot in England, which truly is saying something, this park was also the muse for a bunch of old poet dudes like Wordsworth.

To Do On A Visit:

  • Hike Scafell Pike
  • Go Boating On Lake Windermere

3. Komodo National Park, Indonesia

komodo island at sunset from a birds eye view on top of a hill looking down on the island protruding out into and surrounded by water
© Depositphotos

Komodo National Park takes the “lizard-lounging-by-the-beach” vibe to a whole new, prehistoric-looking level. It is known for its Komodo dragons because why settle for regular island wildlife like birds or squirrels when you can have the world’s largest lizards?

Walking around like they’re the bosses of the island, these scaly critters are a marvel of evolution, with fierce reputations and tongues that aren’t just forked but full-on cutlery sets.

And the coral reefs are so vibrant they could outshine the cast of any reality show, and the underwater scenery is so dramatic you’d expect a Netflix documentary crew hiding behind every anemone.

To Do On A Visit:

  • See Komodo Dragons (obviously!)
  • Go Snorkeling At The Coral Reefs

4. Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

a lake fills most of the scene with grass at the foreground, in the background is mountains partly covered by fog
© Depositphotos

Fiordland National Park is New Zealand’s not-so-little secret and an absolute showoff with its stunning fiords. Home to the world-renowned Milford and Doubtful Sounds—misnamed by geographically challenged explorers—these aren’t sounds at all but massive fiords, proving that size and names do matter.

If you fancy getting lost somewhere that looks like every epic fantasy movie set, then buckle up because this place has more twists and turns than a telenovela.

And with over 14 fiords, saying you’ll be spoilt for choice here is an understatement—it’s like deciding between chocolate or… more chocolate.

To Do On A Visit:

  • Book A Boat Cruise On Milford Sound
  • Wander On The Kepler Track

5. Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile

the peaks of torres del paine behind a lake
© Depositphotos

Fancy a backdrop that can effortlessly make your followers green with envy? Torres Del Paine National Park has got you with its jaw-dropping rock formations, the Towers of Paine, rising up like they’ve got sky-scraping ambitions.

Not to mention, it’s also home to the W Trek—named after someone who clearly ran out of creative juice—which is only the most photogenic hiking route ever.

And the glaciers here are the local celebrities, with Grey Glacier giving you the cold shoulder in the most spectacular way imaginable. Prepare for weather mood swings that would make your ex seem stable.

To Do On A Visit:

  • Do The W Trek
  • See Grey Glacier Up Close On A Kayak

6. Swiss National Park, Switzerland 

the swiss alps rise in the background covered with snow while a green meadow with a few yellow flowers fills the foreground
© Depositphotos

Swiss National Park, Switzerland’s very own version of “you can look but don’t touch,” busts out the green carpet with a strict no-interference policy. We mean, the place is so pristine that even the animals flaunt an air of nonchalance as they strut their stuff.

Established in 1914, it’s the Alps’ VIP section, and it’s got the cred to back it up as Switzerland’s only national park.

On a visit, you might spot marmots whistling like they’ve just spotted a celeb or ibex climbing rocks like they’re auditioning for “Mountain Goat Ninja Warriors.” Just remember to pack your rule-abiding mindset; this park’s not kidding around with keeping nature, you know, natural.

To Do On A Visit:

  • Spend Time Wildlife Watching
  • Hike The Picturesque Trails

7. Galapagos National Park, Ecuador 

a view of bartolome island in the galapagos with a land mass reaching out into the water with another land mass in the background
© Depositphotos

Galapagos National Park in Ecuador is where wildlife mingles with tourists more than a celebrity at an after-party, but with fewer paparazzi and more iguanas. Darwin himself was inspired here, and let’s face it, if it’s good enough for the father of evolution, it’s good enough for your socials.

The place is teeming with species that basically flip the bird at the idea of mainland rules—giant tortoises, sea lions, and blue-footed boobies aren’t just features of an offbeat animated film here.

This archipelago is the king of biodiversity, with the mandate being to “adapt or become a museum exhibit.”

To Do On A Visit:

  • Scuba Dive
  • Visit The Giant Tortoises

8. Amboseli National Park, Kenya

2 elephants greet on a grassy plain in front of mount kilimanjaro in the background
© Depositphotos

Amboseli National Park, where the elephants roam with Kilimanjaro photo-bombing every shot like it’s no big deal. It’s not just some random mountain, though; it’s the tallest freestanding mountain in the world, acting all high and mighty.

This park is also the go-to spot if you’re looking to play Where’s Waldo, but with elephants—which, let’s be honest, is slightly easier given their size.

And with an ecosystem that’s drier than your aunt’s Thanksgiving turkey, Amboseli still manages to flaunt swamps, thanks to the melting snow from Kili.

To Do On A Visit:

  • Photograph Elephant Herds
  • Climb Observation Hill
  • Discover More: From Kenya’s stunning landscapes to Kruger’s wild celebrities, discover why South Africa’s wildlife is truly the “mane” attraction.

9. Yosemite National Park, USA

rocky mountains in yosemite national park rise above low hanging fog and pine trees
© Depositphotos

Yosemite National Park isn’t just another pretty face with its jaw-dropping cliffs and waterfalls straight out of a nature-themed screensaver, especially in the spring months. It’s the place to be if you’re into breathing air so fresh it puts those pine-scented candles to shame.

Expanding over 748,436 acres (who’s counting, right?), this park is a heavyweight champion in the world of natural wonders and is one of the oldest national parks in America. Home to the infamous Half Dome and El Capitan, rock climbers flock here to give their finger strength a real-world quiz.

Plus, with over four million visitors annually, Yosemite is basically nature’s version of a celebrity meet-and-greet, minus the autographs.

To Do On A Visit:

  • Explore Yosemite Valley For Stunning Views
  • Hit Up Glacier Point (Sunrise Or Sunset Is Best)

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