The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is a massive rift in the Colorado Plateau that exposes uplifted Proterozoic and Paleozoic strata, and is also one of the six distinct physiographic sections of the Colorado Plateau province. It is not the deepest canyon in the world (Kali Gandaki Gorge in Nepal is far deeper), nor the widest (Capertee Valley in Australia is about 0.6 mi/1 km wider and longer than Grand Canyon); however, the Grand Canyon is known for its visually overwhelming size and its intricate and colorful landscape. Geologically it is significant because of the thick sequence of ancient rocks that are beautifully preserved and exposed in the walls of the canyon. These rock layers record much of the early geologic history of the North American continent.The Colorado River basin (of which the Grand Canyon is a part) has developed in the past 40 million years.
Grand Canyon National Park is one of the world’s premier natural attractions, attracting about five million visitors per year. Overall, 83% were from the United States: California (12.2%), Arizona (8.9%), Texas (4.8%), Florida (3.4%) and New York (3.2%) represented the top domestic visitors. Seventeen percent of visitors were from outside the United States; the most prominently represented nations were the United Kingdom (3.8%), Canada (3.5%), Japan (2.1%), Germany (1.9%) and The Netherlands (1.2%).
Aside from casual sightseeing from the South Rim (averaging 7,000 feet [2,100 m] above sea level), rafting, hiking, running and helicopter tours are especially popular. In October 2010 the North Rim is the host to an ultramarathon. The Grand Canyon Ultra Marathon is a 78-mile (126 km) race over 24 hours. The floor of the valley is accessible by foot, muleback, or by boat or raft from upriver. Hiking down to the river and back up to the rim in one day is discouraged by park officials because of the distance, steep and rocky trails, change in elevation, and danger of heat exhaustion from the much higher temperatures at the bottom. Rescues are required annually of unsuccessful rim-to-river-to-rim travelers. Nevertheless, hundreds of fit and experienced hikers complete the trip every year.
The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms.This reef structure is composed of and built by billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps.This reef supports a wide diversity of life, and was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981.CNN labeled it one of the seven natural wonders of the world.The Queensland National Trust named it a state icon of Queensland.
Due to its vast biodiversity, warm clear waters and accessibility from the tourist boats called 'live aboards', the reef is a very popular destination, especially for scuba divers. Tourism on the Great Barrier Reef is concentrated in the Whitsundays and Cairns due to their accessibility. These areas make up 7% of the Park's area.The Whitsundays and Cairns have their own Plans of Management.Many cities along the Queensland coast offer daily boat trips. Several continental and coral cay islands are now resorts, including the pristine Lady Elliot Island. As of 1996, 27 islands on the Great Barrier Reef supported resorts.
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro ("River of January") commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, 6th largest in the Americas and 26th in the world.
The city was the capital of Brazil for nearly two centuries, from 1763 to 1815 during the Portuguese colonial era, 1815 to 1821 as the capital of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and Algarves, and from 1822 to 1960 as an independent nation. Rio is nicknamed A Cidade Maravilhosa or "The Marvelous City." It is considered a Beta- World City.
Rio de Janeiro is a main cultural hub in Brazil. Its architecture embraces churches and buildings dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries, blending with the world renowned designs of the 20th. Rio was home to the Portuguese Imperial family and capital of the country for many years, and was influenced by Portuguese, English and French architecture.
Rio de Janeiro is Brazil's primary tourist attraction and resort. It receives the most visitors per year of any city in South America with 2.82 million international tourists a year. The city sports world-class hotels, approximately 80 kilometres of beachland, and the famous Corcovado and Sugarloaf mountains.
* Christ the Redeemer (statue) (Monument of Jesus Christ on top of Corcovado Mountain, 709 meters above sea level. From its 38 meters, eight are in the pedestal. 19h 15min was inaugurated on 12 October 1931, after nearly five years of work. A symbol of Catholicism, the monument has become one of the most internationally recognized icon of Rio and Brazil. On July 7, 2007, in Lisbon at the Estadio da Luz, was named one of the new seven wonders of the world.)
* Sugarloaf Mountain (Brazil) (Peak situated at the mouth of Guanabara Bay on a peninsula that sticks out into the Atlantic Ocean. Rising 396 metres (1,299 ft) above the harbor, its name is said to refer to its resemblance to the traditional shape of concentrated refined loaf sugar. A symbol of Brazil, he appeared in films such as 007 and series like The Simpsons.)
* Copacabana (Bohemian borough located in the southern zone, known for its 4 km beach which is one of the most famous in the world.Copacabana Beach plays host to millions of revelers during the annual New Year's Eve celebrations and, in most years, has been the official venue of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.)
A view of the Copacabana beach from Sugar Loaf.
* Ipanema/Leblon (One of the richest regions in South America, Ipanema and Leblon has beaches that attract millions of tourists every year, famous for their elegance and their views.)
* Maracanã Stadium (Brazil's largest stadium, located in the north of the city. Will be the site of the opening of the 2016 Summer Olympics).
Parícutin is a cinder cone volcano in the Mexican state of Michoacán, close to a lava-covered village of the same name. It appears on many versions of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Paricutín is part of the Michoacán-Guanajuato Volcanic Field, which covers much of west central Mexico.
The Victoria Falls
The Victoria Falls or Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders) is a waterfall located in southern Africa on the Zambezi River between the countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe. The falls are some of the largest in the world.