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THE RIDEAU CANAL, CANADA
Over 124 miles in length, this waterway joins the Canadian cities of Ottawa, on the Ottawa River, and Kingston, on Lake Ontario. Operated by Parks Canada, the canal encompasses sections of the Rideau and Cataraqui rivers, along with a few lakes. Originally built with military purposes in mind, today it is mainly used for boating and was designated as a World Heritage Site in 2007

Over 124 miles in length, this waterway joins the Canadian cities of Ottawa, on the Ottawa River, and Kingston, on Lake Ontario. Operated by Parks Canada, the canal encompasses sections of the Rideau and Cataraqui rivers, along with a few lakes. Originally built with military purposes in mind, today it is mainly used for boating and was designated as a World Heritage Site in 2007. 

MOSI-OA-TUNYA / VICTORIA FALLS, ZAMBIA AND ZIMBABWE
Located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, the Mosi-oa-Tunya are regarded among the most spectacular waterfalls in the world. Part of Zambezi River, the 354-foot falls produce the largest curtain of falling water anywhere on the planet and were declared a World Heritage Site in 1989.

Located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, the Mosi-oa-Tunya are regarded among the most spectacular waterfalls in the world. Part of Zambezi River, the 354-foot falls produce the largest curtain of falling water anywhere on the planet and were declared a World Heritage Site in 1989. 

IGUAZÚ NATIONAL PARK, ARGENTINA
Iguazú National Park is surrounded by the subtropical forest and is centered around the mighty Iguazú Falls, whose name is derived from the local language meaning "big water." The falls are composed of 275 individual drops, running nearly two miles along the border of Brazil and Argentina. The park was declared a World Heritage Site in 1984.

LOS GLACIARES NATIONAL PARK, ARGENTINA
At over 2,700 square miles, Los Glaciares National Park is situated in the southern Argentinian Andes. This park is exceptionally beautiful with mountains, lakes and woods. After Antarctica and Greenland, the park plays host to the planet's third largest ice cap. TIt was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1981

TIMBUKTU, MALI
A major spiritual center for the propagation of Islam in Africa during the 15th and 16th centuries, this site contains three globally renowned mosques, Sidi Yahia, Djingareyber and Sankore. It was declared as a World Heritage Site in 1988. 

HISTORIC SANCTUARY OF MACHU PICCHU, PERU
Machu Picchu is the unique testimony of the urban Inca Empires power and achievement from the middle of the 15th century. Situated almost 8,000 feet above sea level, the terraces and ruins of this once-great city look over the mountain forest below and is considered to be the most beautiful locations in the Peruvian Andes. This was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1983.

ACROPOLIS, GREECE
Acropolis in Greek means “the sacred Rock, the high city”. Dating from the 5th century BC, The Acropolis of Athens is a complex of ancient building and structures, the most famous of which is the Parthenon (pictured above). This was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1987.

GREAT WALL OF CHINA
One of the most ambitious man-made structures on Earth, the Great Wall of China has a history that dates back to 220 BC, when it was built for the protection of the Chinese Empire by Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. Estimates place the entire length of the wall at over 13,000 miles, and construction continued until 17th century, making it the largest military structure in the world. In 1987, it was designated as World Heritage Site.

One of the most ambitious man-made structures on Earth, the Great Wall of China has a history that dates back to 220 BC, when it was built for the protection of the Chinese Empire by Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. Estimates place the entire length of the wall at over 13,000 miles, and construction continued until 17th century, making it the largest military structure in the world. In 1987, it was designated as World Heritage Site. 

GALÁPAGOS ISLANDS, ECUADOR
Situated nearly 600 miles off the west coast of Ecuador, the Galápagos are an archipelago of 18 major volcanic islands that are host to a unique collection of flora and fauna. Central to the studies of the naturalist Charles Darwin, the Galápagos and the waters that surround them are now part of a national park. This spectacular location was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1978.

HAMPI, INDIA
Lying 217 miles from Bangalore, Hampi is situated amid the ruins of Vijayanagar, the former capital of the Vijayanagar Empire. Believed to have been the second most-populous city on Earth around 1500 AD, Vijayanagar plays host to numerous monuments to the city's former glory, the best-known of which is Virupaksha Temple. The ruins have been listed as a World Heritage Site since 1986.

GREAT BARRIER REEF, AUSTRALIA
Featuring 400 types of coral, 4,000 types of mollusk and 1,500 species of fish, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest reef system on earth. It was made a World Heritage Site in 1981 and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Australia.

GOREME NATIONAL PARK AND THE ROCK SITES OF CAPPADOCIA, TURKEY
Nestled among the fairy chimney rock formations, with dwellings (dating back to the 4th century AD) carved directly into the rock faces, the historic Turkish town of Cappadocia is famed for its early Christian churches and Byzantine art. It was declared as a World Heritage Site in 1985.

RICE TERRACES OF THE PHILIPPINE CORDILLERAS, PHILIPPINES
Hugging the topography of the local mountains, this complex series of tired rice fields is more than 2,000 years old. Representing a delicate balance between local farming heritage and nature, the site was given World Heritage status in 1995. 

ANGKOR, CAMBODIA
Angkor is an archaeological site which contains the remains of different capitals of the Khmer Empire from the ninth to 15th century AD. Best known of its historic treasures are the Temple of Angkor Wat and, at Angkor Thom, the Bayon Temple. It was designated as World Heritage Site in 1992.

Angkor is an archaeological site which contains the remains of different capitals of the Khmer Empire from the ninth to 15th century AD. Best known of its historic treasures are the Temple of Angkor Wat and, at Angkor Thom, the Bayon Temple. It was designated as World Heritage Site in 1992.

PETRA, JORDAN
As famed for its stunning carved architecture as it is for it archaeological importance, the city of Petra is located between the Red and Dead seas. Dating to pre-historic times, it is undoubtedly the Al Khazneh (pictured here) that is best-known among its historic marvels, having beem featured in such film as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The city was given World Heritage status in 1985.

SIAN KA'AN, MEXICO
Once the home to a Mayan civilization, the name of this place means “Origin of the Sky.” Situated on the eastern coast of the Yucatán peninsula, this rich biosphere of marshes, tropical forests and reef play host to a variety of flora and fauna. It was designated a World Heritage Site in 1987. 

RAPA NUI NATIONAL PARK, CHILE
Also known as Easter Island, this location is best known for the monumental statues called moai, which were created by early Polynesian settlers between the 10th and 16th centuries AD. The park was declared a World Heritage Site in 1995.

SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK, TANZANIA
The Serengeti National Park is Tanzania's oldest and most popular national park. It was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1981.

MEMPHIS AND ITS NECROPOLIS – THE PYRAMID FIELDS FROM GIZA TO DAHSHUR, EGYPT
This archaeological site on the Giza Plateau includes the three pyramid complexes known as the Great Pyramids, the massive sculpture known as the Great Sphinx, several cemeteries, a workers' village and an industrial complex. This was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1979. 

SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY CANAL RING AREA OF AMSTERDAM INSIDE THE SINGELGRACHT, NETHERLANDS
Built during the late 16th and early 17th centuries AD, this ensemble consists of a wide network of canals in concentric arcs that were intended to extend the city of Amsterdam by way of draining the local swampland. Designated a World Heritage Site in 2010. 

ANCIENT CITY OF SIGIRIYA, SRI LANKA
These are the ruins of the capital city built by King Kashyapa I (473-495 AD). With portions of the ancient city located atop a 590-foot-high granite peak known as the Lion's Rock, the city is famed for its staircases and galleries. This site was declared a World Heritage Site in 1982. 

GIANT'S CAUSEWAY AND CAUSEWAY COAST, UK AND NORTHERN IRELAND
Made up of 40,000 black basalt columns jutting from the sea on Northern Ireland's Antrim plateau, the Giant's Causeway has been as encapsulated in local legends as it has been studied by geologists. Formed by volcanic activity during the Tertiary period, 50-60 million years ago, it was declared as World Heritage Site in 1986. 

TEMPLE OF APOLLO EPICURIUS AT BASSAE, GREECE
Designated as a World Heritage Site in 1986, this temple is said to have been built during the middle of the 5th century BC and is dedicated to Greek God Apollo. It represents a combination of Archaic and Doric styles.

PALACE AND PARK OF VERSAILLES, FRANCE
This palace-ppark residence of French kings, starting with Louis XIV and ending with Louis XVI, is considered to be the archetype royal residence and features contributions from sculptors and landscape architects from several generations. Declared a World Heritage Site in 1979. 

MAYAN SITE OF COPAN, HONDURAS
The ruins of Copan were discovered by Diego García de Palacio in late 16th century, and are regarded among the most significant remains of the Mayan civilization -- especially the public squares and ruined citadel. It was designated a World Heritage Site in 1980. 

TAOS PUEBLO, NEW MEXICO
Still a vibrant community hub for the local tribe of Pueblo Indians, the adobe settlements of Taos Pueblo are located on a small tributary of the Rio Grande. Established as a settlement in the late 13th century, it was declared a World Heritage Site in 1992.

STONEHENGE, AVEBURY AND ASSOCIATED SITES, WILTSHIRE
Arguably the best-known groups of megaliths in the world, these standing-stone structures have intrigued astronomers and archaeologists for years. A testimony to both the beliefs and mechanical ingenuity of prehistoric man, the sites were given World Heritage status in 1986.

BOROBUDUR TEMPLE COMPOUNDS, INDONESIA
This Buddhist temple, dating back to the eight and ninth centuries AD,, was constructed in three tiers composed of base in the shape of a pyramid featuring five concentric square terraces and a stupa at the top. It was declared as a World Heritage Site in 1991.

TOWER OF LONDON, LONDON
Exemplary of Norman military architecture, this tower started life as a castle, constructed on the Thames River, designed to safeguard London by William the Conqueror. Over the years, as the structures purpose changes became a symbol of Britain's royal history and now plays host to the famed crown jewels. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1988.

Exemplary of Norman military architecture, this tower started life as a castle, constructed on the Thames River, designed to safeguard London by William the Conqueror. Over the years, as the structures purpose changes became a symbol of Britain's royal history and now plays host to the famed crown jewels. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1988. 

COSTIERA AMALFITANA, ITALY
Nestled between cobalt-blue waters of the Mediterranean and the Lattari Mountains lie picturesque hillside towns such as Amalfi and Ravello. Prized for the dazzling versatility of the inhabitants in adapting to their environment, this region of the Italian coastline is as rich in local cultural history as it is in citrus and olive groves. It was declared as a World Heritage Site in 1997.

KREMLIN AND RED SQUARE, RUSSIA
Straddling both cultural and political importance, the Kremlin and Red Square have become global icons of the city of Moscow. The city itself can trace its roots back to the time when the Finno-Ugric people settled here in the 2nd century BC. This site was declared a World Heritage Site in 1990.

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, USA
Located in Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park is famed for its vast forests and geothermal features such as Old Faithful. A natural habitat for a vast number of unique species, it was declared as a World Heritage Site in 1978.

Located in Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park is famed for its vast forests and geothermal features such as Old Faithful. A natural habitat for a vast number of unique species, it was declared as a World Heritage Site in 1978.

BRYGGEN, NORWAY
This unique series of commercial buildings that line the eastern side of a Norwegian fjord is famed for its historic and cultural importance. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1979.

TAJ MAHAL, INDIA
The Taj Mahal, the white marble mausoleum, built in Agra by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, is widely recognized as the jewel of the Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage. This site was declared a World Heritage Site in 1983.

VENICE AND ITS LAGOON, ITALY
Home to a blend of maritime power and stunning architectural beauty stretching back to the middle ages, the city of Venice, with its splendid piazzas, bridges and palaces, has long been a cultural European hotspot. The city and its lagoon were declared a World Heritage Site in 1987.

SOCOTRA ARCHIPELAGO, YEMEN
Described as the most alien-looking place on Earth, Yemen's Socotra Archipelago is blessed with an incredible richness of plant and animal life. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 2008

PRE-HISPANIC CITY OF CHICHEN-ITZA, MEXICO
A blend of cultural influences and architectural styles, UNESCO describes Chichen-Itza as one of the important examples of the Mayan-Toltec civilization on Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula. Occupied for a millennia, the site boasts several stunning structures such as the Warriors’ Temple, El Castillo (pictured) and the circular observatory known as El Caracol. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1988.

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, USA
Yosemite National Park is well known for its spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, giant sequoia groves, and wildlife. Designated as a World Heritage Site in 1984.

ROCK ISLANDS SOUTHERN LAGOON, PALAU
Spanning nearly 400 square miles, the Rock Islands Southern Lagoon is composed of 445 densely vegetated limestone islands surrounded by coral reefs. Located to the south of Babeldaob, in the western Pacific Ocean, the lagoon network boasts a dazzling mixture of local wildlife as well as the remains of island communities that date back 3,000 years. It was designated a World Heritage Site in 2012.

HA LONG BAY, VIETNAM
Ha Long Bay is a popular destination in Vietnam's Quảng Ninh Province. Ha Long Bay includes some 1,600 islands and islets, most of which are limestone. This exceptionally beautiful and appealing site was designated a World Heritage Site in 1994.

Ha Long Bay is a popular destination in Vietnam's Quảng Ninh Province. Ha Long Bay includes some 1,600 islands and islets, most of which are limestone. This exceptionally beautiful and appealing site was designated a World Heritage Site in 1994.

HIERAPOLIS-PAMUKKALE, TURKEY
Formed from thermal springs in the cliffs, the naturally occurring terraced basins of Pamukkale ("Cotton Palace") have long attracted visitors. The thermal spa of Hierapolis was founded at the site in the second century BC, and offers today's visitors a chance to marvel at the natural geological formations created by the calcite-laden waters -- as well as the ruins of the once great baths. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1998

TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND
Famed for its spectacular landscape and diverse ecosystem, Tongariro National Park was designated a World Heritage Site in 1990 and three years later it became the first site to be inscribed in the revised list of cultural landscapes.

TRINIDAD AND THE VALLE DE LOS INGENIOS, CUBA
Founded as a staging point for the further conquest of the Americas, the Cuban city of Trinidad is located in the central province of Sancti Spíritus. Despite its exploratory origins, the city owes it wealth and architecture to rapid expansion of the region's sugar industry in the late 18th century, prompting to the construction of notable buildings such as the Palacio Brunet and the Palacio Cantero. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1988.

NATURAL AND CULTURO-HISTORICAL REGION OF KOTOR, MONTENEGRO
With is natural harbor on Montenegro's Adriatic coast, Kotor has long been a center of excellence, known for its masonry and religious iconography. Made a World Heritage Site in 1979, UNESCO helped with the restoration of four of the town's Romanesque churches following an earthquake the same year.


PORTOVENERE, CINQUE TERRE AND THE ISLANDS (PALMARIA, TINO AND TINETTO), ITALY
In 1997, Portovenere, Cinque Terre and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto) were designated as a World Heritage Site. Terraced extensively for the cultivation of vines and olive trees, Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands are known as much for their extraordinary landscapes as they are for the settlements that have evolved despite the topographical challenges of the area.

In 1997, Portovenere, Cinque Terre and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto) were designated as a World Heritage Site. Terraced extensively for the cultivation of vines and olive trees, Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands are known as much for their extraordinary landscapes as they are for the settlements that have evolved despite the topographical challenges of the area. 

BUTRINT, ALBANIA
A melting pot of cultures and civilizations, Butrint had been inhabited since prehistoric times. Transforming from a Greek colony, through Roman occupation and then down through history, the site was finally abandoned in the late Middle Ages by its Venetian rulers. It was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1992.

ITCHAN KALA, UZBEKISTAN
Surrounding the Khiva oasis, the inner town of Itchan Kala, with its 32-foot-high adobe walls, was a vital resting place for caravans preparing to cross the desert to Iran. Despite there only being a few of the city's original monuments remaining, the site is still regarded as an excellent example of central Asian Muslim architecture, with the Djuma Mosque and the 19th-century palaces being of particular note. It was designated a World Heritage Site in 1991.

Surrounding the Khiva oasis, the inner town of Itchan Kala, with its 32-foot-high adobe walls, was a vital resting place for caravans preparing to cross the desert to Iran. Despite there only being a few of the city's original monuments remaining, the site is still regarded as an excellent example of central Asian Muslim architecture, with the Djuma Mosque and the 19th-century palaces being of particular note. It was designated a World Heritage Site in 1991.

By MSN Travel

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