Escape Urban Life in the World’s Most Beautiful National Parks

National parks are the quintessential destination for travellers who want to escape bustling city life and experience the best mother nature has to offer. Enjoy the stillness of nature or put on your hiking boots and explore mountains, rocky trails or pristine lakes and rivers.

No matter what part of the world you’re in, a national park offers the perfect setting for a breath of fresh air for any holiday. And they’re not just beautiful either. Strolling in nature is also good for your health.

From underground caves in Brazil to the Italian coast, discover piercing landscapes and undisturbed natural beauty in these seven stunning national parks.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia

Rising 348 metres above the plain, Uluru is one of the most well recognised natural landmarks in Australia. The rock is situated in the Kata Tjuta National Park and is a living cultural landscape for the Anangu People, the traditional owners of the land.

The park is recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage site for its incredibly rich spiritual history and cultural value. Explore this national park and choose from a selection of walking trails, including rocky tracks or paths framed by lush fauna and rare plants.

Named Australia’s ”Red Centre”, Uluru is an ancient wonder and sits in the protected Kata Tjuta National Park | Source : Planeta

Lagunas de Montebello National Park, Chiapas, Mexico

Not only known for its sprawling cities and vibrant coastal nightlife, but Mexico also boasts incredible natural landscapes. Made up of almost 60 multicoloured lakes, the Montebello lakes are known for their spectacular beauty and lush surrounding forests. The lakes themselves are “uvulas”, meaning old sinkholes and are famous for their pristine blue water.

Montebello is positioned in the High Plain of Chiapas and is a designated Biosphere reserve by UNESCO.

Lakes of Montebello
The Lagunas de Montebello (Lakes of Montebello) are located in Chiapas, Mexico near the border of Guatemala | Source: Trip Advisor

Cinque Terre National Park, Italy

Seafood linguine, an Aperol Spritz and cobbled streets await you in idyllic Cinque Terre. The famous string of five seaside towns is located in Liguria and runs from the Monterosso al Mare village in the north to Riomaggiore in the south.

The walking trail was established as a national park on October 6, 1999, two years after it was recognised as a World Heritage Site. Enjoy panoramic coastal views as you walk between charming Italian towns and break up your walks with a dip in the Mediterranean sea.

Cinque Terre National Park, Italy
Eclectic colours and a rich history; Cinque Terre is the ultimate European summer destination | Source: Pinterest

Guilin and Lijian River National Park, China

Located in the north-eastern region of Guangxi Zhuang, the national park features piercing beauty and a river that flows 164km. The park’s remarkable beauty has inspired many artists including the Chinese poet Han Yu who wrote a poem dedicated to the area.

Framed by mountains, the national park offers cruises through the Lijiang and Guiling River. Alternatively, take a tour of the iconic Reed Flute Cave or simply choose from a number of walking trails through magnificent hills.

Guilan and Lijian River
The Guilan and Lijian River offer guided boat tours as you drift down still waters in the middle of the national park | Source: National Parks

Yosemite National Park, California, USA

First coming under protection in 1864, Yosemite National Park is a United States landmark and welcomes millions of visitors each year. The park offers never-ending adventure including abundant wildlife, cascading waterfalls and hiking trails.

The best time of the year to visit Yosemite is between May and September when crowds are low and the park is still accessible, with roads not blocked by snow. If you want to make the most of your time in Yosemite, why not stay in premium National Park lodging at the Yosemite Valley Lodge or enjoy your privacy in one of the many bed and breakfasts.

Yosemite National Park, California, USA
Famed for its giant sequoia trees, Yosemite National Park is a mix of rich colours and magnificent mountains | Source: Visit California

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Teeming with wildlife, the Serengeti National Park is the oldest national park in Tanzania and covers a breathtaking 14,750 square kilometres. The “big five” can be seen on safari here, being elephants, lions, leopards, buffalos and rhinos. The park is also home to the highest ostrich population in Tanzania.

Take part in a Serengeti safari and wake up to the sounds of birds or the cry of a hyena. Guided safaris include an experienced and knowledgeable driver, four-course dinners and luxurious tented suites, set to the backdrop of the spanning African landscape.

Serengeti National Park
Brimming with wildlife and action, the Serengeti National Park is perfect for the keen adventurer | Source: Kenya Wildlife Tours

Chapada Diamantina National Park, Brazil

Before becoming a national park, Chapada Diamantina was banned from visitation in an effort by the Brazilian government to prevent diamond smuggling. Today, the park is open for tourists to enjoy the dazzling scenery. The park is a haven for hikers, rock climbers and divers alike.

The park boasts pristine lakes and underground caves. The Gruta da Pratinha ranges from 1.4 to 2.3 metres deep and has a naturally formed staircase descending into its sparkling waters.

Lodging options are available for tourists nearby and offer inclusive luxury stays with guided experiences or a choose-your-own-adventure style trip in sumptuous chalets.

Chapada Diamantina National Park
Tranquility and peace are found in the pristine pools of the waters of Chapada Diamantina National Park | Source: Getty

This article originally appeared on Fancy and do not necessarily represent the views of

About the author


Hi! I’m Ozzie!

Before joining Australia Exploring, I was a writer at Tripadvisor.

I'm looking for the best posts for you about travel adventures in Australia and around the world. This website has the purpose to inspire you to travel… travel more and better. I hope it can help you explore the world a little bit better.

I graduated from the University of Sydney. I live in California with my wife and two children.


Recent Posts