In this post I'll write a little about the most beautiful national parks I've been to. When I prepared this list I saw I'm leaning towards parks in the Americas … Here's the map.
Yellowstone and Grand Teton
My visit to Yellowstone was a dream come true. For many years I wanted to visit that park and finally did. I came in May which is the very beginning of the season so still saw some snow on the roads but the nature there is so enormous and wild that I’m speechless! Coming from Jackson hole Wyoming and passing through Grand Teton park which shows its mountains and lakes and then entering Yellowstone and its “2 loops road” seeing the geothermal activities like geysers, mud pots, and so on, and of course all the wildlife: bisons, moose, black bears, etc. Want to read more? Want to see more on instagram?
The Canadian Rockies are formally made out of 4 national parks but when you’re there it seems like one, so I decided to put them all under one category… The sheer size of the mountains and the fact they surround you all the time is something that’s hard to describe. Add to that the beautiful/magical amazing lakes (which have a place of honor in my “Top 5 Lakes”) and you can understand why this is one of my favorites. Want to read more?
The Iguacu falls lie on the border of Argentina and Brazil and the visit can be done from both of sides, while each side offers a different scenery. On the Brazilian side you get a more ‘panoramic’ view and in the Argentinian side you get can get a closer look at the falls. A few years later I visited the Niagara falls and what’s different about the Iguacu is that it’s really in the nature and you have to put some effort in order to get to it (I sweat like hell!)
At the very north of Colombia, after a bus ride from Cartagena and a walk through the woods and on the beach you suddenly see this great hut just above the beach where you can sleep in hammocks! So I stayed there a couple of nights, bitten by mosquitos but it was worth it! Nice beach with coconut trees, full moon – what else do you need??
From the massive granite mountains, to the valleys and numerous waterfalls, through the famous “Half Dome”, with big Redwood trees, If you like hiking – this is a place you must visit!
That was close…
As I mentioned before, deciding on the top 5 national parks was not an easy task and there were a few I had leave out but are still worth mentioning.
- Kruger – South Africa
A huge park, like a small country. You should visit with a car and spend no less than 2 days to explore the different areas of the park and try to see all "big 5". See more on instagram
- Manuel Antonio – Costa Rica
A very nice park on the coast of Costa Rica. It's where I saw, along monkeys, a sloth!
- Torres del Paine – (south) Chile
One of the highlights in the trip to South America! Get a tent and sleeping bag and hike your way in the park for a few days. Go between lakes, glaciers and of course the granite towers!
- Lauca – (north) Chile
I think this one is the least famous in the list but totally worth a visit! It lies at the very north end of Chile, quite remote, and offers small mountains and lagoonas in a nice setting.