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Travel Rankings & Advice

World's Best National Parks

With so much organic beauty in the world, it's not easy to choose which natural wonders to explore next — but this list will help. Based on factors like accessibility, abundance of wildlife and natural aesthetics, U.S. News compiled a list of the best national parks in the world. We've ranked these top outdoor destinations, from the savannahs of Africa to the jungles of South America, by relying on insight from experts as well as user votes. We need your input to help determine next year's ranking, so vote for your favorite parks below. 

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Belongs on list?
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Why go: During the Migration through Serengeti National Park (one of the largest annual wildlife movements on the planet), more than a million wildebeests and other four-legged friends chase the horizon from one end of the park to the other. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Serengeti National Park

Belongs on list?
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Why go: Made famous by Charles Darwin, this chain of islands hosts an incredible array of wildlife. From the colorful insects to the chirping birds and unusual reptiles, the creatures here enchant observers. You can also lounge on beaches, swim alongside sea lions and trek across uninhabited islands. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Galápagos Islands

Belongs on list?
307 54

Why go: With numerous attractions scattered through the park, Yellowstone is the Disney World of national parks. Although you may encounter full parking lots in the summertime, its popularity has not dulled its natural beauty: Mammoth Hot Springs and Old Faithful amaze visitors year after year. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Yellowstone

Belongs on list?
271 50

Why go: Just a few hours east of San Francisco, Yosemite is a small world unto itself. This park showcases diverse landscapes and famous monuments, like Half Dome and El Capitan, and plenty of hidden treasures along its 750 miles of trails.  Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Yosemite

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Why go: One of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon captivates visitors with shifting colors, incredible depth and unique rock formations. Whether you're in the air, on the Colorado River or on solid ground, be sure to photograph the canyon from multiple vantage points. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Grand Canyon

#6
Torres Del Paine National Park
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191 40

Why go: You won't spot many animals here because the landscape is the true star of the show. Located in Chilean Patagonia, Torres Del Paine National Park encompasses more than 400,000 acres of stunning geographical features, like its four lakes, Grey Glacier and Paine Massif — the jagged stone peaks that crown the park.

#7
Kruger National Park
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211 52

Why go: South Africa's iconic Kruger National Park is perhaps the most tourist-friendly game park in Africa. It boasts a vast array of campsites, safari packages, family excursions and luxury lodges. Kruger also hosts hundreds of animal species (antelope, leopards and cheetahs among them).

#8
Banff
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228 63

Why go: Close your eyes and picture the snowy peaks of Switzerland. With a short trip to our northern neighbor, a trip to the Canadian Banff National Park will seem like a trip to the European Alps. With countless ski runs, hiking trails and mountain bike paths, this park is a prime destination for adventure.  Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Banff

#9
Sagarmatha National Park
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171 48

Why go: Boasting Mount Everest (the tallest peak on the planet), Sagarmatha National Park in eastern Nepal is a monumental place by any stretch of the imagination. While only the bravest attempt to scale the Himalayas, the less daring can marvel at the surreal terrain from the foothills. 

#10
Fiordland National Park
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Why go: Thanks to the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, many people have fallen in love with New Zealand's landscape. Nowhere in the country is more picturesque than Fiordland National Park. While the Sutherland Falls impresses visitors, it's the Milford Sound (a deep fjord carved by a glacier) that steals most of the thunder.

#11
Guilin and Lijian River National Park
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211 57

Why Go: This Chinese national park remains pristine, featuring terrain covered in cone-shaped hills (actually mini-mountains with unique names like "Dragon Head") that create a surreal landscape. Travelers can immerse themselves in this verdant world by sailing along the Guilin and Lijian rivers.

#12
Canaima National Park
Belongs on list?
152 52

Why go: Located in southeast Venezuela, this park boasts the awe-inspiring Angel Falls, which pours water from more than a half-mile up. A UNESCO world heritage site, Canaima has a unique geographical formation called a "tepuis," a massive rock plateau that covers roughly 65 percent of the park.

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