The Seven Wonders of the World
Plan a trip around the world to see why these seven man-made marvels are can’t-miss stops.
To see the Seven Wonders of the World takes dedication, planning and a world-traveler mentality. Whether you space out your travels over a lifetime, or book an ambitious two-week trip around the world, it is very possible to see all seven of these man-made marvels in your lifetime.
You may not know that in 2007, the world (or at least 100 million online voters) declared Seven new Wonders of the World. The winners? The Great Wall of China, Christ the Redeemer Statue, Machu Picchu, Pyramid at Chichen Itza, The Roman Colosseum, Taj Mahal and Petra.
Great Wall of China (China)
The 4,000-mile wall is one of the oldest existing man-made structures that was created to protect the borders of the Chinese Empire. According to CNN, most travelers choose a section of the wall to visit from their hotel base in Beijing, which include: Juyongguan, the closest to Beijing but less interesting than most other sections; Mutianyu, the farthest away but less crowded and set among gorgeous mountains; and Jinshanling and Simatai, even further away but perfect for adventurers. No matter what section you choose, take your time (at least two to three hours is recommended) exploring this centuries-old structure.
Christ the Redeemer Statue (Rio de Janeiro)
Brazilians have lived among the shadows of the Art Deco-style Christ the Redeemer since 1931. The 130-foot statue was designed by Heitor de Silva Costa and built as a symbol of Brazilian Christianity. According to the Lonely Planet, the most popular way to reach the statue is to take the red narrow-gauge train that departs every 30 minutes and takes approximately 20 minutes to reach the top.
Machu Picchu (Peru)
If you want to visit a real hidden treasure, make sure Machu Picchu is one of the first on your list. The abandoned Incan city was unknown (except to locals) until 1911, when it was rediscovered by Archaeologist Hiram Bingham, according to the Travel Channel. Now it’s considered one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. Since the Inca had no written language there is no record of why they built the site or how they used it. To add to its mystery, the site is only accessible by foot, train or helicopter.
Pyramid at Chichen Itza (Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico)
Chichen Itza is the best known and well-restored among Yucatan Maya archaeological sites. The step pyramid at the site is about 75 miles from Cancun and Cozumel and was used for religious ceremonies and to observe astronomical events. According to Visit Mexico, you can visit these ruins on a day trip or tour to Chichen Itza, or stay overnight in a restored hacienda (estate).
The Roman Colosseum (Rome)
Its past is just as intriguing as its design. The Colosseum was used as an event center for about 500 years. The elliptical structure sat nearly 50,000 spectators, who gathered to watch the gladiatorial events and other public spectacles, including battle reenactments, animal hunts and executions. While some of its structure gave way to natural disasters and time, you can still tour portions of the Colosseum and learn about its fascinating history.
Taj Mahal (Agra, India)
It’s an image fit for a postcard: The white-marble mausoleum that was built as a memorial for the third wife of Mumtaz Mahal. While you can visit the inside of the mausoleum, the grounds are decorated with ornamental gardens and fountains that beautifully reflect the image of the Taj on the water. The Taj is closed every Friday to anyone who is not attending prayers at the mosque.
Here you can actually see history set in stone by visiting a city that is famous for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system. Petra was the capital of the Nabataean empire and likely existed in its prime from 9 B.C. to A.D. 40. You can see a number of incredible structures carved into stone, a 4,000-seat amphitheater and the El-Deir monastery. The site may be best known for the Treasury Building which was featured in the movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” And just this year, archaeologists discovered a new structure at the ancient site that scholars say seemed to have been “hidden in plain sight.”
If you’re really interested in pushing your travel boundaries, you can visit the Seven Wonders of the World in one trip. There are several tour companies that offer the action-packed trip ranging from two weeks to 30 days. On-the-go tours list prices starting at $5,250 per person with hotels, transfers, accommodations and even breakfast included. You also can gather inspiration and ideas from Megan Sullivan, a travel blogger who completed the trip in 13 days.
Whatever you decide, this is an excellent way to see the world in all its wonder.