The world is full of natural wonders to be explored, with many of these beauty spots topping people’s bucket lists as something they simply must see in person and experience the natural wonder up close.
To help inspire travellers looking to explore the world again, we wanted to find out which natural wonders around the world were the most eye-catchingly beautiful. Do the stunning beaches in the Maldives prove a hit or is it the impressive Niagara Falls grabbing people’s attention the most?
We ran a study using eye-tracking software to reveal which locations around the world caught people’s eye the most. Looking at 61 natural wonders and beaches from around the globe, we tracked users’ gaze to crown the most eye-catching destinations and the results are in.
Most Eye-Catching Natural Wonders In The World
1. Peyto Lake, Canada
This striking lake in North America is known for its turquoise blue colour, which looks even more impressive contrasted against the dark forest that surrounds the shoreline. An incredible destination, the water gets its stunning bright blue colour from the glacier water feeding the lake. It’s a popular sightseeing destination for tourists who also want to explore the local mountain area, with plenty of hikes and impressive driving routes.
2. Meeru Island, Maldives
This tropical paradise located in the Maldives was one of the most eye-catching destinations according to the research and it’s easy to see why. With its clear blue water and bright white sands, it really is a dreamy destination for those looking to escape to somewhere beautiful as Meeru is only accessible by boat. The small island features a luxurious resort, with beach and water villas for visitors to unwind and experience the trip of a lifetime.
3. Jurassic Coast, England
The 95 mile stretch of coast, running from Exmouth in East Devon to Studland Bay in Dorset is famous for its impressive views and historical features. A World Heritage Site, the coastline attracts plenty of tourists each year who come to explore, walk, hunt for fossils and take in the stunning views across the English Channel and shores. Along the stretch of coast, you’ll find stack rocks, pinnacles and arches, including one of England’s most iconic landmarks, Durdle Door.
4. Yosemite, USA
This impressive National Park is located in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains and is known for its giant sequoia trees, waterfalls, granite cliffs, lakes, mountains and diverse plants and animals. Whilst it may not be the biggest National Park in the USA, the 750,000-acre park is a bucket list destination for thousands of travellers. With its breathtaking views and dramatic landscapes, this place has something for everyone - whether you’re looking for challenging hikes or gentle strolls through the forest.
5. Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
Lake Tekapo, located in New Zealand is the second-largest of three lakes running along the northern edge of the Mackenzie Basin in the South Island. The lake is fed by water coming from the Southern Alps, with the snow melt water giving the lake it’s stunning light turquoise tint, a very distinctive colour that helps make it one of the most magnificent natural wonders. Lake Tekapo is also one of the sunniest places in New Zealand, with an average of 2,400 sunshine hours per year.
6. Niagara Falls, Canada/USA
Niagara Falls is located on the Canadian and American border is made up of three different waterfalls, the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Horseshoe Falls. A stunning natural wonder that is extremely popular with tourists, over 8 million travellers visit the iconic waterfalls every year. Most people take to the water to get as close as they can, with boat trips running visitors up to the base of the falls to fully experience the landmark.
7. Snowdon, Wales
Located in Snowdonia National Park in North Wales, Wales’ highest mountain attracts thousands of visitors each year who take on the challenge of hiking to the top. With an impressive elevation of 1,085 metres above sea level, hikers are rewarded with impressive views across Snowdonia, Pembrokeshire, Anglesey and Ireland. There are a number of routes to the top of the mountain, with paths suited to most abilities looking to take on the climb.
8. Puerto Princesa Underground River, Philippines
A protected area in the Philippines, the underground river contains outstanding biodiversity and is located in a beautiful surrounding. Many describe the experience of visiting as ‘otherworldly’ as travellers get the chance to paddle through the impressive cave systems, taking in the natural beauty around them. The cavern itself features eye-catching rock formations and visitors are able to experience the stunning surroundings up close and personal.
9. Marble Caves, Chile
The Marble Caves, also known as Cuevas de Mármol, can be found in the Patagonian Andes bordering Lake General Carrera, a remote glacial lake spanning the Chile – Argentina border. The unique geological formation, made of solid marble, has been worn away by water for over 6,200 years – making this one of mother nature’s natural beauties.
10. El Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico
Located in north-eastern Puerto Rico, the El Yunque National Forest spans over 28,000 acres making it the largest plot of public land in the country. With ample rainfall each year the forest is jungle-like, with waterfalls and rivers making it the perfect home for over 200 species of trees and plants. It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country, with both locals and visitors exploring the many hiking trails.
11. Aurora Borealis, Iceland
12. Iguazu Falls, Argentina/Brazil
13. Lake Matheson, New Zealand
14. Phang Nga Bay, Thailand
15. Grand Canyon, USA
Along with the most eye-catching natural wonders of the world, we also looked at some of the most eye-catching beaches around the world too.
Most Eye-Catching Beaches In The World
1. Niyama Private Island Beach, The Maldives
This beautiful beach can be found on the private islands in the Maldives and certainly does evoke some wanderlust amongst travellers. It’s easy to see why this destination was the most eye-catching beach, with crystal clear blue waters and white sands, it really does look like it’s in paradise.
2. Al Sufouh Beach, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Al Sufouh beach is one of Dubai’s hidden gems, tucked away between Burj Al Arab and Palm Jumeirah it’s easy to miss as it’s hidden behind palm trees. It features gorgeous views of some of Dubai’s impressive buildings, as well as fantastic vistas over the water - perfect for enjoying a sunrise or sunset.
3. Bai Sao, Phu Quoc, Vietnam
One of the most beautiful beaches in Phu Quoc, this beach is a real eye-catcher. With its bright blue waters and light tropical sands, this beach is set alongside palm trees offering visitors a truly stunning setting when visiting the island. With plenty of natural landscape nearby, the beach is also home to some small trails where visitors can explore some of the local forests.
4. Cape Drastis, Corfu, Greece
Located in the northwesternmost point of Corfu, this small beach is situated between cliffs which helps make it stand out. The beach is most easily viewed from above, as it is not accessible and the only way to experience it up close is by boat. Instead, this beach is best admired from afar, with the small stretch of sand standing out against the impressive rocks and ocean.
5. Pensacola Beach, Florida, USA
This world-famous beach is known for its sugar white sands and emerald green waters, making it one of the most stunning beaches in America. Located along the Florida Gulf Coast, here you’ll find clear blue waters that are home to plenty of sea life, including turtles and manatees. The beach was also included in Trip Advisor’s 2021 top 15 beaches in the U.S, making it a popular destination for those looking for a slice of paradise they can easily get to.
6. Bamburgh, Northumberland, England
Set on the beautiful costal town in Northumberland, thousands of people head to this beach each year to take in the views of the impressive castle located right on the coastlines. Whilst it may not be the most exotic of locations, the beach does come with some dramatic views with the historic landmark providing a very striking backdrop.
7. Numana Alta Beach, Italy
This stunning Italian beach is certainly a beautiful destination. With bold and beautiful properties scattered along the coast, the beach features bright sands and enticing waters, perfect for those looking for a tropical escape. Postcard-worthy beach umbrellas can often be found dotted along the beach, adding to its Italian charm.
8. Railay Beach, Krabi, Thailand
Located in along a small peninsula in Thailand, this beach features some impressive backdrops with its limestone cliffs towering over the shoreline. The beach itself is only accessible by boat, but is still extremely popular with travellers hoping to make it catch a glimpse of the beautiful natural setting in person.
9. Na Pali Coast, Kauai, Hawaii, USA
This beach is located along Kauai’s north shore, known for beautiful coastline this beach is surrounded by razor-sharp ridges and waterfalls. A breath-taking destination on one of the Hawaiian Islands, the rugged terrain appears as it did centuries ago. Travellers can enjoy the sights of these beaches from boat tours that guide them along the coast or by taking in the sights from the air, with aerial tours offering incredible views from above.
10. Boracay White Beach, Philippines
The four kilometre stretch of beach is one of Boracay Island’s main attractions and one of the most popular reasons for visiting the island. This mesmerising beach is a stand out destinations in the whole of the Philippines, with idyllic ocean views and pristine blue waters, perfect for swimming.
61 destinations and beaches from around the globe were compiled using desk research.
To conduct the research, a sample of 36 people were shown a series of images of different destinations. By using eye-tracking software, the total number of times people looked at different destinations was recorded. The average amount of time people looked at a destination was recorded and viewing durations were used to rank the different destinations to reveal which were the most ‘eye-catching’.
Data collected from the study was used to rank the destinations from around the world, in order of the most eye-catching.
All data was correct as of October 18th 2021.