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12 Most Awe-Inspiring National Parks Outside the US

National parks offer a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and enjoy some peace and quiet in a natural setting. Visitors can hike, camp, or simply enjoy the scenery. A popular online forum user asked, “What’s your favorite National Park outside the US?”

Fiordland in New Zealand

Fiordlands in New Zealand
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Fiordland National Park is located in the southwestern region of New Zealand’s South Island. It covers an area of 4,868 square miles (12,618 square kilometers) and is known for its stunning fjords, waterfalls, and rainforests. The park is situated along the west coast of the South Island and includes several significant fiords, including Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound. The nearest town to Fiordland National Park is Te Anau, which is about 68 miles (110 km) to the northeast. Every year, visitors worldwide are attracted to the area famous for outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, and observing wildlife.

Banff in Canada

Banff in Canada
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Banff National Park is in the Canadian Rockies in Alberta, Canada. The town of Banff is situated within the park and is about 78 miles (125 km) west of Calgary. The park covers an area of 2,564 square miles (6,641 square kilometers) and is known for its stunning mountain scenery, crystal-clear lakes, and abundant wildlife, including grizzly bears, elk, and bighorn sheep. Banff National Park is a popular destination for outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, camping, and wildlife watching, and attracts millions of visitors worldwide every year.

One user replied, “I’m going to Banff next fall. I can’t even express how excited I am to see the nature and beauty there.” And another wrote, “I’m so jealous of you!! I would go back in a second! It is one of the MOST gorgeous places I’ve ever been.” 

Torres Del Paine in Chile

Torres Del Paine in Chile
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Multiple users spoke highly of Torres Del Paine in the southern region of Chile, in Patagonia. It is situated in the province of Ultima Esperanza, about 112 miles (180 km) north of Punta Arenas. The park covers an area of 598,000 acres (242,242 hectares) and is known for its rugged mountains, glaciers, lakes, rivers, and unique wildlife, such as guanacos, pumas, and Andean condors. One wrote, “Torres Del Paine was amazing…saw pumas there, it was incredible.” Another replied, “Ah jealous! We spent ten days there, and while we saw hundreds upon hundreds of guanaco, did not see a single puma.”

Plitvice Lake National Park, Croatia

Plitvice Lake National Park, Croatia
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Plitvice Lakes National Park is located in central Croatia, near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. It’s situated in the mountainous region of Lika, about 80 miles (130 km) south of the capital city of Zagreb. It spans 116 square miles (300 square kilometers) and is known for its 16 interconnected lakes, waterfalls, and unique karst landscape. Visitors from around the world enjoy this popular destination with hiking, boating, and observing wildlife. One user commented, “Worth the travel! Hope you get to hike it one day!”

Cape Breton Highlands in Nova Scotia

Cape Breton Highlands in Nova Scotia
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One user wrote, “Cape Breton Highlands in Nova Scotia, Canada. It feels like the Smokies meet Acadia. It’s far out there but it’s so cool.” The park is located on Cape Breton Island in the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. The park covers an area of 366 square miles (948 square kilometers) and is known for its rugged coastline, highlands, and diverse wildlife. The park is situated along the Cabot Trail, a scenic highway that winds through the park and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Pulag National Park in the Philippines

ulag National Park in the Philippines
Image Credit: Izaias Souza and Istockphoto

According to one user, a top national park outside of the US is “Pulag National Park in the Philippines. Pine tree forest, mossy forest, and grassland/dwarf bamboo forest in one hike. Also, the sea of clouds.”

Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica

Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica
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Corcovado National Park is located on the Osa Peninsula in southwestern Costa Rica. One user wrote, “Also my favorite. It’s been a long time, but I remember a pristine tropical rainforest, a beautiful secluded beach, toucans, macaws, monkeys, and an ocelot!

Tikal National Park in Guatemala

Tikal National Park in Guatemala
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Tikal National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the northern region of Guatemala. It is one of the largest and most important archaeological sites of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. The park covers an area of over 200 square miles and contains thousands of ancient structures, including temples, palaces, and pyramids. 

Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica
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One user said, “Manuel Antonio in Costa Rica! Hanging out with monkeys and sloths was amazing.” Manuel Antonio National Park is one of the most popular national parks in Costa Rica, known for its diverse wildlife, including monkeys, sloths, and various bird species. The park also features several hiking trails that lead to secluded beaches and scenic viewpoints.

Iguazu National Park/Falls in Brazil

Iguazu National Park/Falls in Brazil
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Iguazu Falls is a natural wonder located on the border of Brazil and Argentina. The falls consist of a series of over 270 waterfalls, with the tallest being over 260 feet high. The falls are located in a protected area that includes both the Iguazu National Park in Argentina and the Iguaçu National Park in Brazil. The area is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including monkeys, jaguars, and various bird species. 

Kakadu National Park, Nt Australia

Kakadu National Park, NT Australia
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Kakadu National Park is a protected area located in the Northern Territory of Australia. It covers an area of approximately 20,000 square kilometers and is known for its unique natural and cultural features. The park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including saltwater crocodiles, wallabies, and over 280 species of birds. It also contains a variety of habitats, including wetlands, savannah woodlands, and sandstone escarpments. Visitors enjoy visitors coming to explore the park’s natural beauty, learn about its rich cultural history.

Serengeti (Tanzania)

Serengeti Tanzania
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Serengeti National Park is a protected area located in the Serengeti ecosystem in Tanzania, East Africa. It covers approximately 14,750 square kilometers. The park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including the “Big Five” (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, and rhinoceros), as well as cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, and many other species.

It is home to several different habitats, including grasslands, woodlands, and riverine forests, and is known for its stunning landscapes and beautiful sunsets. Visitors to the park can participate in various activities, including game drives, hot air balloon safaris, and guided walking tours.

Source: We hope you enjoyed this Reddit list of the most awe-inspiring national parks outside of the US. 

Theresa Bedford is a nationally syndicated writer. Her work has been seen on the Associated Press Wire, Blox Digital, and MSN. She writes about productivity, money, and simple living to help people focus on what really matters in life.