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National Parks

With magnificent landscapes, soul-stirring outdoor experiences, and thriving wildlife, national parks feature the best of what nature has to offer. If you want to relish nature in its purest form, plan your next getaway to a national park. A trip to a national park comes with great experiences and a range of adventurous activities. With abundant fauna, including endangered species, in their natural habitat, these protected areas are also perfect for wildlife enthusiasts.

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So, for your next memorable travel experience, visit any national park nearest to you. However, if you're planning an exciting overseas adventure, keep reading this guide, which also includes a curated collection of some of the best national parks around the world.

The purpose of national parks

While the purpose of national parks is to conserve the natural habitat, they are also some of the most popular tourist attractions. To manage this paradox, most national parks set the most sensitive and wildlife-rich areas off-limits for tourists. Being hotspots for both tourism and wildlife, national parks are also one of the best ways to promote and champion sustainable tourism.

Activities you can do in national parks

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Depending on terrain and geographical setting, national parks offer a range of adventurous activities, including rock climbing, cross-country skiing, and water sports. Check out the top recreations that you can enjoy in almost all national parks to make your trip even more exciting:

  • Hiking: For your adventurous national park exploration, don’t forget to pack your hiking boots to embark on some of the best hiking trails. Aside from letting you appreciate magnificent sights on your expedition, hiking in national parks also offers an outstanding way to observe the indigenous flora.
  • Camping: Most national parks feature designated areas where explorers can set camp. These camp spots within the national parks are perfect for hikers and allow you to spend a night amidst nature. Some of the more popular national parks, especially those in the USA and Canada, also include glamping spots where tourists can combine luxury with camping.
  • Safari tours: One of the top-selling points of national park tourism is the opportunity to witness animals in their natural habitat. Safari tours are wildlife sightseeing trips undertaken on jeeps within national parks. These safari tours led by professional guides help you to gain a better understanding of wild animals and their natural habitat. Don’t forget to pack your binoculars to make the most of your safari experience.

National parks around the world feature a variety of terrains, settings, flora, and fauna. From national parks set in mountains to those in dense forests, there's a wide range of travel experiences awaiting you. Check out some of the most notable national parks in the world that are also crowd favorites.

Best national parks in the US

Currently featuring a total of 63 national parks, the US is a paradise for nature lovers. From the steep red cliffs and canyons of Zion National Park to the lush groves and hills of Kings Canyon National Park, the country offers a variety of settings.

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  • Yosemite National Park: Yosemite is one of the oldest and most iconic national parks in USA. The UNESCO World Heritage Site features outstanding natural beauty, with some gorgeous lakes and even more stunning waterfalls. Apart from hiking, the national park is also an ideal destination for adventurous rafting. As for accommodations, it boasts all kinds of retreats, including charming yurts and homelike Airbnb cabins.
  • Yellowstone National Park: Considered the first national park in the world, Yellowstone features lush forests, marvelous lakes, and stunning canyons. Sitting atop a dormant volcano, it boasts an abundance of hot springs. For an adventurous stay, you can find plenty of glamping spots in its vicinity. You can also find several Airbnb vacation rentals that offer the comforts of home amidst nature.
  • Arches National Park: Characterized by iconic sandstone arches, Arches National Park features a predominantly arid landscape. With red sandstone formations, mesas, and canyons, the national park boasts a unique and breathtaking landscape. To make the most of your exploration, embark on one of its scenic hiking trails and set up camp at one of the naturally stunning campground sites nearby. However, for a more comfortable stay, you can book one of the several Airbnbs near the national park.

Best national parks in Canada

The vast and charming Canada is known to feature some of the most magnificent landscapes in the world. With an untamed tundra, the lushest of forests, and an abundance of lakes and rivers, the 38 national parks in Canada boast the best of nature. Check out below a few of the most popular national parks in the country.

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  • Jasper National Park: With magnificent mountain peaks, alpine meadows, and glaciers, Jasper National Park is a top destination for nature lovers. While exploring the national park, you can also find some gorgeous lakes in Jasper, the commercial center of the park. For an exciting adventure, set up camp at one of the campgrounds near Jasper and have a memorable stargazing experience in this dark-sky preserve. You can also find several hotels near the national park and various cabin rentals in its vicinity.
  • Banff National Park: One of the largest national parks in the Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park is known for its sky-high peaks. It also boasts spectacular valleys and gorgeous alpine lakes that create some breathtaking landscapes. For an adventurous exploration of the national park, you can book an RV or campervan. To recharge your mind and body away from the city noises, you can check into one of the various secluded cabins or an Airbnb vacation rental on the premises of the national park.
  • Yoho National Park: Sitting on the western slopes of the Canadian Rockies, Yoho National Park features plenty of stunning peaks that make it perfect for mountain lovers. It also includes sweeping ice fields and stunning waterfalls, making it the perfect destination for rejuvenation. For a comfortable retreat in the midst of nature, the national park has several hotels and plenty of cabin rentals in its vicinity.

Best national parks in Africa

The national parks in Africa are known for some of the best jungle safaris in the world. Southern and western parts of Africa feature untamed wilderness and allow wildlife enthusiasts to witness native species, including zebras, hippopotamuses, and giraffes. Check out a few of the best national parks in Africa that promise a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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  • Kruger National Park, South Africa: Kruger National Park features some of the most thriving wildlife on the continent, making it ideal for extraordinary safari tours. The national park boasts plenty of safari lodges to make your experience even better. During your visit, you can combine adventure with luxury and stay at one of the various glamping spots. However, if you're looking for a homelike stay, you can find several self-catering accommodations in the vicinity of the park.
  • Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe: One of the best national parks in Zimbabwe, Mana Pools National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its expansive floodplains and flourishing wildlife. Its four main pools, which are interconnected with the Zambezi River, are home to a thriving crocodile population, apart from other aquatic species. The network of pools, lakes, and the Zambezi River also makes it perfect for canoe trips, which allow tourists to relish the magnificent scenery.
  • Serengeti National Park, Tanzania: Serengeti National Park is unique in that it's one of the only remaining places on the continent where land-animal migration still occurs. Home to massive numbers of herd animal populations, including wildebeests and gazelles, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the best spots for wildlife viewing. For wildlife enthusiasts, there are plenty of safari lodges in Serengeti, the main region that includes the national park. Tourists can also find various glamping spots in Serengeti for a luxurious adventure.

Best national parks in Europe

Much like the national parks in the USA and Canada, European national parks are known for some of the most magnificent landscapes and gorgeous hiking trails. From the icy expanses of the Nordic region to the lush forests and hills of mainland Europe, the continent features a range of stunning landscapes and settings, making it perfect for nature lovers.

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  • Calanques National Park, France: Covering areas on both land and sea and preserving both terrestrial and marine ecosystems, Calanques National Park is one of the most important and best national parks in France. From rock climbing to scuba diving, the national park offers a range of land and water sports, making it perfect for outdoorsy travelers. To explore the national park from a comfortable base, you can stay at one of the various Airbnb vacation rentals in Marseille, which is only 15 km away.
  • Vatnajokull National Park, Iceland: From glacier hiking to ice cave tours, Vatnajokull National Park offers some of the most unique adventures in Europe. You can also check out massive glaciers, including Europe’s largest, Vatnajokull Glacier, exploring which is among the top things to do on your summer trip to Iceland. To cover the attractions and activities in the national park, it would be best to book one of the several hotels in its vicinity that make for a comfortable stay.
  • Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia: Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of the oldest national parks in Europe and one of the most charming UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Croatia. Apart from the 2 main lakes, the national park boasts 14 smaller lakes, stunning waterfalls, and gorgeous caves. To explore it all, you can embark on the charming hiking trails that make for a scenic adventure.

Other countries with stunning national parks

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Apart from the above-mentioned destinations, there are plenty of countries that feature stunning national parks with diverse landscapes and wildlife. Below, you can check out some of the top countries around the world that boast plenty of national parks.

In Americas

  • Mexico: With the Pacific Ocean on its west, the Gulf of Mexico on its east, and rainforests and mountains in its terrain, Mexico is one of the most geographically diverse countries in the Americas. To explore the country’s landscape, it would be best to visit one of its charming national parks.
  • Chile: Extensive in its length and narrow in its width, Chile features an unusual shape. The country also boasts deserts and mountains and cold temperatures in the extreme south, making it geographically rich. One of the best ways to explore its flora and fauna is to visit one of its top national parks.
  • Ecuador: Featuring the lush rainforests of the Amazon, Ecuador boasts wildlife diversity. Off the Ecuadorian coast, you can find the gorgeous archipelago of Galapagos Island, which also includes the notable Galapagos National Park. To comfortably explore the national park, you can stay at one of the various Airbnb vacation rentals on Galapagos Island.

In Europe

  • Norway: Known for its rough coastline and gorgeous fjords, Norway is a paradise for outdoorsy travelers and nature lovers. It also boasts plenty of national parks that allow tourists to explore its rugged wilderness.
  • UK: Established mainly for the preservation of its landscape and cultural heritage, the national parks in the UK feature some of the most scenic sights. Aside from coastal cliffs and magnificent lakes, the UK boasts some of the most charming countryside.
  • Italy: With a distinct culture, a marvelous coastline in the Mediterranean, and the Alps in the north, Italy offers something for all kinds of tourists. To witness its magnificent landscapes and experience its rich culture, you can check out some of the best national parks in the country.

In Asia

  • Israel: This small Middle Eastern country features coastal plains and a desert. To explore its culture and landscape, you can check out some of the most charming national parks in the country.
  • Pakistan: From high mountains in the north to charming coastline on the shore of the Arabian Sea, Pakistan offers a range of attractions and things to do for nature lovers. It also has several national parks that allow you to relish unspoiled natural beauty.
  • Vietnam: Apart from the vibrant urban hubs of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam boasts diverse wildlife, including a rich marine life. On your next trip to Vietnam, check out the country’s flora and fauna in one of its top national parks.

Witness the best of nature in national parks

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With stunning nature and thriving wildlife, national parks are some of the best ways to admire and appreciate planet Earth. Plenty of national parks, especially those in the USA and Canada, offer numerous adventure activities, making them perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Aside from being tourist hotspots, these national parks also help in the conservation of nature and wildlife.

On your upcoming adventure to a national park, make sure to travel responsibly and leave no footprint from your tourist activities.

National Parks in the US

National Parks in Europe

National Parks and Sanctuaries in India

Accommodations near National Parks in the US

Accommodations near National Parks in Canada

Accommodations near National Parks in Europe

Accommodations near National Parks in Africa

FAQ's about National Parks

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