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30 Spectacular Aerial Photos Of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites That Will Take Your Breath Away

30 Spectacular Aerial Photos Of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites That Will Take Your Breath Away

Are you ready to experience 30 breathtaking places that don’t even feel like they belong on planet Earth? UNESCO has amassed over 1,000 amazing heritage sites and I have gone through all of them to pick out some of the best ones!

UNESCO’s heritage sites range from natural landscapes to beautiful cities and gardens. All of which have to go through a rigorous selection process. Let me know in the comments which is your favorite!

1. Iguazu National Park, Argentina/Brazil

Iguazu National Park

    The 80-meter-high waterfall is right in the center of this site and is 2,700 meters across. The waterfall is made up of many different cascades and is one of the most amazing waterfalls in the world.

    2. Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    Great Barrier Reef

      This very well-known reef off of the north-east Australian coast, is beaten by few in beauty. It holds the world’s largest collection of coral reefs and has 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish and 4,000 kinds of mollusk.

      3. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

      Galapagos Islands

        Located in the Pacific Ocean, the Galapapos Islands sit 1,000 kilometers off the South American coast. There are 18 islands that belong to the chain and the local marine life has been called a “living museum and showcase of evolution.”

        4. Simien National Park, Ethiopia

        Simien National Park

          This Ethiopian park has gone through massive erosion, which created this stunning area. The valley digs deep and can drop as much as 1,500 meters. The park also has extremely rare animals including the Gelda baboon, the Simien fox, and the Walia ibex.

          5. Timbuktu, Mali

          timbuktu

            During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Timbuktu was known as an intellectual and spiritual capital and was a pivotal point for the propagation of Islam throughout the African continent.

             6. Cape Floral, South Africa

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            Cape Floral

              This African site is made up of eight protected areas and covers 553,000 ha of land. For soil quality, this is one of the richest areas in the world, which results in lush vegetation. This heritage site represents only 0.5% of the area of Africa, but has nearly 20% of the continent’s flora.

              7. Bamiyan Valley, Afghanistan

              Bamiyan Valley

                Bamiyan Valley is home to the remains of the artistic and religious developments that occurred between the first and thirteenth centuries. The area has many Buddhist monastic ensembles and sanctuaries, as well as buildings from the Islamic period.

                8. Península Valdés, Patagonia

                Valdes

                  This peninsula is a huge focal point for the conservation of marine mammals. The peninsula is important for the breeding population of endangered southern right whales, southern elephant seals and southern sea lions.

                  9. Ischigualasto, Argentina

                  Ichigualasto

                    There are actually two natural parks in this area. The first one (which is shown) is Ischigualasto and the second is Talampaya. Together they cover a massive 275,300 ha. Throughout the parks there are many fossils of plants, dinosaurs, and mammals.

                    10. Quebrada de Humahuaca, Argentina

                    Quebrada de Humahuaca

                      This valley has been used as an important trade route over the past 10,000 years and has been home to many prehistoric hunter-gatherer communities of the Inca Empire.

                      11. Qhapaq Ñan, Andean Road System, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru

                      Qhapaq Ñan

                        Over several centuries, the Incas created a trade and defense network of roads covering 30,000 kilometers. This network stretched from the peaks of the Andes, through rain forests, valleys and deserts.

                        12. Shark Bay, Australia

                        Shark Bay

                          Shark Bay, on the western point of Australia, is home to five species of endangered animals and has vast sea-grass beds that cover 4,800 square kilometers, making them the largest in the world.

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                          13. Historic Center of the City of Salzburg, Austria

                          Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg

                            This historic city reaches back to the Middle Ages, when it first became a city-state. It was ruled by prince-archbishops all the way until the nineteenth century. It’s known for its beautiful Gothic art and for being the home of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, among others.

                            14. Purnululu National Park, Australia

                            Purnululu National Park

                              The Purnululu National Park stretches across a total of 239,723 ha and is located in Western Australia, like Shark Bay above. The rock formations are made of Devonian-age quartz sandstone, which have been eroding over the past 20 million years.

                              15. Greater Blue Mountains Area, Australia

                              Greater Blue Mountains Area

                                This area in New South Wales is called great for a reason, it consist of 1.03 million ha of sandstone plateau! The area is known for the ecological diversity of the eucalypts associated with its many different habitats. This is one of the most bio-diverse areas on the planet.

                                16. Macquarie Island, Tasmania

                                Macquarie Island

                                  Macquarie Island is in the Southern Ocean and is the exposed crest of the undersea Macquarie Ridge. The formation comes from the Indo-Australian tectonic plate being pressed against the Pacific plate.

                                  17. Gondwana Rainforests, Australia

                                  Gondwana Rainforests

                                    This rainforest is next to large shield volcanic craters and has a high number of rare and endangered species. This forest is very important for scientific research and has many different protected areas.

                                    18. Ningaloo Coast, Australia

                                    Ningaloo Coast

                                      In total this coast stretches over 600,000 ha, along a remote part of the western edge of Australia. It is one of the longest near-shore reefs in the world and has a network of underground caves and water courses.

                                      19. Belize Barrier Reef, Belize

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                                      Belize Barrier Reef

                                        Home to the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, Belize has mangrove forests, coastal lagoons, estuaries and more. There are seven sites attached to this reef and it’s a significant habitat for threatened species.

                                        20. Nahanni National Park, Canada

                                        Nahanni National Park

                                          Nahanni is located along the South Nahanni River in the Canadian Northwest Territories. The park is home to deep canyons, massive waterfalls, and unique limestone caves. You can find many different animals here such as wolves, caribou, and grizzly bears.

                                          21. The Great Wall, China

                                          The Great Wall

                                            The most well-known place on this list, it was built in 220 B.C. under Qin Shi Huang and used as a defense system against invasions. Construction on the wall didn’t stop until the Ming Dynasty took over in the mid-fourteenth century.

                                            22. Mount Huangshan, China

                                            Mount Huangshan

                                              Represented as the ‘loveliest mountain of China,’ it has been the feature of many artistic works and literature. The sea of clouds and granite rocks create an amazing view that not many other places in the world can beat.

                                              23. Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo

                                              Virunga National Park

                                                The park is home to a massive diversity of habitats that cover swamps, steppes, lava plains, savannahs, and the Rwenzori mountains, which reach as high as 5,000 meters. You can also find mountain gorillas, nearly 20,000 hippopotamuses, and many different species of birds.

                                                24. Banks of the Seine, Paris

                                                Banks of the Seine

                                                  Paris is home to many outstanding achievements, filling it with beauty, and the Seine is one of them. The Seine has many different bridges that span its gap and it runs past the Cathedral of Notre-Dame and the Sainte Chapelle.

                                                  25. Upper Svaneti, Georgia

                                                  Upper Svaneti

                                                    Filled with medieval-type villages and surrounded by mountains, the village of Chazhashi has over 200 unusual houses, which were not only used to live in but as defense positions against many of the invaders who surrounded the region as well.

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                                                    26. Wadden Sea, Denmark/Germany

                                                    Wadden Sea

                                                      The Wadden Sea is the world’s largest unbroken system of inter-tidal sand and mud flats. It was originally added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2009 and was later extended to cover the section of it in Denmark.

                                                      27. Mount Athos, Greece

                                                      Mount Athos

                                                        The history of Mount Athos is very rich and unique. It has been used as an Orthodox spiritual center since 1054 and is an autonomous statute. It is known as the ‘Holy Mountain’ and has been forbidden to women and children.

                                                        28. Tikal National Park, Guatemala

                                                        Tikal National Park

                                                          A major site of Mayan civilization, Tikal is surrounded by vegetation in the center of the jungle. It was inhabited from the sixth century B.C. until the tenth century A.D. There are multiple temples and palaces in the ruins.

                                                          29. Masada, Israel

                                                          Masada

                                                            Masada is located in the Judaean Desert and looks over the Dead Sea. Many view it as the symbol for the ancient kingdom of Israel. It came to a violent end in 73 A.D., destroyed by the Roman army as the Jewish patriots fought their last battle.

                                                            30. Durmitor National Park, Montenegro

                                                            Durmitor National Park

                                                              Originally formed by glaciers, followed by rivers and underground streams, the Durmitor National Park is home to the Tara River Canyon. The canyon has the deepest gorges in Europe and a dense pine forest throughout.

                                                              So, which was was your favorite?

                                                              Featured photo credit: laminator45 via flickr.com

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                                                              Last Updated on February 15, 2019

                                                              7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                                                              7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                                                              Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

                                                              Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

                                                              Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

                                                              So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

                                                              Joe’s Goals

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                                                                Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

                                                                Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

                                                                Daytum

                                                                  Daytum

                                                                  is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                                                                  Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                                                                  Excel or Numbers

                                                                    If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                                                                    What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                                                                    Evernote

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                                                                      I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                                                                      Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                                                                      Access or Bento

                                                                        If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                                                                        Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                                                                        You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                                                                        Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                                                                        All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                                                                        Conclusion

                                                                        I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                                                                        What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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