UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Launched in 1994, the Global Strategy for a Representative, Balanced and Credible World Heritage List reflects the world’s cultural and natural diversity. World Heritage Sites are chosen based on their outstanding universal value.

It is BucketTripper’s goal to have our writers collectively visit all 1007 World Heritage Sites (or as many as are safe for travelers) — and to give you a close, personal account of what it’s like to experience these exceptional destinations. To see how we’re doing, check out the stories, below.

Click on a red flag to find a UNESCO destination | See all destinations | Biospshere Reserves | World Heritage Sites

UNESCO Sites: The Bucket List


Piranha fishing in the Pantanal wetlands, Brazil (photo credit: Coen Wubbels)

Piranha Fishing in Brazil’s Pantanal Wetlands

For a moment I am caught off guard and almost fall overboard. Piranha jaws sharply tug at the chunk of fat I had fastened on the hook. Pablo, my host, guide and friend helps me pull in my line until the feisty creature plops on the bottom of the boat ...
Read More
Mt. Ngauruhoe on New Zealand's North Island

Tramping Tongariro and Climbing Ngauruhoe in New Zealand

Authors update: Volcanic eruptions occasionally close the trails inthis region. Check the New Zealand Department of Conservation website for current information about the status of trails in and around Tongariro National Park.  It feels like skiing, except I don’t have skis. And there’s no snow. And rather than me moving over ...
Read More
sunset over Nile

Visiting Egypt’s Ruins from a Nile River Cruise

Look at a physical map of north Africa -- a map with brown mountains and green forests and beige deserts -- and you will see thousands of miles of sandy beige, and, then, a thin green line. The Nile. Life giver. In ancient times, the rising and falling of the ...
Read More
View from Artists Point

Hiking Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park

I am not thinking about gesyers or fumaroles as I am walking; I am thinking about animals, specifically, about the grizzly bear the ranger told me might be inhabiting this slice of Yellowtone's backcountry, in the southern section of the park near the Snake River. I'm also pretty sure I heard ...
Read More
Lions in Ngorongoro

On Safari in NgoroNgoro Crater, Tanzania

From the rim, 2,000 feet  above the crater floor, you can look down into this vast hole in the earth and see teeny little specks moving about. Wildebeest. Zebra. Even the elephants look like tiny toys. NgoroNgoro Crater is a place of superlatives: the world's largest unflooded and unbroken crater, containing ...
Read More
Entering the Vatican Museum

St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican with a Freelance Guide

Michael’s shtick is designed to make us feel smart. We are smart to be on his tour, smart to ask the questions we pose. Most other tourists don’t notice that, he insists, as we gape at the trompe l'oiel on the ceiling of the Vatican’s Hall of Tapestries, or point to the ...
Read More
Snorkeling at Heron Island

Scuba Diving the Great Barrier Reef at Heron Island

The sound is something like a cross between a scalded cat, a wailing baby, and a tormented ghost. It echoes through the night, one tortured cry following the other, ripping through the air on this coral atoll. I'm at Heron Island, a coral atoll located at the southern end of the ...
Read More
Mt. Kenya

Trekking Mt. Kenya: Chogoria, Naro Moru, and High Peaks Circuit

There is a cape buffalo outside my tent. I know it's a cape buffalo because it is snorting and stomping, and cape buffalos are the snorters and stompers around these parts. All of a sudden, the flimsy nylon that has been protecting me from rain and mosquitoes  seems somehow not up to ...
Read More