(Last Updated On: March 6, 2023)

The Americas are well-known for their diverse and fascinating National Parks, so a list of the best National Parks in the Americas is a long one. From the tip of Canada, through the USA and Central America, all the way down to South America, this part of the world has plenty to offer to those who wish to explore the outdoors.

The USA alone has 422 National Park sites and South America has 300 designated National Parks waiting to be discovered.

Check out this amazing list of the best National Parks in the Americas as chosen by some amazing travel bloggers.

And then take a look at my other posts on the best National Parks in the world:

Arches National Park, USA

Four miles outside of Moab, Utah, is one of America’s most spectacular geological wonders: Arches National Park.

Filled with 2,000 natural arches – the highest concentration in the world – visitors can drive a 25-mile circuit through the park stopping at viewpoints for some of the parks most famous sights including Delicate Arch, Double Arch, and Sand Dune Arch. Even more arches await intrepid visitors willing to hike a bit.

This high-desert ecosystem isn’t just about the arches though. You’ll also see spires, balanced rocks, and sandstone fins, carved out of the soft red sandstone over millions of years.

But try to see at least one sunrise or sunset because that’s when the rock formations blaze with incredible intensity. Seriously, it’s almost a religious experience.

Tucked down in the southeast corner of Utah, Arches isn’t easy to reach. Salt Lake is the closest major city, but it’s a four-hour drive to the park gates. Grand Junction, Colorado, is only a two-hour drive, but has limited flight service.

Admission to Arches is $30 per vehicle, or $80 for an annual National Parks Pass. Visitors who come between May and September should know that Arches is small for a national park and can get very crowded. During the busiest times it can take 30 minutes just to enter Arches and then parking at popular spots is often packed. Smart visitors should arrive before 9 a.m. or after 3 p.m.

But it’s a wait well worth it to visit one of the best National Parks in The Americas!

Contributed by Michael from Brent and Michael are Going Places

Arches at Arches National Park

Banff National Park, Canada

Banff National Park is Canada’s oldest park and one of the most popular parks in the world.  People flock from all over to see its many wonders and attractions, which, there are many.  The park is a playground of towering mountains, turquoise glacial lakes and dense forest.  If that is not enough, the wildlife is incredible and it is not uncommon to see black and grizzly bears, elk, bighorn sheep and moose. 

Some must do’s in the park include visiting Moraine Lake and Lake Louise, taking a ride on the Banff Gondola, walking on the Columbia Icefields and enjoying the amazingly scenic drive on the Icefields Parkway and the Bow Valley Parkway (Highway 1A). 

Banff National Park is quite easy to get to from any direction as the main Highway #1 goes right through it.  There are no flights directly to Banff with the closest airport being Calgary airport (YYC) which is about a 2.5-hour drive from the park.  The best way to fully experience the park and not miss anything is to rent a car. 

The park can be visited at any time of the year, June/July being one of the best times.  In winter, the park turns into a magical winter wonderland but it can be harder to travel through and can get quite dangerous because of the weather. 

There are a few things to note before you go.  There is a park entrance fee which can be bought daily or for longer periods starting at $20.  Feeding wildlife or littering in any way is strictly prohibited and comes with a large fine.  It is also important to keep your distance from the animals.   

Banff National Park is certainly a must-do for any Canadian adventure.  There is so much to see and do and anyone who visits leaves with memories that’ll last a lifetime. There’s no doubt that it is one of the best National Parks in the Americas.

Contributed by Lauren from Ponytail Pretty

Canoes on a lake in between mountains

Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, St Kitts

Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park is a UNESCO world heritage site and is one of the top attractions on St Kitts. Located just outside the village of Sandypoint, Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park takes a good few hours to visit and take in all of the sights due to the size. The entrance fee is $20US or $27XCD for adults and it can be reached by car/taxi or as part of an organised tour.

The fortress was designed by British military engineers and built and maintained by African slaves. It is one of the best-preserved historical fortifications in the Americas. The earliest use of Brimstone Hill for military purposes was in 1690 when building began, and the British installed a canon on top of the steep volcanic hill to protect the coastline from the French.

Although some buildings were demolished when the site was abandoned by the British in 1853, most of the significant structures dating from the 18th century are still intact and visible today. Including bastions, barracks, cisterns, walls, roads and pathways all occupying different levels of this extensive historical site.

At the heart of the National Park lies the main attraction- Fort George also known as the Citadel. This impressive structure dominates the landscape and perches on the very top of the hill overlooking the entire site. Fort George today houses a museum showcasing life and works at the fortress over the years, including the treatment of African slaves.

It is definitely one of the most interesting and best National Parks in The Americas.

Contributed by Steph & Lewis from Book It Let’s Go!

Brimstone Hill Fortress

Bruce Peninsula National Park, Canada

One of the best National Parks in the Americas can be found four hours north of Toronto, Canada. The Bruce Peninsula National covers over 150 square kilometres of varying landscapes and is one of southern Ontario’s largest protected areas. The park is one of the most popular places in Ontario for hikers, birders, campers, and is even home to rare orchids.

There are a wealth of places to go hiking on the Bruce Peninsula, especially within the park boundaries, and Ontario’s most well-known trail, the Bruce Trail runs right through it. Many trails lead to the park’s incredible highlights like epic clifftop views over Georgian Bay’s crystal blue waters, geological flowerpots, and even sea caves – like the famous Grotto.

There are a few things to know before you go to the Bruce Peninsula National Park. It is extremely busy in the summer and there is an online reservation system during this time for visits to the Grotto. There is a fee of $11.70 per vehicle. And if you plan to hike the park in the off-season be sure to know the trail, watch for hazards, and plan accordingly.

Contributed by Stephanie from The World As I See It


Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s biodiversity is stunning, 5% of all species can be found in this small country. The best and biggest national park in the country is in the southeast peninsula of Osa and it is named Corcovado (Hunchback). It consists of 424 square kilometers of primal tropical forest. One must be accompanied by a park ranger. Daily admission is $15 per person per day. You can find tour operators that would arrange any combination you desire. Avoid the park from July to November during the rainy season.

The starting point to this national park would be Uvita as an easier way in or even better Sierpe that is closer. There you start on a boat and through the mangrove, you come to the Pacific ocean and continue to Drake Bay where whales and dolphins can be spotted all year round. In Corcovado national park it would be best to stay at least over one night because of nocturnal wildlife. Usually, the group will get a guide/spotter with binoculars. You can come across crocodiles, Jesus lizards, bats, ara parrots, monkeys, etc.

At midday, you will get served a simple lunch before returning to the forest. There you can swim in one of the ponds.  When returning, I would suggest going further to Isla del Cano for some of the best snorkeling or scuba diving. For experiences like these, it is hard to go past Corcovado as one of the best National Parks in the Americas.

Contributed by Dr Jam Travels Blog

A bird in Corcovado

Cotopaxi National Park, Ecuador

Named for the active volcano at its heart, Cotopaxi National Park is one of the most popular national parks in South America thanks to its stunning landscape, and is a must-visit for anyone looking to travel to Ecuador. The nearly perfectly symmetrical, glacier-capped Cotopaxi volcano is breathtaking, literally and figurative – at its highest point it reaches over 19,000 feet or 5,900 meters in elevation. Climbing Cotopaxi is a popular challenge, but the national park has a lot to do for visitors seeking less of a challenge, including horseback riding, hikes to high-elevation lakes, and biking down a part of the volcano’s cone.

While excursions and multi-day tours of the park leave from Quito and Latacunga frequently, a favorite way to have a more relaxed visit to the park is by booking a stay at the Secret Garden Cotopaxi, an incredible hotel nestled between Cotopaxi and the nearby Pasochoa volcano. The remote grounds of this hotel are lovely and offer plenty to see and do – staff host a free daily waterfall hike, and arrange all the activities you could want to do in the park. 

Offering up such unique experiences, it is hard to go past Cotopaxi as one of the best National Parks in The Americas.

Contributed by Carley Rojas Avila from Home to Havana

A mountain in Cotopaxi National Park

Crater Lake National Park, USA

Crater Lake National Park was one of our favourite parks and places to visit during our US road trip. It might be a mixture of the crazy dark blue water the lake produces and the fact that a volcano produced this massive crater over 7000 years ago which makes this park jaw dropping.

The entry fee to the park is $30 in the summer and $20 in the winter. It’s free to enter though if you have an America The Beautiful Pass. If you plan to visit a bunch of National Parks during the next 12 months, you’ll save a lot of money with this pass!

Inside the national park, we hiked to the top of Garfield Peak and the view from there truly gives you a sense of just how dark blue this magical water is. On top of that you have the cascading mountains in the background and a panoramic view of Crater Lake National Park. A view that eyes need to capture because pictures just don’t do justice.

Crater Lake is an amazing place to visit with incredible views and lots to do! We didn’t know this but it gets very warm in southern Oregon – you’re also very high up when you’re in the national park (6178 ft / 1883 m) so be prepared for that. Jo actually ended up getting sunstroke and was sick for a few days from the heat and being so exposed to the sun. Please be careful when visiting Crater Lake.

We’d recommend visiting in the fall because you’ll get the most out of the park then. We did a day trip from Bend (2 hour drive each way) and it was perfect but lots of people camp in and around the national park as well.

Have fun and enjoy one of the best National Parks in The Americas!

Contributed by Josefine and Dominik from Red White Adventures

Death Valley National Park, USA

Death Valley is the largest national park in the lower 48 states only behind Denali in Alaska. It’s the lowest, hottest and driest place in North America. People from all over the world come here to explore the unique geologic formations, check out the Bad Water Basin (the lowest point in North America), and see how living creatures that call this place home adapt to the harsh environment where triple digit temperatures are a norm.

Death Valley made international headlines as the hottest place on earth when it hit 130 degrees Fahrenheit in August 2020. While tourists might have to wait until Death Valley cools down to hike and explore it, visiting the hottest place on the planet definitely should be on everybody’s US bucket list as it is definitely one of the best national parks in the Americas!

Death Valley is about 4 hours away from LA and under 2 hours from Las Vegas, which makes it a perfect spot if you plan to do a Southwest USA road trip.

It costs $35 to enter the Death Valley National Park by vehicle. If you plan to visit other national parks within a few hours away such as Yosemite, Sequoia or Joshua Tree, purchase America the Beautiful National Park Pass for $80 that will give you access to most parks within the U.S. National Park System.

Contributed by Daria from The Discovery Nut

Death Valley National Park

Everglades National Park, USA

The Everglades National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, at the southern tip of Florida is comprised of incredible ecosystems that provide habitats for endangered species like manatees and the Florida panther.

There are plenty of amazing things to do in the Everglades if you love hiking, paddling, fishing or are looking for new adventures. For a visit here, timing can be everything. During southern Florida’s dry season, November to March, wildlife is more visible and birdwatching is at its best with large numbers of birds from the north wintering in the milder climate. During the rest of the year, exploring can be a bit challenging with mosquitos and no-see-ums making daily appearances at sunrise and sunset.

The wet season is best for paddlers when water levels are high, but hiking can be a challenge with mud or submerged trails. During this time the white hot sun should be taken seriously by wearing the right clothing along with a sun hat, using lots of sunscreen, and staying well hydrated. Avoid the worst of the midday heat by exploring early and late.

This national park with its amazing diversity is one of the most underrated and under-visited parks in the US. If you’re not driving, fly into either Miami or Southwest Florida International Airport and rent a car for day excursions. A seven-day pass costs $35/vehicle. Whether visiting when it’s dry or when the rains come, Everglades National Park should be at the top of the list for every nature lover and outdoor enthusiast as it is one of the best national parks in The Americas.

Contributed by Lori from Travelinmad

Alligators in the Everglades National Park

Grand Canyon National Park, USA

One of the best national parks in the Americas for you to visit is one called the “Grand Canyon”. Located right near Page, Arizona, the Grand Canyon is one of the most famous canyons in the entire world. What makes it so special is that this canyon is one of the deepest canyons in the world, being at a staggering 6,000 feet deep at its deepest point. The canyon also stretches for about 277 miles wide and offers visitors some of the most splendid views they have ever seen.

Most visitors who come to the Grand Canyon do so by flying in from Vegas or Phoenix. However, there is also a small airport near Flagstaff which you can arrive at and drive your way to the Grand Canyon. It’s only about an hour away from Flagstaff and the drive is pretty straight forward.

Once you get closer to the Grand Canyon, there will be a check point which you will have to pass through. It is here where you’ll have to pay an entrance fee in order to enter the grounds of the Grand Canyon. Typically the cost is around $20 to $35 dollars depending on if you are going by car or by another form of transportation.

Visiting the Grand Canyon is definitely one of the best things you can see or do as it offers a truly surreal experience that is unlike anything else around the world. It is no wonder that the Grand Canyon is high on the list of the best National Parks in the Americas.

Contributed by Wayne from Daily Tourist

Igazu National Park, Argentina

Iguazú National Park is one of the best places to visit in Argentina. It is in Argentina’s Misiones province, on the border with Brazil. The reason you would visit this spectacular national park is to experience the famous Iguazú Falls which sets this park apart as one of the best National Parks in The Americas.

Iguazu Falls are made up of a system of 275 waterfalls, with the exact number depending on the season. It spans an area 2.7 kilometers wide, and it’s almost twice as tall and nearly three times wider than Niagara Falls. The park itself also features diverse wildlife including coatis, jaguars and toucans, plus many trails and viewing platforms

While visiting the Brazilian side of the falls has panoramic views, the Argentine side offers an up-close and personal experience with the falls. You can actually feel the power of these magnificent natural wonders. Also, in Iguazú National Park, you can take a boat ride right into some of the falls!

The park entrance fee is 2,000 pesos, which can be paid with a credit card or cash. It is also possible to visit Iguazú National Park without a guide, as the trails are well-marked and easy to navigate. The main bus terminal in Puerto Iguazu (the closest city to the park) has buses running every 20-30 minutes. You can purchase your bus tickets ahead of time at the stand in the bus terminal, or you could just pay the bus driver. (If your Spanish is less than stellar, buy your tickets inside at a stand with English signs – it’ll be a little less hectic for you then.)

Contributed by Lindsey from Have Clothes, Will Travel

Igazu Waterfalls

Joshua Tree National Park, USA

Joshua Tree National Park lies three hours east of Los Angeles, in Southern California. Situated at the convergence of the Colorado and Mojave Deserts, the unique ecosystem features giant boulders, palm oases and, of course, Joshua Trees.

The Mojave Desert section of Joshua Tree welcomes a vast majority of the area’s visitors. It is home to photogenic rock formations and a large concentration of the park’s namesake trees, making it one of the most unique and best National Parks in The Americas.

As the Mojave transitions to the Colorado Desert, spindly Joshua Trees give way to palm oases, and gargantuan jenga-like boulders disappear into sage-covered valleys.

Joshua Tree National Park contains some of the most beautiful desertscapes in the United States. It is a premier outdoor playground for rock climbers, hikers, photographers, and outdoor enthusiasts.The national park’s entrance fee costs $25 per vehicle and is valid for up to one week.

Top things to do in Joshua Tree National Park include admiring the area’s rock formations, walking through the Cholla Cactus Garden, soaking in the panorama from Key’s View, and camping out under the park’s inky black skies. 

Contributed by Erika from Erika’s Travels

Joshua Trees - California

Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina

Los Glacieres National Park in Argentina has some of the best scenery in all of Patagonia and is one of the best National Parks in The Americas.  There are two main places to access the park, and they are very different.

The first is from El Calafate, where there is an airport with direct flights to/ from Buenos Aires.  This is the place to see glaciers.  The most famous is the Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the few advancing glaciers left in the world.  Because it is constantly moving forward, it is also frequently ‘calving’ where large chunks fall off its face.  There is an extensive network of boardwalks and viewing platforms across from the glacier and you can easily spend a day listening to loud cracks and spotting falling ice.  You can also take a cruise up close to the glacier’s face or even walk on the glacier.  There are also cruises to other nearby glaciers and up close to large bright blue icebergs. The park entrance fee is $800 pesos.

The other main area to access the national park is a 4-hour drive or bus ride north from El Calafate to El Chalten, the self-proclaimed Hiking Capital of the World.  There are incredible hikes among breathtaking scenery include the Laguna Torre hike and Mount Fitzroy hike, which both end at lakes surrounded by towering peaks topped with glaciers. There is no entrance fee to the park at El Chalten.

Contributed by James Ian at Travel Collecting

ice floating on the water of laguna torre

Mt Rainier National Park, USA

Mount Rainier National Park, located just 1.5 hours southeast of Seattle in the middle of Washington State, is one of the most spectacular and diverse national parks in America. The park is home to snow that sticks on the ground year-round, epic flower blooms that get started in late July to early August, challenging and easy hikes with breathtaking scenery and so much more.

Due to its location near the Seattle International Airport, getting to Mount Rainier National Park is a breeze. Simply fly in, rent a vehicle and drive the short distance to the park. However, lodging can be much trickier as it tends to fill up months in advance.

But what truly makes the park spectacular is the iconic 14,411-foot volcano that takes the park’s name. Mount Rainier, the behemoth snow-capped volcano that takes center stage, can be seen from all directions in the park. Its massive peak is both menacing to climb and miraculous to feast eyes upon.

Hardcore hikers can take the three-day journey to its peak to conquer the largest active volcano in the Lower 48, while day-hikers and those who enjoy brisk treks can take on trails like Mount Fremont Lookout, Tipsoo Lake, Reflection Lake, Skyline Trail and many more of the park’s incredible hiking trails.

Contributed by Jarrod from Ramble Around The World

Snow capped mountains in Mount Rainier National Park

Olympic National Park, USA

On the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, there is Olympic National Park. This park is north of the Olympic National Forest and home to the Olympic Mountain Range. Within the park, most people go for hikes and backpacking.

Olympic National Park has three different ecosystems. There is the Pacific coast, subalpine forest, and rain forest. Within a two-hour drive, you can be on top of Hurricane Ridge, see snow-covered Olympic mountains, on the beach, then in the rainforest. 

Most people get to the park from the Seattle area. The visitor centre of Route 101 is 3002 Mt Angeles Rd, Port Angeles, WA 98362.

Cost for Entry : $30 for car, $25 for motorcycle, $15 for individuals on foot or bicycle. The fee is good for seven days.

Popular hiking trails include the Trail of Moss in Hoh Rain Forest for serious Lord of the Rings vibes and Hurricane Ridge where on a clear day, you’ll be able to see Mount Rainer. Second Beach and Marymere Falls are both also great for a relaxing walk.

Scenic spots that are a must stop include Lake Crescent, Kalaloch Beach (home to the Tree of Life and massive starfish) and La Push Beach near Forks (for fans of Twilight). The beaches that you see in most of the photos need a hike to get to.

Olympic National Park caters to all different kinds of adventurers. However, none of these locations would disappoint for views. Most important, don’t forget a camera and to take your time.

Contributed by Rebecca from Rebecca Noelle

Pantanal Matogrossense National Park, Brazil

Often overshadowed by the Amazon, the Pantanal is actually a much better place for spotting wildlife. While in Amazon your visibility is limited to the first row of trees along the riverbank, in the open landscape of the Pantanal you can see for miles.

You can easily spot giant anteaters, giant otters, hyacinth macaws, caimans and a whole lot of other incredible wildlife. But most people come to the Pantanal to see the jaguar – the only big cat in the Americas. The Pantanal is the last stronghold of the jaguar and the Pantanal Matogrossense National Park in the northern Pantanal in Brazil is the best place in the world to see these magnificent cats.

The best way to see the Jaguars is on a boat safari from The Pantanal Norte Hotel in Porto Jofre. As you cruise along Cuiaba River, you’ll spot jaguars resting on the riverbank, swimming across the river, patrolling the banks in search of prey, and if you are lucky, you could witness a hunt – jaguars are particularly fond of hunting caimans in the Pantanal and there are plenty of them on Cuiaba River.

The Jaguar watching adventure in Brazil is not something you would do independently, you’ll need to book an organized trip or hire a guide with a boat, like Julinho at Pantanal Trackers. Your adventure in northern Pantanal will start with a drive from Cuiaba to Porto Jofre along the Transpantaneira highway, which in itself is a wildlife-watching destination. 

Contributed by Margarita Steinhardt from The Wildlife Diaries 

A Jaguar licking its paw

Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona, Colombia

This park is special as it’s a rain forest on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. To access the park you get a bus that drops you off at the El Zaino park entrance (the nearest large town is Santa Marta & buses are easy to get) and hike in through the forest. The entrance fee is currently COP 54,000. The 2 hour hike in through the protected rainforest is fairly gentle (I did it in flip flops!) but it’s worth packing light. You’ll see monkeys, iguanas and leaf cutter ants amongst the trees and rocks. Key things you need are your swimsuit, towel, plenty of water for the hike, money for the campsite (hammock/tent hire & food and drink), cover ups and maybe a sarong to sleep under.

It’s best to arrive at the main campsite early – the best beach Cabo San Juan – is know for its iconic hammocks on the rocky promontory by the sea. These fill up quickly, along with the hammocks off the main beach. I was lucky enough to get a tent behind the beach, but people who turned up later had to head back to alternative campsites to stay the night. Note that not all the beaches are safe for swimming, which is why you want to stay at Cabo San Juan where you can swim.

Definitely stay overnight here at a minimum to really appreciate the stunning location, see the sunset and make the most of the entrance fee.

Contributed by Katie from What’s Katie Doing?

A beach hut on top of a mound of rocks overlooking the ocean

Sequoia National Park, USA

Sequoia National Park nestled in central California is a gem you must visit! For starters, this is the only place to see sequoia trees, the widest tree in the world!

You can find a combination of forested trails, towering peaks, alpine lakes, meadows, and waterfalls. There are also trails for every difficultly level, from beginner day hikes to multi-day backpacking trips. One of the best backpacking trips is the 72 mile High Sierra Trail which starts from Cresent Meadows and ends on the highest point in the lower 48 states, Mt. Whitney. This trail goes through some of the most beautiful scenery in California. If you can only do a section of this trail, spent 2-3 days hiking to Bearpaw Meadow. If you want to challenge yourself further, backpack to Lake Hamilton.

There are also a variety of day hikes! Moro Rock is a steep but beautiful trail with 360-degree views of the Great Western Divide, do this one for sunset! If you’re looking for more of a stroll through the forest, visit the General Sherman Tree in the Giant Forest. Tokopah Falls Trail and Zumwalt Meadow Loop are also easy day hikes. If you want to challenge yourself to longer day hikes, do the Jennie and Weaver Lakes Loop, the Alta Peak Trail, or Big Baldy Trail.

Then spend some time relaxing by Hume Lake. Go kayaking, go stand up paddleboarding, read on the shore, or go for a swim!

Contributed by Jenny from Limitless Hiker

Tijuca Forest National Park, Brazil

Tijuca Forest National Park is the backdrop of buzzing Rio and is the largest urban forest of Brazil, let alone the world. Just so you can have an idea, the forest goes from the Corcovado to Pedra da Gávea and beyond the northern area of the city.

For anyone wondering what to do in Rio de Janeiro, this tropical forest is a must-visit during your trip to Brazil.

Unsurprisingly, over 2 million locals and tourists visit the Tijuca every year. It hasn’t always been like this, though. Tijuca is, in fact, a human-made reclamation of land that was previously used for sugar and coffee plantations. Tijuca Forest was declared a national park in Brazil only in the 60s. Nowadays, many favelas are growing out of proportion and occupying environmental conservation units in the park.

Anyway, the Tijuca Forest is a massive urban rainforest with incredible hiking trails, several waterfalls, and breathtaking city view spots. Here, you can also marvel at a 19th-century chapel (Mayrink Chapel), hunt waterfalls and caves, and spot countless plant and animal species.

The entrance is free of charge.

Contributed by Bruna from I Heart Brazil

A toucan in the forest

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Torres del Paine is one of the most popular national parks in South America. Every year, thousands of tourists pilgrimage to the end of the world in search of incredible landscapes and challenging hiking trails. 

Torres del Paine’s landmark is the amazing viewpoint at Mirador las Torres, also known as the viewpoint of the towers. Hiking to Mirador las Torres is high on most travelers’ bucket lists. 

Other great highlights from Torres del Paine national Park are the Grey glacier, Mirador los Cuernos hike, Salto Grande Falls, the Patagonian wildlife, and the popular W and O trek. There is so much to see and do in Torres del Paine national park.

Torres del Paine is located in Chile’s Patagonia, which is at the tip of the South American continent. Planning a trip to Patagonia can be expensive and time consuming, but visiting Torres del Paine is completely worth it. 

To get to Torres del Paine you need to stay in Puerto Natales in Patagonia. From here you can buy a 3-day National Park Pass and bus tickets to the park. The National Park Pass costs 21.000 CLP and return bus tickets cost 15.000 CLP. So, it doesn’t have to cost you more than 50 USD to visit one of the most extraordinary national parks in South America.

Contributed by Cecilie from Worldwide Walkers

Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada

How would you like to visit the world’s largest dark sky preserve? What about Canada’s largest national park? How about the only salt plains in the entire country? Wood Buffalo National Park checks all of these boxes and a whole lot more! Spanning over 44,807 km2, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to the largest free-roaming wood bison herd in the entire world. If you’re lucky, you just might spot one during your visit! Wood Buffalo National Park is also one of two nesting grounds for the tallest bird in North America, the whooping crane. 

When visiting the Northwest Territories, you’ll pass right through Wood Buffalo National Park when driving to Fort Smith. It’s quite the trek from the capital of Yellowknife as it’s an 8-hour drive, but I assure you that it’s worth it! Whether you plan to visit for the Thebacha & Wood Buffalo Dark Sky Festival or to explore on your own, you’ll want to check out this guide to Wood Buffalo National Park. Be warned though, I guarantee you’ll be adding this park to your bucket list!

Contributed by Lindsey from I’ve Been Bit!

Yellowstone National Park, USA

Yellowstone National Park needs to be on everyone’s US bucket list. Located on a supervolcano, Yellowstone is brimming with out of this world geothermal features that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Everywhere you turn in the park is a shooting geyser, colorful hot springs, or boiling mud pots to shake up your sense of wonder. If that weren’t enough, the wildlife is so dense it’s often referred to as the “Serengeti of North America.” Millions flock to the park to get a chance at seeing bison herds, grizzly bears, wolves, elk, moose, and bighorn sheep.

When planning a trip to Yellowstone, you’ll need to make sure to book your lodging a year to six months in advance. That’s how popular the park is in the summertime! With five entrances spanning three different states, the best entry point will be dependent on where you’re coming from. Generally, most people enter from the west entrance in West Yellowstone, Montana. Since Yellowstone is such a colossal park, it’s not a good idea to “wing” a trip there. Having a rough itinerary and knowing the park’s layout will go a long way to ensuring you have an amazing trip to Yellowstone.

Contributed by Christina from Live A Wilder Life

A thermal pool at Yellowstone National Park

Yosemite National Park, USA

Due to its location, Yosemite National Park is one of the most popular national parks in California. Easily accessible for both visitors of San Francisco, it offers amazing views of California’s beautiful central Sierra Nevada mountains. 

Visit the famous Yosemite Valley for a glimpse of the grassy meadows underneath the granite mountains. Your eyes will delight at seeing its beautiful sights such as Half Dome and El Capitan. Here you’ll also see some of the best waterfalls in California including its namesake Yosemite Falls, Vernal Falls, Nevada Falls, and Bridalveil Falls. 

Hiking is the best way to see some of these beautiful sights, there are many trails within the valley to choose from. There are many hikes that are great for a day trip to 

Located less than 200 miles away from the San Francisco Bay Area, Yosemite National Park is the perfect day trip from San Francisco. The best way to get there is by car, driving east on Highway 120. Admission to the park is $35 per car and allows for entry for 7 days. 

Contributed by Constance from The Adventures of Panda Bear

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The Best National Parks in the Americas - Emma Jane Explores
The Best National Parks in the Americas - Emma Jane Explores

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  1. Rebecca

    Thank you so much for allowing me to contribute to this list. So many great National Parks!

    • Emma Jane Explores

      Thanks so much for your contribution! Much appreciated 🙂


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