This post truly contains everything you need to know about travel to the New Seven Wonders of the World. These special sites are scattered across the globe in countries spanning five continents.
Designated following a campaign and competition that started in the year 2000 and finished in 2007, these sites are The Great Wall of China, Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, Rome’s Colosseum, the lost city of Petra in Jordan, Machu Picchu in Peru, Mexico’s Chichen Itza and India’s Taj Mahal.
The last remaining Ancient Wonder of the World, the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, also was awarded ‘honorary status’ and therefore I’ve included that in this post as a bit of a bonus.
I’ve personally been to two of the New Wonders (Taj Mahal and Petra) as well as the Great Pyramid at Giza, so I have some catching up to do. Luckily, I’ve assembled some awesome travel bloggers to cover off their experiences at each of these magnificent sites.
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Chichen Itza is one of the best-known Mayan cities. It was established around 400-550 AD and became a prominent city during the early 600s AD. Chichen Itza was a center of power in the region until 1100 AD. The most famous landmark in the city is popularly known as Chichen Itza, but is actually named the Temple of Kukulcan. This temple was built during the height of Chichen Itza’s power and was ritually restored multiple times.
Chichen Itza is truly fascinating. It was one of the largest cities of the Mayan Empire and exhibits a wide variety of architectural styles. Several structures survived conquest and looting, leaving the area covered in impressive examples of human ingenuity.
You can visit Chichen Itza by joining a tour, renting a car, taking a bus, or hiring a taxi. Costs vary by tour or method of transportation if you go on your own.
Joining a tour will give you 1.5-2 hours on-site. This is plenty if you just want a basic history and to take some photos. If you want to explore the ruins freely, going on your own would be a better option.
If you go on your own, tickets can be purchased near the main entrance. The non-citizen admission is 486 pesos. Bring cash as the card machines do not always work. Hireable guides will be around the entrance to give you a history of the site. Costs for those guides vary.
The best time to visit is between 8-10am on weekdays as the site is less crowded and the temperature is pleasant. Sundays should be avoided due to being a free entry day for local residents, which leads to excessive crowding.
Contributed by Erin from Travelling Thru History
Christ the Redeemer
Rio de Janiero, Brazil
One of the most impressive New Seven Wonders of the world is the Christ the Redeemer Statue located at the top of a hill in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
Majestically overlooking the entire city and countryside of Rio, Christ the Redeemer is over 30 meters in height with an added base that brings it up an additional 8 meters.
Done in an Art Deco style the statue is impressive and can be seen all around the city and surrounding areas from its lofty perch on the Corcovado Mountain about 2,300 feet from the city floor. Constructed mainly of Reinforced concrete and soapstone material, it took over 9 nine years to complete from 1922 to 1931.
To get to this wonderful monument dedicated to Jesus Christ, you have to take a very long and beautiful funicular ride at the base, rising up at a fast pace through the dense and lush jungle area known as the Tijuca Forest National Park.
When you get to the massive complex, you take elevators and escalators and climb up to finally witness this impressive statue with outstretched arms, a symbol of Christianity to the world and to the city itself.
Contributed by Noel from This Hawaii Life
An icon of Italy, the Colosseum is an impressive feat of architecture that has lasted centuries. Built-in under a decade by over 60,000 slaves (mostly Jewish), it was -and still is- unlike anything ever built. The Colosseum could seat over 50,000 people who would come from around Italy to watch the gladiator fights, animal fights, and even re-enacted battles! Some tournaments lasted a few days and featured both gladiator and animal fights. The emperor provided free food for attendees to entice them to stay for the entire festival.
One fun fact about the Colosseum, that many people don’t know, is that it was built on top of Emperor Nero’s manmade lake. After Emperor Nero committed suicide in 68 CE, Emperor Vespasian wanted all traces of him gone. He commissioned an arena to be built on the lake. His plan was to create positive memories for the people of Rome. Stepping into the glory of this world wonder is like stepping right back into history.
Since it’s one of the most popular destinations in Italy, you now need a time slot to visit the Colosseum. Admission is included in the Roma Pass, which also includes public transportation. This helps with social distancing and crowd management.
Contributed by Pamela from The Directionally Challenged Traveler
The Great Wall of China
If you’re visiting China, one of the top items on your itinerary should be visiting the Great Wall of China. This Wonder of the World is located in North China and offers a rich history dating back to over 2,300 years ago. It is also the longest wall in the world at 13,170 miles long meaning there are a lot of great ways to visit it. The best option, however, is to take a day trip to the Great Wall of China from Beijing.
You can easily reach three sections of the Great Wall from Beijing: Badaling, Mutianyu, and Jinshanling. So selecting the right one for you is important. Badaling is the closest to Beijing, and therefore the busiest. Its entrance fee is just 40 yuan. Mutianyu is one of the most popular areas and also costs 40 yuan. Jinshanling is the furthest and the best for hiking with an entrance fee of 65 yuan, except in the winter when it drops to 55 yuan. Keep in mind these are just the entrance fees. The full day trip will be a bit more expensive, unless you have your own vehicle.
If you’re torn on which section of the Great Wall to visit, head to Mutianyu. It’s truly stunning and offers the quintessential Great Wall experience. Located just 1.5 hours outside of Beijing, plan 2 – 3 hours of exploring to walk most of this section of the wall and to take plenty of pictures.
Contributed by Julia from The Cure for Curiosity
Cusco Region, Peru
Visiting the Incan citadel of Machu Picchu is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Once you step inside the site you will be blown away by the well preserved ancient city sitting at 7,972 ft above sea level. Seeing the abandoned city tucked away in the Andes and learning about its mysterious past is fascinating. Machu Picchu is hard to beat when you think about travel to the new seven wonders of the world.
There are different ways you can get to Machu Picchu depending on how much hiking you want to do. Before visiting the ancient ruins, you will first need to get to Aguas Calientes, the main hub and closest town to Machu Picchu. You can either get there by taking the train or by hiking. The train leaves from Poroy, Urubamba and Ollantaytambo and should be booked far in advance with PeruRail or Inca Rail.
Your second option is to hike to Aguas Calientes. It’s a rewarding experience making your way through the stunning Andes Mountains to reach the Incan ruins. The Inca Trail is the most popular trek, however an amazing alternative is the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, where you will see less hikers on the trail.
From Aguas Calientes you can either hike about 1.5 hours up the mountain to Machu Picchu or take a 30 minute bus ride. Admission to enter the park is $65 USD per person and each ticket is valid for 4 hours. It’s required to have a guide take you into the park. Also note that bathrooms are located outside of the main entrance, however you are only allowed one entry into Machu Picchu. This means you need to take your bathroom break before you go inside.
Contributed by Cecily from Groovy Mashed Potatoes
Petra is Jordan’s most visited tourist destination, and for very good reason. This ancient deserted city carved into the rose-coloured rocks that surround it feels all kinds of magical, no matter how many times you’ve visited. Travel to the new seven wonders of the world doesn’t get any better than this.
Best explored over the course of two days, Petra can be found in the Jordanian desert via nearby Wadi Musa, and has been a staple on the UNESCO World Heritage register since 1985.
Petra’s most famous site, The Treasury (or Al-Kazneh) is the first glimpse visitors will catch of this city that has existed since the years BC. Explorers will walk through a narrow canyon, called the Sikh, for just over a kilometre before the blushing pink columns of Al-Kazneh can be seen. It is a sight that truly takes your breath away.
The city of Petra stretches out quite a distance with many things to see, so ensure that you’re dressed for a sunnny, shadeless day in the desert. Comfortable shoes are an absolute must. Once you’ve explored Al-Kazneh, make sure you also visit the Monastery and The Great Temple as well as keeping an eye out for the cave-houses that surround the city.
If you are staying overnight in Wadi Musa, then the Movenpick Hotel is renowned for being a great hotel to stay at. The other benefit of an overnight stay is that you’ll be able to experience the magic of Petra by Night – an incredible after-dark experience at Al-Kazneh lit up by thousands of lanterns.
Contributed by Emma Jane Explores
The Taj Mahal in Agra, India is one of those places that isn’t even the slightest bit overrated. No matter how many photos you see of this new wonder of the world, nothing can prepare you for how it feels to be in its presence.
This massive, ivory mausoleum was commissioned by former Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1632. He had it built to house the tomb of his favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal, and his tomb was later housed inside of it as well. The beautiful masterpiece is the finest example of Muslim art in India and is set on a 42 acre complex that also contains a mosque, a guest house, and beautiful gardens.
Perhaps India’s most popular tourist destination, the Taj Mahal is still absolutely worth the visit. Its size and beauty cannot be overstated, and waking up to make it there in time for sunrise is the best way to ensure a surreal experience.
To visit the Taj Mahal at sunrise, your best option is to stay in Agra, where there are numerous hostels, budget guesthouses and traditional hotels to choose from. An entry ticket costs 1100 INR or $15 USD, along with an additional 200 INR or $2.73 to go inside the main tomb area.
But as it only takes one day to see it all, you can also opt to take a train from New Delhi as a train ride only takes about two hours. Expect to spend a few more inside of the actual complex, and try to end your trip with another magnificent view of the Taj from Mehtab Bagh, which is a garden across from this magical wonder.
Contributed by Samantha from Intentional Detours
The Great Pyramid of Giza
Honourary Status as the only remaining Ancient Wonder of the World
Exploring the pyramids of Giza is a must on any travellers bucket list! As the oldest and most intact ancient wonders of the world, the pyramids of Giza do not disappoint. Built over 4000 years ago, the pyramids were designed as tombs of the great pharaohs. It is widely accepted that they were built by workers, not slaves and the limestone blocks were brought long distances to assemble the structures.
When you visit Giza, you can explore the large site on foot, on horseback, on a camel, or in a carriage. There are plenty of places to get a cold drink or shop for souvenirs nearby. The price for entry is EGP200 (USD12.75) and there are extra tickets to enter the pyramids. There is a set price for carriages or camel rides, so keep an eye out for the sign, as there are plenty of rip-off prices quoted to unbeknownst tourists.
While a couple of hours is enough to “see it,” I really suggest half a day to be able to explore all of the viewpoints, see inside the pyramids and enjoy the site without rushing.
Giza is located on the outskirts of Cairo and about an hour’s drive from the airport. If you do not plan on spending much time in Cairo, choose a hotel in Giza instead of in Cairo.
Contriubted by Lindsay from Step Into Jordan
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