Travel around the most beautiful places on Earth, for free!

20 December 2013 | Article

This holiday season, IUCN's World Heritage Programme is offering you a trip around Earth’s natural wonders. Discover the locations of 222 natural World Heritage sites across the planet; let yourself be transported by 3D simulation, and inspired by some amazing photos.

Your virtual journey starts with an easy check-in at Google Earth, which you will need to download and install to get on board. Click here for PC, Mac or Linux; or click here for mobile.

Once your computer or device is equipped with Google Earth, embark by opening this viewer, which has been customized specifically to let you fly around natural World Heritage sites.

You’ll be in the pilot seat, so spin around the world freely and hop from one idyllic site to another. And here's a tip: for extra vertigo, you can double-click to zoom in and out of a location.

Checklist to guide you through your virtual adventure

  • Natural and mixed World Heritage sites protect over 276 million hectares of land and sea
  • This represents 10% of the total area of all recorded protected areas, 19% of the total area of all recorded marine protected areas and 7% of the total area of all recorded terrestrial protected area
  • 95 countries have an area designated as a natural or mixed World Heritage Site.
  • Of all natural World Heritage sites, 106 are forest sites, 46 are marine sites and 15 are transboundary sites.
  • IUCN advises the UNESCO World Heritage Committee on nature

May 2014 be as inspiring as natural World Heritage!