Mayan ‘nesting doll’ pyramid is found in Mexico inside the Temple of Kukulcan; Libby Plummer ; AP & Daily Mail Online

Mexico – Pre-Hispanic City of Chichen-Itza
  • The structure was discovered inside the massive pyramid of Kukulkan at the famous Mayan site
  • Archaeologists have long known that a smaller pyramid is encapsulated underneath the visible temple 
  • Researchers said they have now detected an even smaller structure inside the outer two layers 

Archaeologists have discovered a second structure within the famous pyramid of Kukulkan at the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza.

Last year, archaeologists used electrical imaging techniques to find that the pyramid, which is also known as El Castillo, was built atop a subterranean river, or a cenote.

Experts have long known that a smaller pyramid is encapsulated underneath the visible temple. Today they said they had detected an even smaller structure inside the outer two layers.

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Guide to Melania Trump’s homeland of Slovenia; Chris Dwyer; CNN.com

Slovenia – Škocjan Caves

Even among seasoned travelers, Slovenia is not a country whose name is hugely familiar.

It’s part of the charm of traveling this pocket dynamo located between Italy, Croatia, Hungary and Austria: visitors frequently get the impression they’re the first to discover it.
That could all change thanks to a recent claim to fame — Slovenia gave the world Melania Trump, the next First Lady of the United States.
Not that it needs the Trump connection to pull in visitors.
Neither Balkan, Mediterranean, nor Alpine, Slovenia is more a cocktail of all three, served with its own distinct twist.
Nowhere in the country is more than three hours drive from anywhere else, yet this compact destination boasts a frankly ridiculous diversity in landscapes.
There’s a reason they call themselves the New Zealand of Europe.

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The Magnificent Victoria Falls; Travelling King

Zambia/Zimbabwe -Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls

The Victoria Falls is the world’s largest waterfall. In peak season the entire yearly water consumption of New York flows over its edge every three and a half days.

The Victoria Falls is neither the widest or tallest waterfall on earth, but its combination of the two makes it the biggest. This UNESCO World Heritage site was named by David Livingstone, after Queen Victoria of Britain.

The Victoria Falls is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Africa and offers a wide range of luxury accommodation and activities in the area. For the top lodges and camps visit the Victoria Falls Accommodation guide from AfricanSafariHome.com

The mighty Zambezi River provides many daytime activities in the area. The notorious Tiger fish is found here, which is a great fresh water game fish.

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‘Lut Desert provides tourism development opportunity’; Tehran Times

Iran (Islamic Republic of) – Lut Desert

The Lut Desert, one of the two deserts dominating the landscape of eastern Iran, has got what it takes to lure travelers considering its geological uniqueness.

Inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List, the scorching Lut, is a mix of sand and salt. Its calming silence is also amazingly attractive.

“The Lut Desert provides a suitable prospect for the expansion of tourism industry in the country,” Zahra Ahmadipour, the newly-appointed director of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Organization said on Monday.

She made the remarks during her visit to Jiroft in the southeastern province of Kerman, ILNA reported.

Ahmadipour who doubles as vice president accompanied First Vice-President Es’haq Jahangiri and several other members of the cabinet during the visit to Kerman.

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Valley Of Flowers Saw A Record Number Of Visitors This Year, Here’s Why It Isn’t A Good News; Susmita Mukherjee; India Times

India – Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks

Discovered in 1931 by British mountaineers Frank S Smythe, Eric Shipton and RL Holdsworth who accidentally came across a large expanse dotted with flowers of every colour during their return from an expedition to Mount Kamet, Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.

The Valley falls in the Nanda Devi biosphere of Uttarakhand. It is closed to public each year on October 31 after which the government releases a number of visitors to the site between June 1 and the closing day that year. This year, 10,000 visitors were recorded at the site.

After the cloudburst that ravaged several places in Uttarakhand in June 2013, thousands of people were reportedly killed in the flash floods, the Valley of Flowers was opened only in 2014 and was visited by 4,066 tourists. In 2015, the number of tourists increased to 6,510.

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The tragic beauty of Europe’s vanishing forest; Jackie Friedman; The Week

Belarus – Belovezhskaya Pushcha / Bialowieza Forest

One of the world’s oldest ecosystems is under siege by a tiny, deadly force.

Straddling the border of Poland and Belarus, the Bialowieza Forest is home to 20,000 animal species, including roughly a quarter of the world’s bison population. At nearly 600 square miles, it is the largest remaining section of the continent’s oldest primeval forest, which once stretched across the entire European plain. Its delicate ecosystem, largely untouched by humans, dates back to the Ice Age, some 10,000 years ago.

That this ancient forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, and its wildlife are so well preserved is a testament to decades of conservation efforts. But, despite such protection, the Bialowieza Forest remains threatened by a deadly force: An infestation of bark beetles that are consuming spruce trees at an alarming rate.

The situation has splintered environmentalists.

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Five UNESCO World Heritage Sites Unlocked: Get To Know The Most Important Landmarks In The World; Jovie Lyn Alejandro; TravelersToday

Italy – Piazza del Duomo, Pisa

The world is blessed with natural resources for human consumption and enjoyment; the mystical rivers and caves, bountiful wildlife, precipitous mountains and great oceans. The best art is created by nature. And the greatest protégé of nature are his people, the creation of ancient and modern architecture are not just for display or amazement. Deeper meanings and function are accompanied in crafting magnificent work of art. Take a peek at some of the most important landmarks formed by nature and man. Let’s unlock its mystery and if you’re lucky to have time to visit, jot down important notes as well. Learning and travelling is a fun combination.

1. Uluru in the Northern Territory, Australia– Uluru or famously called as Ayers Rock is sacred sandstone formation in the southern part of the Northern Territory in central Australia.

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Jellyfish species sighted for first time in Iraq; Laith Ali Al-Obeidi & Majd Abu Zaghlan; BirdLife

Iraq – The Ahwar of Southern Iraq: Refuge of Biodiversity and the Relict Landscape of the Mesopotamian Cities

Life continues to return to Iraq’s historic marshlands – and in some cases, species that have never been recorded before in the country. In July, a species of jellyfish Catostylus perezi was discovered at the Main Outfall Drain (MOD) channel and in southern part of Hammar Marshes of southern Iraq. This is the first Iraqi record for this species.

The discovery came to the attention of Nature Iraq (BirdLife in Iraq) when they were informed by a fisherman that he saw a jellyfish in the MOD channel. Nature Iraq then began a field survey, monitoring the MOD and Southern side of East Hammar and West Hammar Marshes searching for the jellyfish and in August recovered a specimen for relevant scientific studies.

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Save Pirin National Park: WWF urges for immediate international action; WWF

Bulgaria – Pirin National Park

Sofia – Pirin National Park in Bulgaria, which shelters possibly the oldest tree in the Balkan peninsula, could be added to UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger. WWF urges immediate action against multiple threats to the mountain and launches an international campaign to save the park.

Pirin has an exceptional beauty of mountain scenery, glacial lakes, continuing evolution of flora, and is an example of healthy, functioning Balkan uplands ecosystems. The natural coniferous forests shelter the 1,300 years old endemic Bosnian Pine tree called Baykusheva mura – it is believed to be the oldest one on the Balkan peninsula. Pirin is home to brown bears, grey wolves, chamois and 159 bird species among which is the Eurasian three-toed woodpecker, the rarest woodpecker in Europe.
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Al Ain Oasis, the U.A.E’s First UNESCO World Heritage Site, Is Now Open; Sebastian Modak; Conde Nast Traveler

United Arab Emirates – Cultural Sites of Al Ain (Hafit, Hili, Bidaa Bint Saud and Oases Areas)

The oasis is one of the world’s oldest permanently inhabited settlements, dating back more than 4,000 years.

In a country where bigger is better, and development equals extravagance, it can be hard to find vestiges of what the United Arab Emirates was like before the oil boom. You can catch glimpses of it along the Dubai Creek, where traditional dhows have been ferrying goods from all over the world for 200 years, or the Al-Fadiyah mosque in the Emirate of Fujairah, thought to have been built in the 15th century. On November 4, another landmark, the country’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, was opened to the public: a 3,000-acre oasis 90 miles east of Abu Dhabi, which provides insight into how the region’s inhabitants began taming the desert 4,000 years ago.

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UNESCO Protected Town of Trogir Celebrates its Day; Croatia Week

Croatia – Historic City of Trogir

The people of the UNESCO protected town of Trogir celebrate Saint Ivan Trogiranin (John of Trogir) Day today on 14 November.

Locals in the historic Dalmatian coastal town have celebrated their Patron Saint as the town’s day since 1992.

Trogir is situated near the city of Split on a small island between the Croatian toda and the island of Čiovo. Today it boasts a population of around 12,000 people.

Today organised festivities took place in Trogir to celebrate Saint Ivan Trogiranin who was the bishop of Trogir, and a Christian saint who lived in the 11th century.

He was originally a Benedictine monk in the monastery of Saint Peter in Osor, located on the island of Cres. Ivan was eventually consecrated as the bishop of Trogir upon the citizen’s request by Laurentinus, Archbishop of Split.

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13 Things Most Event Planners Don’t Know about Bern, Switzerland; Event Manager Blog

Switzerland – Old City of Berne

The canton of Bern is the perfect example of what Switzerland offers at its best: a UNESCO World Heritage capital city with all year cultural atmosphere, a combination of turquoise blue water lakes and the most impressive peaks of the Alps. With its large, modern convention centres, the city of Bern is a preferred venue for big events.

The Alpine areas are home to a range of delightful facilities that are perfect for hosting events and, in particular, incentive activities. Inspiring views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau in Grindelwald guarantee varied and sustainable meetings with a high experience factor.

Think of Switzerland and you no doubt envision the snow-capped Alps, miles of breath-taking hiking, and possibly a delicious serving of fondue. But there’s a lot more to this country – and specifically Bern – than that.

UAE opens its first Unesco World Heritage site to the public; Ken Foxe; Lonely Planet

United Arab Emirates – Cultural Sites of Al Ain (Hafit, Hili, Bidaa Bint Saud and Oases Areas)

The United Arab Emirates may be best known for the towering skyscrapers of Dubai, its famously luxurious hotels, and its extraordinary man-made Palm Islands.

Now visitors to the Emirates are being encouraged to take a step back thousands of years into the past, with the opening up of the country’s first Unesco World Heritage site to visitors. The Al Ain Oasis – in the country’s fourth largest city of Al Ain – is quite literally an oasis in the middle of a metropolis of 650,000 people. The 3000-acre site is filled with more than 147,000 date palms, many of which are still part of working farms.

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Angel Falls, the World’s Highest Waterfall: Vaulting in Venezuela on the Looney Front, Part 1; Mike Arkus; The Huffington Post

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Venezuela – Canaima National Park

Not only did American aviator Jimmie Angel not fear to tread here, he actually crashed his plane right on top. Or rather its wheels got stuck into the marshy ground – and ever since his name has stuck to the world’s tallest waterfall, 3,212 feet (979 metres) up in the Venezuelan jungle, with the longest uninterrupted drop, 2,648 feet (807 metres).

Angel wasn’t even the first person to boldly go where no man has gone before. He’d flown over it four years earlier, in 1933, after being told about it by Spaniard Felix Cardona. Cardona got there in 1927, the first Westerner credited to have done so, though others believe early Spanish explorers probably nosed him out by a few hundred years.

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Jameh Mosque of Isfahan offers journey through Islamic architectural styles; Tehran Times

Iran (Islamic Republic of) – Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan

TEHRAN – Located in the central Iranian city of Isfahan, the Jameh Mosque, or Masjed-e Jameh in Farsi, is of deep architectural significance as it shows off designs employed for more than one millennium, starting in about 840 CE.

Covering over 20,000 square meters, it stands adjacent to the world-famous Imam Mosque in south side of the historical Naqsh-e Jahan (Imam) Square, the second largest in the world after Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

Placed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, the mosque is still functional as a busy place of worship in the historical precinct of the city.

It features evolutionary yet remarkable decorative tilework, stucco and other intricate geometric details, majority of which date back to the Seljuk, Mongol, and Safavid eras.

 

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Iraq’s Hatra: A World Heritage Site in crossfire of war; AFP

Iraq – Hatra

Like many other archaeological sites in Iraq, access to Hatra has been limited by instability and cy­cles of violence that followed the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.

Baghdad – The ancient city of Hatra withstood Roman inva­sions nearly 2,000 years ago and decades of more recent war and instabili­ty in Iraq but then jihadists marked it for destruction.

The Islamic State (ISIS) vandal­ised Hatra, 110km south-west of Mosul, and is reported to still have a presence in the area, which may put the famed archaeological site in the line of fire as Iraqi forces fight to drive the jihadists back.

Hatra, known as Al-Hadhr in Ar­abic, was established in the second or third century BC and became a religious and trading centre under the Parthian empire.

It was surrounded by two walls — one of earth and another of stone that was dotted with towers.

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‘The Pantanal is national heritage’: protecting the world’s largest wetlands; Sam Cowie; The Guardian

Spanning Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia and home to 4,700 species, the Pantanal wetlands are under threat from deforestation and agriculture. But local people are taking on the challenge to protect this unique region.

Inside a small aircraft, decorated with a polka-dot jaguar design, Ângelo Rabelo checks data on a small laptop computer. “We’re approaching a river spring!” he shouts over the plane’s noisy engine.

Below, the Paraguay river in Brazil’s Mato Grosso state snakes between clusters of vibrant green forest and extensive patches of farmland. The plane flies over a large, barren-looking stretch of light brown land where soy is being grown. A small buffer zone of trees separates the crops from the river, in which lies a pulsating spring.

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Travel: Exploring the Ancient Mysteries of Skara Brae, Scotland; John Scott Lewinski; CraveOnline

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The Neolithic ruins of Skara Brae on the Orkney Islands of Scotland transport a history minded traveler back 5,000 years.

If cavemen still have a capital, it must be the Orkneys – the island chain off the northern coast of Scotland. Marked by multiple ancient stone circles with a mysterious purpose that still defies historians and scientists, the islands are also home to the best preserved Neolithic village in the world – Skara Brae.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the remains of Skara Brae and Neolithic Orkney are more than 5,000 years old and were once the home of Stone Age humans. It sits on the western coast of Mainland, the largest of the Orkneys. Older than The Great Pyramid of Giza or Stonehenge, the village sat buried for millennia until a severe storm blew enough sand away to reveal the remains in 1850.

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Rent a Car and Explore Spain’s Top UNESCO Sites; TravelPulse

Spain – Old Town of Segovia and its Aqueduct

From the magnificent work of Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona to the ancient city of Cordoba and the famous pilgrimage site of Santiago de Compostela — the choice of UNESCO World Heritage Sites to visit in Spain is big and varied.

With a staggering 44 UNESCO sites, Spain is the third most represented country on the list of world heritage sites, trailing only Italy and China. Renting a car in Spain and driving yourself to the sites that interest you most, is a great way to explore Spain at your own pace.

To pique your interest and inspire your next European adventure, we’ve compiled a list of a few of Spain’s most popular world heritage sites easily accessible by rental car.

Gaudi’s seven works of wonder, Barcelona

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My Mana Pools, My Heritage; Wilderness Safaris

Zimbabwe – Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas

Finding myself working for Wilderness Safaris in Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools seems less by coincidence than by appointment at the right time as my forefathers lived in the area around Mana Pools long before it was inscribed as a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site in 1984. My father was born somewhere in the Zambezi Valley in 1922 and lived here with his parents until they were moved out and settled in the Hurungwe area as chief and headman in the new area. The chiefs then were Mudzimu, Dandawa and Nyamhunga.

Every time I make it down the escarpment from Makuti I have a sense of homecoming. This is what makes my time at Ruckomechi Camp so special because I feel the reconnection with my ancestors.

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