UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) is a division of the United Nations which, among other things, selects and designates properties around the world as World Heritage Sites. Nominations are made from the countries and are then considered based on the property’s historical, cultural, or natural value. With the UNESCO label comes responsibility to preserve the property and sometimes monetary incentives.
As of 2011 there are 936 properties around the world. Some of the places are rather obscure but many are major tourist destinations or attractions. To date, I have visited only about 10% of the World Heritage Sites (and I consider myself well-traveled).
In this series of posts, I will present my favorites, broken down into managable groups of ten. These groups are further subdivided into an A and a B section, each of which contains five (5) World Heritage Sites. Group 1 represents my all-time favorites, Group 2 the next-favorite, etc. Within each group the sites are presented randomly and are not ranked — it’s so hard to pick between excellent things. I will post daily in a countdown fashion so that I will begin with my least favorite places, and so on down to Group 1. Obviously you may disagree with the list but if you haven’t put some of these places on your Bucket List, you should. Many of these sites are on the majority of travelers’ “important places to visit” list.
Group 10 — These are the leftovers since I have not yet visited 100 of the sites.
Ciudad Univeritaria de Caracas — The City University of Caracas is, unfortunately, in a relatively unsafe city. For that reason, I cannot rate it very highly.
Redwood National Park, California, USA — This large area containing hundreds of coastal Redwoods is well north of San Francisco is the result of conservation efforts in conflict with logging concerns. Thankfully, a compromise was reached and this stand of the world’s tallest trees is preserved for future generations.
Chaco Culture National Historic Park, New Mexico, USA — Chaco Culture preserves a number of Anasazi ruins. Southwestern USA was home to many Native American tribes, some of whom built villages in the valleys using the available stone and shelter. There are a few separate sections in the park which correspond to different villages. There is also a joint area probably used for ceremonial events..