From the Silk Road sites of India to the Historic City of Dublin, Musement shares ten must-visit sites on the UNESCO Tentative List.
Garnering UNESCO World Heritage status, which is no small feat, is a profound source of national pride. Before a site earns the prestigious title, it holds a slot on the Tentative List compiled by State Parties as a nomination of sorts for a spot on United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisations official World Heritage list.
There are hundreds of sites out there, all exquisite and worthy in their own right. Here are ten sites around the world on the UNESCO Tentative List that are worth a visit.
1. White Sands National Monument, New Mexico
Located in the Chihuahua Desert, White Sands National Monument is one of the world’s most captivating natural wonders. These glistening dunes are made from gypsum, a rare white sand, and contain nine miles of trails so visitors can explore them on foot. The largest dune field of its kind, White Sands National monument is New Mexico’s most visited National Park site.
2. Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
A 200-million-year-old landscape spangled with petrified wood, the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona’s Painted Desert contains various archeological sites, fossils, and other remnants of pre-history. Eons ago, volcanic lava destroyed the once lush forest, covering everything in volcanic ash. Millions of years later, erosion revealed the petrified wood under the rocks. Hiking is one of the best ways to experience the site.
3. Liberation Heritage Route, South Africa
South Africa’s Liberation Heritage Route comprises various sites dedicated to the country’s liberation history. These include, among others, Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned; the Mandela House, a museum in the house in which its namesake resided from 1942 to 1946 to 1962; and Liliesleaf Farm, a Johannesburg safe house for African National Congress activists in the 1960s.
4. Holqua Sof Omar, Ethiopia
Sof Omar is Ethiopia’s — as well as Africa’s — largest cave system. This intricate nearly ten-mile underground cavern formed ages ago when the Weyib River changed its course, etching a passage through limestone foothills. The river seemingly disappears into this spectacular natural wonder and a must-see when in Ethiopia.
5. Tbilisi Historic District, Georgia
Old Tbilisi, also known as the Tbilisi Historic District, is a tiny quarter of the spectacular Georgian capital (which happens to receive much love for its food nowadays). A stop on the fabled Silk Road, the district feels like a time capsule. Its serpentine lanes, ancient architecture, bathhouses and stunning terraces win the hearts of anyone visiting the city.
6. Silk Road Sites of India
Speaking of the Silk Road, India was home to several stops along this celebrated trade route. India has dozens of places on the UNESCO Tentative List, and its 12 Silk Road sites comprise one. These include the Buddhist remains of Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh; Arikamedu in Pondicherry; the Ruins of Ancient Vaishali in Bihar; and Indraprastha, an ancient city believed to be concealed beneath Delhi.
7. Auckland Volcanic Fields, New Zealand
Located on New Zeland’s North Island, Auckland is surrounded by what’s known as the Auckland Volcanic Fields, 53 monogenetic volcanos that have formed an exquisite, other-worldly landscape studded with craters and peaks. Though the field is dormant, there’s a chance it could become active again.
8. Lake Titicaca, Peru
Peru is just an absolutely exquisite country on so many levels with a rich history that still lives on through various ruins. While several of these man-made wonders are on the tentative list, its natural wonders are equally exquisite. Lake Titicaca, the endpoint for 25 rivers, sits in a basin in the Andes, straddling the border of Peru and Bolivia, and is the world’s highest navigable lake as well as South America’s largest freshwater one.
9. Tell es-Sultan/Ancient Jericho, Palestine
Tell es-Sultan is said to be the world’s oldest town, with civilization dating as far back as 9000 BCE. In addition to its neolithic associations, the site is the backdrop for several biblical occurrences. From the Old Testament battle in the book of Joshua to Jesus healing Bartimaeus in the gospel of Mark, Jericho satisfies the whims of both pilgrims and history buffs alike.
10. The Historic City of Dublin, Ireland
Dublin is a fascinating city. While today, many tech titans like Facebook and Google have made the Irish capital their European HQ, the city underwent a major transformation in the Georgian era through development and infrastructure. Dublin also played a significant role in the Enlightenment and the city spawned an exceptional contribution to 18th- and 19th-century literature.