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Traveling to UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Traveling to UNESCO World Heritage Sites

In 1972, The General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) gathered for their 17th meeting in Paris. One goal of this conference was to establish a list of historically and culturally important world sites. The sites on that list would receive certain protections, so they could exist unchanged from their current state. For a site to get the designation of World Heritage Site it has to meet at least one out of ten criteria, which includes the following examples:

  • It must be a masterpiece of human creative genius.
  • It must contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty.
  • It must be an outstanding example of building, architectural, or technological ensemble.

To date, there are over 1,121 sites in 167 countries throughout the world. Traveling to UNESCO World Heritage Sites and seeing the wonders and marvels of the ancient, modern, and natural world provides an educational experience of a lifetime. Learning the culture and heritage of the world’s civilizations offer an educational benefit that you can’t measure. Most countries have multiple sites, and the cost to travel to many is not super expensive. We provide a short list of destinations that have multiple UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Starting students on the path to visiting the UNESCO sites might lead to a lifelong passion of traveling and visiting all the sites.


Among the interesting things about Panama, this coastal paradise boasts the following five sites:

  • Portobelo-San Lorenzo
  • Darien National Park
  • Talamanca Range-La Amistad Reserves
  • Archaeological site of Panama Viejo and historic district of Panama
  • Coiba National Park and special marine zone


Canada is home to 20 UNESCO sites, which includes:

  • Mistaken Point
  • Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
  • Dinosaur Provincial Park
  • Rideau Canal


Chile has six sites, which includes the following three sites:

  • Rapa Nui National Park
  • Churches of Chiloe
  • Sewell Mining Town


Finland, which has seven sites total, includes the following four sites:

  • Bronze Age burial site
  • Old Rauma
  • Fortress of Suomenlinna
  • Petajavesi Old Church


The small island of Japan boasts a whopping 23 sites, including the following:

  • Shiretoko
  • Yakushima
  • Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-Ji area.
  • Hidden Christian sites in the Nagasaki region.


Madagascar, home to dozens of lemur species, has the following three sites:

  • Tsingy de Bernaraha Strict nature preserve.
  • Royal Hill of Ambohimanga
  • Rainforests of the Atsinanana


Korea has 14 UNESCO sites, which includes the following:

  • Jongmyo Shrine
  • Baekje Historic Areas
  • Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty
  • Sansa, Buddhist Mountain Monasteries in Korea
  • Hwaseong Fortress