Reuss River Kayaker, Switzerland
Photograph by Chris Schmid
A kayaker tackles rapids on the Reuss River in central Switzerland. The waterway wends a hundred miles northward from Gotthard into the Aare River.
Angalamman Festival, India
Photograph by Mahesh Balasubramanian
Blue makeup and a fierce stare are a young girl's preparations for the Angalamman festival, held every year in the village of Kaveripattinam in Tamil Nadu, India. The festival celebrates Angalamman, a guardian deity.
Dolomite Mountains, Italy
Photograph by Dick Pitini
Sawtooth peaks in the Dolomites, part of the eastern Alps, give way to a bucolic field. The entire northern Italian range, which includes 18 mountains, was named a World Heritage site in 2009.
Fireworks in Thailand
Photograph by Cann Aripai, National Geographic Your Shot
Fireworks shower festivalgoers with light at a celebration in Thailand. The former Siam is a popular tourist destination with much to offer: beaches on the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, a strong Buddhist culture, Khmer architecture, and beautiful countryside with orchids and rice fields.
Tassili N'Ajjer, Algeria
Photograph by Evan Cole
Evan Cole submitted this image to this year’s Traveler Photo Contest: “This photo, of Moussa Macher, our Tuareg guide, was taken at the summit of Tin-Merzouga, the largest dune (or erg) in the Tadrart region of the Sahara desert in southern Algeria,” he wrote. “Moussa rested while waiting for us to finish our 45-minute struggle to the top. It only took ten minutes of rolling, running, and jumping to get to get back down.”
The Tadrart is part of the Tassili N'Ajjer World Heritage site, given protection for the outstanding collection of prehistoric cave art within its boundaries.
Photograph by Evgeny Kornilyev, National Geographic Your Shot
In Meteora—"rocks in the air"—sandstone spires rise from the plain of Thessaly like tall lumps of clay on a potter's wheel. Seeing the area as a religious retreat, monasteries sprung up here, beginning in 1336. At one time there were 24; today, 13 remain and six are open to the public. The area was added to the World Heritage List in 1988.
Photograph by Gennaro Serra, National Geographic Your Shot
Dancing and drumming is part of a celebration in Hampi, a village in central India that's part of a World Heritage site. Once a wealthy royal city and capital of the Vijayanagar Empire, Hampi was abandoned after the 16th century. The ruins include an elaborate temple complex.
Ban Gioc Falls
Photograph by Son Tong, National Geographic Your Shot
Ban Gioc waterfall in the far northern Vietnamese province of Cao Bang is one of the most popular sites in the region, which boasts a famed karst landscape of striking limestone peaks. The falls thunder into Vietnam from China, churning up an ever present mist.
Notre-Dame de Quebec
Photograph by Susan Seubert
Gold dazzles the eye inside the Cathedral-Basilica de Notre-Dame de Quebec, or Our Lady of Quebec Church. First built in 1647, the church is a National Historic Site of Canada.
Huayna Picchu, Peru
Photograph by Tareq Saghie, National Geographic Your Shot
Hikers make their way up 8,924-foot Huayna Picchu, an iconic pyramid peak that juts over 1,000 feet above Machu Picchu, an ancient royal Inca retreat and, now, a World Heritage site. The climb is a sketchy scramble that includes exposed ledges, cable handholds, and slippery stone staircases. The ruins at the top are thought to be those of Machu Picchu’s high priest, who would greet the sun from this very spot.
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