This Is One of The World’s Most Beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites

by McNab Editorial Team

With over a thousand sites designated as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System stands out with its beauty. In fact, the BBRRS was named one of the 39 Most Beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites by Conde Nast Traveler. Here’s what the global travel publication had to say.

The 39 Most Beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Written by Caitlin Morton and Jessica Puckett


There are 1,199 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, with more properties being added to the list every couple of years. In 2023 alone, there were a total of 42 new properties inscribed by the organization. All have been determined to represent outstanding cultural or natural value to humanity.

Those criteria make for some breathtaking sites around the world, from medieval walled cities in Europe and Incan ruins in South America to ancient temples in Asia and African savannas teeming with wildlife.

In fact, there are World Heritage Sites on every continent (except Antarctica) as well as some of the most remote areas of the globe (think: isolated islands and the farther reaches of the Polar Region). Each one is magnificent in its own way—many have unique ecosystems that are home to rare species or contain an important link to the first iterations of human history. Although, scenery-wise, some sites simply outshine the rest.

If you’re looking to plan an entire trip around one of these iconic places—and we highly recommend it—we pulled together the most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites as a bit of inspiration.

Belize Barrier Reef

HMC aerial by Belize Audubon Society 5

Half Moon Caye and a glimpse of Lighthouse Reef Atoll. Image by Belize Audubon Society

Offering some of the best scuba diving in the world, the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System is an important habitat for scores of threatened marine species, including the West Indian manatee and several varieties of sea turtles, as well as rare endemic and migratory birds that reproduce in its coastal areas.

Date of Inscription: 1996

This is an excerpt from “The 39 Most Beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites”. Read the entire list by Conde Nast Traveler here

Related Articles