Do you like to travel “off the beaten path?” Are you looking for some travel inspiration? The list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites just got longer, giving you 21 new reasons to check the expiration date on your passport.
UNESCO’s World Heritage Program aims to “encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.”
To make the UNESCO World Heritage List, sites must meet one or more of a specific set of criteria, such as representing a “masterpiece of human creative genius,” featuring remarkable examples of architecture or natural beauty, or providing refuge to vanishing plants, animals and human cultures.
These criteria make World Heritage sites worth visiting for anyone with an interest in human history, art, or nature. For example, new sites include rainforests in Madagascar, sites where British convicts were housed in Australia, rock art in Portugal and the lush Central Highlands of Sri Lanka.
If you don’t want to leave the United States, you can still visit places on the World Heritage List. The US has 21 World Heritage Sites in total, including Papahānaumokuākea in Hawaii, which was just added.
However, if you want to expand your horizons and visit another country, the list is a great reference that can help you find interesting places to visit that go beyond the standard tourist traps.
If you’re leaving the country, it’s recommended that you get a passport renewal first if you have 6 months or less before your passport expires. Most passport renewals can be done my mail-for more information, see Passport Renewal: Cutting Through the Red Tape.
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