UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Second Edition
Last month we published the first half of our two-part insight into 10 of the most spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Sites and how we can help you experience them in style. Here is the second half of our list which explores sites situated across the globe, from South America to the Maldives.
Firstly, a reminder of what it takes for a site to be awarded the prestigious accolade. These are areas or landmarks that UNESCO deems to be particularly noteworthy in their natural beauty, cultural or historic significance, or scientific importance.
For those who’ve made the cinema trip in the last month to see Daniel Craig’s final performance as James Bond, this magical hillside town, with its unique cave dwellings, is sure to be recognisable. Used as one of the filming locations for No Time to Die, Matera has arguably become one of the most striking filming locations ever used in the Bond franchise. Sitting between two canyons in the south of Italy, Matera, however, has only recently begun to feel the benefits of tourism. Historically renowned for its poverty and poor sanitation, the town was completely abandoned in the early 1950’s, as its inhabitants were driven out. It remained vacant until the 1980’s when a resurgence in investment turned the area around, transforming it into what we see today; one of the foremost up-and-coming European destinations with a completely unique charm and aesthetic.
Stone Town, Zanzibar:
Sat on the west coast of the archipelago of Zanzibar is the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as Stone Town. A charming and winding settlement, Stone Town is bursting with chic cafes, restaurants and local street markets. On the beachfront of this historic town is the world-class Park Hyatt Zanzibar, the perfect base from which to explore Stone Town and the neighbouring islands, which offer idyllic white-sand beaches as far as the eye can see. Click here to see a detailed itinerary we put together for one of our valued clients who visited Zanzibar and Stone Town and enjoyed the mix of the cultural and quaint town combined with unrivalled beach relaxation.
Iguazu Falls; Argentina and Brazil:
Made up of over 250 waterfalls, Iguazu Falls constitutes the fourth widest waterfall in the world and is almost twice the height of Niagara Falls. Multi-tiered, surrounded by verdant forest and accessible from both Brazil and Argentina, Iguazu National Park was awarded World Heritage status in the 1980’s. It achieved this owing to its exceptional natural beauty and because it is home to a multitude of rare and endangered species, including; the broad-snouted Caiman, Giant Anteater, Harpy Eagle and Jaguar. Widely renowned as one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world, a visit here is the perfect way to crown any trip to South America.
Baa Atoll, the Maldives:
Technically listed as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, we feel this remote and ecologically diverse marine reserve is truly worthy of a place on our list. A dream location for any diving or snorkelling enthusiast, Baa Atoll is perfectly placed on the edge of the deep ocean, presenting a coral that is an aquatic wonderland, home to over 1,000 species of fish. Divers here are afforded the privilege of being able to swim with whale sharks, dolphins and manta rays, among other rare marine life. Boutique luxury retreats are located among the surrounding islands, with a personal favourite of ours being the Four Seasons Kuda Huraa, located on its own private island.
San Miguel de Allande, Mexico:
A remarkable example of 16th century Spanish Colonial Baroque architecture, San Miguel de Allande is regarded by many as one of Mexico’s Pueblos Magicos – ‘Magic Towns’. It was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2008, under the Historical City category, however, its gothic architecture and charming ambience also greatly contributed to its inclusion. Located around 150 miles north of Mexico City, San Miguel de Allande has become a must-see for those who revel in quaint, cobbled streets and artisanal boutiques. An astonishing food scene and a handful of luxury hotels ensure that this is an ideal city-break location, which can easily be incorporated into a wider trip of the country as a whole.
And so concludes our tour of some of the world’s most incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites that can be enjoyed in bespoke luxury. Please get in touch with us here in order to explore the opportunity of visiting any of these wonders.