The 18 Best Must-See Destinations That Are Disappearing

Several places you dream of visiting are places threatened with extinction. So if you want to visit them one day, be sure to plan your trip soon…

Here are destinations that will soon disappear
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One, two, three, go!

The number of destinations threatened by climate change and human neglect is constantly growing. So it’s no surprise that tourism to must-see destinations is on the rise…

So pack your bags, grab your camera and fly to one of these beautiful destinations before it’s too late! At all times, be sure to respect the regulations and pick up your waste!

The Grand Canyon is a destination that will disappear
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The Grand Canyon

In 2015, the Grand Canyon was named one of the “Most Endangered Historic Places” in the United States by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, an organization dedicated to protecting America’s cultural heritage. This beautiful natural landscape is threatened by mining and is at high risk of destruction and irreparable damage. Mass tourism is also a threat to the preservation of this historic site, so be careful to pick up your rubbish and respect the trails.

The Galapagos Islands are one of the destinations to go
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The Galapagos Islands

If you want to experience the vast wildlife and gaze at the beautiful beaches of the Galápagos Islands, you should book a flight soon. The ecosystem of the islands has been compromised due to overfishing and rising ocean temperatures. Coral reefs are beginning to die and the survival of the island’s animals are threatened by tourists.

Efforts are being made to return the island to what it once was. Iguanas were released on the islands, this species which had disappeared from the region for several years. In addition, iguanas play a vital role in dispersing seeds in areas devoid of vegetation.

The Maldives is a risky destination
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The Maldives

Knowing that climate change is accelerating the rate at which sea levels rise, it stands to reason that the destination most at risk of disappearing is the lowest country in the world…

While the Maldives is still a veritable tropical paradise with its crystal clear waters and glow-in-the-dark beaches, stop hesitating and fly off to visit this Indian Ocean island nation made up of a series of atolls formed from coral.

The Amazon is a risky destination
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The Amazon forest

The Amazon rainforest is slowly disappearing. Already, about 50 years ago, Brazil encouraged its people to colonize the Amazon. The lush forest was therefore gradually replaced by lumberyards, cattle pens and soybean farms.

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Brazil’s current president, Jair Bolsonaro, also believes the Amazon should be open for business. Since his inauguration at the head of the country in January 2019, the rate of deforestation has increased by 92%.

Increased human activity in the forest and climate change have caused devastating forest fires that have created irreversible damage. If nothing is done, the entire forest could disappear within a few decades.

Machu Picchu is a risky destination
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Machu Picchu

Due to its high altitude, extreme topography and harsh weather conditions, the Lost City is at high risk of erosion from various natural disasters.

Preventive measures are taken to ensure that the site remains intact for as long as possible and much of the money brought in by tourism goes to maintaining the integrity of Machu Picchu.

Everglades Park is a destination in danger of disappearing
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Everglades National Park

The wetland wilderness at the southern tip of Florida is stunning and simply unique. The National Park contains the largest mangrove ecosystem in the Western Hemisphere and the largest field of wild grass. It is home to an exceptional variety of wading birds, reptiles and many endangered species, such as the Florida panther and the manatee.

Urban development, industry, and agricultural pressures, however, destroyed more than half of the Everglades. Since 2010, the site has been inscribed on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage in Danger.

Venice, a must-see destination, is sinking.
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Venice

If taking a romantic gondola ride through scenic canals is on your bucket list, well book your flight to Venice now!

The magnificent “floating city” is sinking at the rate of one to two millimeters per year, according to a study by the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, a marine science research center in California. Due to sea level rise and natural tectonic processes, Venice could sink more than 8 centimeters over the next two decades.

The great coral barrier
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The great coral barrier

The largest and most breathtaking coral reef in the world is dying in the arms of humans. Climate change and pollution have led to acidification of rainfall, extreme weather and even outbreaks among starfish. Rises in water temperatures have indeed caused large-scale coral bleaching. It is not uncommon to see vast expanses of coral that once had multiple colors, now a sickly white.

Since the 1980s, more than half of the reef’s coral cover has disappeared, according to the Australian Institute of Marine Science. Many experts claim that the remaining corals could disappear within 20 years. Discover here the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Antarctica is a risky destination

Antarctica

Ready for your next big adventure? Ships can access the Southern Hemisphere in the summer allowing cruise passengers to enjoy a vast expanse of wilderness, filled with ice and snow, home to a wonderful assortment of species, such as penguins, leopard seals and even orcas.

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A study published in the journal Nature predicts that the world’s permanent ice sheets, mostly those on the Antarctic Peninsula, will shrink by nearly 25% by the end of the century. This will thus irreversibly modify the ecosystem of the continent.

The Great Wall of China is a risky destination
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The great Wall of China

China’s most famous monument stretches over 20,900 kilometers in its entirety. In 2015, the science magazine Smithsonian reported that less than 9% of the Great Wall is still in good condition.

Much of the Ming Dynasty wall has disappeared due to erosion and damage from the tourists who flock there every year. Also, some residents stole bricks for their personal use, while graffiti artists used it as a canvas.

Although a Great Wall restoration project is underway, a lack of substantial government funding to protect the monument threatens the future of this new wonder of the world. Indeed, since July 7, 2007, seven new wonders of the world have been added to the canonical list, an initiative of the New Seven Wonders Foundation.

The city of Vienna in Europe is a destination
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Vienna

Vienna’s appeal has endured for millennia, whether for its rococo palaces and baroque castles, or its famous cafes, world-class museums and labyrinthine alleys.

However, UNESCO added the Austrian capital’s beautiful historic center to the list of World Heritage in Danger in 2017 due to a boom in high-rise projects that will forever change the city’s skyline.

Madagascar, an essential destination, is in danger of disappearing.
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Madagascar

A piece of land separated from the African continent around 160 million years ago, today better known as Madagascar. This small island the size of Texas filled with distinct ecosystems with an impressive fauna and flora abounds in reptiles and mammals that exist nowhere else on Earth. Unfortunately, most of Madagascar’s forests have been destroyed by deforestation; the greatest threat to the island’s wildlife. A study found that forests are being destroyed at the rate of about 1% each year.

Patagonia is a risky South American destination
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Patagonia

Much like Antarctica, the Patagonian ice fields in the southern Andes range that straddles Argentina and Chile are shrinking at an incredibly rapid rate due to global warming.

In 2015, scientists found that glaciers in Patagonia are melting at some of the highest rates on the planet, up to more than 10 kilometers per year.

The Caribbean is a destination in danger
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The Caribbean

A United Nations report in 2011 predicted the devastating effects of sea level rise on the Caribbean islands by the end of the century: more than 300 tourist resorts wiped out as well as airports, power stations, roads and farmlands of many popular tourist destinations. In 2014, some experts predicted a rise in sea level of 30 to 120 centimeters by 2100. A convincing argument for packing your bags quickly!

The city of Dubrovnik is a risky destination
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Dubrovnik

The Game of Thrones series has made the ancient Croatian city ultra popular! So much so that in 2017 Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Franković capped the number of visitors to his city at 4,000 per day – half the limit allowed by UNESCO. He also told media that he plans to reduce the number of cruise ships calling at the port.

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Dubrovnik enjoys an idyllic climate and a beautiful coastline on the Adriatic Sea. But the sustained influx of tourists threatens the heritage character of the site, particularly in the pedestrian-only old town.

The Bordeaux wine region is a French destination
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The Bordeaux wine region

Dreaming of visiting one of France’s most beloved wine regions? It might be wise to do this sooner rather than later. Bordeaux is facing a two-thirds drop in its production for the next forty years. This is due to climate change which affects rainfall, average temperature and hours of sunshine.

At the Vinexpo conference held in Bordeaux in 2017, Professor John Holdren estimated that the land suitable for viticulture would potentially decrease by 23% by 2050.

Glacier National Park is a risky destination
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Glacier National Park

In 2017 alone, more than three million people visited Glacier National Park in Montana, a record. In 2019, 2.45 million people visited it. These record attendances are all the more remarkable as this park is rapidly losing its eponymous glaciers.

A report by the United States Geological Survey found that over the past 50 years, global warming has caused the 26 remaining glaciers in the park to shrink – down from 150 in 1850. At this rate, scientists predict that there will be no ice left as 2100 approaches.

Komodo Island is a beautiful destination, but at risk
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Komodo Island

Komodo Island is one of the 17,000 islands that make up the Republic of Indonesia. The island is a national park dedicated to the world’s largest lizard, a protected and venomous species that can reach 2.6 meters and run at speeds of up to 19 kilometers per hour.

The rest of the national park offers beautiful landscapes and also allows snorkeling. The influx of tourism is such that officials sounded the alarm in April 2019. They announced that they were closing Komodo Island for one year, starting in January 2020. The decision comes after of rumors about the existence of an alleged smuggling ring which allegedly stole 41 Komodo dragons to sell them abroad for a few tens of thousands of dollars.

The Dead Sea is a destination in danger of disappearing
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The Dead Sea

A tourist attraction for more than two millennia, this salt lake landlocked between Israel and Jordan is located at the lowest point on Earth, nearly 1,400 feet below sea level. The Dead Sea is also widely known for its salinity, which is said to have beneficial effects on health.

Unfortunately, the future of the Dead Sea is far from rosy. Since 1960, it has lost a third of its surface area and continues to shrink at the rate of around one meter per year, according to the environmental group EcoPeace Middle East.

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Mohamed SAKHRI

I am Mohamed SAKHRI, the creator and editor-in-chief of this blog, 'Discover the World – The Blog for Curious Travelers.' Join me as we embark on a journey around the world, uncovering beautiful places, diverse cultures, and captivating stories. Additionally, we will delve into mysterious and, at times, even bizarre destinations.

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