Much of the world is at standstill right now while the COVID-19 pandemic has hit “pause” on our travel plans. But we can still get our fill of wanderlust, virtually.
From virtual museum tours to online Broadway productions, to safari livestreams in South Africa, there's a virtual tour for every type of traveler. And now we can add the "Seven Wonders of the World” to our virtual itineraries.
What makes a site a world wonder? While the ancient “Seven Wonders of the World” were categorized by Philo of Byzantium in 250 B.C. the number seven was chosen because the Greeks believed it represented perfection and plenty, in 2007, the new wonders were chosen through an online contest put on by a Swiss company, the New 7 Wonders Foundation, in which more than tens of millions of people voted. All are UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Built on four continents, most by ancient and medieval empires, the new World Wonder sites selected in 2007 are all architectural marvels of enormous scale—and are among the most visited tourist attractions in the world. Making up the new Seven Wonders of the World are: The Great Wall of China, Petra, Christ the Redeemer, Macchu Picchu, Chichen Itza, Colosseum, and the Taj Mahal.
All the new World Wonder sites are available to experience solo through virtual tours that often come with beautifully captured visuals, interactive trails, and guides.
Find the full list of tours on uswitch.com. Below are just some of the incredible World Wonders you can stream to screen and experience virtually. Happy travels!
The Great Wall of China
"As China's most famous attraction, the Great Wall of China is an essential stop on all tours in China," The China Guide writes on their virtual tour guide. "Commonly considered a wonder of the world, the Great Wall boasts a history of over 2,000 years and stretches more than 3,000 miles across several provinces of northern China, making it one of the most impressive ancient structures on the planet." The China Guide's virtual tour comes packed with facts and tips to take note of when you get to walk along the real thing.
Chichen Itza, Yucatán, Mexico
The Mayans were amazing engineers, especially considering the pyramids at Chichen Itza were built thousands of years ago. See Mexico's architectural marvel up close in 360 and make plans to book a visit for next year's spring equinox, when it at its most brilliant. Every year, on March 21, the pyramid becomes a “stairway to heaven” as the setting sun creates a shadow that looks like a snake slithering its way down the pyramid.
"This tour is best experienced with headphones," advises Google Maps Treks' Petra guide. It's an information-packed audio-visual adventure into one of the world's most awe-inspiring landmarks—Jordan's 2,000-year-old city of stone. The country's famous UNESCO World Heritage Site Al-Khazneh is among the most photographed facades of the ancient world so this virtual exploration comes without any battle for selfie space.
Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Go behind the scenes of India’s Crown Jewel with this virtual tour from Google.
Take a closer look at the Taj Mahal here.
Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro
Get front-row views Brazil's landmark Art Deco statue created by Polish-French sculptor Paul Landowski and built by the Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa.
The Colosseum, Rome
Skip the crowds and take an immersive virtual tour of Rome's famous amphitheater on YouTube. This hour-long walking tour of the Colosseum is filmed in pin-sharp 4K.
Machu Picchu, Peru
This virtual tour comes complete with a voiceover, educating and entertaining as you take in the spectacular scenery of Peru's Machu Picchu.