17 most biodiverse places on earth

1. The Daintree, Queensland, Australia

Famously known as the place where ‘the rainforest meets the Reef’, the Daintree, in North Queensland is home to one of the largest ranges of animals and plants on earth. Although it is wildly popular, you can still experience the indigenous atmosphere of the place.

2. Cloud forests of Ecuador

Mainland Ecuador has three general regions, Amazon, Sierra and Pacific Coast. Traveling up from the coast and over the Andes, you pass through an array of ecosystems. The cloud forests occur on both sides of the Andes (East and West) and contain incredible biodiversity, especially of birds.

3. The Amazon, Amazon-North, Brazil

Amazon is the world’s largest rainforest. The majority of the forest (60%) is contained in Brazil, yet extends into Colombia, Peru and other countries in the South America. Famed for its immense biodiversity, it is home to a third of all the world’s species.

4. Alaska’s backcountry, United States

The vast backcountry rainforest is the largest expanse of temperate rainforest on the planet. Don’t skip the Chilkoot Inlet, near Haines in Southeast Alaska, that lead up through old growth forest into the mountains.

5. Sapo National Park, Monrovia, Liberia

Sapo National Park in Sinoe County, Liberia, is the countries largest protected area of rainforest and it’s the countries only national park. It is also one of the last places on Earth to experience virgin rainforest. If you wish to visit Sapo, please note, it’s vital to inform the appropriate authorities and have a professional support network.

6. Monteverde Park, Costa Rica

Monteverde Park is located atop Costa Rica’s continental divide, looking down over coastal towns that dot the country’s shoreline. The park is home to over one hundred mammal species, four hundred species of bird, tens of thousands of different insects and two and a half thousand different plants, including more than 400 different kinds of orchid.

7. Mt. Kinabalu National Park, Sabah, Malaysia

Mt. Kinabalu National Park is one of the first national parks in Malaysia and the country’s first World Heritage Site since 2000. The park is located on slopes of the massif and is Southeast Asia’s highest protected park. It’s an excellent place to see the diverse range of Borneo’s endemic plants and animals.

8. Sinharaja Forest, Sabaragamuwa, Sri Lanka

Located in south-west Sri Lanka, Sinharaja is the country’s last viable area of primary tropical rainforest. More than 60% of the trees are endemic and many of them are considered rare.

9. Chapada dos Veadeiros and Emas National Park, Mato Grosso Central, Brazil

Chapada dos Veadeiros and Emas National Park are habitats that characterize the Cerrado – one of the world’s oldest and most diverse tropical ecosystems. They have acted as a refuge for species during periods of climate change.

10. Dja Faunal Reserve, Cameroon

The Dja Faunal Reserve was founded in 1950 and it is an integral part of the rain forests that form the Congo Basin. This vast range is one of the largest and best-protected African rainforests: 90% (5,260 sq km) of its landscape remains undisturbed. The Reserve is home to many animal and plant species, several of which are globally threatened (western lowland gorilla, chimpanzee, forest elephant).

11. Mount Field National Park, Tasmania, Australia

Mount Field National Park is a national park in Tasmania, Australia, 64 km northwest of Hobart. The landscape ranges from eucalyptus temperate rainforest to alpine moorland. You can travel from incredible old growth Swamp Gum forest (the tallest flowering plant in the world) and massive tree ferns into rainforest dominated by species found nowhere else on the planet.

12. Kahuzi-Biega National Reserve, Bukavu, DR Congo

Homes one of the last communities of 250 eastern lowland gorillas. Conversation groups are working to protect the species from poachers who are present in the Congo. The park is named after Mt. Kahuzi (3,308m) and Mt. Biega (2, 790m) located in the South Kivu Province, eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

13. Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, Bolivia

Noel Kempff Mercado National Park is a national park in northeast Santa Cruz Department, Bolivia, on the border with Brazil. It one of the largest and most intact parks in the Amazon Basin.

14. Gunung Leuser National Park, Sumatra, Indonesia

Gunung Leuser National Park is Indonesia’s largest reserves and one of these species is the endangered Sumatran Tiger. Of the estimated 400 Sumatran Tigers still living in Sumatra, more than 110 live in the park.

15. Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, Mexico

Sian Ka’an is located on the east coast of the Yucatán peninsula, this biosphere reserve contains tropical forests, mangroves and marshes, as well as a large marine section intersected by a barrier reef.

16. Periyar Tiger Reserve, Jalpaiguri, India

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the 27 tiger reserves in India. It is located high up in the Western Ghats of Kerala. It spreads over 777 sq km of rainforest and shelters tigers, elephants, bison, langurs and a host of smaller wildlife.

17. Manú National Park, Peru

Manú National Park is huge covering 1.5 million hectors. It is a biosphere reserve located in Madre de Dios and Paucartambo, Cusco. The park is an area protected by the Peruvian government. Before gaining this status the park was conserved thanks to its inaccessibility. Jaguars are often sighted.

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At 4,409 feet above sea level, Scotland's Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles. It's a popular destination for hikers, climbers, and serious mountaineers.

At 4,409 feet above sea level, Scotland's Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles. It's a popular destination for hikers, climbers, and serious mountaineers.

There's no better view of the "bonnie, bonnie banks o' Loch Lomond" than from atop the craggy peaks of Ben Lomond.

One of the most photographed natural formations in Scotland, the "Old Man of Storr" on the Isle of Skye's Trotternish Ridge is comprised of pinnacle rocks that can be viewed from miles away.

Loch Sionascaig lies at the heart of Inverpolly, a rugged landscape of hills and bogs in the Western Sutherland region of the Northwest Highlands.

Home to spectacular mountain scenery, Wester Ross is a loosely defined area in the Northwest Highlands that attracts outdoor enthusiasts.

In the words of Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur's Seat is "a hill for magnitude, a mountain in virtue" in the heart of Edinburgh. Locals and tourists alike take to this dormant volcano for a fine hike and even better views of the city.

At the Callanish Stones on the Isle of Lewis, you can do more than just look at the prehistoric megaliths—you can actually walk among and touch them. It's like having Stonehenge all to yourself.

The unique marriage of light, mist, clouds, hills, and lochs makes Scottish sunsets among the most beautiful in the world.

The sheer cliffs, heaving hills, and wind-whipped lochs of Scotland's Hebridean Isles provide more than enough room for solitary reflection.

Located on the most westerly point of the Isle of Skye, the Neist Point Lighthouse provides a scenic backdrop for an afternoon's stroll to the edge of the world.

The Glenfinnan Viaduct can be found along the West Highland Line in Glenfinnan. Though scenic in its own right, fans of the Harry Potter films will also recognize this railway viaduct as one of the signature images of the Hogwarts Express route.

One of the most iconic castles in Europe, Scotland's Eilean Donan is recognized the world over from its appearances on postcards and in movies like Highlander.

The romantic ruins of Urquhart Castle, which dates back to the 13th century, make for quite an introduction to the misty shores of Loch Ness.

A tribute to Jacobite clansmen, the Glenfinnan Monument was erected in 1815 to honor those who died fighting for Prince Charles Edward Stuart. It stands proudly amid the Highland scenery at the head of Loch Shie.

Situated at the tip of a rocky headland, the ruined Dunnottar Castle is one of Scotland's most spectacular medieval fortresses.

A designated National Scenic Area sometimes called the "Glen of Weeping," Glencoe was the site of an infamous massacre in the late 17th century. Today it boasts numerous viewing areas and a visitor center along its main road.

The signature sound of Scotland, the bagpipe's bittersweet notes leave us feeling both joy and melancholy—two emotions that also describe the scenery, history, and character of Scotland.

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4. New Caledonia

New Caledonian giant gecko.

New Caledonia is a site for much biodiversity because of its unusual features like rare soil conditions, varied landscape, and discrete microclimate. Caledonia’s biodiversity majors on Grand Terre Island which includes a mountain range that splits it. The mountain brings about a rain shadow to the west and humid, moist conditions to the eastern slopes. Caledonia has local ecosystems like the humid forests, marquis, dry forests, freshwater wetlands, and mangrove swamps to which its endemic species have impressive adaptations. Some of the endemic species that make New Caledonia biodiverse include distinctive plants like amborellcaeae, endemic conifers (mobot), orchid genera, and panie kauri. Bird species that make Caledonia unique comprise the cloven feathered dove, yellow-bellied robin, new Caledonian imperial pigeon, and the red-throated parrot finch just to mention a few. Under freshwater fish unique to Caledonia are the silverside, loach goby, and pipefish while the mammals are the ornate flying fox, New Caledonia blossom bat, New Caledonia wattle bat, and the loyalty bent-wing bat. New Caledonia is also home to the New Caledonian giant gecko, the world's largest extant gecko.


Home to 60% of the Amazon rainforest, Brazil is the most biodiverse country in the world. It’s estimated that the South-American behemoth is home to between 15-20% of the world’s biological diversity – an ever-expanding figure with an average of 700 new animal species discovered each year.

  • Shutterstock
    Brazil is the most biodiverse country in the world

    Sadly, there are myriad threats to Brazil’s biodiversity including fragmentation and loss of habitat, overexploitation of plants and animals, introduction of alien species and exotic illnesses, pollution and climate change. Habitat loss is the most significant factor driving species to threatened status.

    Watch the video: Top 17 most biodiverse travel destinations in the world

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