Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in December 2016, and has been updated to reflect current airline routes and schedules.
In 2000, through a worldwide campaign initiated by Swiss-born Canadian, Bernard Weber, voting began on what would become the Official New 7 Wonders of the World. On the 7th day of the 7th month of the year 2007, the results were tallied and announced in Lisbon, Portugal. More than 100 million people of the world elected the new seven man-made wonders and here they are. How many have you been to?
Great Wall of China
Gateway: Beijing, China
Airline: Air Canada operates non-stop flights from Vancouver and Toronto daily.
One of the most popular myths about the Great Wall of China is that it is the only man-built structure visible from space. Although debunked, the legend is easily believable when you’re in the presence of its majestic grandeur.
There are many places in the world that can make you feel small but none like the Great Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, can. Archeologists have measured its entirety to be over 21,000 km long, stretching from Lop Lake in the west to Dandong in the east. Between 220-206 BC, the first Emperor of China began the fortification that may have cost up to a million lives to complete but the majority of the existing wall is from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
Intrepid Travel offers superb small group organized tours of China, many including visits to the Great Wall, including family tours, food adventures and even a full, half or 10 km marathon along it, the only Chinese-supported race in the country.
Gateway: Amman, Jordan
Airline: Air Canada/Lufthansa operate daily service via Frankfurt.
Also known as the ‘Rose City’ for the colour of sandstone out of which it is carved, it is baffling that the breathtaking beauty of Petra remained unknown to the western world until 1812.
Archaeological estimates peg Petra’s beginnings to as early as 312 BC when it was the capital city of the nomadic Nabataean Arabs. Its famous carved structures from solid rock and important water collecting system in the arid south of Jordan made Petra a major trading hub on the regional trade routes of the time. Finally named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, the archaeological site is only a 20-minute walk from Petra’s town centre and is easily Jordan’s most-visited tourist attraction.
Canadian adventure tour operator, G Adventures, offers immersive excursions through Jordan ranging from 4 to 17 days (including Egypt or Israel) in length, including two exclusive National Geographic Journeys tours.
Gateway: Rome, Italy
Airline: Air Canada operates daily non-stop flights to Rome from Toronto in the summer, with reduced capacity outside of the peak summer travel months.
The iconic symbol of the Eternal City, the Colosseum is the largest amphitheatre ever built. In its prime, it could hold up to 80,000 spectators before falling to partial ruin caused by earthquakes and vandalism.
Completed in 80 AD, the impressive concrete and sand structure was initially used for gladiator contests, executions and theatre, among other public spectacles. Also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre (after the Flavian dynasty of the time), the building was eventually used as housing, rented out as late as the 12th century. Recently, the Colosseum has been used as a symbol for the international campaign to end capital punishment, changing its nighttime illumination from white to gold whenever a death row inmate is pardoned, anywhere in the world.
Explore Rome with Trafalgar Tours for an all-encompassing escorted tour visiting Rome and the Vatican. Want more Italy? Trafalgar does it all, from the Alps in the north to fiery Sicily in the south, there is a lot to see.
Gateway: Cancun, Mexico
Airline: Air Canada & Air Canada rouge operate non-stop service to Cancun from Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.
Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula may be known for its sunshine, sweeping beaches and grandiose resorts but wander just a little bit inland and you’ll stumble upon a jaw-dropping Mesoamerican step-pyramid, better known worldwide as Chichen Itza.
Standing almost 100-feet high and measuring nearly 200-feet across, the Temple of Kukulcan was built by the Maya civilization between the years 990 and 1220 when Chichen Itza was the most powerful city in the region. It was abandoned by the time the Spanish came and was left decaying in the overgrown jungle until the 1920s when restorations began. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988 and remains one of Mexico’s most visited attractions to this day.
Off the main highway between Merida and Cancun, Chichen Itza can be easily enjoyed as a day tour from either city, offered through most resorts in the region. Air Canada Vacations offer all-inclusive packages to Cancun and the Mayan Riviera, or, you can tailor-make your holiday with Flight Centre, including a fully escorted day tour of Chichen Itza.
Gateway: Cuzco, Peru
Airline: Air Canada rouge operates non-stop service from Toronto to Lima up to 4 times per week, with onwards connections to Cuzco.
Above the Sacred Valley, perched quietly on a treacherous mountain range almost 8,000-feet above sea level, the 15th century Inca citadel sat unknown to the outside world until 1911.
Built as an estate for the Inca emperor, Pachacuti, Machu Picchu is the most iconic relic of the Inca civilization. It is estimated that it was constructed around 1450 and abandoned in the mid-1500s, unknown to the Spanish conquerors of the time. It is believed it could accommodate up to 750 residents, remaining protected from intruders by its remote location and Inca watchtowers along the Inca Trail. Machu Picchu was finally declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
With daily departures, Peregrine Adventures offers escorted ‘Independent Experiences’, or tours for 1–4 travellers. Perfect for your own personal group, the 5-day short mini-bus tours come complete with a local Peregrine guide for a truly authentic adventure.
Gateway: Delhi, India
Airline: Air Canada operates daily flights to Delhi from Toronto and seasonal service three times weekly from Vancouver.
Described as “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage”, India’s white-marble Taj Mahal draws 7-8 million visitors annually.
Commissioned in 1632 by Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, the ‘Crown of Palaces’ was to house the tomb of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Resting peacefully on the banks of the Yamuna River, her tomb became the central motif of the 42-acre compound, complete with a mosque, a guest house and sprawling gardens. The laborious building process was completed in 1653 and was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
Magical Taj Mahal can be experienced with On the Go Tours, visiting India’s famous Golden Triangle. From old and new Delhi and the Pink City of Jaipur to Agra and rural Bharatpur, India is a feast for the senses and a humbling experience for anyone who visits.
Christ the Redeemer
Gateway: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Airline: Fly Air Canada and Star Alliance to Rio de Janeiro daily, from anywhere in Canada.
Watching mercifully, arms outstretched, over the entire city of Rio de Janeiro, Cristo Redentor or Christ the Redeemer is an iconic symbol of Christianity across Brazil and the world.
It took almost 10 years to construct the soapstone and concrete Art Deco statue, finally completed in 1931. A team of Polish, French, Romanian and Brazilian sculptors, engineers and artists collaborated on the effort that resurrected the nearly 100-foot high Jesus on the summit of Corcovado Mountain in Tijuca Forest National Park. Escalators and elevators were added in 2003 to make it more accessible but do make sure to pick a clear day for your visit as it’s easy for the statue to get lost in the clouds.
Urban Adventures provides the ultimate day tour of Rio de Janeiro, complete with a visit to Christ the Redeemer, a ride on a classic Rio tram and even a favela experience you’ll never forget.
Ready to see them all? Tour ALL Seven New Wonders of the World with On the Go Tours on an action-packed 31-day around the world adventure, sightseeing included. Book tour and all flights with Flight Centre.
Would you agree with the above? Any left on your list? Let us help you get there with our incredible international airfare sale!. Connect with us online, visit us in-store or call us to book at 1877 967 5302 today.