There are 238 natural world heritage sites (including ‘mixed’ sites listed under both natural and cultural criteria). They cover every biome and bio-geographical region and are arranged here according to each site’s main characteristics – so your journey of exploration can take you across the golden sands of the Sahara desert……to the world’s highest peaks…..across its oceans …..and into its deepest caves. Discover the special places which constitute our global heritage in each biome/category by following the links below.
The aim of the following pages is to group similar sites together by identifying the main distinguishing characteristics of each place. Not every site ‘belongs’ neatly to a single category, so some of them have been included in more than one list. For example, many important mountains support extensive areas of diverse forests on their lower slopes, and are included in both ‘mountain’ and ‘forest’ categories. On the other hand, every effort has been made to identify the single most important ‘qualifying’ characteristic of each site, so ‘islands’ are only included in the ‘marine and coastal’ category if their marine component is globally important and extensive.