Back on July 7, 2007, the newest Seven Wonders of the World were announced in Portugal. More than 100 million votes from around the globe determined the list. But what's the best way to get to these new seven wonders? Here are the newly christened, man-made wonders of the world, with what to see when you get there and which airports are closest.
Great Wall of China
Most travelers take a tour bus or hire a taxi out of Beijing for a day trip to this wonder.
The wall was built in 206 BC to link existing fortifications into a united defense system and better keep invading Mongol tribes out of China. It is the largest man-made monument ever to have been built and it is disputed that it is the only one visible from space. The closest airport is Beijing Capital International Airport.
Chichén Itzá is the most famous Mayan temple city. It served as the political and economic center of the Mayan civilization, and its various structures – the pyramid of Kukulkan, the Temple of Chac Mool, the Hall of the Thousand Pillars, and the Playing Field of the Prisoners – can still be seen today. The pyramid itself was the last, and arguably the greatest, of all Mayan temples. But it's not easy to get to Chichen Itza, which is in a remote location. The nearest airport is Cancun International, and most resorts can set up day tours to this wonder of the world.
Christ the Redeemer Statue, Rio de Janeiro
This statue of Jesus stands atop Corcovado Mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park. It's 38 meters tall and was designed by Brazilian Heitor da Silva Costa and created by French sculptor Paul Landowski. It took five years to construct and was inaugurated on October 12, 1931, and has become a symbol of the city.
From the city or airport, this popular visitor attraction can be reached by taking public transit or taxi, and then taking the tram up the mountain for a closer look. The nearest airport is Rio de Janeiro–Galeão International.
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu (which means "old mountain") was built in the 15th century by the Incan Emperor Pachacútec. It's located halfway up the Andes Plateau, deep in the Amazon jungle and above the Urubamba River. It is surmised that the city was abandoned by the Incas because of a smallpox outbreak. After the Spanish defeated the Incan Empire, the city remained ‘lost’ for more than three centuries, only being rediscovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911. It is not close to an international airport, and the closest town to the site is Aguas Calientes. The nearby city of Cusco does have Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport, with several domestic flights, along with a train, where you can get tours to Machu Picchu. The main airport is Jorge Chávez International in Lima.
The ancient city of Petra was the glittering capital of the Nabataean empire of King Aretas IV (9 B.C. to 40 A.D.). It was known for building great tunnel constructions and water chambers.
A theater, modeled on Greek-Roman prototypes, had space for an audience of 4,000. Today, the Palace Tombs of Petra, with the 42-meter-high Hellenistic temple facade on the El-Deir Monastery, are impressive examples of Middle Eastern culture. The city is a day trip from Amman and even Israel, but because of its location, public transportation isn't an option, so hiring a taxi or taking a tourist bus will be the best ways to visit. The main airport is Queen Alia International, in Amman.
This amphitheater in the middle of the city was built to give favors to successful legionnaires and to celebrate the glory of the Roman Empire. This is probably the most easily accessible new wonder of the world, a mere subway ride away, on the Piazza del Colosseo Metro line B, Colosseo stop, or Tram Line 3.
And although the city has several airports, it is Rome Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino Airport that is most known by international visitors.
This large mausoleum was built by Shah Jahan to honor the memory of his beloved late wife. Built out of white marble and standing informally laid-out walled gardens, the Taj Mahal is regarded as the most perfect jewel of Muslim art in India. The mausoleum, located in Agra, does not have an airport. Visitors usually fly into Delhi and take a train between the two cities, which takes up to three hours. There is also bus service from Delhi to Agra. The closest airport is Indira Gandhi International.