10 Most Famous Canyons around the World

The United States isn’t the only nation in the world with beautiful canyons.

These widely photographed geological structures made when a river cuts through resistant rocks are both awe-inspiring and unique, depending on their location. 

In this article, you’ll find 10 beautiful canyons, located in Crete, China, Morocco, and other corners of the world. 

Colca Canyon, Peru

With 120,000 visitors annually, the Colca Canyon in southern Peru is one of the deepest such locations in the world with a depth of 10,730 ft.  Beautiful in its own right, the Colca Canyon is the home to some fantastic creators ready for their close-ups. These beings include the Andean condor, which can be seen flying past the canyon walls, and the giant hummingbird. The region is also the home to the Andean goose, Chilean flamingo, and mountain caracara. Looking for some rest and relaxation? Visit The La Calera natural hot springs located at Chivay.

Samariá Gorge, Crete

Located in southwest Crete, the Samariá Gorge is 16 km long and features a popular walking tour visited by more than 250,000 people per year. The location features forests made up of pines and cypresses and vertical cliffs through the mountains. The walk down the canyon begins at the Omalos plateau to Agia Roumeli on the Libyan Sea. The most famous location of the gorge is a stretch known as the Gates. In this location, the sides of the canyon get as close as 4 meters and move up to a height of 300 meters. Photographers should start their day on the trails early to avoid crowds.  The Samariá Gorge is a World’s Biosphere Reserve. 

Gorge du Verdon, France

One of the most beautiful river canyon areas in the world is Gorge du Verdon located in southeastern France. Ideally suited for walkers, climbers, and those who love water sports, the location is noted for Verdon’s iconic green emerald color. The gorge itself is less than 25 km in length and rises 700 meters from the river below.  If you plan on visiting this location, consider a trip in the summer. Take your shots while moving through the river in a boat or kayak or higher up inside the gorge itself. 

Tiger Leaping Gorge, China

Situated on the iconic Yangtze River in southwestern China, the Tiger Leaping Gorge is about 15 km in length with some locations rising as high as 3,000 meters above. At its narrowest point, the canyon is just 30 meters wide; many consider this the deepest canyon in the world. If you love waterfalls, trekking around the Tiger Leaping Gorge is for you. However, you should be in good shape since hiking here is better described as mountain climbing for some. 

Fish River Canyon, Namibia

For those who can’t visit the Grand Canyon in the United States, there’s the Fish River Canyon in Namibia. The location features a gigantic ravine (the largest in Africa) measuring 160 km long and up to 27 km wide. At some sites, it’s 550 meters deep. Due to damming, running water is nearly extinct here during long stretches of the year. For your journey to Namibia, be sure to bring your wide-lens. Travel is best performed by car.

Dadès Gorge, Morocco

Formed by the Dadès River in Morocco, the Dadès Gorge features a series of rugged wadi gorges in various colors. These range from 200 to 500 meters. The red-colored gorges in the southernmost points produce a plentiful supply of roses each year used in the production of rose water. There’s also an ample supply of palm and almond trees.  The combination of red rock colors and the green oasis of palm groves makes for beautiful scenes. For something unique, visit the “monkey fingers” rock formation at sunset when the lightning is most intense. 

Eldgjá, Iceland

Also known as the “fire canyon,” Iceland’s Eldgjá is the largest volcanic canyon in the world, measuring 270 meters deep, 600 meters at its widest point, and around 40 km long. The highlight of any tour of Eldgjá is the two-split waterfall, Ofaerufoss.  Until the 1990s, there was a natural bridge that spanned the falls; it collapsed from natural causes. Don’t worry, the volcano last erupted in 934. 

Kali Gandaki Gorge, Nepal

Located in the Himalayas in Nepal, the Kali Gandaki Gorge (also known as Andha Galchi) in one of the most yawning canyons in the world, although its exact depth isn’t known, although it could be more than 6,000 meters deep. The Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains surround the gorge.  The parts of the Kali Gandaki between the mountain peaks is at an elevation of 2,520 meters. Used for many years as a trade route between India and Tibet, the gorge is within the Annapurna Conservation Area. 

Blyde River Canyon, South Africa

The Blyde River Canyon (also called the Motlatse Canyon) is considered one of the geological wonders of the world. Located in South Africa, it includes breathtaking coastlines alongside beautiful mountain ranges and rivers. At 25 km long and 750 meters deep, the canyon is one of the greenest in the world. One of the best views is at the Three Rondavels location, where you’ll find round, grass-covered mountain tops with slightly pointed peaks. 

Itaimbezinho Canyon, Brazil

Located in Brazil, the Itaimbezinho Canyon is part of Aparados da Serra National Park. Featuring a rich mix of biodiversity, you’ll find coastal forests and grasslands in this location. Also look for cliffs and waterfalls. Among the animals located here are the red-spectacled Amazon parrot, maned wolf, and brown howling monkey. At nearly 9.4 km long and 1.6 km deep, the Itaimbezinho Canyon is both beautiful and dangerous. Be careful out there.

Mother Nature went all out when creating breathtaking canyons. From the greenery of Gorge du Verdon to the enormity of Fish River Canyon, these canyons are breathtaking and offer unique views of our world.