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New Wonders of the World to Add to Your List

Countless travelers have visited the ancient Peruvian site of Machu Picchu but how many can say they’ve laid eyes on the remains of the Royal Empire in India?

And while the pyramids of Egypt top bucket lists far and wide, the pyramids in Sudan remain largely unvisited.

A new report from Bloomberg reveals there are seven newly accessible wonders of the world that few people have ever heard of or seen.

The sites have long been local secrets, but are now accessible due to infrastructure developments in some cases and intrepid tour operators in other instances.

Among the sites are thousand-year-old temple complexes in India, archaeological sites in Colombia that predate Machu Picchu and a sacred city in Sri Lanka that until recently was off limits because of infrastructure and local political issues.

“A willingness to move a little off the beaten path often provides great rewards,” Lisa Ackerman, executive vice president of World Monuments Fund, told Bloomberg.

The Bloomberg report notes, however, that in the coming years (for better or for worse) these under the radar wonders will likely find their way onto the itineraries of countless global travelers.

The potential for these emerging sites to become overtraveled is a dilemma currently being faced by locations around the world.

Overtourism is a serious problem leading to protests from Venice to Barcelona. Machu Picchu sees so many visitors there has been talk of shutting the site down for good.

Ackerman told Bloomberg that there are benefits however to visiting these new, lesser-known sites, spreading tourism among more destinations. Perhaps taking the burden off of those that are already highly visited.

In addition, helping to create and support a viable tourism economy around the new sites may inspire locals to take pride in their heritage and work to preserve it.

Here are some of the new sites identified by Bloomberg include:

The Remains of a Royal Empire in India
The ruins of the Vijayanagara Empire in Hampi, India date back to the 14th century. In recent years a cluster of independently owned resorts has sprung up around the ruins. And most recently, the five-star Kamlapura Palace opened its doors.

A Former Mayan Capital in Guatemala
El Mirador is said to be about five times larger than Tikal, the famous ruins that attract hundreds of thousands of visitors annually to Guatemala. The site, still being excavated by archaeologists, is thought to have been the onetime capital of the Mayas. Helicopter visits are now making the site, which typically involves a five-day trek, accessible.

Roman Mansions in Portugal
The Roman ruins of Conimbriga date back to the 2nd century BCE. Later, they were renovated under the reign of Emperor Augustus and then became lost amid hundreds of years of debris. They were rediscovered about a century ago and thanks to booming tourism in Portugal, the site may soon find itself in the spotlight again.

Pyramids in Sudan
A country rife with pyramids rivaling Egypt, Sudan has long suffered from a lack of infrastructure. But luxury tour companies such as the Explorations Company are now taking travelers on private guided trips to Sudan’s pyramids in Meroe, as well as temple ruins in Soleb.

The full list of new sites is available here.

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