Stonehenge, Machu Picchu Among 'Threatened Wonders'

How tourists damage eight of the wonders they love most

By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 14, 2010 9:10 AM CST

(Newser) – From the litter strewn around Machu Picchu to the noisy highway junction next to Stonehenge, mass tourism and misguided development have many of the world's most famous travel destinations looking worse for the wear. Wanderlust magazine reports on the top eight threatened wonders, what can be done to help them, and three places that could use more tourists. A few of them:

  • Tulum, Mexico: Tourist development on the Caribbean coast has harmed Mayan communities as well as local wildlife; if you go, choose lower-impact bungalow resorts over larger hotels.
  • Wadi Rum, Jordan: This stunning desert has been "beaten to a pulp" by 4WD tours, and most tourist money doesn't benefit the local Bedouin community.
  • Jaisalmer, India: Tourists who stay the night in this golden fort in the Rajasthan desert are straining the ancient building's infrastructure.
Click here for the full list.

People dance as they celebrate the summer solstice shortly after 04.58, at the Stonehenge monument, England, early Saturday June 21, 2008.
People dance as they celebrate the summer solstice shortly after 04.58, at the Stonehenge monument, England, early Saturday June 21, 2008.   (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
FILE- This July, 2006, file photo shows the ruins of  Peru's famed Machu Picchu. The World Monuments Fund's watch list for 2010 includes 93 sites in 47 countries, ranging from Phajoding, a remote monastery in Bhutan, to the bridges along Connecticut's scenic Merritt Parkway.
FILE- This July, 2006, file photo shows the ruins of Peru's famed Machu Picchu. The World Monuments Fund's watch list for 2010 includes 93 sites in 47 countries, ranging from Phajoding, a remote monastery...   (AP Photo/Martin Mejia, file)
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