7 of the most beautiful protected forests in the world

Trees still rule in these protected natural areas.

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The impenetrable jungle of the Darien Gap The impenetrable jungle of the Darien Gap (Photo: Rafal Cichawa / Shutterstock)

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Darién Gap, Panama

Darién National Park is characterized by a dense rainforest. The land here is often referred to as the Darién Gap because there is literally a gap in the 30,000-mile Pan American Highway. The forest here proved too dense to build a roadway. It is the only remaining unbuilt section of the Pan American. 

The forest and marshlands of the Darién are not very accessible. Hikers and biologists do travel here, and two indigenous actually still live a traditional substance lifestyle inside the park. There are two ranger stations inside the park that have basic facilities for visitors. People have succeeded in crossing the Gap on motorcycles or 4x4 vehicles. Colombian rebel groups used the forests of the Darién as hiding places in the past, and there are rumors that smugglers and other outlaws are still active in the forests.   

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