Best Uses Of Points & Miles To Visit The 7 Wonders Of The World
Searching for the best uses of points & miles to visit the 7 Wonders of The World? These are dream destinations for many people, so how can we get there while flying for free? Here, we’ll look at the best flight redemptions to get you to these places. If you want to visit the 7 Wonders of the World, here are your best options for economy & business class flights.
What Are The 7 Wonders Of The World?
Before we visit the 7 Wonders of the World, we should establish what they are. You obviously can’t visit the original 7 Wonders, since the pyramids at Giza are the only 1 of the 7 still around. The so-called New 7 Wonders of the World (the pyramids at Giza are an honorary addition) are as follows:
- Chichen Itza, Mexico
- Christ the Redeemer, Brazil
- The Colosseum, Italy
- The Great Wall of China
- Machu Picchu, Peru
- Petra, Jordan
- Taj Mahal, India
What follows is a break down of the best redemptions to visit the 7 Wonders of the World on points and miles.
Best Redemptions To Visit The 7 Wonders Of The World
In this section, I’ll show the best airfare redemptions. Where possible, it will be the least amount of points. However, if I give an option that isn’t the fewest points, I’ll explain why. I’ll note whether the values are one way or round trip, and I’ll also include any special things you should know, as needed. Let’s jump in!
Chichen Itza – Mexico
Chichen Itza is the easiest to get to, given that the vast majority of our readers are in the continental U.S. It’s also the redemption that could change the most, depending on where you are in the U.S. and any promotions during the time of your booking. The best airport for Chichen Itza is Cancun CUN airport, given the numerous connections. (Note that you’ll need a tour or rental car to go 3+ hours from Cancun to Chichen Itza.)
- Best economy booking: from the East Coast = 18,000 Delta SkyMiles + $87 taxes/fees (round-trip booking, direct flights); from the West Coast = 25,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles + $92 taxes/fees (round trip, has a connection)
- Best business class booking: from the East Coast = 46,000 miles + $86 with Delta (round trip, direct); from the West Coast = 50,000 miles + $92 with American Airlines (round trip, has a connection)
Christ The Redeemer – Brazil
Christ the Redeemer (or Cristo Redentor) sits on Corcovado Mountain overlooking Rio de Janeiro. Rio has 2 airports, but Santos Dumont SDU is a domestic airport only. We’ll fly to “Galeão” airport, GIG. Once there, you can easily find tours at the airport or haggle with guides at Praça do Lido in the Copacabana area. You can get a taxi up to the entrance, as well. The traditional route, though, is the Corcovado Train up the mountain.
- Best economy booking: from the East Coast = 44,000 + $39 (round-trip booking, basic economy); from the West Coast = 60,000 miles with American, United, Alaska & Etihad (round trip, has a connection)
Note: American Airlines did offer me a ‘web special’ for 40,000 miles round-trip in main cabin while doing these searches. Check for those deals.
- Best business class booking: 90,000 miles round-trip with Alaska Airlines (flying on LATAM) or American Airlines web special (if offered when you’re searching)
The Colosseum – Italy
Sitting in the center of Rome, this is definitely the most straightforward in your quest to visit the 7 Wonders of the World. You can get city buses, taxis, or even the subway to the site of the Colosseum. Here are your best redemptions to Rome. These are “North America to Europe”, so they apply equally to starting cities across the U.S. 48.
- Best economy booking: 40,000 miles + $80 booked with Etihad to fly on American airlines (must be mid-October to Mid-May “off peak” period, must call to book)
- Best business class booking: 80,000 miles + $300 or more with Korean Air (can only book round trip or use 100,000 miles + $100ish to book with Etihad to fly on American Airlines
The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall is huge, obviously. When I visited, the guide made sure to tell us at least a zillion times that you can’t walk all of it in one day. That means you can visit it from a bunch of different places. The most straightforward, though, is visiting from Beijing. As Zoe said, you can even take the metro to part of the Great Wall. However, that means this area is PACKED! The section I visited is the Mutianyu section, which is the best combination of “less people” + “mostly restored, so it looks good in pictures”.
- Best economy booking: 55,000 miles + $423 with ANA on ANA flights round trip; pay 60,000 miles + $100ish to book with Alaska and fly on Hainan Airlines or Cathay Pacific
- Best business class booking: use 100,000 miles + $100ish for Cathay or Hainan flights booked via Alaska Airlines; ANA charges 95,000 miles round trip but $700+ in fees
Machu Picchu – Peru
Getting to Machu Picchu takes some effort. The Machu Picchu article on Wikitravel has all the updated information about tickets, hours, etc. and also includes the ways to get there from Cusco, Peru. Personally, if you aren’t up for hiking the Inca Trail (I don’t blame you with the altitude effects!), I recommend taking the train with the Vistadome (all glass for the best views) from Cusco to Aguas Calientes. This is where you’ll hike or catch the bus up the mountain to Machu Picchu itself.
The problem with bookings to CUZ is that LATAM is the only airline flying into this airport for which we can use miles. Here are your best redemption options, now that they left oneworld alliance and didn’t become a full member of SkyTeam.
- Best economy booking: 25,000 miles off peak or 30,000 peak season with Alaska miles to fly on LATAM (one way); book those same flights via Asia Miles for 27,000 miles each way
- Best business class booking: 90,000 miles round trip, also booked with Alaska
Note: you’ll have to call to make any of those bookings. Alaska will charge a $25 phone fee and $15 partner fee, FYI.
Petra – Jordan
To visit Petra, you’ll fly to AMM airport near Amman, Jordan. From there, you can rent a car, take a bus, get a tour–lots of options to get down to Petra. These are your best options for flying to Amman with miles.
- Best economy booking: whether you’re on the East Coast or West Coast, the lowest number of miles will be Delta at 75,000 miles. You’ll pay a hefty $500 in taxes/fees. If you want to spend a few more miles but much less in taxes, use Alaska Airlines.
- Best business class booking: the lowest mileage requirement is 135,000 miles round-trip. This applies whether you use Asia Miles or use Etihad Guest to book flights on American Airlines.
Taj Mahal – India
You’ll fly to Delhi DEL airport. From there, get down to Agra (there’s a high-speed train with business class, including a meal, and I recommend it! It’s the Gatimaan Express.). In Agra, follow the signs to the booking office, pay, and then ride the free golf cart from there to the entrance.
- Best economy booking: from anywhere in the US 48 or Alaska, use Alaska Airlines to pay 70,000 miles + $82 (round trip, 1 stop in Tokyo flying on JAL both ways)
- Best business class booking: again, use Alaska miles to pay 120,000 miles + $82 for the same itinerary on JAL
Visiting the 7 Wonders of the World is a dream for many people. I was super excited when I visited Machu Picchu in 2017 and saw my 7th Wonder. Logistically, some are super easy to reach. Others take some pretty good effort. That being said, you can get to all of them flying for free with your points and miles. Hopefully, this guide to the best redemptions in economy and business class will help you get there.