The Cairngorms National Park Authority has expressed delight at being the only UK location named in National Geographic Magazine's top 50 for the world's last great places.
It means the area is listed alongside places such as the Galapagos Islands and the Gobi desert, yet is much easier to reach.
Convener of the board of the Cairngorms National Park Authority Duncan Bryden said: "For the Cairngorms to be named in the top 50 of the World's last great places confirms what those of us who are passionate about the area have known all along."
He said its varied landscapes and population of many rare species mark it out as a particularly exceptional place.
Those heading to the national park in their walking boots
to climb the highest mountains in the national park - it has five over 4,000 ft - will find themselves crossing the only area of sub-arctic tundra in the UK.
Rare species include Pine martens, red squirrels and several fungi that are found nowhere in Britain except a small patch by the River Dee near the former Inverey Youth Hostel.