Social distancing may mean putting a pause on certain outdoor adventures. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate the natural world from the comfort of your own home. Consider watching some (or all) of these 14 nature films to make you feel like you are summiting a mountain or trekking through the Amazon. Enjoy! 

#1.  Ken Burns: The National Parks - America's Best Idea

A deep-dive into the history of the United States’ National Parks. Like all Ken Burns documentaries, the cinematography is beautiful, the narration and expert commentary is insightful, and — maybe most importantly — the series is really in-depth!

Available on PBS or Amazon Video  

#2. PBS “Nature” Series

This long-running PBS series covers everything you could possibly want to know about nature, from “The Story of the Horse” to “A Squirrel’s Guide to Success.” Ten seasons are currently available for PBS members, while Amazon Prime subscribers can see one season plus several standalone feature films.

Available on PBS for PBS supporters and on Amazon Prime Video

#3. Free Solo

Being stuck on your couch with your feet firmly on the ground won’t seem so bad after watching climber Alex Honnold attempt to become the first person to free solo El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. That means climbing the 3,200-foot natural wall without assistance, ropes or other gear. The film won the 2018 Academy Award for best feature documentary.

Available on Hulu or for rent on Amazon

#4. Mountain 

The Hollywood Reporter called it "one of the most visceral essay films ever made" due to its musical score. It premiered at the Sydney Opera House in 2017. This film explores the highest peaks around the world and it is more visual art than it is a storytelling piece. 

Available on Netflix

#5. Expedition Happiness

A couple and their adorable Bernese mountain dog take you on a trip in their refurbished school bus across North America. Once you’ve seen this film, you’ll be tempted to use your extra time at home to start renovating a van or school bus to replicate their journey. Send us pictures. 

Available on Netflix

#6. Dancing with the Birds

After watching this Netflix original documentary, I have come to the conclusion that birds are severely underrated. This film takes you on a deep dive into the lives of birds, It turns out they are quite bizarre, intelligent, and preformative. The video footage is exact and takes you into remote areas to get the most stunning shots of these underrated creatures. 

Available on Netflix

#7. Elephant

Megan Markle narrates the story of an elephant named Shani and her spirited son Jomo in the Kalahari Desert. It’s a compelling look at the dynamics of an elephant family. Spoiler alert: You’ll learn we are not too different. 

Available on Disney+ 

#8. Ice on Fire

Using beautiful camerawork and hard facts, this critically acclaimed HBO documentary reminds us what’s at stake if we don’t take aggressive action to curb climate change. Importantly, the filmmakers also offer workable solutions to help cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Available on HBO, and via Amazon Prime with an HBO subscription

#9. African Cats

African Cats follows a pride of lions and a family of cheetahs across a national reserve in Kenya. It’s a stunning adventure in storytelling as you will get quite attached to the characters. 

Available on Disney+ 

#10. Jane

Most people will know exactly what this film is about when they see the title and a picture of a ‎chimpanzee. The movie pulls from more than 100 hours of unseen footage from Jane Goodall’s timing studying primates in Tanzania. Jane Goodall’s life is a great story to show your 8-year-old little explorer. You never know who will be the next great anthropologist!

Available on Disney+

#11. 180 Degrees South

If you’ve always wanted to make a trip to Patagonia, this is the film for you. 180 Degrees South follows Jeff Johnson through Chile, while he attempts to mirror Yvon Chouinard’s (founder of the company Patagonia) and Doug Tompkins’s (founder of North Face) trip down south in 1968. This is not a nail-biting documentary. Instead, you will leave with intense feelings of wanderlust. 

Available for purchase on Amazon  or YouTube

#12. Seven Worlds, One Planet

In seven episodes, this documentary series explores how the distinctive geography of Earth’s seven continents has shaped species’ evolution and animal behavior. 

Available on BBC America with a cable subscription or YouTube

#13. Honeyland 

This Oscar-nominated movie tells the story of Hatidze Muratova and her ancient bee-keeping techniques. There is a lot going on in the film so it will require your undivided attention. Between conflict with neighbors and raising seven noisy children, Muratova’s life, set against the backdrop of the Balkans in Macedonia, isn’t one to miss. 

Available on Apple TV

#14. American Experience: Into the Amazon

Not long after losing his bid for a third term as president, Teddy Roosevelt trekked into uncharted territory in the Amazon. This PBS documentary tells the story of the joint Brazilian-American expedition in 1914, led by Brazilian explorer Cândido Rondon.

Available for free at