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AFAR Explorer′s Wishlist
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20 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
The Russian River Valley in Sonoma County is a wonderful day trip from San Francisco. Pack a picnic and reserve a raft from SOAR Inflatables, and spend a summer day moseying down the river. Go early or late in the season to avoid crowds and have...
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Petaluma Ave, Sebastopol, CA 95472, USA
The Sea Ranch, a community located three hours north of San Francisco on the coast, comes close to Utopia for me. Founded by a group of UC Berkeley architects in the 1960s, Sea Ranch was conceived as a rustic escape from the city. The houses are...
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3400-3416 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Bernal Heights is one of my favorite neighborhoods in San Francisco. It's a little off the beaten path, but on a clear day the park at the top of the hill offers an amazing view of the city and the bay. On a foggy day, the park feels like the...
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Long Ave & Marine Dr, San Francisco, CA 94129, USA
FREE
The Golden Gate Bridge is probably the most photographed site in California, but this vantage point never gets old. Explore the hollowed out fort, learn some history, and marvel at the view from the top floor.
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Weott, CA 95571, USA
A popular stop along the Avenue of the Giants, the Dyerville Giant rendered me speechless today. This ancient tree, which stood for 1,600 years and grew to be 362 feet tall, fell to the ground in 1991. Its sheer size--the tree was taller than...
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Tahquitz Falls, Palm Springs, CA 92264, USA
Tahquitz Canyon loop is a short but spiritual two-mile loop along the peaceful Tahquitz River to the 60-foot Tahquitz Falls. Whether it’s rushing in spring or trickling in fall, the setting is stunning with sheer white cliffs contrasting with the...
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1 Tram Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262, USA
Golf and sunshine are the main magnets that draw visitors to Palm Springs, but a 10-minute ride will take you up into a snowy evergreen forest. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway climbs up to a mountain wilderness at 8,500 feet (2,590 meters). The...
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SunLine Transit Bus Stop, 190 N Indian Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262, USA
Gorgeous hike at Indian Canyon. After ~2 hours, we encountered quite the temperature drop, and snow. Not very noticeable though when you have a view like this!
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Boek Phrai, Chom Bueng District, Ratchaburi 70150, Thailand
"NO ELECTRICITY in the heat of Thailand? Are you crazy?" Yes, this super eco friendly hotel operates without the use of electricity. It's snugged deep inside the luscious green mountain on River Kwai in Kanchanaburi province. I was scared of the...
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6975 Howard St, Green Mountain Falls, CO 80819, USA
Don’t expect butlers, room service, or even a receptionist at this six-room lodge set at nearly 7,800 feet in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Owner Christian Keesee vacationed in Green Mountain Falls as a kid. When the New York–based...
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Lake Tanganyika
Tom Lithgow invites guests to his 130-acre island on Lake Tanganyika. Thirteen thatched-roof bungalows guarantee privacy; scuba gear and helicopter trips to Kalambo Falls guarantee fun.
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71895 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
For such a remote region, Big Sur has more than its share of amazing places to stay. One of the most unique is Treebones Resort, nestled high in the foothills of South Big Sur overlooking the Pacific. The off-the-grid property offers 16 signature...
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Phaknam Bay, Phi Phi Island Tambon Ao Nang, Amphoe Mueang Krabi, Chang Wat Krabi 81000, Thailand
On the island of Kho Phi Phi, there is the usual town that greets you with bars, restaurant and easy-to-get lodging if you didn't plan ahead. However, if you are so inclined, on the far side of the island there is a veritable Smurf village that...
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124 Kelsey Blvd, Churchill, MB R0E 0E0, Canada
At first glance, the frozen little Canadian town of Churchill doesn’t suggest much in the way of a terrific vacation spot. Located in northern Manitoba, Churchill is a small town at the southwestern crook of the Hudson Bay. No road goes there,...
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Churchill, MB, Canada
I’ve found that Manitoba, Canada is one of the best destinations for those seeking experiential travel. It’s also a place that few others have visited, so I came back with plenty of unique stories to share. Located in the centre of Canada and...
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313 Kelsey Blvd, Churchill, MB R0B 0E0, Canada
Churchill, Canada, the polar bear capital of the world, is located on the edge of the Hudson Bay and is where the bears come to wait for the ice to form in order to begin their long winter ahead hunting for ring seals. When we arrived to...
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321 Kelsey Blvd, Churchill, MB, Canada
Owned and operated by the “top dog,” Dave Daley, Wapusk Adventures is a complete immersion experience into the world of Canadian dog sledding. Dave is of the native Maite people in Manitoba, and his passion for dog sledding comes out of his zeal...
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When Costa Rica became known internationally as a top ecotourism destination, one of the activities most commonly promoted in advertisements was whitewater rafting. That's because the country has many rivers that thread across varied landscapes,...
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Guanacaste Province, Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica
Visitors who are already SCUBA certified can register for a half-day or full-day diving excursion with Sirenas Diving, which leads guided trips to sweet diving spots in the Playas del Coco and Playa Hermosa area. Visibility in the dry season...
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Alajuela Province, Costa Rica
While you may be keeping your eyes open for the end goal—Bijagual is one of Costa Rica's tallest and loveliest waterfalls—stay attentive on the trek to get there and you'll likely see toucans, macaws and other brightly colored tropical birds...
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Though nearly 2,743 meters (9,000 feet) in height, Poás Volcano is not Costa Rica's tallest active volcano (that distinction goes to Irazú), but it has plenty of superlatives to fascinate visitors, including two crater lakes near its summit. One...
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The Cocalito Waterfall is an unusual cascade in that the water tumbling over the cliff empties not into its own freshwater pool, but directly into the ocean. Along the path leading to the falls you're likely to see brightly colored crabs and the...
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Ecuador
Technically, you don’t have to be a science geek to appreciate a cruise to the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. That said, basic knowledge of the archipelago as the inspiration for Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution certainly won’t...
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2520 Peniche, Portugal
Hire a boat out of Peniche, Portugal, when available, and travel six miles offshore to the pristine Berlenga Islands. Then hike, kayak, snorkel, and swim the day away. Pack a picnic lunch and feast on the beach. The perfect day in paradise.
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Paradise Bay, Antarctica
The Antarctic weather was unpredictable and often inhospitable throughout our 1-week expedition cruise. Dramamine came in really handy the last day as we sailed the Gerlach Straight. I popped them like candy before cautiously eating dinner. Just a...
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Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania
As easy as it would be to spend an entire trip to Zanzibar lazing around on soft-sand beaches, it’s well worth skipping an hour or two of sunbathing to see Stone Town, the ancient district of Zanzibar. With its narrow cobblestoned streets,...
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Moraine Lake, Improvement District No. 9, AB T0L, Canada
Nestled at the base of the Valley of the 10 Peaks, Moraine Lake boasts turquoise waters that change color throughout the day as sunlight refracts off the minuscule particles of glacier-ground rock suspended within. Though it has a B-list rating...
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No trip to Australia is complete without a visit to the Great Barrier Reef. Albeit not for serious divers with better options for seeing the dazzling marine life that earned this area its reputation, a ride out on the FantaSea to Reef World, a...
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Zimbabwe
Seeing the Victoria Falls is truly amazing. I've been lucky enough to view the falls from both the Zambian and Zimbabwean sides, and I have to say that I am partial to the Zim side. Better value for money, unique lodges and camps and better views...
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Arizona, USA
If you know your flight path is going to go over the Grand Canyon, get a window seat. Even from thirty-some-thousand feet above, the chasms within chasms stretch on to the horizon...
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Via Case Sparse Ridarolo, 28, 19015 Levanto SP, Italy
In 5 terre, Italy there is an absolutely breathtaking hike to be taken which will show you the beauty of the 5 cities. It's an arduous hike, but worth it. Bring a bathing suit, plenty of water, sun screen, and money for a seafood pizza
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Yucatán, 72470 Puebla, Pue., Mexico
Las Coloradas is a small fishermen town in the east corner of the Yucatecan coast inside Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, the Yucatan’s largest wetland area. This little known part of Yucatán has picturesque and unordinary landscapes, a giant salt...
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Nordurljosavegur 9, 240 Grindavík, Iceland
Iceland’s largest and most famous geothermal spa lies around an hour outside Reykjavik, quite close to Keflavik Airport. With a dramatic setting amidst large black lava boulders, the steam-filled, creamy-blue pool area is a striking and...
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Bell Rock, Arizona 86351, USA
I'll admit, I came here not so much for the scenery but for the alleged 'energy vortex' that locals in Sedona, AZ claim is present in nearby Bell Rock. After standing in place for a few moments and trying to channel something that I was hoping was...
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Km. 122, Valladolid - Merida, Tablaje Catastral 510, 97753 Xcalacoop, Yuc., Mexico
Situated a few miles south of Chichen Itza lies one of the Yucatan’s most beautiful geologic wonders - a giant sinkhole or cenote called Ik Kil. Often overlooked by tourists in search of maya ruins, giant cenotes like Ik Kil dot the landscape...
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Ruby Beach, Washington 98331, USA
Just before the 101 veers inland after winding its way up the coast of Washington's Olympic Peninsula, a smallish spur road leads down to Ruby Beach, an immense expanse of sand broken by dramatic rock outcrops and the tangled remains of cedar and...
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Aydinli Mah., Yavuz Sok. No:1, 50180 Göreme Belediyesi/Nevşehir Merkez/Nevşehir, Turkey
When you travel to the Cappadocia region of Turkey you have to stay in a cave hotel. Sleeping in a room carved out of the area’s ‘fairy chimney’ rock formations is inherently cool. When you realize that your room is also literally cool—even in the...
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Easter Island is a strange, remote, and magical place. After a full day of wandering around this tiny island, we were fortunate enough to witness an absolutely breathtaking sunset over the Pacific. The "beach" here is made up of pitch black...