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AFAR Explorer′s Wishlist
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Peru
Arriving at the gate at 6:30am, I was extremley excited to see and explore this amazing place. I have been planning this trip for over ten years and the moment was finally here! After entering, the entire mountain range and ruins were covered in a...
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Presidio Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94129, USA
Artist Andy Goldsworthy's Wooden Line meanders its way through a grove of Eucalyptus in the Presidio, inviting all to take off shoes and balance beam through the forest. The sculpture, formed from the trunks of eucalyptus, gently curves its way...
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Hiking down the Schilthorn may be hard on your toes, but it's a high-altitude feast for the rest of your senses...From the Lauterbrunnen valley south of Interlaken, you can take a cable-car up to the summit and then hike down to Mürren, across...
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Dragon's Back, Shek O, Hong Kong
On this day, we discovered there's way more to Hong Kong than high-end shopping and dining. I'll never forget these views and the sense of tranquility we found up here. We also spent some time at the lovely little Shek O beach, which you'll find...
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Diablo Lake, Washington 98283, USA
In the summer, take at least a couple of days to drive the North Cascades Loop — four hundred miles of alpine splendor just to the northeast of Seattle, just south of the Canadian border. At Diablo Lake, pull off the highway and check out the...
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Mt Moran, Wyoming 83414, USA
9 mile loop trail with beautiful views, and 1 sole backcountry camping site on the point of a small peninsula in Jackson Lake.
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Igeldo Ibilbidea, 187, 20008 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
It was raining when we arrived in Donostia-San Sebastian, but the skies cleared on our second day, and we rode the funicular railway up Mount Igueldo to take in the view back on the city, La Concha Bay, and the empty beach. The "low" travel season...
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15 Entrance Rd, Los Alamos, NM 87544, USA
I’m not sure at what age humans develop the skill to stand still and appreciate scenery, but based on a scientific survey of kids who live in my house, it’s not age seven. (On a trip to the Canadian Rockies, as my wife and I snapped photos of the...
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45500 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
One of my favorite campgrounds in Big Sur is the big open meadow at Andrew Molera State Park. It's great for large groups and it's one of the best bases for hiking and surfing in the area. More than 20 miles of trails run throughout the park's...
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Magallanes y la Antártica Chilena Region, Chile
See our full list of Where to Go in 2015. Southern Patagonia is home to the legendary Torres del Paine National Park. The best way to observe the park’s wildlife, which includes guanacos, deer, and pumas, is to join Tierra Patagonia hotel’s new...
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North Rim, AZ 86052, 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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Utah, USA
As its biblical name implies, Zion National Park has the appeal of a place out of time. Established on November 19, 1919, the canyon and its surrounding landscape feel like a natural temple, full of arches, hoodoos, and imposing walls, some of...
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Peru
Trek through the Andes to the 15th-century Incan ruins of Machu Picchu on the lesser-traveled Salkantay Trail. Four luxurious lodges—three with outdoor hot tubs at the foot of craggy peaks, the last in a lush avocado orchard—will serve as your...
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Yosemite National Park, 1 Ahwahnee Drive, Yosemite Valley, CA 95389, USA
Although a very popular hike in the Yosemite Valley, the hike past Vernal Falls up the mist trail to Nevada Falls is magical in the Springtime. Personally, I think this is the best spot to stop and have lunch. However, Be sure to check the signs...
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Pali Hwy, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA
This used to be the old highway to get from the leeward to the windward side of the island. It was literally built into the side of a mountain and was barely hanging on. It’s now been replaced with a proper 4 lane highway complete with a tunnel,...
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Latin America
Do you go down to the beach via ladder, or just sit on the cliff and get lulled into a trance with with rhythm of the waves? Or just come back again tomorrow? Ahhh choices.....
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Jiuzhaigou, Aba, Sichuan, China, 623400
Jiuzhaigou Valley (or Jiuzhaigou National Park) is located in Sichuan, China. It is one of the World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This is the longest hiking experience I've ever had - it took me two days to finish every part of the park! However, I...
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52801 California State Route 1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
After five hours in the car, I was more than happy to hop out and hike the 1.4 miles out to Pfeiffer Burns State Park and get the prize of a beautiful waterfall. The water's color is an unreal sea blue/green that I have never seen before. The best...
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Beijing, China
The Great Wall of China runs more than 21,000 kilometers (over 13,000 miles), not as one continuous wall but rather as fortified wall sections. Some of the sections date back more than 2,500 years, though only 8.2 percent of the existing wall is...
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Myrdal, Norway
Few countries can rival Norway for dramatic, jaw-dropping scenery. This view was captured on board the scenic Bergen Railway on a "Norway in a Nutshell" tour that took in the breathtaking Flåm Railway, the Aurlandsfjord, the narrow Nærøyfjord and...
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Itacoatiara, Niterói - State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Just a thirty minute cab ride from downtown Rio over the Rio-Niteroi bridge, one of the longest bridges in the world, this little beach town of Itacoatiara lies. It is a surfers' haven and a sleepy little beach town that swells on the weekends...
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La Fortuna - El Castillo, Provincia de Alajuela, Costa Rica
Viewing Arenal Volcano from the thermal hot springs at the base of the mountain. The peak is rarely clear but when the clouds break it's an awesome sight.
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5a Avenida Norte, Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala
Few cities in Central America can rival Antigua Guatemala for its setting: a mile high, surrounded by volcanoes, with a spring-like climate all year round. The first time we visited Antigua, we spent a week here, taking intensive Spanish classes...
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Ruhengeri, Rwanda

A new walking itinerary from Butterfield & Robinson emphasizes Rwanda’s natural beauty. The eight-day trip takes walkers to tea plantations and fishing villages. But the highlight is a hike in Volcanoes National Park’s high-altitude rain forest to...

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Hawaii, USA
Witnessing the sunrise from the summit of this otherworldly national park is on many a bucket list--and for good reason. At just over 10,000 feet, the volcanic Haleakalā resembles Mars. There are species of plants, including the spindly...
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Summit Lake, California, USA
Visited Lassen National Park in late July with the goal to kayak in Summit Lake but found it much too icy. Still had a great time hiking around the volcano.
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Alajuela Province, El Castillo, Costa Rica
The volcano in Arenal spouts hourly, and provides visitors with enchanting views that change as night turns to day. The area has no shortage of accommodation services, with Tabacon Hot Springs being the flagship resort operator.
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Arequipa, Peru
High on an Andean plateau in the south of Perú sits Arequipa--a Baroque gem of a city whose historic center is built almost entirely of white volcanic stone. "When the moon separated from the Earth, it forgot to take Arequipa," say some locals......
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San Pedro de Atacama, Antofagasta Region, Chile
the stark dry desert of San Pedro de Atacama is one of the most beautiful places I've experienced. the air is clear, stars abundant and the small adobe town is a joy to hang out in. rent some bikes from Andes expeditions and ride through the...
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On our way from Sapporo to Lake Toya in Hokkaido, Japan, what emerged from the road ahead was this beautiful snow-capped mountain that looks very much like the famous majestic Mt. Fuji (highest mountain in Japan). And as we jokingly called out Mt....
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You can catch a glimpse of Mount Hood looming on the horizon from the city of Portland, Oregon. Look through the Douglas firs and find it. If you're in Portland, seek higher ground—preferably a rooftop or balcony—crack open a Mirror Pond, Rogue,...
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Costa Rica
Standing and watching the power of the earth is mesmerizing.
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Kīlauea Crater, Hawaii 96778, USA
The highlight of Volcanoes National Park is the Kilauea Crater. Nothing beats seeing the glow from the active crater at night—well, maybe the prospect of seeing a new explosive eruption. There are a couple of other lava flow viewing areas in the...
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The ire of Mount Kilauea reforges the world before visitors' eyes. Nicknamed "the World's Only Drive-In Volcano," it’s produced serious lava every day since 1983 with no signs of stopping. Pele—the fire goddess who lives here,...
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Kalapana - Kapoho Rd, Pāhoa, HI 96778, USA
Pele is the Hawaiian goddess of fire, lightning, wind, and volcanoes. Her power still holds the imagination of people in Hawaii today as legends suggest that taking rocks from her home on the island of Hawaii will lead to bad luck. She is said to...
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Two islands in the caldera were formed about 440 years ago, Palea Kameni (Old Burnt Island) and Nea Kameni (Young Burnt Island), and visiting them is one of the most fascinating experiences on Santorini. Charter boats leave Old Fira Port at...
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Taal Lake, Philippines
Lake and volcano Taal is a must to visit in this part of Luzon. The best way to reach the volcano in the middle of the crater lake is by boat from Talisay. The most convenient budget accommodation is Villa Manolo (20 USD), simple bungalows just at...
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Taal Volcano, Talisay, Philippines
Located in Tagaytay in Luzon, just an hour and a half by car from Manila, Taal Volcano has a complex and unique landscape and offers one of the most picturesque views in the Philippines. Taal Lake is a freshwater lake that partly fills the Taal...
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Rano Kau, Easter Island, Valparaiso Region, Chile
Save a good half-day for a hike up the side of Rano Kai volcano and the exploration of the Orongo village on the rim. It takes only an hour to go from the street to the top, if you move fast, but once there, you'll find more paths to walk for...
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Parque Nacional Volcán Poas, Provincia de Alajuela, Costa Rica
Costa Rica, like most of the rest of Central America, is volcanically endowed. Climbing up to the summit of one seems to be on everyone's list--who doesn't want to stare into a steaming crater? Do this easily near San José. The Volcán Poás...
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Three years back, a couple of friends & I went to visit the Bicol region in the Philippines. Ever since I was a kid in school, we learned that Bicol is known for one of Philippine's most popular attractions, the Mayon Volcano, the most beautiful...
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Alajuela Province, La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Early morning smoke from the active volcano
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Whakaari / White Island, Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand
The "youngest country on earth" was forged along the Pacific Ring of Fire, a geological pressure cooker that creates glaciers and volcanoes (and is susceptible to earthquakes). One of New Zealand's active volcanoes, the White Island in the Bay of...
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Blue River, OR 97413, USA
A black, awe-inspiring lava landscape is the welcome mat to our trek into Oregon's iconic volcano reserve. The Three Sisters: Faith/North, Hope/Middle, and Charity/South are ringed by a trail network that includes a stretch on the infamous Pacific...
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The Quilotoa Loop is a 124 mile road that drops and rises several thousand feet in elevation and climbers use it to acclimatize for Cotopaxi. The Quilotoa Crater Lake is in the middle of the Loop, about 1000ft down in the middle of a crater ringed...
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Oregon, USA
Crater Lake is a must if you drive on the 5 through Oregon. Be aware that as the winter approaches the roads get icy, snowy and the temperature drops at least 10-15 degrees from bottom to top. It's a beautiful peaceful drive to the peak of what...
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Mount Vesuvius, 80044 Ottaviano, Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy
While Pompeii is a beautiful sight in the rainy spring, Mt. Vesuvius has, well, restricted sites. Due to limited visibility- note: zero visibility- we couldn't make the hike up the ominous trail to see the panoramic view from the mouth of the...
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Mt Adams, Washington, USA
If you're on a flight from the East Coast of the U.S. to Portland, Oregon, try to get a window seat on the right side of the plane. As you approach Portland, look out the window and you just might catch a glimpse of two of the Pacific Northwest's...
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Ananuri, Georgia
I took a day trip from the Georgian capital of Tbilisi and headed an hour north to the Ananuri fortress. The ancient 17th-century complex is perched on a hill overlooking the sparkling turquoise-colored Aragvi River and Zhinvali Reservoir. It...
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ຫຼວງພຣະບາງ, Laos
A great way to cool off on the blistering tropical days in Laos. Luang Prabang is the cultural capital of Laos and is quiet and lovely.
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Purdon Rd, Nevada City, CA 95959, USA
I just spent the weekend following the 4th of July up near Nevada City. It got over 90 degrees during the day, so we headed to the river. Although lots of people had similar ideas, I was with a local who directed us to this spot and we had it to...
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Località Bagni di Petriolo, 58045 Pari, Civitella Paganico GR, Italy
Relax in the warm volcanic water emerging from deep underground. These natural spas were known by the Romans, who came here for their yearly health retreat.
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233 Union Ave, Scotch Plains, NJ 07076, USA
Fall foliage in New England is nothing short of spectacular. The color change begins usually in early October, and by middle of the month the landscape is filled with vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow. Whether it be Hwy 87 along the Hudson...
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113 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
Before the French Revolution, this park used to be the site of the Royal Palace. Today, the garden, which separates the Louvre from the Place de la Concorde, is a place where Parisians and tourists stroll amid Rodin and Maillol statues or relax...
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Ardnagrena, Co. Cork, Ireland
County Cork, Ireland is filled with a lot of small harbor towns, villages really. There are a lot of sailboats bobbing around in the water. I stayed in Kinsale (I would highly recommend it as it is a good base for other parts of Cork and there is...
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2678 Lower Lake Rd, Seneca Falls, NY 13148, USA
The state park system of New York has chosen some of the most beautiful spots in the state for its public camping grounds, and this one is a great example of how the community utilizes the grounds year round. The park begins along the lakeside and...
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5 Avenue des Tilleuls, 14340 Cambremer, France
Beyond its rich history, Normandy is perhaps best known for its local specialties - salted caramel, creamy milk, a variety of pungent cheeses and heady cider. One of the best spots in the region for the latter is at Pierre Huet in Cambremer where...
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72 Brook St, Plympton, MA 02367, USA
Every October in New England, farmers head to their bogs for the cranberry harvest. At the 112-acre Mayflower Cranberries farm in Plympton, Massachusetts (mayflowercranberries.com), you can join a Be the Grower experience and help gather the tart...
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Ardennes, France
There is no better place in Belgium, for observing the change of the season, than the Ardennes region. Right now a lot of the trees look like they are on fire. A gorgeous sight. Ardennes region is a very foresty area filled with chestnuts trees,...
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325 Galice Rd, Merlin, OR 97532, USA
In the late 1800s, a band of gold miners cleared a trail deep into southwest Oregon’s Rogue River Canyon, along the charging river and through old-growth Douglas fir forest. This is the route you’ll hike during Rogue Wilderness Adventure’s...
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Tanzania
This safari camp moves across the Serengeti with the seasons. The six yurts incorporate the design of Mongolian gers—with the center opening to keep them airy—but with Masai-inspired tribal decor. There’s a dining yurt and a lounge yurt with a...
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90 Armstrong Rd, Johnsburg, NY 12843, USA
This family-owned retreat within Adirondack State Park is geared toward campers who want comfort. Adirondack chairs (of course) sit on the decks of six canvas tents equipped with wood-burning stoves and cedar-lined showers. The platform...
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Southern Asia
by Maria Finn Each tented villa consists of a living room, a bathroom, and a teak-furnished bedroom that opens onto a porch and Madivaru’s mosaic-walled infinity pool. After a day of diving or snorkeling, you can arrange for a private dinner on...
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52068 W Fork Rd #38, Dolores, CO 81323, USA
Among the most lauded hotel openings in recent years, Dunton Hot Springs is a glitterati mainstay, with its batch of former mining community cabins that look straight out of a Ralph Lauren catalogue. You don’t have to book a pricey stay at...
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D53, Thakadu Gate, Madikwe Game Reserve, Molatedi, 2838, South Africa
Patience Bogatsu, who is from Molatedi village just outside northern South Africa’s 185,000-acre Madikwe Game Reserve, is one of the few black, female game rangers in the country. She might be your guide at the Thakadu River Camp, a lodge run...