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AFAR Explorer′s Wishlist
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Tuamotus Islands, French Polynesia
The Tuamotu archipelago – 78 coral reef atolls spread north and east of Tahiti – are just remote enough they’ve not been spoiled by excessive tourism. There are a few high-end hotels, but just a few. Instead of tourism, the local economy is still...
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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...
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Siggiewi, Malta
After braving the Blue Lagoon crowds, Ghar Lapsi is the ideal spot for swimming in Malta's pristine waters. A tiny inlet and small fishing village, this is the place to experience Maltese summer like a local. The calm waters and rocky shore are a...
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Hāmoa Beach, Hawaii 96713, USA
Legendary travels scribes from Michener to Twain have written of the beauty of lonely Hamoa. Sandy, sheltered, and dripping in palms, this remote stretch of shoreline on the eastern tip of Maui can make a case for Maui's best beach. Nevertheless,...
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The top wildlife viewing experience of my life. Hands-down. So wild, remote, unplanned...no other people, no other vehicles. Damaraland is my favorite region of Namibia - incredible scenery, geology, views, stars, and so few other travelers. Stay...
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E6 80, 9146 Olderdalen, Norway
Situated on the Lyngen Fjord, this timber lodge is well suited for boat skiing. From March through May, a skipper ferries guests to nearby islands, where they hike up peaks and ski back to the beach. From $4,500 per week. 47/ 4762-7853. This...
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Tasiilaq, Greenland
Ammassalik Island is in the fjords of eastern Greenland - one of the most stunning and harsh places I've ever been to. This spot was at the end of an 8-hour grueling hike where we were led before our guide realized that our campsite was actually...
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Sunset Cliffs, San Diego, CA 92107, USA
Hearing the waves while trying to find the ocean through the cut mountains and shady overgrowth of the trail and finally...find a view of crystal waters and colorful cliffs in Point Loma, San Diego. Suddenly I feel like I'm in some other country,...
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Jökulsárlón, Iceland
This lake filled with giant, translucent chunks of iceberg is one of Iceland’s most distinctive and photogenic sights. Featured in high-profile movies, including two of the James Bond series and Batman Begins (as well as many local TV...
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Sec Gozalandia, San Sebastián 00685, Puerto Rico
As with many other natural wonders in Puerto Rico, there isn't a clearly defined marker. Normally, to find Gozalandia, you would first have to visit it with a local, because getting directions there can be complicated. Lately, there is talk...
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Pangkor Island, Perak, Malaysia
My charged childhood memories of summer days spent fishing, swimming and exploring the backcountry of central Ontario are a far cry from the wild tropical jungles and lavish sandscapes of Malaysia’s island paradises, places where angel fish tango...
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Kayaköy, Kayaköy Mahallesi, 48300 Fethiye/Muğla, Turkey
Most people explore the Mediterranean by boat via it's beautiful blue waters, however it is also possible to explore this area by foot via the Lycian Way. This 500km hiking trail in southwestern Turkey connects Fethiye in the west with southwest...
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Lake Louise, AB, Canada
As a dog owner, a Siberian Husky owner to be exact, I was always a little hesitant about dogsledding tours. I have heard some pretty horrific stories about mistreatment and I certainly didn’t want to contribute to this in any way. As with all...
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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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Yulara NT 0872, Australia
The Sounds of Silence tour at Ayers Rock Resort begins at sunset, when the iconic rock formations of Uluru and Kata Tjuta glow fiery red. Take a short walk through the dunes to a panoramic viewpoint, then dine outdoors on Aussie fare, including...
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You'll have never seen a place more green. Hundreds of shades of it, with waterfalls and babbling brooks. Gleninchaquin is something out of a dream—yet it's the beautiful reality in Southwest Ireland. This family-owned park, overseen by Donal and...
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Aiguille du Midi, 74400 Chamonix, France
France's Chamonix Valley is one of the most scenic places on the European continent. It's a narrow river valley which houses everything from rock-climbing centers to pulsing bars and pubs, and on both sides of the river the peaks of the French...
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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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Dewey Point, California, USA
There's an absolute gem of a hike in Yosemite National Park that anyone who loves a good winter snowshoe hike should do. It's a seven-mile out-and-back trek from Badger Pass to the inspirational Dewey Point, which is on the south rim at just over...
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California, USA
“We wanted to go to Yosemite, but didn’t have time.” I’ve heard this refrain from several San Francisco visitors and they all have said it with regret. Yes, the reverent national park is outside of a short-drive comfort...
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Lake Aloha, California, USA
Welcome to Northern California's Desolation Wilderness, the perfect place to hike near South Lake Tahoe. Lake Aloha is a well-deserved and divine place to take a dip after having tackled the climb up from Echo Lake. I'd suggest parking your car at...
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Terrebonne, OR 97760, USA
Even on a cold, gray day in winter, this state park is something to be celebrated. (The last time I was this impressed with a six-mile hike I was in the diverse and mind-blowing landscape known as the South Island of New Zealand.) Smith Rock State...
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It's impossible to capture the scene with a photo. As you move along the well-marked trails on the Western Summit side of Rabbit Ears Pass, the trees appear to lean in and study you as you go. There are seven set trails to choose from at the...
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53000 East Historic Columbia River Hwy, Corbett, OR 97019, USA
Multnomah Falls is a gorgeous sight located about 45 minutes by car outside of Portland, Oregon, on the Columbia River Gorge. Several hikes of differing degrees of difficulty offer vantage points to view the falls. The sound of the rushing water...
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701 E Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92264, USA
The trendy ACE hotel renovated a roadside Denny’s into a delicious farm-to-table diner with retro contemporary flair. Breakfast is served all day and no dish can go wrong with a side of parmesan hashbrowns, thick-cut pepper bacon, and French press...
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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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622 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262, USA
Escape the hotels and resorts for city style dining at Cheeky’s in Palm Springs. Serving a fresh menu each week and breakfast all day, it’s the best spot around for quality, price and vibe. Only open Thursday through Monday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.,...
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800 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262, USA
Palm Springs’ Uptown Design District has seen a burgeoning number of restaurants in recent years that caters to the classy and cool instead of the historically kitsch. Workshop Kitchen + Bar is the latest addition to the scene, whose seasonal menu...
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611 S Palm Canyon Dr # 6, Palm Springs, CA 92264, USA
Palm Greens Cafe is dedicated to organic cuisine and serves a menu of entrees for all dietary preferences including meat, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and raw. Their raw twist on lasagna consists of thinly sliced zucchini noodles stuffed with...
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Palm Springs, CA, USA
If you're in the Palm Springs area, I highly recommend checking out Tahquitz Canyon! It's a beautiful, moderate hike through the canyon and you have the chance to see wildlife, plants and Native American artifacts. However, the highlight of this...