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AFAR Explorer′s Wishlist
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Huay Xai, Laos
While in Laos I did a jungle trek into the Bokeo Reserve, then spent three days ziplining from treehouse to treehouse. We would sleep up in the canopy and every morning and evening our meals would come zipping in.
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Pamalican Island, Sulu Archipelago, Agutaya, Palawan, Philippines
Occupying its own island in the Cyuo Archipelago—where members of the animal kingdom outnumber humans by some comical order of magnitude—Amanpulo is the consummate artist’s escape. Adding to the resort’s castaway cred is...
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On our honeymoon, my wife and I stayed at Kichwa Tembo Bateleur Camp on the edge of the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Every morning we awoke to the sounds of animals and sat down to a fantastic breakfast on a patio looking out over the...
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Av. Ezequiel Bustillo Km. 25, R8401 San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina
The Bariloche region of Argentina is great for skiing in the winter, and hiking, biking and boating in the summer. A great place to stay in any season is the Llao Llao Hotel, located 25 min or so out of the main town, on the shore of the lake....
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Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Eco-chic yoga beach spa. Even if you do not practice yoga, the spa treatments are heavenly. You can rent a bike and take a short ride to the ruins down the road. You probably get a better deal if you book a yoga package thru one of the yoga groups...
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Tanzania
the tarangire treehouse lodge is beautiful set in the trees above Tanzania wildlife. you feel you are immersed in the animal life of Africa. about 150 km from ngorogoro crater. lost in Africa!
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3700 Wailea Alanui Dr, Wailea, HI 96753, USA
Now this is truly a place you never want to leave. The infinity edge pool at the Marriott in Wailea, Maui. The pool reached right out to the Pacific Ocean, and you almost felt as if you were in the ocean itself. Grab an umbrella drink, swim over...
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San Blas Islands, Panama
A visit to the incredible 365-island archipelago (also called the San Blas Islands) within the communal lands of the Guna Yala indigenous nation provides some extraordinary seaside experiences. The islands making up the outer archipelago...
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San Antonio, Limón, Costa Rica
One of the most amazing places I have stayed, and would stay again in an instant, is the Pacuare Eco Lodge in Costa Rica... I stayed in the above cabana high in the rain forest canopy above the ground. The cabana has its own private bridge and hot...
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Negroman Rd, San Ignacio, Belize
Black Rock Lodge is the ultimate Belizean jungle lodge, located a few miles outside San Ignacio and down a dirt road that leads you into a high-walled, karstic river valley. All the cabinas are perched on the hillside with spectacular river views...
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Jl. Gn. Sari, Peliatan, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Make sure to check everything off your to-do list before staying at Maya Ubud Resort & Spa because you'll immediately melt into the landscape and never want to leave. The tiered layout and minimal design seamlessly intertwine with the jungle...
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Janki Kutir, Juhu Tara, Juhu, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400049, India
My first time eating Bhel Puri had to be from the best spot in Mumbai, naturally. This crunchy and tangy savory snack was the perfect start to a day of street food tasting.
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158 Thanon Wang Doem, Khwaeng Wat Arun, Khet Bangkok Yai, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10600, Thailand
Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) is a Buddhist temple in Bangkok's Yai district. It is situated on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. The temple is one of the best known Thai landmarks. The mosaics which cover the temple create a pearly sheen during...
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Kalabaka 422 00, Greece
Meteora means "suspended in air" in Greek. The town of Meteora, about a 5-hour drive north of Athens in Thessaly, Greece, is home to a UNESCO World Heritage site: six Greek Orthodox monasteries built on enormous rock pinnacles that rise up to...
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RT 8, Morondava 619, Madagascar
Having driven from Morondava to this remote row of Baobabs 45 min out of town, I took this picture at sunset as the day came to an end. I thought why not come back tomorrow for sunrise so at 4 in the morning we arranged a driver to take us in the...
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Jomsom 33100, Nepal
Reporting live from Upper Mustang: We've successfully hiked in and out of this remote, inaccessible region in north-central Nepal over terrain that was variously bleak and spectacular. We traversed rocky, sandy trails (I use that word loosely)...
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Southern Asia
The Veerabhadra temple in Lepakshi, India (also simply known as the Lepakshi Temple), isn't the easiest place to get to. It's a 120 km journey north of Bangalore through rural villages. Your best bet for getting there is to hire a driver for the...
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East Asia
There aren't that many rivers in Mongolia but for some odd reason, every one of the handful of bridges we came across were crooked and in all the wrong directions. For some other odd reason, although every bridge was wide enough for us to drive...
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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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Milford Track, Fiordland National Park 9679, New Zealand
Steve from Trips and Tramps makes a great tour guide through the Milford Track. The guided half-day hike, an easy seven miles on a well-groomed trail, was just a tease—given the time, the full four-day, 33-mile track would be well worth it. We...
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Dynjandi, Iceland
Twenty kilometers east of Hrafnseyri, at the point where Route 60 weaves around the northeastern corner of Arnarfjörður, the impressive Dynjandi waterfall plunges over a 100m-high clifftop into the fjord at Dynjandisvogur inlet, forming a...
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E Ring Rd, Xianggelila Shi, Diqing Zangzuzizhizhou, Yunnan Sheng, China
At 18,000 ft a 2 day trek through the Tiger Leaping Gorge is no easy task (at least not for sea level people like us.) With the rest of China running full steam ahead the gorge was a nice respite from the swarms of tourists. The remote location...
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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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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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Jalan Penatahan-Wongayagede, Wongaya Gede, Penebel, Wongaya Gede, Penebel, Kabupaten Tabanan, Bali 85125, Indonesia
Pura Luhur Batukaru is one the most important temples on the island of Bali as it is one of the nine directional temples that protects the island from evil spirits. Unlike other Balinese sacred sites, Batukaru sees very few tourists due to its...
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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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Gorge Rd, Nitmiluk NT 0852, Australia
Most visitors to Australia have heard of Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, but few realize that neighboring Nitmiluk National Park, four hours south of Darwin, is actually more spectacular. During the wet season, from November to...
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Breathtaking, awe-inspiring and terrifying. A hike to the Mendenhall Glacier.
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411 W 1st Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501, USA
It’s tempting to explore Alaska by car – indeed, there are advantages to doing so and in some areas no other choice – but the Alaska Railroad is a comfortable way to pass through tucked-away towns and see wilderness where no roads appear to wind...
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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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Jordan
Dark-haired, dark-eyed, dark-skinned men ride horses up and down the path that leads to Petra‘s Siq, the mile-long entrance to the ancient city. I walk the stretch of the archeological park, clambering up hills and and rocks for better views of...
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Aswan Governorate, Egypt
The Great Pyramids of Giza are very impressive and rightfully earn their wonder of the world title. But then there's Abu Simbel. The site has, well, personality. Ramses II is present at every turn, as is his wife Nefertari. Four giant likenesses...
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Sevagram, Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh 471606, India
Minutes after taking this picture, I was invited to join these women in to leave offerings at the temples of Kajuraho. They spoke no English, I spoke no Hindi (except what I could manage with a phrase book) but we understood each other. I Ended up...
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B1/163, Assi ghat, Dumraon Colony, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221005, India
Varanasi is a city of beautiful chaos. Located on the banks of the Ganges River, it's one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, and also one of the holiest. The river is the pulse of the city and it's worth setting your alarm...
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Sri Maha Bodhi is one of the greatest sites of Anuradhapura. Take a walk around at sunset and pray with local people surrounding the big bodhi tree. It is the best place for people seeking meditation in Sri Lanka.
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Jaffa Port, Tel Aviv-Yafo
For a nice calm break from the modern pace of Tel Aviv, spend some time in Old Jaffa. You can walk along the Mediterranean beach and get here. Some nice little artisan shops can be found in the nooks and crannies.
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Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Plovdiv is a busy modern urban city at first glance. It’s the second most populated city in Bulgaria, built in an area populated since 6.000 BC according to experts. The visitor may find plenty of accommodation options here, as well as many...
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Kutuzov embankment, 2, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 191186
It's so easy to take the hydrofoil from its dock near the Hermitage museum to visit Peterhof Palace about 20 minutes north of St. Petersburg. The Grand Palace, surrounding buildings and gardens, is sometimes referred to as the "Russian...
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Without a doubt Versailles is the most luxurious palace in Europe, built to astound visitors and impress the king's subjects into awed submission with crystal chandeliers, gilt, and fine art. This opulent monument is also attractive...
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Stonehaven AB39 2TL, UK
Dunnottar Castle is a dramatic and evocative ruined cliff-top fortress in a truly stunning setting. And just a half hour's drive from Aberdeen, Europe's oil-capital. William Wallace and Mary Queen of Scots graced the Castle with their presence....
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Schloß Lichtenstein 1, 72805 Lichtenstein, Germany
I stumbled upon a photo of this castle on Pinterest from a fellow expat and was stunned at how, well, stunning it was - and that it was only a few hours away from where we live! So on our latest road trip, we made it a stop and were not...
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1-1 Honmaru, Naka-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi-ken 460-0031, Japan
Taken from the north side of Nagoya Castle. The castle was sadly destroyed during WW2 bombing but the replica sits on the original foundations. Only a 15 minute walk from the shopping area of Sakae.
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Neuschwansteinstraße 20, 87645 Schwangau, Germany
Few sights encapsulate the magical feel of the Bavarian Alps like Neuschwanstein Castle. The impressive towers, vast halls, and mountain-top setting bring out your inner child, transporting you back to a time of bedtime stories and...
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1 Ibrahim St, El Korba ,Heliopolis, المنتزه، Cairo - Egypt, Please select 11757, Egypt
Multiple generations ago, when the suburb of Heliopolis really was a countryside destination, the man responsible for the urban planning of the district was given his own plot of land to build his home on. Fascinated with the Indian culture and...
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Matiu/Somes Island, 5012, New Zealand
Smack in the center of Wellington's large harbor sits Somes Island, an ecological reserve overlooked by almost everyone visiting the capital. Boasting a colorful Maori and European history, Somes Island is now a nature preserve open to visitors....
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34600 Gary St, Nehalem, OR 97131, USA
Nehalem Bay State Park boasts 5 undeveloped and uninterrupted miles of sandy beach. Even when the adjacent campgrounds are full, you may just have a stretch of personal space the size of a football field. Just book your stay well in advance--as...
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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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5222 Jezerca, Slovenia
Triglavski Narodi, or "Triglav" is one of Europe's oldest parks and is a hidden traveling treasure. Premiere places to see while traveling western Slovenia. Raft the Soča River, one of the world's premier rafting locations and an important battle...
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Lalibela, Ethiopia
It’s mid April, which is the hot, dry summer in Ethiopia, but up here at 11,500 feet the mornings are cool in the thin air. My accommodation for the night has been a stone tukul – the local style of round stone house with a thatched roof. Five of...
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Makuleke Contract Park Northern Kruger National Park, Pafuri, 0973, South Africa
Changing location every evening means waking up to a different but equally spectacular view. The ‘eco-loos’ are a bit questionable and the hot bucket showers take some getting used to, but you can sleep happy knowing your presence will go...
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Naivasha, Kenya
This new tented eco-camp just opened on the shores of Lake Naivasha. It has 16 luxury tented camps and 5 bungalows. I've stayed here several times and marvel at the level of service, the quality of the food, and the location. Boat rides on Lake...
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Undredal, Norway
Undredal is a sleepy village nestled in a valley in Western Norway. It is famous for its brown goat cheese, or "gjetost," which is produced by eight farms using traditional methods. Undredal welcomes tourists and is accessible by an access road...
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1 Lake Front Drive, Zion, IL 60099, USA
Thirty-five miles north of Chicago. The park is 1 mile from the Zion Metra stop, so you don't have to drive. Just pack your gear and take the train. The park is right on the lake, so you can spend the day on the beach or hike through the dunes....
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Middle East
The night I spent in Egypt’s White Desert, the moon shone so brightly that the rocks towering over our campsite cast shadows on the sand. The White Desert is known for its stunning rock formations, made of pure-white “chalk rock” that the wind and...
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Scandinavia
Trolltunga (Troll's Tongue) is a challenging hike in Skjeggedal, Norway. It is one of the most rewarding hikes I have ever done. It wasn't crowded and the views were incredibly beautiful. It took us about 5 hours to reach the ledge of the...
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Volcan del Hoyo, Nicaragua
For the best view I think Ive ever seen, I would recommend the El Hoyo trek run by quetzaltrekkers in Leon. Not only do you get to bathe in a laguna, see a giant sink hole, and volcano board, you get to camp here... the orange tents were us!
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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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855 US-101, Reedsport, OR 97467, USA
Lonely, rugged, and undeniably beautiful: this is the central Oregon coast in mid-July. It's easy to forget the hour, the year, and that you're three hours from Portland, but your position on the edge of a continent seems difficult to ignore.
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Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica
The best camping spot in Samara is Camping Los Cocos. Surrounded by coconut trees and directly on the beach, we were the only ones there when we visited in October. The hotel next door has a great menu and cocktails for reasonable prices, and...
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Magdalena, Colombia
East of the city of Santa Marta on the Caribbean coast of Colombia lies the gorgeous, rugged Parque Tayrona, a true feast for all of the senses. The park doesn't have roads--you have to hike or go by boat in order to get past the entrance--so we...
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Jebel Shams, Jabal Shams, Oman
It's referred to as Oman's Grand Canyon - located on Jebel Shams (mountain of sun). The Balcony Walk is a well marked trail that runs the rim of the canyon. This 4 hour out and back hike will dish up some of the best views in Oman. You will pass...
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Cape Hillsborough Rd, Cape Hillsborough QLD 4740, Australia
All along the Eastern Seashore of Australia you will encounter spheres of sand in patterns, lines, and random assortments on the beach. At first, it looks a bit like sand circles after an alien beach landing, but if you wait around long enough,...
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Paternoster, Vredenburg, 7380, South Africa
Tietiesbaai campsite is inside the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve and about 2 hours drive north of Cape Town. This is one of my favourite campsites in the country... the location is breathtakingly beautiful, the camping pitches are right on the...
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Garibaldi Lake, Squamish-Lillooet D, BC V0N, Canada
With aqua blue lakes, it is hard not to be tempted to hike into Garibaldi Lake Campground and explore the area of Panorama Ridge and Black Tusk. With phenomenal views, it is worth the work of getting there. Even though a day hike to Panorama Ridge...
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Heart Lake, Wyoming 82190, USA
Facing off against the wild Wyoming backcountry is a tremendous experience, though proper preparation and certain precautions are important when considering any backcountry day trip or overnight pack adventure in Yellowstone. The park service runs...
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Mandal, Mongolia
This beautiful area, a few hours drive east of Ulan Bator, is made for camping and hiking. The hills, woods and meadows afford wonderful photographic opportunities. If you require transport within the park there are plenty of yak-carts available.
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Tiwai Island, Sierra Leone
The Tiwai Island Wildlife Sanctuary is just 12 square kilometers, but it's home to one of the world’s most concentrated and diverse primate populations (including wild chimpanzees), more than 135 species of bird, 700-plus species of plant, and the...
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Carretera Costera Sur Km 14.5, Zona Hotelera Sur, 77600 San Miguel de Cozumel, Q.R., Mexico
As a traveller, I sometimes experience what I call the "awe" moment. The moment when you stumble upon that dream spot and everything is completely and blissfully perfect. If you enjoy travelling as much as me, a good day of travel is filled with...
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Tilicho Lake, Khangsar 33500, Nepal
If you find yourself on the Annapurna Circuit, and you're not too weathered from the cold or the high altitude, consider a side trip to Lake Tilicho. The trip is a grueling three hour trek up to 4,919 meters, just shy of the 5,416 you'll clear at...
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Karakol, Kyrgyzstan
Last August we did a 4-day trek to the Ala Kol lake in Kyrgyzstan. The first day starts as a relaxed walk up the beautiful Karakol valley. For a while we follow the dirt road next to the river that meanders down the valley. But after the wooden...
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This island is in the XI Region of Chile, Northern Patagonia, in the pacific coast, separated from chile by the Garrao channel, its a magical island i must say, theres whales,dolphins,penguins licing in the beach! seals, the streets are just sand...
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Dingboche 56000, Nepal
On the trail to Everest Base Camp, it's commonplace to find an impressive mountain view. I took it for granted on the road even though I stopped frequently to gawk and stare. Looking back through my high altitude photos from my trek to Everest...
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Goose Rocks Beach, Maine 04046, USA
A great find in Southern Maine, a beautiful five mile beach with spectacular views and long stretches of white sand. No place can compare to the beauty that this beach embraces that families have come to summer for many generations. A perfect day...
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101 E Arctic Ave, Folly Beach, SC 29439, USA
Officially named the Edwin S. Taylor Folly Beach Fishing Pier, this landmark extends 1,045 feet into the Atlantic Ocean, making it the second-longest pier on the East Coast. It’s also 25 feet wide, allowing ample room for walkers, fishermen,...
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Rosemary Beach, FL 32413, USA
Located in South Walton—roughly in between Panama City and Destin on Florida’s scenic coastal route, 30A—Rosemary Beach’s perfect white sand and clear turquoise waters are as close to the Caribbean as Florida comes. Unless...
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Cape Kiwanda, Pacific City, OR 97112, USA
The Oregon Coast is always spectacular, but on warm, sunny days like this, there are not many better places to be. This photo is looking north from the top of the sand dunes at Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City. Climbing these dunes in a few minutes...