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AFAR Explorer′s Wishlist
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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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Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Crowds may swarm upon it daily from sunrise onwards, but exposure hasn’t dulled the impact of the largest religious monument in the world. Commissioned by King Suryavarman II in the 12th century as the centerpiece of the mighty Khmer empire,...
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Sherpur, Khiljipur, Near Ranthambore National Park, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan 322001, India
Arriving at this insanely beautiful luxury wilderness camp located on the fringe of Ranthambore Tiger Reserve is akin to time travel. 10 Mughal-style, air-conditioned (!), 6 ft high tents provide utterly breathtaking accommodations. They echo the...
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Shaba, Kenya
Joys Camp attracts a different kind of safari-goer. A Kenyan family arriving on their private plane, a Nairobi student with her Parisian boyfriend both on break from their Swiss university, European honeymooners, writers and adventure seekers all...
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Patagonia camp is tucked deep inside the trees sitting in the edge of Laguna del Toro. There are 17 luxury yurts that all view the majesty of the most beautiful region in the world. Each day allows for an array of tours within Torres del Paine;...
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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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Olare Orok River, Masai Mara, Kenya
Eagle View’s nine tented suites opened a year ago on a ridge that overlooks a broad swath of savannah in the Mara Naboisho Conservancy. The camp pays a guaranteed income to each of the approximately 500 families who own the conservancy. Masai...
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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...
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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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1860 Boulevard Valcartier, Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier, QC G0A 4S0, Canada
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72 Holt Rd, Garners Beach QLD 4852, Australia
I have an affinity for sleeping in trees. Particularly when those trees are in a rainforest and even better when those trees end at a secluded beach. In my opinion, tree houses should be an unobtrusive part of the forest, and my footprint while...
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1199D Barrenjoey Rd, Palm Beach NSW 2108, Australia
If you need a break from lounging on the lovely northern beaches, cruising up to Barrenjoey in Palm Beach will bring you to this absolute gem. The hiking trails are plentiful and the view from the top is incredible. With sweeping views in all...
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Pohara 7183, New Zealand
There aren't too many hikes in the world that start with a ride on a water taxi, but that's how our hike on the Abel Tasman Trail began. We boarded our Sea Shuttle taxi off the beach in Kaiteriteri at 9:15am. Our taxi took us past a tiny island...
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Visible from anywhere in Kailua-Kaneohe are the three peaks of Mount Olomana. The majestic peaks are named after a mythical Hawaiian warrior and offers more than spectacular views from all angles. To reach your destination from Honolulu you take...
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Roys Peak, Otago 9381, New Zealand
The guidebooks say this is a difficult trek but well worth it. After a huffing and puffing trek to the top of Roy’s Peak, I would most certainly like to concur. 11k in approximately 4-5 hours, a decent level of fitness is most needed for this...
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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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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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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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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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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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Lozovac, Croatia
Located near the coastal city of Šibenik, Krka National Park is named for the river that runs through its lush forests and feeds its most famous site, Skradinski Buk—a huge, clear pool that starts and ends in waterfalls. The park is...
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Hummingbird Hwy, Belize
If you rent a car in Belize, make sure to cruise the Hummingbird Highway from Dangriga to Belmopan. Take your time and check out all the amazing locations, such as Marie Sharp's Hot Sauce Factory, St Herman's Cave, Five Blues N.P., and the Blue...
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11 Richmond Rd, Pohara, Takaka Golden Bay 7183, New Zealand
I WWOOFed at the Sans Souci Inn for a month and my wonderful hosts sent me on many adventures. I hiked up to Rawhiti Cave, the largest cave opening in NZ; got coffee on "Jacques Cousteau's Pirate Espresso Ship;" admired wood pigeons in The Grove;...
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Manchioneal, Jamaica
Reach Falls is an off-the-beaten-path delight. Located up in the John Crow Mountains on Jamaica's east coast, this 30-foot jade-colored cascade tumbles into several pools in the surrounding rain forest....
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Waimoku Falls, Hawaii 96713, USA
I used to live in Maui, right at the start of the Hana Highway, and driving the famous road was a weekly ritual. I recently went back to visit and found it still as breathtaking as ever. To avoid the tourist traffic (Mustangs seem to be the...
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Negril, Jamaica
No hotel in Jamaica blends better with its surroundings than the aptly named Rockhouse, a string of villas clinging to the top of a sea cliff at the western tip of the island. Local stone, timber, and thatch are the building materials, and a...
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Supai, AZ 86435, USA
There’s a reason this is one of the most iconic spots along the Grand Canyon. Located on the Havasupai Indian Reservation and hidden deep within a 20-mile round-trip hike, Havasu Falls’ sparkling turquoise waters are a popular...
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4050 Red Rock Loop Rd, Sedona, AZ 86336, USA
The red rocks around Sedona are a trekker's dream, and if you know where to go, you can jump in a creek as well. Just to the southwest of Sedona, check out Red Rocks State Park. Take a short hike then cool off with a swim below Cathedral Rock. (By...
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Finlayvale Road, Mossman QLD 4873, Australia
Imagine your hotel room looking out into the middle of the rainforest. At Silky Oaks, it's your reality. Some balconies have hammocks (my favourite feature in the room); other room balconies even have a bed! The restaurant also looks over the...
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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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SH 47, National Park 3989, New Zealand
These days New Zealand’s landscape may be best known from scenes in The Lord of the Rings, but set aside your preconceptions of Mt. Doom: Mt. Ngaurahoe (Doom’s butt double in the films) and the craters surrounding it are gorgeous. The Tongariro...
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Lake Tekapo, Canterbury 7999, New Zealand
Even on a cloudy day, Lake Tekapo's brilliant shades of blue are caused by "rock flour" - finely ground particles of rock from the glaciers at the head of the lake and suspended in the melt water. The treeline is comprised of Monterey Pines which...
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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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Marblemount, WA 98267, USA
It's about a ten-mile round-trip, but a summer hike up to Goat Lake in the Central Cascades will reward you with a glacially-colored mirror of snow-clad crags and distant waterfalls. An easy day-hike from Seattle (if you get up early), it's also...
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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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Machu Pichu, Peru
This month marks the hundred-year-anniversary of the "re-discovery" of this Inca citadel by Hiram Bingham. Machu Picchu deserves its clichés--'place of a lifetime,' 'bucket-list destination'...'mystical'...'amazing'... Sometimes, it's okay...
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Jordan
As is often the case with travel expectations, there’s so much more to a site than what we can see in the confines of a screen or read in black and white letters on a page. Often the real place is a shock of depth, colors and aromas, and the way...
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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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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...