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AFAR Explorer′s Wishlist
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Cambodia
Vestiges of European colonial settlement remain throughout much of Southeast Asia, often contrasted against more traditional hill tribe villages and always set in (cooler) rolling mountain ranges. These former frontier towns were once the summer...
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Orkney, UK
The flight into the Orkney Islands was amazing. Many of the neolithic ruins can be seen from the air, dotting the land. I visited several of the sites including Skara Brae, and Maeshowe, but the Ring of Brodgar was the highlight of the sites I...
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The Pends, St Andrews KY16 9QL, UK
Often called, "Scotland's Greatest Cathedral" the now-ruined medieval St. Andrews, overlooking the North Sea in its namesake town, is a splendid sight any time of day or night. However, in my several days of residence in the town made famous by...
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Flavijevska ul., 52100, Pula, Croatia
The sixth largest Roman amphitheater still standing today, the Pula Arena is Croatia’s most magnificent classical monument—and reason enough to check out Pula, Istria’s main city. Built in the 1st century C.E. during the rule of...
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Situated not far from Meknes, between Fes and Rabat, the Roman ruins of Volubilis stand as a testament to a culture that changed the world forever. In the fertile area that the ruined city is located, it's difficult to remember you're in Morocco....
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Adare, Co. Limerick, V94 W8WR, Ireland
This castle was erected with an ancient ring-fort, around the early part of the 13th century. It became a strategic fortress during the following turbulent years. It was the property of the Earls of Kildare for nearly 300 years until the rebellion...
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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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Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Better known as the Tomb Raider Temple since its starring role in the Hollywood movie of the same name, Ta Prohm has at least as much star quality as Angelina Jolie. Cloaked in dappled shadow and locked in the embrace of the vast root systems that...
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1495 Villers-la-Ville, Belgium
In 1146 a dozen monks and some lay brothers, with the blessings of St Bernard (not the dog!) headed to what is now Belgium and founded the abbey. It had been neglected and then revitalized during its second golden age in the 1800s where some of...
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24442 Las Médulas, León, Spain
Las Medulas UNESCO World Heritage Site: A Roman gold mine dating back to the first century AD. The hill formations were all dug by hand!
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Croatia
Croatia’s oldest and biggest national park, Plitvice is a four-season playground known for its pristine forests, stunning waterfalls, and dozens of turquoise lakes. To see it all, trek along the wooden pathways that twist through...
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CA-1, Bodega Bay, CA 94923, USA
Many car commercials have been filmed along this stretch of the iconic California road. The hairpin turns and switchbacks make it a wild ride for some, but the views to the west (the ocean) and the east (Northern California's inimitable green...
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12 Guanlian Rd, Yangshuo Xian, Guilin Shi, Guangxi Zhuangzuzizhiqu, China, 541900
This is the perfect place to stay while in Yangshuo. It is located within walking distance to the busy West Street and the popular walking street where you can find street vendors, good food, and tour guides. The hostel staff are very friendly,...
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Skúlagata 28, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
we didnt stay at KEX hostel but we went there twice for burgers and coffee and cool people watching. The interior is an instagrammers dream and the abbreviated menu is a good mix of American heartiness (cheeseburgers) and delicious Scando fare...
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Arenal Volcano Main Road 3 Blocks West From Centra, Alajuela Province, La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Arenal Backpacker's Hostel beats most five star hotels in Costa Rica. You can purchase a private room, dormitory, or tent for less than 30 dollars. (Don't assume the tents are the worst option simply because they are the cheapest: they include...
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Alte Schönhauser Str. 2, 10119 Berlin, Germany
Don't let the fact that this is a hostel discourage you from staying here. The Wombat hostel was in a great location and a good 3 mile walking distance from the Berlin Wall with several happy hour stops on the way. The hostel is geared towards a...
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Rua de Miguel Bombarda 222, 4050-377 Porto, Portugal
Somehow this Northern Portuguese city has become home to dozens of fantastic hostels, better than most I’ve stayed at elsewhere throughout Europe. You are pretty safe with nearly every one, but Gallery Hostel is my pick because it’s much more than...
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357 College St, Toronto, ON M5T 1S5, Canada
Known as the greenest hostel in North America, it's also one of the most unique hostel stays I've had. Planet Traveler is a smorgasboard of everything a traveler would want in an accommodation: -comfortable and roomy beds -clean rooms with plenty...
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50 Blackfriars St, Edinburgh EH1 1NE, UK
Hostels - the word alone is strong enough to awaken the worst feelings in the world. Dirt. Noise. Horny frat boys. Communal bathrooms. EW. But over the last few years, a new trend emerged in Europe, and more recently over the world. Luxury...
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Adelgade 5-7, 1304 København, Denmark
What’s not to like? Modern buildings, central locations, variety of rooms, great nightlife and cheap dining options. Honestly, it doesn’t get better than that. The hostel is handily located between two of the city’s busiest...
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1 Nelly Bay Road, Magnetic Island QLD 4819, Australia
The sound of the ocean's waves lapping the shore greets you when you wake up at Base Backpackers Magnetic Island. As if that's not enough, this Australian hostel is located on Magnetic Island National Park, just a short ferry ride from Townsville,...
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Via G. Marconi, 358, 84017 Positano SA, Italy
Positano's unreal scenery and excellent limoncello reduce everywhere else to a distant, less attractive memory. Arguably one of the best views in town can be found at Hostel Brikette, Positano's only youth hostel, but book a private room if you're...
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22 Avenue Gravier, 06100 Nice, France
If you're used to non-luxurious hostels, Villa Saint Exupery's rooms at the Garden Hostel (there's also a Beach) don't need to be described. Both their dorms and their private rooms are like a standard setup from uni or college (depending on your...
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Plas Curig, Capel Curig, Betws-y-Coed LL24 0EL, UK
Looking for a place to rest your aching, just-hiked-the-highest-peak-in-Wales feet? Hike a bit further to the hostel that can't possibly be a hostel, Plas Curig. The two common rooms feature a flatscreen, fireplace, tons of books and bright...
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Laugavegur 28, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
I can't stop telling everyone I encounter how crazy 24 hours of daylight was. I snapped this picture from the 4th floor kitchen of the Reykjavik Backpacker's hostel at approximately 12:30 on a Saturday night (Sunday morning) in order to show...
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Fondamenta Zitelle, 86, 30133 Venezia VE, Italy
It seems like a miracle that anything in Venice could be affordable. But now that the 36-room Generator Hostel opened on Venice's Guidecca Island, the budget-minded can breathe more easily when dropping anchor in Venice. Better yet,...
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Av Grau 835, Cusco, Peru
El Tuco was a great hostel to stay at. The staff was genuinely helpful, pleasant and enjoyable to talk with. The owner is very personable and is able to discuss Peruvian customs, tell you where to catch a bus, what to see, etc. We used the kitchen...
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With the highest snow peaks in Colombia situated to the East, the Caribbean coast to the west, Los Pinos Hostel sits high nestled amongst the Sierra Nevadas overlooking the lush green top of the jungle's canopy. A former military base/finca, this...
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Matagalpa, Nicaragua
If you're visiting Nicaragua, you shouldn't miss Matagalpa - a beautiful, mountainous, cool area where you can hike around the Selva Negra nature reserve and take coffee or cocoa tours. A great place to stay is a little hostel/hotel called La...
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1 Skinners Shoot Rd, Byron Bay NSW 2481, Australia
There is no place in the whole of Australia more laid back than Byron Bay, a once sleepy town on the New South Wales coast that now hosts yearly blues festivals. Arts Factory Backpackers Lodge is an extension of the vibe found throughout the town....
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90/3 Sridonchai Rd, Tambon Chang Khlan, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
If you know me at all you know that I'm not much of a backpacker. Don't get me wrong - I love hiking, camping, trekking, and the outdoors more than most people. What I don't dig is sitting around ramshackle guesthouses with 20-something tourists...
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Navidad, O'Higgins Region, Chile
During my stay at the new Hotel Surazo, I fell asleep to the sound of the Pacific surf pounding the sand. Located in Matanzas, a village on the sparsely populated, mountainous central Chilean coast, this low-slung, modern surf lodge is about 50...
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Last summer, Tim and Kathy Turner took a break from the Mont Blanc hiking circuit for a night at Refuge des Mottets, a French backcountry lodge decorated with cowbells and old iron cookware. The Turners, from the United States, were the only...
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Km5 Route d'Amizmiz، Marrakesh 40160, Morocco
It took four years to build this hotel at the base of the Atlas Mountains. French designer Jacques Garcia included black-and-white zellij tile work and other intricate Moorish details. Each of the hotel’s five guest riads (typical Moroccan...
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Culiacan 6, Hipódromo, 06100 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
This wonderful bed and breakfast located in Condesa is a great place to spend your time in Mexico City. The staff, especially Victor and Ernesto, is extremely helpful and friendly and will provide you with site recommendations, safe taxis and a...
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See our full list of Where to Go in 2015. A trip through the Coffee Triangle, the coffee- growing region of central Colombia, takes you into the small towns and wildlife-rich mountains of the Caldas, Quindio, and Risaralda departments. Base...
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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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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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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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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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On the horizon just NE of León, Nicaragua, you can make out the giant black mound of Cerro Negro--Central America's youngest volcano. Until 1850, there was NOTHING here! Since then it's erupted dozens of times--coating the surrounding countryside...
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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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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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Sector San José, Castro, Región de los Lagos, Chile
The first luxury lodge to come to Chile’s second biggest island, Tierra Chiloé opened in 2012 and became a member of the Tierra hotel group in 2014. Designed by Chilean architect Patricio Browne, the hotel looks like a boat on stilts...
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142 Calle Flamboyan, Vieques, PR 00765
Just sayin'... As far as beach bars go, this town's one-street scene is all bananas. After my trip, I called one of my awesome friends from college (go Providence!) who has frequented Vieques for work (lucky her), and when I told her how shocked I...
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Puerto Ferro, Puerto Rico
One of my favorite places in the whole world—Vieques! I'm actually a little apprehensive to share, because I'd love to keep it the semi-secret it is. If you time it well, you can have this beach all to yourself.
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Esperanza, Vieques 00765, Puerto Rico
Esperanza is located on the southern side of Vieques island with a laid-back vibe reminiscent of Key West. This small town has an main street that runs parallel to the ocean called "El Malecón" that is dotted with friendly guest houses, funky bars...
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144 Calle Flamboyan, Vieques, 00765, Puerto Rico
Hands-down our favorite epicurean experience in Vieques, this place has a great wine list, delicious tapas, and classy, real table cloths (you'll pick up on this when you visit Esperanza). We had such great food while we were on the island, we...
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1001 Jean Paul Riopelle Pl, Montreal, QC H2Z 1H5 Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle, Montréal, QC H2Z 1H5, Canada
Montreal is a wonderful city and the Bixi bike sharing system (http://montreal.bixi.com/) allows one to venture further and see other parts of the city. As the sun set, the Palais comes alive at night providing a glowing example of modern...
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Kadıköy/Istanbul, Turkey
While visiting Istanbul, take an afternoon trip across the Bosphorus to Kadiköy to stock up on food, sweets, and tea. The prices in this Istanbul neighborhood are at least half of those in the touristy Grand Bazaar and Spice Market. You'll also...
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South Korea
In the peaceful Korean countryside side the Hwaeom Temple prepares for Buddhas birthday by hanging bright and colorful lanterns. Buddhists from across the region to write personal messages and attach them to the bottoms of the ornate lanterns.
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I happened upon this moment at a night market in Jaipur, India, which has some of the best shopping for beaded crafts, jewelry, ceramics, carpets and textiles. This jewelry stand in Johari Bazaar was crowded with women interested in the necklaces,...
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7070 Avenue Henri-Julien, Montréal, QC H2S 3S3, Canada
After Toronto, Montréal is the Canadian city with the largest population of residents of Italian descent. For more than a century, the community has been centered in one of the city's most charming neighborhoods, Little Italy. The way to...
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Djema el Fna، 40 Rue des Banques, مراكش 40000, Morocco
The thing that struck me the most on our travels through the Kasbah were the façades of the old city were all the same, be it new or old, rich or poor. Unlike the American culture of showing their wealth for all to see and to envy, the...
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Extra straps for the colorful woven bags that seemingly everyone in Colombia owns, found here in the coastal town of Santa Marta. These are all handmade, sturdy as hell and sold off a beachfront blanket for the equivalent of about US$10 (less if...