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AFAR Explorer′s Wishlist
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Lighthouse Reef, Belize
“Lighthouse Reef atoll’s diverse coral and wall formations in such close proximity to each other make it, with the Great Blue Hole at its center, geographically and historically fascinating. It’s one place that both divers and snorkelers shouldn’t...
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Calle Real de la Alhambra, s/n, 18009 Granada, Spain
A visit to Granada, Spain isn't complete without a stop at the Alhambra. The Moorish architecture, robust gardens, and stunning views of Granada combine to make a truly memorable experience. Start your day with a tour of the Generalife Gardens....
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Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh 471606, India
For such an amazing place, Khajuraho was surprisingly tourist free. We went early to avoid the heat of the day, and found just a handful of devotees walking the temple grounds. Oh, and don't forget to keep your eyes peeled for the kama sutra...
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Jl. Badrawati, Kw. Candi Borobudur, Borobudur, Magelang, Jawa Tengah, Indonesia
The sunrise at Borobudur is one of those magical experiences that makes us spend so much money on travel. The site of the smoking volcano on the horizon, combined with the brilliant hues and Buddhas on the summit of the temple mountain, make this...
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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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ตำบล ป่าอ้อดอนชัย อำเภอเ มืองเชียงราย เชียงราย 57000, Thailand
While there’s no shortage of spectacular temples in Thailand – or Asia for that matter – one of my absolute favorites is without doubt the distinctive Wat Rong Khun. Perhaps better known by the name ‘The White...
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Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)
The secret to having a good time in Bagan has nothing to do with getting there - all that takes is faith in a Burmese pilot and his ancient aircraft, or an unwavering belief that your 13-hour bus ride from Yangon will actually deliver you to the...
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Puducherry, India
This was a thousand year old temple that is still being built to this day. They built pieces of it in Hawaii than ship it to India.
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Calle de Bailén, 10, 28013 Madrid, Spain
After paying your patriotic fee of 10 Euro to enter the Royal Palace, you will notice the Almudena Cathedral beyond the courtyards gates. While I was too late in the day to be graced with the inner divinities of this structure I did in fact, get...
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Staroměstské nám. 1/4, 110 00 Praha-Staré Město, Czechia
Old Town Square, founded in the 12th century, is the center of Prague. In the middle of it all, the Old Town Hall (which also houses the famous Astronomical Clock), built in 1338, still provides the best  360-degree views of the city. For a...
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Paigah Tombs, Owaisi Nagar, Hasnabad, Santosh Nagar, Hyderabad, Telangana 500059
One of Hyderabad's lesser-known gems: the Paigah Tombs are intricate, ornate, and often deserted. Members of the noble Paigah class are buried here, and a visit is peaceful and haunting — and beautiful. A photographer's dream.
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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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Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Ayasofya Meydanı, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Walk into Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya) and look up to the heavens to see why so many conquerors and their respective religions claimed this basilica turned mosque turned museum as their own. Visitors will swoon over the Byzantine gilded mosaics,...
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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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Greece
Thanks to doing research on AFAR.com, I learned that one could sea kayak around the island of Milos. I signed up with Rod from Sea Kayak Milos and had a fantastic time. My fellow kayakers and I paddled through bright blue water, in and out of...
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2520 Peniche, Portugal
Hire a boat out of Peniche, Portugal, when available, and travel six miles offshore to the pristine Berlenga Islands. Then hike, kayak, snorkel, and swim the day away. Pack a picnic lunch and feast on the beach. The perfect day in paradise.
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Koh Phi Phi Le, Ko Phi Phi, อำเภอเมืองกระบี่ กระบี่ 81000, Thailand
Maya Bay is no real secret - Leonardo DiCarprio's The Beach took care of that - but it is still one of the most naturally stunning places on earth. The old Thai longboats that settle in on the beach help add to the atmosphere too. As far as pure...
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Sunset beach, Jungutbatu, Nusapenida, Lembongan island, Bali 80771, Indonesia
Located just off the eastern shore of Bali, Indonesia, is a small island called Nusa Lembongan. It is a great place for a day trip if you're vacation in Bali, and it's only a 30-40min boat ride from Sanur. There is a boat that will take you...
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Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Just when it seemed like the Riviera Maya Riviera had become nothing but a sea of all-inclusive beach resorts, you stumble upon the quaint little Mexican village of Puerto Morelos. There are almost no huge developments, no shopping outlets, and no...
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Tatai, Cambodia
I hadn’t been awake for longer than a minute. I peeled back the tarp door to my room, walked out onto my deck, and leapt. It was an abrupt but purifying way to start the day. The cool, brackish water instantly defogged my mind, and my eyes opened...
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Khao Phang, Ban Ta Khun District, Surat Thani 84230, Thailand
Waking early to the loud morning chorus of the Thai rainforest is an amazing experience. Whooping gibbons, honking hornbills and buzzing insects compete to fill the air waves with their loud songs to the new day. The floating bungalows on Lake...
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French Polynesia
On a recent trip to research resorts, I had the opportunity to visit Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora and the island of Taha'a. All were fabulous places to explore, but my favorite stay was at the Five Star Taha'a Island Resort and Spa on the island of...
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Bocas del Toro Island, Bocas del Toro, Panama
Off Panama’s Caribbean coast, these palm-roofed cabins perch over a stretch of aquamarine sea. The surrounding Bocas del Toro archipelago is home to sloths, howler monkeys, and scarlet dart frogs. —Brendan Brady Punta Caracol Acqua-Lodge, Bocas...
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Gizo, Solomon Islands
The Solomon Islands are pleasantly void of mass tourism. For those that make it here no doubt wonder why. Even better is discovering Oravae Cottage a tiny island with a quaint cottage and "penthouse" double bedroom annex. You're fed by the local...
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Gunjur, Gunjur, Gunjur, The Gambia
These floating bungalows and rooms on stilts lie on a tributary of the River Gambia, 45 minutes from the West African coast. Venture out by canoe in search of the monitor lizards, baboons, and myriad bird species that inhabit the surrounding...
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Sangker River, Cambodia
Buddhist temple and monastery in small village on the Sangker River on the way to Battambang from Siem Reap, Cambodia.