incredible places and experiences
Collected by AFAR Explorer
Ko Lanta Yai, Ko Lanta District, Krabi, Thailand
For my money, this is the closest thing to a postcard-perfect paradise as there is in this world. Happy little clouds (-Bob Ross), blue-green ocean, mammoth limestone peaks, longtail boats swaying in the breeze, and an unending tropical sandscape....
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...
Val Des Pitons Forbidden Beach La Baie de Silence, St Lucia
For a taste of Miami by way of St. Lucia, look no further than Sugar Beach. Set on a white-sand crescent between the Piton mountains—within a 100-acre former sugar plantation studded with shady palm trees—the resort’s...
Las Salinas, Nicaragua
Perched high above a breathtaking rock masterpiece in the town of Las Salinas sits Magnific Rock Hotel, an inviting wooden lodge with the best sunset view on the Pacific coast. Surfers flock here for the legendary Popoyo break, but also for...
Av. Ezequiel Bustillo Km. 25, 8401 San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina
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...
2525 Allison Ln, Newberg, OR 97132, USA
With its indoor pool and lavish spa, the Allison Inn & Spa is the most comfortable place to recharge between Willamette Valley wine tastings. At the restaurant Jory (named for a local soil that’s ideal for growing pinot noir), chef...
SP94, 07021 Arzachena OT, Italy
There are few places that blend dramatic scenery, old-world history, and stellar food culture as beautifully as Sardinia. In early summer, wildflowers color the island, cherries are at their juiciest, and many regions are surprisingly tourist...
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...
Carretera Federal, Cancun - Chetumal Km 230, 307, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
A visit to old Mayan Ruins is a must when you are vacationing in Tulum. It's a perfect trip to sneak in some history and activity without too much effort and without loosing sight of ocean and the beach. Being built in 13th century Tulum Ruins...
Cais da Madalena, 9950-305 Madalena, Portugal
The adrenaline sure beats the fear and makes this experience unforgettable! The experts agree that the Azores is the best place in the world to dive with sharks, which supports its’ label of “adventure destination” and they don’t lie. If you’re...
The Wave Trail, Kanab, AZ 84741, USA
At this unique formation, Navajo sandstone in shades of deep red to white was first eroded by water and then primarily by wind to create smooth, rolling terrain that resembles ocean waves. The differing densities of stone have caused the structure...
Carretera a Punta Sam Km 5.2 Manzana 9 Lote 3 SM 2, Zona Continental de Isla Mujeres, 77440 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
Located in Cancun, Mexico is an unlikely resort. Unlikely because while it features many of the qualities that draw people to Mexico in the first place, beaches and luxury accommodations, the hotel also features an adventure travel component....
There is a sliver of Africa where four countries almost converge: Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana. The Chobe River is one of the many separation points between Botswana and Namibia and it’s also where I experienced one of my favorite...
Miniloc Island, Bayan ng El Nido, 5313 Palawan, Philippines
Imagine hundreds of tiny islands, coral reefs, limestone cliffs, turquoise water, white sand beaches, and hidden lagoons. Basically imagine a tropical paradise and you have the Bacuit Archipelago surrounding El Nido on the island of Palawan in the...
Crijevićeva ul. 9, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Climb the grand baroque staircase and pass the Jesuit church, cross Gundulić Square, and follow the COLD DRINKS WITH THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VIEW signs. Then, yes, walk through the walls. Buža translates to “a hole-in-the-wall,” and a...
At the beginning of a 4-day, 40-mile trek through the fringes of the Icelandic highlands, we saw these artistic masterpieces. Landmannalaugar. To me, they were the Rainbow Mountains. Majestic. Surreal. Hiking by this beautiful landscape seemed...
Kaihalulu Beach, Hana, HI 96713, USA
This was the end of the Hana Highway in Maui. Our guidebook told of a red sand beach, but it specifically left out information on how to get there, in an effort to keep people from spoiling it. Before our trip, I printed out some instructions from...
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.
Sidi Bouloukat Djemaa el fna 53 Sidi Bouloukate، Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Described by writer Tahir Shah as the “greatest show on Earth,” no visit to Marrakech would be complete without a visit to the famous night market on the Djemaa el Fna. Arrive before sunset and park yourself at one of the...
Adelaide Parklands Terminal Richmond Rd, Keswick SA 5035, Australia
The two-night journey traverses 1,851 miles from Adelaide in South Australia to Darwin in the Northern Territory. As the train traces the route taken by 19th-century Afghan camel drivers, Platinum Service travelers have the opportunity to...
Yellowstone National Park is no secret by any stretch of the imagination. Yellowstone is one of America's most popular tourist destinations, and with good reason; there few places in the country where you can rub shoulders with grizzlies, smack...
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Severely dehydrated, severely under-dressed, severely cold (the sum of these parts means, of course, that I am severely stupid) my travel partner and I dragged our sorry carcasses through the woods and over rocks in the dead of night in search of...
21 Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Namchang-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Dumplings are delicious. That's not much of a secret. But snacking on dumplings in one of the world's busiest and most atmospheric night markets? That's an entirely different experience. Namdaeumun Night Market, located smack dab in the heart of ...
Neharde'a St, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
Next time you travel to Israel and interested in an exceptional and different dining experience, I highly recommend to check the new website of EatWith, to book a dinner with locals. EatWith is a global community (started in Israel) that invites...
Lower Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA, USA
Bourbon and Branch is a traditional speakeasy. Their 8 house rules—hushed voices and no cell phones among them—encourage neighborly conversation in a very relaxed setting. It's a great way to meet people if you're traveling alone as...
Mekong Riverside Road, Ban Horxieng, ຫຼວງພະບາງ 856 71, Laos
The morning market in Luang Prabang is bursting at the seams with culinary curious - some you may indeed want to put in your mouth, and others, well - others you'll need to see for yourself. Luang Prabang is the busiest tourist destination in...
Lake Maninjau, Tanjung Raya, Agam Regency, West Sumatra, Indonesia
This is what I think of when travel comes to mind. I think untrammeled territory, wide open country, bits and pieces of the world I've never seen before, people doing things I didn't know they still do or ever did, and a big, booming landscape....
958, Taiwan, Taitung County, Chishang Township, 新興村新興107號
There are few places in the world where you can so quickly and completely be enfolded in the tender embrace of nature than in Taiwan. From rock climbing to jungle treks, there are active pursuits for everyone, but one of the most scenic is a rice...
One of South Africa’s true treasures is the massive Kruger National Park, home to wildlife ranging from rhinos to kudu. A safari experience is at the top of most people’s bucket lists and with good reason. There is nothing like standing in the...
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