Collected by Jennifer Johnson Harkness
Castle Hill 7580, New Zealand
This 10-day tramping (that's Kiwi for "hiking") trip on the South Island of New Zealand is hard to beat. This will be your first hike of many, all of which connect you to a land so beautiful that it's impossible to ever leave. Kura Tawhiti is a...
San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo, PR, Puerto Rico
This is my favorite hike by far. Cueva Ventana ("Window Cave") is a beautiful, scenic hole in the side of a mountain that opens up to a lush, green valley down below. You'll trample through mud, hunker down under low-hanging stalactites, dodge...
Svartifoss Trail, Iceland
This was a pretty nice hike, the waterfall is about 1.5km from the information center and it's an inclined hike. It took us about 1 h there and less back as you go downhill on the way back. It was really worth the trouble to see this amazing...
RT 8, Morondava 619, Madagascar
Baobab trees, which grow up to 100 feet tall and 30 feet wide, carry a prehistoric grandeur worthy of their title as Madagascar’s national tree. Of the six ancient baobab species native to the African island, only the largest, the Adansonia...
Phaknam Bay, Phi Phi Island Tambon Ao Nang, Muang Chang Wat Krabi 81210, Thailand
On the island of Kho Phi Phi, there is the usual town that greets you with bars, restaurant and easy-to-get lodging if you didn't plan ahead. However, if you are so inclined, on the far side of the island there is a veritable Smurf village that...
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...
Witness the way surfing has been done for thousands of years at Huanchaco beach, about 20 minutes north of Trujillo. You can take a lesson in riding caballitos de totora (reed boats) from master builders that set up all over the beach. Brothers...
310 Park Way, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
The Flying Fox is a straightaway line that leads out over the massive Victoria Falls Gorge. After I strapped into the harness, the instructor told me to run and jump off the edge of the cliff. Easy in theory, hard in practice. That last moment as...
Koh Phi Phi Le Ko Phi Phi Phi Phi Island, ตำบล อ่าวนาง 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...
Ko Phi Phi Don, Ao Nang, Mueang Krabi District, Krabi, Thailand
For about $13 you can jump on a long-tail boat leaving from the main beach of Phi Phi Don and spend the afternoon island hopping. There are multiple tour companies, most offering a visit to Monkey Island, Viking Caves, Pileh Bay, and Maya Island...
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....
Ang Thong, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani, Thailand
It's quite a trek to the viewpoint at Ko Wua Talab, but the views out over Mu Ko Angthong National Marine park are worth the climb. It certainly doesn't feel worth it while you're scrambling over razor-sharp rocks that threaten to snap your ankles...
Nong Chaeng Sub-district, Bueng Sam Phan District, Phetchabun, Thailand
Angthong National Marine Park makes for a great day trip from Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Surat Thani, or any of the other outlying islands. The park boasts some of the most stunning unspoilt beaches in the country, breathtaking views of limestone...
Ko Phi Phi Don, Ao Nang, Mueang Krabi District, Krabi, Thailand
This is where they shot the movie "The Beach." Gorgeous white sand beach and turquoise water, exactly as advertised. I read "The Beach" while I traveled around Thailand, which I would recommend to anyone who likes travel narratives and dreams of...
152-152/1 Moo 5 Kantiang Bay, อำเภอเกาะลันตา กระบี่ 81150, Thailand
Koh Lanta is far from a secret Thai island - in fact, it's one of the most popular in the Andaman Sea - yet I'm always surprised by just how little most visitors explore when they visit a new place. Most visitors locate themselves at the north of...
Ao Nang, Mueang Krabi District, Krabi 81000, Thailand
Celebrating the New Year’s Eve in Railay Beach was an absolutely unforgettable experience. A paradise for rock climbers and beach goers alike, this small island located 2 hours south of Phuket provided such a wonderful backdrop for a New Year...
101/28 Moo1, Bophut Koh Samui, Suratthani Thailand, Koh Samui Island, อำเภอเกาะสมุย สุราษฎร์ธานี 84320, Thailand
Disclaimer: Happy Elephant isn't the best restaurant in Thailand. It's probably not even the best restaurant on Koh Samui, to be honest, but it is rather quaint, it features a subdued decor (funny how that can be tough to find in South East Asia),...
315 Moo 1 Saladan, ตำบล ศาลาด่าน อำเภอเกาะลันตา กระบี่ 81150, Thailand
I've heard that part of traveling well is putting strange things in your mouth. Yeah, I said it. And yes, I subscribe to this theory. Rotten shark, rattlesnake, rat kebobs, mountain goat curry, raw sea urchin - if it's a local delicacy, I'm almost...
Lighthouse Road, West End, Negril ., Jamaica
The Caves, just west of Negril, is aptly named. While the 12 cottages and one villa sit atop honeycombed cliffs, the Blackwell Rum Bar, a private dining venue, and the massage table of the hotel’s Aveda Concept Spa are actually in...
Vallee de Papenoo, Hitiaa O Te Ra, French Polynesia
Also known as the Papenoo Valley, the Maroto Valley is a magical place once inhabited by ancient Polynesians. If you go with a guide -- I recommend Marama Tours -- you'll be able to learn about the history of the area as well as learn to forage...
Raiatea, French Polynesia
I launched my kayak from the edge of Raiatea Lodge Hotel, which rents the boats free to guests. Here you can have the unique experience of kayaking to a motu. Motus are small islands made up of coral and its derivatives. From Raiatea, one such...
Set against a backdrop of lush jungle, this secluded luxury resort offers a mix of accommodations, from gorgeous villas with their own private plunge pools located right on the resort's powdery white sands to overwater bungalows with traditional...
Vaitape, French Polynesia
Nature lovers and history buffs alike will enjoy piling into a Land Rover or other four-wheel-drive vehicle for an off-road excursion to see Bora-Bora’s flora and fauna. During the trip, your Polynesian guide will cover a slew of topics,...
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