Where Rock and Water Meet
Collected by AFAR Traveler, AFAR Contributor
The greens, the blues, the browns. Throw in a cliff diver or two, and some crashing waves. The drama of cliffside views—from remote Galapagos to entirely accessible Sutro Baths in San Francisco—never gets old.
James Bond Island, 82130, Thailand
It's the 50th anniversary of James Bond, and while one may not be able to literally follow in Bond's footsteps, his path can be traced through Asia without too much spy work. Cue Adele's Skyfall to put you in the mood: Scene 1: Take a harbour...
One of the most relaxing water rides you will ever experience is rafting on the Rio Grande (one of Jamaica's largest rivers). The journey weaves through the deep valleys and untouched hillsides sprayed with lush tropical forests and towering...
RUDA 2, Plisko Polje, 21480, Plisko Polje, Croatia
For our few days in Vis, a two-hour ferry ride from Split, we would drive our Vespa until we got to a beach—they are not hard to come by on this small island. This beach, right about in the middle of the south coast of the island, is mostly only...
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...
I spent 4 days with my two aunts and cousin in Himare, Albania. This is one of the points on what is often called "The Albanian Riviera". It is a true wonder of the world, I think. All the beaches are less than a 20 minute drive so it's very easy...
20063 Cabrillo Hwy S, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019, USA
San Francisco is a great starting point for a road trip. Drive north or south on the HWY 1 and you're bound to find fun towns, beautiful winding roads and gorgeous coastal scenery. This cave is about an hour drive south of San Francisco, and then...
Praia do Arpoador, Avenida Francisco Bhering, s/n - Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 22080-050, Brazil
There may be no better place in Rio to watch the sunset than Arpoador Rock. Wedged in between Ipanema and Copacabana, is it a gathering point for Cariocas and tourists alike to toast the day with a fresh caipirinha. Watch the sun fade behind...
Driving from Kathmandu to Pokhara (the starting point for many treks in Nepal) on a Greenline bus (including a stop for lunch and two bathroom breaks) takes about 7 hours but the views are spectacular. Rivers, rice paddies and small town life are...
Hana Hwy, Hawaii, USA
The famous Hana Highway. This loop around the eastern side of Maui is truly spectacular. There are many reasons to pull over and just look around. From the waterfalls, the beaches, and jungle, this spot might have been my favorite. It was a one...
Catch a boat tour from Chiapa de Corzo to see the Canyon del Sumidero. It is a spectacular ride through narrow canyons with cliff walls that rise as high as 1000 meters straight up. Along the edges you'll see crocodiles, buzzards and occasionally...
6501 Railroad Ave, Snoqualmie, WA 98065, USA
Just 25 miles east of Seattle, in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, is Snoqualmie Falls. Winter and spring are the best times to see the thundering 268-ft waterfall; summer brings sun (believe it or not), but less rain and snowmelt. Although...
Page, AZ 86040, USA
I saw this place in so many photos before but when I got there and saw it in person it was such an overwhelming experience. Getting there is easy. You take the Interstate 89 South from Page and after 7 minutes you get to the parking lot. The road...
Lower Honoapiilani Rd, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
[Dragon's Teeth is near a sacred and ancient burial ground. If you go to this area, please respect the locals and the burial ground]. The geological sites in Maui are fascinating...so many different things to see on such a small island. We walked...
Access Lane To Caalan Beach, El Nido, 5313 Palawan, Philippines
I don't think there is anything better than an ocean sunset in a tropical paradise with an ice cold beer or pina colada. I feel lucky to have gotten to see the sun set in so many places, but El Nido might take the cake? The landscape here is...
Street 1;Village Matka, Village Matka 1000, Macedonia (FYROM)
Matka Canyon, Macedonia: Since there weren’t any signs and we didn’t quite know what we were getting into, we should have brought more things from the car—like cash for tipping a boat driver. We took the meandering path along the edge of a...
San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo, PR, Puerto Rico
Cuevas del Indios (Indian Caves) of Arecibo offers a tidbit of ancient history of a lost people. An easy-to-find natural wonder, with a simple $2 fee for parking, this you won't want to miss. Bring some sunscreen and your camera. Begin your hike...
Rodovia BR-363, s/n - Vila do Vai Quem Sabe, Fernando de Noronha (Distrito Estadual) - PE, 53990-000, Brazil
At the Pousada Maravilha, the view is just jaw-dropping. The light and sea colors change by the minute. So relaxing, looking out over the bay loaded with sea turtles, it was hard to leave....to go to the beach...
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...
Jungmun-dong, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do, South Korea
The Giant's Causeway in Ireland is perhaps the most well-known example of seaside columnar basalt cliffs...and here on this green volcanic island on the other side of the world is a less well-known locale where you can find this geologic...
My husband and I traveled around the periphery of Iceland (on Ring Road) over a 9-day trip this summer. We drove anti-clockwise from Reykjavik and towards the fag end of our road-trip we were in the Snaefellness National Park in Western Iceland....
If you have never had the opportunity to see Crater Lake in person, nothing can quite prepare you for the intense azul waters reflecting the sky. The deepest lake in the US, it is made up completely of collected water from melted snow and rain...
1004 Point Lobos Ave, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA
While hiking through the Lands End area of San Francisco I came across this gem. Built in the late 19th century as the world's largest indoor swimming pool complex, visitors could take a dip in one of the seven pools or take a stroll through a...
Llanos Costa, Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico
Lighthouses are common in any coastal town or island. Many are still in working condition, others are simply sites for the eyes. Cabo Rojo is a must-visit cliff on the southwest corner of Puerto Rico. From here, your view of the Caribbean is...
Misiones Province, Argentina
Certain things in life are simply impossible to adequately capture in a mere photograph. Iguazú Falls is definitely one of them, and above is my best effort to convey the epic expanse of 'The Devil's Throat.' Situated on the border of Brazil and...
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...
84010 Scala, Province of Salerno, Italy
Picture a historic village perched high above the sparkling Mediterranean, surrounded by lush mountains and stony cliffs. A charming, three hundred year old country home is nestled among the trees and warm breezes carry the tantalizing aromas of...
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...
La Quebrada, Acapulco, Gro., Mexico
There are several of these cliff-diving shows a day (unfortunately I can't remember the name of the cove, but say 'cliff divers' in Acapulco and everyone knows what you're talking about). To call them 'shows' is a bit belittling, though. They dive...
Yachats Ocean Rd, Yachats, OR 97498, USA
All I could say when I saw this stunning lighthouse perched on the rocky cliff near Yachats, Oregon was "Wow". I am certainly a sucker for lighthouses, especially ones that have the dramatic landscape surrounding it. The Heceta Head is about 15...
Route des Sanguinaires, 20000 Ajaccio, France
Young and poor, but frequent-flier-mile rich, my wife and I were able to go to Corsica for our first anniversary...Staying with friends always helps...They lived in Ajaccio, (birthplace of Napoléon Bonaparte), and at sunset one evening, they took...
Lislorkan North, Liscannor, Co. Clare, Ireland
Fancy yourself a brave one, do ye? Aye, aye, then the Cliffs of Moher are right up your alley. Ireland's most popular tourist destination does not disappoint, though visiting during the middle of the day means you're going to have to share the...
Porto Katsiki, Greece
The island of Lefkada is full of beautiful beaches. It's a haven for kite surfers and beach lovers. Porto Katsiki is by far the most breathtaking beach we saw on the island. The dramatic cliffs and incredible hues of bright turquoise water make it...
70044 Polignano a Mare, Metropolitan City of Bari, Italy
If narrow winding streets, lethargic cafes, and warm salt air rumble through your dreams, than Polignano should be in your plans. This seaside town on Italy's southern Adriatic shores is remarkable in every sense. Perhaps its best feature is that...
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