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AFAR Explorer′s Wishlist
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71895 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
There are many options for lodging along California's Big Sur coast. One can spa, camp, inn or lodge their way down or up the PCH. The most unusual choice for lodging are the yurts at Treebones Resort. The canvas-constructed tents are comfortable...
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Southern Asia
Each tented villa consists of a living room, a bathroom, and a teak-furnished bedroom that opens onto a porch and Madivaru’s mosaic-walled infinity pool. After a day of diving or snorkeling, you can arrange for a private dinner on the beach...
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72 Holt Rd, Garners Beach QLD 4852, Australia
I have an affinity for sleeping in trees. Particularly when those trees are in a rainforest and even better when those trees end at a secluded beach. In my opinion, tree houses should be an unobtrusive part of the forest, and my footprint while...
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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...
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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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Jordan
A couple days after seeing the Pyramids we came to Petra and were completely blown away. The walk through the canyon only builds up the excitement and then the Treasury appears immediately in front of you. The Pyramids might have been one of the...
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21 Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Hoehyeon-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 ...
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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...
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Crijevićeva ul. 9, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
There’s no denying that Dubrovnik is a gem of a city – lots of things to do and see but, if you go any time starting in May, it can also be sweltering hot. The cool blue waters of the Adriatic Sea will look ever so inviting but there are the old...
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Coron, Philippines
Coron is one of the northern-most islands of the Palawan archipelago. We spent a day touring the island by boat, visiting its lagoons, coves and lake. I loved observing our boatman who was at total ease, effortlessly maneuvering our banca through...
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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...
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Jordan
Dark-haired, dark-eyed, dark-skinned men ride horses up and down the path that leads to Petra‘s Siq, the mile-long entrance to the ancient city. I walk the stretch of the archeological park, clambering up hills and and rocks for better views of...
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Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
To be standing in the Angkor Wat complex was a dream of mine. I couldn't believe how old it really was and that it was still there! It was amazing to be able to walk inside and see all the reliefs but, what really made this a special experience...
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Zurriola Ibilbidea, s/n, 20002 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Zurriola beach is slightly off the radar, or at least as much off the radar as one of a city's three beaches can be. The only tourists that typically venture over are of the surfing persuasion, and sitting to watch the sunset on the wall that...
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Playa Sucia, Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico
Five years ago, my friends and I found a secret beach near the Cabo Rojo Lighthouse. To this day, we've never seen anyone else there. Ignore the beach's misnomer—Bahia Sucia (dirty bay)—and plan on an 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. outing to this natural...
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Anse Source d'Argent, Seychelles
Home to an abundance of wildlife, La Digue is the third largest inhabited island in the archipelago. Towering granite rocks surround the sparkling blue ocean, and green foliage and sprawling palm trees add to this unspoiled natural environment....
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Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria
For exquisite natural beauty and unparalleled serenity, I love Agaja Beach. This beach is awesome. It is sublime. A well kept secret of well-heeled Lagosians. Most of the inhabitants of this little slice of paradise are Ghanaians, however. And for...
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Rio de Janeiro - State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio’s beaches are famous. Sometimes too famous. For a more tranquil experience, seek out the solitude of Rio’s lesser-known shores. The secluded cove of Prainha Beach offers travelers a bigger patch of sand and clearer waters than Copacabana. At...
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ROUTE NATIONALE, PIGEON 97132, Guadeloupe
Plage Anse Thomas is a petite-pebbled beach located in the south of Bouillante on the island of Basse-Terre. It is a secret spot for locals and often uncrowded. What makes this tiny gem so special? It is the site of one the many natural hot...
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Rottnest Island WA 6161, Australia
Rottnest Island is only a short 30 minute ferry ride from Fremantle. It's regarded as one of Western Australia's best kept secrets, and I agree. It is home to some of the most beautiful and relaxing beaches. Trip to the island can be filled with...
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El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
This photo has not been retouched. And ironically, when we pulled into Secret Lagoon (yep - that's the actual name), no one was there. I expected hordes of tourists, but it lived up to its name. You can book a 3-day boat tour with several...
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Fitzroy Island, QLD 4871, Australia
Known as where the reef meets the rainforest, Fitzroy Island is one of those secrets in Australia that you want to keep to yourself. A 45 minute Fast Cat ferry ride from Cairns, the journey is as dreamy as the destination. Once on the island...
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El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
El Nido, Palawan, Philippines: A close friend of mine, a surfer dude, once told me, "You can always tell where you are in the world by the color of the ocean." In the Philippines, the waters are a deep, aquamarine. So clear, you can see all the...
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Agonda Beach, Agonda, Goa 403702
In Goa, India, Agonda beach is a small but beautiful beach that attracts the laid back traveler who isn’t interested in the party scene. It is a restful place to take a vacation from your vacation, which might be necessary when traveling amidst...
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Nordurljosavegur 9, 240 Grindavík, Iceland

Three days in iceland. Doesn't sound like much time?  I'm here to convince you otherwise.  We experienced glacier hiking, ice climbing, waterfalls, volcanos, Icelandic horses, snow-capped mountains, lava fields, Vikings, Viking beer,...

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39171 Tassajara Rd, Carmel Valley, CA 93924, USA
In 1967, Tassajara (already a storied hot springs resort) became the first Zen monastery outside Japan. Run by the San Francisco Zen Center, the monastery is open to the public from May through September and closed the rest of the year for...
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1 Chome-31-1 Asamaonsen, Matsumoto-shi, Nagano-ken 390-0303, Japan
At the new Kai Matsumoto inn, located in the historic town of Matsumoto in the Japanese Alps, the spa offers 13 different traditional Japanese bathing rituals in its eight baths. The alkaline water is drawn from nearby Asama Hot Springs, which...
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No. 18, Zhongbu Cross-island highway, Xiulin Township, Hualien County, Taiwan 972
These beautiful hot springs are located several kilometres into the gorge. To get there you must drive or cycle to the parking lot and then walk down a long wooden staircase built into the cliffside. At the bottom you'll find a quaint...
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This is the view from our room in Arenal, which had its own natural hot spring. This was the splurge of our trip, but the views were well worth it.
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Ruta Provincial 82, Km 38, M5507 Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina
The Cacheuta Spa Water Park is surrounded by the Andes and along the Mendoza River. The Thermal Park has different pools at different temperatures and picnic facilities to enjoy year round. The water park is located 38 kilometers from the city of...
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Three miles into Yellowstone from the North Entrance and before you reach Mammoth Hot Springs is a small parking lot on your left. Park and walk down the trail (400m). At the confluence of the Gardiner and Boiling rivers is a fun swimming hole....
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Take in views of a hot spring–fed waterfall, a dramatic ravine, and the Dead Sea from a resort that sits more than 800 feet below sea level. A cliff-top outdoor restaurant serves organic greens from the garden. Evason Ma’In, (800) 591-7480, from...
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Costa Rica
The thermal hot springs in Rincón de La Vieja at Rio Negro (Black River) may not be as well known as those in the Arenal area, but we had the pools and surrounding forest to ourselves. From where we stayed at the Hacienda Guachipelin Rincón de La...
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52068 W Fork Rd #38, Dolores, CO 81323, USA
While staying at Dunton Hot Springs, I had the opportunity to go on a great hike to Colorado's only active geyser. Though it is not an Old Faithful-like show-stopper, it is still very cool to be one of the very few people who see it every year.
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The Guanziling Hot Springs (關子嶺) are located in the foothills of the mountains of Taiwan, about 70 km northeast of Tainan City. These hot springs produce a fine, silty mud which is found in only three places in the world. It's said to be...
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Loc. Follonata, Saturnia, 58014 Manciano GR, Italy
Not much more than a slit in the earth off the road in the cool hill towns of Maremma in Tuscany is the cool little natural oddity called the Saturnia hot springs. Not really a spa, more of a roadside attraction, it's a cool little stop to take a...
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Pulau Perhentian Kecil, Besut, Terengganu, Malaysia
A visit to the Perhentian Islands is a must if you find yourself in Malaysia and want some beach time! If you want a nice quaint island stay on Perhentian Besar. If you are looking for more action then stay on Perhentian Kecil, but even Kecil is...