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Amy Sharyn′s Wishlist
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Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area, Nantou County, Taiwan
Sun Moon Lake is Taiwan's largest fresh water lake. When I lived in Nantou County, central Taiwan, I would often ride my scooter to Sun Moon Lake for a bit of fresh air and reflection. One day I drove to the lake and traveled up a hill to the...
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Oljato-Monument Valley, UT 84536, USA
Nuzzled up against the Arizona border about 100 miles west of Four Corners are some 30 square miles of the most iconic scenery in the American West. Monument Valley is one of those places that you’ll recognize as soon as you see...
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Yucatán, 72470 Puebla, Pue., Mexico
Las Coloradas is a small fishermen town in the east corner of the Yucatecan coast inside Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, the Yucatan’s largest wetland area. This little known part of Yucatán has picturesque and unordinary landscapes, a giant salt...
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Nordurljosavegur 9, 240 Grindavík, Iceland
Iceland’s largest and most famous geothermal spa lies around an hour outside Reykjavik, quite close to Keflavik Airport. With a dramatic setting amidst large black lava boulders, the steam-filled, creamy-blue pool area is a striking and...
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Bell Rock, Arizona 86351, USA
I'll admit, I came here not so much for the scenery but for the alleged 'energy vortex' that locals in Sedona, AZ claim is present in nearby Bell Rock. After standing in place for a few moments and trying to channel something that I was hoping was...
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Skúlagata 28, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
we didnt stay at KEX hostel but we went there twice for burgers and coffee and cool people watching. The interior is an instagrammers dream and the abbreviated menu is a good mix of American heartiness (cheeseburgers) and delicious Scando fare...
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Arenal Volcano Main Road 3 Blocks West From Centra, Alajuela Province, La Fortuna, 68241000, Costa Rica
Arenal Backpacker's Hostel beats most five star hotels in Costa Rica. You can purchase a private room, dormitory, or tent for less than 30 dollars. (Don't assume the tents are the worst option simply because they are the cheapest: they include...
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Rua de Miguel Bombarda 222, 4050-377 Porto, Portugal
Somehow this Northern Portuguese city has become home to dozens of fantastic hostels, better than most I’ve stayed at elsewhere throughout Europe. You are pretty safe with nearly every one, but Gallery Hostel is my pick because it’s much more than...
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40 College Cres, London NW3 5LB, UK
Hostels overtake areas like Piccadilly Circus and King’s Cross, but Palmer’s Lodge Swiss Cottage is located in an area of London that the “real” people live in. A short ride from central London and an even shorter walk to Hampstead Heath, the city...
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Mühlwiese 12, 6166 Fulpmes, Austria
Doug’s isn’t your typical hostel, as there are only 8 or so beds in the entire place, but it’s the best place to experience the Austrian Alps. Located a 30 minute tram ride away from Innsbruck in Fulpmes, this is as Alpine as it gets. Picture the...
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Rechte Wienzeile 35, 1040 Wien, Austria
Wombats Hostels are one of the best chains in Europe with three locations in Vienna alone. The Naschmarkt location, however, is easily the best and newest, as it's right across the street from the city's famous local food market and dining...
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R. do Crucifixo 116, 2º, 04015-070 Lisboa, Portugal
This boutique hostel in Lisbon feels more like a design hotel and is a result of a collaboration between local artists, DJ’s & designers. They even offer up a nightly 3-course dinner including wine!
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Adelgade 5-7, 1304 København K, Denmark
What’s not to like? Modern buildings, central locations, variety of rooms, great nightlife and cheap dining options. Honestly, it doesn’t get better than that. The hostel is handily located between two of the city’s busiest...
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1 Nelly Bay Road, Magnetic Island QLD 4819, Australia
The sound of the ocean's waves lapping the shore greets you when you wake up at Base Backpackers Magnetic Island. As if that's not enough, this Australian hostel is located on Magnetic Island National Park, just a short ferry ride from Townsville,...
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Via G. Marconi, 358, 84017 Positano SA, Italy
Positano's unreal scenery and excellent limoncello reduce everywhere else to a distant, less attractive memory. Arguably one of the best views in town can be found at Hostel Brikette, Positano's only youth hostel, but book a private room if you're...
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China, Beijing Shi, Dongcheng Qu, 南锣古巷85号 邮政编码: 100007
On my first trip to China, while in Beijing I stayed in a hostel nestled in a traditional hutong. It was a highlight even then. I loved stepping out the door and heading off into the maze of narrow alleys and unique architecture. There are so many...
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Lozovac, Croatia
Skradinski Buk is the name given to the series of tiers of cascades and waterfalls located in Krka National Park. The water flows from the Krka River and the volume is so great that it literally thunders as it rages, full force, over the karst...
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Ananuri, Georgia
I took a day trip from the Georgian capital of Tbilisi and headed an hour north to the Ananuri fortress. The ancient 17th-century complex is perched on a hill overlooking the sparkling turquoise-colored Aragvi River and Zhinvali Reservoir. It...
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San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chis., Mexico
On the border of the state of Chiapas (Mexico) and Guatemala, there is a national park, Lagunas de Montebello. It contains numerous lakes and cenotes, mostly spring fed from waters deep in the mineral depths of the earth. Each body of water is...
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ຫຼວງພຣະບາງ, Laos
A great way to cool off on the blistering tropical days in Laos. Luang Prabang is the cultural capital of Laos and is quiet and lovely.
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Poon Hill Marga, Histan Mandali 33711, Nepal
On the second day of our trek to Poon Hill in the Annapurna Sanctuary, my friend Brill and I stumbled upon this absolutely gorgeous waterfall pulsing through a deep, green canyon. It was the early morning—about 7:30 when we first got to the river...
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Purdon Rd, Nevada City, CA 95959, USA
I just spent the weekend following the 4th of July up near Nevada City. It got over 90 degrees during the day, so we headed to the river. Although lots of people had similar ideas, I was with a local who directed us to this spot and we had it to...
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Località Bagni di Petriolo, 58045 Pari, Civitella Paganico GR, Italy
Relax in the warm volcanic water emerging from deep underground. These natural spas were known by the Romans, who came here for their yearly health retreat.
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Hummingbird Hwy, Belize
If you rent a car in Belize, make sure to cruise the Hummingbird Highway from Dangriga to Belmopan. Take your time and check out all the amazing locations, such as Marie Sharp's Hot Sauce Factory, St Herman's Cave, Five Blues N.P., and the Blue...
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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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Nordnesparken, 5005 Bergen, Norway
It was August, so it seemed a perfectly sensible idea. I'm in Norway, land of the fjords—let's go for a splash in one! Bergen has a lovely little lido that offers you just that opportunity. Sure, you can swim in its heated outdoor pool, but the...
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Gorge Rd, Nitmiluk NT 0852, Australia
Most visitors to Australia have heard of Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, but few realize that neighboring Nitmiluk National Park, four hours south of Darwin, is actually more spectacular. During the wet season, from November to...
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11 Richmond Rd, Pohara, Takaka Golden Bay 7183, New Zealand
I WWOOFed at the Sans Souci Inn for a month and my wonderful hosts sent me on many adventures. I hiked up to Rawhiti Cave, the largest cave opening in NZ; got coffee on "Jacques Cousteau's Pirate Espresso Ship;" admired wood pigeons in The Grove;...
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Quintana Roo 109, Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
We decided to visit the Gran Cenote outside of Tulum and were expecting to swim with turtles and fish. While there were a few pet turtles and goldfish, the only real wildlife were bats that hang up in the cave openings. The Gran Cenote is more...
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Via Addolorata, 5, 98050 Valdichiesa ME, Italy
Just returned from four weeks in Sicily. The time we spent on the Aeolian Islands was incredible. Italy with no crowds, unbelievably fresh seafood, and days spent boating around the small islands (Salina was our favourite), stopping to swim...
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Latin America
The water in Mexico isn’t only by the beach. This is Misol-Ha. Located deep in the jungles of Chiapas, the waters of Misol-Ha cascade 35 meters down into a 13.7 meter deep pool of water. The entire area is surrounded by lush tropical vegetation....
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5222 Kobarid, Slovenia
Kobarid is also known as Caporetto, because the town—on the border with Italy—was annexed by the Italians for part of World War I. The brutality of that war has been erased—and scenery like this has survived (you can revisit the war at the museum...
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Waimoku Falls, Hawaii 96713, USA
I used to live in Maui, right at the start of the Hana Highway, and driving the famous road was a weekly ritual. I recently went back to visit and found it still as breathtaking as ever. To avoid the tourist traffic (Mustangs seem to be the...
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Blue Eye, Albania
This place is in the middle of nowhere in Southern Albania. There is no bus stop. You just have to motion to the driver to pull over at the side of the road when you see a promising looking dirt trail. You take that trail off the main road, all...
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Negril, Jamaica
No hotel in Jamaica blends better with its surroundings than the aptly named Rockhouse, a string of villas clinging to the top of a sea cliff at the western tip of the island. Local stone, timber, and thatch are the building materials, and a...
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3901 Packer Lake Rd, Sierra City, CA 96125, USA

My wife, Robin, and I have been camping, fishing, and hiking in the Lakes Basin area, near Sierra City, since we met. These days, our usual home base is a tiny log cabin at the edge of Packer Lake, pictured here. From trailheads around Packer you...

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13, Vang Vieng, Laos
Vang Vieng could be considered a touristy town, but don't hold that against it. It's a magical place, and if you don't find it floating down the river, rent a bicycle and head straight out into the countryside. This image was taken after climbing...
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Frente Parque Lobo, Barrio El Carmen, Puntarenas, Av. 4, Provincia de Puntarenas, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Montezuma was a must-stop recommendation of all the beaches, so when we two Floridians finally arrived on the miniature, desolate coast in this small town we were confused. The communal bonfire atmosphere described seemed unlikely and the view was...
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Supai, AZ 86435, USA
There’s a reason this is one of the most iconic spots along the Grand Canyon. Located on the Havasupai Indian Reservation and hidden deep within a 20-mile round-trip hike, Havasu Falls’ sparkling turquoise waters are a popular...
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4050 Red Rock Loop Rd, Sedona, AZ 86336, USA
The red rocks around Sedona are a trekker's dream, and if you know where to go, you can jump in a creek as well. Just to the southwest of Sedona, check out Red Rocks State Park. Take a short hike then cool off with a swim below Cathedral Rock. (By...
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Finlayvale Road, Mossman QLD 4873, Australia
Imagine your hotel room looking out into the middle of the rainforest. At Silky Oaks, it's your reality. Some balconies have hammocks (my favourite feature in the room); other room balconies even have a bed! The restaurant also looks over the...
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Sta. Rosa del Sur, Pasacao, Philippines
Tours A, B, C & D are the different daily options that would take you to the different islands scattered around El Nido's stunning Bacuit Bay. We were taken to gorgeous beaches, breathtaking limestone formations, unique topographies and sumptuous...
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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
This photo has not been retouched. And ironically, when we pulled into Secret Lagoon (yep - that's the actual name), there was no one there. I expected hordes of tourists, but it's lived up to it's name. You can book a 3 day boat tour with several...
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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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Bãi Sao An Thới, Thị Trấn An Thới, Phú Quốc, An Thới, Phú Quốc, tỉnh Kiên Giang, Vietnam
The beach that will leave you speechless. Bai Sao (South Beach - in English) is located on the Vietnamese island, Phu Quoc. This place oozes relaxation. The mood on the island is very different from mainland Vietnam and if you have any inclination...
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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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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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Anamaya Rd, Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica
The yoga deck at Anamaya is an ideal setting for dropping your bags, winding down, and draining city life cares away. At dawn, the silent darkness unveils itself to the sounds of howler monkeys, birds and chirping insects waking with the sun. The...
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1 Redonda Bay, Tola, Nicaragua
Seclusion and tranquility are the new forms of luxury in a world that is so accessible and plugged in. Aqua Wellness Resort successfully marries contemporary luxury accommodations with serene surroundings, providing a memorable and rejuvenating...
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Sahastradhara Road,, Dehradun, Uttarakhand 249001, India
The residence of the Maharaja of Tehri-Garhwal (an Indian princely state) is now a 100-acre spa resort in the Himalayas devoted to hatha yoga and holistic and Ayurvedic wellness programs. Prior to arrival, guests fill out an Ayurveda and wellness...
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09420 Clermont, France
At a French Pyrenees mountain retreat in the village of Clermont La Grausse, yoga is practiced in a renovated barn and the top-floor studio of a château that overlooks a lake. Hour-long hatha-based classes are taught twice a day in English and are...
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933 Fernleigh Rd, Brooklet NSW 2479, Australia
Singer Olivia Newton-John and three partners founded a 25-acre retreat in the hinterlands outside Byron Bay in 2005. You can participate in daily yoga sessions designed for all levels as well as tai chi, qi gong, and Pilates. Organic cooking...
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Paseo de Los Mangos, Granada, Nicaragua
It’s easy to be zen at this secluded sustainable resort located on a tiny island in Lake Nicaragua. Guests arrive via a ten-minute boat ride from the colonial town of Granada. Once on island, activities range from kayaking around the lake to...
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Ruta Provincial 82, Km 38, 5507 Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina
If you’re looking for a day of grape-free respite in Mendoza, head off-the-grid to the hot springs of Cacheuta. The Terma Spa welcomes guests with an assemblage of thermal baths overlooking the scenic Mendoza River flowing downstream from the...
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Jl. Surapati, Tua, Marga, Kabupaten Tabanan, Bali 80116, Indonesia
Terracotta and thatched-roof residences with spring water infinity pools jut from the hillsides and line the Ayung River at this 22-acre retreat outside Ubud. Everything, from the dining experiences to the custom health programs, is designed to...
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807-2 Boseong-ri, Boseong-eup, Boseong, Jeollanam-do, South Korea
South Korea. To the world it is bright neon lights, fuel-efficient cars, genetic research and kimchi. The Land of the Morning Calm is deservedly lauded as a spreading ground for future tech and well known as the K-pop powerhouse, though Seoul is...
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Uetliberg, 8143 Zürich, Switzerland
While visiting Zurich, some friends took me to Üetliberg, which was, quite literally, a winter wonderland. Walking the trails amidst the beautiful icy trees was surreal. It was freezing, but we didn’t mind – the coffee awaiting us at the lodge at...
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Middle East
Cleopatra bathed in the Antique Pool at Hierapolis--before a great earthquake knocked several pillars into the pool. Fed by natural spring, the warm water is said to have healing qualities. My kids and I enjoyed the bubbles; they stick to skin and...
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Troy Rd, Moscow, ID 83843, USA
The Palouse Scenic Byway is 208 miles of unique rolling hills of agricultural landscapes. The winding roads of Eastern Washington and Western Idaho have a surprise around every curve and over every hill that will delight the eye with the natural...
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Hua Hin District, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Thailand
On a writing assignment to Hua Hin, Thailand, we discovered this wooden walkway built by the Parks Department that allows visitors to do a one-km circuit through the mangrove forest in the area. Located only 30 kilometres south of Hua Hin, at the...
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East Asia
There aren't that many rivers in Mongolia but for some odd reason, every one of the handful of bridges we came across were crooked and in all the wrong directions. For some other odd reason, although every bridge was wide enough for us to drive...
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Mürren, 3825 Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
More so than most places, Switzerland offers serious skiers the chance to fly down unblemished mountainsides—especially in Mürren. The town is blessed with powder-packed bowls that maintain fresh snow for days after a big fall, drawing...
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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...
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s/n - Sman - Zona Industrial, Brasília - DF, 70635-800, Brazil
An hour outside of Brasilia, we found ourselves surrounded in tough, scrubby land. A friend at a nearby nature reserve took us on a long hike down the path of a waterfall, which pooled in various places and formed a sort of natural waterslide.
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Words can do little justice to the scenery that awaits travelers to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Hundreds of forested limestone karst formations rise from emerald-green waters, looking like slumbering creatures ready to stir. The...
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Hopkins, Belize
Hopkins Village is a coastal escape with a perfect balance of culture, local and international dining, and some of the best accommodation options in the country. Once a remote Garifuna fishing village, Hopkins has become a full-fledged tourist...
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Sucumbíos Province, Ecuador
Walk the plank at Sacha Lodge in Ecuadorian jungle in Cocoa.
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Kulm 7, 6410 Rigi Kulm, Switzerland
Took a day trip to Rigi-Kulm, a "Pre-Alp" near Luzern, Switzerland. Apparently you know when it's a good day to be on the mountains when there is a layer of mist in the lower elevations.
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Peru
Piranha fishing...pink dolphin sightings...holding a caimen...beautiful day explorations by skiff and canoe along the Ucayali River and in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Add to jaw-dropping explorations, the 5-star comfort of the Aqua Amazon...
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Paradise Bay, Antarctica
The Antarctic weather was unpredictable and often inhospitable throughout our 1-week expedition cruise. Dramamine came in really handy the last day as we sailed the Gerlach Straight. I popped them like candy before cautiously eating dinner. Just a...
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Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania
As easy as it would be to spend an entire trip to Zanzibar lazing around on soft-sand beaches, it’s well worth skipping an hour or two of sunbathing to see Stone Town, the ancient district of Zanzibar. With its narrow cobblestoned streets,...