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Katie Zegar′s Wishlist
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Antarctica
Antarctica is a massive continent, full of ice, rock, mountains, and caves. Depending on your tour and where you visit, it may be possible for you to explore these areas by mountaineering or even caving. Of the thousands of mountains on Antarctica...
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Bangkok, Thailand
Once sported mainly by soldiers, prisoners and working class men, yantra, or sak yant, tattoos have spread to international pop and hipster culture. The traditional tattoos are believed to possess magical power to protect from harm and bring good...
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Rabla de las Flores, s/n, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Amble down La Rambla, stopping to admire fresh flowers, original artwork, and Barcelona souvenirs at your leisure. Watch living statues come to life when you drop a euro in their cups—most will pose with passersby, for a price, of course....
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The Great Wall of China runs more than 21,000 kilometers (over 13,000 miles), not as one continuous wall but rather as fortified wall sections. Some of the sections date back more than 2,500 years, though only 8.2 percent of the existing wall is...
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4 Jingshan Front St, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100006
Beijing's number one tourist attraction is a massive former imperial palace known as the Forbidden City. Between 1416 and 1911, it was home to 24 Ming and Qing dynasty emperors and their families and staff. In 1912, after the abdication of...
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Belize
In the Orange Walk district, in Northern Belize, lies one of the largest Maya ruins in the country: Lamanai. It is accessible by road but I arrived after a one-hour boat ride up the New River. The name “Lamanai” is roughly translated as “Submerged...
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Carretera Federal Cancún-Tulum, km 1266.8, Puerto Aventuras, 77734 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Swim in a mystical cenote believed to be the gateway to the Underworld by the ancients. These subterranean rivers, formed by the last Ice Age, are said to be sacred and are guarded by aluxes, or elves whose permission is needed to enter their...
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The narrow canyon of the siq makes for a dramatic entry to Petra. As you walk the trail, bordered by immense cliffs on both sides, it's easy to understand how the Nabataeans managed to guard their capital from attack and how, later, Petra was lost...
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Peru
Machu Picchu is virtually synonymous with Peru, and in 2007 it was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the world. There is a reason for this: when you arrive, you encounter a breathtaking, panoramic view of the Andes. This Inca citadel was built...
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The Nazca Lines are massive geometric and zoomorphic designs laid out in the middle of the coastal desert of the Ica region. These 2500 year old sand etchings are so big that you can only see them from the air. Their origin is a mystery....
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Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Crowds may swarm upon it daily from sunrise onwards, but exposure hasn’t dulled the impact of the largest religious monument in the world. Commissioned by King Suryavarman II in the 12th century as the centerpiece of the mighty Khmer empire,...
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55800 San Juan Teotihuacán, State of Mexico, Mexico
While it's not in Mexico City proper, the sacred pre-Hispanic city of Teotihuacan is close enough–about 30 miles– for an easy day trip if you're interested in architecture, archaeology, and indigenous history. The site's primary...
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Latin America
If you are traveling in the area, don't miss out on all of the amazing cenotes that dot the region. I usually rent a car and drive down the highway towards Tulum and stop at small signs that says "cenote." Many are on privately owned property like...
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Cobá, Q.R., Mexico

Outside of Tulum, the ancient Mayan ruins of Coba go on for what seem like miles. This tower included 100-something steep steps, and after I got over my initial fear about tumbling down them, I climbed every single one—with a little help and...

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Calakmul, Camp., Mexico
Rising high above the vast expanse of the Peten forest in southern Campeche are the towering pyramids of Calakmul. Calakmul was perhaps the most powerful state in the Classic Maya world, dominating the likes of Tikal for centuries and creating a...
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Carretera Merida-Campeche Km. 78, 97890 Uxmal, Yuc., Mexico
Overshadowed by its larger and more well-known cousins, Palenque and Chichén-Itzá, Uxmal ("Oosh-mahl") is the ruins of an ancient Maya city located near present-day Campeche. In its heyday, Uxmal was one of the largest cities of the Yucatan...
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Av de los Héroes, Centro, 77000 Chetumal, Q.R., Mexico
The capital of Quintana Roo, Chetumal is a great place to base yourself for a couple nights in order to explore some of the surrounding attractions, including several Maya archaeological sites and the Bacalar Lagoon, before jumping across the...
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Cobá, Q.R., Mexico
Cobá holds the ruins of a large pre-Colombian Maya civilization located on the Riviera Maya. Lesser known than Tulum, the name Cobá means turbid (cloudy) waters - probably having to do with the five cenotes (underground rivers) in the region,...
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Palenque was a classic Maya city-state located in Chiapas, Mexico, and has gained notoriety among Maya archaeologists for its extravagant architecture and refined art and writings. The temples perched upon a hill adjacent to the main plaza of...
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Yaxchilan, 29950 Ocosingo, Chis., Mexico
An hour boat ride along Usumacinta River on the Guatemala border can take you to Yaxchilan, Palenque’s less visited cousin in the tropics of Chiapas, Mexico. Twelve-thousand-year old architecture brings many questions to mind. But at this moment,...
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Misol-ha, Nichtyeja A.C., 29960 Palenque, Chis., Mexico
Mexico is full of little nooks and crannies to explore, that will remind you why you brave the long flights, dusty roads, gurgling stomachs, cold showers and sweltering heat as a traveler. Misol-Ha is one of those nooks... Just 20km from...
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The Parque Museo La Venta in the busy city of Villahermosa, Tabasco provides an excellent opportunity to experience Tabasco's local archaeology and ecology. Tabasco was the ancient heartland of the mysterious Olmec culture and is a steamy, jungle...
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Monte Albán, Oax., Mexico
The Zapotec ruled above the Valley of Oaxaca from their hilltop capital, named Monte Alban. Any visit to Oaxaca should include a tour of these impressive ruins. The native people living in Oaxaca today can trace their heritage directly back to the...
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Carretera Diaz Ordaz al Observatorio Km 84, 22795 Ejido México, B.C., Mexico
Coming upon a dolphin in the wild is a special kind of thrill. But in Mexico's Sea of Cortez, what Cousteau called "The Aquarium of the World," you have the chance to sail among hundreds or even thousands of common dolphins. These rich seas are...
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Latin America
Xochicalco is a fascinating archaeological site located a few hours south of Mexico City in the state of Morelos. The site came to prominence after the fall of Teotihuacan and may have played a part in Teotihuacan's demise by blocking valuable...
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Tula, Hgo., Mexico
Take a day trip from Mexico City to Tula to see the Toltec archaeological site.
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Circuito Perimetral S/N, San MIguel del Milagro, 90720 Natívitas, Tlax., Mexico
Nearly 1,000 years after the once-powerful central Mexican city of Cacaxtla was abandoned, would-be looters of the hilltop palace ruins came across fantastically well-preserved and still colorful murals painted in a somewhat puzzling Mayan style....
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Bonampak, Chis., Mexico
The classic Mayan site of Bonampak, located deep in the jungles of Chiapas, Mexico, holds one of the most unlikely and important discoveries in the history of Mayan archaeological investigation. The story of the wall murals is a story of an...
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Mexico City, CDMX, Mexico
Name:Alfonsina Peñaloza
Age: 31
Neighborhood: San Ángel, Mexico City, Mexico
Occupation: Alfonsina works for Ethos, a nonprofit that conducts research and advises governments and other organizations on economic, gender equality, and human rights...
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Barrio de Jalatlaco, Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Throughout Mexico in the many colorful markets there are lots of interesting items for sale, from live animals and produce to clothing and all sorts of knickknacks. Food is also plentiful and varied. But nothing seems to have registered more with...
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Latin America
The Totanac archaeological site called El Tajin in northern Veracruz, Mexico, contains many unique examples of Mesoamerican architecture, such as the Templo de los Nichos or Temple of the Niches. The Totanacs ruled coastal Veracruz in the Classic...
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Paseo de la Reforma & Calzada Gandhi S/N, Chapultepec Polanco, Miguel Hidalgo, 11560 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Housed in a 1964 structure whose modern lines and central fountain greatly complement what's on view, this anthropology museum is a repository of the most important pre-Hispanic treasures modern Mexico has discovered. The works are...
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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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México 307, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
Tulum, Mexico, is a magical place that has never yet seemed to be to crowded or overrun. It is the smaller sister of Playa Del Carmen on the Yucatan Peninsula. The whole area is made of limestone and lowland jungle with amazing, crystal-clear...
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Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Despite being considered a park tourist too, is worth a visit to see some of Mexico's exuberant nature and its colorful culture. The park has options diving, rest and good nutrition.
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Isla del Espiritu Santo, Baja California Sur, Mexico
The Isla Espiritú Santo and the adjacent Isla Partida (separated by a narrow isthmus which only appears at low tide) are desert islands, with no human residents. Even if there is no permanent human population here, the islands are rich in rare...
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You can find the ancient sites of Maras and Moray just a short drive away from Pisac. The two places differ in appearance, but they both reflect the same spirit of innovation that helped various Pre-Columbian people build prosperous societies in...
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Peru
Rupac is a pre-Incan ceremonial site nestled into the highlands near Lima. To reach the ruins, you must undertake a three-hour trek uphill to 3,000 meters above sea level, but the view is worth it – especially if you arrive in time to witness a...
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Caral, Peru
Just a few hours north of Lima, you can visit the sacred city of Caral-Supe, an ancient archaeological site that marks the earliest known instance of complex civilization in the Americas. The ruins at this UNESCO World Heritage Site date to...
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Santo Domingo s/n, Cusco 08000, Peru
The Catholic Church played a major role in the Spanish Conquest that took place during the first half of the 16th century. Missionaries executed a swift and aggressive evangelization process that imposed Catholicism on the indigenous people,...
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The Chavin civilization is considered one of the first major pre-Inca cultures. The Chavin de Huantar, which was constructed beginning around 1200 BC, may have been a hub of this culture. Archaeologists believe that the site once served as a...
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Sacsayhuaman is an impressive Inca fortress on a steep hill that overlooks all of Cusco. The ruins are humongous, but archeologists believe that the original site was as much as four times larger. What remains today are the impressive outer walls...
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Chan Chan (which literally translates to "Sun Sun") is the largest Pre-Columbian metropolis of South America. It was built by the Chimu civilization, a vast empire that once stretched more than 1000 kilometers from southern Ecuador all the way...
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Aguas Calientes, Peru
The Inca Trail is perhaps the most famous trek in Peru. This is the road to Machu Picchu, an ancient route that leads from the Sacred Valley into the heart of the Andes. You must obtain a permit and hire an official guide in order to hike the Inca...
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Jirón Victor E. Chave, Puno, Peru
Located on the border between Perú and Bolivia, this is the highest lake in the world and a mystical, fascinating place. Legend has it that Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo, the sons of Inti the sun god, emerged from the waters of Lake Titicaca to found...
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Unnamed Road, Peru
Colca Canyon, a three-hour drive north of Arequipa, is one of Peru’s most popular and extraordinary tourist attractions. The chasm is over 13,600 feet deep, making it one of the deepest in the world, and more than twice as deep as the...
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08024 Barcelona, Spain
A pilgrimage to this enchanting park is a must for any Antoni Gaudí fan. Located atop Carmel Hill to the north of the city, the park was inspired by English landscape gardens, but its fantastical elements make sure you know it was...
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Sir Herbert Miles Rd, Gibraltar GX11 1AA, Gibraltar
The Mediterranean lies below the sheer faces of the rock, where cargo ships look like bathtub toys and streets and buildings that hug the base of the rock look like scale models of seaside resorts.
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35542 Arrieta, Las Palmas, Spain
3,000 year old volcanic tube now a popular tourist attraction in Lanzarote. Eruption of Monte Corona. Once inside, the tour lasts for some 45 minutes (offered in Spanish and English) and will include the viewing of the concert hall and a...
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Toledo, Spain
The historic hilltop area of Toledo was as touristy as you can get but full of beautiful details. Every trace of local life I found seemed to revolve around tourism but hey, I was a tourist so I can't exactly complain. In any case the day trip out...
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Plaza del Azoguejo, 1, 40001 Segovia, Spain
The ancient city of Segovia is charming in every sense of the word. Wooden and stone houses line impossibly narrow winding streets, up the hills to the heart of the Roman Aqueduct. On your quest to see the Alcázar of Segovia and its spatial...
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Carrer de la Marina, 253, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
The art nouveau buildings of Antoni Gaudí, the 19th-century architect whose works are some of Barcelona’s most iconic sights, can be seen throughout Catalonia, but Barcelona has the best examples of his genius at work. Former...
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Patio, 98733, French Polynesia
While pensions in French Polynesia are often touted as overpriced accommodations with no amenities, Fare Pea Iti proves this is not always true. In fact, this family home pension is downright luxurious, with an in-ground pool, well-manicured...
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1669 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9, Canada
The market community at the Public Market really makes Granville Island a must-visit in Vancouver. The vibrant colors of the fruits and vegetables that aren't on the East Coast really stand out, especially on farmers market days. The market goes...
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Toronto, ON, Canada
Toronto’s international film festival, held every September, drew half a million attendees last year. Dozens of movies have been shot here. But the cinema isn’t the only reason to visit “Hollywood North” this fall. Modern buildings by architects...
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Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
Shibuya is a center of Japanese fashion, culture, color, noise, and light. Harajuku girls? They're in Shibuya. Manga? Find it in Shibuya. Biggest scramble crossing in the world? Sit at the Starbucks in Shibuya and marvel at the madness below. You...
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Tokyo, Japan
Japan has the highest number of vending machines per capita. All across Japan you'll find machines selling all sorts of items—coffee in cans (hot or cold), sushi, umbrellas, alcohol, pornography, trinkets, noodles, books, eggs, and so much more....
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Japan, 〒104-0045 Tōkyō-to, Chūō-ku, Tsukiji, 5 Chome−2−1
The Tsukiji Market is the world's largest seafood market, with more than 2,000 tons of seafood moving through it daily. There are two parts to the operation: the inner market, or jonai, accessible after 10 a.m., and the outer market, or jogai,...
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Ueno, Taitō, Tokyo 110-0005, Japan
Ueno is a great spot for a walkabout in Tokyo. It has almost everything that someone looking for an urban getaway could want—good food from countless cafes, restaurants, and food kiosks; a park (Ueno Park) to walk around; and even a children's...