Isla Navarino- The Bottom of the World

It is a certain kind of traveler who seeks out a place like Isla Navarino. Remote and sparsely populated, it has plenty to recommend it: dramatic landscapes, thrilling sea passages, and, in Puerto Williams, a self-declared southernmost town in the world (that title is under dispute with Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego @). Isla Navarino lies at the tail...

Greenland-Icy Nomad of the North Atlantic

Among those ostensibly no-man's-land-masses that transatlantic flights pass over between North America and Europe, Greenland seems the most unlikely travel destination in and of itself. Iceland , maybe. But Greenland? It's the world's largest island that isn't a continent in its own right (about a quarter of the size of Australia), with a coastline as long as the equator....

Great Sand Dunes National Park

To encounter the giant, golden sand dunes of southern Colorado is as surprising as it is uplifting. These wind-sculpted hills rise up suddenly, over 700 feet (213 meters) high from the floor of the San Luis Valley, between the Rio Grande and the Sangre de Cristo mountains. They are the tallest dunes in the United States, and cover over...

Big Cypress National Preserve

Florida's Big Cypress National Preserve is a wetland paradise encompassing an impressive 2,500 square miles (6,216 square kilometers) of rich sub-tropical habitat. It's commonly called a swamp, but this is far from true because the reserve includes a variety of habitats such as sandy islands of pine and mixed hardwood trees, prairies, mangroves, palm trees, and, of course, cypresses....

Butterfly trees

Once a year the cloud forest pine trees in the mountains of central Mexico take on spectacular raiment as they play host to millions of over-wintering monarch butterflies. Upon encountering the sea of orange and black wings that dress each tree from top to bottom, it is easy to understand why the Aztecs believed the monarchs were reincarnated warriors,...

Mauritius Island, pearl of the Indian Ocean

Located  in  the  heart  of  the  Mascareignes archipelago in the Indian Ocean, the island of Mauritius is surrounded by blue lagoons and a  magnificent  barrier  reef  that  extends  for 330km along the coast. Only a mere 200km away  from  its  sister  island  of  Reunion, Mauritius is characterised by its sandy, pristine beaches  bordered  by  magnificent  turquoise lagoons. The island...

Lanai-The Archipelago’s Exclusive Enclave

The most recently developed island for tourism in the Hawaiian archipelago may be the smallest, but with that petite size comes exclusivity. In the past few decades, the former pineapple plantation island of Lanai, just 9 miles (14km) across the channel from Maui ©, has become a luxury playground that still has much of its precious local flavor intact....

Arches National Park

The world's greatest diversity of natural arches and other geological formations has made Arches National Park in Utah the jewel of a unique region. Located in a high desert, extremes of temperature, water, and wind erosion have finely sculpted the region's multi-hued sandstone into no less than 2,400 named arches, as well as a variety of unusual balanced rocks,...

Petrified Forest National Park

The Petrified Forest holds the largest and most beautifully preserved collection of petrified wood ever found. Here, the slow process of fossilization has turned large trees into solid stone. Some 225 million years ago, these trees were part of an ancient forest, which was home to giant fish-eating amphibians, large reptiles, and early dinosaurs. After falling, the trees were...

The sonoran desert

Local people say that no one can walk the Sonoran Desert and not be changed; that it has a natural power that both uplifts and humbles the spirit. Ringed by mountains and stretching across not just two states (Arizona and California), but two countries (U.S.A. and Mexico), this wonderful desert has more plants and animals than any other North...

The drumheller badlands

The torn and twisted landscape of the Drumheller Badlands stretches like a giant scar through the rolling farmlands of southern Alberta. It is a conglomeration of gulches, buttes, gulleys, and canyons, all eroded from multicolored layers of sandstone, mudstone, coal, and shale that date back 70 million years. The impact of visiting this place can be overwhelming, as if...

Flores-Island of Flowers

Portugal’s Azores islands are beautiful,tranquil, and sparsely inhabited. Flores,the “Flower Island,” is blessed with shimmering lakes, hills carpeted with greenery,dramatic miradouros (viewpoints) along rocky promontories, and a charmingly bucolic old-world tableau of seaside villages,vintage water mills, and clip-clopping oxcarts. Oh, and tourists are few and far between. Sounds perfect, right? Well it is—but Flores is also an isolated speck in...