A sea lion with its head and neck raised on the beach.

Observing Galápagos Wildlife and Protecting South American Jungle

The Galápagos give a glimpse of what the world must have been like at the dawn of time, reminding us of both the power and playfulness of nature. Reptiles (such as giant tortoises and iguanas) rule the land, and a magnificent array of fish, rays, sharks, sea lions, turtles, and penguins present a natural spectacle underwater. The rugged volcanic landscapes—blackened lava trails and smoldering craters —make the geology as fascinating as the wildlife.

Framework surrounds a well-preserved carved wall that is slowly being unearthed.

Getting to El Mirador and Seeing the Pyramids

Here’s how to make the journey to El Mirador, a Preclassic Maya city whose dominating feature is the presence of two large pyramid complexes, El Tigre and La Danta, running east to west and facing each other.

Another adorable West Indian manatee at a Florida sanctuary.

Guatemala’s Punta de Manabique Wildlife Refuge

Now is a great time to explore this area, as it’s clear tourism is still in its infancy. Activities include visits to the mangrove-lined canals of Bahía La Graciosa, Laguna Santa Isabel, and adjacent Canal Inglés for bird-watching and manatee-spotting.

A luxurious looking hotel room lit with warm, golden lights.

Kurà, Costa Rica’s Newest, Most Sensational Hotel

Every time Christopher Baker explores Costa Rica while researching a new guidebook edition, he expects to discover new and exciting boutique hotels. As the first overnight guest in Kurà Design Villas, Christopher reviews this brand new, eco-friendly hotel located on along Costa Rica’s Central Pacific coast.

Two men pass under the shade of a tree high up on the shore of a white-sand beach.

São Sebastião: Beaches, Nightlife, and More

When Paulistanos say they are “going to São Sebastião,” they’re not actually referring to the busy seaside town, but to the 100km expanse of beaches and resort towns around it. Read on to find the right stretch of beach for your style of travel.

Small fish swim in crystal clear spring water.

Bonito: One of Brazil’s Top Ecotourism Destinations

The small town and surrounding area of Bonito offer visitors a stunning range of natural attractions, including caverns, waterfalls, and crystalline blue rivers that are ideal for snorkeling, along with hiking trails that wind through the verdant forests of the Serra da Bodoquena.

A herd of water buffalo rest in a pool of water surrounded by short grasses.

Ilha de Marajó in Para, Brazil

This Switzerland-size island, some 90km northwest of Belém, boasts deserted beaches and mangrove swamps teeming with exotic cranes, herons, ibises, and thousands and thousands of water buffalo.