Volcán Maderas is a pleasant volcano to climb. Photo © Elizabeth Perkins.

Nicaragua’s Volcanic Landscape

Nicaragua’s nickname, “The Land of Lakes and Volcanoes,” evokes its primary geographical features: two great lakes and a chain of impressive and active volcanoes; these water and volcanic resources have had an enormous effect on its human history. The country has about 40 volcanoes, a half dozen of which are usually active at any time. Running parallel to the Pacific shore, Nicaragua’s volcanoes are a part of the Ring of Fire that encompasses most of the western coast of the Americas, the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, Japan, and Indonesia.

Paradise Cave is one of the few sights in the park that can be visited independently. Photo © Dana Filek-Gibson.

The Caves of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

A labyrinth of subterranean tunnels and jaw-dropping, otherworldly landscapes, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park may be off the beaten path for now, but its anonymity is fading fast. Decked out in eerie, alien rock formations and spindly stalactites, these tunnels are estimated at around 3-5 million years old. Here you’ll find the world’s largest cave, home to a thunderous river, clouds, and an entire jungle ecosystem.

Visitors gazing into the main the crater of Poás Volcano.

Poás Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

There are few volcanoes where you can drive all the way to the rim. At Costa Rica’s Parque Nacional Volcán Poás you can—well, at least to within 300 meters (1,000 feet), where a short stroll puts you at the very edge of one of the world’s largest active craters. Learn about this restless giant’s history, along with trip planning tips to make the most of your visit.

A boulder at the Baths National Park. Photo © Todd VanSickle.

Experience Baths National Park, BVI

Virgin Gorda’s Baths National Park is one of the most famous sights in the British Virgin Islands. The Baths are a landscape of building-size boulders, clear saltwater grottoes, and powder-white beaches. There are endless pools for exploring, swimming, and snorkeling. The park is a playground, where even grown-ups are tempted to climb over and around, looking for a quiet pool or hidden room.

Inside the Dau Go Cave in Ha Long Bay. Photo © Nikolay Grachev/123rf.

Visiting Ha Long Bay’s Caves

Ha Long Bay is home to caves, islands, a few small beaches, and sleepy fishing villages. Since the bay is accessible only by boat tour, you’ll have little to no control of which sights you see once you’ve booked your trip. Here’s an overview of the caves visited on tours to ensure your trip includes those you’re most interested in.

A brick and concrete staircase zig-zags up a crevice in La Piedra Peñol in Colombia.

Climb Colombia’s La Piedra Peñol

La Piedra Peñol is a giant rock monolith that soars 200 meters into the sky from Colombia’s scenic and meandering Embalse Peñol-Guatape. Neighboring towns have bickered for decades over who gets to claim this sight as their own, and travelers who make the hard climb to the top are rewarded by incredible views.

Atop a peak in the Logan Pass area.

Best Landscapes to Explore in Glacier National Park

With some of North America’s oldest exposed rock, a landscape created from moving earth, and the carving action of ice, Glacier Park fills one million acres with captivating scenery. Enjoy sinking into iconic Glacier landscapes by camping or staying in lodges, then don your hiking boots, for the best of Glacier’s features are seen up close from trails.

Biscuit Basin in Yellowstone National Park.

The Truth About Yellowstone’s Supervolcano

Volcanic activity is not a thing of the past in Yellowstone, but the reality is less terrifying than what you may have heard about on your Facebook feed. Read more to learn about whether or not the park’s infamous supervolcano poses a threat to travelers.