Arenal Volcano. Photo © Christopher P. Baker.

Planning Your Time in Costa Rica’s Northern Lowlands

Travelers flock to Costa Rica’s northern lowlands thanks to the singular popularity of Volcán Arenal and the fistful of adventures based around nearby La Fortuna. Use this area overview to learn about the region and what more it offers, along with a bit of history and tips on planning your time.

The Berylline hummingbird is one of several species in Guatemala. Photo © Al Argueta.

The Best Bird-watching in Guatemala

Guatemala’s wide diversity of ecosystems makes it a birding hot spot—more than 700 species of birds can be found here. Avid bird-watchers consider this paradise, though novices can easily center an entire Guatemala vacation around birding. From cloud forests to wetlands, rare sightings and common delights, here’s where to go for the best bird-watching in Guatemala.

The view from Gorda Peak on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands of the Carribean.

Exploring Nature on Virgin Gorda

Mid-island, Virgin Gorda remains relatively unspoiled because of the difficult topography and exceptionally rich in rare and endangered species. On the western shore, the green hillsides cascade down to a string of white sand beaches. Here in the middle of the island, you’ll find great hiking, a beautiful beach, and nature lovers will definitely want to explore one of the best examples of dry forest in the islands.

Semuc Champey. Photo © Al Argueta.

Guatemala’s Top Ten Must-Sees

Guatemala’s top ten must-sees range from colonial towns and archeological sites to majestic volcanoes and stunning emerald green limestone pools. There’s something here for everyone, whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or adventure traveler.

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Moon Banff National Park

Canada resident and avid outdoorsman Andrew Hempstead shares his firsthand tips on experiencing Banff National Park—from savoring the spectacular backdrop of glacial lakes and lush forests, to white-water-rafting down the western slopes of the Canadian Rockies. Hempstead includes unique trip activities, such as swimming in the naturally hot springs of Banff and driving along the […]

Picturesque and peaceful Savannah Bay in Virgin Gorda. Photo © Susanna Henighan Potter.

Planning a Trip to Virgin Gorda

Virgin Gorda is a spectacularly beautiful island. The third largest of the British Virgins and the second most populated, Virgin Gorda is home to exquisite beaches, remarkable vistas, and quiet upscale resorts. Here’s how to plan a visit, from tips on planning your time and day trips to where to stay.

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Moon Coastal Maine

Award-winning writer and Maine native Hilary Nangle offers her unique perspective on this famed stretch of New England coastline, from the gourmet restaurants of Portland to the idyllic island community of Monhegan. Nangle suggests itineraries for great trips, such as “Icons of the Maine Coast” and “Lighthouses, Lobster, and L.L. Bean”. With detailed information on […]

Iglesia La Ermita in Cali. Photo © Andrew Dier.

Sights in Popayán’s Centro Histórico, Colombia

Popayán is a dignified city, proud of its place in history and its enduring colonial charm. Idyllic churches and museums are the main places of interest in Popayán, but lingering in the Parque Caldas on a sunny afternoon or strolling the lonely streets on a Sunday evening may be what you remember most.

The Western Salt Ponds are good for bird-watching. Photo © Susanna Henighan Potter.

Anegada’s Western Salt Ponds

Anegada’s Western Salt Ponds, declared a wetland of international importance and a bird-watcher’s paradise, are home to migrating seabirds and shorebirds and are an important spawning area for a type of mullet fish. Here’s what you need to know to visit.

The colorful pools of Caño Cristales. Photo © Andrew Dier.

Hiking Caño Cristales, Colombia

Here in the remote Llanos, you’ll be rewarded as you trek through the stark lowland hills of the Serranía de la Macarena, with its unusual dry tropical vegetation, and behold the vibrant purple, fuchsia, goldenrod, and green Macarenia clavigera plants swaying in the gushing streams of Caño Cristales.