Cacti along the coastline of Shark Bay National Park on the island of Tortola, British Virgin Islands.

Off the Water: Forests and Parks in the Virgin Islands

Away from the water, the Virgin Islands are a fascinating and richly diverse landscape: rocky bluffs and wide plains; mountain peaks and dry seaside forests; salt ponds and rainforest. Pack a pair of walking shoes, a water bottle, and a sense of adventure to get up close to the natural world away from the ocean.

Double-striped thick knee bird. Photo © Andrew Dier.

Plan a Visit to Hacienda La Aurora, Colombia

Hacienda La Aurora is in many ways a typical extensive cattle-ranching farm of the Llanos. In many others, it isn’t at all. Here’s what you need to know to plan a visit, including when to go, where to stay, what to do, and the amazing wildlife you’ll see.

The port of Bahía Solano. Photo © Andrew Dier.

Things to Do in Bahía Solano, Colombia

With a fully walkable town, hiking, nearby beaches, excellent diving and whale-watching excursions, and as the sport-fishing capital of Colombia, Bahía Solano is excellent place to base your explorations.

Cyclist in San Jose's Parque la Sabana. Photo © Christopher P. Baker.

Recreational Tours in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has scores of tour operators offering a complete range of options. Here are recommended general tour operators as well as specific recommended tours from horseback-riding and hiking to bird-watching and cruises and nearly everything between.

The picturesque Valle de Cocora and its famous wax palms. Photo © Andrew Dier.

Exploring Valle de Cocora, Colombia

Expert author Andrew Dier presents the best ways to experience Colombia’s Valle de Cocora for everybody from casual afternoon travelers to day-hike enthusiasts.

Glasswing butterfly, Monteverde Butterfly Garden. Photo © Christopher P. Baker.

Family Fun in Costa Rica

Combining educational options with fun keeps children (and parents) enthralled. From snakes and sloths and crocodiles to river safaris and air tram rides through the forest and above volcanoes, these ideas focus on outdoor adventure & learning while experiencing nature.

View from the lookout tower at the Reserva Natural Palmari. Photo © Andrew Dier.

Nature Reserves on the Río Yavarí

The Río Yavarí is in an unspoiled, isolated part of the Amazon basin and is home to two excellent private natural reserves where you will be immersed in the jungle through all manner of activities. Spend at least three days or up to a week at one of the Yavarí nature reserves (they are both excellent) to gain a real appreciation for jungle life.

Arenal Volcano stands tall in the Northern Zone of Costa Rica. Photo © Christopher P. Baker.

Where to Go in Costa Rica

To relax, unwind, and adventure, Costa Rica truly offers something for everyone. From the thriving nightlife of San José, to the crisp, cool cloud forests of Monteverde to the white-sand beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula, here’s where to go in Costa Rica.

A charcoal kiln used for making coal from juniper and pine in Death Valley, California.

Wildrose Charcoal Kilns and Hiking Wildrose Peak

Once used to make charcoal for the mining efforts in the area, the Wildrose Charcoal Kilns now stand as works of hand-engineered beauty. While you’re here, consider taking a hike to Wildrose Peak and be rewarded with incredible panoramic views from the windswept summit.