The shoreline at Oregon Dunes National Recreation Park.

Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

Opportunities to explore incredible and at times surreal landscapes abound in Oregon Dunes National Recreation area. Go hiking, rent a dune buggy, or try sandboarding on your visit, and make sure to schedule a stop at Umpqua Lighthouse.

Craggy rocks rise up along a smooth sandy beach as waves wash up on shore.

The Best California Beaches

From wide, golden beaches with abundant sunshine to boardwalks crowded with kids, cotton candy, and roller coasters, California has any kind of beach you could possibly want. Author Stuart Thornton shares a helpful overview of some of the state’s best options for sun, sand, and surf.

Surfboards stacked in the grass near the beach at Amigas Surf Retreat in Nicaragua.

The Best Surf Spots in Nicaragua

The secret is out: Nicaragua is the new frontier for world-class waves. Most surfers head straight to San Juan del Sur; there are plenty of breaks to explore up and down the Pacific coastline. To catch the best breaks from beginner to expert, here’s where to go.

Temple I at sunrise. Photo © Al Argueta.

Explore the Ruins of Tikal

There is plenty to explore in this vast Mayan city that once harbored thousands of people, and you could easily spend several days here taking it all in. The ruins in evidence today are representative of the latter years of Tikal’s existence, as the Maya built on top of existing temples and palaces.

A sailfish on Guatemala's Pacific Coast. Photo © Al Argueta.

Outdoor Sports in Guatemala

Whether you’re an enthusiastic hiker or cyclist, an avid rock-climber or sport-fisher, Guatemala’s great outdoors has a treat in store for you. While some activities, such as rock climbing, are relatively new and others, like sailfishing, are long established, Guatemala is definitely suited to their pursuit.

A scenic highway leads south from Petén into Alta Verapaz. Photo © Al Argueta.

Las Verapaces: Guatemala’s Green Heartland

Las Verapaces remains green and lush throughout most of the year. From exploring beautiful cloud forests to remote hikes to discovering a lagoon in the middle of the rainforest, outdoor enthusiasts will find no shortage of vibrant, unique landscapes to experience. Here’s a sampling of the best.

A bird's-eye view of Puerto Nariño. Photo © Andrew Dier.

Things to Do and See in Puerto Nariño, Colombia

In idyllic Puerto Nariño, there are no roads and no motorized vehicles whatsoever; this town was named the first tourism sustainable town in Colombia. As you stroll palm-lined sidewalks to see the sights, you’ll find Puerto Nariño so peaceful you’ll probably want to linger a while.

The colorful town of Jardín in southern Antioquia. Photo © Andrew Dier.

Things to See and Do in Jardín, Colombia

While the main selling points of Jardín are its good looks, nearby tropical forests and cloud forests–home to natural attractions such as the Caverna El Esplendor and the ProAves bird-watching reserve–provide good excuses for lacing up those hiking boots.