Ha Long Bay. Photo © Dana Filek-Gibson.

Planning Your Time in Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay

Boasting wild, uncharted jungles and karst-studded seas, Ha Long Bay and Vietnam’s northern coast captivates travelers with its breathtaking scenery. Whether on water or land, the otherworldly landscapes of the region provide a stunning backdrop for adventure.

The highlands near Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica. Photo © Christopher P. Baker.

Costa Rica’s Central Highlands

The beauty of the Central Highlands owes much to the juxtaposition of valley and mountain. The large, fertile central valley—sometimes called the Meseta Central (Central Plateau)—is a tectonic depression about 20 kilometers (12 miles) wide and 70 kilometers (43 miles) long. The basin is held in the cusp of verdant mountains that rise on all […]

Castillo San Felipe del Morro. Photo © Suzanne Van Atten.

Where to Go in Puerto Rico

Though relatively small, there’s no shortage of places to explore and things to experience in Puerto Rico. Here are the highlights by region, from San Juan to each coast to the central mountain region and the offshore islands.

Rada Point, a popular trekking destination on Lang Biang Mountain. Photo © Dana Filek Gibson.

The Best of Vietnam’s National Parks

Vietnam counts 30 national parks to its credit. Several of the parks that welcome foreign visitors stand out from the bunch for their impressive landscapes, diverse wildlife, and unique outdoor adventures. From bird-watching to hiking to everything between, here are the best of Vietnam’s national parks.

La Piedra Escrita in Jayuya. Phot © Suzanne Van Atten.

Best Puerto Rico Day Trips

Rent a car and explore some of the island. Puerto Rico is filled with so many surprising and delightful charms that are just a short drive away, it would be a shame to miss them. From beaches to rainforests to historic sights and more, here are the best day trips from San Juan.

The peaks and valleys of Sapa. Photo © Petr and Bara Ruzicka, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

Exploring Vietnam’s Northwest Loop

Venture into Vietnam’s far north and you’ll discover another world altogether, awash with rich green rice paddies and wide, flowing rivers that wind around the region’s many oversized landscapes. Exploring Vietnam’s Northwest Loop by motorcycle or bicycle is an independent adventure on which you’ll find few to no English speakers, no high-end hotels, and not a Western meal to speak of.

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.

Ancient pines gnarled by the wind dot the upper elevations. Photo © Jenna Blough.

Hiking Telescope Peak, Death Valley’s Highest Point

A true Death Valley classic, if you can only choose one hike in Death Valley, put Telescope Peak in the running. The sweeping 360° views make it worthwhile and give a sense of Death Valley’s vast scope, and if you’ve been exploring the canyons and valley floors, this is your chance to have a personal travel retrospective.