Quito Ecuador 123rf

Discover Quito, Ecuador’s Capital City

Ecuador’s capital is a city that scales many heights, not least in terms of elevation. Quito is an intriguing mix of old and new: colonial squares and concrete office blocks, traditional markets and modern malls, indigenous artisans and fashion-conscious professionals—and this diversity allows visitors to have the best of both worlds.

Prince Edward Island, Canada, 123rf

Discover Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Canada’s smallest provincial capital, Charlottetown (pop. 35,000)—Prince Edward Island’s governmental, economical, cultural, and shopping center—makes no pretense of being a big city. Rather, this attractive town is walkable, comfortable, and friendly. Learn about the town’s history, a bit about the surrounding Queen’s County, and the beautiful sights and attractions you won’t want to miss.

Antigua's lovely Parque Central. Photo © Al Argueta.

Sights in Antigua’s Parque Central

Antigua’s Parque Central is easily the most beautiful plaza in Guatemala and forms the hub of activity for shoe shiners, strolling lovers, tour groups, ice cream vendors, and foreign visitors. A great place for a stroll or people-watch, there are also plenty of sights to see, from historical cathedrals and incredible architecture to informative museums.

Four-eyed butterfly fish along the Belize Barrier Reef. Photo © Lebawit Lily Girma.

Plan a Visit to Bacalar Chico National Park Marine Reserve

Located on and around the northern tip of Ambergris Caye, Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve hosts an incredibly diverse array of wildlife, offers excellent snorkeling and diving, and is rich with history. Here’s your guide to planning a visit, from all about the reserve’s sights to where to stay, what to eat, and how to get there.

Colonial-era church in San Rafael de Escazú. Photo © Christopher P. Baker.

Spending Time in Escazú, Costa Rica

Though officially part of metropolitan San José, Escazú is divided from the capital by a hill range and river canyon and is so individualistic that it functions virtually as a sister city. On top of that, there are actually three Escazús, each with its own church, patron saint, and character worth exploring. Learn about the individual vibes of San Rafael, San Miguel, and San Antonio, and the sights to see.

Parque Gran Colombiano. Photo © Andrew Dier.

Where to Go in Norte de Santander, Colombia

In the department of Norte de Santander, visitors are drawn to Pamplona, a charming and cool highland town that was important during the colonial era, and Cúcuta, a large, boiling hot commercial city and gateway to Venezuela. Here are notable sights, highlights, and things to do.

Miravalles volcano rises above a thermal area on its SW flank. Photo © William Melson (Smithsonian Institution) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Exploring Miravalles Volcano, Costa Rica

Volcán Miravalles is enshrined within the Zona Protectora Miravalles (Miravalles Protected Zone). Landscapes here range from deep canyons licked by ancient lava tongues, with fumaroles spouting and hissing and ground covered by savannah scrub to luscious forests replete with wildlife. Expert author Christopher P. Baker talks about what to see and do, including exploring a walkable live crater and indulging in adventure travel alongside a very sophisticated resort, restaurant, and spa.

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.

Street facade of the Castillo Serralles. Photo © Mtmelendez (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Explore Historic Castillo Serrallés in Puerto Rico

Set high on a hill overlooking Ponce is a startling reminder of the height of the city’s flourishing sugar industry, when its port was the busiest on the island. Castillo Serrallés, built in 1934, is an impressive feat of architecture housing an astonishing array of antiques. Visit for its history and its beautiful surrounding gardens, including a butterfly garden.

Po Nagar Towers. Photo © Dana Filek-Gibson.

Sights North of Nha Trang, Vietnam

There are two notable sights north of Nha Trang: the Po Nagar Towers and the rocky promontory of Hon Chong, both excellent sites for scenic views and interesting histories. Both are easily visited in one trip; stop first at the towers and then continue along the same road for another mile to the sea.