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Adventure Travel / War Travel / Atacama Desert Travel / Chile Travel / Travel Tips / Travel Alerts / Dangerous Travel / → All Tags
View from the top of Toco Mountain at 18,385 feet on the border of Chile and Bolivia
Beautiful, isn't it? The Atacama offers an awe-inspiring combination of desert landscape, towering peaks, and refreshing lagoons, and travelers should spend as much time as they possibly can exploring these incredible outdoor opportunities. Just make sure you don't do it alone.
Hiking alone, or in a group that lacks someone with knowledge of the area, is never a good idea. It's a pretty basic rule of thumb when it comes to the wilderness. But it's even more true in Atacama. One wrong step, and you could find yourself missing half your leg. No, it's not the monsters from the movie Tremors. The real reason is perhaps even more peculiar: There are thousands of active landmines stashed throughout the region.
Starting at the edge of the Languna Del Inca, skiers take the El Plateau chair lift up to Portillo's on-mountain restaurant, Tio Bob's. As you'll see in the photo essay below, it's one of the most scenic lunch and apres ski spots in South America, if not the world, thanks to its location amongst the jagged peaks. Next week, we'll break down Portillo and how the ski area compares to the nearby competition. For now, enjoy the dramatic views of the Andes Mountains:
Travel Snapshot / Wish You Were Here / Portillo Travel / Chile Travel / Ski Travel / Adventure Travel / → All Tags
It might still be sweltering in many parts of the States, but it's wintertime here in Chile.
This week, we're getting an early start on the traditional North American ski season in Portillo, located in the Andes about two and half hours from Santiago. It's where many Olympians and celebrity skiers come to train during the "offseason." We're here to soak all that in, as well as investigate how Portillo differs from Santiago's other ski region, Valle Nevado.
Scenery near Hilo... on a nice day
We all hope and pray for good weather when we're on the road, but sometimes luck just isn't on your side. Such was the case for those who had made plans to travel to Hawaii earlier this month when Hurricane Iselle move across the island chain.
Natural disasters are nothing to make light of, but as we saw with the floods in Colorado last year, some adventure travelers take advantage of the extreme conditions. Anyone who was in Hilo after the storm hit had a similar opportunity, one filled with gushing waterfalls.
Photo Gallery / Guatemala Travel / Tikal Travel / Mayan Ruins / Historical Travel / Adventure Travel / Central America Travel / → All Tags
Temple 5 at Tikal
Located in the north of Guatemala, Tikal is one of the world's largest Mayan archaeological sites. The University of Pennsylvania and the Guatemalan government have teamed up to unearth it partially, but much remains underground, including the backsides of many of the structures you see in the photos.
In that, visitors get a sense of just how much remains unknown about this mysterious culture. In total, the "residential area" of Tikal sprawls out over an area of 20 miles, and as you might imagine, only a small percentage has been cleared and mapped. The best excavated portion of the site is called the Great Plaza, which includes the stunning Northern Acropolis, shown in the first photo below.
Macedonia Travel / Adventure Travel / Matka Canyon / Skopje Travel / Krusevo Travel / Easy Day Trips / Lake Ohrid Travel / Popova Shapka Travel / → All Tags
Once visitors have had their fill of eating Macedonian treats, the country's natural landscape awaits to provide a fresh take on the region. You can take in the beauty of the little known Lake Ohrid, ski or hike the hills of Popova Shapka, and explore the town of Kruševo, the highest mountain town in the Balkans (4,430 feet) and the site of the World Cup of Paragliding in 2012.
Downtown Skopje itself doesn't exactly feel outdoorsy, yet surrounding the city are the hills and mountains of the Vardar Valley, and it’s worth scheduling some time to trek around. If you’re short on time, located about 30 minutes from downtown Skopje is Matka Canyon, our pick for the area’s most dramatic outdoor playground with its steep walls plunging down towards the Treska River that flows through it.
Adventure Travel / Mountain Travel / Steamboat Springs Travel / Colorado Travel / Rocky Mountain Travel / Mountain Biking / Ski Travel / → All Tags
Then, as the snow melted in April, we explained why ski towns are also awesome during the summer months. Practicing what we preach, we paid a visit to Steamboat at the end of July for some mountain biking, and the result was an cool contrast that demonstrates why the mountains rock all year round. Skiing dominates the winter, but there's actually more to do in the summer, including biking, camping, hiking, climbing, and whitewater rafting.
Thailand Travel / Krabi Travel / Tiger Cave Temple / Krabi Tiger Temple / Adventure Travel / Wat Tham Suea / → All Tags
Most travelers visit Krabi in Thailand for the laid-back beach culture, epic massages, and occasional, humorous run-ins with local wildlife. But for those who want to earn their beach time, the area is a haven for outdoor exploration with a number of national parks and opportunities for hiking and exploration. There's one activity in particular that combines a little athleticism with a dose of culture: A visit to Tiger Cave Temple (Wat Tham Suea).
Situated at the top of a small summit and surrounded by jungles, this Buddhist Temple is reached by a staircase of over 1,200 steps and gets its name from the tiger prints found inside the cave. Other legends say that a tiger used to live inside of it. Those who make the hike in the heat on a clear day are rewarded with a huge panoramic view of Krabi, not to mention a little zen. Make sure you bring enough water, and pack a lunch to enjoy while mingling with the monks.
Arizona Travel / Havasupai Travel / Grand Canyon Travel / Adventure Travel / AOA Adventures / → All Tags
We've been pumping you full of images this week from our trip to Havasupai in the Grand Canyon, and the magic of the natural wonders has no doubt revved up the adrenaline for adventure travelers. But we realize there's a large segment of people who, despite being attracted to the beauty of nature, don't feel confident that they have the physical ability, outdoor skills, or the array of gear needed to pull off such a trip safely.
This is completely understandable considering it's an 11 mile hike just to get to Havasupai, and it certainly doesn't mean you have to miss out on all the fun. Like just about every outdoor excursion on the planet, you can jump on board with an organized outfitter to make the journey to Havasupai. On our trip, we accompanied AOA Adventures as they led a group on a five day, four night trek into the Canyon. Below, we dish on our experience.
Photo Galleries / Havasupai Falls / Arizona Travel / Grand Canyon Travel / Adventure Travel / Grand Canyon Hiking / Supai Travel / → All Tags
View of the scenery along the Havasu River about a mile above Havasu Falls
When revealing what you should know before going to Havasupai, we posted a few photos featuring a trail that leads hikers to where the Havasu River meets the mighty Colorado. In today's gallery, we take you down the trail with us.
The hike is about 10 miles one way, winding you through a variety of ecosystems and geological features. The starting point is Havasupai Falls, and if you missed that gallery, you can catch up on it here.
Packing List / Travel Tips / Grand Canyon Travel / Havasupai Travel / Adventure Travel / Arizona Travel / → All Tags
Our crew crossing the Havasu River in the Grand Canyon
When you're out in the Arizona wilderness, the right gear can make all the difference. And it's not just about the heat. In an environment like the Grand Canyon, the mix of the elements is what threatens your comfort. Aside from the extremely obvious camping gear and necessities like a tent, sunscreen, water bladders, and a hat, there are other ways to equip yourself so your trip to Havasupai Falls actually feels like a vacation.
Here are a few suggestions based on the gear we used for our recent trip:
Adventure Travel / Grand Canyon Travel / Havasupai Travel / Arizona Travel / Hiking / Camping / → All Tags
Our photo gallery of Havasu Falls highlighted the stunning beauty that awaits adventure travelers who make the journey into the Grand Canyon, and from those you can see that milky turquoise water, stretching canyon walls, and jagged rock formations stole the show for us visually. But there were also many interesting and unexpected aspects of the area that surprised us, some that provided context that enhanced our trip and others that, simply put, surprised the hell out of us.