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Aerial view of the Caldeira de Sto. Cristo from the hillsides
One of the most visual ways to describe the island of Sao Jorge in the Azores is to say it is like an aircraft carrier, long and narrow and sporting dramatic cliffs that dive down into the sea. While most of its coast is still accessible, the steep cliffs and ocean combine to create isolated peninsulas in certain locations, much like the "golden cage" of Kalaupapa that we loved so much on Molokai. One of our favorites on Sao Jorge was the village of Caldeira de Santo Cristo, located on the north side of the island and only accessible via foot or a small four-wheeler/ATV.
It is here that you can really see and feel the influences that make the Sao Jorge coast what it is. The wet and foggy climate, active seas, rocky coastline, and tropical vegetation combine to provide a mix of a western Scandinavian fishing village with tropical Hawaii. Visitors will see stone-built houses, surrounded by stone-wall property liners, against the backdrop of lush, wet hillside terrain.
Museum Travel / Papua New Guinea Travel / Bird of Paradise / Birding / Adventure Travel / New Mexico Museum of Natural History / Albuquerque Travel / Salt Lake City Travel / Fort Lauderdale Travel / → All Tags
One of Papua New Guinea’s main tourism markets is centered around the beautiful Bird of Paradise, which is only found in PNG and parts of Australia. Its brightly-colored features and dramatic presence draws the international birding crowd to PNG, from organized tours to research and educational focus groups.
Cornell Scientist Edwin Scholes and National Geographic Photographer Tim Laman teamed up to complete the first comprehensive study of the Bird of Paradise, an endeavor that took eight years and 18 expeditions. Along with the scientific data, they brought back a huge collection of photos and videos that capture all 39 known species of the bird. The scientist/photographer combo also documented several new behaviors not previously known to researchers, mainly focusing on the displays of courtship as they relate to the selection of sexual partners and, thus, evolution.
Ski Travel / Adventure Travel / Outdoors Travel / Active Travel / Colorado Travel / Snowboard Travel / Winter Travel / Snow Travel / Yosemite Travel / → All Tags
As you prep for ski season by tracking snow reports and searching for deals, you're no doubt making a mental list of which hills you'd like to hit. We'd like to put another on your radar, one you may not have known existed: Badger Pass Ski Area inside Yosemite National Park.
That's right. As if Yosemite couldn't get any more glorious, it's best kept secret is that it offers downhill skiing during the winter. To be fair, it is pretty modest when compared against the other major players over in Tahoe. It only has 10 runs, a maximum vertical drop of 800 feet, and 85% of its terrain is dedicated to beginner and intermediate levels. But it's a cool choice for beginners who want to learn to ski in style, especially this season as it celebrates its 150th anniversary.
Ski Travel / Vail Travel / Adventure Travel / Outdoors Travel / Active Travel / Colorado Travel / Snowboard Travel / Winter Travel / Snow Travel / → All Tags
Jaunted's Assistant Editor, Will McGough, tearing through some powder last year in Steamboat Springs
Now that the calendar has turned to November, it's time to welcome in the 2014-2015 North American ski season.
We were lucky enough to get a jump on it this year, knocking the dust off our gear early by taking a trip to South America this summer, during which we highlighted the differences between a few of the major resorts and visited one of the country's best apres-ski venues. With those memories still near, it is a beautiful thing to see the ski resorts here at home begin to turn on the lifts.
Photo Gallery / Adventure Travel / Hawaii Travel / Kauai Travel / Na Pali Coast / Hiking / Kalalau Trail / → All Tags
Our campsite on Kalalau Beach at the end of the Kalalau Trail on Kauai
Just about a year ago, we hiked the first two miles of the Kalalau Trail on Kauai's Na Pali Coast, calling it one of the prettiest coastal hikes we had ever walked while showing off the photos. After such an impressive experience, we decided to return to tackle the entire trail and spend two nights at Kalalau Beach before hiking back out.
Although the 11-mile hike begins and ends at sea level, the Kalalau Trail gains and then drops a total of 5,000 feet in elevation via a series of rolling valleys along the Na Pali coast. In addition to the rigorous ups and downs of the terrain, the trail is very narrow at times with unstable footing, especially when it rains, right along the cliffside. It doesn't require any technical experience, but it does require that you are able to maintain good balance with a full pack.
Videos / Adventure Travel / Scotland Travel / Britain Travel / Cycling / Active Travel / Sports Travel / Mountain Biking / Bike Travel / Isle of Skye Travel / → All Tags
Drop everything and watch this. Do not be put off by the video's 7.5-minute length; it is worth every moment. You see, pro trials cyclist Danny Macaskill puts his biking skillz to the test over waterfalls, cliffs, sharp ridges, andnot even kiddingmountain peaks in the clouds around his home region, Scotland's Isle of Skye.
The premise is simple, and thusly laid out by the video's brief description:
For the first time in one of his films Danny climbs aboard a mountain bike and returns to his native home of the Isle of Skye in Scotland to take on a death-defying ride along the notorious Cuillin Ridgeline.
Yesterday, we mentioned that everything you see in Waikiki, from the infrastructure to the grains of sand, have been brought in for the purposes of tourism. That wasn't us being dramatic. Waikiki used to be a marshy, taro-growing region before the decision was made to create what exists today.
The Ala Wai Canal was created to dry out the land, and the sand was shipped in from Australia and California. Naturally and unfortunately, the sand was then washed out to sea by the tides, coating and killing most of the reefs directly off shore. With that damage being done, artificial reefs have since been put into place (aka dropped in). We're talking shipwrecks, airplanes, and less-than-sexy triangular structures that encourage fish to congregate and seaweed to grow.
Photo Gallery / Adventure Travel / Hiking / Australia Travel / Northern Territory Travel / Alice Springs Travel / Larapinta Trail / → All Tags
Last week, we went on a six-day excursion and hiked several sections of the Larapinta Trail, a walk that runs 139 miles through the Northern Territory of Australia. In the past few years, it has become known as one of the country's top treks due to its beautiful desert landscape and challenging rocky terrain. It starts in Alice Springs, is broken down into 12 sections, and is meant to take the average hiker 10-14 days to complete.
We did just over 60 miles of it over the course of the week, walking between 8 and 12 miles each day. It was an ideal time to tackle it, with the weather transitioning from winter to spring in the desert. Clear nights and moderate temperatures allowed us to sleep outside our tents under the stars, and it was hard to find a cloud in the sky on most days.
Photo Gallery / Adventure Travel / Trail Ridge Road / Colorado Travel / Denver Travel / Grand Lake Travel / Estes Park Travel / → All Tags
Last year, we gave you the rundown about how you can drive Trail Ridge Road, America's "highest elevated continuously paved road," located outside of Denver. A few weeks ago, this travel writer decided to bike it, all 48 miles from Estes Park to Grand Lake through Rocky Mountain National Park. Eleven miles of it are above treeline, topping out at 12,183 feet.
Obviously, it was quite the physical challenge, but it also brought about spectacular scenery (and a very large post-ride beer), which we share with you below. Does it entice you to give it a go? There's still a few more months until the snow falls and the road closes if you're feeling motivated.
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 Laguna 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.