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When people talk to potential (and current) tourists about the Na Pali Coast of Kauai, one of the first things they do is spout off about how many movies it has been in and what famous people grace its shoreline with their presence. To that, we roll our eyes. Seriously, Daffy Duck could materialize and waddle through the water for all we care, and it'd still be the same surf, right? It leaves us wondering: Does scenery this amazing really need any justification?
The Kalalau Trail is 11-miles of postcard photography and awe-inspiring vantage points, and it's not just about the ocean-mountain combination - it's the way it presents itself. See, lots of places have oceans and mountains, but few combine in such dramatic fashion. The tropical setting surrounds you with thick, bright, and colorful vegetation, much of which is edible, be it fruit trees of mango, avocado, guava, and orange or edible herbal trailside supplements. The ocean comes to life too in a way that's different from, say, the coast of California. You can see it in the photo above. The blues, the greens. The in-betweens.
Volunteer Travel / Eco Travel / Washington Travel / Voluntourism / Green Travel / Hiking / → All Tags
September is one of the best times of year to visit Mount St. Helens thanks to cooler temperatures and clear visibility. It's also the perfect time to help the staff complete a much needed one-mile trail to the nearby Ape Cave, the famous lava tube just south of the active volcano.
Volunteers from the Washington Trails Association and the Mount St. Helens Institute have finished all but the last few hundred feet, which they hope to finish this month with the help of some intrepid travelers.
Massachusetts Travel / Martha's Vineyard Travel / Island Travel / Budget Travel / Cape Cod Travel / MVY / Travel Tips / Scooters / Rental Cars / Bicycle Travel / Hiking / Active Travel / Martha's Vineyard Field Trip / → All Tags
The Chappy ferry!
Welcome to summer! Let's talk island, hm? We just got back from a spur-of-the-moment trip to the notoriously expensive Martha's Vineyard and this week we'll share with you all the awesome, not-so-spendy stuff we loved on the sandy bit of land off the coast of Massachusetts. Pack your wayfarers, your preppiest pants, boat shoes (no socks!), and away we go!
Part 1: Getting there by air
Part 2: Getting around
At 100 square miles, Martha's Vineyard is no tiny island. In fact, it can boast of the fact that it's the "largest island not connected to mainland by a bridge or tunnel on the East Coast of the United States." As such, there's a plethora of ways to get around and see all rose-covered picket fences, lighthouses (5 still standing!), cottage bakeries and ocean vistas your heart desires.
Each individual town is very walkable, and the island offers many trails and hiking-friendly areas. There actually is an annual cross-island hike if you're really keen on seeing the entire island by two feet and two feet only, but we'd recommend you stick to that official event (next scheduled for June 7, 2014).
Hiking Travel / Hiking / Los Angeles Travel / Adventure Travel / California Travel / Sunrises / Active Travel / → All Tags
Yesterday, while the rest of Hollywood slept, we were up at the crack of dawn, lacing our Merrell hiking shoes, filling up a bottle of water, and setting off along Los Feliz Boulevard towards Griffith Park, aka the Central Park of Los Angeles.
Griffith Park ranks as the second-largest city park in all of California (though that doesn't include much larger state parks like Yosemite and Joshua Tree), and it is incredibly easy to access from multiple LA neighborhoods, such as Los Feliz, Franklin Village, Atwater Village, Glendale, and, of course, Hollywood. Its attractions include the Greek Theatre, Griffith Observatory (which is best visited at night, for obvious reasons), and the LA Zoo.
Oh, and off to the south, on Mount Lee, there's a little thing called the Hollywood sign. Ever hear of it?
We set off at 6:15am from our friend's apartment, and in fifteen minutes, we had arrived at the park's western entrance, Ferndell Nature Center. Here, a woodsy hiking trail winds along a small babbling brook (complete with the little footbridges), under a canopy of California sycamores and over 50 different species of fern.
What struck us most was the tranquility of the place: though we had just come off a busy main road populated by impatient commuters trying to beat the morning traffic, we suddenly found ourselves in the midst of pure, noiseless nature.
Tax Refund Vacations / Costa Rica Travel / LIR / Surfing / Surf Travel / Nature Travel / Hiking / Green Travel / → All Tags
Tax day is coming, and you're probably excited...but not because you look forward to sifting through receipts and credit card statements. You're excited because you're getting a fat refund. Probably. The economy may be on its way back up, but you should try to stretch that tax refund as far as you can...like with a little "you did a great job last year" tripa Tax Refund Vacation.
Whether you're into eco-travel, surfing, zip lining, hiking, swimming/snorkeling/Scuba, hanging out with exotic animals (like the Coati), learning Spanish or just lazing on a sandy beach, Costa Rica can make it happen. Regardless, you're in for sun and warm temperatures.
If you're interested in the Caribbean side with all its eco-tourism or you'd like to scratch a visit to Arenal volcano off your bucket list, fly into San Jose International Airport. For trips to the Pacific side's beaches, surf spots and giant national parks, Liberia International AIrport is the best bet (and it's got a brand-spanking-new terminal).
Travel Gear / Travel Photography / Kickstarter / Easter Island Travel / Hiking / Chile Travel / → All Tags
If you haven't yet gathered from our plethora of photo galleries here at Jaunted, we are always in the company of at least one camera. While it's worth it to let a DSLR bulk up our luggage for the the slick pictures it produces, we're always looking for something easier than a backpack and more comfortable than a camera strap for toting it along for hikes and more active outdoor activities.
Now I switch to first-person to say that, with an upcoming trip to the nature paradise of Easter Island and lots of volcano climbing ahead, I looked to the Capture Clip from Peak Design, a device that actually found its footing among projects on Kickstarter.
Travel Contests / New Zealand Travel / Air New Zealand / Airline News / Active Travel / Hiking / → All Tags
Quick question: do you like to walk? Like, really like to walk, especially when it's around waterfalls around canyons and across awe-inspiring vistas? If you answered yes or even "maybe," then you should totally enter the newest contest from Air New Zealand.
You see, Air New Zealand has partnered with the Department of Conservation to highlight the country's nine Great Walks by sending four contest winners to walk them all, over only nine weeks.
Nature Travel / Costa Rica Travel / Hiking / Green Travel / Active Travel / National Parks / Volcanoes / Volcano Travel / → All Tags
Have you got a spare three or four hours? If you were in Costa Rica right now, those could be spent hiking around a volcano and petting frogs. Sure, everyone knows the giant Arenal volcano towards the center of the Central American country, but Costa Rica has six other active volcanoes, one of which is Rincón de la Vieja Volcano, located in the Guanacaste province and within its own National Park.
Rincón de la Vieja is serious business as far as volcanoes go. Heading up to its top rim and caldera is no longer allowed (too risky!) but local, experienced guides can easily lead you on a several-hour hike to spot fumaroles (steam vents), bubbly muddy water cauldrons, cute froggies and waterfalls so clear and cool you'd think it was Norway instead.
Volunteer Travel / Eco Travel / Colorado Travel / Active Travel / Hiking / Voluntourism / Charity Travel / → All Tags
Volunteers in Colorado are helping to build a completely new hiking trail, called the Continental Divide Trail (CDT), that stretches from Mexico to Canada and across Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. Volunteers with the Continental Divide Trail Alliance (CDTA)based in Golden, Coloradodig out the trail, clear vegetation and move huge boulders and trees from the established route.
If forging a new trail sounds like a New Year's resolution you'd like to make, CDTA is already lining up volunteers for next season, which runs from April to October. Volunteer trips can last from one day to one week and include trail building, maintaining the existing trail, helping the crew chefs prepare meals, and participating in educational outreach programs. Trip leaders provide all gear, food and water, while volunteers bring their own tents, sleeping bags and day packs.
Pfeiffer is probably the most well known among the Big Sur parks, since it follows the Big Sur River and is filled with trees—including redwoods, conifers, oaks, sycamores, cottonwoods, maples, alders and willows—and wildlife—including black-tail deer, raccoons, skunks and various birds.
Movie Set Travel / James Franco / Adventure Travel / 127 Hours / Movie Travel / Hiking / Utah Travel / → All Tags
Today, 127 Hours, the new movie by Oscar-Winning director Danny Boyle, opens in theaters, but don't expect another Slumdog Millionaire. The movie stars James Franco as hiker Aron Ralston and chronicles the time Ralson spent trapped in an isolated Utah canyon, including the life-saving decision he made to amputate his own arm.
Even though the movie's graphic realism might make the audience queasy, the scenery is sure to inspire some to take a (safer) adventure of their own.
Here's your chance to hike the Great Himalaya Trail—and we're not talking like "hike the Appalachian Trail" à la South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. For the first time, a tour operator is bringing groups through the trail on an intensive 157-day hike.
Even experienced hikers will need some help on the Great Himalaya, the longest and highest alpine route in the world. The trail winds between the largest mountains and the most remote communities in the world, connecting Bhutan, China, India, Nepal and Pakistan.