Okay, before we make enemies (more than we already did with our article taking a massive sh*t on the Blue Lagoon), let me start off by saying that if you already did the Inca Trail or are thinking of doing the Inca Trail, we still think you're a total badass. From what we've heard and read, the Inca Trail is ridiculously challenging, unbelievably beautiful, and full of Inca history. What's not to love?
For me, however, I went to South America without much of an itinerary. I also forgot my giant briefcase of bottomless cash, so the Salkantay Trek was a much more practical choice given my circumstances.
"How does one place get so beautiful?" Let me break it to you: The answer is almost always plate tectonics.
If you're going to Ireland, I'm sure your list is full to the brim of green activities, dark beer, and arguably the best accents on the planet. And while all these may be worth a hop and a skip to the Emerald Isle, you can't really experience Ireland without doing a road trip. And you can't really do an Irish road trip without doing the Ring of Kerry – a 179km road trip of beaches, lakes, islands, mountains, fields, and medieval ruins.
If you're thinking about going to the Galapagos and not burning through your wallet, San Cristobal is your best bet. There's plenty of free things to do here like swimming with marine iguanas at Loberia Beach and checking out the Interpretation Center, which also has a killer snorkeling spot nearby. Food isn't too expensive if you eat at Lucky's every day, and drinking Club every night rather than wine will save you a buck or two.
"The sailing came a year later, when I wanted to cross the Atlantic Ocean without flying. Burning fossil fuels by the mega-gallon didn't seem like a sustainable way to travel, so I learnt to sail."
Why don't people talk about HVNP the way they talk about Yosemite? Or Yellowstone? In our opinion, it might be even better, and here are some photos to prove it.
No, it's not pronounced like "gonad knock." The emphasis is on the second syllable. An opportunity missed, in my opinion, but it is what it is. There is a giant one of these bad boys in this park, and it looks like a giant slab of marble ate the dome at the Hunger Games. Below it is a neat little recreated homestead that's open for exploring during summer.
This is stop numero uno: Linville Falls, and it's a beaut. The "Plunge Basin" trail almost did my high spirits in, but it was worth it. You know that feeling you get when you go on an easy hike (Linville Gorge Trail) through what might as well be flowers and Egyptian cotton pillows and you think to yourself, "God, I'm so made for this stuff!?"