A bright emerald lake in the Fann Mountains of Tajikistan

Atlas & Boots’ top 10 posts of 2023

After a hiatus from the blog, Kia looks back at our top 10 posts of the year

There’s a slight break from tradition this year here at Atlas & Boots. Our top posts of the year are usually a balanced mix of articles by me (Kia) and Peter. This year, however, all but one are by Peter thanks to my hiatus from the blog. 

Masaya is one of the most active volcanoes in the world

Most active volcanoes in the world

From stewing lava lakes to fatal eruptions, we chart the most active volcanoes in the world

Nature has many fearsome wonders – earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis – but none so fearsome as the most active volcanoes in the world. These hellish peaks feature in tales of ardour and heroism, loom over humble settlements and whisper threats of violence and destruction. Though potentially lethal, they hold a magnetic beauty that thrillseekers find irresistible.

The Tsaranoro Massif is known as 'Africa’s Yosemite'

20 most stunning big wall climbs from around the world

From El Capitan in Yosemite to remote challenges in Greenland and Antarctica, we profile the world’s most stunning big wall climbs

It was five years ago that I first came across a big wall climber. A tiny speck on the side of a gigantic granite wall, the climber was bivvying in Yosemite National Park, the Holy Land of big wall climbing.

I couldn’t comprehend how someone could sleep tacked onto the side of a wall, suspended thousands of feet above the ground, sometimes in treacherous weather conditions.

Flamingoes in Río Lagartos

How to visit Río Lagartos: a complete guide

Our guide on how to visit Río Lagartos, Mexico’s Biosphere Reserve home to flamingos, crocodiles and a not-so-pink lake

When 16th-century Spanish explorers first arrived on the northern shores of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, they found a mangrove-lined estuary which they named Río de Los Lagartos – the river of the lizards.

Chichén Itzá lead image

Visiting Chichén Itzá: my seventh wonder of the world

Peter finally gets around to visiting Chichén Itzá, but will the Maya ruins measure up to the other six wonders of the world?

During our round-the-world trip in 2014-15, Kia and I visited Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was my sixth of the New 7 Wonders of the World, a 2007 campaign which selected the new world wonders from a list of 200 monuments. The final seven were chosen by the public who cast over 100 million votes in the process.

The museo subacuático de arte is one of our surreal man made dive sites

In videos: 12 surreal man-made dive sites

From lost ancient cities to the world’s largest underwater theme park, these man-made dive sites are sure to intrigue

At Atlas & Boots, we’ve dived some astonishing sites, from Steve’s Bommie in the Great Barrier Reef to the Sonesta plane wrecks in Aruba. We’re pretty hopeless at fish identification, so when it comes to diving, unless it’s a truly amazing reef system, we’re generally more interested in something unusual or unique (like an airplane or enormous bommie).

mountaineering calendar whitney usa

Non-technical mountain climbs: 13 trekking peaks

There are no ‘death zones’ on these non-technical mountain climbs but they offer plenty of challenges for mere mortals like me

As a climber, I have completed several indoor climbing and winter mountaineering courses but my technical climbing skills still leave a lot to be desired. I have mastered basic rope, ice axe and crampon skills but don’t practise them as often as I’d like.

A tiger lazes in Ranthambore in India

17 megadiverse countries of the world

We profile the world’s megadiverse countries, from obvious contenders like Ecuador and Brazil to one or two surprise entries

It should be comforting to know that a mere 17 countries hold more than 70% of the world’s species. It should be easy to rally this small group of ‘megadiverse countries’ to protect the planet’s extraordinary biodiversity. Alas, some of these countries are also the world’s biggest consumers and polluters. 

International borders Mexico-USA on Pacific Coast

International borders: 10 remarkable frontiers

From mountains to libraries, we take a look at some of the most extraordinary international borders to be found across the globe

Over the last few years, we’ve seen an impressive collection of new websites, blogs and social media accounts dedicated to ‘travel porn’. They’re filled with big, sweeping images of fairytale lands and precarious precipices.

10 books to transport you to the world’s most visited countries

Sample the world’s most popular destinations without leaving your home

On a normal spring day, you can expect the Champ de Mars in Paris to be teeming with tourists. This vibrant swatch of green offers iconic views of the Eiffel Tower and hosts droves of visitors every year – possibly as many as 80 million. France is after all the most visited country in the world. 

Fanjingshan in China

UNESCO’s newest World Heritage Sites

From Inuit hunting grounds to sacred mountain monasteries, UNESCO’s newest World Heritage Sites offer outstanding cultural value

The aim of UNESCO’s list is to identify, protect and preserve sites of cultural and natural heritage considered to be of exceptional value to humanity. These sites include a range of locations such as the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, east Africa’s Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt and Machu Picchu in Peru.

long reads lead image 20

12 great long reads on outdoor survival… and surrender

A handpicked selection of some of the most dramatic, absorbing long reads on outdoor survival from the last five years. 

You may have guessed that we at Atlas & Boots are just a little bit obsessed with tales of endurance. From the best books about survival to epic journeys of discovery, we have written about some of the most dramatic pursuits in the history of exploration.

In recent years, we have been intrigued by a number of brilliant long reads on outdoor survival (and surrender).

Volcanic seven summits of the world

We take a look at the volcanic seven summits – the highest volcano on each continent

The volcanic seven summits may not be coveted with the same vigour as the seven summits or even the seven second summits, but the peaks still offer a worthy challenge

We’ve just returned from Erta Ale volcano in Ethiopia, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Erta Ale may not be as lofty or as challenging as the following summits, but it did remind us why we stand in awe of volcanoes – active or not.

best-national-parks-in-the-world-Jiuzhaigou

The best national parks in the world – by continent

The best way to see the world’s greatest natural wonders is to visit the best national parks in the world. Thankfully, governments around the world have taken steps to preserve their areas of outstanding natural beauty, their diverse animal and marine life, and tracts of pristine wilderness.

The Ark of Bukhara

10 unknown architectural wonders

We all know of the world’s great architectural wonders: Petra, Giza, Angkor – but what of the hidden gems rarely appearing on those ubiquitous bucket lists? Here are 10 unknown architectural wonders to add to yours.

days-that-shook-the-world-berlin wall - 1

13 days that shook the world

Our travels are shaped by history. It dictates where we can and can’t go and has done so for explorers of centuries past. Major events throughout history have changed and defined the world we inhabit and explore today. Here, we take a look at some of the days that shook the world, creating notable and lasting effects that are still felt and seen today.

Selvatica zip line tour: an exhilarating day in Mexico

The Selvatica zip line tour would be the most fun and memorable day of the entire trip

When I touched down in Mexico, I was excited about mainly two things: its beautiful beaches and its Mayan ruins, particularly those at Chichen Itza. I had planned two weeks of sun and lazing interspersed with a bit of culture, so it was purely on whim that I booked a trip to Selvatica.

Normally, I avoid booking excursions from hotel brochures but the tour reseller at our hotel reception was so affable, we couldn’t help but stop and talk to him and soon enough he had us parting with £50 each to book on the Selvatica zip line tour or ‘Extreme Canopy Tour’. Little did I know that it would turn out to be the most fun and memorable day of the entire trip.