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.
We take a look at the best countries for hiking, what makes them great trekking destinations and, of course, their finest footpaths
Best trails: Pacific Crest, Appalachian and Continental Divide
Known for: Great Plains, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone and the Redwood Forest
Some unusual passport stamps to collect on your travels including microstates, geographical landmarks, inaccessible lands and a range of historical sights
It may not be fashionable but I’m a bit of a box-ticker when it comes to travel. I have a list of the countries I’ve visited and I keep track of memorable places such the highest, lowest and driest I’ve visited. I’m also rather proud of my passports (past and present) that have filled up with the stamps I’ve collected.
With options to suit everyone, here are six outstanding El Chaltén hiking routes to choose from
Patagonia’s El Chaltén hiking trails are on the bucket list of every serious hiker. The trekking capital of Argentina provides access to a network of well-maintained hiking routes with some of the best alpine viewpoints in the world.
Punta Arenas overlooks the Strait of Magellan on the Ferdinand Magellan route and is home to the most famous ships in the history of navigation
The sprawling city of Punta Arenas, situated on the historic Ferdinand Magellan route, is not easy to define. It’s possible that the city itself is confused about its identity. Once a penal colony, it is today part roughneck, part modern metropolis, part open-air maritime museum.
The town’s position overlooking the coarse and inhospitable Strait of Magellan – the most important natural passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans – makes it essential to Chile’s maritime trade and provides access to the Antarctic peninsular.
We look at 10 great movies about South America that offer context around the rich and colourful history of this great continent
A British education is one of the most valuable things one can have. It instils a broad knowledge of the world ranging from the sciences to the humanities. Unfortunately, in our pursuit for this breadth of knowledge, we lose much of the depth within individual areas.
The subject of history is a notable example. Pupils are taught about the world wars, the monarchy, the industrial revolution and even the history of irrigation (which is, ironically, rather dry), but learn very little about large swathes of the world, South America being a prime example. Most of us know the names of Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, General Pinochet and Hugo Chavez, but can share very little beyond the basics.
Tourist towns inevitably crop up next to major sights and more often than not, they’re completely charmless. Here are five we failed to avoid
Travellers go to Latin America hoping, expecting, knowing they’ll be wowed. Home to three of the world’s Seven Wonders, the region has a wealth of both manmade and natural attractions.
Travellers also know that their journey through this vast continent won’t always be full of rainbows and kittens. Amid the bright, great wonders will be dreary days in dull towns with nary a redeeming feature.
The Iguazu Falls boat ride experience was frantic and completely exhilarating! Getting beneath the roaring cascades was like nothing I’ve ever experienced
Atlas & Boots recently co-hosted Lonely Planet’s natural wonders vs manmade sights #LPChat debate on Twitter. We were both firmly in the natural wonders camp, with Mt Yasur volcano in Vanuatu and Perito Moreno glacier in Argentina among our top travel experiences of all time.
After several weeks in Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego at the southern reaches of the inhabited world, we were very much looking forward to thawing out in Buenos Aires, the “Paris of South America”. We arrived in the bohemian area of San Telmo an hour early and stood on a street corner, wondering where to go to await our host and the keys to our lovely apartment.
There are few places in the world that evoke the old-world romance of true exploration. They inspire nostalgia for a time we never knew, for places to which we’ve never been.
We know their names and have heard their tales in the way we’ve heard of Neverland and Narnia: shrouded in layers of myth and lore. Cartagena, Antarctica, the Northwest Passage and Vinson Massif. Even the men sounded greater then: Drake, Amundsen, Livingstone and Shackleton.
Perito Moreno Glacier is one of nature’s most glorious wonders. We see if it lives up to the legend and share tips on how to get there and when to go
Before writing this post, I lamented to Peter that once you’ve been travel writing for a while, it’s hard to come up with fresh superlatives.
“I mean, you can’t say gaze-catching instead of eye-catching and you can’t say stride-stopping instead of heart-stopping, can you?” I asked, forlornly sipping my tea. The cause of my dilemma was Perito Moreno Glacier, a sight so overwhelming it’s utterly, er, step freezing.
Nevertheless, I shall try my best to describe what followed our foray to this giant Argentine wonder.