A turtle we saw while diving the Hol Chan Marine Reserve in Belize

Diving Hol Chan Marine Reserve in Belize

Hol Chan Marine Reserve in Belize is teeming with sea life. To get the most from your visit, it’s best to opt for a dive. Here’s why

The Hol Chan Marine Reserve is one of Belize’s most popular snorkelling sites. It offers vibrant coral formations and a diverse array of marine life packed into a small site with shallow waters in an easy-to-reach area of the UNESCO-listed Belize Barrier Reef.

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What is the best way to see the Blue Hole of Belize?

The best way to see the Blue Hole of Belize is from above. Here’s our guide on how to make the most of your scenic flight

In 1971, Jacques Cousteau famously described Belize’s Great Blue Hole (now the Blue Hole Natural Monument) as one of the world’s top 10 dive sites. Ever since, the giant sinkhole in the middle of the UNESCO-listed Belize Barrier Reef has captivated the public’s attention.

japan has the most powerful passport

Ranked: world’s most powerful passports 2023

In 2023, Japan has the world’s most powerful passport. Holders are able to visit 193 destinations without a prior visa

It’s official. Globally, we are on the move again. In 2022, international travel showed significant signs of recovery, with arrivals reaching 57% of pre-pandemic levels. An estimated 474 million tourists travelled internationally during the first seven months of 2022, compared to 175 million in the same period of 2021.

Hawa Mahal Palace in Jaipur, India

50 quick tips for first-time visitors to India

India can be a culture shock, especially for newbies. To help you adjust, we’ve put together 50 quick tips for first-time visitors

On my first trip to India, I was a relatively inexperienced traveller. I was overwhelmed by its beauty and allure. But I was also taken aback by the assault on the senses often reported by first-time visitors. On my second visit – this time with my father who lived in India for several years – I expected to be more familiar with the country’s various vagaries. In reality, I was just as overwhelmed as the first time round.

Hikers in Arches National Park

5 days in 2023 when all US national parks are free

Put these dates in your diaries. Over 400 US national parks are free to visit on five days this year

Visiting one of America’s iconic national parks is always a great idea and it’s even sweeter when it’s free. The National Park Service (NPS) has announced five days in 2023 when entrance fees will be waived at every site around the USA

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.

Flying over the Okavango Delta in Botswana

The travel that changed me: Stanley Trollip

From an unplanned landing in the Namib desert to hyenas attacking wildebeest, author Stanley Trollip tells us about the travel that changed him

It’s fair to say that Stanley Trollip has had an eclectic career. At various points in his life, he has been a professor, a psychologist, a pilot and an author – each a consuming role in its own right. This professional pluralism started early in life; Stanley’s time as an undergraduate took twice as long as usual due to his participation in a range of sports (cricket, rugby and field hockey) as well as his involvement in the anti-apartheid movement.

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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.

Atlas & Boots’ top 10 posts of 2022

As a watershed year draws to a close, we reflect on the top 10 posts that our readers most enjoyed

Last year, our annual roundup had a certain tone; one of unmistakable melancholy. Peter and I – and the rest of the world – had suffered two years of lockdowns and restrictions and were running out of stamina. In the piece, I talk about ‘trying to focus on the good things’ and ‘doing what we can’. The optimism is feeble, never quite reaching cheer. 

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11 best things to do in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

From the world’s longest zipline to desert bedouin camps, these are the best things to do in Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah, one of the seven emirates that make up the UAE, is an intriguing blend of the modern world and old Arabia. Unlike its neighbouring emirates, overdevelopment is yet to engulf Ras Al Khaimah, more commonly known as RAK. This, along with its sandy coast and craggy interior, makes it a beguiling Middle East destination.

Highlander UAE: hitting rock bottom in the high heat

Kia feels the burn on the Highlander UAE, a 30km two-day trek in the Hajar Mountains

When I agreed to do the Highlander UAE, I didn’t know that the entire universe would conspire against me. I’d planned to be fighting fit because I knew that the trek would be challenging, but due to a healing wound for which I needed stitches I wasn’t able to exercise for the three weeks leading up to the trip. This impacted my fitness and, in turn, my ability to deal with the 30°C heat. On top of this, in what felt like a cosmic cruelty, I found myself battling a cold. 

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From Acadia to Zion: the best hike in all 63 US national parks

From the rocky headlands of Acadia to the sandstone cliffs of Zion, we share the best hike in every US national park

America’s 63 national parks offer an encyclopaedic array of natural sights – from trees that existed at the time of dinosaurs to fiercely active volcanos. That’s before we even get into the hundreds of other units such as national monuments, historic sites, preserves, reserves, rivers, parkways and recreation areas.

Mount Ushba on the Highlander Svaneti

20 interesting facts about Georgia

We share the most interesting facts about Georgia, collected on a two-week trip through the transcontinental country

Georgia may as well be called “Georgia, the country” thanks to its famous American counterpart. Unlike the US state, the country still feels uncharted. Bordered by Russia to the north, Azerbaijan to the east, Armenia and Turkey to the south, and the Black Sea to the west, Georgia is a land of deep green gorges, snow-capped summits and implausibly-placed medieval churches.

A 4x4 car near giraffes in Uganda

Self-drive Uganda: 7 routes to suit every itinerary

From three-day jaunts to two-week tours, these self-drive Uganda routes are crammed with bucket-list views

Here at Atlas & Boots, some of our best memories were made while we were watching wildlife. One of our favourite experiences was our self-drive safari through Nambia, which offered close encounters with lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants and more zebras than we could count.

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9 best things to do in Kazbegi, Georgia

We share the best things to do in Kazbegi, Georgia’s spectacular northern frontier hiding in the clouds of the Caucasus

After trekking the Highlander Svaneti, I headed for Kazbegi in northeastern Georgia. Surrounded on three sides by Russia and occupied South Ossetia, the nature-packed borderland is famed for its rich medley of deep green gorges, snow-capped summits and implausibly-placed medieval churches.

Cape Town at dusk

The travel that changed me: Mark Vanhoenacker

As a commercial pilot and best-selling author, Mark Vanhoenacker has seen the world from a rare perspective. Here, he tells us about life in cockpit

Growing up in the small town of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Mark Vanhoenacker spun the illuminated globe in his bedroom and dreamt of distant cities. Streets unspooled, towers shone and anonymous crowds bustled in cities where Mark could be anyone – perhaps even himself.

12 Christmas gifts for travellers

Our tried-and-tested list of Christmas gifts for travellers be they hikers, shutterbugs, adrenaline junkies or culture vultures

This year has been a life-changing one for us. Three-and-a-half years after we moved to the country, we took the decision to move back to London. We missed our friends and family too much and, after two years under the pandemic, knew it was important to be close to them. And, so, in February, we sold our house and moved 240 miles across the country.

Asunción, Paraguay

20 interesting facts about Paraguay

The most interesting facts about Paraguay, from a double-sided national flag to the ‘Heart of South America’

American essayist P.J. O’Rourke once quipped that Paraguay was “nowhere and famous for nothing.” He then took a business trip there, fell in love with the country and promptly moved there.

While we can’t say we felt the same striking attraction, we certainly appreciated Paraguay’s history and authenticity. The small and struggling country is a steamy subtropical land of remarkable contrasts with a tragic and torrid history filled with violence and loss.