japan has the most powerful passport

Ranked: world’s most powerful passports 2024

In 2024, the world’s most powerful passports are France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore and Spain. Holders can enter 194 nations visa-free

It’s official. Globally, we are on the move again. In 2023, international travel got going again with arrivals reaching 87% of pre-pandemic levels. An estimated 975 million tourists travelled internationally during the first nine months of 2023, an increase of 38% on the same period of 2022.

A tiger crosses a riverbed while visiting Jim corbett

Tips for visiting Jim Corbett National Park: 12 dos and don’ts

Our essential tips for visiting Jim Corbett National Park, India’s legendary tiger reserve in the foothills of the Himalayas

The state of Uttarakhand in India, bordering China and Nepal, takes its name from the Sanskrit words uttara meaning ‘north’ and khaṇḍa meaning ‘land’. To Hindus, it’s known as Devbhoomi – the land of the gods – because of its cluster of high-altitude shrines shrouded in mist.

crowds at Yellowstone national park watch a geyser erupt

9 US national parks that require a reservation in 2024

America’s outdoor spaces are becoming increasingly congested, so more US national parks will require a reservation in 2024

In 1872, the US established Yellowstone National Park. It was the first protected site in the country and only the second in the world after Bogd Khan Uul in Mongolia. Yellowstone soon became the international standard for the preservation of biodiversity and cultural history; a standard that has since been widely replicated around the globe.

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. 

Lenin's bust surrounded by snow

Poles of inaccessibility: the middle of nowhere

The poles of inaccessibility are arguably the true last frontiers for explorers. But what and where are they?

I’ve long been fascinated with the most remote places on Earth and the epic journeys of discovery to reach them. I’ve spent countless long mornings in bed leafing through giant reference books on the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration and even longer afternoons poring over immense maps detailing epic quests across untamed oceans.

Whitehaven Beach is one of the best beaches we've ever seen

The best beaches we’ve ever seen

After visiting 100 countries and seven continents, we share the best beaches we’ve seen on our travels

When I first went on holiday, I was 18 years old and on the lookout for the perfect beach. You know the sort: powdery white sand and clear turquoise water set against a blazing blue sky. In those early years of travel, I saw beautiful beaches in Barbados, Tunisia, Thailand, Mexico and Dubai, but none were quite the same as the brochures and the billboards.

A turtle seen while snorkelling Baros Reef Maldives

Snorkelling Baros Reef in the Maldives

Snorkelling Baros Reef in the Maldives offers encounters with turtles, sharks and octopuses just steps away from powdery white sand

The private island of Baros in the North Male atoll of the Maldives is one of our favourite places on Earth. We first visited in 2012 on a press trip with flights, accommodation and all excursions included.

America's most dangerous hikes

Not for novices: America’s most dangerous hikes

From an exposed ridge on a Colorado fourteener to a remote Hawaiian jungle trail, these are America’s most dangerous hikes

While most will – and do – complete these hikes unscathed, the trails can be perilous enough that a spot of bad luck, small mistake or slight miscalculation can leave you seriously injured, or even dead.

Exposure, crevasses, avalanches – all the usual threats can be found on America’s most dangerous hikes. But there are also a few wildcards here that can turn a walk in the park into a dice with death. Huckleberries, anyone?

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.

Most beautiful mountains in the US: Grand Teton

21 most beautiful mountains in the US

The most beautiful mountains in the US are a contentious subject, for this is a land that brims with beauty. We scoured the states and whittled them down to a list of 21

Legendary climber​​ Reinhold Messner said that there are three rules of mountaineering: “It’s always further than it looks. It’s always taller than it looks. And it’s always harder than it looks.” 

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 bit of a transitional one at Atlas & Boots. We are now settled in our new home in East London and happier than we’ve ever been despite the change in our finances (hello, London prices). Things feel settled, but that’s not to say it hasn’t been busy.

smartphone showing the best travel apps

20 best travel apps to download in 2024

A curated list of the best travel apps, from the latest tools that keep us connected to old favourites we’ve used for years

As travel writers who have been to over a hundred countries, we are often asked about the best travel apps that we can’t do without.

Stell apoint on one of the best Kilimanjaro climbing routes

Which is the best Kilimanjaro climbing route?

From the paths less travelled to the longest and the newest trail, we take a look at the best Kilimanjaro climbing route

The ‘roof of Africa’ was the first high-altitude mountain I ever climbed. At 5,895m (19,340ft), Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is Africa’s highest peak and while I had some hillwalking behind me, I had no prior experience of high-altitude trekking. I opted for the cheapest and quickest route to the summit via the Marangu AKA the ‘Coca-Cola’ route.

Ama Dablam is a thing of beauty

30 most beautiful mountains in the world

The most beautiful mountains in the world have captivated climbers for centuries. Here, we examine their lethal appeal

“You are not in the mountains. The mountains are in you,” said John Muir, the renowned naturalist, author and environmental philosopher.

If our resident seven-summit hopeful is anything to go by, Muir makes a valid point. Those who spend time in the mountains seem to be driven by a deeper force.

most interesting facts about Ecuador lead image alpacas

30 interesting facts about Ecuador

From megadiverse flora and fauna to the closest country to space, these are the most interesting facts about Ecuador

Despite its relatively small size compared with local giants Brazil and Argentina, Ecuador is home to an astounding array of wonders, including picturesque colonial towns, the Amazon rainforest, the spectacular peaks of the Andes and the fragile but alluring Galápagos Islands

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.

A trekker using poles uphill on a mountain

Does using trekking poles really help?

A new study suggests that using trekking poles may not conserve energy, but does “save the legs”. We dig deeper into the science

On a recent trek through the Fann Mountains of Tajikistan, one of our group completed the nine-day foot journey without poles. At some point during the trek, every one of us asked him why he didn’t have them (I’m sure he grew tired of fielding the question) and took turns to recount their many benefits.

A bright emerald lake in the Fann Mountains of Tajikistan

Trekking the Fann Mountains of Tajikistan: all you need to know

Trekking the Fann Mountains of Tajikistan is an adventure through one of Central Asia’s hidden gems. Here’s how to make it happen

Tajikistan is the smallest of the Central Asian republics. Landlocked, misshapen and squished and squeezed by its neighbours, it has remained largely undiscovered by tourists even though it was at the centre of the Silk Road for much of its past.

Aerial shot of the Highlands of New Guinea

The travel that changed me: Annie Worsley

Annie Worsley traded a life in academia for that of a crofter. Here, she tells us about her new life, the art of slow walking and the travel that changed her

It’s fair to say that Annie Worsley has not followed a conventional career path. She began life as a physical geographer focusing on the relationships between people, landscapes and the natural world. Her work took her to the New Guinea Highlands in 1979 where she examined the environmental history of montane rainforests and human impacts on the landscape.