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.

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.

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.

Icebergs in Antarctica

Arctic or Antarctic: how to pick your polar adventure

Can’t decide between the Arctic or Antarctic for your polar adventure? Our guide will help you choose between 66° north or south

The North and South Poles were only “conquered” in relatively recent history. The South Pole was first attained in 1911 by the Norwegian Roald Amundsen after his epic race with the ill-fated Robert Falcon Scott.

Svalbard in photos lead image 2022

In photos: 20 reasons to visit Svalbard

From vast landscapes and giant glaciers to sly foxes and posing seals, we share some of the myriad reasons to visit Svalbard in the Arctic

Known as the last stop before the North Pole, Svalbard proved to be the Arctic we had always imagined: midnight sun, gleaming glaciers and snowcapped peaks, a frigid ocean riddled with ice and extraordinary wildlife including walruses, sea birds and polar bears.

Svalbard midnight sun lead image 2022

Under the midnight sun: a surreal trip to Svalbard

In the land of the midnight sun, Kia finds a place of raw nature, rare wildlife and one of her most memorable moments of travel

It is said that you can’t die in Svalbard, the remote archipelago that lies midway between Norway and the North Pole. The permafrost here not only preserves corpses, it sometimes pushes them to the surface. The truth is that authorities would prefer you didn’t die on Svalbard. Coffin burials are not allowed due to the permafrost, so critically-ill patients are usually flown to mainland Norway. 

A silverback gorilla in Rwanda

Gorilla trekking tips: what to know before you go

These essential gorilla trekking tips will help you get the most out of this extraordinary wildlife experience

Found nowhere else in the wild on Earth and once on the verge of extinction, the mountain gorilla – a subspecies of the eastern gorilla – has seen a spectacular revival. A series of conservation measures involving local communities has led to one of Africa’s greatest conservation success stories. Though still classified as endangered, today there are more than 1,000 mountain gorillas roaming the jungles of UgandaRwanda and DR Congo, up from around 480 in 2010.

Arenal Volcano is one of the best day trips from San Jose, Costa Rica

Best day trips from San José, Costa Rica

From fairytale forests to violent volcanoes, we share the best sights in Costa Rica that can be reached in a day from San José

If we ask you to picture Costa Rica, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll think of San José. This unassuming capital city isn’t known for architectural grandeur, fine dining or world-class theatre. Rather, it’s a springboard for Costa Rica’s natural wonders: the lush forests and hulking volcanoes, the startling wildlife and movie-set scenery. 

Diablo lake in the North Cascades National Park

Ranked: least-visited US national parks

As America’s public lands register record numbers, we explore the least-visited US national parks

It’s been well documented that America’s national parks and hiking trails have seen a surge in visitor numbers as lockdown-weary Americans flocked to the outdoors. In 2021, Yellowstone received an astonishing 4.8 million recreation visits, up 28% from 2020 (3.8 million), making it the busiest year on record.

A photograph of a gentoo penguin in Antarctica

In photos: 22 reasons to visit Antarctica

From island-sized icebergs to close encounters with humpback whales, we share some of the myriad reasons to visit Antarctica

Antarctica was the final frontier for us. It was the only continent we hadn’t visited – our seventh – and a twice-postponed adventure that we had been planning for over two years.

Kia looks out across Paradise Bay

Antarctica: why my seventh continent was more than just an ego trip

Kia explains why a voyage to Antarctica finally gave her a sense of peace

I am one of six sisters, which has always earned me a certain cachet; a sort of second-hand, useless celebrity like that of air hostesses and identical twins. The last time I mentioned “all my sisters” in public, a stranger cut in to ask how many. People are often keen to know if we all get along, how often we see each other and what it was like growing up. 

Tourists inside an ice cave in Iceland

Ranked: best countries for adventure travel

The best countries for adventure travel have been ranked by a panel of experts. We review the results below

The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) has named Iceland the best country for adventure travel for the third year in a row. The small Nordic island nation, famed for its geysers, volcanoes, geothermal lagoons and cinematic landscapes, remains an attractive destination for adventure seekers, particularly those concerned with sustainability.

A friendly turtle visits us on our dive in Cyprus

Diving in Cyprus: our first dive in two years

After two years at home, we go diving in Cyprus and rediscover the joy of subaquatic life

There was a time when I used to record my dives with all the zeal of a swot on her first day of school. I took my battered logbook on every trip abroad and fastidiously noted down the date, location, depth, temperature, points of interest and so on.

Danakil Depression tours military escort

10 most (seemingly) dangerous things we’ve done

Seven years after we quit our jobs to travel the world, we revisit some of the riskiest things we’ve done on the road

Peter and I have a long-running joke that I have fallen off my bike in the most beautiful places in the world – among them Bora Bora in French Polynesia and Isabela in the Galápagos. I only learnt to ride at the age of 28 and my lack of experience has led to numerous falls. 

Dal Lake in Kashmir

The travel that changed me: Roz Watkins

From trekking in the hills of Kashmir to evading a rhino in India, author Roz Watkins tells us about the travel that changed her

Roz Watkins is the author of the critically-acclaimed DI Meg Dalton crime series. Set in the Peak District, her novels are known for their extraordinary sense of place. Think moody moors, gnarled forests and creepy local lore. Her protagonist is spirited and sensitive, but what draws me most strongly to Roz’s work is her willingness to venture into the darker corners of society. 

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. 

Rangers have dealt with white supremacists in Zion National Park

10 things park rangers wish you knew

From grizzly bears to bugbears, five park rangers share the vagaries of their unique job

There’s no doubt that nature is flourishing under lockdown. There are heartening stories of the Himalayas emerging from Indian smog, moles in the UK being seen above ground and deer wandering the streets of Japan. 

ways nature is flourishing under lockdown fox

7 ways nature is flourishing under lockdown

The current pandemic has had a devastating effect worldwide but there are some glimmers of light

Human impact on wildlife is almost certainly to blame for the spread of Covid-19, say scientists. The virus is thought to have originated in bats with other wild animals such as pangolins also likely playing a role in its transmission to people.