Bolivia’s 424,164 square miles make it the 28th largest country in the world. Those square miles are also some of the most biodiverse in the world, with ecologies ranging from tropical rainforests to dry valleys to stepped savannas. It rises from just 230 feet above sea level along the Paraguay river to higher than 21,000 feet at the peak of the extinct stratovolcano Nevado Sajama on the country’s western border. And I was there to challenge a wide swathe of it all. Over nine days I was slated to cover 1,240 miles, not conquering the big country but merely surviving it, creeping along some of the most dangerous roads in the world one grueling mile at a time.
Discovering an incredible escape plan in the former Portugese colony
Few sunsets beat the one at &Beyond Benguerra Island Lodge in Mozambique, where the sun crawls close to the horizon and drenches the local fishermen boats in hues of orange and pink, all while you sit back and order another cocktail.
Lisbon, Porto and Pedras Salgadas
If a visit to London is European Vacation 101, and Paris is 201, Lisbon is a seminar-level adventure. GP contributor Ross Belfer demonstrates why with his photos from a summer visit to Portugal.
Make It Happen
The vibrant Portuguese capital is experiencing a cultural renaissance, fueled by a creative society motivated to lead the city out of economic decay.
Cuban salsa, Canadian bluegrass, Welsh folk rock
Where the South China Sea meets the rainforest in Malaysian Borneo, there’s a music festival unlike anything in the West. GP contributor Will McGough visited to dance, bang on drums and hear some of the best music of his life.
Gators, fanboats and fishin'
GP contributor Isaac Zapata set out by airboat in the Everglades and neighboring Big Cypress National Reserve to capture a glimpse of the incredibly rich ecosystem — and a few fish.
Atop Guatemala's Third Highest Peak
Acatenango is Guatemala’s third highest peak, towering 13,041 feet above the nearby Pacific Ocean and about 8,000 feet above the city of Antigua at the mountain’s base. Photographer and GP contributor Jonathan Levinson hiked to the top.
Expect the Unexpected
In much of the Amazon, traveling by riverboat is the best form of transportation. So we set off from Iquitos, Peru, fondly dubbed the Capital of the Peruvian Amazon, aboard the Aqua Aria, a luxurious river boat that would take us roughly 100 miles up and down the Amazon River.
The Well-traveled smartphone
Whether you’re going abroad or visiting a neighboring state, you should take time to make sure your smartphone is ready to make your trip easier. These 17 travel apps are a good start.
Not a mistake -- a challenge
GP contributor Will Eginton battles intense headwinds cycling up U.S. Route 101 toward Astoria, OR.
Out Of The Limelight, Into The Sun
Dane Reynolds sparked controversy in 2012 when he dropped out of competitive surfing. This short film follows him as he seeks to rediscover his inspiration.
Storming the East Coast's best surf town
When we invited Forest Woodward, one of our favorite photographers, to Montauk for the weekend, we had no idea we’d be graced with the best waves we’ve seen in years.
Keeping the good times always close at hand
Today we’re happy reintroduce our guide to the 50 Best Festivals in America in the form of a handy, downloadable eBook (PDF) that’s been revamped with even more photography, insight and trivia than before. It’s a ready-to-go handbook for your iOS, Android or Kindle device — never out of reach the next time the road comes calling. Oh, and it’s free. Download it here.
Taking the Long Way 'Round
Unlike the America’s Cup, which is all about speed over a short distance, the Volvo Ocean Race is a challenge of endurance. In this year’s running of the race, starting in October in Alicante, Spain, crews of eight sailors will race around the globe in stages lasting up to four weeks at a time, stopping in various ports such as Capetown, Auckland and Newport along the way. We set sail with Team Alvimedica as they trained out of their home port of Newport, Rhode Island.
Is there anything left to discover?
Adventure travelers have an advantage that others don’t: Anyone can get on a plane and land in a remote location, but no matter how much someone talks about that place deep in the wilderness, few have what it takes to make the journey.
A Sandbox for Adults
Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes in the San Luis Valley are the tallest dunes in America, reaching peaks of 750 feet. GP contributor Will McGough took off his shoes and played in the sand.
One Breath, One Dive
Most of the people who come to Bonaire are SCUBA divers, hauling heavy bags of gear — buoyancy vests and regulators. But on this visit, I decided to try something different: freediving. No tanks, just a breath of air. I wanted to experience the transcendent silence and freedom freedivers talk about. The best man to learn from is in Bonaire, and I was about to get a one-on-one lesson from him.
The capital of empires, today
Istanbul is a great place to visit: it’s located right smack on the dividing line between Europe and Asia, with a wealth of historical and religious sites, bazaars, a rich food culture and nearby islands that can be gotten to via ferry rides. Photographer and GP contributor Isaac Zapata recently explored the city and experienced its “clash of beauty, history and a controlled sort of chaos.”
The World Without Sun
I had been warned to keep my depth above 50 feet to maximize bottom time, and as I slipped under the “porch” of Aquarius, I saw my computer read 48 feet. I popped up inside the moon pool, removed my regulator and mask and took a breath of the pressurized air inside. “Welcome to Aquarius”, Fabien Cousteau said with a smile as he stood above me in the wet room.
Hot, primordial ooze
One of the most diverse islands on the planet, Hawaii Island plays host to all but two of the world’s ecosystems, including active volcanoes. GP contributor Will McGough summits Kilauea Crater for a firsthand look inside the Devil’s Kitchen.
Take Chances on Cards, Not Your Digs
The question isn’t why you’d visit Vegas; it’s when. Though you’ll never catch the city standing still at any time of year, the summer season does offer a prime opportunity to take full advantage of its palatial pools, gardens, outdoor activities and other ridiculous outdoor venues. We’ve culled through the city’s extensive list of hotels to call out a few of the more noteworthy places to stay in Vegas this summer.
No need for directions
Dad’s transitioned from a guardian to a friend, and your Father’s Day gift should reflect that. He deserves more than a hastily wrapped tie and some tee time vouchers. It’s time to go on an adventure together, and these three are plenty out of the ordinary but don’t require a year’s worth of planning (or salary).
Hawaii's Old Man in the Sea
Volcanic activity lifted Hawaii’s oldest island up from the ocean floor six million years ago, and millennia of rainfall — amounts on par with the highest on Earth — have carved out deep valleys, gorgeous waterfalls and ridges that rise thousands of feet into the air like razors set on edge. In this photo essay we explore both summit and sea.
The Party Circuit for Cyclists
The best gran fondos recall 100 years of Italian cycling tradition with routes that trace the most famous mountain passes and historic races in cycling history. And then there’s the hallmark of each event: the post-ride celebration, with plentiful food and wine. These five from around the world are the most worthy of your bucket list.
Where family hordes are far away
10 destinations for untouched landscapes without the crowds or bustle of Yellowstone — you know, the stuff you were looking for in the first place.
The drive is the destination
Long holiday weekends aren’t just for sleeping in and backyard barbeques. Hop in the car, embrace the fresh air and hug the asphalt like you don’t have a care in the world. There are a ton of great roads out there, twisty, straight and some off the beaten path. We’ve listed some of the best (and some less-traveled) for your vacation enjoyment and paired them with the ideal vehicle to maximize the experience.
You were looking for something to do?
Americans, we’re a people who enjoy a good gathering. It’s right there in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution: the right of the people to peaceably assemble, adopted on December 15, 1791 — and darn it we’ve been doing it something serious since then. We caucus to select political representation, we gather around grills on July 4, we congregate in town squares to see who grew the biggest pumpkin. Most of all, we just like to get together and have a rollicking good time.
That’s what this story is all about. It’s a survey of America’s greatest festivals, from a small-town California celebration of the local garlic crop to a skull-rattling military air show to the greatest collection of musical performers at one venue, on Earth. We’ve taken certain liberties in defining a festival, so you’ll also find a few conferences that have made an important impact in popular culture. Mark your calendars. Fill up your gas tanks. Pack some beef jerky. These are the 50 best festivals in America.
Have Fins, Will Travel
Swimming with Caribbean reef sharks in the Bahamas, exploring the Northern Hemisphere’s largest barrier reef, or crossing the thermocline boundary to explore ghostly WWII wrecks in Papua New Guinea might sound daunting, but whether you have three days or two weeks, there’s time enough for one of these adventures.