Travel & Adventure

Reflection and Extreme Discomfort

Inside the Temazcal, Traditional Mayan Sweat Bath

Temazcal is a traditional Mesoamerican sweat lodge used for physical and spiritual cleansing. GP contributor Will McGough has suffered through it twice, at the Grand Playa Resort in Cabo and Live Aqua Resort in Cancun.

Millionaire Cottages and Adirondack Chairs

72 Hours in Muskoka

Muskoka is considered the "Hamptons of Toronto". Here's a guide to making the most of the cottage-dotted vacation spot.

Wet trousers and world-class scallops

Postcard: Lunch at The Three Chimneys Kitchen Table

1:00 p.m. BST | Colbost, Isle of Skye, UK -- We parked the truck somewhere in the north of Skye and picked up our rental Lapierre road bikes. It was very cold and raining hard, the aftereffects of Hurricane Gonzalo on the other side of the Atlantic, but we wanted to get a ride in and figured: let's just bike to lunch. Lunch was at The Three Chimneys, the Isle of Skye's best restaurant with a newly minted Michelin star.

Terrifying Road Rules in Beautiful Skye

Postcard: Yield Please, Yield

9:00 a.m. BST | Isle of Skye, UK -- Driving a broad car on the wrong side of the road, from the passenger's seat, is an upsetting experiment in bizarro world physics.

Learning the way of the climb

Postcard: Learning to Climb in the Gunks

2:00 p.m. EDT | New Paltz, NY -- I've never met a more playful group of people than rock climbers. The experienced ones seem to have the best sense of humor when they're standing on the edge of a cliff.

Valhalla, I Am Coming

Unrelenting Weather and Endless Beauty in Iceland

Iceland exists as if out of the mind of a science fiction writer -- not in the futuristic sense, but as some timeless place, where the elements that created the earth meet the people who harness its power. It is perhaps the most exotic place on Earth. And it’s only a five-hour flight from Manhattan.

The Everest of Sailing

The Boats, Crew and Route of the Around-the-World Volvo Ocean Race

In the past decade, the Volvo Ocean Race has seen boats dismasted and sunk, sailors break bones and lose teeth -- and in one tragedy, a Dutch crew member washed overboard and was killed. It’s no wonder the race is called the “Everest of sailing”. Here's a primer on the latest edition Volvo Ocean Race, beginning October 11, 2014.

Instead of Gatorade and Gu, Chianti and Lardo

Postcard: Roadside Assistance, Italian Style

1:00 p.m. CEST | Gaiole in Chianti, Italy -- Actually, we're something like 30 miles outside Gaiole in Chianti. Jeff's seat tube keeps falling, which makes sense because we're riding pre-1987 road racing bikes as L'Eroica requires, and the mechanic had reamed his tube (the bike's) something serious to get the seat post into it yesterday.

Exploring an Unwelcoming Gem

Exploring the Harsh Beauty of the Cascades

The North Cascades aren't exactly user friendly. There are no drive-up views for the minivan crowd. Plush lodges and charming hamlets are few and far between. Rangers usually spend a lot of time telling you what a miserable time you’ll have if you put yourself at the mercy of the park’s capricious and violent weather. But with some grit and serious sweat, adventurers who press through those barriers reap major rewards. Photographer Chris Burkard covered our own recent trip.

Social Times at a Unique Resort in the Chilean Andes

At Portillo, Ski Season Begins in June

Snow was the last thing on anyone’s mind back home, but there I was in mid-August in Portillo, Chile, adjusting my goggles and cranking down my boot buckles.

A City That's More Than a Mile High

72 Hours in Denver

Denver isn't just good breakfast and a gateway to good pow -- or America's favorite city with legalized marijuana. It's also a hotbed of killer dining, host to a booming culture scene, and a new destination for startups and venture capital. 300 days of sunshine a year, green space around every turn (parks, that is), and proximity to said slopes doesn't hurt either. Our local expert weighs in with the latest installment of 72 Hours.

What to pack for the adventure of a lifetime

Essentials for a South African Winter Safari

Traveling too much of Africa is intimidating. Years of headlines, let alone the complications of getting there, are foreboding enough. But South Africa has come to establish itself as a gateway to the larger continent for travelers around the world. When packing for a South African safari, versatility is key; here's everything you'll need.

The lesser-known safari destination that's not to be missed

Photo Essay: Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa

Witnessing a million wildebeest migrating from the southern Serengeti to Kenya's Masa Mara reserve looks just as incredible in the flesh as it does in HD on Planet Earth. But to assume it's the only real way to take in the circle of life on the great African continent is a rookie mistake -- as four days spent on safari in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve in South Africa made viciously clear.

Break Boat

Surviving the Rolex Big Boat Series

The Rolex Big Boat Series is known by participants as the “Break Boat Series” for the toll it takes on boats and crews over four days of racing. GP's Jason Heaton braved San Francisco Bay's gusty winds and waves for a firsthand account.

Mystery in the Deep Jungle

Road Notes: Tikal National Park, Guatemala

Nearly 200 miles north of Guatemala City, in the rainforest, lie the remains of the ancient city Tikal, the capital of one of the most powerful kingdoms of the Maya civilization. GP contributor Will McGough headed south for a visit.

From Trigger to Table

Salt, Fresh & Field, Episode 3: “Whitetail”

Put a rifle in the hands of a chef, set him up in sight of an unassuming whitetail deer, and see what happens. That’s the premise of the latest Salt, Fresh & Field, a show that connects, quite literally, food and table.

Trail Ridge Road, CO

Road Notes: Cycling America’s Highest Road

Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous paved road in the United States, stretching from Estes Park to Grand Lake, Colorado. GP contributor Will McGough pedaled his way from end to end.

9 Days and 1,240 Miles

Traversing Bolivia

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

Stay: andBeyond Benguerra Island Lodge, Mozambique

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

Photo Essay: Summer in Portugal

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

72 Hours in Lisbon, Portugal

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

Road Notes: The Rainforest World Music Festival

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'

Photo Essay: Fishing the Everglades by Fanboat

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

Photo Essay: Hiking Guatemala’s Acatenango Volcano

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

Photo Essay: Traveling the Amazon by Riverboat

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

17 Best Travel Apps

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.

Out Of The Limelight, Into The Sun

Viewfinder: This Is Dane Reynolds

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

48 Hours of Sun and Swell in Montauk

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

The 50 Best Festivals in America eBook

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

Photo Essay: Sailing with Team Alvimedica of the Volvo Ocean Race

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?

The Long Way in to Havasu Falls

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

Hiking the Great Sand Dunes of Colorado

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

Learning to Freedive with One of the World’s Best

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

Photo Essay: The Controlled Chaos of Istanbul

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

The Age of Aquarius: Diving Down to Fabien Cousteau’s Mission 31

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

Hiking in Hawaii’s Lava Fields

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

Stay: Great Las Vegas Hotels for Summer

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.