British Columbia, Mount Garibaldi

For some amazing hiking options, it really does pay to get out of Vancouver at least once during your stay. One of the best places to visit is Garibaldi Provincial Park, which comprises nearly 195,000 hectares and is perhaps Canada’s most accessible and spectacular wilderness. The park is located 13 km north of Squamish, 97 km north of Vancouver along Hwy 99 on the road to Whistler. One of the easiest ways to appreciate the...

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Travel Central America, Costa Rica Photos

Here are a few of my favorite photos from my visit to Costa Rica. To say that nature is one of the primary draws would be a wild understatement. By the end of my first day, I had seen four types of monkeys! Having said this, there is much more to Costa Rica than its nature and wildlife. On a lark, I have been going through all of my photos and all of the specific countries I visited over the last several years and picking out some of...

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British Columbia, the Stawamus Chief at Squamish

The Stawamus Chief is a 700-metre high granite dome that guards the southern end of Squamish. The Chief is the centre point of a 5-square kilometre provincial park founded in 1997. The park encompasses not only the Chief but also the Stawamus Squaw a slightly smaller granitic dome located a short distance to the north-east. There are a number of maintained hiking trails which lead to the First Peak at 610 metres, the Second Peak at...

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Ah, Madagascar

Ah, Madagascar. When I mention places I visit, I am often met with question marks or that sucking sound accompanied by a tense wrinkled spot between the eyebrows. But Madagascar always gets an “Ah.” An “Ah” and a dazed dreamy smile only the purest of fantasies get. People think Madagascar is magic, and in many ways it is. In the right spot, it’s a colorful heaven –- dancing lemurs with big curious eyes...

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Experiencing the Mountain Pass in Ecuador

At 10,000 feet, the air is perceptively thin in the Ecuadorean capital of Quito. Travelers puff and gasp the first few days of their visit. Stone steps and sidewalks seem steeper; footsteps tread slower. This ancient, beautiful city is home to over 2 million residents. It fills the valley at the foot of 15,710 foot high Rucu Pichincha with thousands of single-story simple homes that creep halfway up its green slopes. At the city...

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Trekking in Laos: the Nam Ha Valley

The pick-up truck carrying, me, a small band of travelers, and two local guides toward the Nam Ha forest reserve rattles through the mountain pass, and moves away from the sleepy little town of Luang Nam Tha in the north of Laos. It is along this mountain pass that I traverse the ridge crowning the Nam Ha valley. After a six-hour hike, I’ll descend from the ridge to the banks of the green Nam Ha river which will lead to the Lanten...

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Jamaica Live for 2009 (video podcast)

For the third time in as many years, I caught up with Dian Holland of Jamaica Tourism at the Los Angeles Times Adventure Travel Show. Hear what she has to say about travel on her island. As with all of our videos Quicktime 7.0 or better is required to see our great videos in all of their luster and highest quality. However, we have now added a new feature so YouTube users can see this video here as well. We are also on iTunes,...

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African Highlands

African highlands, Lesotho and the adjacent South African Drakensberg (Dragon Mountains), fall like soft folds of green felt and stretch beyond the horizon. This fairytale landscape is very different from the Africa I’ve been seeing so far. Iridescent green sunbirds with bright red bibs drink from equally bright red flowers in strange-looking trees. Every puddle has a frog in it, and if I didn’t already have a prince,...

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Backpacking Wellness

The term “backpacking” has changed over the last several years as travel has become more accessible to a greater number of people. It refers to travellers who organize their own trips and usually stay in cheap accommodation. This type of traveller can be exposed to additional health risks. Vaccinations “It is now generally accepted that no other measure taken by man, apart from the provision of clean water, has ever saved...

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Lucia Leopard

This is Africa for you – a seemingly boring place can produce the most interesting of sightings. I shouldn’t knock St. Lucia. If you’ve never seen a croc or a hippo in your life, this is probably a good place to start. Cheap enough tours will take you everywhere from whale to bird watching, and though the park still recommends not getting out of your car, it’s relatively safe to do so – there are no lions. My...

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