If you are an outdoor adventure enthusiast, there may be no location on Earth that is better suited to fulfill your dreams than the city of Queenstown on New Zealand’s South Island. Widely regarded to be the “Adventure Capital of the World”, every year Queenstown attracts millions of tourists from throughout the world who flock to the city to test their mettle bungy jumping, skydiving, jetboat riding, canyon swinging, downhill mountain bike riding, and a myriad of other amazing outdoor adventures. Around every corner in the city it seems is the headquarters of another adventure activity.
While it is true that Machu Picchu and the Galápagos Islands both take a bit more planning to visit than your average beach vacation, visiting these two iconic destinations doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, if you do the proper planning, these two locations are relatively easy to visit during one exciting trip. Believe me, I planned and took this trip myself, so I know that it is not only possible, but the trip won’t feel rushed in the least bit.
At 9,252 feet (or 2,820 meters) in elevation, the city of Quito, which is Ecuador’s capital city, is the highest capital city in the entire world. Not only that, but the city of Quito was also one of the very first World Cultural Heritage Sites designated by UNESCO back in 1978. The city’s beautiful historic center, with its cobblestone streets and beautiful 16th Century stone houses, is absolutely beautiful. Touring this area of the city alone is worth a visit to Quito. Not to be forgotten, Quito is the perfect city to fly into to launch a trip to another Ecuadorian treasure, and the world’s very first Cultural Heritage Site, the infamous Galápagos Islands.
There are a lot of cities with a deep and rich history in Europe, and the city of Florence, Italy is certainly no exception. Founded by Julius Ceasar in 59 BC and considered to be the “cradle of the Renaissance” in the time of legendary artists and scholars such as Michaelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Galileo, today Florence is consistently ranked as one of the most beautiful cities in the world and attracts millions of tourists each year. Visitors flock to this amazing city to visit its many wonderful museums and art galleries, eat the delicious food served in its restaurants, and tour the many structures that were built by this amazing culture.
For some people, sitting back and relaxing while traveling is just not in their DNA. I know that I am one of these people. When I travel, I always have to be doing something active. Depending on where I am traveling, it is typically kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, sky diving, or my favorite travel activity, which is hiking. For me, there is no better way to appreciate the beauty of an area than to hike thru some of its most breathtaking landscape. In fact, I love hiking so much that sometimes I will plan an entire trip around a single hike that I want to do.
While Crater Lake National Park in southern Oregon may not be as well-known as some of the other parks in the Western United States, that doesn’t mean it isn’t every bit as beautiful. In fact, as lake parks go, it may be the most beautiful in America. Centered around a deep, water-filled volcanic crater that has formed the deepest lake in North America, Crater Lake is also well-known for its rough wilderness and great hiking and snowshoeing trails. If you aren’t into hiking, getting out on the crystal blue waters of Crater Lake to Kayak or go for a swim may be just what you are looking for. Regardless of what you do when you visit, one thing that won’t be in short supply during your stay is tranquility.
New Zealand has an abundance of breathtaking national parklands, especially on the country’s South Island. This is what has made the South Island of New Zealand one of the top destinations for travel photographers and travel adventurers from around the world. Out of all of the beautiful parklands the country has, the most well-known may be the stunning Aoraki\Mount Cook National Park. In addition to being the home of Mount Cook, which is New Zealand’s tallest mountain, it is also home to the Tasman Glacier, which is the largest glacier in New Zealand.
There is a good reason why famed movie director Peter Jackson picked numerous locations on New Zealand’s South Island to film his iconic Lord of the Rings trilogy. There are few places in this world with as many breathtaking landscapes waiting to be photographed as you will find on the South Island. From majestic glaciers to the towering mountaintops of the Southern Alps, to Milford Sound and the breathtaking fjords and sounds of Fjordland National Park, the South Island is a playground for travel photographers. From the moment you land to the moment you depart, you will not want to put your camera down.
Nestled deep in the rolling hillside of the Peruvian Andes, the city of Cusco seems to capture the imagination of travelers more than most other South American cities. Because of its remote location in the mountains, the city has remained insulated from the hustle-and-bustle of modern life in many ways. Though you can find beautiful five-star hotels and most of the amenities that you find in bigger cities like the capital city of Lima, the city of Cusco still retains much of its small-town feel.
Traveling can be one of the most amazing experiences of your life. Few other things in this world help to broaden your perspective and teach you about yourself. However, travel can also be extremely stressful. One way that you can help reduce the amount of stress that you feel when you travel and allow yourself more time to enjoy the experience is to have the right travel accessories with you on your trip. Having the right accessories can make you more comfortable, keep your belongings safe, and help you capture the special moments of your journey.