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From navigating the class-five rapids of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon to sandboarding the slopes of a volcano in Nicaragua to dogsledding in the Arctic, this beautiful and comprehensive book offers trips of a lifetime for explorers and adrenaline junkies alike. Filled with more than 300 vivid photographs, this inspirational guide reveals over 225 of the planet’s best destinations for hikers, skiers, divers, rafters, and more. You’ll also find everything you need to know for the ultimate epic journey: what to see, when to go, and what to do. Combining adventure with cultural experiences–for example, a safari through Madagascar or visiting the ruins of Buddhist temples after sea kayaking the warm waters of Vietnam–this one-of-a-kind collection, complemented by top ten lists and adventurer essays covering everything from the best hiking trails to the top wildlife parks, will lead you to new heights of exploration.
From the Publisher
245 Life-Changing Adventures
Follow Your Dreams
Our journeys are as epic as our ambitions. Our ambitions are as soaring as our imaginations. This book is for dreamers with adventurous inclinations—people who think about what’s possible and then set about discovering what’s achievable. People, in short, who are propelled by the National Geographic spirit of exploration. • One of the best things about working at National Geographic is that many of the world’s foremost explorers pass through our doors (and our yellow borders) every week.
What’s on your bucket list?
From navigating the class-five rapids of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon to sandboarding the slopes of a volcano in Nicaragua, this comprehensive book offers trips of a lifetime for explorers and adrenaline junkies alike. Filled with more than 300 photographs, this guide reveals over 225 of the planet’s best destinations for hikers, skiers, divers, rafters, and more. You’ll also find everything you need to know for the ultimate epic journey: what to see, when to go, and what to do.
CRUISING THE GALÁPAGOS ITINERARY
From Isla Santa Cruz, the Galápagos’s most populous island, set sail for Isla San Cristóbal, one of the geologically oldest (more than 2.4 million years) places in the archipelago and home to its oldest surviving permanent settlement, El Progresso, established in 1869. Starting off here is symbolic, because it is the first island Darwin visited in 1835. Watch for the endemic San Cristóbal mockingbird and Calandrinia plant, and see—and hear the raucous barking of the largest colony of sea lions in the Galápagos.
Cruise south to Isla Española, a birder’s paradise with 95 recorded species. Scan the skies for Española mockingbirds and swallow-tailed gulls. The island is also the main breeding grounds of the waved albatross— the Galápagos’s largest bird, with a wingspan of up to eight feet (2.4 m).
Today’s destination, Isla Floreana, has the longest Galápagos human history: first resident (1807–1809), first island to be colonized by Ecuador (1832), and first post office (1793). Write a postcard to drop in the current barrel. Next, snorkel among sea lions at Champion Islet, an extinct shield volcano, and hike to a turtle nesting beach.
WHEN TO GO: June to November for cool conditions; December to May for less visitors
PLANNING: You cannot cruise the Galápagos islands on your own. Plan for a licensed tour operator.
Stargazing in the Atacama Desert
Billions upon billions of stars light the night sky over northern Chile’s barren Atacama Desert. The desert’s deep darkness opens a window to the heavens so dazzling that, for an instant, it takes your breath away. Unlike more than 80 percent of the Earth’s land areas where man-made light virtually blocks views of the Milky Way, the clear dark skies of the Atacama only magnify the galaxy’s brilliance. Location, location, location is what makes the 49,000-square-mile (126,909 sq km) Atacama one of the best places in the world to get lost in the stars. The remote desert is far from any city, creating a near-complete lack of light pollution. Annual rainfall barely breaks the half-inch mark, increasing the likelihood of cloud-free stargazing most nights of the year
Belize: A dazzling gem on land and underwater in the Caribbean Sea
A diver swims above the lush coral reefs of Belize.
A skull in Tunichil Muknal.
A gently flowing cascade sits within the boundaries of Mayflower Bocawina National Park.
Jaguars are often elusive, but these majestic big cats can easily be seen at the Belize Zoo.
Epic Journeys: 245 Life-Changing Adventures