Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska with all the big city amenities. Surrounded by the most beautiful scenery, rugged wilderness, glaciers, lakes, miles of hiking trails, etc. all within few miles reach. Everything in Alaska is incredible. It is not possible to pick a favourite among all the beautiful things one can witness there. These are some of the places we have seen and highly recommend around Anchorage and hope this helps you plan your trip.
It was November when we visited this jewel of the pacific northwest. Knowing well some of the roads and sites were closed, and thanksgiving weekend is not enough time to explore the entire Olympic Peninsula, we still made our travel arrangements for a 3day/3night trip. We packed layers, rain outfits, camera gear and were all set to go.
On thanksgiving day evening we arrived at Sea-Tac airport and immediately started on a 2hr drive to Sequim in our rental car. As it was a holiday and all restaurants were closed, we had to manage with frozen packaged food and a microwave in our room at Holiday Inn Express.
Bryce Canyon national park is a unique geological spectacle in the US state of Utah. It features a series of amphitheaters filled with the largest collection of naturally carved rock pillars known as hoodoos, that cannot be seen anywhere else on earth. An incredibly beautiful park that cannot be aptly described in words and no pictures can truly do justice.
Oneonta Gorge is a unique and well preserved natures gem nestled in Columbia River Gorge, accessible on the Historic Columbia River Highway just couple of miles down from the popular Multnomah Falls. It is considered an adventure to hike this gorge, because of the creek trail, having to scramble over a huge pile of unstable logs and wade through chest deep (or higher) water to get to the ultimate prize - the lower Oneonta falls.
Tortuguero is a small village on the northeastern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. It is nicknamed "Central America's Amazon" for its dense jungles and maze of navigable winding canals. Tortuguero national park hosts incredibly diverse flora and fauna, that can be explored by hikes and canal tours. Translated as "Land of Turtles", its palm lined beaches are a nesting spot for a variety of sea turtles. It is also one of the wettest parts of the country with rain fall year round. A trip to Costa Rica is incomplete without going to Tortuguero.
Hiking "The Narrows" is an amazing experience. It is unique, moderately difficult and one of the coolest hikes everyone should do. What can be more exciting than hiking between 1000 ft tall sandstone walls in the chilly Virgin river trail and witnessing one of the most stunning landscapes.
Matanuska Glacier in Alaska is the largest glacier in United States accessible by car. One can walk on this glacier without having to air-land on it or even do strenuous hikes up the mountains. This glacier lies about 100 miles northeast of Anchorage, is 27 miles long, 4 miles wide and its terminus can be seen from a viewpoint on Glenn Highway. Just past the viewpoint it is accessible with a fee, which is not much for the unbelievable experience.
Antelope canyon is one of the most visited canyons in the American southwest. Exceptionally carved over many thousands of years by the endless action of wind and water, sculpting interesting shapes, smooth curves and textures. The effects of light during different times of the day displays as changing colors and shadows. Both upper and lower canyons can be visited only by purchasing a tour, while the upper may need advance booking.
Sea kayaking at a glacier should go on everybody's bucket list because it's an absolutely amazing experience. We took this tour from Valdez, a city located on the eastern side of Prince William Sound. We arrived the day before as our tour started early at 8 am. Our hotel was in the best possible location on Harbor dr. One could spend hours strolling by the docks watching sea otters put on a show; not to mention 360 degrees of jaw-dropping scenery. Plus there were cute little bunnies hopping around the hotel all day.
Costa Rica has little bit of everything for every kind of traveler. It is one of the most biologically diverse countries on earth with volcanos, remote beaches, rainforests, exotic wildlife, charming small towns, rivers, adventure activities, etc.
Costa Rica is our very first proper international vacation. We planned this trip months in advance. We booked a package tour with Ecoterra, spent months researching about currency, weather and other little things. When the time finally came, “Hurricane Otto” happened.