Machu Picchu: Incredible Inca Ruins

American archaeologist Hiram Bingham rediscovered Machu Picchu in 1911. Be an explorer and visit the ruins of the Inca -- pre-Columbian South America's most advanced civilization.

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Yungas Road
Yungas Road

Yungas Road

Bolivia’s North Yungas Road, dubbed the “world’s most dangerous road” and “Death Road,” is notorious for the roughly 100 deaths that occur here yearly. This 43-mile stretch of road, with its hairpin curves and 2,600-foot drops in the Andes Mountains, has now become a tourist destination for the daredevil traveler. 960 1280

Michael Fernando Jauregui Schiffelmann, flickr  

Sucre

Sucre

Sucre, the first capital of Bolivia, was declared a World Heritage Site in 1991. Known for its whitewashed colonial architecture and indigenous population, Sucre is a must-stop when touring Bolivia. 960 1280

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Laguna Verde

Laguna Verde

Laguna Verde (“green lagoon” in Spanish) is a striking salt lake at the southern tip of Bolivia, near the Bolivia-Argentina border. Visitors often see pink flamingoes near this stunning blue-green lagoon. 960 1280

Pedro Szekely, flickr  

Carnaval de Oruro

Carnaval de Oruro

Bolivia’s Carnaval de Oruro is its most celebrated festival, taking place 8 days before Ash Wednesday. Carnaval begins with the diablada (devil dance), a traditional folk ritual with dancers dressed in elaborate costumes and frightening masks. 960 1280

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Laguna Colorada

Laguna Colorada

Laguna Colorada, the “Red Lagoon," is a shallow salt lake located within the Eduardo National Reserve. Red algae and plankton give the lake its striking red color, which is a stark contrast to the white salt deposits that line the lake. 960 1280

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Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca, South America’s largest lake and the world's highest navigable lake, is located between Bolivia and Peru. On the Bolivian side of the lake lie the village of Challapampa and the labyrinthine ruins of Chinkana. 960 1280

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Salar de Uyuni

Salar de Uyuni

A trip to Bolivia wouldn’t be complete without seeing the spectacular Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flats in the world. With a seemingly limitless horizon, the Uyuni salt flats are so vast that they can be seen from space. 960 1280

Alicia Nijdam, flickr  

Tiwanaku

Tiwanaku

Located near the southern shore of Lake Titicaca lies one of the most mysterious ancient ruins in South America, Tiwanaku. This World Heritage Site includes temples and intriguing megalithic statues. 960 1280

Danielle Pereira, flickr  

Mt. Illimani

Mt. Illimani

Mt. Illimani is the highest mountain in the Cordillera Real, a subrange of the Andes Mountains, and the second highest in Bolivia. It dominates the city skyline of La Paz with its snow-capped peaks, which soar more than 21,200 feet. 960 1280

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La Paz

La Paz

While Sucre is the first capital, La Paz is the center of all government and commerce in Bolivia. One of the highest-elevated capital cities in the world, La Paz soars over 13,000 feet above sea level. 960 1280

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Madidi National Park

Madidi National Park

Bolivia's Madidi National Park, one of the most protected and biodiverse areas in world, has a landscape that ranges from glaciers to rainforests. A new species of the titi monkey was discovered here in 2004. 960 1280

Joe Lazarus, flickr  

Eduardo Avaroa National Park

Eduardo Avaroa National Park

One of the most unusual sights in Eduardo Avaroa National Park is the Árbol de Piedra or “stone tree” (pictured here). Bolivia’s most visited national park is also is home to the Laguna Colorada (“Red Lagoon”), 3 species of flamingoes, as well as hot springs and geysers. 960 1280

Pedro Szekely, flickr  

Glover's Atoll Belize
Glover's Atoll Belize

Glover's Atoll Belize

Divers and snorkelers will find an abundance of marine life at Glover’s Atoll, a protected reef system and the southernmost and smallest of Belize’s 3 atolls. Divers frequently encounter dolphins, turtles, sharks and manta rays there. 960 1280

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Whale Shark in Belize

Whale Shark in Belize

Catch a glimpse of the largest fish in the world – the whale shark – from Placencia, Belize. The gentle (believe it or not) creatures are typically found within only 20 feet of the water’s surface, and congregate in Belize each year to feed on fish eggs. 960 1280

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Carocol in Belize

Carocol in Belize

Belize has the highest concentration of Mayan sites of all the countries in Central America, and archeologists suggest that Carocol, believed to have been one of the most important political centers of the Mayan civilization, was home to more than double the number of people that currently live in Belize City, the country’s largest metropolitan area. 960 1280

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Laughing Bird Caye

Laughing Bird Caye

Laughing Bird Caye is one of the beautiful islands that make up the Belize Barrier Reef World Heritage Site. 960 1280

Victoria Reay's, Wikimedia Commons  

Stingray

Stingray

A stingray is one of the impressive creatures you may come across on a snorkeling trip in Belize. Be careful not to walk along the ocean floor -- you wouldn’t want to step on one! 960 1280

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Actun Tunichil Muknal

Actun Tunichil Muknal

Actun Tunichil Muknal -- one of Belize’s many Mayan archaeological sites -- houses the skeleton of a teenage girl, dubbed “The Crystal Maiden” because of the sparkling, crystalized appearance of her bones. To reach the cave, visitors must embark on a 45-minute hike, followed by a swim to the inside of the cave. Visitors can also get a look at the remains of the 13 other humans that now share the cave with the Crystal Maiden. 960 1280

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Belize City

Belize City

Boats are anchored in the harbor of Belize City, the largest city in the small Central American country. 960 1280

anoldent, Flickr   

Sea turtles

Sea turtles

Belize is home to one of the world’s most endangered marine species, the sea turtle. Green, hawksbill and loggerhead turtles can all be found between the coast and the barrier reef. 960 1280

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Blue Hole in Belize

Blue Hole in Belize

The aptly named “Blue Hole” is a large collapsed sinkhole near the center of Lighthouse Reef. Explorer Jacques Cousteau named the hole one of the top scuba diving sites in the world. 960 1280

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Red-footed booby in Belize

Red-footed booby in Belize

Visit Half Moon Caye to get a look at one of the island’s 4,000 red-footed boobies. 960 1280

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Silk Cayes in Belize

Silk Cayes in Belize

One of the Silk Cayes – tiny, serene, white-sand islands on the Belize Barrier Reef. 960 1280

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Red lionfish

Red lionfish

The exquisite red lionfish. Watch out for them -- it’s their large venomous spines that make them resemble lions. 960 1280

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Half Moon Caye in Belize

Half Moon Caye in Belize

The sun rises over Half Moon Caye in Belize. 960 1280

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Antillean Manatees in Belize

Antillean Manatees in Belize

Antillean manatees can be found in the rivers, lagoons and coastal areas of Belize. Because of their slow metabolisms, they prefer shallow, warm water, and can be spotted in water only a few yards deep. 960 1280

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Windsurfing
Windsurfing

Windsurfing

Belize is quickly becoming a popular tourist destination for adventurous travelers because of the vast array of outdoor activities available to do, including windsurfing. For intermediate windsurfers, the best time to travel to Belize is between July and November. The country’s windy season spans from February to July. 960 1280

Chris Willis, Flickr  

Cave Rafting

Cave Rafting

This group of adventure tourists is traversing through 4 caves by raft and kayak on Caves Branch River in Central Belize. It’s another way to explore Belize. 960 1280

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Jungle Hiking

Jungle Hiking

Be adventurous and explore Belize’s diverse wildlife while hiking. A few popular places for jungle hiking include Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve, Caves Branch River, Actun Tunichil Muknal, Che Chem Ha and Clarissa Falls to Bullet Tree Falls. 960 1280

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Paddleboarding

Paddleboarding

Go paddleboarding at Long Caye. The calm lagoon is perfect for learning the easy skills necessary to control the board. Paddleboarding or stand up paddling has become the hottest new sport on the water, and now it is the fastest growing paddle sport in the country. 960 1280

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Kayaking

Kayaking

Enjoy a serene trip along Belize’s waterways to explore the country’s awe-inspiring landscapes. Saddle Caye South, Queen Cayes, Glover’s Reef, Laughing Bird Caye and Ranguana Caye are the best places for kayakers. 960 1280

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Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving

Belize is considered one of the top scuba diving and snorkeling destinations in the world. The Belize Barrier Reef, second only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, runs the length of its coastline. Head to Shark-Ray Alley & Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Cay Caulker, Turneffe Island, Glover’s Reef Atoll and Gladden Spit, for a great diving experience. 960 1280

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Caving

Caving

Caves are tied to the history of Belize and to the Maya religion. Tourists can see where the Maya performed their most sacred rituals and examine ancient artifacts --primarily in the form of old pottery. Explore the caves of Actun Tunichil Muknal, Black Hole Drop, Barton Creek and Flour Camp, Caves Branch, just to name a few. 960 1280

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Snorkeling

Snorkeling

Go snorkeling in Ambergris Caye or the Belize Barrier Reef. Explore the country’s 40 species of coral and its diverse marine life, including lemontip sharks, parrotfish, angelfish, butterfly fish and clown fish. 960 1280

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Sport Fishing

Sport Fishing

Belize is a popular destination for fly fishing and deep-water fishing. In some spots, you do need a permit to fish, but it’s worth it! Bonefish, tarpon, barracuda, grouper and Bluefin tuna are just a short list of what experienced fishermen have been able to catch when fishing on Ambergris Caye. 960 1280

Thickstock  

Cave Tubing

Cave Tubing

Cave tubing is a fun outdoor activity for families. Awaken your senses with a floating excursion past limestone and crystal formations where ancient Maya people once worshipped. And you may spot some of the indigenous wildlife, including crocodiles, iguanas and howler monkeys. 960 1280

Asten, Flickr  

Photos

Africa's highest peak is Mount Kilimanjaro where hikers may encounter elephants moving across the African savanna. 960 1280

  

The trek through Nepal's Annapurna Circuit promises 21 days of crossing jungles, rivers and mountains. 960 1280

Explore Glacier National Park with a hike through the Logan Pass. 960 1280

  

Australia's Larapinta Trail, a 130-mile trek through the Northern Territory, is almost entirely through the desert. 960 1280

Photo by andydolman through Flickr Creative Commons  

Head to the hills in Cape Town, South Africa, for a scenic hike through the trails at Table Mountain. 960 1280

  

If you're looking for history and incredible vistas, head to Peru's Inca Trail for a 27-mile hike to Machu Picchu. 960 1280

  

The Val di Fassa in Italy is in the heart of the European Alps with gassy paths and endless mountain views. 960 1280

  

The John Muir Trail is a 211-mile stretch in the Sierra Nevada Mountains stretching from Yosemite Valley to Mount Whitney. 960 1280

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