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Archive for national parks

Chile’s Oldest Park

By Linda Tancs

Chile’s Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park is the oldest park in the country. Created in 1926, it’s located in Chile’s pristine Lake District, featuring Lago Todos los Santos (All Saints Lake). Its fabulous emerald-green color makes it one of the most popular attractions in the park. Boasting over 600,000 acres, the park also features the turquoise waters of the Petrohué Waterfalls as well as Osorno Volcano. Travel up the volcano to a ski resort for striking views of the Petrohué River Valley.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Spain’s First National Park

By Linda Tancs

Picos de Europa are a mountain range forming part of the Cantabrian Mountains in northern Spain comprising Picos de Europa National Park, Spain’s first such park. Because the park covers three massive massifs, the mountain views are extraordinary. Golden eagles and chamois are a common sight there, amply viewed along one of the many hiking routes in the park, which are touted as some of the best in the country. Also, the Fuente Dé cable car will have you soaring past the peaks in a matter of minutes. Open year round as weather permits, winter is especially devoid of summertime throngs.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Mountain of the Lychees

By Linda Tancs

Phnom Kulen (translated as “mountain of the lychees”) is a popular tourist destination in Cambodia and a spot favored by locals because it is a holy mountain. The birthplace of the ancient Khmer empire, its historical (and environmental) value led to its protection as a national park. Located in Siem Reap Province, it features two waterfalls that form the basis for most tours of the area. It’s also rich in archaeological sites, one of the most popular being the “river of a thousand lingas,” boasting lingas (representations of the Hindu god Shiva) and other stone carvings. The area comprises one of the few remaining tropical forests in northwest Cambodia.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

The American Spa

By Linda Tancs

Thermal water has been used for thousands of years to treat arthritis, joint pain, burns and skin disorders. Some of the most famous thermal baths in the world are found in Europe—most notably, in Budapest, the so-called City of Spas. If an international jaunt is not in the budget, then look no further than Arkansas. That’s right: in the heart of the Ozarks a thriving city (named, of course, Hot Springs) was built around the thermal waters that attracted folks of all walks of life in the 1800s. In fact, the success of the bathing industry led to the city being touted as “the American Spa.” Hot Springs National Park surrounds the north end of the city. There you can tour a historic bathhouse, hike forested trails and, needless to say, take a nice, hot bath.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Serenity in Schiermonnikoog

By Linda Tancs

Car-free and carefree. Those might be the best attributes to describe Schiermonnikoog, the smallest inhabited island of the Dutch Wadden Sea islands. The entire locale is a national park, a place teeming with beaches, dunes, forests, tidal marshes, lakes and tidal flats along with hundreds of plant and bird species. It boasts the widest sandbar in Europe (the Rif) as well as the oldest house in the North Sea islands and a whale jaw over three feet high. It owes at least part of its tourism to Klozum, a costume festival that takes place on December 5 each year. You get there via ferry from the port of Lauwersoog in the Dutch province of Groningen.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Rim-Side at the Canyon

By Linda Tancs

A canyon that is 277 river miles long, up to 18 miles wide and a mile deep is what comprises Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park. Don’t be challenged by its immensity; there are ways to take in all that grandeur. One option is the Grand Canyon Greenway Trail, a 13-mile, paved pathway for biking and walking, offering a rim-side view of the canyon and providing access to numerous scenic viewpoints and landmarks in the park. One of those attractions is Grand Canyon Village, a historical landmark boasting sites like Hopi House (built like a Hopi pueblo), the old railroad depot and Buckey O’Neill Cabin, considered the oldest continuously standing structure on the South Rim.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Land of the Gonds

By Linda Tancs

The area occupying India’s Kanha National Park was once the domain of one of Central India’s indigenous tribes, the Gonds. Now it’s a popular tiger reserve, one of the finest in the country. But don’t overlook its other jewels, like the endangered swamp deer. Conservation efforts have boosted the population so significantly that the species is now regarded as “the jewel of Kanha National Park.” Get ready for a visit during peak season, October to March. The park is accessible from popular destinations like Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

A Tip in Canada

By Linda Tancs

Point Pelee is the southernmost point of mainland Canada, a slip of land (the “Tip”) that tapers to a sharp point as it juts into Lake Erie. The area forms part of Point Pelee National Park, where you’ll see waves of Monarch butterflies this time of year. The park also enjoys the distinction of being the first place in Canada where the Northern Cardinal was recorded. More than 390 species have been recorded there overall, a go-to spot for birdwatchers thanks to the park’s location along major migratory flyways. The migration phenomenon is highlighted at an outdoor exhibit at the Tip. A seasonal shuttle bus runs there through October.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Fiji’s Garden Isle

By Linda Tancs

Taveuni is the third-largest island in Fiji, formed by a massive shield volcano and verdant enough to earn its reputation as the “Garden Island.” With the Bouma National Heritage Park comprising more than a third of the island, it’s the perfect place to go to lose yourself in nature. You’ll discover over 100 species of birds like the colorful Kula as well as Fiji’s floral emblem, tagimaucia, native to the highland rainforest and found nowhere else on earth. The park is also known for the Tavoro Waterfalls, a series of three waterfalls offering respite from the tropical heat, and hiking trails resplendent enough for an epic nature walk.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Three Peaks in Seoul

By Linda Tancs

The only national park in the Seoul metropolitan area, Bukhansan National Park in South Korea is also known as Samgaksan (Triangle Mountain) because of its three peaks: Baegunbong, Insubong and Mangyeongbong. With its many ridges, peaks and valleys, it’s a popular spot for hikers although nature lovers in general will appreciate the 1,300 species of plants and animals occupying this niche amidst the bustling city. Best of all, it’s easily accessible, with various metro stations serving the park entrances in under one hour.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

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