In a spectacular explosion of froth and spray, the Zambezi River plunges abruptly into a crack in the earth, like spilled water disappearing between two paving stones. Hitting the rocky bottom of the gorge, the water kicks vertically upwards, as though the shock of the river's sudden disappearance has flipped the world upside down, making rain fall from the ground. This soft mist drenches everything deeply and completely, showering tiny pinpricks on the skin like blood rushing back into sleepy limbs.
South America is home to an impressive array of animals living in nearly every type of environment from cactus-filled deserts to glaciated mountain peaks. Here are five of our favorites!
It seems word has officially gotten out about this adventurer's playground, and globe-trotters from near and far want to experience firsthand why it's such a unique and sought after tropical destination. From hiking incredible landscapes to sipping a cup of locally grown coffee, it's easy to see why Costa Rica is one of the most popular holiday destinations Backroads offers.
What do you know about puffins? They're smaller than penguins, they live in Iceland, and they're cute. Great! Unfortunately, they're also elusive little creatures, with unique and specific migratory patterns and a habit of nesting in remote hundred-meter cliffs. Like the Northern Lights, puffins are unpredictable, but here are a few suggestions of where and when you're more likely to spot them.
Game hunters in Africa originally coined the phrase "Big Five" to describe the five animals deemed hardest and most dangerous to hunt on foot: the elephant, lion, rhinoceros, leopard and buffalo. Because of their size, aggression, intelligence and speed, these animals were trophies that came with significant risk, and were therefore prized above all others. Safari operators now use that same phrase to describe the animals they know their clients hope to "shoot" with their cameras.
Everyone’s heard of the Galápagos Islands, with their blue-footed boobies and natural phenomena. But many are surprised to find that they’re a part of Ecuador, a country the size of Colorado replete with its own incredible natural and cultural diversity. Ecuador is a place where you can begin your day with breakfast by the ocean, drive a few hours for lunch in the Andes and finish with dinner in the rain forest.
I saw a moose. It was the best day of my life. Where did I see the moose, you may ask? We were on a Backroads family trip!
Yellowstone and Grand Teton are two of the best national parks in the United States for viewing wildlife... the "Big Five" refers to the most popular animals that visitors hope to see in the parks–American bison, elk, gray wolves, grizzly bears and moose. Whether you are driving, cycling, hiking, rafting, kayaking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or just sitting on a bench, you are sure to see a variety of animals during your visit, but the Big Five continue to win the hearts of our guests during their Backroads vacations.
I'm flying down the hill at 50 miles an hour. Trees blow past me as I rapidly descend in elevation. Suddenly, smack in the middle of the road, I see two grizzly bears. I slam on the brakes, skidding sideways on my road bike. Somehow, I maintain control and stop, a mere 20 paces away from the two grizzlies. Startled, one runs to the side of the road, but the other holds his ground.