If you’ve been following along with us for a while you probably already recognize that we love, love, love to spend time outdoors. Hiking and camping, anywhere in the world really, take top priority when we’re putting together our travel plans. We’re not going to be venturing too far from home in the next few weeks so that has us looking around our backyard for fun places to explore that won’t break the budget and will keep us happy. That led me to one place- National Parks.
You see, we LOVE public land preserves. While traveling the world, we spent three days hiking Torres Del Paine National Park in Chile, climbed through high altitude mountain passes near Huaraz, Peru, summited Kilimanjaro drove our own safari through South Africa National Parks so we could get up close and personal, perhaps a bit too up close and personal, with some of South Africa’s wildlife. Add in several days at national monuments and cultural sites and well without looking I would bet we visited a national cultural or nature site every other week on our RTW voyage.
While National Parks aren’t the only places you can go while you are traveling, they are a bit like an instant cultural all access voucher into a country’s best kept codes. For not a lot of money you are given the opportunity to explore that which a county has deemed sacred. From temples to landscapes, national parks are one of my favorite ways to get to know a country. Here are some places that aren’t all in my back yard, but are high on my list of places to go. Maybe next summer?
Maybe I have a thing for mountains, but the peaks of this park look incredible. It’s well known for wild flowers, but the park has over a dozen peaks above 6000m. Not that I do so well with altitude, but hey, I’m always up for a challenge!
Photo Credit: Flickr user Michael Scarlet via a creative commons license.
Leave it to the Swiss to have a National Park that looks like it came out of a storybook. With high mountain meadows, snow-capped peaks and strict rules about venturing off the paths, one of Europe’s first national parks looks downright idyllic.
Photo Credit: Swiss National Parc Website
So this one IS actually in our backyard and yet we still haven’t made it there. Perhaps that is because you have to charter a flight or take a ferry to the 19th century island fortress. Yes, 19th century fort in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. Need I say more?
Photo Credit: United States Park Service