When Christopher Columbus explored Costa Rica’s eastern Coast in 1502, he re-named the area Costa Rica – or “rich coast” because he believed the area contained large amounts of valuable minerals. Although Europeans never found the large amounts of valuable minerals that they had envisioned, today Costa Rica lives up to its name because of the large – and rich amount of biodiversity present in the country. While there are many areas of Costa Rica that have incredible amounts of biodiversity, and great hiking, the area with the most biodiversity – and accessible biodiversity is the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.
There are some places in the world that have to be seen to be believed. In such places, descriptions such as “amazing”, “fantastic”, and “awesome”, inevitably fall short. These are the places in the world where words fail, and the eyes are left with a visual phantasmagorical feast. These are the destinations that provide once in a lifetime experiences; and these are the destinations that make travelling worthwhile and inspirational. One of these destinations is the Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon in Iceland.
The South Coast of Iceland has many stunning sights, including Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss, which are both located directly off of the Ring Road. There are also other locations for adventurers who are willing to venture off of the ring road, such as the Sólheimasandur plane wreck, and Dyrhólaey, which is just outside the town of Vik. In Icelandic, Dyrhólaey means “the hill-island with the door-hole”, which refers both to the height of the area, and the geologic features in the area.
Costa Rica is a land of innumerable wonders, from the popular (Monteverde Cloud Forest) to the remote (Tortuguero National Park). With so many amazing natural features to choose from, it is nearly impossible to pick the “top” or “best” feature of the country. Having placed that disclaimer first, let me say that if I was forced to pick the most amazing feature of Costa Rica, I would pick the Rio Celeste. The Rio Celeste is an awe-inspiring river that is located in the remote northern reaches of Costa Rica in Tenorio National Park.
Costa Rica is a country with lush jungles, pristine rivers, lakes, and waterfalls, and stunning coastlines. It is also a land with tall, cloud capped mountains. One of the most well-known mountainous regions of Costa Rica is the Arenal region. The primary peak in this region is the Arenal Volcano (Elevation 5,358 feet) which, until 2010, was also Costa Rica’s most active volcano. While the volcano is currently dormant, and climbers are not allowed on the volcano, there is a fantastic climb directly next to it, which is the Cerro Chato hike.
Iceland is unquestionably the land of ice and fire. It is also the land of the Northern Lights, the land of stunning vistas, and among many other things, the land of waterfalls. Although Iceland has many amazing waterfalls, it has only one waterfall that visitors and hikers can walk behind. That waterfall is Seljalandsfoss, and is perhaps the most well-known, or depending on whom you talk to, the most beautiful waterfall in all of Iceland.
In addition to its myths and legends, Iceland is also the land of spectacular waterfalls. These waterfalls are some of Europe’s most powerful because of the precipitation that the island receives along with seasonal glacial and snow melt. One of the largest and most powerful of these falls is Skogafoss, which is located slightly outside of the town of Skogar in Southeast Iceland. Skogafoss means “forest waterfall” in Icelandic; and while there are no trees around the waterfall today, the waterfall itself is a spectacular classic rectangular waterfall that cascades down the former sea cliffs. At twenty five meters wide (75 feet) and sixty meters (180 feet) in height, the fall is an impressive sight that can be seen from a far distance.