Colombia (November 22- 30, 2019)
- Colombia – Safe, cheap, beautiful, and fun country that everyone should visit, especially if you like nature.
- Medellin – City of Eternal Spring is the second largest city which offers bars, clubs, restaurants, shopping, and parks.
- Comuna 13 Graffiti Tour – One of the best and most uplifting places I’ve visited and it’ll restore some hope in humanity. Just make sure you go with a local guide who grew up there.
- Guatape – Colorful, fun, and laid back town with beautiful views from top of El Penol.
- Tayrona National Park – Colombia’s most popular national park in the rain forest, beaches, and hikes.
- Minca – Small, cute little town in the mountains of Sierra Nevada with friendly people, with lots of nature and a paradise for bird watchers.
- Minca, Finca La Victoria Coffee Farm – Finca La Victoria is the oldest coffee farm in Colombia. It’s worth a visit.
- Minca, La Calanderia – The most immersive, fun and educational coffee farm tour in Minca but be prepared to hike a little to get to the farm.
Iceland (June 23 – July 3, 2019)
- Tips for Visiting Iceland in Summer – Important tips and info about driving around ring road during midnight sun.
- 11 Day Self Drive Itinerary – This is the itinerary we followed but I would suggest a few edits.
- Golden Circle – We did it in one day after a red eye flight. It’s so easy to lose track of time when it literally doesn’t get dark at night.
- Westman Islands – Best place to see puffins in Iceland and the ferry ride is also great. You can also hike a mountain that was created in 1973 after a volcanic eruption.
- Ring Road Day 1 – Visiting a glacier ice cave on top of a volcano was a very unique experience. Myrdalsjokull glacier was so different than expected.
- Ring Road Day 2 – We spent 3 hours kayaking in a glacier lagoon surrounded by huge icebergs, then went on a short glacier hike.
- Ring Road Day 3 – Diamond beach doesn’t have quite as many diamonds as you’d expect in summer but we did get a different surprise. Then we continued our drive to East Iceland.
- Ring Road Day 4 – North Iceland was all about active volcanic region, crater lake, and mud hot springs.
- Ring Road Day 5 – Lake Myvatn, Dimmuborgir, Fuglasafn Sigurgeirs bird museum, Godafoss, and more. North Iceland can be cold even in summer so make sure to pack a jacket.
- Ring Road Day 6 – What do you do when weather is bad in north Iceland? Visit a Puffin and Friends exhibit, of course!
- Ring Road Day 7 – West Iceland is beautiful and that’s where the sun actually set at midnight. Snaefellsnes peninsula offers a lot more hiking and other activities.
- Ring Road Day 8 – Snaefellsnes peninsula is the most popular region outside Golden Circle. Kirkjufell is obviously a popular destination.
- Ring Road Day 9 – Our last full day in Iceland included a lava tube tour, watching seals splash around in water, and tasting naturally carbonated, mineral water in South Iceland.
Chile (August 1 – 18, 2018)
- Chile – General observations I made about Chile in the three weeks. I didn’t know much about the country so I didn’t really know what to expect.
- Atacama Desert – The best place for astronomy vacation but it’s 1,000 miles long. It’s a unique place with lots to see and do.
- San Pedro de Atacama – small, cute, charming town at almost 8,000 feet elevation. The night sky is unlike anywhere else.
- Laguna Chaxa – Part of the Los Felmencos National Reserve which is a salt flat and a place where you see lots of flamingos. It’s a great place to visit while trying to acclimatize to the elevation.
- Valle de la Luna – Valley of the Moon is full of stone and sand formations carved out by wind and water. It looks like another planet.
- Valle del Arcoiris – Rainbow Valley is a little hard to find but definitely worth a visit and deserves the name with colorful minerals all around.
- El Tatio Geyser – Third largest geyser in the world but you do have to wake up before dawn to get there in time because they are most active at sunrise during the peak of winter.
- Ruta 27 – Route 27 in Atacama desert is one of the most gorgeous drive I’ve ever been on. It’s an absolute must!
- 5 Must Visit in Atacama Desert – If you have limited time in Atacama desert, make sure to visit these 5 places.
- Patagonia – Torres Del Paine National Park is kinda remote and takes some time and a few transfers to get there but it’s totally worth the trek.
- Base of the Towers Hike – Doing this hike in winter can be challenging so make sure to go with a local guide in case the weather suddenly changes and visibility reduces.
- Grey Glacier – Taking a boat to the glacier was perfect after a 10 hour hike in the snow the day before. It was a fun, relaxing day and we only had to hike about 2 miles to get to the boat.
- Torres Del Paine National Park – Exploring the rest of the park. We saw hundreds of guanacos, a few condors and more.
- Last day in Patagonia – We stopped by Laguna Sofia and spent a few hours in Puerto Natales.
- Elqui Terra – A quaint little B&B in Vicuna and getting to this B&B was an adventure in itself.
- Elqui Valley – We tried some homemade mistela, got some hand picked fruit, and visited the town of Vicuna during the day time. At night, we visited Cielo Sur Observatory for some star gazing.
- Vicuna – We visited a few artisanal markets, town plaza, Gabriela Mistral museum during the daytime and Alfa Aldea observatory at night.
- Diaguitas and Aba Pisquera – We had to visit at least one pisco distillery and on the way we stopped by a small village called Diaguitas.
Summer of Hiking 2018
- Bull Hill/Mt. Taurus – Moderate hike with the great views of the Hudson Valley, Cold Spring and West Point.
- Carpenters Loop – A perfect next step hike along the Hudson Valley was in Pallisades, New Jersey. It was mostly easy except for a short section.
- Arden Point and Glenclyffe – This was the perfect hike to start the summer with beautiful views and it wasn’t difficult. As the summer goes on, the hikes will get more and more challenging.
Florida (May 11 – 13, 2018)
- Miami – The one weekend we visited Miami, the weather wasn’t beach friendly. That just meant we explored other parts of the city.
Finland, Aurora Borealis (March 8 – 18, 2018)
- Decisions, Decisions – Where is the best place to see the northern lights? Everyone says it’s Iceland, but is that true? Is there somewhere else where the chances of seeing the auroras is higher?
- Everything Auroras – Watching the auroras should be on everyone’s bucket list. It’s by far one of the best vacations of my life.
- Winter Wonderland Part 1 – There are so many winter activities during the day time in the arctic circle. Hiking through the snow can be surprisingly fun.
- Winter Wonderland Part 2 – Reindeer safari, ice bar and more. The best and the worst part about Lapland.
- Pune Temples – Even if you aren’t religious, these two landmark temples in the middle of the city are worth visiting.
- Shaniwar Wada – On to more historical site in Pune. It just so happens, there there’s a ghost story associated with it.
South Dakota (August 18 – 26, 2017)
- Sunrise Ranch, Edgemont – Spent an amazing weekend at the ranch feeding farm animals, horseback riding, and eating steak.
- Solar Eclipse – technically we saw it from Agate Fossil Beds National Monument in Nebraska.
- Mammoth Site – The world’s largest mammoth remains in the world and an active paleontological dig site.
National Parks and Monuments
- Joshua Tree National Park, California (March 14 – 17, 2017) – one of the most fascinating parks where two uniquely different desert systems meet.
- Yosemite National Park, California (May 22 – 25, 2017) – there is a reason why this is one of the most visited parks in America.
- Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, California (May 25 – 27, 2017) – felt like I was in fairy tale, surrounded by such giant trees.
- Badlands National Park, South Dakota (Aug 18 – 26, 2017) – I’ve never seen so much wildlife at any other national park as I did in one day at Badlands.
- Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota (Aug 18 – 26, 2017) – one of the most underrated national park in the country.
- Jewel Cave National Monument, South Dakota (Aug 18 – 26, 2017) – Third largest cave in the world and it has cave bacon,
- Mount Rushmore, South Dakota (Aug 18 – 26, 2017) – probably the least impressive destination in Black Hills area.
- Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, Nebraska (Aug 21, 2017) – where we saw the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017,
- Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming (Aug 18 – 26, 2017) – Close Encounters of the Third Kind was filmed here.
- Redwood National and State Park, California (August 2022) – It’s the most jaw-dropping, out of this world park in this country!
New York City
- NYC Restaurants – Check out my favorite places to eat in the city
The Bahamas (January 8 – 12, 2017)
Bahamas was over-rated and way over priced. I think there are better islands in the Caribbean to visit.
Trinidad (August 17 – 22, 2016)
Trinidad was never really a country I thought about visiting but I’m glad I went there. In fact, I would recommend anyone interested in more than just beaches to visit Trinidad. Winter or spring is the best time to visit because the weather is nicer. Summers in Trinidad bring a lot of rain and humidity. I’d love to back between March – May so I can watch leatherback turtles come ashore to lay eggs at Grande Riviere.
- Port of Spain
- Maracas Beach
- Caroni Swamp
- Pitch Lake
- Temple in the sea and Dattatreya Temple (85 foot Hanuman Statue)
Scotland (July 10 – 20, 2016)
Beautiful country but what I learned about myself is that I prefer to spend time away from cities. I live in NYC so as far as cities go, I usually get bored kinda fast. I prefer to spend time in the countryside, exploring the areas/places outside the city. I wish I had spent less time in Edinburgh and more time in Isle of Skye and/or Islay. Below are blogs with more details about my visit to Scotland.