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Here at Amazing Journeys, we’re lucky have the best jobs in the world—and we think our good fortune is worth sharing. So, when your next journey seems like a distant dream, take a few minutes to explore our WANDERLUST blog—it’s chock full of engaging tales and helpful tips from our travels around the world. Check out the most recent entry (at the top) or search by your preferred criteria. Consider it motivation for your next embarkation.

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Malori’s Top 10 List for Scenic Beauty

Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

by Malori 

Everyone’s got a top 10 list: TripAdvisor, 1,000 Things to See Before You Die, Conde Nast Traveler, The New York Times, Viator…  I’ve decided to create my own. Having escorted groups to 7 continents, traveled to 130 countries, sailed on 126 cruises, and visited 38 US states, I consider myself to be well qualified for this task.

Today I want to share: Malori’s Top 10 List for Scenic Beauty (OK, I had to go with 12)

There are so many amazing places on this earth that are so beautiful, being in any one of them actually takes my breath away.  I have been so fortunate to have had several such experiences.  And let’s face it, since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, we may all have different places that excite and inspire us.  For me, it’s where the snow covered mountains meet a body of water, be it a sea, a lake an ocean or a river. 

With many places, an entire region or even most of the country is so spectacular, it would win a top spot on my list, but I went with the more specific destination, just in case you should decide to visit… I promise, it’ll be so worth it!

  1. Canadian Rockies (Banff, Lake Louise), Alberta, Canada

  2. Queenstown, New Zealand

  3. Jokulsarlon Beach and Lagoon (also known as Diamond Beach), Iceland

  4. Inside Passage, Alaska

  5. Lake Tahoe, CA

  6. Vail, Colorado

  7. Jungfrau, Switzerland

  8. Flam, Norway

  9. Antarctica

  10. Glacier Alley, Chilean Fjords, Chile

  11. El Chalten, Patagonia, Argentina

  12. Iguazu Falls, Argentina and Brazil

 

If you can get to any one of these magical spots on earth, consider yourself lucky.  More than one, consider yourself blessed.  I’ll be back with a new list in the coming weeks!  

Strike a pose

Thursday, May 9th, 2019
by Erin


If you’re looking for your next amazing social media picture, look no further than South America! Imagine the reactions from your friends and family when they see a picture of you waddling with penguins or hiking through a bog.


The pictures we share on Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms are indicative of the persona that you choose to portray.  Whether you surround yourself with gorgeous scenery, hop in with a group of locals, strike a silly pose or showcase your meal, everyone takes different pictures.


South America offers such a wide variety of landscapes, animals, architecture and culture that you will be posting your experience and met with awe and jealousy.    

We are so excited to be going back to South America and absolutely love the itinerary that showcases Argentina, Uruguay and Chile as well as destinations like the Chilean Fjords and Strait of Magellan. Celebrating New Year’s at sea is one of our favorite activities and going back to Easter Island to visit the Moai statues is amazing!

So if you’re ready to snap a few selfies, share with your social network and show off your amazing journey, come join us in South America!

South America trip details can be found by clicking here.

 

Our Bucket List

Monday, March 11th, 2019

We are lucky to have the opportunity to go to amazing destinations as part of our job, but get asked all the time, “where do you want to go next”?  Just like you, we each have our own personal bucket list that we keep adding to.  So what is at the top of each of our lists?

Malori: Antelope Canyon, Arizona. Those who know me know I love to be outdoors and I love to hike.  I get inspired by nature and the visual beauty of Antelope Canyon makes me want to jump right in and explore!

Courtesy of the Arizona Office of Tourism

Erin:  There are so many places I want to go, but I really want to go to Peru.  I would love to push myself to do the Inca Trail, ending the 4 day hike with the incredible views of Machu Picchu!


Michele:
I can’t wait to go to the Canadian Rockies.  I love the majestic beauty and being able to be surrounded by nature. The colors are just amazing and you get different scenery at every turn.

Stacey: I’d love to spend more time in Thailand. I can’t get over all of the gorgeous wats (temples)!  Combine that with green countryside, a plethora of beautiful Buddhas and delicious food, I’d love to immerse myself into the culture and country of Thailand.

We want to know what’s at the top of your bucket list, too!  We may already be planning a trip there for you to get excited about and we are always open to your suggestions to plan upcoming adventures!

Find Your Balance

Thursday, January 31st, 2019

by Malori


If travel provides a respite from daily responsibilities, then nature re-balances the soul. Spending time in the outdoors is uplifting and provides an energy seldom found in day-to-day life. Having just returned from a trekking adventure in Argentina, the goal I set was to create a special opportunity where we could explore the beauty of the land as well as some self discovery along the way.

After gathering the group in Buenos Aries and learning a bit about several of the neighborhoods that make up this energetic city, the next morning we got on a plane and headed south – three and a half hours south – to the bottom of the globe. We landed in El Calafate where the sun was bright in the sky for long hours each day and didn’t set until 11:00 pm. After all, it’s summer here in the Southern Hemisphere. Snow covered mountains, glaciers and lakes filled with flamingos were but a few of the many surprises awaiting us.


We spent our time in this amazing region visiting the Estancia Christina, reachable only by a 3 hour boat ride, passing icebergs and glaciers and highlighted by a pristine turquoise blue (we call it “amazing” blue) moraine lake. It truly took our breath away. The next day we were treated to the Pertido Moraino Glacier where we stood under absolute perfectly blue skies (a rarity here) and watched as this spectacular glacier calved, losing large chunks, the size of buildings. I call this “natures fireworks” and as we stood silently waiting, we’d hear a thunderous roar and then gaze giddily as we heard the cracking as we experienced parts of the glacier crashing into the water. We all clapped as if seeing a live theater performance. Although this glacier is neither shrinking nor expanding, this is the normal growth cycle of a glacier. We were happy to know that it was not a shrinking glacier as so many of the earths glaciers are. We hiked the trails from below and above with a picnic lunch along the way, and happily enjoyed the views from each angle.

With a three hour drive across the beautiful and stark Patagonian landscape, seeing little else but guanacos along the way (a cousin of the llama), we arrived in the trekkers town of El Chalten. It was here we experienced the heart and soul of our adventure and our most challenging trekking of our entire journey. Over the next three days, we embarked three different hikes within Los Glaciares National Park. On our arrival day, we set out into a beautiful landscape enveloped by meandering rivers, snow capped mountains and several different rock types including red rocks, granite, sandstone and basalt, a combination generally not found together. The windswept valleys were covered with clouds that have formations unlike those we had ever seen anywhere. Most were long flowing cloud formations in the shape of ribbons across the big sky. Others were wispy yet round taking on the shape of a spaceship. Under these skies, our journey began. We walked six miles through and beside the mountain valley to a waterfall. It was really lovely.


The next day was our most demanding. We set out early in the morning for our 11-13 mile trek. Backpacks filled with water, layers of clothing and snacks, our walking sticks in hand and hiking boots laced, we began our walk on the Fitz Roy Footbath to the Glacier of the Three, one of the most breathtaking hikes in the world.  Those who wanted the longer hike were challenged not only with an additional two miles of trekking, but going nearly straight up the side of the mountain, climbing 1,200 feet in only half of mile.  That means on the way down, heading nearly straight down.  The view from the top was amazing and described by one of our passengers upon reaching the summit, “it was as if a curtain opened and the most incredible scenery on earth stood before us.”


The following day we were supposed to climb another 10 – 12 miles, but the unpredictable Patagonian winds and rain were starting to form so on this day, some of the group walked six miles while others did about eight.

It wouldn’t have been an adventure in Argentina without a visit to the wine growing region of Mendoza where Malbec wines are produced. Winding our way through the vineyards at the base of the Andes Mountain which form the border between Chile and Argentina, we visited three different wineries, tasting 12 different wines.  By the end of the day, we couldn’t tell which wine was which, but then again, it didn’t matter much.  Our wine pairing lunch was an amazing combination of gourmet food, freshly baked breads and desserts that were as tasty as they were spectacular to look at.  This was paired with a late-harvest dessert wine.


Finally, our last stop brought us back to nature where we visited one of my favorite spots on earth, Iguaçu Falls.  Imagine you’re at the center of an IMAX movie, and you are surrounded by water on all sides – and above you, and below you, and you hear the sound of the rushing water all around you – that’s the feeling you get in Iguaçu Falls. Visiting both the Brazilian and the Argentinean side of the falls, you get the full scope of just how massive these 275 waterfalls are, and how in touch with nature you are at that moment in time.  The feeling stays with you for a lifetime and the memories never fade.  Iguaçu Falls touches you in a way few places can.

I recommend treating yourself to a getaway in nature.  Reset your mind. Invigorate your body. Balance your soul.  And then be thankful for all the treasures we have on this earth.

Getting Excited to Hike the Inca Trail

Monday, March 31st, 2014

-by Stacey

peru inca trail tents

Okay, I’m going to be totally honest here. I’ve never been camping. Well that’s not entirely true – one time I camped out in a tent in our living room, and one time I camped in the woods behind my friend’s house in Maine. Do those count? Maybe. Okay, probably not.

So why not make my first time really camping absolutely stellar? That’s right, I will be camping for 3 nights on the Inca Trail in Peru during our 4-day trek to the top of Machu Picchu. This is a Bucket List trip. It’s one that not many people get to do in their lifetime, and I have the opportunity to escort our group of Young Adventurers on what’s sure to be a trip of a lifetime for them as well as for myself.

inca trail peru group

What am I most looking forward to for this group? This is a tricky trip to plan – obtaining Inca Trail permits, getting intra-Peruvian flights, coordinating porters and cooks to climb with us, making sure we have all of the right equipment – I love the fact that when we’ve coordinated all of the details, those on our trip can just sit back, relax, hike a lot, and enjoy the fruits of our labor. Since this is a small group with a maximum group size of 15, everyone is going to have this amazingly unique shared experience. From a bike tour around Lima to enjoying Pisco sours in Cuzco and camping on the Inca Trail, this is going to be an experience to remember forever.

peru main 5As if that wasn’t enough. I’m doing it again! But this time we’re going to take it a little easier. The day after I finish with the active group, I begin again! This time, we will be staying in hotels every night (phew!). This trip is going to have the same highlights but with a totally different feel. We will be staying at local hotel properties throughout Peru, filled with activities each day and enjoying the nightlife, and the highlight of the journey, seeing that amazing view when we hike to the top of the Inca Trail and set our eyes on Maccu Picchu for the first time.

I can’t wait to meet the local people, see their amazing textiles, taste the food (and drinks), get our hike on, and breath the fresh – albeit much thinner – air.

Peru, here we come!

Amazing Brazil Part 2 – If a picture is worth a thousand words….

Friday, March 1st, 2013

The party continues as AJ heads down the homestretch of this really, well, AMAZING tour!   From cruising on the Amazon River and hiking among the beasts of the jungle to the glorious beaches, beautiful people and very special Jewish experience in Rio…..we are now in Iguazu Falls to view our 2nd of the new 7 Natural Wonders of the World.  That’s right – we’ve seen two of the 7 Wonders of Nature in the last week alone, along this tour.  Check it out:  http://nature.new7wonders.com/

This is why we call it “Amazing”!   See for yourself – in less than 30,000 words:

Amazing Brazil

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  As our Amazing Journeys Brazil adventure passes its midway point and 34 passengers navigate their way through the remote regions of the Amazon Rainforest, the buzzing city of Rio de Janeiro and, soon, the majestic awe of Iguazu Falls….enjoy these memories-in-the-making, condensed from 30,000 words:

Landmarks of the World

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Are you ready for a trip around the world?  Are you?  Really??

Sadly, the majority of Americans will rarely see any geography beyond their own borders.  The Office of Travel and Tourism Industries published a finding that only about 10% of of US residents have ever traveled to overseas destinations (Canada and Mexico excluded – they’re not overseas. )  Leisure travel is more than a vacation. Its an activity that makes you more worldly, knowledgeable and tolerant of the differences in cultures that make our planet so special.  Its an adventure.  Its a means to experience “Life” with a capital “L” – a chance to break from the routine…the norm…the grind…the familiararity…the common.  Its a purpose, not just an experience.  Humans are born to travel; we’ve been given the mobility and dexterity to do so and as Americans we’ve also been given the “land of opportunity’; a means to earn, spend and have plentiful of what most other nations around the world don’t.

Get Out There, America! Whether you’re single or married…Jewish or Christian….in your 30s or in your 60s; don’t do what the regretful elderly do when they say for decades “I’ll travel when I retire” or “I’ll get there someday”.  Go now, while you’re able-bodied, healthy and capable! You never know when you might not be, and denying yourself the greatest of life’s givings is a regret of unfathomable proportions.  Trust me, the world is an incredible place.  America is wonderful…but the world is, well, an Amazing Journey for all to see.

IF NOT NOW….WHEN?

Amazing Journeys heads to Costa Rica

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Another Amazing Journey embarks on Thursday with our 3rd Jewish singles trip to Costa Rica.  This remarkable destination is chock full of deliciously warm weather, lush green massive rainforests, extraordinary adventure and an undeveloped landscape that makes coming here a true natural wonder.  No tall buildings, no massive crowds, never a feeling of “touristy” and no lack of surprises.    Among other things, we’ll be hiking an active volcano, canyoning down a waterfall, horseback riding through the rainforest, and zip lining ABOVE the treetops at over 7000 feet…just to name a few.  We’ll also spend three nights at the amazing Tabacon Resort at the base of the Arenal Volcano where we’ll indulge in the beauty, landscape and surroundings of the natural hotsprings, mineral pools and waterfalls created by this volatile and spectacular phenomenon.

Follow our exploration and experience of our eight night tour in Costa Rica by visiting our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/amazingjourneys  where we’ll post some moments-in-time from this awesome tour. 

Costa Rica-No Artificial Ingredients

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

If your idea of an ideal vacation is to enjoy a pairing of lovely tropical beaches, the grandest adventures, the wonders of nature, and a scintillating culture, Costa Rica is a place where dreams can be made. No wonder, then, that thousands of tourists have made Costa Rica their top travel choice.

Costa Rica occupies a privileged spot in the heart of Central America. While its territory of 19,652 square miles touches both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, the country is surprisingly accessible – just a 3 hour flight from Atlanta. Its borders are protected by the US military and its inland protective services are protected by a respected and reputable police force.  Costa is not only beautiful, its smart.

Just what the every Jewish single is looking for!

A little bit of knowledge about this country is interesting…however a personal experience of this country will drop your jaw with anticipation, excitement, adventure and relaxation.  All rolled into one!

Intersecting beaches and forests

Costa Rica’s beaches are surrounded by forests, and have great natural diversity and a variety of aquatic ecosystems with beautiful white and black sand beaches, ideal for sport fishing, snorkeling, and sun bathing.   In this small area of firm land, there are 762 miles of coastlines, distributed on the Pacific and the Caribbean. Costa Rican beaches allow you to sun-tan while having the additional bonus of being part of a complex pro-nature system known as the Ecological Blue Flag Award recognizing Costa Rica’s commitment with sustainability and environmental protection.

Plants and animals everywhere

Costa Rica´s territory is so small that it encompasses only 0.03% of the planet´s surface but is within the top 20 richest countries in biodiversity on Earth in terms of species density. It is possible to find more species in 1,000 sq.miles in Costa Rica that in the same area in countries like Brazil or Colombia. Costa Rica has nearly half a million species, representing 4% of the planet´s expected biodiversity. Are you ready to discover it?

Costa Rica´s Marvels of Fire

As part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, Costa Rica´s volcanoes are among the most mesmerizing in the world. In fact, the present-day landmass known as Costa Rica is the result of complex volcanic activity that took place some 75 million years ago and still continues today.

Counting every location or crater where an eruption has occurred within its borders, Costa Rica volcanoes boast a stunning 112 sites throughout the country. Most Costa Rica volcanoes and their surrounding areas have been made into national parks.

One of them is Arenal Volcano, listed among the 10 most active volcanoes in the world and for a good reason: It regularly puts on a spectacle, showing off with strong rumbling sounds and occasional rock avalanches, as well as smoke, ash and lava eruptions that descend its slope at speeds reaching 70 kilometers per hour and temperatures reaching 1,000 degrees Celsius.

The mountain and surrounding area were declared a national park in 1994. Thermal hot springs are now the area’s main attraction, most of which boast nearby trails and numerous lookout points.  And yes, one of the highlights of the upcoming Amazing Journey for Jewish singles in their 30s, 40s & 50s is a three night stay at the Tabacon Resort at the base of the Arenal Volcano.  To say it’s a highlight, is an understatement

The Biggest Rainforest in Costa Rica

La Amistad International Park (PILA) is the biggest natural park in Costa Rica covering a great variety of humid, rain and cloud forests in the Pacific and Atlantic sides, as well as indigenous reserves.

The Talamanca region, a big portion of the park, was a refuge in colonial times for indigenous people who were resilient from the Spanish colonizers’ repression. 
The enormous cultural richness and extraordinary natural habitats, result of different altitudes, soil and microclimates, was the reason why the park was also designed Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site.

Species in great danger of extinction such as the jaguar, the largest feline in the Americas and third largest world-wide, live in the park as well as a great variety of wildlife, which includes 400 species of birds, 263 species of amphibians and reptiles and 213 of mammals. Many other species are found only in this giant rainforest.

The Canopy Tour, Originally from Costa Rica

Born in Costa Rica in the 90s, the canopy tour is the closest experience to enable one to feel like a monkey travelling in the tree tops. It is also one of the best ways to explore the richness of the canopy, where the biggest amount of the forest’s biodiversity is found, and to raise awareness about the rainforest’s fragile ecosystem.

It consists of a series of suspended cables attached from tree to tree on which you can glide along using a pulley that is secured to the harness. Cables vary in length (they can measure even 700 meters long!) and end in small wooden platforms built in the tops of trees, which are located up to 100 feet above the jungle floor. The impact to the forest is minimal.

The canopy tour has been adapted to a great variety of environments and landscapes within the country, including mountains, canyons, rivers, waterfalls and cloud, dry and tropical forests. The tour has also been exported to other Latin American countries such as Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Belize.

Nature on the skin

Imagine if the delicious cup of coffee, the freshly made piña colada, the aromatic essences that give flavor to your salad or even the fragrance of the wild flowers which you breathe, could be part of your skin. Mixing these ingredients within various health, relaxation and beauty treatments is possible in Costa Rica.

Situated throughout the territory are locations that are also home to many diverse spas that strive to offer a holistic service of international quality and to do it with the warmth and personalized attention of the Costa Rican people.

If you add a never-ending source of certified natural produce, creativity and knowledge, you will end up with an array of benefits to replenish your skin. These products can improve health, calm emotions and truly work their magic while used for massages at the able hands of local therapists.

These healing ingredients include coffee, brown sugar and even coconut. They may be used to exfoliate your skin and help it eliminate dead cells and toxins, or they may improve blood circulation and allow positive energy to flow throughout your body. One way to do it is by enjoying the ever-popular body wraps, in which volcanic mud, jasmine, mint or tropical fruits are used to hydrate and replenish the skin while also nurturing it with vitamins and minerals.

Specially designed healing rooms provide an ideal climate – one enriched by stimulating decorations, soothing music and ambient sounds from nature, sea or forest animals – in which one may enjoy a therapeutic experience to be shared even with couple, friends and family.

Birds that cannot go unnoticed

Its plumage is mostly scarlet but its tail-covered feathers are light blue, making the Scarlet Macaw one of the most beautiful birds of the American tropics. In fact, with almost 1 meter in length, more than half constituted by its pointed striking tail, this bird cannot go unnoticed, especially because they are often seen in pairs. A number of couples may even congregate with others to form a flock of several hundred individuals: a spectacle that is impossible to forget when they fly above the forest canopy.

One interesting thing about Macaws is the use of beaks as an aid in both eating and as a “third foot” when climbing. The beak is strong to crush seeds and nuts, while the thick fleshy tongue is used to move the food around.

Another bird worth keeping your eyes peeled in the trees for is the Toucan. The colorful, giant bill, which in some large species measure more than half the length of the body, is the hallmark of toucans and to see this swift flyer swoop among trees is a sight to behold only in Costa Rica.

The most amazing journey across the Americas

Every year, millions of migratory species, whether by water, land or air, travel enormous distances over the American continent, some of them arrive in Costa Rica, in search of better climatic conditions, more abundant food or a suitable site for reproduction, which generally coincides with the warmer season. These odysseys are not exempt from great challenges; some species travel up to 20,000 miles round-trip.

This happens with species of whales, bats, birds, fish, sea turtles and even insects like the monarch butterfly. Most flee the North American winter to seek food in the southern part of the continent, and then return to their feeding grounds in the north when their favorite foods sprout anew in the spring.

Very small species like ruby-throated hummingbirds which measure only 10 cm, fly non-stop for 26 hours from Canada and the United States to Central America at a velocity of 28 mph for a voyage of 652 miles that even includes crossing the Gulf of Mexico. And if the blackpoll warbler only 13 cm long, were to burn gasoline instead of body fat, it would get 715,852 miles per gallon.

But the most extensive individual migration known for a mammal was that of a humpback whale initially spotted off the Antarctic Peninsula and then seen off the Santa Elena Peninsula of Costa Rica, for a total trip of 7,130 miles

Want to see it for yourself?

Join other Jewish singles from across the US (and beyond!) for a thrilling Amazing Journey to rainforests, cloudforests, jungles, beaches, and active volcanoes. We’ll take you on the path less followed to view strange and magnificent wildlife in their natural habitats, to swim in protected pristine waters, to delve into adventures you’ve never imagined, and to “chill” in nature’s wonderland of hot springs and mineral pools created by the biodiversities surrounding the country.  All this plus a group of Jewish Singles from all over North America and beyond, who await you in magnificent Costa Rica. Contact Amazing Journeys for details: www.amazingjourneys.net