Lofoten Islands, Norway

Lofoten Islands, Norway

Norway’s Lofoten Islands are referred to as the Lofoten Wall because, quite literally, they are vertical rows of granite shooting out of the Arctic Sea. A number of colorful fishing villages hug the shoreline and a majority...
Hardangervidda, Norway

Hardangervidda, Norway

The Hardangervidda Plateau is one of Norway’s and Europe’s most wondrous open spaces, encompassing nearly 10,000 square kilometers of varied Arctic wilderness—bigger than Yellowstone...
Dovrefjell Musk Oxen, Norway

Dovrefjell, Norway

The Dovrefjell-Rondane corridor is Norway’s closest approximation of Montana’s Big Sky Country in the United States: a supreme stretch of wide-open, rolling mountainous terrain. The area is home to the mighty musk ox...
Northern Norway

Northern Norway

Europe’s true wilderness is found in Norway, and some of the country’s wildest terrain is in its northern reaches. Above the Lofoten Islands are the Arctic regions of Troms (home to the bustling island city of Tromsø)...
Fjords of Norway

Fjords of Norway

It’s nearly impossible to envisage the scope of Norway's fjords. Many of us have seen photos of the country’s most famous fjords—the Geirangerfjord, Sognefjord, and Hardangerfjord—but even the best images can’t do justice...
Jotunheimen, Norway (s)

Jotunheimen, Norway

The Jotunheimen Mountains are a place of superlatives. Translating to the “home of the giants,” they are the highest mountains in Norway and Northern Europe, Jotunheimen National Park is the country's...
 Geirangerfjord, Norway

Geirangerfjord, Norway

The UNESCO World Heritage Geirangerfjord may be Norway’s single most dramatic stretch of water. It’s particularly narrow and steep with tall surrounding mountains—the closest thing in the country to a “box” fjord. The walls...
Finnmark, Norway

Finnmark: Norway's Far North

Finnmark is vast and barren country—it's the coldest and least populated region in Norway. The Finnmarksvidda Plateau dominates the interior, while the coastal areas on the Barents Sea...
Milford Sound, New Zealand

Fiordland, New Zealand

When people imagine New Zealand, the scenery of the Fiordland Region often comes to mind. Situated in the southwestern corner of the South Island, Fiordland is dominated by the verdure of rainforests blanketed in ferns, the snow...
Sandfly Bay Otago

Otago, New Zealand

Otago on the South Island is one of New Zealand’s most varied regions, from high alpine terrain to remote coastline and almost everything in between. The outdoorsy towns of Queenstown and Wanaka are most popular...
Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand

West Coast, New Zealand

The West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island has a way of sneaking up on travelers and becoming one of their favorite destinations in the country. Just up the road from Queenstown, Fiordland, and Milford Sound...
Abel Tasman, New Zealand

Abel Tasman, New Zealand

On the northern end of New Zealand’s South Island is the warm coastal region of Abel Tasman. Abel Tasman National Park is one of New Zealand’s smallest and most visited parks, renowned for pristine beaches, turquoise...
Marlborough, New Zealand

Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand

Located at the top of the South Island east of Abel Tasman National Park, the Marlborough Sounds are as easy going as anywhere in New Zealand. Most of the wooded hillsides and peaceful bays are inaccessible by road...
Tongariro, New Zealand

Tongariro, New Zealand

Tongariro National Park on the North Island is a place far removed from the lush rainforests of the South Island, yet this volcanic wonderland is among New Zealand’s most striking landscapes. Established in 1887...
Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

The laid-back Coromandel Peninsula juts out east of Auckland separating the Hauraki Gulf and Pacific Ocean. It is known for white-sand beaches, lush native forests, and small towns with...
Northland, New Zealand

Northland, New Zealand

New Zealand’s Northland region, often referred to as the Far North, stretches to the uppermost tip of New Zealand’s North Island. Bordered to the west by the Tasman Sea and to the east by the Pacific Ocean, this slender sub-tropical peninsula...
 Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Bay of Islands, New Zealand

The Bay of Islands is a peaceful subtropical micro-region located on the northern tip of the North Island. All together, the area is home to 150 islands, over 800 kilometers of coastline, countless bays and inlets, and plentiful...
Queenstown, New Zealand

New Zealand's Best Adventure Towns

New Zealand firmly has established itself as one of the world’s top adventure destinations. Queenstown receives much of the attention—it is indeed chock-full of adventure opportunities—but a host of other...
Queenstown hiking

Queenstown's Best Hiking Trails

For those visiting Queenstown, hiking is a great way to stretch your legs, see the famous South Island scenery, and spend far less than you would on any of the area’s many adrenaline activities. A number of trails...
Fox Glacier from Lake Matheson

Fox Glacier's Best Hiking Trails

Many visitors to Fox Glacier pay for a guided walk on the ice, but there also are a number of free hiking trails that lead to excellent viewpoints. All of the trails listed below are within close proximity to the Fox Glacier...
New Zealand Kayaking

New Zealand Adventure Directory

Choose an adventure activity and New Zealand likely has world-class terrain to match. From Milford Sound at the bottom of the South Island to Ninety Mile Beach at the top of the North Island...
Torres del Paine, Patagonia

Torres del Paine

Torres del Paine (pronounced PIE-nay) National Park in southern Chile is the crown jewel of Patagonia. Rising high is the Cordillera del Paine, one of the world’s most dramatic mountain ranges, including the famed rock formations...
 Los Glaciares Patagonia

El Chaltén and Los Glaciares

El Chaltén is a dusty climbing town with a contagious outdoor vibe. The self-proclaimed “trekking capital of Argentina” sprang up in the 1980’s for political purposes but is now supported entirely by outdoor tourism. Towering above...
Perito Moreno Patagonia

El Calafate and Perito Moreno

The town of El Calafate is the hub for the mammoth Perito Moreno glacier, one of Patagonia’s most impressive sites. Located 80 kilometers west of town, the terminal face...
 Lake District Patagonia

Patagonia's Lake District

Northern Patagonia is home to the Lake District, a region encompassing parts of both Chile and Argentina with a high concentration of ancient forests, blue lakes, volcanoes, and picturesque alpine villages. Compared to the windswept...
Patagonia National Park

Patagonia National Park

The new Patagonia National Park in southern Chile’s XI (Aysen) region is scheduled to officially open in 2015 (you are welcome to visit now but the park is still under construction). This one-of-a-kind project led by Conservacion...
Ushuaia, Argentina

Ushuaia, Argentina

Ushuaia, located at the southern reaches of Argentina on the island of Tierra del Fuego, often is referred to as, "The End of the World." It’s arguably the world’s southernmost city (the small Chilean settlement of Puerto Williams...
Ruta 40, Patagonia

Ruta 40, Patagonia

Argentina’s legendary Ruta 40, also known as RN 40 or Route 40, is one of the world’s great driving adventures, running parallel to the Andes Mountains for nearly 5,000 km from La Quiaca in the north down to Cabo Virgenes...
Antarctica

Antarctica: Photos from the Frozen Continent

Switchback Travel has not yet been to Antarctica, but we have been organizing information, talking with people who have, and keeping an eye out for good leads. With perfect timing..
Torres del Paine W Circuit

"W" Circuit in Torres del Paine

The "W" Circuit in Torres del Paine is Patagonia’s most famous trek and often gets mentioned among the world’s top trails. Over the course of 4 to 6 days—depending on your specific route and hiking speed—the 60-plus kilometer "W" makes its way...
Mt. Everest Nepal

Everest Base Camp Trek

The Everest Base Camp trek passes through the land of the Sherpas to the foot of the world’s highest mountain, Sagarmatha, Nepalese for Mount Everest. The fullest views of Mt. Everest actually are from the Tibetan side, but...
Annapurna Circuit Nepal

Annapurna Circuit Trek

The Annapurna Circuit was once a three-week journey through the pristine valleys and villages of the Annapurna range, but the construction of two roads encroaching up both sides has shrunken the route significantly. When...
Annapurna Sanctuary Trek Nepal

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

The Annapurna Sanctuary trek, also known as Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) trek, is a powerhouse—it’s one of the shortest major treks in Nepal and gets up close and personal with some of the biggest mountains. The trek begins with...
Manaslu, Nepal

Manaslu Circuit Trek

The Manaslu Circuit is the trekking jewel of Nepal. Bordering the Annapurna Conservation Area to the west and the Tibetan Plateau to the north and east, the region was closed to foreign tourists until 1991, effectively blocking the...
Great Himalaya Trail Nepal

Great Himalaya Trail: One Trail to Rule Them All

For those looking for the cutting edge of adventure travel, Nepal’s Great Himalaya Trail presents the opportunity of a lifetime. It’s one of the longest and highest footpaths on earth...
Trekking in Nepal

Trekking Seasons in Nepal

With the highest mountains in world and latitude similar to the state of Florida, Nepal has tremendous variation in climates. The lowland plains are tropical, the midland hills are temperate, and the high mountains have sub-arctic and arctic conditions...
Kathmandu, Nepal

Buying and Renting Trekking Gear in Kathmandu

Kathmandu's tourist district of Thamel (and to a lesser extent, the city of Pokhara) is chock-full of shops offering every type of outdoor gear imaginable. Many of the items are under the guise of the major...
High Altitude Trekking

How to Prevent Altitude Sickness for Trekkers

Quite simply, drink a minimum of five liters of water per day, no matter what. This is easier at lower elevations when it’s hot, but becomes more burdensome when temperatures cool off and you perspire less...