Powdery white-sand beaches. Verdant rainforests. Stylish, rhythm-filled metropolises. Charming colonial towns. This captivating country enraptures. Stunning biodiversity. The greatest collection of plant and animal species found anywhere on earth. On our trip, we were lucky enough to experience a bit of all of the above.
Our adventure didn't stop. One minute we were ascending rocky cliff tops to panoramic views, the next we were bodysurfing stellar breaks off palm fringed beaches.
Rio De Janeiro
We will start with Rio, where our trip began. Looking out from the 710m peak of Corcovado, we saw why Rio is called the Cidade Maravilhosa. There is a cinematic quality to this scene- lushly forested mountains fringe the city, shimmering beaches trace the shoreline and a string of tiny islands lie scattered along the seafront.
Standing atop Corcovado (which means âhunchbackâ), Cristo Redentor gazes out over Rio, a placid expression on his well-crafted face.
Rio's Famous Beaches
âThere is the classic Copacabana Beach- a magnificent confluence of land and sea- the long, scalloped beach extends for some 4km. Then there is Ipanema Beach, its fame and beauty unabated since bossanova stars Tom Jobim and VinÃcius de Moraes introduced the world to its allure in the 1960s. We like both- don't ask us to choose.
Tijuca is the exuberant green 39-sq-km tropical-jungle preserve, with beautiful trees, creeks and waterfalls, mountainous terrain and high peaks. We could even see monkeys and toucans among the foliage.
The spirit of the people is what also sticks with you. There is a lust for life. A woke-up-on-the-good-side-of-the-bed vibe.
Brazil is famous for its festas, and we opted for a taste of the old world, by hitting up
PetrÃ³polis' beer- and schnitzel-loving Bauernfest. Petropolis and the surrounding region are packed with breweries, including Cervejaria Bohemia in the heart of town (Brazil's oldest brewery, with its own beer museum). The fantastically shaped peaks of Parque Nacional Serra dos ÃrgÃ£os are just a short drive out of town. Drink up!
âThere is a reason why this city is known as the "marvelous city". It will truly surprise you and take your breath away from the mountains to the sweeping coastal views. We hope you get a chance to visit Rio De Janeiro very soon!
On this trip, we journey to a place where tropical wildlife, jungle rivers, and flowing waterfalls share the land with some of the rarest mammals on earth. It is one of only two places on earth where you can spot the endangered orangutan in the wild. It is a place that will challenge you with its adventure and bring you back to nature with its landscape. It's time to visit the road less traveled in Sarawak on the island of Borneo, Malaysia.
Borneo is the third-largest island in the world and the largest in Asia and our adventure combines eco-tourism with relaxation. The island is divided among three countries: Malaysia and Brunei in the north, and Indonesia to the south.
On this trip, we visit the Malaysian state of Sarawak where we explore the Kuching, the state capital. One of the best ways to experience the region's nature is by longboat, which have been used for centuries. We ride along the lake in Batang Ai, a national park known for its extensive tropical rainforest. The boats zip across the waters like speedboats mixed with the tranquility of a canoe.
Next, it's time to get up close and personal with the region's jungle landscape. We take a canopy walk through the jungle treetops, which includes several suspended bridges high above the forest ground.
Set on the edge of the worldâs most ancient rainforest on the mystical island of Borneo is the Aiman Batang Ai Resort & Retreat, inspired by the architecture of the traditional Iban longhouses. The resort provides the ideal getaway for those seeking a one-of-a-kind escape that is adventurous yet fully relaxing at the same time.
To get to the orangutang wildlife reserve, we arrive via kayak along the swift-flowing river in Kampung Danu. Kayaking in the Borneo Highland area is truly a fascinating way to be surrounded and intimate with Mother Nature and an ideal introduction to rural Sarawak. It is also a fun-filled activity to see the stunning scenery of massive rocks among pristine river.
Finally, we reached one of the most unforgettable experiences in our travels - a chance to view one of the most endangered mammals in the wild. We visit the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, an orangutang sanctuary where we encounter the orangutans in their natural habitat. This wildlife center was established in 1975 to care for the orangutans previously held captive as illegal pets, injured, or orphaned in the rainforest.
The moment when we see the unmistakable orange great apes, it inspires a collective "awe" from the group. Everyone marveled in silence as we watched the orangutans effortlessly climb and swing through the treetops, feast on bananas, and lounge in the jungle. Their expressions and behaviors were so human like. Today they are critically endangered, which makes it such a special treat to see them up close.
Orangutans can live 35-35 years! We watch as an older orangutang eats bananas while the younger ones swing through the trees like a trapeze! Their balance is remarkable as many of them hang on by one branch.
To sum up our trip, a quote comes to mind:
It's better to look back at life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of "I wish I did that".
âThis was the trip to do something different. It was a chance to go to a land less traveled and experience nature unlike any other. Sarawak Borneo opened our eyes to the purest nature, rarest mammals, peaceful wilderness, and of course, the Malaysian hospitality. We hope you get a chance to experience it very soon.
Welcome to Tozeur, Tunisia! This city was made famous in iconic films like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and the English Patient. In this vlog, we explore the desert regions featured in these films: Sidi Bouhlel Canyon, Oasis Chebika, and Tamaghza.
Tozeur Travel Vlog:
0:25 - 4:00 Chebika
We travel from Tozeur to Chebika, a mountain oasis in western Tunisia, where we hike through a desolate canyon reminiscent of Arizona. Atop the canyon is a village that was abandoned after a catastrophic flood. As we trek the canyon, the valley becomes more lush and we were surprised to find a hot spring with crystal clear water. Along the way, we discovered a waterfall flowing in the middle of the desert like a mirage.
4:04 - 5:08 Sidi Bouhlel (aka Star Wars Canyon)
Sidi Bouhlel is a canyon located near the oasis city of Tozeur in Southern Tunisia. It is also commonly known as the Star Wars Canyon since it was the film location of the desert planet of Tatooine in Star Wars: A New Hope. Star Wars fans may recognize it from the famous pod racing scene as well as the scene where R2D2 gets kidnapped by the Jawas. Other popular films such as Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark and The English Patient were also shot in Sidi Bouhlel.
5:00 Off Roading Adventure and Waterfall!
We gear up for an off roading adventure with our tour Off Season Adventures, where we cross the rocky terrain in a 4x4 jeep. As we drive through the canyon, we cross rivers and valleys until we reach a mountain oasis. Above the canyon, we see a lush palm grove and a waterfall streaming in full force.
8:25 - 9:55 Tunisian feast in the oasis
After the off roading adventure, it is time to eat. One of the best parts about Tunisia is the hospitality and the cuisine. In the middle of Tamaghza, we stop to enjoy the Tunisian food grown and made here in the oasis, including Sharba Frik soup, Mechouia salad, brik which is a savory pastry filled with egg.
This Tunisia Tour is offered with Off Season Adventures:
Custom group tours available with Fresh Traveler
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We are two adventurous young professionals who turned our passion for travel into a blog to help others travel more.