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Little Black Book: National Parks

Yellowstone National Park sign at the North Entrance; Jim Peaco; October 1992

Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica: A popular stop for visitors to this Central American gem is the Arenal Volcano National Park. Situated in the shadow of one of Costa Rica’s most active volcanoes, the park promises hiking trails, abundant wildlife and the chance to spot exotic birdlife, including the elusive resplendent quetzal. Guests can take a dip in one of the hot springs that surround the area. arenal.net

Yellowstone, USA: The US National Park Service celebrates its 100th birthday in August 2016, making a visit to its flagship park apt. Yellowstone spans Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, boasting geysers, canyons, rivers and mountains among its many attractions. The largest and oldest bison herd in the US can be found here alongside bears, moose, wolves and assorted wildlife. yellowstonenationalpark.com

Torres del Paine, Chile: Bordering the Patagonian Steppe on the Southern tip of Chile, Torres del Paine offers some of the most impressive hiking in the world.  The three immense granite peaks looming over the park give Torres del Paine its name and provide a spectacular backdrop. Visitors can see glaciers and lakes and take a trip to mythical-sounding places like the Valley of Silence. torresdelpaine.com

Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia: See the world’s biggest sand dunes in its oldest desert in Namibia’s Namib-Naukluft National Park. Excellent photo opportunities abound at sunrise when the colours of the desert come to life. Climb Dune 45 for the best view, then take a trip to see the 550-year-old trees of Deadlei, or take a hot air balloon ride for a bird’s-eye view. namibweb.com

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