If you’re planning a visit to Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula and want a break from Mayan ruins and Catholic missions, there are active adventures to be found near Chichén Itzá and in the coastal areas north of Mérida.

Fancy a swim?

Five kilometers from Chichén Itzá and the nearby town of Piste, a swim adventure awaits at Cenote Ik Kil, one of the largest cenotes in the Yucatán. Not only is it one of the largest, it’s one of the best appointed, with lockers,...


I had never heard of anyone going to Tasmania — just Tasmania — for a week-long visit, so when I said to my coworkers Mary Anne Scott and Megan Schultz, “If we leave after work on Friday and include the Presidents’ Day holiday, it will count as just four work days,” they were as excited as I was about visiting one of Lonely Planet’s top 2015 destinations. 

I promised to plan a trip that included what seemed to be the highlights: wildlife...


Peru lies in the tropics, south of the equator, and encompasses three distinctive geographic zones: the arid Pacific coast, the rugged Andes Mountains and part of the Amazon Basin. All the attention that its ancient Incan site of Machu Picchu received since being named one of the seven man-made wonders of the world is what put the country in the top tier on my “must see” list. However, once I arrived, I suddenly realized that there was so much more to this land of sharp...


During our June 2014 self-drive tour of the Balkans, my husband, Frank, and I used Croatia as a base (see Aug. ’15, pg. 30), making side trips to tour the surrounding countries that comprised the former Yugoslavia. Our first 4-day excursion took us from Zagreb to Slovenia.

Starting in Slovenia

Home to the Julian Alps and a portion of the Pannonian Plain and bordering the countries of Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia as well as the Adriatic Sea, Slovenia has Eastern...


In my extensive travels, my goal is always to find unique cultural experiences. When planning my January 2015 trip to Indonesia, I discovered just such an experience: the opportunity to stay in a traditional Papuan island village. Such a stay would offer accommodations in private bungalows and the chance to interact with locals, view exotic wildlife and swim over the most diverse coral reefs in the world.

Some of my family members, ages 42 to 70, were enthusiastic, so we chose three...


When MIR Corporation sent out an announcement that they had been given permission to take a tour group to North Korea (DPRK) in the summer of 2014, I immediately signed up. The trip, entitled “Opening the Door on the DPRK,” turned out to be one of the most interesting tours I have taken in my travels to more than 100 countries.

Getting there

Flying from Seattle to Beijing, where our tour officially began, our tour group of 12 stayed at the Regent Beijing. We were...


The physical isolation of Antarctica, the anticipated viewing of wildlife and spectacular scenery and reports of disappearing Antarctic ice shelves all were factors that led my wife, Betty, and me to Antarctica as a destination. 

Making plans

Once we decided to visit, there were several decision points that would help us select an itinerary and expedition company. 

The time of year was already determined; expedition ships are able to tour only during...


In contemplating a trip to Southeast Asia, there are few adventures more alluring than taking a slow boat down the Mekong River. Standing atop the breezy deck of a comfortable, modern riverboat as it cruises past lush rice fields, towering palm trees and lazy fishing villages affords one of those rare experiences that simultaneously relaxes the body while energizing the mind.

When my wife, Arlene, and I started preparing for our 2015 Southeast Asia trip several months in advance, we...