trek Gunung Leuser National Park, Sumatra

Sabbalot Photography:

… the largest wilderness area in South-East Asia and an UNESCO world heritage area since 2004. It is further part of the tropical rain forest heritage of Sumatra, allowing for spectacular experiences in this fortunately still widely untouched nature.

The hike itself is a unique experience for several reasons:

  • No trails are available and one totally has to rely on the guide to find the way through the jungle (mainly following former rebel trails).

  • 4-6 porters accompany you and provide you with the most delicious hiking food you’ll ever get to taste (don’t forget to tip).

  • You will not see ANYONE other than your party during the whole hike.

  • The wilderness of the jungle and its inhabitants is just breathtaking.

  • The river crossings are an adventure itself.

Gunung Leuser National Park
An amazing adventure. Click through for details.

They recommend local guides Expedition Jungle.

Colombia’s Lost City trek

Geoff Bedeck:

Swarms of aqua-blue butterflies, foaming waterfalls, hidden swimming lagoons, lime-green parakeets and chirping songbirds high up in the trees – this was what I’d come to find in the verdant Colombian jungle, along the winding trail to the Lost City.

HIKING COLOMBIA’S LOST CITY OF TEYUNA

One of our best hikes in South America.

Ash Dykes – Madagascar Traverse

… the first person in history to successfully walk the entire length of Madagascar, summiting its eight highest mountains on the way. …

How do you feel after walking 1,600 miles for 155 days from the south end of Madagascar to the northernmost point?

When I actually arrived & finished at the most northern point (Cap’D Ambre), I had to walk two days back the same way to reach civilisation, the small tracks were too bad for any car to attempt to pick us up. But it was a surreal, exciting and an extremely satisfying feeling!

Why did you choose to take on this challenge?

I knew it would be amazingly unique: over 80 per cent of all fauna and flora are found nowhere else in the world – so that alone would mix things up. I knew barely anything about Madagascar and hardly anyone talks about it. I wanted to get into its interior and really discover what it’s about deep within the island.

The island is also constantly changing, from desert, shrub land, jungle, savanna and mountains …

FIELD REPORT: ASH DYKES MADAGASCAR TRAVERSE – INTERVIEW

Ash jungle

Click PLAY or watch an expedition preview on YouTube.

ashdykes.com

Kalalau Trail, Nā Pali Coast, Hawaii

We’ve added an information page for Kalalau, one of our top 10 coastal hikes of the world.

AT A GLANCE

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You can day hike it, as Jack did.

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Or hike 22 miles return over several days.

by Serban Dumitrescu

by Serban Dumitrescu

Click through if you mike like to do this adventure yourself one day. 🙂

Kalalau Trail information page

climbing Cerro Amigos, Costa Rica

I was free for a half day. This is one of the few FREE hikes in Monteverde. So I tried it.

There is some signage. Not great.

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If you hadn’t been told by a local to zig rather than take the obvious zag, you’d be lost.

I got lost.

Eventually I did find the service road up.

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Whenever the clouds momentarily clear above Monteverde and Santa Elena you can see the radio, television and phone towers topping Cerro Amigos. (1842m)

The access road to the top is used by the occasional maintenance crews but it’s also a great route for a short steep hike – free and open to the public. …

Costa Rica Guide

The top is not often clear. This is a cloud forrest. It wasn’t clear when we got up.

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Not many highlights, truth be told. Gorgeous Morpho butterflies. 🙂 Scary big wasps. 😦

more photos

related – WHERE TO NOT GO IN MONTEVERDE

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Costa Rica

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

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The highlight was seeing 2 resplendent quetzal. Another Canadian saw 4 the same day. May is breeding season.

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… The “song” is a treble syllable described as kyow or like “a whimpering pup”, often in pairs, which may be repeated monotonously. …

It was something closer to a puppy whimper than a kitten’s sound.

… classified as near threatened on the IUCN Red List due to habitat loss. …

The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve (Reserva Biológica Bosque Nuboso Monteverde) … founded in 1972 … visited by roughly 70,000 visitors a year. …

… extremely high biodiversity, consisting of over 2,500 plant species (including the most orchid species in a single place), 100 species of mammals, 400 bird species, 120 reptilian and amphibian species, and thousands of insects, has drawn scientists and tourists since. …

I hiked all the trails in less than 4 hours. A number were closed. They looked to me to be closed permanently.

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I did take one of the closed trails for a few hundred metres, just to compare. It seemed about the same but without trail maintenance.

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For lunch I propped myself up against my pack under a giant tree. And enjoyed it so much that I left behind a Summit Stone.

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A second highlight was the bridge through and above the forest canopy. Dangling plants living only on “air” are amazing.

click for larger version

Cost for entry in 2015 was $20 for a foreign adult. Locals consider that high compared to a similar experience in the other reserves.

On the other hand, this is the only official local hiking area that reaches the continental divide.

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Though you are not likely to see any animals … (I saw only one mammal fleetingly) … I recommend this hike.

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Transportation between San Jose and Monteverde is relatively painless. You can easily get to the Arenal volcano, as well.

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I recommend it. Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is one of the best hikes in Costa Rica.

more photos

El Balcon de Iberia, Cuba

Tom Mangan tipped us off to this well loved day hike.

The trail leads through the spectacular Parque Nacional Alejandro de Humboldt (Alexander von Humboldt National Park), which UNESCO recognizes as “one of the most biologically diverse tropical islands sites on earth.” Careful where you step: you will pass some of the world’s smallest vertebrates on your way to the El Majá Waterfall, which cascades over 82 feet.

autentica Cuba

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The trail begins at the first narrow section of the Santa María River …

Your hike will take you to the source of the Santa María River—El Majá Waterfall, more tban 82 feet (25 meters) high—where you can rest in the shade before treating yourself to a refreshing dip.

Duration: 5 hours
Distance: 4.3 miles
(7 kilometers)

Baracoa.org