Intelligent Travel

About Intelligent Travel

Cultural, Authentic & Sustainable: This is your brain on travel. We showcase the essence of place, what's unique and original, and what locals cherish most about where they live. And we highlight places, practices, and people that are on the front lines of sustainable travel--travel that preserves places' essential uniqueness for future generations.

Our mission is rooted in what the National Geographic Society stands for: inspiring people to care about the planet. Traveler and Intelligent Travel also want you to experience and enjoy the planet. We want to help you journey with greater sensitivity to the impact your trip has on a place and its inhabitants.

Sometimes we celebrate, sometimes we criticize. But we always try to heighten awareness about what's really important about travel: finding great places, experiencing them fully, and leaving them no worse for your visit.

Email: intelligenttravel at ngs dot org

Local Flavor: Hot Chicken in Nashville

“Hot chicken” is Nashville’s most famous dish. With two equally famous establishments in the city, Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack and Hattie B’s, residents love to argue who fries it best.

Your Shot of the Month: Beachside Sardinia

For Italian photographer Giuseppe Cabras, a day at the beach isn’t really a day at the beach. “My camera is the only way I can survive a long, hot day by the sea.” While strolling along Cala Banana beach, in Sardinia, he found his ideal subject in the form of a clothing vendor sporting some…

America’s ‘Ghost’ Parks

Wheeler Geologic Area, a wonderland of stone pinnacles and hoodoos (above), was once a top Colorado attraction. Now, only backcountry hikers and those willing to drive 13 miles on a dirt road earn a glimpse of one of America’s more unusual landscapes. President Theodore Roosevelt designated this volcanic tuff formation, about 250 miles southwest of…

Free as a Bird in Cambodia

The local villagers along Cambodia‘s Sangke River who once stole eggs from the nests of endangered birds now protect those same species. February marks the 15th anniversary of the Prek Toal bird sanctuary, located in the northwest part of the river. The Prek Toal area is populated by a distinctive community of floating homes, schools, and general…

Last, Loneliest, Loveliest: Auckland

A century ago, Englishman Rudyard Kipling commemorated Auckland in a poem. It was the first poem I learned at school, and, even to a child, the first line struck a plangent chord: Last, loneliest, loveliest, exquisite, apart. Auckland’s a grown-up city now, but its wilds are still dearest to my heart.

How to Pass for a Local in Oslo

Cosmopolitan, edgy, playful: Oslo serves up Scandinavian cool with heartwarming enthusiasm. Here are five ways to go local in the Norwegian capital.

Drive Across the Deepest Lake in the World

Lake Baikal is so big it makes its own horizon, one not always visible in winter when the snow and clouds can blend with the lake’s ice, eliminating all perspective from the landscape. But what hope is there for proportion on a lake that holds 20 percent of the world’s (unfrozen) freshwater supply? Never mind…

Aurora Rising: Norway’s Northern Lights

Weathered stave churches line the lush fjords of Norway’s majestic west coast, unrivaled for its natural beauty, cascading waterfalls, and wildlife such as whales and puffins. But come wintertime, snow covers the emerald shore, and the wild green of the cliffs ascends to the sky.

Dancing in the Streets: Peru’s Candelaria Festival

During the pre-Hispanic period of the place we now call Peru, February was harvest time. Couple that with a desire to celebrate the city of Puno’s patron, the Virgin of Candelaria, and it’s time to dance in the streets—literally.

Dogsledding in Swedish Lapland

Above the Arctic Circle, Sweden’s Lapland region unfolds with snow-capped mountains, deep forest, and vast stretches of untamed wilderness. But forget about snowmobiles: The hands-on, eco-friendly, and far more rewarding way to tour is by dogsled.

Insider’s Guide to Vilankulo, Mozambique

Mozambique’s shoreline, at 1,540 miles, is about the length of the U.S. west coast. The southern part of the coast—known for the seaside town of Vilankulo and Bazaruto Archipelago National Park—is a magnet for travelers seeking authentic (and affordable) adventure. Here’s how to optimize your time in this coastal paradise.

Experience Almond-Blossom Season in Mallorca

The Mediterranean island’s almond blossom season brings a trembling carpet of pink, purple, and white.