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

National Geographic Traveler features editor Amy Alipio (on Twitter @amytravels and on Instagram @amyalipio) recently returned from a family trip to New York City to soak up the holiday glow. Here are some of the high points of her trip, in her own words.

The keys to happiness in Mexico City are the simple things: the cozy cantina that serves pork ribs in green sauce; a walk in Parque México, on any day of the week but especially on Sundays, in the Condesa neighborhood; or a teeming food market such as Mercado San Juan.

The city where the U.S. got its start is rich in history, for sure. But Philadelphia also can brag about its art collections, science centers, and culinary spots—all destinations within walking distance of City Hall, the centermost point of Center City.

With its mix of national parks and private game reserves, Botswana offers visitors a range of experiences, from the Makgadikgadi salt pans (part of which is protected as Makgadikgadi Pans National Park) to the water-rich Okavango Delta. Here’s an insider’s guide to visiting this biodiverse wonder.

#NGTRadar: Travel Lately

Travel Lately—a roundup of the best new dispatches from the travel blogosphere—is a regular feature on Intelligent Travel every other Wednesday. You can play, too. Follow us on Twitter @NatGeoTravel and tag your favorite travel stories #NGTRadar to help us find the crème de la crème on the Web.

Itching to escape the cold—or embrace it? Join the @NatGeoTravel team on Twitter to get the scoop on the best places to visit this winter at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday, December 16.

They are scenes from our daydreams: paddling across an indigo lagoon surrounded by porpoises; coming eye to eye with a breaching whale; drifting to sleep on a beach under a dazzle of stars, well fed and soothed by top-shelf tequila. All are common occurrences for sea kayakers in the Gulf of California, off Mexico’s Baja peninsula.

Barbara A. Noe oversees the creation of National Geographic’s travel books—and every now and again has the opportunity to write them. She recently returned from a trip to Provence and the French Riviera on assignment to update Nat Geo Travel’s guidebook to the region. Here are some of the high points of her trip, in her own words.

Bicycles have long been the quickest way to navigate the traffic-choked streets of Seoul. But far from a last resort, cycling has become a national pastime throughout South Korea.

Experience the luxury of a bygone era with a wholly modern spin at one of these world-class railway hotels.

The Caryatids, a clique of statuesque ladies that once supported the roof of the Acropolis’s Erechtheion, stand more beautiful than ever after a three-year makeover.

Though far from the city-state center, Changi Village still has a faithful local following. Athletic types come for the windsurfing and kayaking. The hungry head for breakfast at popular Malay food stall International Nasi Lemak. My reason for visiting remains the same as ever: In all my years, I’ve not come across a better spot for a good sit and a hard think. This, to me, is the true Singapore.

#NGTRadar: Travel Lately

Travel Lately—a roundup of the best new dispatches from the travel blogosphere—is a regular feature on Intelligent Travel every other Wednesday. You can play, too. Follow us on Twitter @NatGeoTravel and tag your favorite travel stories #NGTRadar to help us find the crème de la crème on the Web. Here are our latest picks.

There are some amazing events on tap all over the world, all the time. Here’s a taste of what you can see and do in December.

Notorious as the vicinity from which Amelia Earhart made her final distress calls, the equatorial Pacific between Hawaii and Fiji is becoming a little safer—at least for marine life.

National Geographic Traveler features editor Amy Alipio (on Twitter @amytravels and on Instagram @amyalipio) recently returned from a family day trip at Shenandoah National Park, one of the crown jewels of America’s East Coast. Here are some of the high points of her trip, in her own words.

#StrangePlanet: Travel Trivia

Truth is stranger than fiction. Here are eight travel factoids to help prove it.

Nat Geo Travel’s Annie Fitzsimmons spends a large part of her life scouting out the sites, restaurants, and people that reveal the distinctive soul of cities large and small. But even Urban Insiders need a break from the hustle and bustle once in a while. So after attending the Adventure Travel World Summit in Killarney, she couldn’t resist…

Join @NatGeoTravel this Thursday for a live Twitter chat with Traveler features editor Amy Alipio (@amytravels), who will be revealing the magazine’s much anticipated Best of the World list for the first time. Find out National Geographic’s take on the 20 must-visit destinations of 2015—and add your own two cents about where travelers should set their sights in the new year by using #BestoftheWorld.

This Friday: Join Traveler magazine’s director of photography and features editor for a virtual photo walk to get a sneak peek at the National Museum of Natural History’s new dinosaur exhibit and find out Traveler’s picks for the top 20 places to visit in 2015.

In Brisbane’s pedestrian-friendly urban center, the cackle of a kookaburra is more common than a car horn. But don’t let the subtropical city’s laid-back impression fool you.

Wiener schnitzel—an unassuming breaded, fried veal cutlet—has so captured Vienna’s taste buds that it bears the city’s very name (Wien = Vienna). Yet Austria’s national dish may actually have originated in northern Italy as costoletta alla Milanese, a similarly prepared slice of veal.

In the 1970s, Ethiopian musician Mulatu Astatke made waves when he introduced a new style of music that layered jazz improvisation with Ethiopian folk rhythms and its traditional five-note scale. Now 70, the father of Ethio-jazz is still mixing things up.

#NGTRadar: Travel Lately

Travel Lately—a roundup of the best new dispatches from the travel blogosphere—is a regular feature on Intelligent Travel every other Wednesday. You can play, too. Follow us on Twitter @NatGeoTravel and tag your favorite travel stories #NGTRadar to help us find the crème de la crème on the Web. Here are our latest picks.

A hundred years have passed since the outbreak of World War I, a milestone vividly felt in the western Belgian town of Ypres, which endured some of the conflict’s fiercest fighting. On Armistice Day (November 11), thousands will crowd the streets, monuments, and cemeteries of this textile town turned shrine to the fallen.