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 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 awhile. So after attending the Adventure Travel World Summit in Killarney, she couldn’t resist exploring…

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.

The Icon: Golden Gate Bridge

Engineering wonder or colossal work of art? For many who drive or bike across, or simply admire it from afar, the Golden Gate Bridge is both. Here are some fast facts about this art deco icon.

When Cerro Negro—Nicaragua’s youngest volcano—last erupted in 1999, boulders tumbled down the western slope, creating a rocky, ascendable path. On the opposite side, the wind deposited dark, smooth ash that is perfect for sliding. In 2004, this unique pairing of terrains sparked an outlandish idea: volcano boarding.

This year marks a quarter century since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and Berlin continues to boom amid the reminders of its extraordinary past—a complex, sometimes dark, history it is intent on neither forgetting nor denying.

On a raft floating down Fiji’s Upper Navua River gorge, under dangling 100-foot vines, time stops. Like a tropical Grand Canyon, this gorge slices through the volcanic heart of Viti Levu—the largest island of the Fijian archipelago—and redefines island paradise.

Long among the must-visit destinations of Europe, Prague continues to evolve in surprising and alluring ways. Here are a few trends and tips to help you uncover the freshest ways to experience this fairy-tale Czech city.

These ten notoriously frightful cities, near and far, are beset with ghastly, ghostly close encounters.

#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.

#StrangePlanet: Travel Trivia

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

I was working on an animated film in Los Angeles in 1982 when I was ordered back to Prague by the communist Czech government. I decided not to return even though I knew this meant I might not see my family again. Then, in 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. Now, whenever I visit, I try to swim against time, not to recall the oppressive fortress that used to be Prague but to reconnect with the favorite places of my childhood.

The dramatic geology and wide-open spaces of the American Southwest lend themselves to UFO activity—imaginary or real—making it one of the top spots for sightings. Roswell, New Mexico, may be the most notable name in extraterrestrial lore, but there are plenty of other hot spots in the region that deserve honorable mentions. Here are five.

Namibia’s desert landscapes present travelers with a symphony of paradox: wide-open spaces and intimate encounters; rugged natural beauty and luxurious accommodations. Here are three base camps that will set the scene for travel transcendence.

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 November.

Colombia’s vibrant capital emerges from a sketchy past to paint a bold new future.

Vengeful gods, terrifying sorcerers, and death-dealing demons populate the legends and beliefs of the Caribbean, which derive from a potent blend of voodoo, Catholicism, and folklore.

#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.