Surfers and wannabes have been flocking to Costa Rica’s Guanacaste Province since the film The Endless Summer 2—documentarian Bruce Brown’s follow-up to his 1966 surf classic—popularized it two decades ago. And for good reason.

I left Vietnam as a child when communist tanks rolled into Saigon and ignominiously ended the Vietnam War for Americans. That was on April 28, 1975. So much has changed, yet my homeland remains an astonishing beauty, a country shaped by mountains and rivers and the eternal sea lapping at her shores.

Rocky Mountain National Park is an ideal alpine playground, complete with sheer rock walls, steep couloirs, and craggy peaks—everything a budding climber needs to cut his or her teeth.

Television host, author, and former executive chef Anthony Bourdain has licked his plate clean all over the world, from soup dumplings in Shanghai to piranhas in Peru. Here’s a look at the world through his unique lens (and appetite).

Encompassing 1,441 square miles of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, Olympic National Park invites visitors to explore three distinct ecosystems: subalpine forest and wildflower meadow; temperate forest; and the rugged Pacific shore. Because of the park’s relatively unspoiled condition and outstanding scenery, the United Nations has declared Olympic both an international biosphere reserve and a World Heritage site. Here’s a look at the wild wonderland from someone who knows and loves it best.

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 May.

Three years ago, Jennifer Pinkerton cashed in her life as an editor in Sydney for a life of global adventure. After teaching English at the Dalai Lama’s temple in India, losing her hair in Zambia, and taking on French school in the Loire Valley, she ventured to the desert and put down roots in Darwin, the capital of one of Australia’s most remote and least populated areas. Here are a few of Jennifer’s favorite things about the tropical Northern Territory wonderland she’s proud to call home.

America’s National Park System is composed of more than 450 natural, historical, and cultural areas spread across the United States and its far-flung territories. Though Yellowstone deserves all the attention it gets, here are ten lesser-known park properties that are calling out for a visit.

Travel photographer and National Geographic Student Expeditions leader Jill Schneider (on Instagram @jillhsphotography) just got back from a trip to the charming colonial town of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, with two of her best friends. Here are some of the highlights from her adventure, in her own words.

Montana’s Glacier National Park is home to some 762 lakes, dozens of glaciers, and innumerable waterfalls that glisten in forested valleys. But perhaps best of all, a scenic highway and more than 700 miles of trails criss-cross the park, making much of its pristine beauty accessible to visitors. Geographer Richard Menicke arrived at Glacier in 1992, and quickly carved out a niche for himself as the park’s foremost GIS specialist. Here is his insider’s guide to this “Crown of the Continent” jewel.

National parks are like poems: arguably superfluous but in reality vital to humanity. Celebrate National Park Week (April 19 to 27) by visiting one near you.

In Amsterdam, paint the town orange for King’s Day—when the whole city turns out to toast the lord of the land.

After a fiery controversy over hot pepper fumes in 2013, the Huy Fong Sriracha factory, located 30 minutes outside of Los Angeles, cleaned up its act—as well as its air—and now fuels the condiment’s cult status with facility tours.

After more than a decade of welcoming visitors to Las Vegas as a convention planner, you might think Jen Lee would tire of talking up her hometown. Not so. “There are always sights and experiences to explore and rediscover,” she says. Here are a few of her favorite things about Nevada’s city that never sleeps.

Over a decade ago, the film “Under the Tuscan Sun” tossed Italy’s Maremma region into the global tourism spotlight. For today’s thoughtful travelers, this fertile region offers authenticity and nature on a grand scale best sampled in spring, when the days are warm, the nights are cool, and the land is bursting with life renewed.

A northern extension of the Appalachian range, the White Mountains attract visitors with the highest and windiest peak in the Northeast—Mount Washington—and the oldest network of high-altitude huts in the nation.

When you’re celebrating your tenth wedding anniversary, not every destination will do. Nat Geo’s director of digital marketing, Jennifer Wallace, and her husband were looking for “a truly amazing spring skiing destination” and they found it in Zermatt, Switzerland. Here are a few highlights from her trip, in her own words.

At the end of the 20th century and in the wake of the Rwandan Civil War, a country lay dying, and people the world over wondered how Rwanda would or could recover, let alone welcome tourists again. But Praveen Moman did the unthinkable: He founded a safari company and invited Westerners to come.

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

The family vacation, like the concept of family itself, has evolved. Kids are traveling with grandma or a single parent or an indulgent uncle (or all three). However you define your kin, this Yucatán itinerary is all relative.

For 25 years, NASA’s orbiting Hubble telescope has beamed mesmerizing images of our universe. But Earth dwellers can get stellar celestial views, too. Here are three trip-worthy dark-sky havens in the United States.

Though Athens seems to live in the shadow of its long history, Dimitris Hall is on a mission to suss out city surprises, both new and old. Luckily for us, as he digs up new discoveries, he shares them with the world on the Spotted by Locals blog. Here are a few of his favorite things about the place he calls home.

From fat farms to transformational centers, these three classic North American spas are coming of age. Here’s why. > Rancho La Puerta (Tecate, Mexico)  Claim to fame: Located just south of Mexico’s border with the United States and turning 75 in June, it’s North America’s oldest destination spa. Then: “$17.50 a week, bring your own tent.” Burt Lancaster…

Travel photographer and writer Erika Skogg (on Instagram @ErikaSkogg) spends most of the year guiding students on photography trips with National Geographic Expeditions. She recently returned from a journey through Peru, a trip she has been lucky enough to have done many times before, including a lengthy stop in Cusco. Here are some of the high points of her trip, in her own words.

More than 1,000 prehistoric paintings dot the newly inducted UNESCO site of Grotte Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc in southeastern France—and you will never see them because the landmark closed indefinitely to protect its 30,000-year-old artworks. But there’s another way to see some of the oldest cave paintings in the world.