Deane Odendaal

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Top five nerve-shredding road trips in Costa Rica

Renting a car in Costa Rica is costly and can even be dangerous if you're not prepared for what's to come. It’s also ridiculously good fun. Some of the most interesting, little-explored destinations are only accessible by car, and for the adventurous traveler, there’s simply no substitute for the …

Navigations: Leap Year

<i>Read Mark Jenkins’s previous “Navigations” essays</i><p>At last we alighted on the south coast of Spain. A family of four from America, traipsing through the Málaga airport with overstuffed daypacks and four bulging duffels, four bulging bicycle boxes, and two sturdy computer cartons. Disheveled and …

Top 10 things to do in Trinidad, Cuba

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Trinidad, Cuba, was built on the back of the 19th-century sugar and slave trade. At its zenith, in 1827, one of the 56 sugar mills in the region harvested the biggest cane haul in the world — just under a million kilos of white pressed crystals. This enormous, …

Top 10

Ten great cycling routes: from day-trips to long-distance adventures

Wind in your hair, landscapes whipping by, cruising through peaceful forests: embracing the outdoors on two wheels is one of the healthiest and most enjoyable ways to get around. Here’s our round-up of great cycling routes which offer something for everyone, from multi-day adventures to relaxing …

One day in Brooklyn: the perfect itinerary

For many first-time visitors to New York, New York equals Manhattan. But just a couple of subway stops across the river lies a whole other delicious world that deserves your exploration. So set aside a day to take a tour of Brooklyn, with these hand-picked highlights from Brooklyn local, Brian …

The Seychelles for independent travellers

With stunning beaches and brilliant blue seas, it’s hardly surprising the Seychelles rank among the world’s most idyllic island getaways.<p>Marooned in the middle of the Indian Ocean, this archipelago of 115 islands is notoriously exclusive (and expensive), and if you simply couldn’t imagine …

Take to the skies: the world's greatest airborne adventures

To mark Lonely Planet’s sponsorship of the iconic 1917 Curtiss JN-4 ‘Flying Jenny’ Biplane’s commemorative air tour this summer we’re exploring aviation's history and continued impact on travel. Here are 10 ways to soar into the ether in some of the world's most inspiring locations, adapted from …

Sri Lanka: nirvana for beach lovers

Sri Lanka overwhelms the senses. The air is heavy with the scent of jasmine, the food richly spiced and the landscape one of utter beauty; the radiant green rice paddies, forests of swaying palm trees and mountains puckered in tea plantations are utterly bewitching. But for many people Sri Lanka …

The world's best secret islands

Looking for a romantic spot that's (almost) all yours? Here’s a list from our brand new <i>Best in Travel 2011</i> guide to reignite your love affair with desert islands, with picks from across the globe.<p>1. Torres Strait Islands, Australia<p><i>Image by Killer White Fluff</i><p>As far as you can go in Oz without …

Secret O’ahu: sights only the locals know about

Most people think of O’ahu strictly as a beach vacation interspersed with hiking and awash with cocktails. But what they don't realise is that there is a lot going on that has nothing to do with the island’s sandy beaches, flip-flopped feet, or the big, sugary, impossibly coloured drinks of …

Exploring Mexico's Pacific and Caribbean coasts

When people think Mexico, many see golden sand, blue water and green palms. Hundreds of beaches fit this bill: some near-empty with a few palm-thatched eateries and cabañas; others busy urban beaches. Most of the best are on the Pacific or the Caribbean coasts.<p>Right, got your bathers and a …

Watching Australia's wildlife

Wildlife is one of Australia’s top selling points, and justifiably so. A network of national parks, state forests and reserves is home to unique and fascinating native fauna, and although many of the furry mammals are nocturnal, during the daylight the birdlife is vibrant, noisy and colourful.<p>If …

Exploring the best of Croatia's islands

Croatia’s coast is speckled with dozens of magnificent islands that range from tiny, verdant and unpopulated to massive, arid and sporting ancient towns and villages. One of the chief delights on any visit to Croatia is hopping between the islands on the numerous ferries, catamarans and taxi boats, …

Our top 45 free things to do in New York City

Seeing New York City's biggest attractions can mean spending a hefty chunk of your trip budget on tickets. Empire State Building? $36. The Guggenheim and the Whitney both go for $25. Even the Frick is $22. But there's a lifetime of fun to be had without ever handing over a cent, and not just by …

Keep on truckin': a guide to overlanding

So you fancy an epic adventure, but don't want to go it alone...<p>Overland trips can offer a good balance of offbeat exploration and independence, guaranteeing transport but leaving you free to decide what to do once you've rolled into town.<p>A typical day<p>Life on a truck requires plenty of community …

Great places to stay on the world's loveliest islands

Don’t waste precious travel time dragging your flip-flopped feet to the beach. We’ve rounded up ten places to stay on some of the world’s most beautiful islands – and they’re all a stone’s throw from the beach. Best of all, you don’t need to sell your granny to enjoy an island getaway, we’ve picked …

Beaches

Unmissable South America

South America is home to dramatic landscapes, archaeological splendours from the past and a dizzying variety of wildlife - the largest collection of plant and animal species on earth, in fact. For the sheer awe factor, it's hard to top seeing Incan ruins through mist-covered cloud forest, spying …

Tiny countries that pack a big punch

Size isn't everything. Here are ten of the smallest countries in the world. Some of them are rarely visited, except by travellers collecting visa stamps. Most are islands, often far flung. Their wealth varies, from nearly the highest per capita GDP to nearly the lowest, but all still manage to …

Bora Bora beyond the beach

Bora Bora is world-famous for its glinting turquoise lagoon, dazzlingly white sandy stretches of beach and luxurious resorts. With such a dreamlike setting, this magical island is, unsurprisingly, a great spot to decompress. But there’s much more to do than simply sipping a cocktail on your chaise. …

How to plan a round-the-world trip

Itʼs the ultimate trip: circumnavigating the planet, and stopping off wherever takes your fancy. Great for travellers who want to see it all, or who are just plain indecisive. But booking a round-the-world (RTW) trip can be a complex business. Hereʼs our guide to getting started.<p>How to do it<p>The …

Everest Base Camp

Top 10 stops for Central America first-timers

The green cufflinks between North and South America, these seven compact countries would be easy to skip on a map. Yet they represent a complex web of cultures, ancient ruins, tropical wildlife and adventure.<p>For starters, try climbing lava-gurgling volcanoes with perfect cones that poke above the …

How to travel in Europe

Fifty sovereign states. 10,180,000 sq km. 738,200,000 people. The word ‘Europe’ does little to convey the diversity found within, which can make it a bewildering place to travel. So here’s a handy guide to your transport options:<p>Car<p><b>Budget:</b> medium-high (London-Prague petrol from EUR360 return, plus …

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10 wild regions saved from certain death

Having been snatched from the very jaws of environmental disaster lends a certain added drama to these wilderness regions.<p>1. Franklin and Gordon Rivers, Australia<p>The intense battle to save Tasmania’s Franklin and Gordon Rivers from a hydroelectric dam, fought all the way to Australia’s High Court, …

How to uncover closed-door restaurants when travelling

It’s like a dinner party with strangers. Closed-door restaurants, also known as underground restaurants or supper clubs, are private eateries tucked away in a chef’s home. And though they’re not widely advertised, they are often some of the most sought-after tables in town.<p>For travellers, these …

Ten of the world’s toughest bike rides

Cycling’s toughest competitors will line up their bikes in the Corsican town of Porto-Vecchio on 29 June for the centenary edition of the Tour de France. Three weeks of extreme climbs and lightning-fast time trials await. So if their exploits leave you feeling inspired, why not try one of these …