Costa Rica is nicknamed the Garden of Eden, thanks to its wealth of protected national parks, wildlife havens and nature reserves. One of the best places to get your nature fix is in Sarapiqui Rainforest. Here, you’ll get to go on a guided walk where you’ll tick off super-cute sloths, red-eyed tree frogs, and multi-coloured birds of paradise, to name a few. Fancy visiting two nature reserves in one holiday? Look no further than Monteverde Cloud Forest. This place is Costa Rica’s most prized possession, and is home to a set of eight hanging bridges which you’ll get to stroll across while taking in unbeatable views – we can’t promise you’ll be greeted by Ant and Dec at the finish line, though.
If you think trips to Vietnam are all about high-octane cities, bustling markets, and not a lot of downtime, think again. Tropical Phu Quoc is one of south-east Asia's best kept secrets, and more than 90% of the island is a national park. In terms of wildlife, Phu Quoc National Park is home to waterfalls, mangroves, and countless walking trails, so you’ll never get bored. Plus, it's still under the tourist radar for now, so you’ll find the coastline’s pristine beaches are pretty much footprint free. Tempted?
One of the best places to experience Thai jungle life is in Khao Lak. You’ll find it around two hours’ drive north of Phuket, so it’s much quieter. Here, peaceful villages are backed by dense, green jungles that make up Khao Sok National Park. If you’ve got time to squeeze in a day trip or two, we recommend ticking off Cheow Lan Lake. The bright green waters are surrounded by towering limestone cliffs, vast jungles and spectacular caves – making it ideal for adventurous types. Just one of the highlights here include a nature-filled forest, in which you’ll get to trek through thick woodlands for about a mile. Along the way, you’ll likely spot boisterous monkeys jumping across the twisting branches, so don’t forget your camera.
Mauritius is much more than a honeymoon destination. Head to Île aux Aigrettes, a small-but-mighty national park just 800 metres off the south-east coast of the island. The teeny island is famous for its sanctuary-like status, and was once home to the now-extinct dodo. Elsewhere, you’ve got the Black River Gorges National Park, which is another must-visit for daring travellers. Here, you’ll see tonnes of wildlife and tropical plants as you hike through the winding routes, and you can even abseil down canyon walls and tumbling waterfalls to get a bird’s-eye view of the jungle from above.
Want to make tracks for the jungle?
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Author: Olivia Hunt
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