Sep 25 2005, 07:30 PM
I would have to say New Zealand as they have mountains, lakes, beaches, glaciers, volcanoes, rainforests, amazing hiking and wildlife all in a very small geographical area.
Best Country for Nature: New Zealand
Sep 28 2005, 09:17 AM
In terms of diversity of natural beauty per unit area I can't think of any competitor for best for natural beauty. Especially since the population density is so small.
Given my druthers I would love to live out my days down under in NZ. But they don't want anybody over 45 last time I checked. Probably a lot of other restrictions too since I don't believe there population is growing much. Can't really blame them I guess. Perhaps worth preserving as is as an example of what Eden may have been like.
But in terms of diversity and natural beauty per unit area, Costa Rica certainly has to be considered. In terms of percentage of its total area in National Parks, I believe CR is uno numero. It has no glaciers but practically every thing else including very friendly people and "Pura Vida" [the pure life] is their national motto. Besides they might even let me immigrate and buy an affordable piece of real estate. One problem: I like to snow ski. But they do have a great Bungee Jump, www.tropicalbungee.com. at just $65. Off a bridge 81 meters above the Rio Colorado. I'd like to jump again but twice is enough.
Sep 28 2005, 09:37 AM
But they don't want anybody over 45 last time I checked. Probably a lot of other restrictions too since I don't believe there population is growing much.
New Zealand is trying to limit immigration. Basically you need to have a skill that is in short supply (I think
this includes doctors and teachers) or have half a million bucks to invest (not in a house). Or have a pretty solid job offer that can't possibly be filled by an NZer.
In terms of the question at hand, Canada has some pretty decent nature but it is so spread out over such a huge country. New Zealand on the other hand is very compressed, so you notice stuff like that more.
Sep 28 2005, 09:38 AM
what i am going to say, is not going to be impartial, because i am Argentinian, and because i havenīt gone all over the world....
Without have gone to New Zealand yet, i guess Argentina is very similar, because it has temperatures from 50C in summer and -30C in winter, the only advancing Glacier in the world, the Cataratas, mountains (Andes), lakes, beaches ( 1000km althoungh not very clean...), winter skiing, volcanoes, rain forests, amazing hiking and wildlife, long rivers, dry deserts, flat areas, big unpopulated country lands, big cities very crowded, all together in one country!
The bad thing is, it is full of Argentinians.................JA!
Sep 29 2005, 11:47 AM
From everyone I talk to, NZ does seem the place to go to become one with nature (it's on my list!)
As far as my experiences go, the Overland Track in Tasmania, Oz, is right up there. The trek takes you through 75 kms of rocky mountains, valleys, meadows, forests, allowing you the chance to see a plethora of wildlife. Spectacular!
As far as canoe tripping goes, not much beats a trip into the interior of Algonquin park, Ontario, Canada!
Oct 15 2005, 09:22 PM
As an overall package, I have to agree that New Zealand is the best that I've been too. Varied landscapes and fantastic wild life.
It's visitor friendly too, without beeing too over exploited.
Having said that though, the best scenery for me is still the Grand Canyons. I think the sheer vastness of it all is so humbling.
Of course, coming from Malaysia, I must say our beaches are second to none.
Dec 8 2005, 01:01 AM
New Zealand is beautiful but the Pamirs in Tadzikistan and Mongolia for it's vastness.
Dec 8 2005, 03:04 PM
New Zealand, yes, I agree, but I also loved Laos. It's not nearly as touristy as Thailand and yet it's just as safe, even for single women travelers. And its natural beauty is stunning. It doesn't have to be the caves and rivers near Vang Vieng in between "Friends" re-runs, but check out Si Phan Don, Four Thousand Islands, south of Pakse.
You get to stay in little bungalows on stilts. They are built right into the rushing waters of the Mekong. You house by yourself or with a friend in a double and you share your house with red-eyed roaches almost the size of your palm (mosquito nets are provided, all for 1 USD a night/room). You can leave the door open at night and watch the thunderstorms over the river.
There is no electricity (safe for the occasional light bulb powered by car batteries and generators that run for about two hours every evening) and the 'running water' in the one shower you'll find is basically water from the Mekong. Alternatively, you can take outdoor showers in the driving rain, a perfectly normal thing to do there.
AND, there are magic creatures such as river dolphins near one of these small islands that are so rare you pretty much won't see them anywhere else in the world... convinced?
Dec 8 2005, 10:00 PM
I would have to say the island of Borneo. It has the oldest rainforest in the world full of an amazing array of wildlife. Everything from monkeys to lemurs, reptiles to birds of paradise, and even some elephants. The plant life is unreal too with raffelsia (the biggest flower in the world - which smells of rotting flesh) and lots of plants that actually eat animals, like pitcher plants and venus fly traps.
Climbing Mount Kinabalu is a must too.
But the best part about Borneo has to be its fantastic coral reefs, full of tropical fish, sharks, manta rays and turtles.
Simply amazing. Get there before it disappears.
Best country for nature: The Island of Borneo (Malaysia and The Phillipines)
Dec 9 2005, 04:26 AM
I like that one a lot. It's funny, I've always wanted to go to Borneo for a rainforest adventure. Borneo is the only country I remember from my middle school geography. I loved to learn about the rain forest tribes and how they live and the insane wildlife that's somehow escaped extinction. It must be a very special place.
Then I came to Oz and discovered they've got rainforsest there (Daintree and up) and it's very old and beautiful. So the dream of Borneo, I guess, was postponed. Also, my ticket wasn't gonna take me anywhere near there. But your post made me want to go there again. Well, you never know, next time I'm on my way to New Zealand (November 2006!!!) I might stop there for a couple weeks. It definitely seems worth it. Thanks!
Mar 29 2007, 11:09 PM
As an Australian who has just completed one month in Indonesia and 3 weeks in Borneo, I would say Borneo. Specifically Sungai Kinabatanan (best seen with www.uncletan.com) area. We had a great jungle experience, but there are many more 'naturalistic experiences' in the Sabah area of Borneo that we elected not to visit on this particular trip.
Mar 29 2007, 11:44 PM
Hi - lots of people have already beaten me to mentioning the island of Borneo (not a country) - certainly great for nature. I remember always being fascinated to look at any random square metre in Borneo and see how much life exists in that small area. Amazing.
Papua New Guinea is great.
I imagine with all those islands there must be some great parts of Indonesia for nature, but I haven't checked it out yet.
I imagine Bhutan is great also. It is illegal to chop a tree down there.
Hmmm, lots of places are so beautiful for nature, but only small pockets. The world must have been so incredibly beautiful a few thousand years ago (before humans got really good at wrecking it).
Apr 2 2007, 09:15 AM
The United States. Now if you are done laughing at me then let me explain.
(1) Utah alone is unreal for nature. They have Arches National Park (which everyone just voted for photo of the year on this website), Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reed, Cedar Breaks, Zion National Park and Natural Bridges. Not to mention that Moab is an outdoor adventure plaground with white water rafting, ATVing, off road biking and more.
(2) If that is not enough then how about the Grand Canyon??
(3) Finally, California is not too shabby with Muir Woods, Sequia National Park, Yosemite National Park, Redwood NP, and more.Some of nature's beauties in the U.S. from 2002
Apr 9 2007, 04:06 AM
I was recently in New Zealand and found it to be one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. I have been to a lot of places but New Zealand I think is the tops for pure beauty.
Apr 10 2007, 03:15 PM
I was in NZ a few months ago, but for only a few weeks. One of the most beautiful countries, (almost) all of the world's landscapes packed into these two islands.
Then I travelled Patagonia, and I just stopped trying to describe the beauty of it in my blog, cause beauty is there everyday, and I mean real emotional beauty. In Argentina AND Chile. I loved NZ, and Patagonia is just more. Another nice thing there is that you share the space with wildlife.
And, from my experience and from the tales of many : Algeria.
Apr 11 2007, 02:25 PM
Yeah, people tend to sell the US short, but honestly -- the American southwest is probably as epic and as grand as anything else on the planet. And it's one of the few places where the over-regulated, fear-of-lawsuit overkill starts to fade and you can actually feel free to wander and explore and rely on yourself. We have tons of other great spots, but as alluded to, the fear of lawsuits means that freedom within them has severely crippled one's ability to enjoy, and so nature becomes an artificial environment that people leave the city to go look at for a day, which is just sick in my opinion. But spend some time in Utah, Montana, New Mexico, Arizona, and Wyoming.
I would also add the oft-ignored Caribbean island of Dominica to the mix -- it's what the Caribbean would be if cruise ships didn't stop. Almost the entire economy is based upon eco-tourism -- diving, hiking, climbing, and paddling. There are almost no beaches, no resorts, and the interior of the island is a vast, largely untouched mountainous rain forest. Plus -- no poisonous snakes or bugs, and the water is clean and safe to drink!
Apr 11 2007, 02:56 PM
QUOTE(peacefrog @ Apr 10 2007, 10:15 PM)
And, from my experience and from the tales of many : Algeria.
mmmm... maybe later: there were al quaeda bombings in Algiers yesterday
Sep 4 2007, 02:59 PM
That's a question that's hard to answer. I've never been to New Zealand but everything I've heard puts it right up there. I have seen more of Argentina than most people ever will and it has to make the top 5 in terms of diversity, especially Salta province. My all time favorite trip in terms of raw natural beauty was an 18-day raft trip down the Grand Canyon. The US is incredibly beautiful. But, in my experience, in terms of minute by minute awe of the natural beauty surrounding me as I travel, Iceland takes the prize for overall most beautiful country. It's not incredibly diverse but it is mostly nature.
Oct 5 2007, 12:25 PM
for tropical rain forest center america in general
Nov 11 2007, 08:26 PM
I guess I'm biased as I live in New Zealand - on the South Island (which I think has to be the best place in the country!).
So glad I found this site - off to bookmark it at travelbookmarking.com which I'm currently addicted to - so I can share it with others.
Dec 16 2007, 06:10 AM
I second that, wholeheartedly..
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