Jens Saltin – Ten Tips for the Globetrotter– This Is What You Need to Experience before You Die
Traveling and exploring new things undoubtedly count among the good things in life. But as a traveler, it’s easy to end up in exploited and overly touristy places.
The seasoned traveler Jens Saltin offers tips about spectacular and easy-to-miss spots in the world.
Jens Saltin, commonly Head of Expansion Operations at the e-commerce company Klarna, has visited more countries than most dream of. His tips are directed to those who’ve grown tired of places overcrowded with tourists.
The Blue Hole, Belize
The Blue Hole is situated about seventy kilometers from the coast of Belize, close to the small atoll, Lighthouse Reef. At this place, you can enjoy incredible diving in crystal clear water. In addition to the rich wildlife, you can also check out some of the largest stalagmites I have ever seen. Start by catching the plane to Belize and then direct your steps toward Ambergris Key, where you can find local diving guides. Set out early in the morning, because that way you’ll have time to make three dives. There are barely any tourists here and it feels as if you have the entire ocean to yourself.
– Go to the Pacific side. You’ll experience an entirely different kind of diving here. However, be prepared for colder water and somewhat more difficult visual conditions. But it is clearly worth it, since you’ll have the opportunity to observe really large sea creatures in these waters, for example whale sharks. Since the currents tend to be rather strong, you should have considerable diving experience.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
– For many, encountering an enormously poor country like Cambodia is surely an awakening. It definitely adds new perspectives. Once arrived, you should not pass up the impressive temple ruins at Angor War, which date from the twelfth century. It’s a little like being in an India Jones movie and it’s one of the few history/culture heritage places in which I’ve spent an entire day (usually, a few hours are enough). Also, try to find a local guide who can show you other interesting sites in the vicinity. When I visited, local guides helped us find less known ruins way out in the jungle, where people were still working on clearing the area of landmines.
– This village is located on the Yucatán Peninsula, on the east coast of Mexico. Inthe Yucatán Peninsula, an extensive system of caves, measuring about 450 km, has been formed by subterranean rivers. Here you can try so-called cenote-diving. Cenote is a word derived from Spanish and means “deep hole.” This type of geological phenomenon appears when a limestone bedrock crumbles, making the ground water visible. It’s like a completely different world – like being on the moon. Choose Tulum or some other smaller place ahead of Cancun or Playa del Carmen. These places should be avoided since they’ve become much exploited.
Jerusalem is on intensely religious ground and there you can sense the grand tides of history. The ambience of Jerusalem can’t be found anywhere else in the world. The beautiful religious monuments, the atmosphere, the food, the people—yes everything is a must-see before you die. I strongly recommend finding a good guide, since it enhances the experience of the city.
– Cuba is a breathtaking culture shock. It feels like entering the epicenter of communism. At the same time, it’s a gorgeous country, and it has so much more to offer than just Havana. Go out to the countryside and experience the magnificent scenery. You might also spend a few days diving at some of the world’s most secludeddiving sites. When traveling to Cuba, it’s a good idea to bring plenty of dollars. The cash dispenser fees are steep.
The National Park Pantanal, Brazil
– In Brazil, a bevy of wonderful experiences await. But when it comes to jungle/swamp adventures, you ought to choose—if you have to—Pantanal instead of the Amazonia. Here you won’t find any trails. It’s got more of an “into the wild”-feel to it. Like the Amazonia, there’s spectacular wildlife mixed with beautiful sceneries. It’s a beautiful “get dirty”-experience of nature!
Ometepe Island, Nicaragua
– This magnificent island is situated in Lago de Nicaragua. Here you can come upon active volcanoes. I recommend hiking through the jungle and up to the volcanoes. It’s a different kind of experience. You’ll be well advised to make inquiries about volcano activity before outlining hikes, as there may be sulfur in the air.
– This is an incredibly beautiful country. And here are some of the nicest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of encountering. Add lovely weather, great restaurants, and a pulsating nightlife and you’ll appreciate why Lebanon, and Beirut in particular, is one of my absolute favorite destinations. Don’t forget to make a detour to Byblos while in the country. Byblos is one of the oldest cities in the world and a spot worth visiting. I recommend visiting Lebanon between April and July, or between September and November.
The National Park Torrez del Paine, Chile
– Torrez del Paine is a national park located in southern Chile. Here you can find inner peace while having the opportunity to enjoy beautiful nature. I recommend spending about five days here and experiencing mountain and glacier climbing in tough conditions, but also mixing things up by relaxing by the green-turquoise lakes, which are formed by sediments seeping into the water. The proximity to nature is tangible and the feeling of being far away from civilization is wonderful. See more of Jens Saltin on youtube.
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