Moments & Misadventures :: A Few of the Other National Parks

There is no doubt about it-I love visiting national parks! All national parks have the same goal in mind of protecting and preserving places of rich natural beauty and historical significance. And for me there is no better way of honoring that mission than by visiting the park that they work so hard to preserve. If you have been following me for awhile you have probably seen many posts on the national parks that I have visited throughout the states. But I have also visited some incredible national parks in my international travels and these parks were such a important piece of understanding the country. Allow me to share with you some of the other national parks that I have loved and learned from.

Cave of Wonder National Park {Dominican Republic}

This large cave system sits just outside of La Romana and the entrance to the park is nearly hidden behind a wall of vines. It really is a cave of wonder with all the formations in every corner. But the real treasure of the caves are the 472 pictographs of the ancient Timon people who lived on this islands thousands of years ago. The pictographs give a small look at cultural beliefs of the people at the time and share the stories of their everyday life.

Prince Edward Island National Park {Canada}

As a kid I read all the Anne of Green Gables books many times over. So to be able to go and walk along the red tinted shores that inspired Lucy Maud Montgomery to write about the small island that she called home through the character of the red haired orphan Anne was a really wonderful experience. Prince Edward Island National Park has miles of that beautiful red sand with the waves of the Atlantic kissing the shores.

Tel Megiddo National Park {Israel}

There are about 56 national parks in the small country of Israel and although I got to see a lot of them the one that stood out as my favorite was Tel Meggido National Park. This area represented the crossroads between then Mesopotamia and Egypt. With miles of rich land by the river it was the powerhouse point. To own this land meant you owned control of the trade between the regions. It has been fought over again and again and with each new civilization to claim victory they built their empire on top of the old one. There are now 30 layers of different civilizations that archeologists are continuing to uncover.

Tijuca National Park {Brazil}

Tijuca National Park in Rio de Janerio is probably the most visited park in the country. This is because at its center is the Corcovada Mountain on which stands the Cristo Redentor Statue. The train ride through the park winding its way up the mountain was incredible with the lush green rainforest everywhere. But then to get to the top and stand at the feet of one of the most recognizable and iconic statues in the world was absolutely awe inspiring.

Loch Lomond National Park {Scotland}

I feel like this national park often gets overlooked for the more publicized Loch Ness with the mysterious myth of the watery monster. But Loch Lomond is part of the Trossachs National Park and was the first park to be granted national park status back in 2002. It is also featured in the popular song The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond. This loch is absolutely mesmerizing to behold.

Cascade de Fautaua National Park {French Polynesia}

While in Tahiti I got to take a hike through the Cascade de Fautaua National Park. The trail was a dramatic mix of walking through the greenery and scaling down a steep incline with a rope all to end up at the top of a 980 foot waterfall. There were a series of pools at the top that would flow into each other, each pool was large enough to swim in, before finally cascading down over the rocks. Of all the hikes that I have done in my life, this one will always be firmly planted as my favorite.

Arikok National Park {Aruba}

The highlight for me of the island of Aruba was the Natural Bridge of Arikok National Park. The rocky shores of this corner of the island have been carved by the constant waves. The bridge at one point was nothing more than a large piece of rock that then the water created a cave. But when the back part of the cave fell into the water below it created an amazing bridge spanning the shoreline. I loved walking to the middle of the bridge and watching the waves hit the back rocks over and over again.

There is just nothing better than a visit to a national park, whether home or abroad, to really see the heart of a place. Every time I visit a national park it just seems to breathe new life into me giving me a quiet peace where my perspective comes into clearer focus.

26 responses to “Moments & Misadventures :: A Few of the Other National Parks”

  1. I agree, Meg! You somehow feel like a better person after having visited a national park. I really enjoyed seeing your international national parks because with over 400 sites to visit in the US, we probably won’t get to any international ones.

      • Oh, we would LOVE to meet up for dinner sometime. I’m guessing we’ve only seen about 100 of the sites, and believe it or not, we don’t do the passports. I wish we had started it years ago, but now we’re way behind.

        • 100 is fantastic! What an accomplishment! I did learn that if you send the visitor center of any of the parks a self addressed envelop and a blank paper or one of their blank stamp stickers, they will stamp it for you and mail it back. We got our passport book a few years ago and were lamenting not having the stamps to where we had already been. So I sat down one day and sent off a bunch of stickers with notes requesting specific dates for the stamp. It was so fun to get them all back in the mail 🙂

  2. What a great idea for a post! I love national parks too. We always look for them when travelling in the US in particular 🙂 Of all the ones you share here, I’ve long wanted to visit PEI because of Anne, naturally. Many of the rest were new to me and the one that really grabs me is that cave. There’s something so awe-inspiring about seeing the marks left by people so very long ago!

    • Thank you! PEI and being on the ‘Anne Trail’ was fulfilling a childhood dream for sure. I loved the cave and seeing those ancient markings- like a small connection to a different time and people. 🙂

  3. What a great list of parks! We also love to visit national parks when we travel. I find it very heartwarming when even third world countries have land dedicated to parks. Glad PEI made your list 😊

  4. This is a fine list Meg spanning an array of incredible countries. Most of which I have not been to. Love the idea of pulling back a curtain of vines to enter the Cave of Wonder in The Dominion Republic. Very Indiana Jones. Loch Lomond is indeed a spectacular place, I’ve passed through it several times on the way to other delights, but never taken the time to explore properly. If someone told me I could be teleported to just one of these parks for a weekend, I’d go for Arikok because Aruba looks amazing.

    • The cave very much had an Indy feel to it with the steep climb down to the vine covered entrance and then with the pictographs inside. (Side note- did you see that they made another Indiana Jones to come out soon? I’m torn because I love the old Indy movies but another sequel just sounds excessive). I think you would really enjoy Arikok with its dynamic landscape 🙂

  5. I’m such a fan of national parks as well! It sounds like you’ve had the opportunity to visit quite a few of them in other countries. I’m glad to see PEI National Park featured as the landscape is simply stunning. This makes me want to go on another vacation now!

    • Oh I loved PEI- it was just so beautiful and getting to go on the ‘Anne trail’ was a childhood dream come true. I’m with you on wanting another vacation- anytime and any day I’m ready for a vacation 🙂

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