NatureEcuador and Galapagos Islands
Although threatened today, at one point in time forests covered more than half of the earth's surface. These 20 forests will make you want to rediscover these often enchanting, mysterious and magnificent places.
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Japan
In Japan, bamboo is a symbol of force that expels evil spirits and this magnificent bamboo forest remains one of Kyoto's top sights and one of Japan's most photographed places. Many visitors rush here to stand amid the soaring bamboo stalks but despite the sometimes crowded walkway there is a calm serenity to this place.
Deadvlei, or "dead marsh", is a graveyard of trees that have been dead for more than 900 years. All those years ago stagnant water allowed acacias to grow, but now Namibia's climate is too dry for the trees to even decompose. This alien landscape is otherworldly with rich red sand dunes that have literally rusted over thousands of years and tree trunks that are black and burnt by the sun in this extremely dry region.
Cloud Forest, Costa Rica
This mountainous tropical forest sits some 1,440m above sea level and is constantly bathed in a humid mist that sweeps over the towering treetops. It is this life-giving haze that has given the forest its enchanting quality as well as giving life to its immensely rich biodiversity. A suspended walkway that sits among the forest canopy allows you to stroll through the clouds and get a full view of the 400 species of birds that call this place home.
Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar
With a height of over 300 metres and a wise old age of up to 800 years old, Baobab trees are known locally as renala - Malagasy for "mother of the forest". As one of Madagascar's most popular tourist spots, this avenue was originally part of a dense forest. Today, only a few dozen of the imposing trees remain, which the habitants strive to protect.
Boneyard Beach, USA
Florida's Boneyard Beach is a mile-long stretch of coastline on Big Talbot Island that is home to a forest of skeleton trees whose branches climb out of the ocean. These trees didn't originally begin to grow in the sea but as the water rose they became submerged and the trees began to die, whitened by the sun and the salt of the ocean.