Black Lava Beaches on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in Iceland

One of the most interesting things that we’ve seen in our travels are the black lava beaches in Iceland. There are several of them on the island, but we visited the ones that are on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. They are especially interesting when seen during winter when the black of the lava contrasts with the white of the snow. As time goes by, the larger lava rocks slowly erode to an almost sandy appearance, but it is still quite rough. We stood for quite some time just watching the waves pounding against the rocky shore, the power of nature in all of its glory.

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Amazing Black Beach

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Lava Rocks on the Shore

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Lava Cliffs

To get to the black beaches on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, you go into the Snæfellsjökull National Park and head toward the Malariff Lighthouse. From there you simply continue to the shore where the beaches line the coast. You will also get a chance to see the twin peaks of Lóndrangar, which are huge lava rocks along the shore that have survived years of erosion. As we continued down the coast away from Malariff, we came across even more dramatic lava rocks on the shoreline. The lava has been carved into sheer cliffs with the waves crashing along their base. Even further along the coast, we came across large lava fields along the shore that almost looked like we had been transported to a foreign planet.

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Rocky Lava Coastline

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Waves Rolling Ashore

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Rugged Lava Carved Out by the Ocean

Visiting the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, which has been described as Iceland in miniature, is definitely something that should be seen during any trip to Iceland. For many reasons, seeing the black beaches along the coast is something that we found extremely beautiful as well as geologically fascinating.

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Snow, Lava, and the Ocean

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Rock Formations at Lóndrangar

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Alien Landscape Along the Coast

 

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Colorful Flowers Around the World

Regardless of where we travel to, whenever we see a beautiful flower we tend to take a close-up picture of it. We have been to many tropical locations, which have amazing flowers, but we see beautiful flowers in the hearts of cities as well. Obviously we also see wild flowers along the trails during our hikes. What we love about the close-up pictures is how it often captures the contrasting colors within the flower petals. We have included many of our favorite flowers here. Do you take photographs of flowers that you come across during your travels?

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Beautiful Wildflower

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White and Red Orchid

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Flowers in the Jungle

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Yellow Wildflowers

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Tropical Flower

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Colorful Flower in Ecuador

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Butterfly on a Flower

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Very Unique

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Flower in the Jungle of Panama

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Flowers in a Park

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Bright Orange Flowers

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Purple Wildflower

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Interesting Yellow Wildflower

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Tropical Flower in Panama

 

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Island of the Sun and Island of the Moon in Bolivia

Taking a boat out to visit Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun) and Isla de la Luna (Island of the Moon) on Lake Titicaca in Bolivia is truly fascinating. The islands have many interesting ruins that pre-date the Inca empire and have been dated back to as far as 300 BC. The ruins are mostly of temples, but people lived on the islands as well. Island of the Sun is the larger of the two islands and there are even hotels where you can spend the night if you would like. If you just want to tour the islands and return to the town of Copacabana on the same day, it will take you about four to six hours.

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View of Copacabana and Lake Titicaca

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Entrance to a Ruin on Isla de la Luna

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Impressive Ruins on the Island of the Moon

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Looking Down at Our Boat on Isla del Sol

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More of the Ruins on Island of the Moon

We did a three day tour from La Paz, the capital of Bolivia, where we first visited the ruins of Tiwanaku before continuing on to Copacabana where we stayed at a hotel that overlooked the Lake Titicaca. The following morning we rose early to take a rented boat out to visit the islands. We visited Isla de la Luna first where we were greeted by some local women selling souvenirs as well as a very friendly llama. The views of the ruins with the lake in the background were simply amazing. We were able to walk through the ruins and see them first hand, which made the experience even more interesting.

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One of the Women Setting Up a Table to Sell Items

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Happy Llama

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Iconic View from Isla del Sol with Isla de la Luna in the Background and a Ruin in the Foreground

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Climbing Through the Ruins on Island of the Moon

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Our Boat Ride Out to the Islands

From Isla de la Luna, we continued on to Isla del Sol where we continued to tour ruins that are in excellent shape considering their age. Inside of one of the temples, there were coca leaves left on an altar by people hoping to receive blessings from the gods. Looking back towards the Island of the Moon from the shores of the Island of the Sun, its smaller size becomes quite apparent. We did not stay the night on the island, but instead returned to Copacabana, but we understand that they do reenactments of the Incan ceremonies on the island at night if you do decide to stay.

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Ruins on Isla del Sol

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Coca Leaves Left Inside of a Temple

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Grass Growing on Top of the Ruin on Island of the Sun

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Sunset from Our Hotel in Copacabana

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Another Ruin Wall on Island of the Moon

We saw many different ruins during our time in Bolivia, but certainly the ones on Isla del Sol and Isla de la Luna were among the most interesting. It was also a refreshing break from the busy city to stay a couple of nights with beautiful sunsets and wonderful views. It took us about eight hours to reach Copacabana from La Paz, but that included a couple of hours touring Tiwanaku and a stop for lunch. It also included a ferry ride across part of Lake Titicaca in order for our van to make its way to the lake. It was definitely one of our favorite tours while we were in Bolivia.

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