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Best spots for an Arctic adventure

Jan. 7, 2013, 2:43 p.m.
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Russian Far East

The Russian Far East is thousands of miles away from Moscow and the heavily populated West. This region is a land of volcanoes, giant bears, forests and vast unpopulated landscapes. Serious eco-tourists and adventurers in search of something completely off the beaten path might think of this region as a true paradise. One of the most attractive territories in the Far East is Kamchatka, a peninsula that juts down into the North Pacific just a few degrees south of the Arctic Circle. Kamchatka is best known for its large brown bears. These massive creatures are easy to spot in places like Kronotsky Nature Preserve, a huge swatch of protected land that is teeming with wildlife. Other creatures like bighorn sheep, giant river otters and wolverines are also part of the animal population, as are a number of birds, including golden eagles and falcons. The waters around Kamchatka boast seals, sea lions, whales and salmon. Most eco-tourism attractions are located in the southeastern portion of the peninsula. Here, it is possible to watch whales, climb volcanoes, trek though wild forests and even fish for salmon in rushing rivers.