Whether it’s watching iguanas sunning on rocks in the Galapagos or catching a glimpse of the rarely-spotted quetzal in Panama, spotting wildlife on a vacation can be a welcome surprise and may even be an unexpected highlight.

When we venture in the open air -- by biking or by hiking -- into a destination, we often find ourselves face to face with some magnificent creatures. The noise of cars is long gone on a highway somewhere and the resulting quiet encourages animals of all kinds to reveal themselves if only for a moment.

Here are 5 of the best off-road routes around the world that we’ve found for spotting wildlife great and small: