Martinique, also known as the Isle of Flowers, is best known for its incredible natural beauty. Fort-de-France on the island’s west coast is the center of its cultural heritage. Must-see stops in the capital include ornate Schoelcher Library, historic St. Louis Cathedral, and lovely La Savane Park. Visitors would be remiss in not seeing Balata Gardens right outside the city with its begonias, bromeliads, and bamboo. Mont Peléeon the northern side of the island is an active volcano. Adventure seekers go hiking, canyoning, and rappelling at its base. A sobering monument that is a must-see is the AnseCafard facing Diamond Beach and commemorating a sunken slave ship.
I could have played a round of mini golf in the fading light or booked a hot air balloon ride for the following day or even watched The Simpsons at the theater named after a form of Indonesian puppet theater. Instead I went to the fanciest restaurant, where TI’s signature excess is best exemplified by a corn poulard dish that comes with corn on the cob and popcorn. Over a pretty good salmon teriyaki, I watched a hairy man wearing only a speedo get turned down when he requested a table. (Shirts were required, shoes were not.) It had been a long day of doing mostly things I really like—laying around reading, swimming, eating—but I didn’t feel rested or rejuvenated. I felt restless.
Before entering the water, our friendly and professional crew will be on hand to assist and instruct you. Once you descend “the stairway to the sea”, you will discover the wonders of the undersea with pristine coral reefs and an abundance of marine life including tropical species found no place else on earth. Upon completion of your snorkeling adventure, complimentary ice cold beer and wine will be served.
8:30am-4:30pm moderate 1.5 hrs
For hanging with Europeans I’d say Thailand, Bali or India. It’s an easy flight from Europe to those places, similar to how Latin America or the Caribbean is a quick flight for Canadians and Americans to get some sunshine in the winter. Generally, I find you meet the epic people off-the-beaten-path, which usually means expat communities a couple hours from an international airport, away from all the drunken idiots and touristy consumerism. I haven’t been to Puerto Rico, it sounds like a decent place.
The Cook Islands is a 15-island archipelago nation in the South Pacific, halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii, southwest of Tahiti. The islands are scattered across 2.2 million square kilometers of the ocean and 240 square kilometers of land. The Islands’ ancient volcanic peaks, covered with dense vegetation, slope to brilliant white sands and quaint palm-fringed blue lagoons.