The best snorkel reefs start shallow, and few are shallower than Glovers Reef Atoll. At low tide, coral heads pop from the sea, visible to beachgoers at the private-island Off the Wall Dive Center and Resort. Don a mask and jump in to witness the rainbow of reds, yellows and purples of the hard and soft corals, and thriving marine life. You don’t need to cover much ground to encounter diversity. Here, the best tactic is to hover above a patch of reef and check out the hundreds of species, from blenny fish, each only 3 inches long, to toadfish, a pancake-flat, whiskered bottom-dweller that betrays its hiding spots when emitting a loud croak.
The Med might not be your first thought when it comes to private islands. It might not even be your third or fourth. But it COULD be your sixth and might even be your fifth after you learn about Tagomago Island, a private island with one five-bedroom mansion about 10 minutes from Ibiza. The entire estate has terraces, views of the Med, a swimming pool, and Jacuzzi. There's also, for those who worry about where to dock the yacht, a private jetty and mooring. Whew.
Ilha Grande, almost exactly midway between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, is heaven on earth—somewhat untouched, still, with deeply green jungle, turquoise water, and a totally laid-back vibe. Snorkeling here might include exploring colonial-era ship-wrecks, but take a dip in the Lagoa Azul first (think Brooke Shields in The Blue Lagoon) with delicious water temperatures in the mid- to upper-70s providing the perfect habitat for seahorses.
Costumes are regulation "posing trunks" (bikini briefs) for both men and women. Female bodybuilders in America are prohibited from wearing thongs or T-back swimsuits in contests filmed for television, though they are allowed to do so by certain fitness organizations in closed events. For men, the dress code specifies "swim trunks only (no shorts, cut-off pants, or Speedos)."
Bali is like Hawaii minus the high price tag and the strip malls but major tourist spots like Kuta and Seminyak are regularly over-run by marauding bands of drunken tourists in high season. With a little exploration, you will find all kinds of hidden gems that are unlike anywhere else such as Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, Candi Dasa and Sanur (or take a boat to the less developed paradise Lombok).
Sister to neighboring Vieques, this tiny island 17 miles off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico is about as chill a place as you'll ever find. There are no big resorts, fancy restaurants, or pricey boutiques. What the place does have is empty beaches and fantastic snorkeling. The beaches of Carlos Rosario, Tamarindo Grande, Tamarindo, and Melones are all a part of the Luis Peña Channel Natural Reserve and a feeding ground for sea turtles and stingrays.
The economy of Ocean Beach is dominated by small, independent retail businesses. Newport Avenue, the main business street, featured family-owned businesses from the 1930s through the 1960s, such as a bakery, drug stores, a book and novelty shop, a shoe store, men's and women's apparel shops, and a family-owned pet store. In the 1960s and 1970s larger stores and shopping malls elsewhere in the city gradually ran the small local stores out of business. Many of the storefronts were then turned into antique stores, and the area is now known as the Ocean Beach Antique District. Also on Newport are restaurants, head shops, tattoo and piercing shops, coffee houses, bars, bike and surf shops, and an international youth hostel. In 1969 Hodad's opened on Newport, gaining national attention in 2007 after appearing on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. There are several small independent hotels in O.B., but no nationally franchised hotels.
A swimmers’ snorkel is a tube typically about 30 centimeters long and with an inside diameter of between 1.5 and 2.5 centimeters, usually L- or J-shaped and fitted with a mouthpiece at the lower end; constructed of rubber and plastic. It is used for breathing air from above the water surface when the wearer's mouth and nose are submerged. The snorkel usually has a piece of rubber that attaches the snorkel to the outside of the strap of the diving mask.
Although Ocean Beach sits on prime waterfront real estate, the neighborhood still exudes a small-town atmosphere, making it an ideal place to live and visit. Where other beach communities have embraced commercialism, Ocean Beach remains fiercely independent and skeptical of wholesale change. You're more likely to see a food co-op than a fast food chain. The Ocean Beach community is so tight-knit that residents often refer to themselves as OBceans, pronounced "oh-BEE-shuns."
It is no less beautiful once you land, with posh resorts in which tiny thatched-roof bungalows are perched over the water, each with a private pool. Bora Bora is also a divers’ paradise, with healthy unspoiled reefs rich with sea creatures of all kinds. The dormant volcano rises to two peaks, Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu, the highest point being 727-feet high and offering spectacular views and great hikes. More tropical vacation destinations and best island vacations: Bora Bora Honeymoon
While technically a subtropical island, the Azores make for a great getaway if you’re looking for something beyond the standard resort getaway. The islands boast tons of hiking and beautiful nature. Rent a car and explore the winding roads of the main island, São Miguel Island, taking it secluded beaches and picturesque waterfalls. Best of all, it’s close to both Europe and North America and makes for a great stopover point if you’re traveling between the two.