Nearly twice the size of all the other Hawaiian islands combined, the snorkeling on Big Island is fantastic, especially at Honaunau Bay, also known as The City of Refuge, with an historic backdrop to boot. Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park has smooth lava rock flats to help you ease effortlessly from shore to sea into year-round crystal-clear water, and you'll find healthy coral gardens teeming with tropical fish, moray eels, and even turtles in shallow depths to the right. Spinner dolphins frequent deeper waters to the left.
Great list Matt! Indeed, there obviously there are some spots on this globe I have to visit. Can confirm the Maldives though. Has changed over time, but then again, the first time they were still “exploring” their “tourist economy” potential. Been there twice now and although definitely more crowded still holds its appeal. Be prepared for culture shock though. If you return to the “civilised world” you will wonder about the rest of the grubby world and catch yourself day dreaming regularly. 😉

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.
The top of the barrel may be open to the elements or fitted with a valve designed to shut off the air supply from the atmosphere when the top is submerged (see Figure 5 and Figure 7). There may be a fluorescent red or orange band around the top to alert other water users of the snorkeller's presence. The simplest way of attaching the snorkel to the head is to slip the top of the barrel between the mask strap and the head. This may cause the mask to leak, however, and alternative means of attachment of the barrel to the head can be seen in Figure 8.
This especially applies to corals. Some are toxic and can cause nasty cuts or even massive infections—not to mention that even an unintended kick to a coral head can damage decades’ worth of growth. During some of our snorkeling outings, the water over reefs is so shallow that you cannot even wear fins—follow your guide’s instructions when visiting these spots.
Hard to get to, but well worth the effort, the Bazaruto Archipelago of Mozambique keeps us visiting and dreaming. Barely 22 miles off the east coast of Africa, this group of six islands (Bazaruto, Benguerra, Magaruque, Bangue, Shell, and Santa Carolina) continue to top our "must-visit" list of places in the world. The entire area was declared a National Park in 1971 and hosts a plethora of snorkel and dive opportunities.
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Snorkels come in two orientations: Front-mounted (see Figure 4) and side-mounted (see Figure 5). The first snorkel to be patented in 1938 was front-mounted, worn with the tube over the front of the face and secured with a bracket to the diving mask. Front-mounted snorkels proved popular in European snorkeling until the late 1950s, when side-mounted snorkels came into the ascendancy. Front-mounted snorkels experienced a comeback a decade later as a piece of competitive swimming equipment to be used in pool workouts and in finswimming races, where they outperform side-mounted snorkels in streamlining. Front-mounted snorkels are attached to the head with a special head bracket fitted with straps to be adjusted and buckled around the temples (see Figure 4).
If you’re looking for miles of tropical beach that seem to stretch into the skyline, beautiful lush gardens and tropical landscapes that will mesmerize you, then Turks and Caicos should be on your radar. There are 40 islands in total, though only eight of them are inhabited. It’s a rare chance to go where there are very few people – far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. You can leave the noise behind and find your own little piece of paradise on an island where few people ever go. If you’re a diver, you may already know that the longest reef in the world can be found here.
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9:30am moderate 3 hrs Beverages
It's no surprise that the Maldives tops your list of best islands to snorkel. A chain of 26 atolls and over 1,000 islands in the Indian Ocean, it's the world's most geographically dispersed of countries, and can't be beat for underwater exploration. Seeing as each island is barely the size of a small estate in the Hamptons, we're hard-pressed to pick a top spot, but consider the Anantara Kihava Villas Maldives your first stop.
A bikini is typically a women's two-piece swimsuit featuring two triangles of fabric on top, similar to a bra and covering the woman's breasts, and two triangles of fabric on the bottom, the front covering the pelvis but exposing the navel, and the back covering the buttocks.[1][2] The size of the top and bottom can vary from full coverage of the breasts, pelvis, and buttocks, to very skimpy designs like a thong or G-string that cover only the areolae and mons pubis, but expose the buttocks.
I unzipped my tent, which looked like the ones I’d seen a few weeks before when watching Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened. Inside, the otherwise unremarkable heat became overwhelming. T.I. had largely emptied, but because the dome functions like a gigantic echo chamber it felt like I was camping inside a soccer stadium with a game going. Condensation pitter-pattered down on one corner of my tent from hundreds of feet above. Before I finally passed out, I heard the anguished cry of a single flamingo.
Ordered this for my adventurous kids to use at the lake we swim in and they had a blast! They fought over who got to use it next, and never complained about fit, fogging or anything. And this, from kids who take regular goggles off every 5 seconds to wipe and adjust, is a godsend. One of them even wore it in the bathtub tonight! Product came very quickly, in nice sleek packaging with a convenient carrying case for the mask. Very happy!

Glad to see you mentioned the Cook Islands – my husband and I went to Rarotonga for a week in 2008 and fell in love with it – can’t wait to someday bring our kids back there – they would love it, too! Very few people have actually heard of the Cooks, or know where they are, and while I like the “secrecy” of it, I wish more people would visit! Currently there are only 1-2 flights/week from the US – makes planning trips there a bit tougher!We only took a day trip to Aitutaki because of time, but it was probably the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. Glad to see you agree!
In May 1946, fashion designer Jacques Heim from Paris released a two-piece swimsuit design that he named the Atome.[3] Like swimsuits of the era, it covered the wearer's navel, and it failed to attract much attention. Clothing designer Louis Réard introduced his new, smaller design in July.[4] He named the swimsuit after the Bikini Atoll, where the first public test of a nuclear bomb had taken place only four days before. His skimpy design was risque, exposing the wearer's navel and much of her buttocks. No runway model would wear it, so he hired a nude dancer from the Casino de Paris to model it at a review of swimsuit fashions.[5]
Sounds like you’ve had some interesting adventures! If you’re looking for a mindful community, I would recommend somewhere away from the tourist hot spots in Bali or if you want to get away from the drunken backpackers and one week tourist hordes entirely, the nearby island of Lombok is absolutely surreal in it’s beauty but you might find getting reliable Internet difficult there.
Fins: Provide a large surface area to push against the water. This allows you to swim using your powerful leg muscles. This moves you more efficiently and frees your hands.You want your fin to fit like a comfortable shoe. Not so tight that your feet cramp but also you don't want your foot to have any loose movement inside the fin.  Desirable features: Look for Fins that are high quality, lightweight fins that come in a variety of sizes for both children and adults.

Hi Kyle, thanks for sharing such valuable information, it is exactly what I was looking for. My husband and I are considering spending a year in 2 beautiful destinations. He picked Ambergris Caye and I picked Lombok. We ‘just’ need affordable accomodation and a decent Internet connection. I see you have visited both places. How was Internet in Caye Caulker? Do you think it will be a problem in Lombok? Thanks so much!


10:30am moderate 6 hrs Food & Beverages
There are many great places to eat in OB. BO-Beau Kitchen + Bar is a romantic spot as it offers upscale French fare in a cozy, candlelit dining room. If you prefer something casual, try the juicy, loaded burgers at Hodad's, fresh fish tacos at South Beach Bar & Grille, or a slice of pizza and some San Diego craft beer at Pizza Port. Kaiserhof is known for its authentic German food and brews while Old Townhouse Restaurant is the best for diner-style breakfast (especially when recovering from a long night out).

It is a single location dive.  A dive the late afternoon during the light and then we come up as planned just before the sunset.  We watch the sunset, a Keys favorite, and then prepare for the second dive.  Once dark, we dive the second dive to witness an amazing transformation of the reef.  New species coming out of the coral, new activity all around, and even surface bioluminescence that you will be delighted to see.  It’s a new world down there and you will be one of the few lucky ones to see it all happen in front of you.
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