Technically, nature can’t deliver a sure-thing when it comes to animal encounters, but Isla Mujeres, found 9 miles offshore of Cancun, Mexico, is as good as it gets. June through August, the turquoise waters are thick with the spawn of bonito tuna — becoming a buffet for whale sharks, the world’s largest fish at up to 41½ feet long. Local tour operators can drop you in the path of these fish, allowing encounters that can sometimes last up to 20 minutes. This area is also home to two underwater statue parks filled with more than 500 life-size sculptures in 12 to 20 feet of water.
Unlike its luxurious Caribbean neighbors, here you’ll only find more budget-friendly hotels and guesthouses. Everything needs to come by ship or airplane, so it’s not super cheap. However, since no non-natives can own property there is no influx of overdevelopment, keeping the island simple but beautiful. For a more rustic, non-touristy getaway, this might be the island for you!
Close to this island is a little island that provides excellent snorkeling opportunities. You may even spot a few reef sharks. Bathtub-warm water and fine sand beaches kept me here for over three weeks. It will do the same for you. Visit between November and March for the best weather and the fewest people. May through October sees a harsh monsoon season that shuts the island down. The best way to get there is by boat from Pak Bara.
Even cheaper is Nicaragua, I spent some time living in Granada, which is a very nice colonial city (an great spot to learn Spanish) and San Juan Del Sur, which is an excellent beachside town (I highly recommend checking out the surf resort Majagual just to the north). I think Bocas Del Toro would be a good all-round choice. In South America, I really like Florianapolis in Brazil.
Diving Thunderball Grotto, immortalized in the James Bond movie Thunderball, and the black coral gardens of Bimini are not to be missed. The crystal clear waters of the Bahamas are the clearest in the world and offer fantastic visibility of up to 200 feet or more. Discovered by Columbus, exploited by the Spanish and plundered by pirates, the Bahamas now happily welcome visitors today. It is a great family vacation spot, with something for everyone: From fascinating historic tours and lavish resorts for ultimate pampering, to fishing, boating, kayaking, diving or doing nothing at all on one of the spectacular white beaches. Best tropical vacations: Best Things to Do in Nassau, Bahamas.
OB is a vibrant, boho-chic neighborhood, with a classic beach bum vibe. Surfers can be found all over, with lots of fishermen and some stellar views. Nearby you can check out antiques shops, beachwear and surf boutiques, organic groceries, taquerias and bars. There is lots of beach culture- plus you can hear the soothing waves crashing into the rocks throughout the day.
^ Ogle, W. "Aristotle on the parts of animals, tr. with notes by W. Ogle". Internet Archive. Retrieved 20 May 2013. Just then as divers are sometimes provided with instruments for respiration, through which they can draw air from above the water, and thus may remain for a long time under the sea, so also have elephants been furnished by nature with their lengthened nostril; and, whenever they have to traverse the water, they lift this up above the surface and breathe through it.
Sipadan is located in the Celebes Sea off the coast of Sabah (Malaysia's easternmost state on the island of Borneo—Google-map it!). Best known for world-class diving, and described as an “Untouched Piece of Art” by Jacques Cousteau himself, the snorkeling here is equally stunning with easy viewing of otherworldy coral formations, sea turtles, and Bumphead Parrotfish.
In 1951, Eric Morley organized the Festival Bikini Contest, a beauty contest and swimwear advertising opportunity at that year's Festival of Britain. The press, welcoming the spectacle, referred to it as Miss World, a name Morley registered as a trademark. The winner was Kiki Håkansson of Sweden, who was crowned in a bikini. After the crowning, Håkansson was condemned by Pope Pius XII, while Spain and Ireland threatened to withdraw from the pageant. In 1952, bikinis were banned from the pageant and replaced by evening gowns. As a result of the controversy, the bikini was explicitly banned from many other beauty pageants worldwide. Although some regarded the bikini and beauty contests as bringing freedom to women, they were opposed by some feminists as well as religious and cultural groups who objected to the degree of exposure of the female body.
This enchanting little village perched on the eastern half of Busuanga Island is without a doubt one of the most stunning tropical places I’ve had the pleasure of visiting. Eight years ago the entire island was without roads, phone lines or even a water system, but word has begun to spread and its recent growth has me worried that a steep spike in tourism is looming just around the corner — just look at what happened to its neighboring island, Boracay, over the past 10 years. If you visit Coron Island today, you’ll have the option to hop around 3,000 little islands, scuba dive in a plethora of clear water locations including Kayangan Lake, climb up mountains with breathtaking views, swim in natural hot springs and eat like a local without a Starbucks in sight.
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While at Ocean Beach, went in here for early dinner. The sushi was fresh and prepared to order. I tried the Bartenders Signature Cherry Old Fashion. Yes I said Cherry. It was delicious. They have happy hour and daily specials. There is something pretty cool about eating sushi when you are in a tropical/beach location. The thought that your food was caught that day and you can see where they fished from, is pretty freaking awesome. Bon Apetit.
This is not a wow beach but not a bad beach. It's a beach and a big one. Found my way here in a Sunday after a morning run. It was a nice enough beach to take the time to enjoy. A lot of surfers enjoying the sets rolling in which made it relaxing. It is a nice long stretch and people let their dogs off leash to enjoy it as well. So if you don't like dogs I suggest not going here.
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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.
Picture a dream island that perfectly rises out of the ocean with a bright blue lagoon protecting it from the outside world. An island that has truly succeeded in slowing down time. An island where heavenly scented flowers and palm fringed beaches with blindingly white sand are everywhere. And the best part? It’s small enough to be explored on foot! Known as ‘the preserved island’ and looking like a mini version of its big sister Bora Bora, Maupiti has managed to resist the temptation of mass tourism. Visitors to this dream island will find it hard to believe such a place really exists. There are no resorts, no ATM’s and no night clubs – just traditional Polynesian life moving in the extra slow lane. When you’ve finally adjusted to island time, go for a swim with manta rays in the lagoon, snorkel in the pristine coral garden, climb to the top of the island’s highest peak and walk across the lagoon to your very own private beach.
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