The gateway to this proud and independent Polynesian island nation, Upolu packs in something for everyone. It’s that stereotypical tropical island – where waterfalls seem to be cascading from everywhere, where white and black sand beaches are a thing of the norm, and where the unique Samoan culture can be experienced firsthand. It’s also one of the most affordable South Pacific destinations – as simple or as luxurious as you want it to be. From the colorful markets of its capital city Apia, to the laid back beach fale accommodations on the dreamiest of its beaches, to the natural pools that appear as if taken straight out of a fairytale – your vivid memories of beautiful Samoa will last for eternity.
While the two-piece swimsuit as a design existed in classical antiquity, the modern design first attracted public notice in Paris on July 5, 1946. French automotive engineer Louis Réard introduced a design he named the "bikini", adopting the name from the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, which was the colonial name the Germans gave to the atoll, transliterated from the Marshallese name for the island, Pikinni.
Specifically, you’ll see a tremendous variety of fish species, including marlins, snappers, and even manta rays. Scuba divers will be able to get up close and personal with amazing hard and soft coral formations, and more advanced divers will want to explore the submerged pinnacles and slopes covered with coral. (Of course, less experienced divers will still be able to take it all in without any trouble.) No matter your skill level in the water, whether you go in with a tank or with just a snorkel, the incredible sights of the Great Astrolabe Reef will stay with you for the rest of your life.
In a vast ocean dotted with infinite lagoons, perhaps the most striking of them all is to be found in Aitutaki. A short flight from the main island of Rarotonga brings you to a quiet little ‘half island half atoll’ – where nothing seems to happen and where the word ‘rush’ simple doesn’t exist. The main reasons to visit Aitutaki is to detach from the stresses of life and to explore its magical lagoon. Once you’ve completed a circle island tour on a rented scooter, head to the small motu (islets) that hug the outer reaches of the lagoon. Out here, you’ll snorkel in coral gardens and make landfall on beaches where fine white sand simply blinds your eyes on a sunny day. If you’ve always wondered where pictures of that perfect beach you see in travel magazines, posters and screensavers were taken – the answer probably lies in Aitutaki!
Very relaxing but honestly not a very beautiful beach. Especially for Southern California beaches. People were very friendly yet we also saw a few homelss people right under the Pier (at the stairs towards the beach). Also a few of the "Lime" electric bikes were not working. We tried 2 and both were under maintenance, or not working. We had a short walk along the beach and the shops. No shop was special enough for us to sit down for desserts and coffee. Just a normal local beach town.
The beach has a lot of people around, but it doesn't feel too crowded once you're having fun. Parking can be a challenge, but once you find one you won the jackpot cause it's free. There's a large life guard tower close to the pier. We got to see them do a practice drill that day. You can hear airplanes flying over from time to time. You can see the sail boats in the distance which is nice. Lots of families there on my visit. There's a dog park along the beach more towards the hotel. People were nice and every one was friendly on our visit. No one bothered us and we were able to just relax. We got to also see people practicing their surfing skills. I plan to go back when I'm in that part of town again.
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Increasingly common glamour shots of popular actresses and models on either side of the Atlantic played a large part in bringing the bikini into the mainstream. During the 1950s, Hollywood stars such as Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner, Elizabeth Taylor, Tina Louise, Marilyn Monroe, Esther Williams, and Betty Grable took advantage of the risqué publicity associated with the bikini by posing for photographs wearing them—pin-ups of Hayworth and Williams in costume were especially widely distributed in the United States. In 1950, Elvira Pagã walked at the Rio Carnival, Brazil in a golden bikini, starting the bikini tradition of the carnival.
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).
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.
Are you a bikini kind of girl? Be sure to check out our awesome mix and match bikini tops and bottoms. Our swimwear tops come in every style you can dream up, from cute and classic halter straps to oh-so-on-trend high-neck silhouettes. And for bottoms, we’ve got a crazy-awesome variety of cuts, from cheeky to high-waisted bikini bottoms so you can find the best style and fit for your body type and personality.