These statues, which average 13 feet in height and weigh about 14 tons, were created between the 10th and 16th century by the early inhabitants of the island. These monolithic stone heads are baffling to researchers who cannot figure out why the Rapa Nui people went through such enormous efforts to create them or how they carved them with primitive tools. Another lingering question is what happened to the Rapa Nui people? Rapa Nui’s early inhabitants came from other Polynesian island to this one to build a unique culture away from any influences. One theory is that they may have built these statues to honor their ancestors but had to leave once they had completely depleted the island resources. Once a thriving culture, Rapa Nui is today almost barren, with no trees and most of its soil being washed away in erosion. All that is left are these enormous monuments as a reminder of human achievement and resilience.
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.
T.I. is a labyrinth of superlatives—it’s one of the largest self-supporting halls on the planet and features the world’s largest indoor rainforest; T.I. is Europe’s largest tropical island resort and has the continent’s biggest wellness and spa complex; the park also holds the record for Germany’s highest water slide tower. I learn that the Eiffel Tower could comfortably lie down inside T.I. without piercing its dome, that the sea is the size of three Olympic swimming pools, that there are 50,000 real plants and a number of exotic fish. The air temperature is kept in the high seventies, humidity hovered around 50 percent.
When the (real) sun disappeared behind a cloud, I figured I should keep exploring. I considered a chicken Caesar salad at the nearby restaurant Palm Beach but decided to go a bit further afield. In the jungle, I found butterflies in mesh tents slurping from orange and pineapple slices and thatched huts with educational placards hiding electric equipment. Nature sounds piped through speakers, but the hundreds of varieties of tropical fauna weren’t plastic. I hope those aren’t real, I thought, wincing as I wound around the pathways to get a better look at a bunch of flamingos.
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As far as Caribbean tourist destinations go, Trinidad & Tobago are still considered off-the-beaten path, perhaps because they don’t rely on tourism as their primary economic resource. Visitors can expect a vibrant Creole culture, coral beaches, and tropical jungles. Trinidad is the more developed of the two islands with luxury resorts and charming colonial cities. Port-of-Spain’s annual Carnival celebration is dubbed the biggest street party on Earth. Eco-travelers will appreciate Tobago’s even more laid-back ambiance. It’s the quieter island with an emphasis on protecting the natural environment.The Tobago Ridge Forest Reserve – a haven for hummingbirds, and Nylon Pool are top Tobago excursions.
Eco Tour • Snorkel • Kayak • Paddleboard
I lived for a month one winter at Las Piramides in the mellow village of San Marcos de la Laguna. At this incredible spiritual retreat, you get to live in your own glass-tipped pyramid in the jungle. They offer excellent programs in yoga and meditation that start with each full moon and run for the entire lunar month. The spectacular main pyramid where classes are held is along the beautiful shore of the lake.
Though this country has some 322 islands, less than a third are inhabited. Most of the action happens in the western islands, but no matter where you go, this is heaven. Any time the name Fiji is heard, visions of beaches and tropical ocean dance in people’s head. There’s a good reason for that – because this place is one of the best places to go in the world, and with so many islands, you’re bound to find one you like.
Palau, a nation of 250 islands in the western Pacific, is home to dozens of unusual seawater marine lakes connected to the ocean by tunnels and channels. Only one, Jellyfish Lake on Eil Malk, can be visited, and is filled with millions of—you guessed it—jellyfish. Floating through swarms of these gelatinous beings is definitely an out-of-body experience, but don't worry—their non-poisonous stings can hardly be felt.
Some of the most relaxing vacations mean finding a secluded spot where you can unplug from the stress of modern life. The Cook Islands is a secluded paradise with welcoming people, great dancers, drummers and singers, with strong Polynesian traditions and culture that make visiting the islands so memorable. The largest island and the home of the capital Avarua, is Rarotonga. Avarua is famous for its fascinating churches made of white coral, and don’t miss the islands Saturday market. Northeast of Rarotonga, visitors to Atiu may want to learn about the local “moonshine” known as tumunu at a local bush beer school. Neighboring Mitiaro stands in water 14,750 feet deep and has white coral streets lined with bright orange Pumarumaru trees. Although it is surrounded by coral reefs and is home to many underground caves and lakes, Ma’uke is known as “the garden island.” Finally, the second largest and oldest island is Mangaia, a beautiful location known for its fossilized coral, otherwise known as “makatea.”
Colorful bikinis in yellow, khaki, neon, red, and rainbow shades look sexy on the beach in sweltering summers. You can choose different patterns for the tops such as bandeau, halter neck, high neck, strappy, etc. Rasta, color block, Jamaican and Brazilian designs look beautiful on you. You can take a pick from the cute patterns meant for the newborns and juniors too.
One of the Cyclades islands, Santorini’s distinctive beauty has been captured on film and in paintings. Its submerged caldera, towering cliffs, whitewashed buildings and romantic beaches rejuvenate your senses and put you in the mood for love. The Red Beach of Santorini is unlike any other in the world. Its mesmerizing red cliffs and dark red sand look striking against the blue waters. The town of Oia is one of the most iconic and beautiful locations on the island. It is where all the incredible mountainside photo are taken that you’ve been drooling over. Athens to Santorini is around 45 minutes by flight. (Read about other amazing Mediterranean islands).
Ocean Beach has two schools: Ocean Beach Elementary (a K-4 public school) and Warren-Walker (a K-8 private school). The community also features multiple churches, a public library, a U.S. post office, and a vegetarian food co-op. Recreational facilities include the Ocean Beach Recreation Center, Dusty Rhodes Park, and the Robb Field athletic fields and skate park.
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.
here’s a spot that might be interesting to some people. I’ve spent a month two years ago in Cozumel, Mexico (right across from Cancun) and found it to be really cool. I worked on cruise ships and it is one of the major cruise ship stops so there are tourists but mostly during the day while the ships are in port. Other than that it’s a cool and cheap place to stay. Using the app HomeAway (similar to AirBnB) I’ve found a place (it was a studio in a 7 apartment bulding, with a gate and a small pool in the back) that I paid $350 for a month for. The internet was very good and there were a few big supermarkets close by. Cozumel, for example is one of the top spots for scuba diving in the Caribbean and the side of the island that’s opposite to downtown where the cruise ships dock is full of beaches that rarely anyone goes to but it’s a great spot for windsurfing for example.
The quiet island of Koh Kradan, off Thailand’s west coast in the Andaman Sea, is home to Hat Chao Mai National Park where you can snorkel atop untouched corals and beds of anemones, home to tons of clownfish. The island itself offers accommodation, albeit the rustic variety. Those seeking a more posh experience can bed down on the nearby island of Koh Lanta and take a day trip.
This underdeveloped island is on the fast track to becoming Vietnam’s next major hotspot. Although it’s technically a Vietnamese island, you’ll find it positioned just off the coast of Cambodia in the Gulf of Thailand. Its sparkling waters, silky smooth sand and dramatic scenery make it a very picturesque locale. Although it’s now home to an international airport (PQC) and cruise ship port, the north and east sides of the island remain largely untouched by hoards of tourists. Take one of the dirt roads out past the rugged jungle for a taste of what the island was like way back when. Nowadays, visitors come to Phú Quốc for many reasons other than just the surf and sand. Explore its azure waters, isolated coves, pearl farms, pepper plantations or opt for a full-day tour of the nearby An Thoi islands, an archipelago of 15 islands and inlets off the southern coast. The best part is, you’ll find hardly any tourists — for now, that is.
Surrounded by the second-largest coral reef in the world, it’s no surprise that this tropical destination is primarily visited by diving and snorkel enthusiasts. There aren’t many islands left in the Caribbean that you can visit without being shoulder-to-shoulder with tourists. Roatán has managed to hold onto its authentic charm while still being able to provide familiar western comforts. Cruise ships didn’t start coming here until 2005 and there aren’t a whole lot of flights to the area, which means the secret isn’t out quite yet, though this may change quickly as more people continue to flock to this 35-mile stretch of gorgeous Caribbean coastline. If you’ve never heard of Roatán, consider yourself lucky and put it on your list of tropical places to visit sooner than later.
The Maldives, located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, are one of the world’s most celebrated tropical havens. Here is where you’ll find unrivaled luxury, where every resort is its own private island, and where prestigious and luxury brands compete to provide the most indulgent luxury you’ll find in the world. There are more than 1200 islands in the Maldives, and many of them have a resort with an incredibly beautiful, powder-soft beach. The islands are very remote – perfect for a romantic, completely unplugged vacation.
The Maldives is located in the Indian Ocean and is the smallest Asian country in both population and size. What this country lacks in size, it makes up for in beauty with some of the most gorgeous dive sites and beaches in the world. The government follows a “one island, one resort” policy and limits the height of the resorts to be equal or lesser than the tallest tree.
Amazing views! On the map Ocean Beach doesn't look like much, but when you get there it's bigger than you think. It's a pretty amazing view, especially if you get there for the sunset, which I did. It's no LA though. It has great waves if you're a surfer. Obviously colder in the winter. The smell of fresh ocean air is so calming and warming. However, it is usually packed. There's tons of tourists and locals. Barely any parking.
I couldn’t tell whether other visitors were drawn to T.I. for the same reasons I was, namely that winter sucks and a tropical air hanger seemed like the strangest way to deal with it. But while there, it occurred to me that T.I. also offers an alternative for people priced out of international travel. And for families with small kids, the heated dome offers a level of logistical ease that’s hard to beat. T.I. may be an approximation of a tropical vacation, but it’s one without long flights or passport stress, where no child could ever claim to be bored and nothing is more than a two minute walk away.
“The area is so clean! They do a pretty good job maintaining it especially with all of the sand and everything. For a break from the pools there is a GREAT kids play area! Many different areas to eat. Good snacks, drinks, etc. A few different pool areas to chose from and the sauna area is so relaxing and peaceful! There is just so much too do! We always only stay one night but would love to do 2 nights so it doesn't seem like we are squeezing it all into one. Definitely a fun, exciting experience for the whole family!”
Finswimmers do not normally use snorkels with a sump valve, as they learn to blast clear the tube on most if not all exhalations, which keeps the water content in the tube to a minimum as the tube can be shaped for lower work of breathing, and elimination of water traps, allowing greater speed and lowering the stress of eventual swallowing of small quantities of water, which would impede their competition performance.
The reefs of Indonesia are everything any Blue Planet watcher might expect: nonstop riots of colorful coral obscured by curtains of fish. Top of the list for snorkelers would be Kungkungan Bay Resort, in the Lembeh Strait, just north of the island of Sulawesi. This hideaway resort is favored for a house reef accessible from shore, where water babies can spy scads of exotic life, from blue ribbon eels to cuttlefish. Plus, this resort practically invented the scuba phenomenon known as muck diving, aka checking out the wild, unusual critters that live amid the black sand muck. If you can get past the ugly factor of the bottom, as a snorkeler, you can also behold seahorses, leaf fish, pipefish, bobtail squid, flamboyant squid, blue-ringed octopi — the list goes on and on.
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.
With the reunification of Germany in 1989/1990, the Soviet Army agreed to return all military bases by 1994. Returned to the Federal Government of Germany in 1992, Cargolifter AG bought the former military airfield to construct airships. They began development of a new construction hall, 360 metres long, 210 metres wide and 107 metres high, which cost €78 million. At 5.5 million m³ (194 million ft³), it is one of the largest buildings on Earth by volume, and is the world's largest single hall without supporting pillars inside. The hangar was commissioned as an airship hangar named Aerium in November 2000, but the airship it was intended to house – the CL160 – was never built. CargoLifter went bankrupt in mid-2002.
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