One type of volcanic oceanic island is found in a volcanic island arc. These islands arise from volcanoes where the subduction of one plate under another is occurring. Examples are the Aleutian Islands, the Mariana Islands, and most of Tonga in the Pacific Ocean. The only examples in the Atlantic Ocean are some of the Lesser Antilles and the South Sandwich Islands.
Most of the island hotels are in Oranjestad, as well as many great restaurants, which, with such a mix of cultures and influences, offer diverse fare. About 20 percent of the island is protected within the Arikok National Park that features local cacti and other desert species struggling to grow between rugged rock formations. It is the largest national park in the Caribbean.

Which of these great locations would you recommend for a family with teenagers who like to dive and surf? We have been to Hawaii, Costa Rica and Tahiti. We are looking for a safe, yet different, cultural experience with exotic plants, fish and animals. We would prefer to stay in one villa, as opposed to multiple rooms in a hotel. We don’t mind if it is far away from Southern California. I realize this may be painful financially.

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.


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