N YS I 3 DA ILL A U ANG 0 P. 2
WHERE TO GO IN
May M AU R I T I U S Discover the geological wonders of this East African enclave. P. 14
June Enthusiast Travel Since 1981
Oahu Costa Rica Saint Lucia Venice Bahamas
VA N CO U V E R ISLAND Canadaâ€™s Pacific coast gem is the ideal blend of adventure and culture. p. 34
July S T. M A R T I N No need to go to France to celebrate Bastille Day. p. 16
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S P E C I A L P R O M OT I O N A L F E AT U R E
F A M I L Y
F U N
U N D E R
T H E
P H O T O C R E D I T : C A Y M A N I S L A N D S D E PA R T M E N T O F T O U R I S M
egarded as the friendliest set of islands in the Caribbean with its warm â€œCaymankindâ€? culture and array of family-friendly accommodations to suit all budget and lifestyle needs, itâ€™s easy to see why the Cayman Islands is one of the best destinations for family travel. Home to three diverse islands: Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, the trio of islands offers an eclectic variety of excursions available to all generations that are sure to create long-lasting memories.
From swimming alongside gentle rays in the calm, crystalblue waters of Stingray City to horseback riding along the iconic Seven Mile Beach, the Cayman Islands is a one-stop shop for family entertainment. Not to mention, traveling to the destination is convenient and hassle-free â€“ especially for families with young travelers â€“ with nonstop flights available from several U.S. cities to Grand Cayman, including New York, Dallas, Atlanta, Miami and more.
Ňş With kid-friendly resorts such as The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach and the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, in addition to cozy condos and luxurious villas like The Cayman Club, the Cayman Islands has a property to accommodate families of every size. For parents traveling with little ones, many on-island hotels including The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach and The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman offer babysitting services along with special childrenâ€™s programs such as the Westin Kids Club or Ritz Kids. Both of these programs are aimed at educating young guests about marine life and the sea through interactive activities such as an exciting coral scavenger hunt throughout the property or thrilling poolside games.
Families are also encouraged to uncover the natural wonders of the Cayman Islands through the â€œAmbassadors of the Environmentâ€? program offered by The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. Created by famed environmentalist and oceanographic explorer, Jean-Michel Cousteau, the program is led by naturalists and designed to introduce families to the islandâ€™s ecological resources through various eco-tours. Featured activities include a shipwreck snorkel, mangrove kayak adventure and a night snorkel expedition to explore the abundance of nocturnal marine life, which come to life at night.
ŇşŇş Off-property and beneath the Cayman Islandsâ€™ famous turquoise sea, families have ample opportunities to navigate its nutrient-rich reefs and verdant plant life with diving and snorkeling excursions available for all skill levels. For an even more in-depth look at the islandâ€™s sea life, families can opt for a special adventure unique to the destination on a night or day submarine excursion with Atlantis Submarines. The spacious submarine allows guests to revel in an up close and personal look at the underwater world while in the comforts of an enclosed cabin. Apart from the sea, families can enjoy the variety of outdoor excursions available on all three islands. From discovering Little Cayman, the smallest and most tranquil of the three islands, by bike to traversing the ďŹ‚ourishing woodlands of Cayman Brac, which are home to over 200 species of rare and endangered colorful birds, to visiting the bustling neighborhood of Camana Bay in Grand Cayman; thereâ€™s an activity available for all members of the family. At Camana Bay, visitors can relish in a wide-range of international epicurean delights while their children play among the colorful and interactive fountains located in the heart of the town center. With a world of memorable excursions and activities waiting to be explored, the Cayman Islands is a familyâ€™s ultimate playground. For more information on planning your next family vacation to the Cayman Islands, please go to VisitCaymanIslands.com.
ONLY N CAYMAN
THEREâ€™S NO HURRY TO LEAVE HEAVEN ON EARTH. STAY LONGER WITH A 5TH NIGHT FREE THIS SUMMER.
Stingray City, Grand Cayman
In the Cayman Islands, summer means your toes in the sand on Seven Mile Beach, shopping for treasures in Camana Bay, sipping cocktails in the shade at Rum Point, and encountering friendly stingrays in the warm water of the Caribbean Sea. To find your Caymankind, contact your travel professional today.
STAY FOUR NIGHTS AND GET A FIFTH NIGHT FREE OR UP TO 50% OFF WHEN YOU BOOK BY JUNE 30 GRAND CAYMAN
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Only valid at participating properties on new bookings made by June 30, 2016 for travel May 1 - August 31, 2016. Blackout dates may apply. See website for complete rules and restrictions.
M AY JUN
How to Time-Travel
Around the world in 24 luxe days. 16
Next time you’re in Jamaica, do as the locals do and order a Ting and a patty. 56
A quiz to find your themed cruise. 76
Find Maya relics in Belize, visit a remote village in Vanuatu and return to the Golden Age of Sail through the Lesser Antilles. 93
Best of the Caribbean Easy getaways = Puerto Rico. 18
Itinerary Three glorious days in Anguilla. 20
My Island Spend a day on Martha’s Vineyard with poet and activist Rose Styron. 58
How to do the San Juan Islands. 22
The spirit of aloha is calling — permanently. Here’s where to buy on Maui, Kauai and Hawaii Island. 60
Beyond Venice The under-the-radar islands of the Venetian Lagoon. 26
The Wild Sides From hipsterdom to wilderness in minutes on Vancouver Island. 34
Family Ties Beat the “Are we there yet?” blues with these five getaways. 42
Eat Your Heart Out Becoming a glutton in Saint Lucia. 78
Nicaragua’s Coastal Gem A new airport eases travel to the up-and-coming Emerald Coast. 82
New Now Next Hotel news from Bali to Bermuda. 88
How to Meet Locals in the Maldives Go beyond the resort areas to try Akbar tea and chew areca nut wrapped in betel leaves. 94
Photo Tips Afraid to snap pics of locals? Break the ice with this advice. 95
Taste Finding this Sri Lankan dish proves challenging, but its steamy goodness is worth the hunt. 64
North by Northwest
Exploring Canada’s wild Queen Elizabeth Islands, where the population is scarce, but the Inuit spirit prevails. 66
An aerial view of Duke Kahanamoku Beach, shot from the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort in Honolulu, Oahu. Photo by: Zach Stovall
Mexico | Dominican Republic Costa Rica | Aruba
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M AY JUN
Z AC H S TOVA L L
IT WAS A COLLEGE FRIEND’S TRIP THAT INSPIRED THIS ISSUE’S FEATURE STORY ABOUT FAMILY TRAVEL.
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She and her husband, along with their three young daughters, had just moved to Florida — so I fully expected they would drive up from Miami to Disney for the school-year break. Instead, they opted for somewhere far more exotic than Epcot: the Galapagos. I followed their journey on Facebook, my friend’s feed filling with photos of giant tortoises and flamingos, her status updates straight out of Swiss Family Robinson: hiking underground lava tunnels, snorkeling with a sea lion, ingesting mountains of ceviche. Was it a perfect trip? Hardly. Earthquakes in Chile caused rough seas, and an erupting volcano stranded them for two more days. “Doesn’t matter — an amazing vacation,” she posted upon her return. “We would go back anytime.” How do you want to spend your summer vacation? A jungle adventure with the kids? Quality beach time with the extended family? Our guide (p. 42) will help you with planning the trip that fits
your family’s needs. We’re also introducing a new itinerarybased column that features great insider tips on how to get the most out of a long weekend getaway. To kick things off, we chose one of our favorite Caribbean escapes: Anguilla. And be sure to flip to our redesigned Back Page, where notable figures will be revealing their personal island experiences. I’m very excited that our first is celebrated chef, author and host of Parts Unknown Anthony Bourdain, who shares his thoughts on Cuba.
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WHERE TO GO IN
THE SKIP OMS T CUS E LIN
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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC A trio of hotels debut on the north coast. P. 58
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June G A L A PAG O S Blue-footed boobies and giant tortoises are calling.
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Dream Trips Bora Bora // Australia
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M AY JUN
Connect YOU ASKED
Q: Hurricane season is coming. Which islands in the Caribbean are safer to visit? A: Offseason in the region is tempting, with affordable prices and fewer crowds, but many travelers fear the wrath of hurricane season. While nothing is guaranteed when it comes to Mother Nature, the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao) are outside the high-risk hurricanebelt area and are less likely to be affected by summer and fall storms.
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1. @kristasimmons, Night market, Yangon, Myanmar 2. @leslovesyou, on the beach in Mexico 3. @lavidalentz, L’Esprit De Naiyang Resort, Phuket, Thailand 4. @wanderamore, Staniel Cay Yacht Club, Exuma, Bahamas 5. @bucketlistbums, Gunung Kawi, Bali 6. @ lavidalentz, Capri, Italy
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On a clear day, the view from Brimstone Hill, a 17th-century British fortress on the island of St. Kitts, is like sitting in a 3-D map of the Eastern Caribbean. Facing south, to the left, I spy the volcanic peaks of Sint Eustatius (Statia) and Saba jutting upward from the horizon. To the right, Montserrat. Just below, sister island Nevis beckons — it’s only a 45-minute ferry ride away. From where I’m sitting, a life spent hopping from island to island is closer than I thought possible. — Senior editor Holly V. Kapherr
Q: What island are you going to this summer and why? A: Ouvea Island for its untouched beaches. A: Borneo because I really love taking wildlife photography. A: St. Thomas. I plan to move there someday! A: Outer Banks, North Carolina. There’s no place like it!
HOW TO MAKE A SMUGG’S PUNCH Find more tropical libations at islands.com/drinks garnish with orange slice or a cherry 1 oz. orange juice ½ oz. triple sec 1 oz. Bacardi 151 rum
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18 PUERTO RICO IS TOPS FOR AN EASY GETAWAY
GET HERE Mauritius In Chamarel, west of the Black River Gorges, lies a geological anomaly. What gives these sand dunes, dubbed Seven Coloured Earths, their vibrant hues? Some think it’s the product of volcanic ash cooling at varying temperatures. Others attribute it to fluctuating amounts of metal oxide. Either way, the vivid knolls are one of Mauritius’ main tourist attractions, best seen in the early-morning hours, when sunlight intensifies the colors. Don’t miss a stop at nearby Chamarel Waterfall — plunging more than 328 feet, it’s the tallest in the country.
WHEN TO GO
MAY TO OCTOBER
Winter is cool and dry, but temps are mild year-round • Avoid cyclone season, January through March.
20 THREE DAYS IN ANGUILLA
26 DISCOVERING THE ISLANDS OF VENICE
42 FIVE PLACES TO TAKE THE WHOLE FAMILY
BASTILLE DAY 16 ISLANDS
There’s no need to travel all the way to Europe for France’s national waterfront is the place to be on July 14, where festivities include a
P E N G U I N R A N D O M H O U S E, F R O M D K E Y E W I T N E S S T R AV E L: TO P 10 R I O D E JA N E I R O (2016).
This year marks the 75th commemoration of the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Oahu, and the solemn occasion will be honored with special events throughout 2016. In January, a new Pearl Harbor Visitor Center Tour was introOAHU duced, which includes both the USS Arizona Memorial Narrated Tour and admission to USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park. On June 4 and 5, the Pacific Aviation Museum will host the Biggest Little Airshow, paying tribute to the Battle of Midway. Aerophiles will love the small-scale warbirds, jets, stunt-performing helicopters and hangar tours, plus games and aerial candy drops for the kids. Or plan a visit around the anniversary week, December 3-11, to see parades, memorial ceremonies and concerts. pearlharborevents.com
REMEMBERING PEARL HARBOR
BOOK: BILL DOSTER; RIO TEXT REPRODUCED BY PERMISSION OF DK, A DIVISION OF
Feeling landlocked? Bring home a coastal vibe with the UncommonGreen’s islands barware line, with etched maps of places like Fiji and the Bahamas. Trust us: Don Q and Coke tastes that much sweeter from a Puerto Rico rocks glass. $15; theuncommon green.com
TCS World Travel has taken islandhopping to the next level with the 24-day Islands Around the World itinerary, June 7-30. Kicking off on Hawaii Island, the journey travels west around the globe, ending in Boston. First stop: Vanuatu’s Pentecost Island to watch a traditional nangol ceremony, where young villagers tie vines around their legs and leap headfirst off a 100-foot-tall wooden platform. From there, touch down in Palau to snorkel the Floating Gardens, stay in an overwater bungalow in the Maldives and explore UNESCO World Heritage sites in Sri Lanka. Other stops include Indonesia, Zanzibar, Sicily, Madeira and Bermuda. Did we mention you’ll travel via private jet with reclining seats? And since you won’t be roughing it, the cost includes stays in high-end resorts like the Four Seasons and Rosewood, plus transportation, all meals and excursions in each spot. Trip-of-a-lifetime status achieved. $79,950 per person based on double occupancy; tcsworldtravel.com
Fly around the world in 24 days, stopping in dive-mecca Palau.
Rio de Janeiro in Your Pocket Meet your new favorite travel companion: the hot-off-thepresses 2016 Top 10 Guides from DK Eyewitness Travel (DK, $14). These guidebooks offer quick-hit lists of the best eats, stays and dos in locales like Barcelona, San Francisco and Iceland. Just in time for the Summer Olympics, here are their picks for the top beaches in Rio. 1. Ipanema and Leblon These two contiguous neighborhoods have the cleanest, safest and most beautiful beaches in the city, and are the favorite playgrounds of Rio’s upper-middle class. 2. Copacabana From the ’30s to the ’70s, this broad beach was the trendy place to lay a towel. Since the ’80s, it has grown a little tawdry, especially at night. Sunbathing is best in front of the Copacabana Palace hotel.
holiday; celebrate with a bang on St. Martin instead. The Marigot parade, boat races, cultural events, live music and fireworks.
3. Charitas Cariocas, or natives, are fond of saying that the best thing about Niterói, the city across Guanabara Bay, is its views of Rio. The best view from Charitas is in late afternoon, when Corcovado and the Sugarloaf are silhouetted against the setting sun.
T OP 5 R E A S ONS
READERS’ PICK: EASY GETAWAYS
PUERTO RICO The dilemma: You want a tropical vacation spot that feels exotic but without the fuss of long flights, customs lines or language barriers. The solution: Our readers say Puerto Rico fits the bill. Here’s what makes it an easy, breezy escape — and why you should book your trip posthaste. “LA BESTIA” IN TORO VERDE IS ONE OF THE LONGEST ZIP-LINES IN THE WORLD
4,745 853 feet long
IF YOU HAD ONE DAY IN PUERTO RICO, WHAT WOULD YOU DO? Breakfast at Pinky’s, followed by lounging on Condado Beach. Then I’d walk around Old San Juan, have dinner at Pirilo and drinks at Bar Gitano. — Clarissa L., via Facebook
WHEN TO GO: TO CELEBRATE THE ISLAND’S CULTURE, PLAN YOUR TRIP AROUND THE SAN SEBASTIAN STREET FESTIVAL, TYPICALLY HELD THE THIRD WEEKEND IN JANUARY. THOUSANDS GATHER IN THE STREETS OF OLD SAN JUAN FOR PARADES, LIVE MUSIC AND DANCING.
Official currency is the U.S. dollar No fees for cellphone service English is widely spoken Drive on the right side of the road No passport required 8 M A J OR C I T I E S OF F E R DIRECT FLIGHTS
Average flight time from: ATLANTA
3:52 CHARLOTTE, N.C.
2:32 NEW YORK
MILES OF BEACHES 18 ISLANDS
You Have The Drive.
WE HAVE THE CAR.
Car Rentals / Corporate Plans Anguilla: .......................+264-497-2656 Antigua: ........................+268-462-9532 Argentina ..............................4816-8001 Aruba: ...........................+297-583-4832 Bahamas: .....................+242-377-8300 Barbados: .....................+246-416-4456 Bonaire: ........................+599-717-6020 Brazil: ..................... +55-92-3584-1293 Chile: ........................ +56-2-2232-5892 Costa Rica: .................+506-2257-3434 Curacao: .....................+599-9461-3089 Dominican Republic: ......+809-333-4000
Ecuador: .................. +5932-2-228-688 French Guiana: ................0590-892803 Grand Cayman: ...........1-866-478-3421 Guadeloupe: ....................0590-892803 Guatemala: .................+502-2277-9070 Honduras: ..................+504-2234-3183 Jamaica: .......................+876-952-1126 Martinique: ......................0590-892803 Mexico: .................. +52-33-3122-5551 Nicaragua: ..................+505-2255-7981 Panama: .......................+507-204-9555
Worldwide Reservations: 1800-367-2277 • To book online, please visit Thrifty.com. Thrifty features a wide selection of quality vehicles. ©2016 A licensee of DTG Operations, Inc., or its affiliates.
Paraguay: ................ (595)-21-5197310 Peru: ................................(1) 447-7118 Puerto Rico: .................+787-253-2525 St. Barts: ....................... 0590 52 34 06 St. Kitts: ........................+869-465-2991 St. Lucia: ......................+758-451-6150 St. Maarten: ..................+599-545-2393 St. Thomas: ..................+340-776-1500 Tobago: .........................+868-639-8507 Trinidad: .......................+868-669-0602 Turks & Caicos: ............+649-946-4475 Uruguay: .....................+598-2481-8170
Z AC H S TOVA L L
3 DAYS IN ANGUILLA It’s all about the beaches — a whopping 33 of them — on an island that measures just 16 miles long and 3 miles across (at its widest point). That idyllic combination of sugarwhite sand and uber-blue water can be found wherever you go on Anguilla, but most visitors head to what’s considered one the world’s top beaches, Shoal Bay East. The island also takes top marks in cuisine — more than 100 restaurants offer everything from barbecue to haute dining — and boasts some of the Caribbean’s best-loved resorts. Here’s how to spend 36 hours on this laid-back Leeward Island. — Jennifer Ceaser DAY 1 HIT THE BEACH Pop by for a brioche and a strong espresso at Café de Paris near the West End Village. Then continue to the famed Shoal Bay East (8) to stake out your slice of sandy heaven. (All Anguilla beaches have public access and are free.) This is one of the busiest beaches; daytrippers come via ferry from nearby St. Martin, and people flock to the restaurants and bars that line the shore. Not to worry: On this 2-mile stretch of sand, you’re bound to find a secluded spot. COCKTAIL HOUR Bid the day farewell — with a potent Painkiller in hand — at the aptly named Sunset Lounge (4) at Viceroy Anguilla. Arrive on the early side to score a primo table at the open-air bar; you’ll be rewarded with a vivid red, yellow and orange Caribbean sky as the sun sinks into Barnes Bay. GO BAR-HOPPING Site of Anguilla’s main harbor, Sandy Ground is an easily walkable village filled with bars, restaurants and late-night music venues. Chill out at SandBar (2), which serves inventive (and affordable) tapas in a casual beachfront setting, or honor the island’s British heritage at Ripples, with English pub-style fare. Live music is a must-do here, and the quirkiest spot to see it is The Pumphouse (9), a
former salt factory with wood walls and rafters lined with funky memorabilia. Bands take the stage every night, starting around 9:30, but Thursdays, this is the place to be.
DAY 2 OFFSHORE ESCAPE If it’s Wednesday or Sunday, make a day of it on Scilly Cay (5). At the fishing village of Island Harbour, a (free) boat picks you up from the pier and spirits you to this private spit of land for a day of snorkeling (bring your own gear), grilled local lobster and crayfish, stiff “rhum punch” and live reggae (Sundays only). The fun ends at 5 p.m. — there’s no electricity on the tiny isle. BARBECUE AND BANDS A visit to Anguilla isn’t complete without trying the island’s famed barbecue. There are
beachfront joints (Garvey’s Sunshine Shack) and roadside stands (Ken’s Pork), but Smokey’s at the Cove (7) is a true local institution. Chow down on ribs and chicken under a beachfront tent while area musicians — including Omari Banks, son of Anguillan reggae star Bankie Banx — flaunt their talent daily.
DAY 3 TIME TO CLIMB Skip the pricey hotel breakfast and fuel up with a hearty bacon, egg and cheese sandwich ($7.90) at Valley Bistro. You’ll need some fortification for the journey to the remote snorkeling haven of Little Bay (3). Getting to the minuscule beach involves hiking an unmarked trail then climbing down a steep cliff with a rope as your only safety net. Afraid of heights? There are usually local boaters
who will pick you up at nearby Crocus Bay and speed you over for around $15. LUNCH WITH A VIEW Perched on a bluff overlooking Meads Bay, the Restaurant at Malliouhana (6) has a new menu featuring gourmet pizza, locally caught snapper, and sinful lobster mac ’n’ cheese, along with super-healthy vegetarian options like grilled kale with local fresh corn “funghi.” GOURMET GASTRONOMY Not much farming happens in Anguilla with its thin soil and scant water, so the folks at CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa (1) built an onsite hydroponic farm to supply fresh produce and herbs to all its restaurants. Get a taste of that goodness at the eight-course Wednesday night Chef’s Table, with creative local fish and seafood dishes.
The Anguillan version of Carnival begins the first Monday in August with 10 days of beach parties, parades and boat races. Scrub Island
HOW TO GET HERE
There are no direct flights from the U.S. to Anguilla’s Shoal Bay Scilly• Cay Clayton J. Lloyd Airport (AXA). Fly via St. Maarten (SXM) on Anguilla Air or San Juan (SJU) on Air Sunshine. There Anguilla is daily public ferry service from Marigot, St. Martin, Little Bay to Blowing Point; the cost is $20 each way, plus Crocus Bay The a departure tax of $20. A fast ferry runs Valley • from St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana Meads Bay Sandy Ground airport to Blowing Point from $65 Barnes Bay Blowing Point one way. Go to visitanguilla.com • St. Martin for more information. Cove Bay
SLOW-ROLLING THE SAN JUANS This archipelago off the coast of Washington offers ample opportunities for exploring nature — and they serve a pretty fine pizza too. BY MATT VILLANO
ANSEL IN THE HOUSE
MAKING A SPLASH
FARM TO PIZZA
THE SHAPE OF THINGS
Water is the theme of a photography show on view through Labor Day at the San Juan Islands Museum of Art in Friday Harbor; it includes work from Ansel Adams, Dorothy Kerper Monnelly and underwater photographer Ernest H. Brooks II. Titled “Fragile Waters,” it calls attention to this critical resource through 117 black-andwhite photographs that capture the grandeur of water in nature. $10, under 18 free; sjima.org
Following years of population stagnation and decline, two of the pods of orcas that call the San Juans home experienced a baby boom this past year, producing nine new calves. The best spot to see the whales and their little ones from shore: Lime Kiln Point State Park, on the west side of San Juan Island. If you time it right, you can picnic while watching the dorsal fins of the entire brood glide past.
Naples has nothing on Hogstone’s Wood Oven, a roadhousestyle spot in Eastsound, the biggest village on Orcas Island. The dough is thin and crispy; the sauce is tart and tangy. Chef Jay Blackinton sources many of his ingredients from a nearby farm — and he was recently nominated for Rising Star/Chef of the Year by the James Beard Foundation. Pizzas run from $10 to $25. hogstone.com
Allow a few hours to explore the San Juan Islands Sculpture Park, an eclectic installation that spans 20 acres on the north side of San Juan Island near Roche Harbor. The rotating collection includes more than 150 original pieces, mainly by Pacific Northwest sculptors. Along the five marked trails, poetry from a local laureate celebrates the beauty of nature. Suggested donation, $5. sjisculpturepark.com
Dedicated in 2013, the San Juan Islands National Monument encompasses 1,000 acres across the archipelago. The easy 3-mile Iceberg Point trail, on the southwestern tip of Lopez Island, is a great introduction to the park. From rocky cliffs at the halfway point, you can spot the snowcapped Olympic Mountains across the Strait of Juan de Fuca and look for whales. Wildflowers are also plentiful in summer.
OFF THE BEATEN PATH
THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS are places of epic and wild beauty that offer a plentiful range of off-the-beaten-path experiences. Hike to deserted beaches, hidden waterfalls and volcanic highlands, or go off-road touring in the remote backcountry. Help restore an ancient Hawaiian fishpond or take a walking tour of a historic town. Learn to take photos like a pro and night-dive with manta rays. Extraordinary adventures await across Hawai‘i. PHOTO: Patrick Kelley
O ‘A H U
Just a one-hour drive from Honolulu, O‘ahu’s North Shore is a world away of pristine mountains, valleys and forests. NORTH SHORE ECOTOURS (northshoreecotours.com) offers hiking adventures and an off-road driving tour on private conservations lands, providing guests with secluded access to O‘ahu’s natural beauty. Experience the island’s breathtaking natural terrain and vistas while learning about Hawai‘i’s exotic plants, culture and history — without the crowds.
Explore Maui’s paniolo (cowboy) heritage and lively arts traditions in MAKAWAO in Upcountry Maui. Browse the shops and art galleries; watch glass blowers, wood sculptors and painters at work; and visit Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center, home to art classes and exhibits. Maui Friday Night Parties come to Makawao every third Friday of the month from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., with live music, great food, shopping and art, as well as kids activities. And don’t miss the Makawao Rodeo, held every Fourth of July.
WINDWARD COAST VOLUNTOURISM
PHOTO: Dabe Shores
Early Hawaiians employed an innovative aquaculture system of fishponds to catch, reproduce and raise fish. On the Windward Coast, nonprofit PA E PA E O H E ‘ E I A (paepaeoheeia.org) is dedicated to restoring HE‘EIA FISHPOND. Visitors are welcome to help with ongoing restoration work on Saturday Community Workdays (second and fourth Saturdays each month). Activities include invasive mangrove and seaweed removal, in addition to wall refurbishment. Private onehour Walking Tours are also available. Sign up for volunteer work and tours on the website. SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
WATERFALLS, JUNGLES AND MORE The guides at EPIC MAUI HIKES (epicmauihikes.com) are passionate about providing guests with unforgettable outdoor adventures. Imagine hiking through bamboo trees and playing in Maui’s waterfalls on the Jungle/Waterfall Adventure. Or consider the magic of the Road to Hana, a one- or two-day adventure that can include a private waterfall, black-sand beach, red-sand lagoon, and cliff jumping. Epic Maui Hikes always provides you with GoPro photos, and they also offer a video option.
PHOTO: Patrick Kelley
OUTRIGGER RESORTS brings you the best live Hawaiian music every night in Waikīkī. PHOTO: North Shore EcoTours
Music to your ears. Take advantage of limited-time rates before it’s too late.
PHOTO: Paepae O He’eia
H AWA I ‘ I I S L A N D
K A U A‘ I
MANTA RAY NIGHT DIVING
Few adventures compare to watching gentle manta rays swim through the ocean at night, illuminated by spotlights, in search of plankton. Book the Manta Ray Night Dive/Snorkel with B I G I S L A N D D I V E R S ( bigislanddivers.com) to experience this amazing phenomenon. Divers and snorkelers alike enjoy watching magnificent manta rays gliding and somersaulting through the water as they feed on the plankton that are attracted to the spotlights.
You’ll see and capture images of Kaua‘i i n t h e c o m p a ny o f p r o s w i t h K A U A ‘ I ADVENTURE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS
(kauaiphotoworkshops.com). The small group workshops held amid Kaua‘i’s stunning scenery show you how professional photographers view and shoot the island, while providing hands-on photography education. Each workshop is customized to match clients’ skills and interests. Choose from Sunset & Night Adventure, Sunrise to Sunset Full Day, Custom Private Adventure, and Digital Post Production workshops.
HIKES AND OFF-ROAD EXPLORING
OVER ON THE WEST SIDE
Guided hikes with HAWAIIAN WALKWAYS ( gowaipio.com) explore some of Hawai‘i Island’s most spectacular, but seldomseen areas. Discover the slopes of Kīlauea and Mauna Loa, the upland meadows and rainforests of Mauna Kea, Kohala’s historic valleys, and Hualālai’s cloud forest as your guide shares stories of the land, plants, animals and people of Hawai‘i. Hawaiian Walkways recently launched BIG ISLAND JEEP TOURS (lavajeep.com), the only jeep tour in the U.S. that traverses lava terrain.
Venture to the West Side where you’ll find HANAPĒPĒ, “Kaua‘i’s biggest little town.” Home to many historic, plantation-style buildings, Hanapēpē has been a location for productions like The Thorn Birds and Flight of the Intruder. Now you’ll find loads of unique shops, eateries and galleries. Every Friday night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. is Art Night in Hanapēpē, an opportunity to meet local artists and gallery owners while enjoying music and local food. Come then or any other time and take the fascinating, selfguided Hanapēpē Walking Tour.
SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
Henry Kapono AWARD-WINNING MUSICIAN Sunday evenings at Duke’s Waikiki Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort
Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort
Where can you hear and feel the true spirit of aloha? Find out at Outrigger.com HAWAI‘I FIJI THAIL AND GUAM MAURITIUS MALDIVES UPCOMING: CHINA VIETNAM
See your travel agent or call 800.688.7444
Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort
BEYOND A short boat ride from busy Piazza San Marco, these under-the-radar Venetian
The view of Venice from the JW Marriott, set on a private island.
BY ADAM H. GRAHAM PHOTOGRAPHY BY JON WHITTLE
VENICE Lagoon islands promise a tourist-free taste of the real Italy.
O ON THE WATER-TAXI RIDE FROM Venice’s Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia, a storm is building on the horizon. The boat skids over the canals, blurring past Gothic arched windows and ornamental bridges before emptying out into the vast, open wetlands of the lagoon. The driver points to the inky sky and shouts over the engine, “Acqua alta!” It means “high water” in Italian, but it’s the Venetian term for the especially high tides that afect the lagoon from September to May. Tellingly, it’s also interchangeable with the local word for storm. Water, as every Venetian knows, is ubiquitous here: It’s under you, around you and, in this case, even over you. This rainy day is the start of my five-night trip to Venice, capital of the Veneto region. This time, though, I’m not setting foot in the city proper; the tourist-clogged Doge’s Palace, Bridge of Sighs, Saint Mark’s — those I’ve done. Instead, I’m turning my sights to the oft-overlooked islands of the Venetian Lagoon, 118 in total. Some are mere islets covered in grass and of interest only to nesting ducks and their hunters; others are home to crumbling ruins and fishing camps. But several are undergoing a major renaissance — with new luxury hotels, revived vineyards, locavore yoga
retreats and Michelin-starred restaurants. Mazzorbo, Isola delle Rose, Burano, Torcello, Sant’Erasmo and Isola di San Clemente: what these islands ofer is a taste of Venice — with far fewer crowds. The lagoon itself is having a resurgence, ﬁnally recovering from decades of pollution. At 212 square miles, it’s not only the largest wetland in Italy, it’s the largest in the Mediterranean Basin. It’s a critical ﬂyway for birds and home to a variety of marine life, including bottlenose dolphins. It also serves as Veneto’s larder, with seafood staples like native shrimp, octopus, anchovies, razor clams and mołeche, native green soft-shell crabs. The most transformative new development has been on Isola delle Rose, about 1½ miles from Venice’s iconic Piazza San Marco. The former sanitarium reopened as the 266-room JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa in March of last year, with discreet canalside luxury villas with private plunge pools and docks; two-story maisonettes with zigzag-tiled ﬂoors; and a brick warehouse converted to loft suites. The property also features a century-old arboretum with cypress and olive trees, the one-Michelin-starred restaurant Dopolavoro, and a 19th-century neo-Romanesque chapel festooned with Barovier & Toso glass chandeliers crafted
GET HERE There are complimentary water shuttles for guests of both the JW Marriott and Kempinski from Piazza San Marco that depart every 30 minutes and take approximately 15 minutes to reach the islands. From the airport and train station, private shuttles or water taxis can be hired at the canal or arranged ahead of time through the hotels. Venissa Wine Resort can arrange private water taxis, but you can also reach it by taking the public Vaporetto line. Getting to Torcello, Mazzorbo and Burano takes 35 minutes from Piazza San Marco, but only 15 minutes from the airport.
Clockwise from above: The private shuttle boat at the JW Marriott; drinking and dining at the hotelâ€™s Sagra Rooftop Restaurant; a neo-Romanesque church on the grounds.
WHEN TO GO
TO SEPTEMBER In high season, the weather is warm and dry, but April and October are the best months to avoid crowds.
Dusk on Mazzorbo — the tourists have departed, and quiet returns to the island’s colorful corridors.
on the neighboring island of Murano. More Miami than Mediterranean, the spacious, modern lobby is dotted with white wing chairs, teal velvet sofas and long cotton drapes ﬂuttering dramatically in the wind. There’s a handsome marble bar, a grand piano and old-fashioned glass jars stufed with licorice and hard candy. From the hotel’s promenade, you can see the lights of Piazza San Marco, which is reachable in 15 minutes via the complimentary shuttle. But the guests who come and go from the resort use the island as an urban sanctuary during their visits to Venice. Another sanctuary: the property’s 18,000-square-foot spa, with thermal pools and treatment rooms situated right on the water. On a nearby lagoon island, the 15-acre Isola di San Clemente, sits another refurbished property, Kempinski’s San Clemente Palace. The history of the island dates back to A.D. 1131, and it has played the role of monastery, hospice and even a quarantine site for plague victims. Today, its posh 190-room hotel counts a spa and tennis courts among its amenities, as well as the private, fully renovated, 12th-century San Clemente Church. But these splashy luxury palaces are only a part of the lagoon’s transformation. Several smaller and more organic developments are helping to restore some of these islands to their roots. Perhaps the most significant is happening on Mazzorbo, a small, quiet island connected by a pedestrian bridge to the lagoon’s largest island, Burano. Only a few hundred people live on Mazzorbo, which to this day preserves an authentic way of life that you won’t ﬁnd in Venice proper or on the private hotel islands. Like Burano, the village is
On Mazzorbo is Venissa, a six-room inn and Michelinstarred restaurant owned by the Bisol family, who grow grapes and produce wine on the tiny lagoon island.
made up of brightly colored houses that recall the Caribbean, but with full-on Venetian characteristics: narrow alleyways, leaning campaniles and, of course, wet sidewalks. Few tourists make it to Mazzorbo, but those who do inevitably take to the streets to photograph the colorful houses and the laundry hanging from the windows. But just before the sun sets, they head back to Venice on the Vaporetto, the public water-transport line. At the same time, the local ﬁshermen come home to eat with their mammas. Lace curtains are drawn over the small windows of old houses, and the smells and sounds of the kitchen trickle into its twisting streets and canals. This is when Mazzorbo reveals its true self. The handsome, spritely Matteo Bisol, youngest son of the famed Italian Bisol wine family, owns Mazzorbo’s only hotel, Venissa. The tidy six-room inn has a Michelin-starred restaurant overlooking
Atop the tower is a breathtaking view of the Venetian Lagoon and its islands in the distance. “This is the birthplace of Venice,” Bisol says.
the Mazzorbo canal and is home to its own farm and vineyard — a Venetian version of agritourism. Over the course of my threenight stay, Bisol, the unofficial mayor of Mazzorbo, plays the consummate host. He introduces me to Venissa’s chefs and to the owners of a new yoga retreat on the neighboring island of Santa Cristina. I also get a tour of the nine gondolierinspired guesthouses that he’s set to open this spring on Burano. One morning, Bisol takes me on his boat to the island of Torcello, less than a mile away. It’s the oldest continuously occupied part of Venice, and Bisol tells me about how his family got involved in growing grapes there. “This is the vineyard my father discovered on his visit to Venice,” he says as we approach the 7th-century Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta, one of the tallest and oldest churches in Veneto. “When he saw those grapes, he wondered if they were the rare, endangered Dorona grapes. When he found out they were, he ofered to buy the vineyard on the spot.” Bisol’s wiry frame sprints up the stairs of the basilica’s bell tower while I lag behind, weighed down with the pasta and wine from last night. Atop the tower is a breathtaking view of the Venetian Lagoon and its islands in the distance. “This is the birthplace of Venice,” he says, gesturing to the ancient islands and their watery world below. It’s a landscape marked by sky-scraping campaniles, ﬂat vermillion ﬁelds and, of course, water in every direction. If you dropped someone atop the tower, they’d immediately know where they were. Few places in the world can claim such distinction. On my ﬁnal day in the lagoon, Bisol’s boat whisks me to Sant’Erasmo, a 2-milelong island, one of the lagoon’s largest. As the crow flies, it’s only 2 miles from
Mazzorbo, but we have to wind through a labyrinth of channels for 20 minutes to make the crossing. Our wake spills over grassy duck blinds and irks Venetian ﬁshermen in small boats along the way. Once there, I meet Michel Thoulouze, who moved to the island from France 14 years ago to make wine with ancient grapes — especially the honeyed white Malvasia from Istria. “We wanted to dig a cellar to store the wine, but the water table is too high, so I decided to sink the wine in the lagoon, which is actually an ideal place for it to age,” he says in a thick French accent while pouring me a glass of 2011 Orto di Venezia. “The ﬁrst year we sank the wine, it was stolen, so I had to make sure I was discreet about the location. Now the only problem is remembering where we sank it,” he says, chuckling. Thoulouze’s wines — vegetal and mineral and perfectly balanced — are considered some of the best in Venice. “The grapes do well in this salty climate and love the clay and limestone soil,” he explains. He opens another bottle and we talk about wine, which segues to a discussion about the importance of the water, which somehow segues to heirloom chickens (he’s raising them on Sant’Erasmo). After a very “comprehensive” tasting, we lean into more personal topics like love, food and the most sacred and profound of all Venetian topics: how to avoid Venice’s tourists. Other than water, this is a subject that consumes Venetians. But, as I discovered, it’s easy to do if you stick to the lagoon.
JW Marriott Venice (open April to October), rooms from $450; jwvenice.com. Venissa Wine Resort (open year-round), rooms from $150; venissa.it.
THE WILD SIDES
R U G G E D VA N C O U V E R I S L A N D B E C O M E S A S O P H I S T I C AT E ’ S D R E A M
BY AMANDA JONES
JEREMY KORESKI/THE NEW YORK TIMES/REDUX; OPPOSITE: JON WHITTLE
A seafood plate at Tofinoâ€™s Wolf in the Fog, known for its locavore cuisine. Opposite: The rustic setting of Clayoquot Wilderness Resort. JUNE
IF YOU’RE LOOKING TO DISAPPEAR, WHERE BETTER THAN A RUGGED, SPARSELY POPULATED ENCLAVE OFF CANADA’S PACIFIC COAST?
’m propping up the bar at the Wolf in the Fog, a buzzy restaurant in Toﬁno, cradling a Cracker Jack cocktail — made from popcorn-infused rum, Canadian whisky, honey, macadamia-nut liqueur, lime and local salt water. It’s possibly the efect of that improbable combination, but I’ve lost count of the number of man-buns in the room. I’d heard this 30-mile stretch on the west coast of Vancouver Island was a mecca for foodies and adventure-lovers, but I hadn’t expected this particular town to be so hip. In the ’60s, Vietnam draft dodgers drifted to Vancouver Island — if you’re looking to disappear, where better than a rugged, sparsely populated, 12,400-square-mile enclave of Canada’s Paciﬁc coast? Most of them settled in Ucluelet and Toﬁno, two ﬁshing towns about 25 miles apart. Later came the surfers, chasing the big waves. Eventually the zeitgeist of these villages became sporty-hippy, creating a hub of Canadian and American artists, outdoorsy types and early organic farmers. Nowadays, the best way to describe many of the 2,000 Toﬁno
Clockwise from top left: An employee at the Ucluelet Aquarium, which displays local marine life; a view of the island’s rocky shoreline; Tofino’s Shelter Restaurant serves all-organic fare in a contemporary timber building; one of the many locally crafted brews.
residents is buff-boho, with bearded men in flannel shirts warding of freezing winds and women clad in shorts and handknitted beanies year-round. Tourism didn’t truly ﬂourish here until 1996, with the opening of the ﬁve-star Wickaninnish Inn outside Toﬁno; until then, accommodations had been rustic at best. As the towns began attracting upscale travelers, so followed the stylish eateries, cofeehouses and all manner of artisanal shops. Today’s Ucluelet and Toﬁno are a more polished, more trendy version of their former gritty selves. FINDING OUR FIRST LODGING is a wilderness adventure in itself. We’ve been told to look for the Wya Point Welcome Center outside Ucluelet, but it’s closed by the time we arrive (our plane was delayed due to weather, common on this wind-battered island). The airport shuttle leaves us there, and eventually we ﬁnd an envelope stuck to the door with a key and directions to our self-catering accommodations. The only taxi in Ucluelet comes
J E R E MY KO R E S K I / C O U R T E S Y S H E LT E R R E S TA U R A N T; O P P O S I T E : J O N W H I T T L E (2); COURTESY SCOUTMAGAZINE.CA
to the rescue, taking us down an imperceptible dirt road and say little but do much. The community still relies on ﬁshing, driving for miles through a dripping forest. Signs posted to and weather-lashed men stride around the marina in rain boots trees along the way encourage disbelieving guests with mes- hauling up the catch or untangling nets, while the women preside over the counters at souvenir shops selling woodcarvings, sages such as “’Li’l further” and “Keep Goin’.” T-shirts and saltwater tafy. It’s dark when we arrive at our Wya Point Raven Lodge, set deep in the wilderness and right above tree-lined Ucluth Beach. Built We’re dining at Norwoods restaurant, which we’d heard was from wood and glass, this Platinum LEED-certiﬁed, two-bedroom not to be missed. Owned by chef Richard Norwood, the restauhouse is modern and spacious, like an upmarket holiday home. It rant’s fare serves as an example of the phenomenon that makes has a totem pole from the Ucluelet First Nation carved into a living room support beam, a cozy ﬁreplace and comes to food. Like many Canadians, Norwood took a gourmet kitchen. We knock back a few Tofino of for a “gap decade,” working in restaurants around WHEN TO GO Brewing Co.’s Tuf Session ales, and we’re ﬁnally Asia and Europe. He returned home and fused those on island time. cuisines with the abundant local seafood, fresh herbs, The next day, after an afternoon spent hiking the produce, cheeses and poultry. “We know all our proTO SEPTEMBER Wild Paciﬁc Trail — 6½ miles of boardwalk and viders,” he tells me. “The ﬁshermen call from the boat High season brings dirt pathways weaving through old-growth cedar and let us know what they have caught — octopus, the warmest months, and spruce, with a moody ocean below — we head halibut, salmon, cod — and we create a menu around though it rarely gets above 70 degrees. • into Ucluelet, a town of 1,500 souls who seem to that. Our ﬁsh is from boat to plate within four hours.”
Winter is popular for storm-watching.
Twilight at the Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, set on a remote stretch of Vancouver Islandâ€™s west coast and reachable by boat or seaplane only.
IN SUMMER, GOODLOOKING YOUNGSTERS RUN THE BARS AND WAIT THE TABLES, FILLING IN TIME BETWEEN HIKES, KAYAKING AND FISHING.
Clockwise from left: Fog over Clayoquot Sound; a surfer in Tofino, known as Canada’s surf capital; orcas in Cox Bay, near the Long Beach Lodge Resort.
FROM UCLUELET, IT’S a 30-minute drive north to Toﬁno, on the shoreline, the fact that I’m pressed up against 39 other where we take up residence in a comfortable cottage at the life-vested visitors didn’t matter. Long Beach Lodge Resort, 6 miles outside town. Aptly named, Toﬁno is also a ﬁshing village, but tourism is now a huge part the resort ofers us an extensive, lovely beach, with some of the of the economy in high season, May to October. In winter, the biggest surf waves on the island. Vancouver Island is the ﬁrst town is quieter, and some businesses close for a few months to place I’ve been that boasts a “storm-watching” (read: winter) escape the gale-force winds. When the sun’s shining in summer, season, where tourists gather to sit in a glass-front ﬁre-lit room, good-looking youngsters run the bars and wait the tables, ﬁlling drink local wines and watch a roiling sky whip the ocean into a in time between hikes, kayaking and ﬁshing. fury. Apparently, the west coast has some of the most pictorial The First Nations people, Canada’s Native Americans, are also storms in the world; with nothing but 4,600 temperamental an important part of life here. They tend to live in villages farmiles of northern Paciﬁc Ocean between the island and Japan, ther aﬁeld, but it’s possible to experience their culture through it’s hardly surprising. their art and via canoeing trips of the Sound. We’re scheduled to Apart from Toﬁno’s litany of trendy breweries, bars and res- take a day trip with the Nuu-chah-nulth people to learn about taurants (and the popular Rhino Cofee House, which serves their history and culture, but it’s cancelled because of rough seas homemade donuts), another essential activity is to hop aboard — a constant risk of northwestern life. Instead, we take a larger a Jamie’s Whaling Station boat and head up Clayoquot Sound to boat out to Hot Springs Cove up the Sound and in Maquinna go bear-watching. This is a touristy thing to do, but once I clap Marine Provincial Park, hiking up a boardwalk and slipping into eyes on a mama black bear and three cubs hunting rock crabs steaming pools ﬁlled by thermal springs.
From left: A painting of the late woodcarving artist Henry Nolla, whose work can be seen throughout Tofino; a sunny day on Chesterton Beach.
J O N W H I T T L E ( 3 ) ; C O U R T E S Y T H E LO N G B E A C H LO D G E R E S O R T; R YA N C R E A R Y/ AGE FOTOSTOCK
GET HERE Orca Airways ﬂies from Vancouver to Toﬁno; fares from $175 each way; flyorcaair.com
FOR OUR LAST FEW DAYS on the island, we trade town life for wildlife. A boat collects us in Toﬁno and speeds us to the tony Clayoquot Wilderness Resort. The 40-minute ride takes us past bobbing otters, endearing creatures lolling on their backs nonchalantly, arms in front as if clutching a hand of cards. The lodge sits on 530 acres of private land, but it’s surrounded by a million acres now preserved and under the stewardship of the First Nations people. There are very few permanent structures, and most of the resort is constructed of white safari-style tents. Guest tents have a king-size bed, a propane ﬁreplace, a plush couch, and a deck; most have an en suite bathroom. Although there is electricity, tents are lit with oil lamps at night, casting an orange glow through the trees. It’s like an elegant, expensive summer camp, and it’s a place that families return to for generations, their children let loose to run in ﬂush-cheeked posses.
WHERE TO STAY Long Beach Lodge Resort, Tofino Rooms and cottages from $202 per night; longbeachlodge resort.com Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, Tofino All-inclusive rates start at $3,326 per person for a three-night stay; wildretreat.com Wya Point Resort, Ucluelet The property includes private houses, yurts and campground spaces; one-bedroom lodges from $258 per night; wyapoint.com
I spend my time riding horses through the woods or hiking into the rainforest, spotting waterfalls tumbling down hillsides and old-growth trees preserved from the saw. The First Nations guides tell of how they grew up nearby, living simply in the village, learning ﬁshing and native plant medicines. One profers a large leaf and tells me it’s called devil’s club. “We use this for many ailments: stomach, bones, even diabetes,” he says. “It is also used to ward of evil.” After days in that remote corner, we take the boat back to Toﬁno, a bustling metropolis in comparison. This is the beauty of Vancouver Island: It ofers inventive food, trendy cocktails and swanky hotels, but in mere minutes, you can be surrounded by vast swaths of wilderness — mountains, forests, rivers, the ocean — all teeming with life. It’s a magical formula that few places can replicate.
FOR FAMILIES WITH:
SMALL CHILDREN (0-5)
SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN (6-12)
Vacations are no longer about loading the kids in the car and heading to the nearest beach. Today’s families are looking to stretch their imaginations, sharing their passion for travel with their loved ones. Organized by age group, our guide shows the best destinations and activities for kids of all ages. Find the right getaway for your crew, no matter who’s tagging along for the ride. By Heather Greenwood Davis
5 K I D - F R I E N D L Y D E S T I N AT I O N S
MULTIGENERATIONAL (ALL AGES)
1 THE BAHAMAS OUT ISLANDS Chances are, you’ve already been to Nassau. Take the road less traveled: With 700-plus islands and more than 2,000 cays, the Out Islands ofer the whole brood a chance to experience the real Bahamian way of life.
THE ABACOS DO: Forgo fancy duds and pack extra swimsuits for Abaco’s endless water activities, including boating, snorkeling (AGES 6-12) and swimming in the clear, shallow waters. Island-hopping is a must: Green Turtle Cay ofers plenty of shelling and a bit of history at the colonial settlement of New Plymouth, while the Sunday afternoon pig roast at Nipper’s Beach Bar & Grill in Guana Cay is a tradition — kids can build sandcastles and splash in the calm blue water while you wait. STAY: Abaco Beach Resort’s “Bahama Buddies” program (for ages 3-12) introduces younger visitors to local children and invites them to spend the day together, learning how to catch and cook ﬁsh, make island crafts and crack coconuts. There’s a variety of accommodations for all family sizes: oceanfront rooms with two beds start at $297, onebedroom suites with a pullout sofa from $585. abacobeachresort.com. BEST FOR
THE BAHAMAS ANDROS DO: Filled with reefs and blue holes (underwater caves), Andros is the least developed of the Out Islands. Days (ALL AGES) here are full of ﬁshing excursions, hikes through pine forests and diving at the third largest barrier reef in the world. Crab catching is an island pastime; in June, don’t miss the All Andros Crab Fest, with land crabs cooked 101 ways. STAY: White-sand beaches run the length of the 96-acre Kamalame Cay resort. If your kids aren’t smitten with the place from the moment they hop of the private ferry from Andros, the fresh homemade cookies laid out each afternoon should do the trick. Villas are pricey, from $1,485 per night, but a good choice for multigenerational stays; kamalame.com. The all-inclusive Small Hope Bay Lodge on Andros has 21 beachfront cottages from $295 per person per day ($125 for ages 2-12); smallhope.com. BEST FOR
ELEUTHERA AND HARBOUR ISLAND DO: With their quiet sophistication, these two islands are the Nantuckets of the Bahamas. Explore the local history with (AGES 6-12) a trip to Governor’s Harbour, or rent a bicycle and pedal around Harbour Island. Shelling in the morning and stargazing at night are markers of a great day. The more adventurous can try horseback riding on the beach (ages 12 and up, or pony rides, ages 5-11) at Oceanview Farm. STAY: For a chic boutique vibe, book at the Cove, with onsite activities including boating and paddleboarding. Two-bedroom suites run about $1,369 per night; thecoveeleuthera.com. The centrally located Pineapple Fields Resort features self-catering condos that ofer conveniences like laundry machines. Onebedrooms from $185 per night; pineapplefields.com. BEST FOR
Family-bonding moment: kayaking together alongside the massive walls of a steep fjord in Alaska.
With its jaw-dropping landscapes (larger-than-life glaciers) and abundant sea and wildlife (humpback whales, sea lions and polar bears), Alaska is a must-see bucket-list destination for all ages. Opting for a cruise is a no-brainer: The mix of family-friendly onboard activities will keep all generations entertained, and water- and land-based tours make exploring the Final Frontier a cinch.
ALASKA DREAM CRUISES Children are always welcome on (AGES 6-12) these smaller ships, but even more so on the Become a True Alaskan Family Cruise sailings (July and August). For ages 7 and up, the eight-day Alaska’s Glacier Bay and Island Adventure trips feature an onboard youth expedition leader who guides photo scavenger hunts, teaches navigation basics and heads hiking and kayaking excursions. You’ll sail on the 74-passenger Chichagof Dream, which ofers convertible family cabins. From $3,379 per person, kids under 15 save 30 percent; alaska dreamcruises.com BEST FOR
UN-CRUISE ADVENTURES Whale-watching, snorkeling with sea lions and a (AGES 6-12) polar bear plunge (a dip in the Icy Strait waters) — fun activities for any age, but Un-Cruise specializes in programs for 8- to 13-yearolds. Adventures include touching anemones in tide pools and looking at plankton they’ve collected under the microscope. Movie nights and dance parties keep the group
F R O M L E F T: J A D D AV E N P O R T; C O U R T E S Y U N - C R U I S E (2)
camaraderie going on board. Book the Inner Reaches Eastern Coves itinerary for access to harbor seals in Endicott Arm, humpbacks in Stephens Passage and lessons in Tlingit and Haida culture. An eight-day trip starts at $2,295 per person, with $500 of kids’ fares; un-cruise.com
PRINCESS CRUISES Twelve-time winner of “best cruise line in Alaska” (ALL AGES) from Travel Weekly’s Readers Choice Awards, Princess recognizes that diferent ages have different needs. Kids clubs are divided into two age groups: 3-7 and 8-12, while teens BEST FOR
13-17 have their own space at Remix, with DJ workshops and hip-hop dance classes. The whole family can come together for the Klondike Festival (with sled-dog presentations) and the Midnight Sun Party (an all-ages gathering on the top deck under the Midnight Sun). Excursions include visiting a gold mine and watching a lumberjack competition. And Princess has teamed up with the Discovery Channel to present adventures tied to the popular Deadliest Catch franchise. From $699 per person for an interior room on a sevennight sailing, third and fourth guests in same room, $249 each; princess.com
3 NOSARA DO: Surfers flock to the fantastically consistent waves of Playa Guiones, on (AGES 13-17) the country’s Paciﬁc coast, but you don’t need to be Laird Hamilton to experience Nosara’s excellent surf. Safari Surf School caters to all levels, even those who’ve never been on a board, and the gentle white water makes it ideal for beginners. Two lessons per day over six days, plus accommodations, most meals and all equipment starts at $2,875 per person; safarisurfschool.com. STAY: Olas Verdes is the area’s ﬁrst LEED-certiﬁed hotel, and its location near Playa Guiones makes it ideal for beach-lovers. The ﬂexible layout lets you connect suites, depending on your family’s size. From $420 for a two-bedroom that sleeps seven and includes daily breakfast; olasverdeshotel.com. BEST FOR
LA FORTUNA/ARENAL VOLCANO DO: Zip-lining, mountain biking, whitewater rafting: that’s just some of the GoPro-worthy action you’ll find at Sky (AGES 6-12) Adventures Arenal Park. Too extreme? Try the three-hour walk across hanging bridges high in the canopies or glide 3,200 feet above the rainforest in the Sky Tram. Take a break from the hot Central American sun with a day pass for the waterslides and pools at Baldi Hot Springs Hotel Resort & Spa. From $23 for adults, ages 6-10 from $11.50 and kids under 5 are free; baldihotsprings.cr. STAY: In La Fortuna, at the foot of the Arenal Volcano, you’ll ﬁnd a variety of lodging options; many boast hot springs and natural pools on the property. Hotel Los Lagos ofers villa rentals that can sleep up to nine and feature a full kitchen, dining room and volcano views. From $299; hotelloslagos.com. Arenal Kioro has spacious family suites with two queen beds and a daybed that can sleep a small child, as well as options for connecting or adjoining rooms and free cribs on request. From $381; hotelarenalkioro.com. BEST FOR
TRAVEL TIP Costa Rica’s strong safety record makes it a great spot for solo parents: Locals are friendly, and roads are easy to navigate. Or trust Thomson Family Adventures: the Volcanoes and Beaches tour is best for those who are new to the country. A seven-day trip starts at $3,990 per person; family adventures .com
MANUEL ANTONIO NATIONAL PARK DO: The toughest part about being a pintsize tourist in Costa Rica is that many of the activities are often — literally — out (AGES 6-12) of reach, with size, weight or age restrictions. Instead, peg your adventure to nature. Manuel Antonio National Park, which stretches from the Paciﬁc coast up into the mountainous rainforest, is brimming with wildlife: hundreds of species of mammals and birds live within its 1,700 acres. (If you don’t spot a few white-headed capuchins, you aren’t looking.) Visitor numbers are capped, so start early, and take the ﬂat, easy main trail. Pack a swimsuit: Of the trail is the famous Playa Manuel Antonio, with warm blue waters and a crescent-shaped ivory-sand beach. (Note: The park is closed on Mondays.) STAY: Located inside the park, the eco-friendly Falls Resort is set among lush gardens ﬁlled with sloths, toucans and monkeys, and it’s just ﬁve minutes from wide, sandy Esterillos Este beach. All rooms have outdoor space. Plans are underway for three-bedroom treehouses that are sure to inspire delight. Double queen rooms from $100; fallsresortcr.com. BEST FOR
Above: Test your limits at Sky Adventures Arenal Park. Opposite: A view of Arenal Volcano from La Fortuna.
OPPOSITE: ROBERT HARDING/CORBIS
Just about every adventurous activity imaginable can be found in Costa Rica: kayaking, zip-lining and surfing, to name a few. Plus, there’s the opportunity to see fascinating wildlife — monkeys, sloths, hundreds of bird species — right outside your door. Bonus: This exotic destination won’t bust your budget.
C OSTA R I C A
4 OAHU Nearly 3 million visitors come to Waikiki, Oahu’s iconic resort area, each year. Why? Because it boasts one of Hawaii’s best beaches, with tons of watersports, dining and shopping options. Plus, attractions like a zoo and an aquarium promise fun for all ages. — Todd Pitock DO: The Spirit of Aloha snorkel tours include a visit to Turtle Canyon. Sea tur(ALL AGES) tles come to a spot where ﬁsh “clean” them before the turtles push of, making way for the next ones in line. If you don’t want to get wet while experiencing the ocean, the Atlantic Submarine adventure has you descending 100 feet in a sub to see reefs, sunken boats and planes, along with ﬁsh, sharks and turtles. STAY: The 22-acre Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort complex, set on the widest strip of beach in Waikiki, is a family-entertainment mecca. You can swim, surf, snorkel and paddleboard right from the hotel. Ideal for little ones is its beachfront lagoon, which lets them experience salt water without the big waves. Four nights of the week, the hotel stages Waikiki’s only outdoor luau, with traditional food, Polynesian dancing and music and ﬁre dancers. Room with two double beds from $189; hilton.com.
The shallow saltwater lagoon at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki is the perfect spot for wading toddlers.
Z AC H S TOVA L L (2)
5 MORE KID-FRIENDLY TRAVEL OPTIONS Disney Cruises Not only are you promised plenty of Disney-themed fun, you’ll also never have to worry about your child’s food allergies. You’ll get a separate menu, plus the staf (often the chef) will stop by your table to explain how they can assist with any dietary needs. Says one mom: “My son ate his very ﬁrst ‘ice cream’ on Disney thanks to their allergy accommodations. He was so happy to join in.” disneycruise.com Grand Velas Resorts, Mexico An onsite Baby Concierge means you can leave cumbersome gear at home knowing that a crib, a stroller, bottle warmers and sterilizers will be waiting for you in your room. The service is committed to making little ones comfortable, from a massage to help soothe fussy babies or a ﬁrst haircut (with certiﬁcate) to guarantee they look sharp at dinner. grandvelas.com
Martinhal Resorts, Portugal No rushing through your meal while juggling a toddler when you stay at these seaside resorts. Restaurants ofer Kids Corners where soft ﬂooring, games and child-size tables keep little ones happy while you nosh. And a “Kids Carer” during mealtimes allows you to take in the sunset with a glass of wine, rugrat-free. martinhal.com
St. James’s Club Morgan Bay, Saint Lucia Those age 2-12 can learn patois, the local dialect, as part of the Kids Club oferings at this luxury resort. Tots Yoga classes, cooking classes and mocktail lessons are here too, all aimed at giving kids a taste of local culture for no extra fee. morgan bayresort.com Abeon Travel When your family includes a child with special needs, stress can be an unwelcome companion on vacations. Abeon Travel helps families locate hotels and attractions with autism-friendly programs, visual and auditory aids, adaptive activities and more. They’ll also ﬁnd places to eat with allergysensitive menus. abeontravel.com
5 GRAND CAYMAN DO: Days should include time on the white sands of world-renowned Seven (AGES 0-5) Mile Beach. The Public Beach, near the center of Seven Mile, has a playground, picnic tables and bathrooms. The waves are usually small, and the sand gently slopes from the shore, making this an ideal spot for little ones. STAY: The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman’s new Starﬁsh Cay is a zero-entry splash area complete with slides and kid-size loungers. Room with two queen beds from $519; ritzcarlton.com. BEST FOR
DO: A must-do excursion is Stingray City, where kids can touch, feed and snorkel with giant stingrays. There are a number (AGES 6-12) of tour operators, but we recommend Captain Marvin. Half-day excursion $45 per adult, $30 for kids 4-11. STAY: The afordable two- and three-bedroom units at Christopher Columbus Condos have full kitchens, plus access to a large pool and Seven Mile Beach. From $275; christophercolumbuscondos.com. BEST FOR
DO: Break up a day at the beach with an outing to the Cayman Islands National (ALL AGES) Museum. The colonial-era building depicts the island’s natural and cultural history in 3-D displays, murals and videos. Or head to see the colorful iguanas at the Blue Iguana Recovery Program in the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park. A 90-minute guided tour is suitable for the entire family, and if grandma doesn’t share the kids’ fascination for lizards, she can always enjoy the native ﬂora in the park instead. BEST FOR
Petting the gentle rays at Stingray City is a must-do when visiting Grand Cayman.
TRAVEL TIP Have some hands-on fun at Cayman Turtle Farm, where kids can get up close with reptiles. It’s also a marine park, with freshwater and saltwater lagoons, the largest swimming pool on the island, two waterfalls, an underwater view of a predator STAY: East End is a quiet alternative to buzzy Seven tank and a Mile; it’s also more convenient to better-known swim-withdive spots. Roomy and afordable, Turtle Nest Inn the-turtles & Condos has one- and two-bedroom units with full experience. kitchens; some have washers and dryers. From $179 From $18 adults; $9 ages for an ocean-view apartment; turtlenestinn.com. 4-12. turtle.ky LITTLE CAYMAN/CAYMAN BRAC DO: Divers and snorkelers will be endlessly entertained while exploring the (AGES 13-17) abundant sea life surrounding these two islands. On Little Cayman, Reef Divers is a popular outﬁtter that works with newcomers and seasoned divers alike. A two-tank dive starts at $108. Above water, Nature Cayman ofers visitors a free tour of Cayman Brac that includes some of its hundreds of caves. STAY: On Cayman Brac, the newly renovated Cayman Brac Beach Resort features beach access and a large pool. Rooms with two double beds from $150; cayman bracbeachresort.com. The Club on Little Cayman has one- to three-bedroom condos. Two-bedrooms from $373; theclubatlittlecaymancom. BEST FOR
TOP: MASTERFILE; OPPOSITE: COURTESY LAWSON WOOD
This triple-threat island destination (Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac) caters both to those who seek endless beach time as well as those in search of history, culture and a chill Caribbean vibe. Nonstop ﬂights from several major hubs means getting here is as easy as being here.
T H E C AY M A N I S L A N DS
GREAT ESCAPES Sand, sea and palm trees: the perfect recipe for a dream vacation. If you’ve been waiting to book that getaway to the Caribbean, the time is now. We’ve rounded up exclusive deals in these top six island destinations just for you.
The iconic twin peaks known as the Pitons are perhaps the most Instagrammed shot on this island. Second are its beaches; tucked into quiet coves, they range from talcum-powder-white to tan to volcanic black. Then there’s the rich green interior, with sheer cliffs, deep gorges, bubbling sulfur springs, exotic flowers and bird life galore. Romance rules here — after all, with such a dramatic backdrop, how could you not fall in love? THE DEAL Anse Chastanet Resort’s Summer Delight package offers guests every third and sixth night free for travel between July 15 and October 31. Islands readers can book through June 10; stays of six nights or longer will receive a $150 resort credit. BOOK Visit ansechastanet .com/promo tions.
This island nation is a winning combination of golden-sand beaches, densely forested mountains and cascading waterfalls. Beyond all that natural beauty, Jamaica offers one of the richest cultural experiences in the Caribbean, with infectious music (reggae, mento, ska) being played at bars across the island, plus outstanding cuisine ( jerk foremost among them). Toss into the mix some excellent local rum (Appleton), beer (Red Stripe) and coffee (Blue Mountain) and you’ve pretty much got paradise. THE DEAL The all-inclusive Jewel Paradise Cove is offering 45 percent off its spa package for stays of four or more nights. Plus, each adult in your party receives a 30-minute service at Radiant Spa. BOOK Visit jewelresorts.com.
Forming the butterfly shape of Guadeloupe are its two “wings”: the main islands of Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre, separated by a narrow river. The former boasts big waves, attracting surfers, while the latter, more rugged isle is ideal for hiking. It’s also becoming a top dive destination — just off its shores is the Cousteau Underwater Park, which is part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. THE DEAL Bwa Chik Hotel & Golf is an eco-chic stay on GrandeTerre. Book with Caradonna to get seven nights of accommodations, daily breakfast and airport transfers, plus an optional catamaran snorkeling tour and half-day hike to the top of La Soufriere volcano, for the special rate of $558 per person, based on double occupancy. BOOK Call 800-328-2288 or email sales@ caradonna.com and mention Islands.
C LO C K W I S E F R O M TO P L E F T: B R I A N J A N N S E N /A L A MY; S T E V E TAY LO R /A L A MY; G AV I N H E L L I E R /A L A MY; S H U T T E R S TO C K (2); J E R E MY S U T TO N - H I B B E R T/A L A MY; O P P O S I T E , C LO C K W I S E F R O M TO P L E F T: D A L L A S A N D J O H N H E ATO N /A L A MY; G R EG B A L F O U R E VA N S /A L A MY; F R A N C K G U I Z I O U /A L A MY; LU D OV I S M A I S A N T/A L A MY; M O N T Y R A K U S E N /A L A MY; S H U T T E R S TO C K
TURKS AND CAICOS
Nicknamed the Nature Island, Dominica is known for its landscape: lush green mountains, steamy hot springs, towering waterfalls. Hiking is a must-do activity, with more than 300 trails that wind past iconic sites like Boiling Lake and Trafalgar Falls. Diving is outstanding, with steep underwater canyons and rich coral reefs providing the ideal habitat for frogfish, sea urchins and many rare species of fish. Both divers and snorkelers will enjoy Champagne Reef, where volcanic gases create steady bubbles and the water temp can reach almost 90 degrees. THE DEAL Ready to rejuvenate your mind, body and soul? The five-night Fort Young Hotel’s Ultimate Wellness Retreat features daily breakfast and a relaxation massage, plus yoga, a garden tour and a hot-spring bath. BOOK Call 800-328-2288 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and mention Islands to book this package at a rate of $911 per person, based on double occupancy.
Mountains carpeted in rainforest sweeping downward to soft, shimmering sand and impossibly blue water — that’s St. Kitts. But that’s a lot of other Caribbean islands too. What makes it a standout are the well-preserved historical sites, including Fairview Great House, a restored French colonial home dating back to 1701, and Romney Manor, a 17th-century sugar plantation surrounded by acres of gorgeous gardens. THE DEAL St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino is a four-star oceanfront property. Islands readers can get 67 percent off room rates by booking a special seven-night, all-inclusive package with Caradonna. BOOK Call 800-3282288 or email email@example.com and mention Islands.
Picture-perfect beaches are what this low-lying archipelago of 40 islands is famous for. The best known is Grace Bay Beach, a 12-mile stretch of powdery-white sand fronting crystal-clear waters on Providenciales, aka Provo. Want to see what Turks and Caicos used to look like before the tourists arrived? Ferry over for the day to North and Middle Caicos, where you’ll find unspoiled, empty beaches and nary a luxury resort in sight. THE DEAL On a secluded stretch of Grace Bay Beach, The Tuscany resort offers one- to three-bedroom oceanfront suites and a 70-foot pool. Islands readers get 10 percent off any package booked during May or June for travel in 2016. BOOK Call 866-359-6466 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and mention Islands.
CEDRIC ANGELES/INTERSECTION PHOTOS
56 SODAS FROM AROUND THE CARIBBEAN
LIFE HERE Opunohu Bay, Moorea On the South Pacific island of Moorea, off the northwest coast of Tahiti, canoes have been an important method of transportation for centuries — it’s how Polynesians from South Asia arrived here more than a thousand years ago. Today, Moorea’s 15,000 inhabitants still get around by paddling, though it’s mainly for pleasure. A popular spot for locals and tourists alike is Opunohu Bay. Surrounded by high volcanic peaks, including the frequently photographed spikes of Mount Rotui, the water here is calm and teeming with tropical fish.
WHEN TO GO
MAY TO OCTOBER
In the high season, expect mild temps and great visibility for divers.
A WRITER’S TOUR OF MARTHA’S VINEYARD
60 WHERE TO BUY ACROSS HAWAII’S ISLANDS
66 SAILING CANADA’S NORTHWEST PASSAGE
CARIBBEAN POP The region’s soft drinks are as varied as the people who drink them. Skip the Sprite and order one of these on your next visit. BY MATT VILLANO
3. COLA COURONNE, HAITI
All cream sodas have vanilla flavoring, but some have more than others. Take this one, for example: Found on most Caribbean islands, it’s almost overpoweringly sweet — it was traditionally served atop vanilla ice cream as a sauce. With a thick and long-lasting head, we dare you to drink it from a pint glass without getting a moustache.
The name of this gold-colored elixir is deceiving for English speakers — though it’s called “cola,” the soda is actually fruitflavored, with hints of orange, pineapple and banana. It is, without question, the most popular soft drink in Haiti.
Simultaneously tart and sweet, this soda is made from grapefruit concentrate and often contains tiny pieces of pulp. Locals love mixing it with citrus vodka to make a boozy beverage known as Ving. A Ting and patty — a pastry with fillings and spices — is a popular snack.
4. TIGER MALT, BARBADOS
6. WEST INDIAN QUEEN PINEAPPLE
This nonalcoholic carbonated beverage is everywhere in Barbados, from convenience stores to bars, gas stations to restaurants. Like most malts, it’s made from barley and hops. Bajans drink it with condensed or evaporated milk.
In addition to its popular cream soda, West Indian Queen makes a variety of flavors like lemonade, banana and pineapple. Each is sweet and sugary with real pieces of fruit, evidenced by the sediment at the bottom of the bottle.
2. RED SOLO, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO This saccharine sorrel soda is as red as a cherry lollipop. Locals love pairing it with roti, a street food featuring savory filling wrapped in flatbread.
5. TING, JAMAICA
7. COCO RICO, PUERTO RICO In Spanish, the name of this soda means “delicious coconut” — and that pretty much says it all. The beverage is made with natural coconut concentrate and is delicious over ice. It also works well as a mixer with white rum, gin or vodka.
8. COUNTRY CLUB, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC This amber beverage boasts subtle fruit notes and minimal fizz. In a nod to the Dominican style of dance, the original flavor of the soda is dubbed “Merengue.” Other flavors include orange, strawberry and raspberry.
1. WEST INDIAN QUEEN CREAM
PUTTING DOWN ROOTS After her husband, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist William Styron, passed away in 2006, Rose Styron sold their Connecticut residence and moved to their beloved summer home on Martha’s Vineyard, to live year-round.
Martha’s Vineyard has changed since I started to come with my family in 1959. The main difference is that now, even more interesting and diverse people from all over the world visit. There’s still the beauty of the landscape — as well as the political and human-rights activists, artists and public servants of all kinds who come here.
weddings here in one weekend during high season. I live in Vineyard Haven, near the main harbor. It’s like a theater of nature and sport to sit out on my lawn, which I do every day, watching the ferries, sailboats and windsurfers come and go. The nature of the place changes constantly.
At 87 square miles, Martha’s Vineyard is parked just 7 miles off the coast of Cape Cod.
There are a lot more big houses and wealthy people on the island than there were when we first arrived. I think that began during the Clinton administration, when the island became known because the Clintons had such a good time here. Martha’s Vineyard is now one of the top five wedding destinations in the country. Sometimes there are 40
Senator Teddy Kennedy used to sail over to our house with all of his children, his nieces, nephews and a couple of his siblings every summer. My husband and I and our four children spent a lot of time with the Kennedys. It started when our friend, [newspaper columnist and Kennedy family friend] Art Buchwald, and his family moved next door to us.
“The Vineyard,” as locals call it, is divided into six towns: Oak Bluffs, Edgartown, Aquinnah, Chilmark, Vineyard Haven and West Tisbury. The ferry to Chappaquiddick is three minutes.
K AV DA D FA R /AG E F OTO S TO C K
ROSE STYRON AGE: 87 OCCUPATION: Poet, journalist and humanrights activist. Her latest collection of poems, Fierce Day, was released in 2015.
101 Things to Do in Marthaâ€™s Vineyard From sipping IPAs at the Offshore Ale Brewery (number 36) to sampling peanut brittle at Murdickâ€™s Fudge Shop (number 97), this book brims with ideas, whether itâ€™s your first or 101st time visiting. Schiffer Publishing, $29.99
The island is made up of both public and private beaches. Squibnocket Beach in Chilmark used to be a favorite of mine. Itâ€™s still gorgeous, but now I prefer Lucy Vincent Beach. However, in the summer, you canâ€™t go to Lucy Vincent unless you are a Chilmark resident, so we go to Black Point Beach. I bought one of the first keys to Black Point in the 1960s for $3,000. My husband thought it was too expensive and had a fit. But last year, I was offered $450,000 for my key. My children would kill me if I gave it up.
All suite, ocean front Royal West Indies Resort is nestled on beautiful Grace Bay beach. This amazing resort offers studio, 1 & 2 bedroom suites. With exciting activities and sights nearby to enjoy itâ€™s the perfect place for a wonderful vacation! Welcome to Royal West Indies Resort.
reservations@ royalwestindies.com 1-800-332-4203 www.royalwestindies.com
Iâ€™ve spent 50 summers on the island, so of course some of my favorite restaurants have closed, but the ones I do go to are State Road in West Tisbury, Edgartownâ€™s Rockfish, Alchemy and The Square Rigger, as well as the Chowder Company in Oak Bluffs. Itâ€™s absolutely stunning here in the winter. It can be cold and windy, and the ferries and airport might close, but one of the great things about the Vineyard is everybody takes care of everybody else. My husband wrote every day in the prefab shack behind our house. He used to have a sign on the door that said verboten. He never missed a day of writing. He loved every day he spent on the island, which is where he died. When my son was young, he was an extra in Jaws, which they filmed on the island. Somehow he managed to get that big white board they used in the film that says â€œBeach Closed.â€? Itâ€™s still hanging here in his childhood bedroom. â€” as told to Addie Morfoot
to Arubaâ€™s coveted Eagle Beach â€” wide, soft and crowd-free â€” at Blue Residences. This new, luxury condominium resort offers the ultimate island beach resort experience. Spacious ocean-view apartment suites feature fully equipped kitchens, and some with a Jacuzzi on your private terrace. $PHQLWLHV LQFOXGH WZR LQĹľQLW\ SRROV EHDFK DFFHVV PLQLPDUW VSD DQG D ĹľWQHVV center. Spectacular views from the Frangipani Bar & Terrace and Mirador Deck â€“ serving breakfast, lunch and your favorite cocktails. The Kitchen Table by White presents an 8-course culinary journey as the ultimate dining experience. The perfect setting for your next family vacation.
HAWAIIAN HIDEAWAYS BY SUNSHINE FLINT
he Hawaiian Islands’ collection of varied landscapes — tropical rainforests and lava plains, blackand white-sand beaches, sheer cliffs and wide-open bays — make it a true paradise. Want to experience the authentic aloha spirit year-round? Here are new options to buy on Maui, Kauai and Hawaii Island.
HAWAII ISLAND HUALALAI RESORT Imagine looking out of your kitchen window to see rolling fields punctuated with dark lava flows and the Pacific Ocean filling the horizon, while the lush Kohala mountains dominate the views from the bedroom. You’ll find that at this sprawling resort on the Big Island’s Gold Coast, 10 minutes from Kona International Airport. Hualalai encompasses 24 development sites, and it’s expected to have 475 total residences by its completion in 2020. Resort owners can apply for club membership when they are in escrow; after closing, they’ll enjoy privileges at the Keolu Clubhouse and the Hualalai Canoe Club, as well as the two championship golf courses. They’ll also have access to the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai’s facilities, which include a spa and a sports club. Up for sale are wholly owned, two- to four-bedroom villas, three- to sevenbedroom single-family dwellings and lots; five or six phases are still to come. Villas start at $1.4 million; single-family homes range from $4.25 million to $30 million, and lots start at $2 million. The homes Left: Homes at Hualalai, on the Big Island, feature covered lanais and infinity pools. Below: Maui’s Montage Residences are set on 20 acres overlooking Kapalua Bay.
EDWIN LUCAS Property owner at Kohanaiki, Hawaii Island MY 3 CENTS Hometown: Whistler, British Columbia Occupation: Retired stockbroker 1. My wife, Beverly, my daughter, Samantha, and I were looking for warmer weather. We stayed in Maui and then switched to the Big Island — it’s a little less developed. We couldn’t get enough of it and decided to live here full time. 2. We chose Kohanaiki and are building a detached bungalow with four bedrooms. It should be completed in about a year. 3. The property is beautiful, but the people have blown us away. The development attracts those who want a real community. In the spirit of ohana, or family, we feel like we have two families.
are designed for indoor and outdoor living with lanais, landscaped gardens and pools. hualalairesort.com Try before you buy: From $845 per night KOHANAIKI Not many developments can claim that they have a movie theater, a bowling alley and a private master brewer at their clubhouse, but this members-only community located on 1½ miles of Kona’s Gold Coast puts a real emphasis on unique amenities. It also preserves a great deal of the natural landscape on its 450 acres, which feature archaeological sites and over 200 anchialine pools filled with marine life. Owners at the development are eligible to join the Kohanaiki Club (the membership fee is $100,000), which provides access to a beach, a golf club, the Rees Jones 18-hole golf course, a spa, a fitness center and the oceanfront Beach Restaurant.
The three-bedroom Hale Alani residences cost $2.56 million to $5.9 million, while 20 three-bedroom townhomes start at $2.85 million. The 12 three- and four-bedroom Hale homes with traditional Hawaiian rooflines are on the ninth fairway, and they start at $4 million. A handful of the 30 one-acre lots are available, ranging in price from $1 million to $12 million; they’re located on the golf course with views of the Kona Coast or Mauna Loa and the Kohala mountains. kohanaiki.com Try before you buy: Once vetted, potential owners can be invited for a complimentary stay to experience the property.
KAUAI KUKUIULA In addition to having the sunny southern Poipu coast just outside their doors, Kukuiula owners can get back to the land at the community upcountry farm, where
breadfruit, pineapples, bananas, papayas and taro are harvested. Or they can get in touch with the island’s wild side with an Island Pursuits team member who can create a custom adventure. But the heart of this 1,000-acre resort community is the Plantation House and Great Lawn, with neighborhoods and enclaves fanning out around them. Kukuiula has a large number of property types, from plantation-style cottages to luxury bungalows to singlefamily villas available for sale and resale, as well as ocean-view lots. Amenities include the Tom Weiskopf-designed 18-hole golf course and the Spa at Kukuiula. Currently, there are 92 homes with 38 still under construction, all of which can be entered into the rental pool for The Lodge at Kukuiula. The homes are decorated in a modern Hawaiian style that takes full advantage of the Garden Island, with open-walled living areas, tropical landscaping and panoramic views of the
Pacific. Home prices start at $1.8 million, while resale prices range from $2.3 million to $3.9 million; lots range from $700,000 to $12 million. The next neighborhood is Kainani: 16 homesites and 20 villas with four-plex homes that have two- to fourbedrooms. Prices start at $2.5 million. kukuiula.com Try before you buy: From $1,000 per night HOKUALA, A TIMBERS RESORT Here’s a real ownership perk: Buyers at Hokuala are members of the Timbers Collection, which means reciprocity across its portfolio of properties, from Tuscany in Italy to Snowmass, Colorado. The first phase of this 450-acre community, just minutes from Lihue Airport, broke ground in January, and it will eventually include a very cool way to get around: water taxis on the resort’s own inland waterway. Also planned for 2017 and beyond: a boutique hotel with a destination spa, a yoga and wellness center, a kids club, a retail shopping village and multiple restaurants. A Jack Nicklaus Signature Course is already open, boasting oceanfront views. Two-, three- and four-bedroom townhome and condominium residences are for sale with direct access to the shoreline. Whole ownership goes for $2 million up to $6 million, while fractionals start in the mid-$300,000 range and go up to $800,000. Occupancy is slated for mid2017. hokualakauai.com Try before you buy: Prospective buyers can stay in a complimentary guest suite. Opposite: At Kukuiula, on Kauai, bungalows start at $1.6 million. Below: A Jack Nicklaus golf course is one of the amenities at Kauai’s Hokuala resort community.
MAUI MONTAGE RESIDENCES KAPALUA BAY Occupying a prime cliffside spot on Maui’s northwest coast, the Montage Residences are set on 20 acres overlooking Kapalua Bay, less than a mile from the dramatic Dragon’s Teeth rock formations. Owners have access to a full range of amenities, including Spa Montage, two golf courses, hiking and biking trails and watersports, as well as the private owner’s lounge, a kids club and a teen club. The residential concierge staff can arrange for private chefs, grocery stocking, shipping, unpacking and storage, as well as all activity booking. The 84 residences, completed in 2009, are wholly owned with three or four bedrooms (or three bedrooms plus a den) ranging from 2,789 to 4,055 square feet. Prices start at $3.4 million. The condos, which can be put into the rental program, have private lanais — ideal for sunset-watching, as well as spotting the occasional humpback whale — plus views of Lanai and Molokai. Owners may bring in decorators or purchase one of three custom interiors packages. Buyers also share privileges at all Montage destinations, including Deer Valley in Utah, and Beverly Hills. montageresidenceskapaluabay.com Try before you buy: From $1,865 per night HONUA KAI RESORT & SPA Just down the coast from Kapalua Bay, this resort sits between the white sands and clear waters of Kaanapali Beach and the mountains of the West Maui Forest Reserve. The U-shaped buildings contain 628 condos that can all be entered into the rental pool. The units are also connected by a network of pools and a lazy river, plus
JOHN D. CHANEY Property owner at Montage Residences Kapalua Bay MY 3 CENTS Hometown: Houston Occupation: Retired financial executive 1. I’ve been coming to Hawaii since the late 1970s — first for work, but my wife, Diane, and the family joined me eventually. Our kids and grandkids spend much of their vacation time with us in Hawaii, so that was a big part of our decision to buy here. 2. We bought a three-bedroom plus den condo on the top floor, and we have a lanai with a 180-degree view of the ocean. We hired an interior decorator to make it less cookie-cutter and more like us. I play golf and go to the beach; this is the only place I can truly relax and unwind. And the staff is incredible. Whatever you want, they make it happen.
a waterslide for kids. Homeowners enjoy a fitness center, an oceanfront restaurant, the Ho’ola Spa at Honua Kai and Aina, a gourmet grocery store that has its own upcountry farm and sells local produce and ingredients from within a 100-mile radius of the resort. The wholly owned studios and one-, two- and three-bedroom condos range from 580 to 2,715 square feet, with open floor plans, lanais and terraces off the living room offering views of the ocean and the green hills. They come turnkey, decorated with contemporary Hawaiianstyle finishes, except for three-bedrooms units, which are sold unfurnished. Those have upgraded Viking kitchens and wine refrigerators; some come with private barbecues and outdoor kitchens. Prices range from just over $1 million up to $3.8 million. honuakai.com Try before you buy: From $324 per night
WHERE: SRI LANKA THE FIND: LAMPRAIS
dish could do with a change of name, perhaps to something more appetizing,” I say jokingly as my host, Vijaya, serves me the square of stuffed plantain leaf. “Lamprais is one of the few culinary relics left from the Dutch period in Sri Lanka,” she tells me, watching as I gingerly unwrap the slightly blackened parcel. A heady, spicy fragrance is released as I peel back the banana leaf. What’s revealed is a neatly compressed cube of
rice, surrounded — like planets around the sun — by various accoutrements: a spice-laden mound of shredded chicken; sooty, deep-fried aubergine slices; a mildly sweet onion relish; a spoonful of dried fish; two fried meatballs. After studying the contents, I look up expectantly at Vijaya in the hope that she will offer a fork. None is forthcoming. “Use your hands,” she says with a nod. I awkwardly begin scooping with my fingers and, despite the large portion, polish it off in mere minutes — an empty banana leaf and greasy fingers proof of a meal well-consumed.
The roots of lamprais are surprising. Though the Dutch East India Company lost control of Sri Lanka in 1796, when Prince William V came calling, its culinary influence lingered on. Borrowed from the kitchens of Dutch traders (a community called Burghers), lamprais quickly found its way into Sri Lankan cooking and stayed long after most of the foreigners had gone home. It’s easy to draw parallels to another savory rice and meat dish popular here, biryani, but the complex, subtle flavors of lamprais distinguishes it from its Indian cousin. While biryani’s overwhelmingly
F R O M L E F T: S I M O N R E D DY/A L A MY; S H U T T E R S TO C K
“Many restaurant waiters draw a blank when I ask about the dish. Yet I persist in my quest to find bona fide lamprais.”
piquant flavors explode in your mouth and singe your taste buds, lamprais is less tyrannical. Here, the flavorful, short-grained rice is cooked in meat stock and accompanied by seeni sambol (caramelized onion and sugar) and wambatu moju (fried eggplant) that give the dish a slight sweetness, while the curried chicken offers a sharp, spicy kick. The frikkadels (meatballs) and crispy-chewy dried fish round things out. Making authentic lamprais is extremely time-consuming. Preparation often starts a day prior: The rice is washed and cleaned, the meat is deboned and spiced, banana leaves are charred to render them malleable. Each accompaniment is made separately before being packed together into a leaf and baked.
Colombo’s Pettah Market is a mishmash of shops selling everything from fish to fruit to gold jewelry.
Feel the charm of this multi-cultural Island, San Pedro Ambergris Caye, with the comfort and conveniences of SunBreeze Hotel or SunBreeze Suites. Both properties are conveniently located in town and offer modern amenities combined with Caribbean charm. Choose from the self-catering, seafront SunBreeze Suites boasting 20 fully equipped units with living, dining room, kitchen and private balcony, or SunBreeze Hotel with 43 rooms featuring partial ocean and garden views.
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SAYS THE AUTHOR
Lamprais can be hard to find even within the urban confines of the capital, Colombo, where restaurants serve a diverse range of cuisines, from traditional Sri Lankan fare to quirky fusion food. Many restaurant waiters draw a blank when I ask about the dish. Yet I persist in my quest to find bona fide lamprais, hitting up a few notable places, such as the Dutch Burgher Union, and ferreting out inconspicuous holes-in-the-wall on the city’s streets. Nothing, however, matches the memory of my first homemade lamprais meal. On the day I leave, I buy a packet of lamprais from a nondescript roadside eatery in the Havelock area of Colombo and take it to the Galle Face beach. Watching the Indian Ocean waves crashing into the concrete sidewalk, I unwrap the lightly charred leaf and take a whiff of its delicate flavors that rise above the salty breeze. I watch as the orange sun dips down, painting the horizon a splendid pink and purple, and dig in, happily realizing I’ve struck gold. — Prathap Nair
WHERE EVEN THE SOPHISTICATION IS LAID BACK
A leisurely swim in sparkling azure waters. A soothing massage on your own private balcony. An afternoon spent gazing at the sun-splashed Atlantic with not a cruise ship or a care in sight. The Sands at Grace Bay offers a soul-satisfying tranquility along with inspired cuisine, considerate service and as much – or as little – activity as you choose. U N S P O I L E D. U N C O M M O N. U N P R E T E N T I O U S.
For reservations, see your travel professional or call 1.877.77.SANDS (72637)
Providenciales • Turks & Caicos
an excep ional all sui e beachfron resor
NORTH BY NORTHWEST C A N A D Aâ€™ S Q U E E N ELIZABETH ISLANDS
On the far edge of the Nunavut Territory lies the High Arctic, a wild archipelago where people are few and polar bears are plenty. S TO R Y A N D P H OTO S B Y J A D D AV E N P O R T
Navigating among the towering icebergs in Canadaâ€™s remote Arctic archipelago.
T’S LATE SUMMER, BUT SNOWFLAKES BURN
MY FACE LIKE EMBERS IN THE 50-KNOT WIND. I’M STANDING ON THE DECK OF MV OCEAN
ENDEAVOUR, A 117-PASSENGER EXPEDITION SHIP CRUISING THE SOUTH COAST OF DEVON ISLAND. We’re currently on a two-week expedition through Nunavut, Canada’s newest and largest territory. “Our Land” in the indigenous language of Inuktitut, Nunavut was the eastern half of the Northwest Territory up until 1999, when the government settled a sweeping aboriginal land claim. Today, Nunavut is one of the least populated regions in the world, a vast swath of tundra and polar ice caps three times the size of Texas with barely 37,000 souls — almost three-quarters of whom are Inuit. Tourism isn’t exactly new to Nunavut. Adventure-seekers have been exploring the Northwest Passage for decades. This August, the 900-passenger cruise ship Crystal Serenity is set to embark on its inaugural crossing of the Canadian Arctic. But few tourists venture farther north into the territory’s least-known corner, the wild Queen Elizabeth Islands. These 13 large isles — and hundreds of smaller ones — shoulder right up against northwest Greenland, nearly 2,000 miles north of Toronto but only 500 miles from the North Pole. If Nunavut is lightly populated, the Queen Elizabeths are all but empty: Only 390 people, mostly Inuit, live in two small settlements. Another handful of scientists and soldiers rotate in and out of a remote research station and an even remoter military base. Through the gale, I catch glimpses of Devon Island, its mesas draped with snow, not a tree or bush in sight. The nearest forests, stunted and twisted by
continuous wind, are about a thousand miles south. In fact, the island is so barren that NASA considers it an analog to Mars; an abandoned mock-up space station sits on the edge of a crater somewhere nearby. Watching the frozen desert drift past, I wonder, what — or who — can possibly survive up here. And, maybe more importantly, how? HE NEXT MORNING, THE storm has faded. The mercury peaks just above freezing when the hundred or so passengers begin boarding a fleet of inflatable Zodiacs for a shore excursion. We cut through a heavy fog and wade ashore on a gravel beach. On close examination, this island looks stark. But not to Becky Kilabuk, an Inuk cultural guide accompanying this Adventure Canada expedition. “It might not look like it from where we stand today in the 21st century, but this coast, this island, was full of life and food for our ancestors,” she says. “Long before the Inuit came, our ancestors, the Thule people, had a summer whaling camp here.” The Thule inhabited Nunavut and the Queen Elizabeth Islands between the 10th and 17th centuries, surviving mostly by hunting bowhead whales and other large marine mammals. But as the climate cooled during the Little Ice Age and open waters became choked with ice, the large camps — some had more than 100 people — disintegrated. Eventually, the Thule culture morphed into smaller
Exploring the frigid waters by Zodiac (top) and views from the deck of the expedition ship.
Below: A local Inuk girl in traditional wolf-skin clothing. Opposite: The long-abandoned Hudson Bay outpost on Somerville Island.
hunting groups that became known as the Inuit. But today on Devon Island, only ghosts remain. Twice the size of Massachusetts, Devon Island holds the distinction of being the largest uninhabited island in the world. As guides with shotguns fan out to keep guard against polar bears, passengers break into groups of about a dozen or so. Some set out to look for fossils on a distant ridge, others head of to go birdwatching. I join Kilabuk and her friend, Lois Suluk-Locke, on a hike. Neither of the two cultural guides has been here before, but their instincts are keen. It takes them only a few minutes to discover the remains of an ancient camp. Lichen-painted whale skulls and ribs are scattered in loose circles. “These were once houses built from rocks, sod and bones,” Kilabuk explains. “In Inuktitut, ‘igloo’ means house, not just a snow house. These were the original igloos.” Snow buntings, unused to humans, ﬂit around us. Nearby, an arctic fox, small and delicate as a cat, blinks curiously. “So many people think of the Arctic as barren lands, a wasteland,” Kilabuk says. “But they forget it’s full of life. Where Western explorers struggled and died trying to conquer the land, trying to ﬁnd the Northwest Passage between Europe and Asia, our people thrived.” I ask Kilabuk if it’s true that the Inuit have a hundred words for snow. She laughs. “We probably have about the same number of words in our language as you do for snow.” But, she says, there is one concept the Inuit have an abundance of words and expressions for: “Gratitude. We have a deep appreciation for the gifts we are given from the land, the sea, the animals, the birds. From each other. From our ancestors.” “Maybe we are allowed to live here because we are grateful,” Kilabuk says. “We didn’t come here seeking to destroy or conquer.”
“S O M A N Y P EO P L E T H I N K O F T H E A R C T I C A S WA S T E L A N D. B U T T H E Y F O R G E T I T ’S F U L L O F L I F E .”
Queen Elizabeth Islands
VER THE NEXT TWO DAYS the ship makes its way eastward through the gray waters of Lancaster Sound. Hundreds of harp seals erupt from the dark green waves, chasing panicked baitﬁsh. Pods of narwhal, their pale freckled heads piercing the waves with spiral tusks, catch the afternoon sun. The skies above ring with the cries of fulmars and kittiwakes. There is life among the brown, windswept hills of eastern Devon Island. Hiking along a ridge one afternoon, we surprise a herd of musk oxen grazing in a willow thicket. Shaggy survivors of the Ice Age, they gaze back at us from eyes sunken deep in their nut-colored wool. And there are polar bears. Dozens of polar bears. They pause while swimming between ice ﬂoes to watch us pass. They peek out of broken rock slides. One mother, with her back propped up against a slab of ice, unconcernedly nurses her two cubs as the ship slides by. The cubs barely interrupt their feeding to watch us. We leave the long coast of Devon Island behind. A few hours later, the Arctic dawn greets us at Grise Fiord, a hamlet of houses tucked between a stone beach and 1,800-foot peaks on Ellesmere Island. At 76 degrees north, the settlement of 130 people is Canada’s northernmost town. After breakfast, a delegation of locals meets us at the dock. Guides take some passengers of to see cultural games; others take us on a walk around town. I join Frankie, a lanky youth in a gray hoodie, for a tour. “Summer never really came this year,” he says as he leads me up a gravel road into the settlement. “That’s probably why our ancestors called this bay ‘the place that never thaws.’” My cheeks feel waxy in the steady sea breeze. It must be around 20 degrees with the wind chill. The houses are boxy and painted in dull browns, greens and beiges. Seal skins are strung taut over wooden racks outside doors. Satellite dishes hang from the eaves, but we’re so far north — only 970 miles south of the North Pole — that the dishes are angled down at the southern horizon
GETTING HERE Adventure Canada, a familyowned expedition company, is the only outfitter running voyages deep into the Queen Elizabeth Islands north of the Northwest Passage. They cruise aboard 198-passenger Ocean Endeavour, a multideck expedition ship with a pool, a sauna and a hot tub; they also have an archaeologist and cultural specialist on the expedition team. Two High Arctic cruises will sail into and out of the Northwest Passage this year in August and September; prices range from $8,250 to $21,850 per person. Charter flights go from Edmonton into the port of Kugluktuk (required), and the return flights from Greenland to Toronto are an additional $2,400 per person. adventurecanada.com
Clockwise from top: A dogsled races through the snow in Northern Canada. The Northern Lights illuminate the tundra. Polar bears play-fighting.
instead of up at the sky. In the town’s only store, you can buy fresh wolf pelts alongside boxes of macaroni and cheese. Walking around Grise Fiord, it’s easy to imagine that this settlement has been here forever. But it’s an illusion. “Our people were moved here from northern Quebec in the 1950s as part of a relocation by the government,” Frankie tells me. Long after European diseases had decimated Inuit settlements throughout the Arctic with the arrival of whalers and explorers in the 1600s, the Canadian government realized that the Far North was a strategic military asset, not a worthless wasteland. At the height of the Cold War, the government pushed to repopulate the Queen Elizabeth Islands. “The feeling was: If you’re going to hold territory, then you need to settle people there,” Frankie says. So 87 Inuit were dropped off 2,000 miles north of their homes onto barren beaches here as kind of human ﬂagpoles. EVERAL DAYS LATER, ON another empty island, Skraeling, Kilabuk and Suluk-Locke are once again scouting out the ruins of their ancestors. We’re as far north as we will go this journey, only a few hundred miles south of the North Pole. But the whale bones and stone foundations are testimony that people lived here sometime over the last several thousand years. Just before we prepare to depart, Kilabuk and Suluk-Locke stand nose to nose on the broken slate beach beside an ancient tent ring. A weak sun glows in the sky, warming us. The two women look deeply into each others’ eyes. And then they start to grunt and bark and growl. It’s called katajjaq, throat singing. Back and forth, faster and faster, the two women harmonize and compete, their grunts and squeaks seem to expand and ﬁll up the wild Arctic sky. I don’t know what the song is about yet. But I can make a guess. It’s a song that helped their people survive in a land where no one else could. It’s a song of thanks and gratitude.
Z AC H S TOVA L L
78 SAINT LUCIA’S NEW DINING DESTINATION
STAY HERE Santai Hotel, Bali Amed, a coastal strip of villages in bungalows, feature traditional thatch East Bali, is about 2½ hours’ drive roofs and bamboo matting on the from the capital city of Denpasar — walls. Amenity-wise, there’s a pool and about as far off the grid as you can and a small restaurant, along with the get. It’s where you’ll find this boutique open-air Santai Spa pavilion (pictured), property, which sits on the ocean and where the backdrop to your massage is surrounded by a lush, floweris the sound of waves crashing ing landscape. The 10 rooms, against the black-rock beach. six of which are stand-alone WHEN TO GO santaibali.com
TO SEPTEMBER The dry, peak season extends through December, but it starts getting more humid toward the end of the year.
THE NEXT LUXURY STOP: NICARAGUA
88 CHECKING IN: THE ONE&ONLY BAHAMAS
S TAY HERE
SAILING SPEEDS Go beyond the poolside conga line with a cruise based on your favorite pastime. Take our quiz to find the perfect themed voyage. BY BROOKE MORTON
1. Before boarding, I search: for the perfect sail-away tune the ship’s restaurant menus for the spot on the dock to fit the entire bow in a selfie my soul 2. I wish I’d brought more: storage on my phone to record live music travel pouches for wine bottles memory cards journals 3. I’m happiest when: dancing eating learning getting my namaste on
6. My poolside read is: Catch a Fire: The Life of Bob Marley Yes, Chef: A Memoir The Art of Photographing Nature Autobiography of a Yogi 7. Sign me up for the shore excursion with: live music a winery tour a guided coastal trek a spa visit 8. My ideal meal is: whatever the beach bar is grilling a tasting menu featuring regional ingredients local food made by villagers vegan fare
4. The region I most connect with is: the more lively side of the Caribbean Europe’s wine provinces the wilds of South America the more peaceful side of the Caribbean
9. The app always open on my phone is: Shazam Yelp Adobe Lightroom Mindfulness Bell
5. In port, I envision: cocktail in hand, feet in sand, swaying to the beat local markets selling spices I’ve never heard of spotting sea lions and snapping a photo finding a quiet spot to reflect
10. I want to come home: needing a vacation from my vacation with baggage fees from bringing home so much souvenir wine with my Instagram feed blowing up feeling lighter
Your perfect themed cruise is: MOSTLY As: MUSIC If you can’t remember the last time you danced the night away, book the Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise, headed to Jamaica — where else? — and straight to the soul of the Caribbean’s most anthemic music. Departing November 14 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, aboard Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas, this five-night dancefest will have you jamming to live music every day and every night alongside two of the Marleys — Stephen and Damian — plus other greats like Toots and the Maytals. From $965 per person; welcometojamrockreggaecruise.com
MOSTLY Bs: CULINARY Windstar offers two James Beard Foundation Culinary Cruise of Spain & France voyages, sailing from Lisbon, Portugal, to Dublin, Ireland, or vice versa. The dinner menus on board will be influenced by the guest chefs, a group of James Beard Award winners. Expect nightly wine tastings and hors d’oeuvres before dinner, complimentary local wines poured throughout the cruise, two free wine-themed excursions and a special event at a chateau in Bordeaux, France. Two 10-day sailings are offered in 2016 aboard Star Legend, departing June 10 from Lisbon, and August 9 from Dublin. From $4,499 per person; windstarcruises.com
MOSTLY Cs: PHOTOGRAPHY On October 31, Silversea Cruises’ Silver Explorer will embark on a 14-night photography expedition from Guayaquil, Ecuador, to Valparaiso, Chile, stopping in Peru’s Guañape Islands and Chile’s Isla Chañaral, among others. Excursions to destinations that include the Atacama Desert and the volcanic Ballestas Islands — also known as the Galapagos of Peru — will yield opportunities to photograph sea lions, blue-footed boobies and coastal communities. Each day, you can retire with a cocktail while onboard photo experts review your work, offering tips for the next outing. From $7,550 per person; silversea.com
MOSTLY Ds: WELLNESS Upscale cruise line Crystal Cruises offers three wellness expeditions in 2016 and 2017 aboard Crystal Serenity. The health-centric Mind, Body & Spirit sailings feature guided tai chi, yoga and Pilates, plus nutrition discussions with experts. A 14-night trip begins in New Orleans on December 6, 2016, with stops at Grand Turk, St. Barth, Guadeloupe, Curaçao and more before finishing in Miami. In 2017, choose one of two round-trip voyages departing from Miami: A sevennight cruise to Grand Turk, Grand Cayman and Key West departs November 20, and a nine-night sailing to Tortola and St. Barth departs November 27. From $2,645 per person; crystalcruises.com
t o r u a e t h r
AT THIS SAI
S TAY HERE
By DAVID FARLEY Photography by ZACH STOVALL
L-I L A
A casual toes-in-the-sand lunch at Barefoot by the Sea.
“I’m a lactose-intolerant, gluten-free vegan. On occasion, I’ll eat meat — but only if it’s grass-fed and free-range. And to top that off, I have multiple food allergies.” None of this is true. I’m totally lying through my teeth to the culinary ambassador at Sandals Grande St. Lucian. In all my travels, I’d never heard of such a thing: an on-property food concierge who advises guests on what and where to eat. So I decided to put her, Stacey Wilson, to the test by posing as one of the most challenging eaters ever to walk through Sandals’ open-air lobby. Wilson didn’t flinch. She pulled out menus to the resort’s dozen restaurants, the most of any property on the island, and began going over dishes that I could eat — and ones that the chefs could alter to meet my dietary demands. OK, so I failed to trip her up. But I had another, more rigorous test at hand: To eat my way through all 12 restaurants, three of which — Kimono’s, Soy Sushi Bar, and Bombay Club — were brandnew to the resort. Essentially, I wanted to eat my way around the world. It was gout or bust! After unpacking my toothbrush, I met my butler, Jackie, who was clad in the classic black-and-white butler outfit all the way down to
the white gloves. I had only one task for her, perhaps the most important of my stay: To book a table for my ﬁnal evening at Gordon’s, the one restaurant on the property where guests need a reservation. That night, I sat down at the casual Olde London Pub, feasting on fare designed for gray skies and a not-so-sunny disposition. Still, the servers lit up the dim, cavernous space. Like, sit-down-at-your-table-andchat-for-a-while type of friendly. “Want anything else?” a server asked after I’d noshed on a tender, slow-baked duck leg, citrus-laced seared scallops, and crispy ﬁsh and chips. “I can really eat and drink all I want?” I asked incredulously, a novice to the allinclusive concept. She laughed, walked away and returned with yet another local Chairman’s Reserve rum on the rocks. In the ﬁve days that followed, I enjoyed a nonstop whirlwind of global epicurean delights, like I was a mogul and money was no object. There was steak and eggs for breakfast at the fancy Italian joint, Toscanini’s; fall-of-the-bone jerk chicken at the beachside Jerk Shack; decadent lobster bisque at the sand-ﬂoored Barefoot by the Sea. I nibbled on a chocolate and almond crepe at Josephine’s Creperie. I did some serious damage to a thick-crust pizza with jerk seafood at Dino’s Pizzeria Italiana. I scarfed up lamb samosas at Bombay Club and sucked down garlic-spiked escargot at the Gallic-accented Bayside. One night at Soy Sushi Bar, I devoured piece after piece of unagi, barbecued eel, and not once did I raise an eyebrow for being a glutton. All around me,
“I enjoyed a nonstop whirlwind of global epicurean delights, like I was a mogul and money was no object.”
Sandals Grande St. Lucian restaurants Toscanini’s Northern Italian cuisine • Barefoot by the Sea Fresh fish on the beach • Bombay Club Indian fare • Kimono’s Japanese teppanyaki • Gordon’s Restaurant Elegant seafood spot • Soy Sushi Bar Traditional and exotic sushi • The Mariner Seaside Bar & Grill Casual snacks and cocktails • Olde London Pub Gastropub with British bites • The Jerk Shack Jamaican jerk specialties • Bayside Restaurant Poolside terrace buffet • Josephine’s Creperie Sweet and savory crepes • Dino’s Pizzeria Italiana Wood-fired pizzas
Rates Sandals Grande St. Lucian starts at $352 per person, per night. There are two additional Sandals resorts on the island, Sandals Regency La Toc and Sandals Halcyon, and you can dine around all three — for a total of 27 restaurants. sandals.com
When to Go December to May is the best time to linger on Saint Lucia. If you can endure the summertime rainy season, hotel rates drop June to September. July is Carnival, the festive spectacle that’s worth experiencing.
Opposite page: The dozen dining options at Sandals Grande St. Lucian mean that you’ll rarely eat at the same place twice. Several ofer fantastic views of the Caribbean Sea and Saint Lucia’s lush green mountains beyond.
newlyweds and lovebirds, tanned from their days out in the sun, stared into each others’ eyes more than their plates. As for me, I moved on to salmon and tuna tartare. Just because I could. And also just because I could, I left Soy and walked approximately 10 feet to the resort’s other Japanese spot, Kimono’s, where I was seated with six strangers (all couples, naturally) at a teppanyaki table. A minute later, our chef began ﬂipping his knives around and clanking them on the grill, inexplicably yelling “Wasabi!” while cooking our shared meal. Then he started tossing pieces of cooked egg across the table at us, like we were hungry dolphins awaiting a fish from a trainer. I was last. After the third attempt, the fried egg ﬁnally got from his spatula to my mouth, thus rewarding our group with mountains of lemon-grass-accented mahimahi, juicy tiger shrimp and sake-tinged chicken. On my last night, I scored that seaside table at Gordon’s, located at the end of a pier about 50 feet into the sea. Chef Josef Jungwirth, originally from Austria, joined me brieﬂy. I asked how he works with local ingredients while keeping the ﬂavor proﬁle accommodating to an international clientele. “It’s sometimes a challenge,” he says. “We try to hit the trends in global dining, but cooking in the Caribbean — where ingredients can be cost-prohibitive — we are sometimes limited. Still, I think we do a ﬁne job of balancing it.” A procession of dishes began hitting my table: coconut-encrusted crab cake; a swordﬁsh ﬁllet wading in a small delicious pool of ponzu butter; a bowl of Thai-style coconut-milk curry. That’s when I saw a familiar sight: white-gloved Jackie standing in front of me. “I just wanted to make sure you were OK,” she said. She asked what I ordered, complimented me on my apparently great taste in food, then disappeared into the humid Caribbean night. On my ﬁnal morning, I struggled to zip up the pants I’d worn earlier in the week. That’s when I realized becoming a lactoseintolerant, gluten-free vegan wouldn’t be such a bad idea after a trip like this.
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N I C A R A G U Aâ€™ S With a new airport providing quick and easy access to this remote part of the country, Mukul becomes an even more appealing luxury resort.
BY NICHOLAS GILL
COA S TA L G E M
t takes me three passes in my rental car before I find the entrance to the Mukul resort. I’m a long way down a dirt road on Nicaragua’s wild western coast, far from anything else, with Google Maps maddeningly insisting that I had arrived. Wouldn’t the most luxurious hotel in the history of the country at least have a sign?
Of the 37 accommodations at Mukul, Casona Don Carlos is the largest, at 20,000 square feet, with six bedrooms and a private pool.
I finally stop at a development called Guacalito de la Isla and ask the security guard. “Esta aqui, señor,” he says, giving no indication that I’m an idiot. It happens all the time, apparently. Mukul almost doesn’t want you to know about it, which feels like the theme up and down the stretch of Pacific shoreline known as the Emerald Coast.
But that’s about to change. A new airport, Costa Esmeralda, opened in November; it’s just 5 miles from Mukul, nullifying the 2½-hour drive from Managua. A joint venture between the Nicaraguan government and Mukul’s billionaire owner, Don Carlos Pellas, the airport promises to be a game changer for the resort and surrounding area. Initial
commercial flights are from Managua and Liberia, Costa Rica, with regional airlines La Costeña and Sansa; though with a growing number of million-dollar homes in residential developments attached to Mukul and nearby Rancho Santana resort, the runways are already seeing their share of private jets. Naturally, the fear is that Nicaragua’s
WHEN TO GO
DEC TO APRIL
The high season is the driest, which also means it’s the hottest. • The rainy season lasts from May to November.
beachfront will be chopped up and sold off to the highest bidder. It’s largely unfounded — at least anytime soon. Most of the Emerald Coast’s beaches are isolated within rolling hills of tropical dry forest. Mukul is only a dozen miles or so up the Paciﬁc coast from San Juan del Sur, which is the region’s surf capital, home to a growing residential community of expats and wealthy Nicaraguans. But you need to drive 20 miles back to Rivas, a colonial village near Lake Nicaragua, and drive another 20 miles to get to the coast. There is nothing in between except rugged terrain that rarely sees anything more than a rancher searching for a lost cow. It’s untouched — and that’s what makes staying here such a diferent experience from other Central American resorts. My bohio, a sort of ultra-luxe standalone bungalow with an apartment-size bathroom and a private plunge pool, is
The Emerald Coast is untouched — and that’s what makes staying at Mukul such a different experience from other Central American resorts.
built into a hillside overlooking the 1,600acre property. From the deck, I can make out only a few neighboring bohios — comprising some of the 37 total units, which also include beach villas and casonas — and a handful of buildings down below. Otherwise, the entire view is dominated by forest-covered hills and the curve of the beach. There are multimillion-dollar homes and condos out there too, but they are hidden within the wild landscape.
And wild it is. Howler monkeys are easily spotted in the trees, and colorful birds like turquoise-browed motmots flutter about. Within a couple of hours of arriving, I’m in an electric golf cart — the primary transportation around Mukul — heading to the farthest reaches of the property. From October to December, turtle eggs begin to hatch; just one in 100 baby turtles survives. These odds increase when rangers, most of them former poachers, collect the hatchlings and wait for the right time of day to release them. I’m lucky enough to be there when they do. Mukul is the legacy project of Pellas, whose family’s 135-plus-year history in Nicaragua includes, among other things, founding Flor de Caña rum. His presence is everywhere. In the dining room of one of the three restaurants on the property, there’s an oversize black-and-white picture of a seemingly Italian-looking
couple getting married. “Is that from The Godfather Part II?” I ask the waiter. “No,” he tells me. “That’s Mr. Pellas’ parents.” Not surprisingly, rum is found everywhere at Mukul. There are bottles of Flor de Caña in every room; a tasting room with select $500 master blends from Pellas’ private collection that are only available here; and Flor de Caña is poured in the mojitos by the pool. Then there are rum barrels that have been turned into lanterns, wall art and wall paneling. “I think Mukul is better than any other advertising you could do for Flor de Caña,” the rum sommelier tells me as we taste a few select vintages before dinner. Nearly everyone who comes to Mukul has a tasting; sometimes Pellas knocks on the door, quietly comes in to listen, then adds his input to surprised guests. Pellas’ wife, Vivian, played a hand in designing the resort. The spa was created
as her personal place of rejuvenation and relaxation. Here, each of the six treatment rooms is set in its own private indoor/outdoor compound, its own little world. Themes range from a Moroccan hammam to the rainforest, and each one ofers a signature treatment. During my stay, my sanctuary was the sea. There are 4 miles of white-sand beach at Mukul, so naturally, that’s where most guests tend to gravitate. But the resort is so big — and there are so few people — that most of the time you won’t cross paths. It’s just you and the pelicans gliding over the crests of the waves, above the ﬁsh and the manta rays. If there weren’t fresh fruit smoothies and a beach staf catering to your every whim, you could mistake Mukul’s Playa Manzanillo for some lost, uninhabited coast. Hopefully, that’s how it will remain. From $500 per night; mukulresort.com
MORE EMERALD COAST STAYS T H E I N N AT R A N C H O S A N TA N A Joining this resort community set on a 2,700-acre former cattle ranch of rolling forested hills, coastal clifs and beaches is a new hacienda-style hotel. Its 17 cushy 350- to 850-square-foot suites feature an iPad concierge system. The farm-to-table restaurant, La Finca y el Mar, is run by expat restaurant vets from New York and Chicago. From $285 per night; ranchosantana.com/the-inn PELICAN EYES One of the ﬁrst true high-end resorts near San Juan del Sur, this hilltop property ofers unmatched views of the Paciﬁc and the buzzy surf town below. Its 70 accommodations range from hotel rooms to townhouses to villas, all built into the steep hills. Three inﬁnity pools, two restaurants and a sailboat are among the amenities. From $203 per night; pelicaneyesresort.com
Opposite: Mukul’s Beach Villas are set on Playa Manzanillo. Above: Onsite activities include stand-up paddleboarding and surfing.
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New Now Next
N A S S AU , B A H A M A S
One&Only Ocean Club ORT RES GHT TLI SPO
Like any grand hotel worth its salt, One&Only Ocean Club has a glittering history. It began as the site of Shangri-La, a palatial private estate built by a wealthy Swedish industrialist in 1939, with gardens modeled after those at Versailles. Twenty years later, it was sold to A&P heir Huntington Hartford II, who constructed a swanky 52room hotel, carved out a harbor for yachts and added a 12thcentury cloister (once owned by William Randolph Hearst) to the gardens. He christened it the Ocean Club and tossed a lavish opening party with a guest list of Hollywood swells, New York high society and plenty of royalty. In the decades since, the hotel has undergone expansions and modernizations, but it still retains much of that original glamour. A redesign of the historic Hartford Wing by Jeffrey Beers International was recently unveiled; its 52 rooms were enlarged and given a sleek makeover, while the 50-room beachfront Crescent Wing saw a refresh of its island-tinged
decor. The most welcome change is the addition of a 125-foot-long infinity-edge oceanfront pool; next to it is the new Ocean Pool Grill, a casual outdoor lunch and dinner spot with a menu that focuses on seafood. As you might expect, the chairs around this pool fill up quickly. Fortunately, there are two more pools — a familyfriendly pool and the Versailles pool, named for its location at the foot of the gardens. And what gardens they are: seven tiered levels of green hedges and flowers separated by low stone walls and dotted with marble and bronze statues. Crowning it all are Gothic arches — the ancient cloister — overlooking Nassau Harbor. For the athletic-minded, there are six outdoor tennis courts, a fitness area with an indoor/outdoor weight room and yoga classes on the Beach Deck. Or your most strenuous activity can be deciding which cocktail to order at the Dune Bar (try the Casino Royale martini) and whether to splurge on a four-hand massage at the spa (definitely). — Jennifer Ceaser
PLAN YOUR STAY GOOD NEIGHBORS All Atlantis resort facilities (casino, water park, beaches) are complimentary to Ocean Club guests; free round-trip SUV shuttle service (a fiveminute drive) is provided. FRENCH CONNECTION The signature restaurant Dune, from noted chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, brings a touch of France to the Bahamas. Our pick: the mushroom pizza with organic egg. THE FACTS Rooms from $715, villas from $11,700; oneandonlyresorts.com
COMPILED AND WRITTEN BY HEIDI MITCHELL
VILLAGE VIBES The all-inclusive Meliá brand cuts the ribbon on a family-friendly beachfront resort in Jamaica’s Rio Bueno, 45 minutes from Montego Bay. Meliá Braco Village is all its name suggests: 226 rooms, six restaurants, three bars, two pools, a spa and basketball and tennis courts. Craving couple time? Take advantage of the onsite baby-sitting service and relax at the Chill Out Bar. Rooms from $200 per person, per night; melia.com
FREE YOUR MIND St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort’s Be Here, Be Now program, in partnership with Michael Miller, invites meditation in specially marked outdoor sites around the Puerto Rico property, including a quiet stretch of beach. Rooms from $525; stregis bahiabeach.com
TEMPTATION ISLAND Kamalame Cay’s new monthly Progressive Dinner Series goes beyond the typical tasting-table experience. Shuttle via “sand chariot” (aka golf cart) to a different villa for each of the three courses, which feature provisions sourced within 25 miles of the private Bahamian island resort. End up at the beach, where a bonfire and sweet treats await. $195 per person; kamalame.com
Yet another reason to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Noto, Sicily: the just-opened 22-room hotel Masseria della Volpe. Strategically placed gardens, terraces and balconies attached to guest rooms allow for sweeping views of the island’s ancient Noto Valley and the deep-blue Mediterranean. Wander the grounds, full of olive and carob trees; try your hand at a game of bocce; or indulge in a treatment at the spa, whose walls were built from lava quarried from nearby Mount Etna. Rooms from $143; masseriadellavolpe.it
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New Now Next
FIT FOR ROYALTY
The Wizard of Wellness Celebrity health guru Dr. Mehmet Oz advocates the importance of staying healthy, even on vacation. He recently collaborated with a team of medical experts to design the Integrated Wellness Program for the Six Senses brand. We asked him about the new venture. WHY DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH SIX SENSES? I love the
idea of collecting all of the best ideas from all over the world and making them accessible to
every client in every venue. Six Senses embeds itself into local cultures and harvests healing traditions authentically. HOW IS THIS WELLNESS PROGRAM DIFFERENT? The program
is personalized. If a guest doesn’t want to be fully immersed, with all the healthy eating and increased physical activity, the program can be tailored to that individual. In addition to food and movement, the spas offer integrative approaches like
BIGGER IS BETTER IN BALI After more than two decades, the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay is getting a major refresh. By the end of 2016, bedrooms in the 147 villas will be 50 percent larger, with new technology (think 55-inch TVs and Bluetooth sound bars). Most of the plunge pools will also be expanded — more space for two! From $519; fourseasons.com 90 ISLANDS
therapeutic massage, meditation, herb recommendations and advice to see a physician. HOW DOES THE PROGRAM WORK BEYOND THE VACATION?
Guests love the fact that they get data on their biomarkers before and after their stay. This further motivates them to keep up the good work — nutrition, movement, treatments, mindfulness — when they get home. We hope to improve their quality of life. sixsenses.com
Bermuda’s circa1885 Hamilton Princess & Beach Club emerges from a two-year, $100 million, top-to-bottom renovation, revealing a new spa, a restaurant from chef Marcus Samuelsson and modern and contemporary art pieces throughout the hotel. Rooms from $379; the hamiltonprincess .com
FREE TRAVEL INFORMATION! CARIBBEAN & BAHAMAS 1.
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Blue Residences - Aruba Spectacular ocean views, featuring fully equipped apartment suites and a great variety of resort amenities and services.
Royal West Indies Turks & Caicos - A luxurious beach-front hotel resort nestled on the shores of world famous Grace Bay Beach in the Turks and Caicos Islands. PAGE 59 SunBreeze Suites & Hotel A perfect vacation getaway conveniently located within a stroll from the quaint town of San Pedro Belize on Amergris Caye, Belize. PAGE 65
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4. Elite Island Resorts St. Jame’s Club Resort & Villas and The Verandah Resort & Spa - Two stunning all - inclusive beachfront resorts in Antigua, perfect for destination weddings and honeymoons, family vacations, or spa getaways.
The Sands at Grace Bay Turks & Caicos - Spacious, beautifully appointed suites, real vacation living on Grace Bay Beach. PAGE 65
Ocean Key Resort Luxury, with a twist! Elegant interiors boast shades of indigo, turquoise and lime. A tropical hideaway, waterfront in Old Town. PAGE 100
Outrigger Hotels & Resorts - Hawaiian tradition is the centerpiece of Outrigger’s two Waikiki beachfront hotels. PAGE 24 & 25
MULTIPLE ISLANDS/ LOCATIONS 14. Sandals Resorts - Jamaica, Antigua, St. Lucia & the Bahamas - Voted the world’s best all-inclusive resorts for over a decade. PAGE 2-3
MEXICO 10. Barceló Hotels & Resorts Barceló Hotels & Resorts, premier all-inclusive resorts in Mexico, Aruba, Dominican Republic and Costa Rica. PAGE 7
VACATION RENTALS 15. Catered to...Vacation Homes – St. John, USVI – PAGE 96 16. Cayo Espanto – Belize – PAGE 96
MISCELLANEOUS 11. NAUI Worldwide - World’s largest non-profit dive training agency, offering high-industry scuba diving standards and educational programs. PAGE 11 12. PADI - Vacations end, but diving is forever. PAGE 57 13. Thrifty Car Rental – Get out and have some fun! PAGE 19
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How to Time-Travel Jad Davenport on island adventures that take you back to an earlier age.
1 GO SPELUNKING
2 HOIST A SHEET
3 SEE A TRIBAL RITUAL
Explore western Belize’s ancient cave systems —the most spectacular is Actun Tunichil Muknal. An easy mile-long trail leads to the entrance, accessed by swimming through a pool. Caves are littered with Maya relics, including the skeleton of the Crystal Maiden, a human sacrifice. cavesbranch.com
Go back in time to the Golden Age of Sail aboard Star Clipper as it voyages from Barbados up through the Lesser Antilles, stopping off in Dominica, Saint Lucia and St. Kitts. Far from being a floating museum, the ship boasts pools, a three-story atrium and luxury cabins. starclippers.com
Watch villagers in the remote highlands of Vanuatu’s Tanna island as they dance and sing traditional Melanesian songs. The island is one of the most untouched spots in the South Pacific, thanks to village leaders who have worked to reject encroachment by missionaries and preserve their past.
GETTING TO KNOW THE REAL MALDIVES
95 HOW TO ASK A LOCAL FOR A PHOTOGRAPH
DON’T miss out on trying areca nut, which is wrapped in betel leaves and spiced with cloves. Add a pinch of some lime powder and chew the wad. You’ll
soon feel a cool numbness in your gums and cheeks, a sensation similar to Novocain. The nut will eventually disintegrate in your mouth.
DO learn the most useful, and prevalent, phrase in Dhivehi, the language of the Maldives, as borrowed from Arabic: “Assalamu alaikum,” or “peace be
with you.” It’s the most common greeting throughout the Arabic world, not just the Maldives — use it when saying hello, goodbye or just making small talk.
J A D DAV E N P O R T (6); O P P O S I T E : J O N W H I T T L E
HOW TO MEET LOCALS IN THE MALDIVES
Until recently, the Maldives, a low-slung From Kuda Huraa, embark on a weekarchipelago off India, was the Bhutan of long journey aboard Four Seasons Explorer, the island world, a kingdom where touran 11-cabin catamaran that travels the outer ism beyond resorts was forbidden. These islands and links up with the Four Seasons’ days, rules have loosened, and visitors property at Landaa Giraavaru (guests can B Y J A D D AV E N P O R T opt for shorter cruises as well). The boat can stay in local guesthouses on many stops at uninhabited atolls where you can secluded islands. But what if you want a more luxurious stay while still seeing stroll on empty beaches and dive the offthe lesser-known islands and meeting the locals? shore reefs — there’s a PADI Five Star Dive Center on board too. The Four Seasons gives you that option. Thanks to three propAlong the way, you can pay a visit to remote communities like erties spread throughout the archipelago, guests can choose just Dhangethi, home to 100 fishing families. While you’re there, exhow deep they want to go into the wilderness and culture. The plore the boatyard where men craft dhonis, or traditional wooden Kuda Huraa resort is a 25-minute speedboat ride from the airport, boats. Spend some time at local landmarks and wander sandy which means you can bookend your stay with tours of Male, the alleys lined with gardens planted in soil imported from India. capital. Be sure to stop by the 17th-century Old Friday Mosque, Friends and family of the crew might offer you strong Akbar tea but dress conservatively if you want to be invited inside. and give you an opportunity to try areca nut.
ARE YOU READY FOR A CLOSE-UP? “Don’t talk to strangers!” How many times did you hear that as a child? Now that you’re all grown up — and traveling the world — you’ll want to take a totally different tack. Chatting with locals gives you insight into their world and culture. But how do you push through the awkwardness that arises when asking to photograph a stranger? These five tips will make the process easier. BY JON WHITTLE
Smile. It sounds so simple, but a smile is the best gateway to forming a new relationship — even if your foreign language skills are limited. Act interested. Any photograph will be enhanced if you possess a natural curiosity about the subject. If you see someone you find interesting, invest time in learning about that person. Ask questions; find out what makes them tick. This approach gets your subject more comfortable with you and the camera, which results in a much more honest, memorable picture. Practice first. If you’re having a tough time reaching out to a complete stranger, try your approach with those more accustomed to getting their picture taken — such as an employee on a cruise ship or in a hotel. Guides are great people to practice with: Not only are they used to being photographed, but you can also enlist their help to snap locals while on the tour. Show your photos. Keep the photo session rolling by showing your subject the shots you’re taking. I’ve often had reluctant subjects come alive once they’ve seen the photo I’ve just snapped. This goes double for children. It’s not uncommon to start photographing one child and once his or her friends see the result, you’ll be surrounded by willing subjects! Know your camera. You’ve likely only got a few minutes to shoot your subject before that person needs to get back to his or her day — and you don’t want to spend half that time fumbling with your controls. Learn to see the light and judge possible backgrounds and positions before you even approach someone.
ST. JOHN, USVI
ST. CROIX, SHOYS BEACH
Lovely 3 bedroom villa. Large pool and deck. Gorgeous view. Steps from swimming, snorkeling, tennis, golf. From $1800/week. 508-785-9895.
Sold separately, feature gears that turn in unison when the outer rims are spun or by sliding the ball chain. Lifetime Warranty. Free Shipping. Order online or call. (888) 600-8494
KINEKT GEAR RING & NECKLACE
CATERED TO VACATION HOMES Your on-island villa rental experts since 1989. Whatever your holiday desires, we cater to you! Visit our award-winning website. cateredto.com
CAYO ESPANTO – A PRIVATE ISLAND Our ﬁve-star, world-class Belize resort is for the discriminating few who demand the best life has to ofer. 888-666-4282 • aprivateisland.com
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PARADISE VILLAS, LITTLE CAYMAN
THE CLUB AT LITTLE CAYMAN
ISLAND COLLECTION FURNITURE
Little Cayman’s all oceanfront resort. 12 one bedroom villas, seaside dining at the Hungry Iguana, and world class diving at Bloody Bay. Email email@example.com
The Club at Little Cayman, renowned for it’s carefree luxury lifestyle consists of eight units in either two or three bedroom floor plans. (800) 327-3835
Create your own private paradise. We are a full line of hand carved, hand finished teak furniture made to your specifications. Each piece is architecturally drawn and designed by owner, Phil Carpenter. (407) 230-1186
EL CANARIO “The Place to Stay” in San Juan, PR. Moderately priced newly remodeled rooms w/ flat screen TV’s and free WiFi. Walk to the beach, casinos, and nightlife. 800-533-2649 • canariohotels.com
28 Acres with 1200’ ocean front & freshwater lake on one of Panama’s magnificent Caribbean islands, for sale with permits for full build out.
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H AVA N A , C U B A
“From an outsider’s point of view, Havana looks the way you want it to look, which is exactly the way it did in the ’50s. As a tourist staying in a nice hotel, it’s charming and awesome. For a Cuban who’s actually living in a crumbling building, it’s a different story. Any day now, a tsunami of Americans will be visiting, and it will be interesting to see how Cuba changes when its relationship to the world changes. Will they build big glass box hotels in Malecón? Or will they preserve and protect what I see as really beautiful?” – ANTHONY BOURDAIN,
TV host, chef and author
ISLANDS, VOL. 36, NO. 3, MAY/JUNE 2016 (ISSN 0745-7847), is published 6 times a year (Jan./Feb., March/April, May/June, July/Aug., Sept./Oct., Nov./Dec.) with 4 double issues which count as 2 issues each by Bonnier Corporation, 460 N Orlando Ave, Suite 200, Winter Park, FL 32789; 407628-4802. One year, $24 in the U.S. For Canada, add $9 for postage per year. All other countries add $18. Copyright © 2016 by Bonnier Corporation. All rights reserved. No part of this periodical may be reproduced without the written consent of Bonnier Corporation. Periodicals postage paid at Winter Park, FL, and at additional offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ISLANDS, P.O. Box 6364, Harlan, IA 51593. Printed in USA. PUBLICATION MAIL AGREEMENT NUMBER 40612608 CANADA RETURN MAIL: IMEX, P.O. Box 25542, London, Ontario N6C 6B2
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