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Sunny Cancun has much more to offer than its party-town reputation might suggest. Plenty of gorgeous, drama-free family resorts cater to folks who want to experience the tropical Yucatan climate. There are significant Mayan ruins here, such as El Rey and the Yamil Lu’um, a crumbling tower of pale gray stone. Learn more about this ancient civilization at the Museo Maya de Cancun. For a literal taste of Mexico, take a tour of the Museo Sensorial del Tequila.
Like seashells, no two holidays in the Bahamas are alike. With options as diverse as its 700 islands, it's a place where you can find exactly the getaway you love most. Looking for a family destination, a place for lovers to sneak away, a gambling mecca, a haven for cruise passengers, or a shopper’s world market? The Bahamas is all these… and much more.
Is there anything better than stretching out like a cat in a warm patch of Jamaican sun? Only if you sprinkle your island vacation with a dash of adventure. Known fondly as “the land of wood and water,” Jamaica’s forests feature prime hiking and bird watching. History buffs can the heritage sites of Trelawny, while reggae and dancehall fans will love the authentic music clubs of Kingston. Montego Bay is perfect for snorkeling and shopping, while the spas of Ocho Rios can make any stresses melt away.
Turks and Caicos is an excellent destination for divers and snorklers. Smith’s Reef in Provo is one of the area’s most popular dive spots, thanks to a diverse collection of sea creatures in a spectrum of electric colors. For a completely different vibe, explore the black coral and submerged overhangs of Black Forest or kayak the bright turquoise waters of Chalk Sound. Both the Caicos Conch Farm and the bird sanctuary on uninhabited French Cay offer unique ways to commune with local wildlife.
The DR delights visitors with its mix of white-sand beaches and "gingerbread" Victorian architecture. Nine hundred miles of Caribbean coastline make the Hispaniola Island country a beach-lover’s paradise. Day-trip to Puerto Plata and ride the cable car up Mount Isabel de Torres, or groove to the steel drum beats of Cabarete nightlife. The breezy palms and sparkling waters of Punta Cana make it a true tropical paradise.
Among the best golf destinations in the world, Punta Cana is the very picture of leisure. Several of the courses have been designed by professional golfers, making for the perfect sort of kicked-back challenge that you want on a golfing vacation. The beaches here are simply perfect: calm, warm waters that gently lap at stretches of fine white sand. Thrill yourself with a zip-line adventure, clap along with traditional Dominican music at a cultural performance, or explore the magical lagoons of the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park.
Aruba is the quintessential Caribbean island, all sun and sea and stretches of powdery white sand. Time will slow to a pleasant crawl as you linger over a tropical cocktail or flutter serenely underwater, where only the parrotfish are in a hurry. The pastel façades of Oranjestad landmarks and shops lend an inviting and playful vibe to the capital city. Enjoy the shade of an Eagle Beach divi tree while the crashing waves of turquoise water create a soothing soundtrack just for you.
Puerto Rico offers the perfect balance of rum-soaked nightlife and tranquil retreat. The Spanish colonial buildings of San Juan set a perfect backdrop for a day of shopping and sightseeing. Hike the massive El Yunque rainforest to see waterfalls, stone towers, and colorful Puerto Rican wildlife. As far as beaches go, it doesn’t get better than the private sands of Isla de Vieques – particularly Mosquito Bay, where by moonlight the water glows blue-green thanks to magical microorganisms.
Like all of the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Thomas has plenty of opportunities to lounge on the beach, splash in the sea, or amp it up with watersports. It also boasts a bountiful duty-free shopping scene – just be prepared to brave the cruise ship crowds. Charlotte Amalie swells with Danish colonial architecture and pirate legend. Shiver ye timbers at Blackbeard’s Castle, then work up an appetite by climbing the historic 99 Steps, constructed from the ballast bricks of 18th century Danish ships.
When was the last time you went out for a casual drive and ended up inside a volcano? A surreal scenario comes to life at La Soufrière, one of the most popular attractions in St. Lucia. Pack your skin with the medicinal mud of Sulfur Springs for a DIY spa treatment. Continue your eruptive adventures with a guided hike of the two volcanic plugs known as the Pitons then ascend Morne Fortune to take in the sweeping views. For an intimate beach experience, hit the private black sands of Anse Mamin.