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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.
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.
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.
Made up of St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas, the laidback USVI offer sophisticated dining, turquoise waters and quaint towns. On St. Croix, Christiansted's colorful Danish Colonial buildings provide a lovely backdrop for dining or sailing. Underwater coral gardens are heaven for divers. On St. Thomas, shopping mecca Charlotte Amalie has hopping nightlife. Tranquil St. John offers quiet trails, secluded coves and lively Cruz Bay's shops and bars. Ferries and local air services link the islands.
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.
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.
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.
Stretching 126 miles south toward Cuba, the stunning Keys are a perfect escape. Highlights along the way include Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine Key and the irrepressible Key West. Get up close with an amazing array of fish while snorkeling, diving or fishing in the warm turquoise waters. Creeks, coral and costumed spectacles are other lures along the way. Highway 1 is a spectacular ribbon tying together the islands and atolls of this paradise between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic.
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.
As a well-known destination for both spring breakers and A-list travelers in need of a getaway, Cabo San Lucas has definite vacation cred. The beaches here range in temperament, from the serene waters of the Sea of Cortez and Playa del Amor to the kickin’ waves of Zippers, a surfing paradise. If you care to romp with locals, head to the coves and rock formations of the Cannery beaches. Kids will have a blast communing with the local animals by swimming with dolphins or taking a camel ride through the Desert Park Natural Reserve.