Higo Chumbo Cactus on Mona Island. Photo © U.S. Fish & Wildlife Southeast Region, licensed Creative Commons usage.

Mona Island’s Colorful Past

Oh, the tales it could tell if Mona Island could speak. Its past is a drama full of marauding pirates, thriving Taínos, and many a shipwreck. Today, in addition to enjoying the island’s great hiking, diving, and bird-watching, visitors can explore the faint remains of the Taíno civilization and mining operations. Petroglyphs, stone walls, cabins, and graves are enduring reminders of Mona’s colorful past.

Vieques features miles of deserted beaches and bright blue water. Photo © Suzanne Van Atten.

Planning Your Time on Vieques, Puerto Rico

In a world where change is constant, it’s nice to be reminded that some things stay the same. That is a big part of the charm of Vieques; a sleepy little island where life moves at a snail’s pace, cats and horses wander the island freely, and the only alarm clock you need is the crow of the roosters that run the place. Put these general planning tips into play for your visit, but know that the secret to enjoying Vieques is to chill out and let things unfold in their own way and time.

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Moon Washington

Travel writer and Seattle resident Matthew Lombardi provides an insider’s view of the Evergreen State, from Seattle’s arts, culture, and snow-capped peaks to the fire and ice of the state’s most venerable volcanoes. Lombardi offers itineraries such as Volunteer Vacations, Quintessential Washington Eats, and Great Drives in Washington. Complete with details on climbing Mt. Rainier, […]

Aerial view of northern cayes. Photo © Lebawit Lily Girma.

Where to Go in the Belize Cayes

Regardless of where you go in the Belize Cayes, days are spent alfresco: kayaking, sailing, fishing, feasting on fresh catch, swimming alongside rays and turtles, gazing at magnificent frigatebirds hovering in blue skies. Or mastering the art of dolce far niente: the sweetness of doing nothing. Here’s an overview of island highlights.

Blue ocean meets white sand on Sandy Cay's beach.

Where to Go on Jost Van Dyke

Only four miles long and three miles wide at its broadest point, Jost Van Dyke is nevertheless home to three locales that draw visitors month after month: spectacular White Bay, one of the best beaches in the entire Virgin Islands; Bubbly Pool, likened to a high-priced spa treatment; and Sandy Cay, the perfect desert island. Learn all about these three incredible places.

A beach in Providencia. Photo © Andrew Dier.

Planning Your Time in Colombia’s San Andrés Archipelago

The San Andrés Archipelago is made up of seven atolls and three major (but fairly small) islands: San Andrés, Providencia, and Santa Catalina. Providencia and its tiny tag-along neighbor of Santa Catalina are places to experience how the Caribbean used to be before tourism developed, while more popular San Andrés is popular with Colombian vacationers.

View from Santa Catalina. Photo © Mitch Barrie, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

Hiking Providencia and Santa Catalina, Colombia

Providencia’s The Peak is a much more strenuous hike than exploring Fort Warwick and Morgan’s Cave on Santa Catalina but holds the most stunning views, while Santa Catalina presents a wonderfully historical hike with plenty of decent views of its own. Both are easily undertaken by casual visitors.

Silk Cayes. Photo © Lebawit Lily Girma.

Discover the Belize Cayes

Belize’s cayes are everyone’s deserted island fantasy come true. Learn about the many islands and their draw, plan when to visit with expert advice, then discover them for yourself.

Boats moored in the shallow waters of St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands.

The Virgin Islands’ Best Snorkeling

Good snorkeling is in the eye of the beholder, and though most people gravitate to reefs, sea grass and mangrove habitats are also fun to explore. With that in mind, here are the best places to snorkel in both the U.S. and British Virgin Islands.

Long Beach, Phu Quoc Island. Photo © Dana Filek-Gibson.

Vietnam’s Best Beaches

From mainstays on the tourist trail to remote, near-deserted islands, here are Vietnam’s best beaches–a healthy mix of active, fast-paced water sport hubs and easygoing seaside venues.