Isla del Coco. Photo © Rodtico21 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.

Diving Isla del Coco Marine National Park

The only true oceanic island off Central America, Parque Nacional Marino Isla del Coco is one of the world’s best diving spots, famous for its massive schools of white-tipped and hammerhead sharks, eerie manta rays, pilot whales, whale sharks, and sailfish. Snorkelers swimming closer to the surface can revel in moray eels and colorful reef fish.

Playa Zoni in Culebra. Photo © Suzanne Van Atten.

Culebra’s Beaches: Diving, Snorkeling, and Kayaking

Once you see Culebra’s craggy coastline of hidden coves, private beaches, coral outcroppings, and cays, it’s easy to imagine why pirates liked to hide out here. Playa Flamenco is the island’s most celebrated beach, and rightly so. But there are many less populated and more remote beaches to be found for those willing to hike in.

Kayaks at Laguna de Apoyo. Photo © Elizabeth Perkins.

Adrenaline Rush in Nicaragua

Athletes and extreme sports fanatics can easily meet their needs in Nicaragua. From uphill biking and scuba diving to white-water rafting and volcano boarding and everything between, here’s where to go to get your adrenaline rush.

Trunk Bay is the most exquisite beach on St. John. Photo © Susanna Henighan Potter.

Trunk Bay: St. John’s Most Magnificent Beach

Trunk Bay is a vision of fluffy white sand, sea grape trees, and coconut palms. Trunk Cay, just offshore, is a tiny island of rocky cliffs, tufted by hardy palm trees. Named for the leatherback turtles, locally called trunks, which nest here, and fully equipped with facilities, this is what Caribbean beach dreams are made of.

A boulder at the Baths National Park. Photo © Todd VanSickle.

Experience Baths National Park, BVI

Virgin Gorda’s Baths National Park is one of the most famous sights in the British Virgin Islands. The Baths are a landscape of building-size boulders, clear saltwater grottoes, and powder-white beaches. There are endless pools for exploring, swimming, and snorkeling. The park is a playground, where even grown-ups are tempted to climb over and around, looking for a quiet pool or hidden room.

The view from Gorda Peak on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands of the Carribean.

Exploring Nature on Virgin Gorda

Mid-island, Virgin Gorda remains relatively unspoiled because of the difficult topography and exceptionally rich in rare and endangered species. On the western shore, the green hillsides cascade down to a string of white sand beaches. Here in the middle of the island, you’ll find great hiking, a beautiful beach, and nature lovers will definitely want to explore one of the best examples of dry forest in the islands.

Mayan village of San Pedro Columbia. Photo © Lebawit LIiy Girma.

Planning Your Time in Punta Gorda and the Deep South of Belize

Just an hour and a half on a regional flight from Belize City will land visitors in the real backcountry of Belize, where they’ll find all that is authentically Belizean in one place: virgin rainforests, waterfalls, five Mayan archaeological sites, a diverse population, and, more importantly, proximity to the most pristine and uncrowded of Belize’s offshore islands for snorkeling, diving, and sportfishing in two adjacent marine reserves.