The charming Cayman Islands continue to be a coveted Caribbean getaway for both adventurous and more immobile travelers. Gorgeous barrier reefs call to divers as the rum punch calls to the beach bums. Honeymooners hike through the 200-year-old Mastic Trail as parents take their children for interactive swims at Stingray City. Whichever way you choose to mellow out, the Cayman Islands can oblige.
Honey-dipped sunsets, chocolate-sand beaches, aquamarine skies — Kauai has mastered seduction. But the oldest island in the Hawaiian chain doesn’t have to resort to over-the-top luxury or tourist traps to entice; instead, it appeals to a no-muss, no-fuss type of traveler. You prefer rural to resplendent? Kauai’s your island — there are only two major highways, and some regions can only be explored on foot. Resorts are no taller than a coconut tree (literally)..
When the going gets tough, the tough get going — and the rest of us conjure our ideal escape, dreaming of a remote island with crowd-free sands, bright blue waters and a tranquil aura. But when you’re ready to turn that dream into a reality, set your sights on Seychelles, a cluster of 115 islands peppering the Indian Ocean off the eastern coast of Africa. You may have caught sight of the scenery here before …
Why go: If your ideal beach includes warm waters filled with tropical fish, look no further than the Maldives. You’ll have your pick of 3,000 coral reefs to explore. And when you’re not snorkeling or scuba diving, you’ll find plenty of palm-lined beaches on which to sprawl.
Picture it: A private villa stands over crystal blue water; days finish with orange sunsets that make you hungry for local citrus; gourmet room service and a masseuse are on call to avoid any unnecessary trips from your porch; and the only thing to make you want to leave is the breathtaking coral reef and underwater creatures that demand a scuba session for a proper introduction. This is the Maldives.
Compared to some Caribbean islands masquerading as tourist traps, you’ll find something a little more authentic on Anguilla. There’s an embargo on cruise ships, casinos and high-rise hotels, but a surplus of clear, coral-filled waters, unmarked and unpaved roads, and low-key beachfront villas. Pampering is also at a premium, from the grandiose resorts to the sophisticated al fresco dining. With little to do but relax, the days here are long.