Wild yet sophisticated, Maui is an island of paradoxes. The rugged upcountry is home to paniolo — Hawaiian cowboys — and to five-star dining. During the day, go refined — golf, yoga, spas — or turn up the adrenaline with surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, kite surfing, paragliding, zip-lining or mountain biking.
With 341 rooms and suites, Sunscape Curaçao Resort, Spa and Casino is one of Curaçao’s largest vacation properties, as well as its only all-inclusive resort. Given its location just two miles from Willemstad, adventurers can opt for off-property excursions and explore the island’s historical, business and cultural capital.
Belmar Oceanfront Apartments is an intimate dive resort with spectacular views from every balcony and colorful gardens by the oceanfront pool. Stay in one of the 22 spacious apartments and enjoy all the conveniences you expect from a full-service dive resort but in a private atmosphere and at a more relaxed pace — one of the reasons so many guests return year after year. Divers can just stride off of the private dock and descend onto the beautiful house reef. Resort staff is on hand to provide personal service, allowing you to have a stress-free vacation.
This is not a waist-whittling dive destination: Dozens of sites like Cas Abao are within steps of the road, and the fringing reef system closely parallels shore, making for short-to-site swims. And with mild to nonexistent currents, your lungs won’t be taxed.
Set on a coastal road about a mile south of George Town, this middle-bracket hotel — whose rooms are divided among a quintet of two-story outbuildings — is Grand Cayman’s “pearl in an oyster.” Accommodations are simple, no nonsense and very comfortable. This place is favored by divers and snorkelers, who appreciate spectacular shore diving and the extensive diving programs.
Diving off this boomerang-shape island’s west side is basically foolproof. Plop in anywhere, anytime for a relaxing, critter-packed shore dive. Rusty with a compass? For the most part, you won’t need one underwater: The reef slopes gently but obviously enough to serve as a constant reminder of your whereabouts.
"One of the four must-dive locations on this blue planet,” was how renowned oceanographer Jacques Cousteau described Belize. Considered one of Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secrets, Belize is home to the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere and the second largest in the world, and boasts three of only four coral atolls in the Caribbean.
The premier diving and snorkeling center on Nassau is located in a quiet seaside village used in the 1996 feature film Flipper. Today, the set is a state-of-the-art dive center offering guests a variety of activities that explore southwest Nassau’s spectacular walls, reefs, wrecks and movie sites.