Tag: Island TravelView All Tags
Above: Ni'ihau as seen from Kauai
Perhaps you've heard of Hawaii's "Forbidden Island," where just under 200 residents speak Hawaiian as their first language, and no outside visitors are welcome without explicit invitation. Sitting so tantalizingly near to the coast of Kauai, this privately owned island, named Ni'ihau, is the westernmost of the Hawaiian Islands chain. It's so close and, yet, so far.
There are, however, ways to visit Ni'ihau on your vacation. One of the most popular trips to Ni'ihau focuses on the pristine waters of the island's coastline, home to many rare endemic species of sea life. Only one tourist boat operator on Kauai crosses the Kaulakahi Channel between Kauai and Niihau for snorkeling excursions on its coast and around Lehua Crater daily, and that's Holo Holo Charters, who also originated Ni'ihau snorkeling trips.
Hawaii Travel / Tourism / Helicopters / Kauai Travel / Island Travel / Travel Photography / Photo Gallery / → All Tags
Tell friends who've been to Hawaii before that you're heading to Kauai and there's one thing you'll hear over and over: "you've got to take a helicopter tour!"
Soaring above remote waterfalls, azure reefs, untouched coastline, and Hawaii's own version of the Grand Canyon (Waimea Canyon) sounds like a no-brainer... until you see the price tag. Averaging $200 per person, helicopter tours around Hawaii demand more consideration and budgeting than, say, a surfing lesson. And, for some of the islands' more unique destinations, scenic helicopter flights edge upward toward $300.
Recently while in Kauai, we flew with Island Helicopters, the only company with landing rights at the impressive Manawaiopuna Falls, better known as "Jurassic Park Falls" for their cameo in the movie. The "Jurassic Park Falls Helicopter Landing Adventure" tour costs from $269 per person and lasts 75-85 minutes. The more basic flight, named "Grand Circle Tour," is available from $145 per person and lasts 50-60 minutes.
Runaway Bay is up there with Negril as far as pretty beaches
All week long, contributor Linda Marsicano will be reporting from Jamaica. Got a question about traveling to Jamaica or what to do when you're there? Put it in comments below and we'll answer it for you!
DO go off the resort. Jamaica is full of all-inclusives and while it's easy to sit back snd drink the day away at the beach or pool, don't miss out on what's outside of the cushy resorts. One of our favorites so far was our lunch at Leon's Lobster Hut. That said, do be careful. Yes, go off the resort but it's a good idea to ask shuttle drivers or resort staff before you wander off not knowing where you might be heading.
While our visit to Leon's was a blast, we had a less pleasant experience when we tried to visit another local establishment later in our trip. There was a much more aggressive tone in trying to sell us drugs (among other things) that was a bit uncomfortable. And, hey, it was broad daylight and we had kids in tow.
When we recounted the experience to a local at the resort, they said they would have warned us not to frequent that particular establishment (and told us a better option for some local fare which we plan to explore tomorrow).
Channel Islands / Island Travel / California Travel / Santa Cruz Island / Adventure Travel / Camping / National Parks / → All Tags
View from the Cavern Point Loop of Scorpion Bay
Yesterday, we showed you a glimpse of what it's like to hike around Santa Cruz Island in the Channel Islands National Park. We continue that showcase today with more photos, but also with some practical information on how to make a visit a reality. Because of its location off the coast and the lack of services available on the island, all visitors, both overnight campers and day trippers, must be prepared and aware of what to expect.
California Travel / Island Travel / Channel Islands / Santa Cruz Island / Adventure Travel / Camping / → All Tags
California's Channel Islands are a group of five islands about 25 miles off the central coast, most dramatically visible from the shores of Santa Barbara County. Preserved as a National Park, outdoor recreation is the big draw for visitors to the chain. Hiking and kayaking are the most popular activities, and camping is permitted on all five of the islands.
This past weekend, we made our way to the largest island, Santa Cruz, and set up shop at Scorpion Bay camp site. With no services on the island, visitors must bring everything they need for the length of their stay. This week, we'll walk you through what you need to know: How to get there, what to bring, and what to see and do.
Volcanoes / Outdoor Travel / Tonga Travel / HIking Travel / South Pacific / Island Travel / → All Tags
We're usually not overly excited to talk about how volcanoes affect travel plans; it gives bad flashbacks to a certain Icelandic mountain that basically stopped any type of trans-Atlantic air travel in the Spring of 2010.
Forget all that nonsense for a moment and let's talk about a new island in the archipelago of Tonga in the South Pacific.
Only a few months ago, the Polynesian nation was comprised of 177 islands. But after the Hunga Ha'apai volcano began erupting back in January, the resulting lava flow formed a narrow strip of land about a half mile wide and a 3/4 of a mile long. Now that the seismic activity is complete, visitors are flocking to the island to be some of the first people to step on this newly formed land-mass. Not a bad result after lying dormant for five years. (Tourism boards, take note!)
Still, we wouldn't necessarily start planning your next vacation dreaming of white sands, poolside afternoons and fruity cocktails.
Airfare Deals / Hawaii Travel / Kauai Travel / TheFlightDeal / FareDealAlert / Budget Travel / Island Travel / Beach Travel / Travel Deals / → All Tags
Hawaii is cheap this season, you guys. The faraway state of paradise (both literal and figurative) has seen airfare deals from all over the country, for totals that've been beating prices to Cancun, Cabo, and even Florida. Right now is the time to rethink and reroute vacation plans in the direction of the Pacific Ocean.
The onslaught of Hawaii deals began in December, with some roundtrips from almost all major US cities to most major Hawaiian airports in the high $500 range. We jumped on a $570 US Airways deal from Boston to Kauaione of the most expensive islands to travel toand a friend snagged Detroit-Kauai on Delta. It seemed a Christmas miracle, having flights to Hawaii for 50% off!
To our surprise and everyone's benefit, those deals have continued and, in certain cases, even sweetened. Our friends at FareDealAlert just dug up a $355 roundtrip to Honolulu on United from Minneapolis and various other middle America cities suffering from the winter blues. Chicago is a hair more at $500.
Beach Travel / Photo Gallery / Aruba Travel / Island Travel / Winter Travel / Caribbean Travel / → All Tags
Sorry about that snow day, northern United States.
While school is cancelled and the car needs shoveling out, it's important to remember that there are ways to get away from all that and late winter is the ideal time to book a last-minute warm weather escape. Today we're specifically thinking about the Caribbean's A-B-C Islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, for which airfare has been nicely affordable almost all winter.
We made the hop to Aruba ourselves, thanks to a $350 roundtrip (yes, it can be that cheap!) on American Airlines from the Midwest.
For a few more options beyond the Caribbean, our partner CNTraveler just published 10 destinations with airfare under $400 *right now*. In addition, our buddies at TheFlightDeal and FareDealAlert have been on it this week when it comes to Hawaii fares. Right now, both United and Delta are in something of a war over offering the best prices from middle America to Honolulu. Here's proof, but book ASAP.
Weather / Perfect Weather / Travel Tips / Chile Travel / LAN / Only in South America / IPC / Island Travel / Easter Island Travel / SCL / → All Tags
If it's cold where you live, then pay attention this week as we profile a few Perfect Weather destinations.
Chile's Easter Island (also called "Rapa Nui" and "Isla de Pascua") is an incredible destination. Travelers to this place in the Pacific Ocean, one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world, go here because it is a dream destination. There's a great deal of planning and passion behind their itineraries, and the great majority fly in on LAN via Santiago, Chile or Papeete, Tahiti, currently the only routes serving Easter Island.
The island's climate is subtropical, most of it is a protected national park, and it's on the Southern Hemisphere's calendar of seasons (January is in summer, July is in winter). Those interested in geology, archaeology, astronomy, hiking, surfing, and general exploration will find Easter Island exhilarating. To best plan when to go, we have some suggestions:
Every winter, the
nauseating infamous Beach Boys song, "Kokomo" enters the minds of Caribbean vacationers with that first line crooning, "Aruba, Jamaica, oo I want to take ya", but our contributing editor Will McGough lists what you should really know about one of Jaunted's favorite islands.
Aruba's resort-focused tourism approach tends to keep travelers quarantined in the northwest corner of the island in either the "low-rise" or "high-rise" hotel zone. As a result, while most people can tell you all about the beautiful beaches, they won't have a clue when it comes to local culture. Below, we've put together five things to help you appreciate Aruba beyond its beaches:
The Island Has Its Own Language
Although most children grow up learning Dutch, English, and Spanish, Aruba also has its own native language called Papiamento. A pidgin mix of English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch, all Arubans know it and speak it between themselves. It is also the native language of nearby Curacao.
Christmas Island Travel / Animals / Nature Travel / Island Travel / Videos / Australia Travel / Outdoor Travel / → All Tags
Let's draw attention to Christmas Island, a tiny little speck in the middle of the Indian Ocean which, while named for a festive holiday, is expecting a little more than Santa. In December of every year, tens of millions of freshly hatched red crabs cover the landscape on their annual crab migration and, if the weather and lunar cycles go to plan, this weekend will have been the peak of season.
The crabs call the island home year-round, but it's at this time that their life cycles causes them to spawn in the ocean. The female crustaceans make a trek from the wooded areas down to the water where the egg immediately hatches, thus multiplying the island's crab population. The forests, roads and beaches of the island are utterly inundated by the crabs (and the tourists who travel here to watch them), closing roads and parts of the national park.
Island Travel / Caribbean Travel / AUA / Aruba Travel / Airports / Airlines / Prime Planespotting / AvGeek / Plane Spotting / Caribbean Airlines / Private Islands / Hotels / → All Tags
It's paradise, pure and simple. A deserted beach of white sand gently melting into clear, azure water. The waves are mere ripples, the water is of that desired "bathwater" warmth, and airplanes whizz directly overhead in the sunny sky. Welcome to one of the best, most undiscovered plane spotting locations in the Caribbean: Renaissance Island, Aruba.
It's no St. Maarten Maho Beach, but the experience will appeal to dedicated plane spotters who prize unique locations and a range of aircraft for indulging their hobby. Even sunbathers should make the easy nature walk from the Renaissance Island's developed beaches down a path to this spot, which we discovered this month while on a trip to the Southern Caribbean.
Pack your swimsuit, camera, mosquito repellant, sunscreen, and footwear a little more substantial than flip flops, and let's go...