Become an audience member for the greatest show on earth: Mother Nature. Every summer, thousands of threatened and endangered sea turtles drag themselves onto Florida's beaches to lay eggs. Conveniently enough for those who prefer their wildlife wonders coupled with unspoiled, sea grape-lined beaches, the phenomenon is most concentrated on the state's eastern barrier islands. You can spot nesting turtles on your own, but that risks scaring them away. To do it right, join a weekly turtle walk hosted by the non-profit Caribbean Conservation Corporation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge south of Melbourne Beach. While you learn sea turtle ecology during an orientation talk, guides will scout a nearby mother turtle. Later, watch as she digs her nest, lays her eggs and then returns to the sea. The Tuesday, Wednesday and -- beginning in July -- Saturday walks begin at 9 p.m. and cost $5; your turtle decides when it's over (usually around midnight). cccturtle.org
After a long flight, five days of exploring and getting muddy in rice paddies, staff photographer, Zach Stovall, found peace and relaxation not only from the spas and resorts, but also from contagious smiles and spirituality of the Balinese people.
Some people actually do sail off onto the sunset. Take Mark and Liesbet Collaert. The Bay Area couple first sailed away from San Francisco in 2005, but their monohull boat wasn’t right. They set sail again in 2007 aboard their 35-foot catamaran Irie, and have been at sea ever since, visiting more than 100 islands. So we asked them: Which were your favorites? That drew a silence. So we shrunk our question. Here Liesbet ranks their Top 10 Caribbean islands. And yep, they saw most all of ’em.
Islands contributor Hart Roberts is big on fishing. But after a stay at Fly Fish Guanaja, he couldn't stop talking about the other offerings that make this private island a nature lover's paradise. From snorkeling to surfing (oh, and the best sunset views), here's why Guanaja is more than just a fishing destination.