Travel to paradise -- and go shopping at a jail? That's exactly what savvy island travelers do on the idyllic equatorial archipelago of Palau in the western Caroline Islands. At the correctional facility on the island of Koror, a hundred or so prisoners can earn the opportunity to learn a traditional craft: making storyboards, amazingly intricate wood carvings that depict the legends of the land. More than half of the prisoners spend time carving shapes like turtles, starfish and even divers' tanks into mahogany panels. Choose from hundreds of pieces hung in the jailhouse shop, where you can learn the tales of the breadfruit tree and the spider god. Your purchase will help prisoners make restitution, support their families and develop a skill that will carry them to freedom. visit-palau.com
At Isla Secas Resort, it's just you and 13 other guests (if that) on a 16-island archipelago. Here, your getaway can be as adventurous and secluded as you want, but luxury touches (like dinner waiting for you in your private yurt suite) make it the best of both worlds. Islands photographer Jon Whittle experienced it all first-hand — here's how you can do it too.
Islands’ staffers beg for trips. Occasionally, an island begs for a staffer. In this case, call it a Z thing. Staff photographer Zach Stovall arrived on Zanzibar and felt like he stepped into an Indiana Jones movie. He loves those movies. Maybe that explains why this gallery, originally slated at ten images, ballooned into an epic adventure. Follow his trip’s highlights and plan yours with our Do’s and Don’ts Zanzibar travel guide.