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Dry Tortugas National Park - Fort Jefferson
Dry Tortugas, Florida
Weather at the Dry Tortugas is lovely. They rarely get rain because there’s no landmass around big enough to make it rain, and the “Dry” in the island’s name is to warn that there is no fresh water to be found there. Granted, it was sunny and warm even before we left from the Key West airport. Around noon we took off on a Sea Plane...<MORE>

Gulf of Panama - Contadora Island
Islas Las Perlas, Panama
The Pearl Islands are over 200 islands sprinkled throughout the Gulf of Panama. Of these, only a few are inhabited and only a few have the amenities of Contadora. It boasts several hotels and restaurants, a few shops, a primary school, a police station, and an airport. The island is about 750 acres, is crossed by several roads, and can be walked around in an hour. The 300 local residents include a number of transplanted travelers who were passing through and got stuck – and it is easy to see how that could happen... <MORE>

Pacific Canada - A Few Days Around Vancouver
Vancouver, British Columbia
Diverse excursions from Vancouver are possible in as few as 4 days. To start to get a feel for the city, you need to allow at least several days more. As Canada's western hub, the city is well connected by transport. For those of you less familiar with Canada's geopolitical map, Vancouver is a kind of an end-of-the-line place. The attraction to many is that it boasts one of Canada's mildest climates and is rich with lushness, rugged mountains, and idyllic islands dotting hundreds of miles of protected coastline...<MORE>

Among the Giants - Ningaloo Reef's Whale Sharks
Coral Bay, Western Australia
Ningaloo Reef is the largest barrier reef on the west coast of any continent. The reef is about 250 km long and begins on the northwest coast of Australia at the Tropic of Capricorn. The reefs in this part of the Indian Ocean are remote, and one will spend several days driving to reach the area from either Perth or Broome through mostly desert and semi-desert outback. The drive itself is awe-inspiring as several hundred kilometers frequently pass without signs of fuel or human habitation. Access points to the reef include Coral Bay and Exmouth...<MORE>

Manatees - Exploring the Real Florida
Crystal River, Florida
Knowing the manatee is increasingly threatened by habitat destruction, pollution and collisions with boats, one would never imagine this to have been the case on this winter's sub-tropical day. Having woken up at 4am to be sure to make the 6am departure to the river, and not really knowing the specifics of the town called Crystal River, we approached the morning with a hurriedness similar to having had too much coffee, which incidently, we were drinking as well...<MORE>

Caribbean Reefs - Sampling the Enchilada Reef System from the Mexican Yucatan
Quintana Roo, Mexico
While Australia's Great Barrier Reef has the world number one reef title, the runner up for distance and size is the string of reefs that begin just north of Cozumel and continue down the Mayan Coast to Belize, encompassing dozens of islands like Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker ending off the coast of Honduras at the Bay Islands. And while Ambergris, Roatan and Cozumel are popular among divers, the hundreds of reefs most accessible to North Americans...<MORE>

South Pacific Paradise - Rarotonga - The Soul of Polynesia
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Located in the middle of the South Pacific as far south of the equator as Hawaii is north on the same longitude, Rarotonga is one of the fifteen islands that together comprise the Cook Islands. It is the political and economic hub of the Cooks and the jump off point to the other islands of the southern and northern group. It is, as one might expect, a tropical paradise with an ancient and lush green volcanic inland surrounded by thousands of coconut palms...

Australia's Shark Bay - World Heritage Area
Denham, Western Australia
The red earth typical for much of Australia, particularly so in the red center, also surfaces quite similarly throughout much of Western Australia. Located about 800 km north of Perth, the red parched landscape, against a backdrop of pristine white sand beaches and aquamarine water, creates a stunning contrast. Sticking out into the Indian Ocean, several peninsulas and islands surround the bays that are collectively called Shark Bay... <MORE>

2004 Itchyfeet Online Travel