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La Fortuna de San Carlos is at the center of an array of geological wonder. The nearby Arenal is Costa Rica's most active volcano, routinely bursting with lava and ash, and the Catarata de La Fortuna is a waterfall pouring from a seventy-meter cliff. The Tabacon Hot Springs are a relaxing intermission in the midst of the various spectacles, and the Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat is a blissful end to any day's excursion.
If waterfalls, hot springs, wildlife and volcanoes are your thing, then Arenal Volcano National Park will take your breath away. One of the world’s most active volcanoes burps tufts of smoke in the background as you make your way through forests and old lava fields. Take a rafting tour or hit the beach, then retire to a comfy hotel.
You're on island time the moment you set foot in Jamaica. Ocho Rios, a port of call for many cruise lines, also boasts some of the most luxe resorts and spas in the Caribbean. And once you've had your stresses melted away in the island sun, you can head out for a night of dancing and reggae music.
Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic and a UNESCO world heritage site, is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the Americas and one of the most populous cities in the Caribbean. The city is a mix of old world charm and modern Latin flair. Its medieval palaces and fortresses mix with nightlife and shopping to rival any modern city in the world. You'll find pristine beaches and hidden gems like a salsa/merengue club set inside a huge underground cave.
Isla Mujeres offers a wide variety of tempting options for beach lovers, and is a relative bargain. Snorkel with tropical fish amid coral reefs, skim the blue waters by kayak or boat, or windsurf along the shores of soft, sandy beaches. On land, you can sunbathe, dine on seafood, dance to Latin rhythms, tour on a moped or belly up to the bar for fresh, delicious drinks.
Does time ever pass in the Florida Keys? Everyone and everything in Key West seems to go at its own pace, right down to the ice melting slooooowly in your margarita glass. Of course, it’s not all limes and leisure – Key West is known as the “Winter White House” because of its appeal to visiting U.S. presidents, and the island has been home to literary greats like Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams. The diving here is phenomenal, as is the kid-friendly Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center.
The festive city of San Juan is the perfect place to experience true Puerto Rican culture. Get to know its roots by exploring the vibrant neighborhood of El Viejo San Juan (Old San Juan), which consists mostly of Spanish colonial buildings. Flesh out your self-guided history lesson with a visit to El Castillo San Felipe del Morro, a 16th century citadel that’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then reward yourself with a cooling dip at Luquillo or Carolina Beach, then a tasty tour of the Bacardi rum plant.
Since the redevelopment of the Inner Harbor in the late 1970s, Baltimore has set the standard for urban renewal. While a good part of the city's action centers around the fun and festive Harbor area, where street entertainers, open-air concerts, fireworks and parades abound, the surrounding neighborhoods offer all sorts of interesting landmarks, unique shops and delicious restaurants. Wander around Fells Point, the oldest section of Baltimore, reminiscent of an old English village, complete with pubs and cobblestone streets. Take the kids to the aquarium and check out the imaginative creations at the American Visionary Art Museum. Or stop by the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum for an in-depth look at the Great Bambino's life. Baltimore is also renowned for its African-American heritage sites, plus festivals and cultural events that take place throughout the year. From historic places and harbor cruises to family friendly attractions and fabulous neighborhoods, Charm City is one of the top tourist destinations in the United States.
The largest island along Brazil's coast and, literally, a “beautiful island,” Ilhabela offers visitors almost 40 kilometers of pristine beaches and a tropical island's worth of hiking trails, waterfalls and even a nascent party scene. At 207 kilometers from the city of São Paulo, Ilhabela can get crowded, so try to get your beach time in during the work week.