Into the sea!

Horseback Riding into the Sea in Turks and Caicos Islands

Diamond had been rescued from a schizophrenic pothead on Provo, I learned. The standardbred horse sometimes takes issue with people at eye level, but he was a sweetheart once I took the saddle. Similar stories ride on the backs of the two dozen or Read More

Swimming with leatherbacks. Photo by Shannon O'Malley

Swimming with Leatherback Turtles in Barbados

Shannon was crying. I knew she would. I knew she was crying, in fact, even before she lifted her snorkel mask. She still cries, after all, every time she talks about a leatherback sea turtle nest-hatching experience we shared in Antigua a few Read More

Zorba's is equally Greek, Bahamian, and American and where I finally tried sheep tongue souse.

Breakfasting like the Natives on Grand Bahama Island

I may have gulped slightly as I stared down the bowl of “sheep tongue souse” on my breakfast table. I had tried most of the other unusual traditional breakfast dishes during my years of travel to the Bahamas; this visit I was determined to leap out Read More

The rugged black-sand beach of Rosalie Bay

Tuning into Dominica at Rosalie Bay Eco-Resort

I ended up with a riverside suite at Rosalie Bay boutique eco-resort, rather than a room oceanside. I was immediately glad it worked out that way. The view and chortling of the rocky Rosalie River was soothing and oh-so apropos for the mountainous Read More

Souvenir Stand on 5th Avenida

The Shopping ’til You Drop Tour of Antigua, Guatemala

We all have our weaknesses, and one of mine is souvenirs. Admittedly, it’s not the most masculine of traits, not the one I like to write to the guys back home about, but I’ve spent many a traveling afternoon scouring markets and engaging in Read More

Atlantis view from Royal Tower

Indulging Watery Fantasies at Atlantis in the Bahamas

My taxi driver dropped me at the wrong spot, so I ended up tugging my luggage through a mammoth casino with all the blinking glitz of Vegas. Massive sea-suggestive Dale Chihuly glass sculptures and the ka-ching of slots greeted my arrival, then a Read More

El Limon -- we're here!

Riding to the Domincan Republic’s El Limon Waterfall on a Horse

I am not a horsewoman. I did not grow up around horses, and they've always been a mystery to me. When people say a horse is nervous, or bad tempered, or skittish, I don't know how they know this, as I can't figure out a horse's mood when I'm near Read More

The Lone Swimmer

Swimming in Sacred Water: Semuc Champey of Guatemala

As I look down from the heights of El Mirador, the pools of Semuc Champey appear as expanses of turquoise set between limestone ridges. It occurs to me that El Mirador -- it means a viewpoint -- is a name far too common in Central America or, at the Read More

Mayan Pyramid Rising into View
(courtesy of Emma Gallagher)

Entering Tikal, Jungle Heart of the Maya Empire

From atop Temple IV, above the trees of the jungle, the noisy morning sounds of animals went on for ages. “Little” Cesar, our tour guide, had instructed us all just to listen. “Don’t talk,” he said, holding his hand next to his head as if Einstein Read More

Abaco Beach Resort

Being a Kid Bahamian-Style at Abaco Beach Resort

After a crafts session on the beach, the kids headed for the docks to go fishing. It may sound like an ordinary kids program on an ordinary day at a sunny beach resort, but what makes the difference at Abaco Beach Resort at Boat Harbour in the Read More

A Crowd Gathering on the River

On the River at Finca Tatin in Guatemala

We’d left Guatemala City some eight hours prior on a “first class” bus, which entails the extra feature of receiving a bottle of water midway through the ride and action movies dubbed in Spanish. It had been a long trip, with a late taxi, a missed Read More

The lush and elegant back courtyard at Graycliff Hotel.

Experiencing Nassau’s Finest at Graycliff Bahamas

It felt like a sigh of relief: an escape from the theme park hoopla of Atlantis resort and the shopping/boozing throngs just down the hill in downtown Nassau. Graycliff: Its very name strikes respect and appreciation among those who know it. Begun Read More

Bottom of 1,600 foot (487 metre) long water slide at Buena Vista Lodge, Costa Rica. The leather "diaper" is worn by women in standard bathingsuits so they won't scratch their bottoms while sliding down the concrete chute. Photo by Yvette Cardozo

Taking Costa Rica’s “Mega Combo Adventure Challenge” in Guanacaste on the NW Coast

I am seriously short on attention span: It's not enough for me to just do a zipline or hot springs or ride a horse. I've gotta do them all, preferably on the same day. Enter Buena Vista Lodge & Adventure, located in Guanacaste in northwestern Read More

Plants in the tropics grow large and fast. /

Wandering Tropical Trails at the Belize Botanical Garden

I have no way to know what the Garden of Eden looked like, but in my imagination, it looks just this: Palms and ferns grow exuberantly, birds dot in and out of the foliage, and everywhere there is green -- blue green, bright green, yellow green, dull Read More

Sailing past the Pitons, St. Lucia

Sailing from Soufriere, St. Lucia, Under the Shadow of the Pitons

"Look! It's happening! Wait, watch for it!" The excitement on the catamaran is palpable, and we strain our eyes to the horizon where the last tiny pinpoint of an orange sun is just about to dip below the horizon. We are hoping to see the legendary Read More

New dawn ceremony begins

Celebrating the New Dawn on a Sacred Maya Journey in Mexico’s Yucatan

It's 4:30 a.m. in this ancient port of Ppolé (modern-day Xcaret on the Riviera Maya). As I trudge through the pelting rain along dark jungle paths, slipping and sliding across the occasional stone walkway, I can't help but question my sanity. My Read More

Fishing in Baja Mexico

Retreating Into The Las Animas Wilderness in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez

"How would you like," I asked my seven-year-old grandson Sam, "to go to a place that you can't get to by road?" "I would like," he answered. "And how would you like to go fishing in a place that has so many hungry fish that you only stop Read More

Belize Barrier Reef

Snorkeling Hol Chan and Shark-Ray Alley off Ambergris Caye, Belize

My guide makes the internationally recognized sign for shark, placing his hand perpendicular to his forehead to make a fin.Then he grabs his non-existant breasts. "Nurse shark!" he cries, with a gleeful smile. Fast as a flash, he reaches down into Read More

Maya Masks

What to Buy in Mexico: Souvenir Shopping in Riviera Maya and the Yucatan

"Sombreros, blankets, and tequilla," says Pablo, without even thinking, in response to my question about the most popular souvenirs in Mexico. But, he hastens to add, here in the heavily Mayan Yucatan Peninsula, tourists can buy some interesting Read More

Cooking classes in Riviera Maya

Eating Riviera Maya in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula

To once and for all satisfy my ever-crave for Mexican food autentica: Es posible? I was salivating to give it a try as I made my recent plans for the Riviera Maya, a slice of Yucatan coastline where seafood and rich Maya tradition stir up an Read More

The view from St. Peter Great House and Botanical Gardens

Kayaking, Volunteering, and a History Lesson on a St. Thomas Eco-Adventure

Perched on the wall of a crumbling 18th century ruin, I gaze down to the  the Caribbean Sea. Despite the sweat streaming down my back and my aching arms, I feel exhilarated.  Instead of  lolling on the beach and relaxing in the sun, I have just spent Read More