Summer is the season for wanderlust. If the change in weather finds you eager for a new adventure, you’re in good company. “More people are now saying, ‘Life is too short and I want to enjoy this precious time with those I love,” says Jennifer Tombaugh, president of Tauck Travel. While many locals agree the time to get away is now, one vacation destination can’t satisfy everyone. For that reason, we’ve chosen thirteen. Whether you want to snorkel from the best beach in the Caribbean, feed rhinos in Kenya or jet off to a locale too remote for a smartphone, there’s a dream destination on the following pages that’s right for you.
Some like it HOT
These beach destinations sizzle
1. Jose Ignacio, Uruguay
South America continues its reign as a red-hot destination, and the lesser-known country of Uruguay is heating up too, especially around the Southern resort area of Punta del Este and nearby coastal towns, a section that’s being compared to a virgin Saint Tropez. The pros at Quintessentially Travel recommend a stay at Estancia Vik, a Spanish colonial-style resort near the bohemian beach town of Jose Ignacio, where there are twelve art-filled suites at a 50,000-square-foot retreat on 4,000 acres. You can take polo lessons from some of the world’s top players, or just cheer on athletes during tournaments. At this haven for horse lovers, riding may be the best way to explore the property’s rolling hills. If you’re craving downtime, lounge at the Absolute Nero pool. To get even closer to the beach, guests at Estancia Vik spend time at its sister property, Playa Vik, reachable by horseback, bicycle or moped, where you can learn to surf in the Southern Atlantic. quintessentiallytravel.com
Set between Barnes and Meads bays, the Viceroy Hotel & Resort is a playground for pampering and recreation. With chic suites designed by Kelly Wearstler (each with their own sundecks), plus three heavenly pools, the resort is a sun-seeker’s paradise. At the newly renovated 8,000-square-foot spa, try Heaven & Earth for facial and body treatments executed simultaneously by two therapists. If you don’t want to move from your oceanfront chaise, request poolside massage service. For active travelers, the sports pavilion includes a basketball court, rock-climbing wall, mini golf, putting greens, and three championship tennis courts. Sailors can participate in the island’s national sport with the Anguilla Sailing Association’s fleet of eight Optimists, four Vanguard 420s, as well as Lasers and Hobie Cats. Kids’ club and teen programs keep your children well entertained. Special events include an island-style epicurean weekend, when the Viceroy brings in noted chefs for a celebration of British West Indies cuisine. viceroyhotelsandresorts.com
3. Grace Bay Beach, Turks & Caicos
Often named the number-one beach in the Caribbean, Grace Bay’s powdery sand extends for twelve miles along turquoise waters that cover the world’s third largest reef. A prime location for a family getaway, Somerset on Grace Bay blends the comforts of villa living with the amenities of a larger resort. Each villa is beautifully decorated and appointed with a gourmet kitchen, flat-screen TVs and iPod docking stations. Enjoy pools lined with LEED-certified glass tiles from Spain that absorb sunlight and glow in the dark, indulge in a massage in your living room, or try stand-up paddle boarding. Bonus: A kids’ club dinner gives parents the chance for a romantic meal at O’Soleil. thesomerset.com
For more travel destinations, please pick up the May/June issue at your local newsstand.