First, we are grateful to have made it to the middle of 2020. We could not start this post without first acknowledging that. We personally go by the “glass is half full” mantra and that perspective along with a big serving of gratitude helped us make it through these past several months.
Second, with countries announcing dates they expect to welcome visitors and even their citizens who were stranded abroad, we decided to compile a list of places to visit and things to do when you arrive. We hope one of these post-quarantine destinations inspire you to take off.
1. Go on a Guided Bike Tour in Jamaica’s Blue Mountains
With Jamaica opening its borders on June 15, why not make it a “beach and bike” experience? Blue Mountain Bicycle Tours lets you explore Jamaica’s majestic Blue Mountains–the highest mountain range in the English-speaking Caribbean and the source of the world renowned Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. Guided tours include a delicious Jamaican brunch, education about the indigenous herbs and plants, a chance to enjoy refreshing clear waterfalls, and more. Contact them to book a tour.
Visit this page to find local restaurants and other things to do in Jamaica.
2. Go on a Explorer Tour in Cala Figuera, Mallorca
Mallorca is the largest of the four Balearic Islands and it is located on the eastern coast of Spain in the Mediterranean Sea. If you want a serene, authentically Mallorcan experience away from the tourist crowds, consider Cala Figuera on the southern part of the island. With a number of restaurants, bars, and hostels in the area, finding a place to stay and get your fill should be straightforward.
Check out Redstar Tours for their Nature Tour or Explorer Tour. Guided boat tours take you through the unique rock formation of Es Pontás, you can explore caves, and swim in the beautiful clear waters of Caló d’ Es Moro or S’Almunia. Tours can be via inflatable boats or Mallorcan llauts (trawl fishing vessels). Another way to enjoy the scenery is to rent a paddle surf board or kayak.
3. Take in the French Heritage Museum in Charlotte Amalie, U.S. Virgin Islands
The U.S. Virgin Islands’ capital city of Charlotte Amalie on the island of St. Thomas is known for the graceful hills that are perfect for enjoying panoramic views of the Charlotte Amalie Cruise Port on the island’s southern end, Magen’s Bay on the north, and more.
St. Thomas was once home to Danish settlers in the 17th century. Africans were also brought to the island during that period. Records also show that trade and migration of French men who settled on the island St. Barth’s began in the 19th century. Many decided to settle in St. Thomas to create what is now known as Frenchtown or Carénage, a village in Charlotte Amalie.
With over 275 artifacts detailing the history of French settlers from St. Barths, the French Heritage Museum honors the history of the settlers with collections featuring traditional instruments, arts and crafts, photos and more. Contact the museum to get updates on pre-scheduled events such as French Heritage Week and Bastille Day.
4. Lace Up for a Hike in Kaua’i
With some of the most stunning landscapes, why not take a guided hike with a local professional guide with Kaua’i Hiking Adventures? They offer two options for you to explore the flora and terrain of this beautiful island during the Full-Day Kaua’i Adventure. Other options include the Short and Sweet Adventure, the Half-Day Kaua’i Adventure, Over-The-Top Kaua’i Adventure and even a Multi-Day Hiking Excursion. Now’s the time to find flight deals to Kaua’i.
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5. Explore an Underwater Sculpture Park in Grenada
Dubbed the Spice Isle because of its status as a top producer of nutmeg, allspice (pimento), cloves, mace and other spices, Grenada is a small Caribbean island with a population of over 112,000 people. The government’s plan is to reopen its borders on June 30.
While in Grenada, you can book a tour to explore the Molinere Bay Underwater Sculpture Park.
This is the first of Jason deCaires Taylor’s underwater gardens and one of National Geographic’s 25 Wonders of the World. You can see it when scuba diving, snorkeling and from glass bottom boats that depart from Grenada’s capital, St. Georges, and from Grand Anse.
The underwater park features 75 underwater sculptures with names such as Vicissitudes, The Nutmeg Princess, The Correspondent, Sienna, and Mermaid. The coolest thing about this park may be that the pH neutral cement allows coral polyps to attach themselves–creating new coral habitat. The park is over 800 square meters and attract divers away from nearby fragile coral reefs.
Grenada Seafaris offers tours of Molinere Bay Underwater Sculpture Park. During their award-winning and well-reviewed snorkeling tours, you’ll be accompanied by a guide who will educate you on the country’s rich history, culture, and more. Contact them to book a tour.
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6. Take a Hands-on Cheese Making Course in Mykonos
If you’re a fan of Kopanisti or Niari cheeses or if you’ve never had the pleasure of savoring their unique flavors, you can learn the techniques used by traditional Greek cheesemakers on your next trip to Mykonos.
Located just 10 minutes from Mykonos Town, Mykonos Farmers are local cheesemakers who specialize in Mykonian cheese, yogurt, and butter. Hewed to the practice of traditional Greek cheese making without packaged starters, additives and chemicals, Mykonos Farmers invites visitors to its sustainably designed production facilities (by reservation, of course) and extends the learning experience through 30-minute to two-hour hands-on communal cooking courses designed to accommodate the novice and the experienced cook.
Be sure to contact Mykonos Farmers to reserve your space in an upcoming cooking class.
7. Go Zip Lining near El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is dotted with all manner of geographical features including the only tropical forest in the U.S. National Park System–El Yunque National Rainforest.
Your three-hour adventure tour with Yunque Ziplining starts in a secluded rainforest with stunning views of El Yunque Rainforest. Six ziplines, exciting rappelling (optional), and an educational hike are included in the experience. The ziplines are from 100 – 800 feet long and the easy rock rappel is 40-feet high.
The Yunque Ziplining Base Camp area is in Luquillo so if you’re staying in San Juan, you can request transportation to base camp for an additional cost. Uber or taxi is also available. Be sure to double check their website for weight and height restrictions and any other changes to their tours.
8. Try Kayaking in Coron, Philippines
Coron is a municipality in the province of Palawan and it is one of the over 7,600 islands in The Philippines. The island is a two-hour flight from the Palawan mainland, but having been called the most beautiful island in the world by many travel aficionados, getting there may be worth it. In addition to stunning natural beauty, it is also a cultural gem with two World Heritage Sites, a National Treasure Site, and “one of the Seven Wonders of Nature.”
Coron resumed tourism-based activities for some local travelers on June 6 and extended their welcome to other nearby islands on June 12. The date they will allow international travelers is expected to be in September. So, get ready to book your flight to Busuanga Airport (Francisco B Reyes Airport).
While you’re in Coron, try the full day Calamian Snorkel & Sea Safari with one of the first adventure tour companies in The Philippines. Tribal Adventures is a premier tour company that specializes in water kayaking, rafting, sea kayaking and photojournalism expeditions. The company has three adventure “hubs” in the Phililppines–Panay, Palawan and Sagada and customizes the experience to suit its customers needs, interests and taste for adventure. We also love that Tribal Adventures integrates information about the country’s tribal heritage in its tours. Visit their site to learn more.
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9. Savor Nature’s Bounty in St. Lucia
St. Lucia started welcoming visitors to the island on June 4 and recently the government shortened the nightly curfew and allows social gatherings.
Its iconic Pitons are a feast for the eyes. These twin peaks–Gros Piton and Petit Piton–are seated just between the towns of Soufrière and Choiseul.
Guided hikes of the 2,619-foot Gros Piton are often described as a strenuous but life-changing experience. As you climb you will get a bird’s eye view of a beach, village, and even the island of St. Vincent. Once you reach its peak you get a panoramic view of the island and even other nearby islands such as Martinique and Dominica.
If you’re up to the 4-5 hour hike, Real St. Lucia Tours can guide you along the way. On your way up, the local guide will point out local plants and animals, ancient caves, and leftovers of plantations and sugar mills. Once you’re halfway you can take a break to take in the views of Petit Piton. To book this tour, visit their website.
Our team created this list to inspire your first culturally-immersive, post-quarantine trip. We looked for tours that may have restrictions on the number of participants but would be just as enjoyable. If there are other ways to enjoy the islands we recommended, drop us a note.