Aperitif on the beach at sunset, in Grand Cayman, is priceless

Weekend getaway, close by, Miami Beach. Just pack a bathing suit and go.

Rafting in the Rio Paquare, Costa Rica was an exhilirating, heart thumping experience

Quechua ladies of Peru

These two teenagers fighting were so amazingly close you could hear their tusks clanking

"Positano, like Capri is more of a way of life than a tourist destination.  La Marina Grande is the small main beach."

Traditionally, I have taken my family to the Cayman Islands for an annual retreat: just when we’ve had enough of New York winters, often in February, we will fly south and hit the immaculate seven-mile beach in Grand Cayman for some sunshine.   This year, the villa we usually rent was unavailable, which got us to thinking about a nearby resort we had often passed while walking up and down the beach: Casa Caribe. We loved the look of its screened-in porches, something that our villa was lacking—which meant fighting mosquitoes at certain times of the day and definitely eating dinner inside when they were at their fiercest.   When I called Casa Caribe, Sandra answered the phone—Sandra who had long been the manager at the other villa. This was a very good sign. And, indeed, we were very pleased overall with our stay at Casa Caribe. We rented unit #6, a three-bedroom oceanfront villa, which was roomy, comfortable, and well equipped. We found the...
After last year’s trip to Japan, my grandson wanted a family trip with lots of action. I found one in the National Geographic Adventures booklet: nine days of kayaking, hiking, white water rafting, and zip lining on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. It was for the intrepid traveller but no experience was necessary. So I packed up my creaky bones and got ready to immerse myself in a unique adventure. We were greeted at San Jose airport and driven half an hour to a hotel set amid tropical gardens high above the city, the Xandari Resort. http://www.xandari.com/colorscapes.html We had time to walk in the garden and take a dip in one of the two swimming pools before dinner. The hotel overlooks the lights of San Jose in the evening. (Meals in most of the hotels throughout the trip were served family style for breakfast and lunch; at dinner we chose from a menu. We had enormous breakfasts everywhere, often starting with quinoa granola, yogurt, fresh fruit salad, freshly squeezed...
According to everyone we met in Lima, it never rains there, though the city is quite green with many lush gardens. At the end of August, winter in Peru, it was cloudy, misty, and cool during the day, 60-65 degrees, perfect weather for walking. Our private guide, Mariela, took us to the historical center of Lima, the Plaza de Armas, to see its colonial buildings and to the San Francisco Monastery, which boasts intriguing catacombs that date to the early 1800s. We had lunch at the Cala Restaurant, high on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, specializing in contemporary seafood dishes, and watched the surfers and hang gliders during our meal.     The national drink, the Pisco Sour, and dish, ceviche, are for those with a strong stomach: both depend on a lot of lime juice. Pisco, the liquor, is similar to Italian Grappa, an eau-de-vie made from grapes, and the drink mixes it and lime juice with sugar and egg white to make a frothy, sweet-and-sour concoction....
After a quick 2 1/2-hour flight from La Guardia and a 25-minute taxi ride, we arrived at a little piece of heaven, 1Hotels South Beach on Collins Avenue and 23rd Street. The hotel was just weeks old when we visited and so taxi drivers knew it as the former Gansevoort—that said, you’d never recognize it as such. As one enters the lobby the first thing one senses is the wonderful aroma of wood; my daughter kept looking around for the scented candles but the smell is natural, a byproduct of the building materials used in the hotel’s design. In fact, we discovered that much of the ash wood came from a forest in Colorado that had succumbed to a beetle infestation. The 1Hotels company bought the dead trees and replanted the forest. Eco-friendly, recycled materials are everywhere, yet the result is serene, elegant, fresh, and natural; no one is roughing it here.  After a quick check in, we went to our rooms, one overlooking the city with two queen beds and the...