Chances are you have a few images of the BVI’s or the British Virgin Islands in your mind, and those visions probably include turquoise sea waters, white sand beaches, and enchanting islands dotting the setting. That makes sense because there are 60 islands in the archipelago and it has become one of the world’s hottest areas for sailing, racing boats, and water sports of all kinds. It is also growing increasingly famous for its cuisine, and its amazingly safe waters. It has a dazzling nightlife and beach party scene, and yet there is so much more to see and do while visiting the BVIs.

The Top Destination: The Baths

While traveling to the BVIs, it is fair to say that your experience is incomplete without a visit to The Baths. As the Lonely Planet website describes them, they are a “collection of sky-high boulders marks a national park and the BVI’s most popular attraction. The rocks – volcanic-lava leftovers from some 70 million years ago – form a series of grottoes that flood with seawater. The area makes for unique swimming and snorkeling, but the coolest part is the trail through the ‘Caves’ to Devil’s Bay. During the 20-minute trek, you’ll clamber over boulders, slosh through tidal pools, squeeze into impossibly narrow passages, then drop onto a sugar-sand beach.

There are many different tours and experiences that feature a visit to The Baths, but keep in mind that the area is often very busy. Those in the know to arrive before 9 AM, and often aim for a sunrise or sunset hour to enjoy the place to themselves and experience the natural beauty without the crowds. The Baths is actually well-equipped if you plan on spending the day, and there are baths with showering facilities, snorkeling rental proprietors, and a snack hut.

As another travel enthusiast says of the BVIs and its natural sites, just like “The Baths, Anegada is famed for its contrasting geological history…” and a sail to this island off the coast is another of those must-do activities.

Take a Sail to Anegada Island

That same travel expert explains that instead of “volcanos or granite erosion, it was coral that raised this small cay above the Caribbean swells millions of years ago, giving it a curiously flat appearance – with a high point less than 10 meters above sea level… Thanks to the low-lying topography, Anegada also comes ringed with one of the most diverse and interesting reefs in the region: Horseshoe Reef.”

The US News report on Anegada Island says that it is a dream for divers thanks to its “more than 300 wrecks to dive to and explore, matched by silvery sand beaches and flocks … of flamingos. Anegada is also known as the ‘Drowned Island’ because its highest point is just 28 feet above sea level.” Regular ferries transfer travelers from the Road Town dock to the island.

Some enthusiasts say that spending a night is the ideal way to experience the island. As one explained, “With an hour-long ferry ride separating the island and its small population from the main islands, Anegada feels spacious, wild, and distant. On a clear night, you’ll struggle to find a piece of sky not sparkling with stars.

The island offers beaches, flamingos, an iguana sanctuary that’s free to visit, and a population of wild cows that almost outnumber the people…Because Anegada is the most distant of all the British Virgin Islands, make sure to spend at least one full day and one night to enjoy all it has to offer.”

And there are some options for overnight accommodations.

Diving in the Rhone National Maritime Park

While the Anegada Island area and Horseshoe Reef are home to over 300 wrecks, the most famous wreck in the BVIs actually became a Marine Park. The Rhone National Marine park takes its name from the RMS Rhone, which one expert says “is one of the premier shipwrecks to explore. The vessel sailed for the last time on Oct. 19, 1867, and sank near Salt Island during a Category 3 hurricane.”

Since then, the sunken Royal Mail Ship has been “overgrown by seaweeds and sponges and become a home for a kaleidoscope of marine life…In 1980, the whole area became a protected reserve, and today it’s the top choice for SCUBA divers hitting the archipelago, with swim-throughs of the once-great vessel and much more on the menu,” according to one expert.

It is noted as a good option for intermediate and more advanced divers, though there are definitely areas ideal for the novice divers, too.

It is half of the way between Salt Island and Dead Chest Island and though there are regular boat tours departing daily, it is also fun to hire a private tour or dive trip. You can see the bow of the ship from the surface, but it takes a dive of roughly 90 feet to see the, mostly, intact vessel.

And while these are certainly must-do activities during your next visit to the BVIs, don’t forget to take a day hike through Gorda Peak National Park and see all of the BVIs in one panoramic perspective. It is a relatively easy hike, and two strong paths make it simple to navigate on your own. There are also spots like charming Soper’s Hole that is a shopping and watersports hub right along the edge of a marina, the Bubbly Pool at the island of Jost Van Dyke is worth scouting out, and of course, there is all of the dining. If you are eager to combine views with iconic food, Hog Heaven on Virgin Gorda ranks as a must-try location. The Sunny Cribbee Spice Shop and Art Gallery is also a must where spices are readily available.

Plenty to see, do and enjoy in the BVIs mean your upcoming visit is sure to be as busy or laid back as you desire, and you now have a good list of the best activities to plan when you are tired of enjoying the natural beauty of the beaches and flawless seas.

As the travel experts at Culture Trip say, the British Virgin Islands or BVIs are “a tropical paradise and a travel destination steeped in glitz and glamor,” and those who have already visited know that the islands are packed with fantastic dining options. Ranging from high-end eateries to beach shacks, they all feature unforgettable flavors that emphasize the local cuisine as well as the wide variety of cultures that have passed through the area.


It is fair to say that the tagline for the restaurant, Cocomaya, says it all: “restaurant, bar, lounge, beach.” It is an authentic beachfront eatery that has booths and seating directly on the sand. It is Virgin Gorda’s newest offering and blends elegance with beach chic. As the website for the restaurant explains, visitors will want to try the “signature cocktails in our open-air bar, or drink them right on the sand!  Enjoy an exotic blend of Asian and Latin cuisines with creative twists such as: Spicy Calamari Salad and our Tempura Shrimp Lettuce Wraps; or try our Sushi, including our famous CocoMaya roll.  Follow this with Crispy Aromatic Duck, Steak, and much more.”

The travel enthusiasts at Forbes say a bit more about it, describing its design as “chic” and the menu as a good balance of shared places and heartier fare that includes grilled steaks and Korean rice cakes. There is an extensive wine list as well as the restaurant’s signature “Cojito”.

Reservations are essential because the restaurant is frequently busy and those who want the beach seating will have to book it well in advance.

The Tents of Tortola

According to the travel enthusiasts of Afar, there “are more flavors to be found in the BVI than there are islands, where freshly caught seafood and locally grown produce are served up in delicious fusions of Spanish, East Indian, African, French, Dutch, and English cuisines. Must-tries in the BVI include johnnycakes, fish and fungi (fried fish with cornmeal and okra), and the aptly named Painkiller (a fruity and frozen dark rum cocktail).” And, the Tortola area is noted for its many roadside eateries (including tents and trucks) that offer many of these specialties and classics.

Consider that there are lots of “chicken buses” and roadside BBQ stands that locals and travelers enjoy. Some of the most recent favorites include:

·       It Bang Good – Often found near the Village Cay Marina it specializes in barbecue and pork, and stays open until around 8 PM, offering hearty sides and everything from ribs to dove pork.
·       Dareo’s –  This is usually found “at the edge of the Road Town Softball Field and across the street from Elmore Stout High School,” where locals and travelers come to savor the delicious dishes from this roadside tent. Specializing in chicken and ribs, it is noted for the deliciousness of its BBQ sauce.
·       Panche’s – This is a long-standing option that stays open until late into the evenings. It has classics like fried chicken and French Fries, but it also has delicious fish dishes and more.
·       The Pit – This is a chicken bus that is open only two nights a week and parks near the Roundabout area. It serves up grilled lobster, BBQ and more.
·       Nito’s – Among the first chicken buses, it is in Baugher’s Bay and is famous as a local destination for authentic island comfort food

And as those experts in Afar also note, you can drive or explore the “main road from Sea Cows Bay to Road Town and you’ll come across numerous roadside tents selling everything from fresh fish to local fruits. The best stands are located close to Carrot Bay, where you can find steaming pockets of fish cooked in foil and fresh-squeezed mango or guava juice.”

In addition to those already noted, some of the other “must try” eateries in the BVIs include, Deadman’s Beach Bar and Grill on Peter Island, Hog Heaven, the Sugar Mill Restaurant, the BananaKeet Café, Dove Restaurant and Wine Bar and the Pavilion at Little Dix Bay.

If an elegant evening meal is what you seek, Brandywine Estate is a famous spot with great views and delicious dishes,  and at the opposite end of the spectrum is Island Roods with its laid-back vibe and delicious lunches.

Dining in the British Virgin Islands is an essential part of a fun and memorable trip and you now have a long list of good options to consider.

You are planning your upcoming getaway to the Maldives, and you might be surprised to discover that only a few of your family, friends or acquaintances are clear about just where the Maldives are located and what you can do during a stay. As the experts at Forbes explained, it is an area “tucked away from the turquoise azure of the Maldives lies a thriving culture, decadent food, and experiences that will please even the most discerning traveler.” And they make it clear that there is more to do than simply save a lot of time on the sparkling white sands.

While that is most certainly a must-do activity, there are many other things you will want to try while in this stunning and impossibly beautiful area. After all, with 26 atolls and thousands of islands, it is an adventurer’s paradise. So, let’s look at three that should appear on any to-do list for a traveler to the region.

Island Hopping

You just learned that there are thousands of islands in the Maldives, and you can probably guess that not all of them are settled heavily or developed. However, one of the most exciting and commonly recommended activities is to do some island hopping.

As one expert explained, “there is a large settlement in the Maldives and many locals live and work on the islands. If you stay at a private island in the Maldives, make sure to book an excursion to visit the nearby communities.”

Another noted that until recently travelers could only “stay on the resort islands. Now, following an initiative that was launched by ex-President Nasheed, non-resort islands can now accept tourists and islanders are opening guesthouses where they can stay.”

The options include Kaafu Atoll, which can be reached by the Villingili Ferry. You can also go from Fulidhoo to the Vaavu Atoll, which is described as a “two-hour ferry trip across a sparkling sea from Maafushi”. You can also go from Thinadoo Island to Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, which is also reachable via the ferry. Mule Island and Naalaafushee are both popular areas on island-hopping adventures.

And while sailing or even trying to fly from spot to spot may be your idea of fun, many also want to enjoy a long list of the water sports so easily enjoyed in the pristine waters surrounding the region.

Maldivian Water Sports

Ask travel experts about the water sports in the Maldives and you will hear a list that includes:
·       Diving – It happens to be one of the world’s top diving destinations.
·       Snorkeling – For those who prefer to avoid the need for certification and specialized gear, snorkeling is as rewarding and you can encounter sea turtles, eels, seahorses, lobsters, crabs, and so many other natives. Don’t forget to also keep an eye out for dolphins whether snorkeling or doing other water sports.
·       Surfing – In addition to its status as a premier diving and snorkeling spot, it is also a world-class surfing destination. Some of the world’s top surfers make a point of traveling to the Maldives for competitions as well as flawless conditions for amateurs to experts.
·       Paddle Boarding – With the glass-like and calm waters all around, it is the ideal spot to master the art of stand up paddleboarding
·       Other options include kayaking, windsurfing, canoeing, and more.

You can also enjoy a dhoni sunset cruise, which is a traditional Maldivian sailing vessel that is commonly hired to go on dolphin watching trips as well as ultra-romantic sunset cruises. And though it is not technically a water sport, time spent on the beaches alongside the waters is a must.

As US News said of this, “vacationers head to the Maldives solely to relax on the beach – and for good reason. The sugar-white sand and striking blue water make for the perfect beach vacation backdrop. Most island resorts offer their own private stretches of sand, complete with lounge chairs and umbrellas.” Remember, though that wearing revealing clothing is illegal on most of the public beaches due to the country’s religious code. That means beaches on or near the resort are best for sunbathing.

Balinese Massage

Because so many travelers do stay at resorts while visiting the Maldives, it is much easier to find spa treatments, including Balinese massage. This is a full body and deep tissue massage that combines acupressure, stretching, aromatherapy and circulatory stimulation to create a sense of deep relaxation and calm.

One of the more commonly booked treatments at resorts are couples’ massages that emphasize Balinese techniques, though having one on your own is also a tremendous “must”. As one expert explained, as “soothing music plays, skilled masseurs rub away the aches and pains from your long flight or day out in the sun…After an hour and a half of luxury, make sure you have nothing else on your to-do list for the day, as you’ll want to relish in relaxation.”

As another expert explained, “Travelers seeking ultimate relaxation should book a spa treatment (or a few) while visiting the Maldives. Many of the resorts in the Maldives offer their own spa on-site…Services range from typical massages and facials to signature options like citrus hydrating body treatments and customized acupuncture and chakra balancing.”

You will also find that the Huvafen Spa is where the only underwater spa and massage treatments are available.

You will also want to give yourself a day or a bit of time in Male, the capital city that is full of lots of fun sites and interesting scenery, and the dynamic Male Fish Market.

No matter what, if you take the advice above and enjoy these activities, your visit to the Maldives will be more unforgettable than you thought possible. Remember too that it is a marvelous spot for dining, and you definitely want to enjoy time in some of the remarkable and innovative restaurants found at the resorts and in the smaller towns.

You might have booked your upcoming visit to the Maldives because of its impossibly beautiful scenery, flawless Indian Ocean waters, and many luxury services and amenities. Maybe it is due to your love of snorkeling in some of the world’s finest conditions or maybe it is because you just want a remarkably peaceful place to kick back and relax. No matter why you decided to travel to the area, and its 26 atolls and 1,000+ islands, you will also want to indulge in the amazing restaurants found there.

As an article in CNN Travel explained, “the country punches well above its travel weight when it comes to culinary choices, thanks to exclusive resorts where celebrity chefs craft some of the world’s finest and most expensive ingredients — as well as local produce — into show-stopping plates.”

Does it mean that it is only the resorts where world-class dining is found? No, not at all, there are many different cafes and restaurants outside of the luxurious resorts. We’ll explore as many of the options as we can, but first, want to recommend those three premium dining options for travelers heading to the Maldives.

Four Seasons Maldives Dining

The Four Seasons resorts in the Maldives is known as the Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, and it is described as an “innovative island sanctuary in the Baa Atoll,” which is one of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve areas. The region surrounding the resort is described as a place where, “tiffany blues, jungle greens and dazzling whites meet innovation, conservation and wellness with equal, vibrant intensity.”

It offers a long list of luxury amenities and services, as well as all kinds of activities. Additionally, there is a long list of dining and drinking options. They include:

·       Blu – This is a light Mediterranean focused restaurant that features daytime dining options created by chef Ciro D’Amico (Blu Bar offers signature cocktails in an appealing setting next to the Blu restaurant)
·       Al Barakat – This is a Middle Eastern-inspired eatery and is situated over the water with indoor and outdoor/rooftop seating. It focuses on dishes from Armenia, Lebanon and Morocco
·       Café Landaa – This is a restaurant made up of four thatch-roofed dining pavilions. It specializes in regional and Asian cuisine and includes a water garden, teppanyaki counter and an open kitchen where meals are prepared in plain sight
·       Fuego Grill – This is a fresh fish restaurant as well as a heartier fare eatery where beachfront grilling is the order of the day
·       Seabar – This is a signature nightclub with DJ, tapas foods, and an amazing over the water setting
·       Shisha Bar – This is at the lower level of Al Barakat and perches just over the water and is open to the sea, where visitors enjoy signature cocktails and Turkish coffees

There is also the poolside bar with drinks and lighter fare (including sandwiches) available throughout the day.

Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort

As this resort’s website explains, it sits “within the crystal waters of Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll,” and offers “complete privacy and intimate luxury.” It has over-water bungalows, a spa, reef adventures, and specializes in Maldivian cuisine.

The dining options include:

·       Blue Salt – This is the resort’s all-day, gourmet restaurant that focuses on local ingredients combined into a European and Asian fusion that emphasizes Maldivian classics. There is a large wine list and menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner, Asian specialties, and a children’s menu.
·       Nala Rah – This is a teppan grill and raw bar that emphasizes high end and elegant dining. There are Japanese whiskey options, a huge wine cellar, sochu, and sake

There is also poolside dining with an emphasis on bistro foods and Asian specialties, and all served in the open air or beneath tiki huts.

Restaurants in Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani

Of course, the two iconic resorts of Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani are packed with dining experiences. At Soneva Fushi, visitors can enjoy Fresh in the Garden with its plant-based dishes served in an open-air, garden setting near the kitchen. There is also Once Upon a Table, with room for eight and which emphasizes table-prepared dishes and specialties. Out of the Blue offers an Indonesian/Vietnamese fusion restaurant as well as “So Hot – a robata grill, josper grill and pizza area; So Guilty – the chocolate and ice cream parlours; and So Cheesy – our cheese room.” So Hands On is a sushi counter run by a three-Michelin starred chef and is also an option.

At Soneva Jani, visitors will love The Crab Shack with its outdoor dining and its amazing drinks, but it is the setting that earned it the “World’s Most Romantic Restaurant,” in year’s past. Guess Who’s Cooking is a surprise menu prepared in a secret location and in cooperation with the chef. So Imaginative has room for 20 and is a wine-inspired meal where tastings and pairings are the emphasis. So Engaging is a chef’s table where dishes are prepared in front of diners.

And for those not eager to remain exclusively at the resorts, the experts recommend:

·       Iberry Café in Hulhumale – A local favorite specializing in fresh ingredients and offering signature juices
·       Jazz Café in Haveeree Hingun – Another local favorite it hosts live music and specializes in “yellow chicken curry, roshi, beef and onion stir fry, and roast chicken with barbecue sauce.”
·       Palace Sichuan – This is in Nooraanee Goalhi and is a communal dining room specializing in Chinese dishes, including “jumbo prawns, beef and whole fish entreés from the Sichuan province of Western China.”
·       Sala Thai – Tucked into a boutique hotel at Buruneege, this restaurant focuses on Asian dishes and its top options include Panang Curry or shrimp in spicy sauce.
·       Seagull Café House – Located in Faradhee Magu, it features Indian, Maldivian and Western cuisine, including classics like fish and chips as well as signature ice cream flavors.

If you are hungry in the Maldives, it is quite likely that it is your own fault, and these restaurants are but a few of the great options.

Most travelers hear the name Punta Cana and think “beaches” and “world-class resorts,” but there is so much more to do in this amazing island destination. Part of the Dominican Republic, and tucked to the far eastern end of the country, it has an impressive array of things to do during a stay. Spas, for example, are a major activity enjoyed by travelers and there are options like the  Six Senses, Dreams Punta Cana, or the Rock Spas to savor. Dining is also a major activity and you can, quite literally, eat in almost every community and find gourmet to traditionally delicious fare. Shopping is another common activity, but outdoor activities really reign supreme. There are fishing and sailing charters, tennis, off-road tours, eco-tourism, 4WD adventures, extreme excursions or activities, horseback riding adventures, camping and safaris, and even nature and wildlife tours.

With this in mind, we’ve done the work to find three of the best things to do when in Punta Cana if you are eager to enjoy memorable experiences. We’ll begin with one of the activities that make the area famous – golfing.

Golf in Punta Cana

Punta Cana is home to two golf courses. They are the Corales Golf Club (18 holes) and La Cana Golf Club’s (27 holes), and each has a long list of enticing amenities and features. Corales has six waterfront holes that include on 500+ yard, par four holes. La Cana has 14 holes along the water and is noted for its use of paspalum grass that survives watering with seawater.

Corales is open to members and guests of the Tortuga Bay and/or Westin, but anyone can book tee times on both by going online in advance and committing to a few tee times.

Golfing is also available at Cocotal Golf and Country Club, the Iberostar Golf Course, Punta Espada Golf Club, and the Hacienda Golf course. Punta Blanca has a golf course and the Lake Barcelo golf course is an option for all. Just try to plan ahead and book tee times in advance of a visit to ensure the best results and ensure time on the greens.

Perhaps golfing is just not your thing and you want something a bit more adventurous? If so, there are quite a few options available.

Zip Line and Cave Swim at Scape Park

Scape Park is located in Cap Cana, just minutes outside of Punta Cana and is, according to its website, able to offer “everything from thrilling and adrenaline-packed adventures to smooth and cultural experiences.”

Two of the experiences that come highly recommended are its zip line activities and its cave swims. The Zip Line Eco Splash adventure lets travelers head out over the canopy of trees in the area. There are twelve possible lines to use and each takes a visitor from a clifftop down to the water.

For those who like things a bit more down to earth, it doesn’t go much farther down to earth than swimming inside of one of the area’s only “cenotes”. A cenote is an entirely natural sinkhole that occurs when the ceiling of a cave collapses. This causes the stone of the ceiling to collapse and crates a freshwater reservoir where groundwater meets seawater, and it can be one of the most magical places imaginable.

The Hoyo Azul cenote in Scape Park is accessible by a series of sturdy walkways and visitors are able to plunge into the crystal clear waters and enjoy what is easily one of the most unforgettable swimming experiences of their lives. The views of the cavern beneath the surface of the water are stunning, and as a full-service site it enables visitors to enjoy towel service and many ways to enter and exit the waters.

Sail to Saona Island and other Boat Tours

Punta Cana is (not surprisingly) home to an array of boat tour adventures and excursions. One of the most popular options is to head to Isla Saona or Saona Island, which is the largest coastal island off the Dominican Republic’s coast. It is around 15 miles long and three wide, and while it is populated, it is home to less than 400 people. It is part of the National Park of the East, and the island is easily one of the most photogenic spots in the world. Swaying palms, glistening white sands (usually empty of people) and those flawless turquoise waters.

Cruises can occur in sailboats, speed boats, and even catamarans. A tour can mean sailing to the island and heading to a beach or a lagoon where snorkeling, diving, swimming, and relaxation are the order of the day. Speed boats take around 40 minutes to reach the island, while a catamaran will require around two hours under sail.

Keep in mind that there are other boat tours and river cruises in the area apart from trips to Saona Island. Catalina Island, Altos de Chavon, Bacardi Island, Juanillo Beach, and many other destinations and sites are also options for day trips and cruises.

Other Activities

There are, naturally, far more than three great things for a visitor to Punta Cana to do, and we also suggest that a trip to Bavaro is in order for its colorful beach huts, and its coral reef. Its beach is noted as one of the most remarkable in the region, and it is a must. There is also Manati Park, which is a popular zoo and dolphin park. Beaches that you should consider “must-see” include Arena Gorda with its amazing white sands and its quiet atmosphere, Macao Beach that has some days ideal for surfing and which is incredibly picturesque and photogenic, and Carretera Cabeza de Toro with its snorkeling and boating facilities.

If you are staying in one of the luxury rentals of the Punta Cana area, it is possible to speak with your concierge to find out about other activities and things to do or have them help you book your tee times, get tickets, and book a cruise or day of sailing.

Located at the far eastern end of the Dominican Republic, Punta Cana is a remarkably good-looking, planned community that is noted for its loveliness, remarkable weather, scenery and a seemingly endless number of things to see and do.

The area is actually comprised of five unique communities, and it is currently a site where three world-class hotels, a huge number of luxury rentals and appealing beach houses, are found. The five communities include Arrecife with its beaches and golf; the upscale residential area of Corales; Hacienda which is tucked into the hills and home to a tennis and fitness center;  Marina where, naturally, the marina area, Eco Park and the area’s only cenote is found; and Tortuga where the La Cana Golf Club and some luxury properties are found.

And dotting them all are amazing restaurants and eateries to enjoy, yet it is Punta Cana Village where a majority of markets, restaurants, and cafes are found. Let’s consider three of the trendiest and hottest dining spots in Punta Cana right now and learn a bit more about their location and setting.

Eating in Punta Cana

As a report by Culture Trip noted, “Punta Cana is a true highlight of the Caribbean region. A holiday in the Dominican Republic would not be complete without a tour of its fantastic restaurants. From high-class venues run by famous chefs to establishments that focus on Asian, French or Mexican cuisine, the resort’s diverse restaurants are not to be missed.” So, by no means should this list be considered the definitive list, and you should try any number of street food, local favorites and other options in addition to these finer dining establishments.

Passion by Martin Berasategui

Located at the  Paradisus Palma Real it is an award-winning restaurant repeatedly selected as a traveler’s and gourmet’s favorite. It is noted for its exotic ingredients and setting as well as its truly innovative signature dishes, all created by the restaurant’s namesake, chef Martin Berasategui. The holder of an unprecedented seven Michelin stars, he has created this restaurant to emphasize Spanish fare.

Opt for a la carte options or a tasting menu, and marvel at the use of local and fresh ingredients and world-class presentation.

La Yola

This AAA Three Diamond Award winner is also within a resort – the Puntacana Resort and Club – and it offers amazing marina views. It takes up the unique setting game a notch by being built on a shipping boat and offering a much less traditional design and décor than the usual gourmet establishment in the region. While Passion by Martin Barasategui focuses on Spanish food, this one emphasizes Mediterranean fare (and especially seafood ingredients) and does so by choosing ingredients more likely to appear in dishes from that region. There are octopus and crab, but also baked tropical lobsters, conch quesadillas, and fajitas prepared with beef and mango.

And if you would prefer something with much less fuss? Then it is to the Bavaro area of Punta Cana you will want to travel because that is where the low-key and incredibly popular Kat’s Corner is found.

Kats Corner

Described by one travel expert as “simple and social,” the restaurant is really an open-air, corner bar that offers up classic American fare in a simple and appealing manner. Visitors can dive into heavy, American-style breakfasts of eggs, bacon and hash browns. They can also opt for breakfast burritos. Later in the day there are classics like burgers and nachos, but drinks are available at all three meals of the day. There are frequent live musical performances and it is a favorite with locals and travelers alike.

The Other Dining Hot Spots

And where else can you go when visiting Punta Cana and craving gourmet or simply delicious foods? The choices can start to feel endless, so we’ve made a brief list of some other spots worthy of some time spent finding them and booking a table.

They include La Palapa, which is located at Eden Rock and offers amazing sea views and fantastic food. It is, in fact, often identified as one of the best eateries in the entire country and it features a rather eclectic blend of dishes that include octopus, lamb, and homemade pasta specialties. There is La Cava, which is the connoisseurs’ choice for its wine list, and its tiny dining space that can accommodate only six at a time and which is easily one of the more exclusive and upscale.

Fans of Asian cuisine will want to head to Zen for its take on Japanese and Chinese classics, and which features the iconic menu items such as miso soup, fried ice cream, and yakimeshi – but done in a distinctly Punta Cana fashion. If Punta Cana classics are desired, the Jellyfish is a traveler’s favorite in the area that specializes in seafood that is as fresh as possible. It is an award-winning eatery that is also deemed one of the most romantic and frequented by couples.

If it is your sweet tooth that requires satisfaction, Las Lenas is a café and bakery that holds strong as one of the premier dining spots in Punta Cana. It is a favorite for locals to gather, but travelers fall in love with the rich and dark coffee, the irresistible cakes, and the classic baked goods that range from tarts and cream puffs to pastries and flans. It also serves breakfast and sandwiches.

Can you eat your way from one end of Punta Cana to the other? It is possible, and we have steered you towards some of the most famous, as well as the lesser-known options.

Once you pay a visit to Grand Cayman, you are likely to plan many return trips. This is because it is an ideal spot for a tropical retreat. Flawless beaches, loads of premium accommodations, many amazing restaurants and bars, and so much to see and do that you could vacation here for many years without running out of adventures and activities.

Just consider the diving alone. This is something that brings enthusiasts from all around the globe, eager to experience the Cayman Trench for themselves. Many also take a helicopter flight above it just to see it from an entirely different perspective. However, there are a few “must-do” activities for anyone visiting, and we’ve outlined three of them below.

Seven Mile Beach Getaway

The beaches of Grand Cayman are legendary for the beauty and even for their amenities. But if you want to just take a shortcut to the finest of them all, a trip to the award-winning Seven Mile Beach is the right choice. As an official visitor’s website explains: “Named one of the Ultimate Beaches in the region by Caribbean Travel + Life, the 4th Best Beach in the Caribbean by Trip Advisor, and the 12th of the best beaches in the world by MSN, Seven Mile Beach is among the many reasons why Cayman is considered the ultimate destination.”

And while that might prove enough for most reading this to make sure to pay a visit, we want to ensure you get the most out of a day or two, or three, at this stunning, white sand location.

It is on the western side of the island and is as popular with world travelers as with locals. It is the setting for some of the island’s most opulent private homes, and yet it is entirely open to the public, ensuring that anyone can enjoy time along its sands.

Many people make a point of just walking the miles of waterfront and paying a visit to one of the scores of restaurants that claim a bit of real estate in this coveted area. There are also lots of beach bars and luxury resorts with dining and drinking options. But, you don’t want to spend your entire time away from the sands and flawless waters. Instead, you will want to consider a Seven Mile Beach getaway that you plan yourself, with the help of a concierge, or as part of a guided tour.

After all, there are many dive shops and you could book time at Seven Mile Beach with a scuba adventure thrown into the mix. Additionally, you might want to consider a guided tour. For example, a traditional Seven Mile Beach Getaway will last around four hours and include a visit to different areas of the beach, time spent on a jet ski (or kayak or paddleboard) in the perfect waters, and perhaps a bit of time below the waves enjoying snorkeling. A guided tour usually also brings visitors to some of the premium areas where beach service (food and drinks) are available.

Because the tours include transportation, you won’t have to rent a car or hire a driver, and all of the gear needed will be available as you arrive at your specific area of the beach. Some even book a tour that includes the beach along with a rum and beer tour.

Rum and Beer Tour

This is a great choice for the food and beverage fans visiting Grand Cayman. This is because rum production began in the Caribbean region, and all of the islands have historic facilities that have been producing the beverage for centuries. There are also several major breweries and distilleries on the islands, including makers of beers and spirits.

There is a huge array of tours that will usually include the island’s sole rum distillery, the Cayman Spirits Company. This is best enjoyed with a professional guide and you definitely want to choose a tour that features a tasting at some point. Why? There are noticeable differences between the different options and a sip of the famous golden rum produced on Grand Cayman may make you a life-long advocate.

You can sip all of the options, including the reserve options, and make a purchase of iconic spirits to take home and enjoy or give as the ultimate gift.

The island has a single brewery, and you get another chance to learn more about the island’s main beers, give them each a taste and purchase a few to bring or ship home.

And after a day spent sipping the delicious beverages produced on the island, it is time to think about some more active excursions, and Grand Cayman has one of the most unique options imaginable.

Cayman Cristal Caves

As one expert indicated, this is a “brand new attraction on Grand Cayman,” and set on the North Side. It has been, astonishingly, privately owned for decades and this is why the caves are so pristine and preserved. Underground and water-filled, they offer guests a view of natural wonder. The caves are full of stalactites and stalagmites showing off an array of different hues and colors. Some areas are dry with openings to the canopy of woodlands above and is something totally unexpected in a place of tropical beauty and outdoor activities.

Visitors must take a guided tour, and will soon appreciate all of the details they learn about the local flora and fauna, the formation of the cafes, and the different environments that they contain! There is a souvenir and gift shop on the premises as well as a popular spot for a quick snack and drink.

NOTE: Many visitors are surprised at the rapid change in temperature and it is a good idea to bring a sweatshirt as you head below and into the cool shade and darkness of the caves.

And you also want to pay a visit to the Cayman Turtle Center, Camana Bay, Starfish Point, the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, and the amazing Mastic Trail to ensure you’ve done some of the most iconic things that Grand Cayman offers.

Isn’t it funny how people think of certain tropical destinations in terms of their amazing beaches, gorgeous sunsets and sunrises, sparkling sea waters, and different activities, but forget that they can also be remarkable dining destinations? The Cayman Islands is one such location and is, as one expert noted, “a vacationer’s dream,” abundant with spectacular restaurants.

Another expert had this to say of it: “With award-winning restaurants and a barefoot island vibe, it’s easy to see why the Cayman Islands is the self-proclaimed Culinary Capital of the Caribbean. Ocean-to-table cuisine and a commitment to sustainability, Grand Cayman, and its sister islands, delight guests with everything from fine dining and food festivals to local joints.”

So, it can be tempting to say “forget the beach and show me the food!” That is what we’ll do as we move forward and identify three of the hottest dining spots as well as noting any local favorites nearby or along the way!

Copper Falls Steakhouse

Noted as a classic steakhouse and fine dining experience, it is also identified as one of the best values in the islands. This is because any entrée is paired (and includes in the price) with a delicious beer or iced martini, lots of tasty side dishes prepared in iconic styles, and features one of six, house-made steak sauces. These include bearnaise, green peppercorn, BBQ, burgundy mushroom, horseradish cream, and the house special.

As the website explains, “From 8-ounce Filet to 30-ounce Porterhouse…steaks are hand-cut and aged 28 days before grilling to perfection. If you fancy something other than steak, we offer scrumptious Rack of Lamb, Center-Cut Pork Chop, succulent chicken and seafood dishes, and several vegetarian options,” and there is also a Prime Rib dinner option two nights a week as well as their popular and notable ribs.

Is that it? No, there is a long list of impressive starters, including a baked brie as well as the house specialty foie gras. There are plenty of soups and salads, and dinners that include something for all. There is an expansive dessert and drinks menu, with the sticky toffee pudding a noted favorite.

Sunshine Grill

The Culture Trip website describes the Sunshine Grill as offering plenty of Caribbean flair, and that it is a “fun, colourful poolside restaurant,” where the must-try options include “award-winning fish tacos with signature sauces, jerk chicken egg rolls, and Asian salad.” It is also TripAdvisor’s top-rated eatery in the Cayman Islands and it is popular for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

A favorite of locals and travelers alike, it offers up Angus hamburgers but is a huge hit for the breakfast crowd thanks to its continental breakfasts (served for free to guests of the hotel in which the restaurant is housed) each day from 6:30 to 9:30 AM. It is noted for the pancakes and the Cuban French Toast, banana oatmeal crème brulee, and its many omelet options.

And if lunch or the afternoon hunger pangs have you craving island cuisine, there are amazing luncheon and poolside snacks. Dinner must include their Havana chicken, which they claim sells out first every evening it is on the menu, and if you don’t make it in time the grilled mahi is always a big hit, too.

At least one artisanal cocktail has to be enjoyed when paying a visit to the Sunshine Grill and their skilled wait staff is able to make suggestions for alcoholic and alcohol-free options, including everything from the local Caybrew beer to mojitos and the house specialty, the Painkiller.

The Lighthouse Restaurant

According to Cayman Goodtaste, the Lighthouse has been “an iconic and much-celebrated restaurant on Grand Cayman…delighting discerning diners for over 26 years.” It emphasizes a nautical theme and provides visitors with one of the most enjoyable seating options possible – a dock-style deck that sits far out over the water and gives amazing views of the nearby lighthouse, the area known as The Breakers, and stunning coastal scenery.

The cuisine emphasizes Italian dishes but dolls them up with a Caribbean twist. There is an impressive wine cellar with more than 150 vintages from around the world. Travelers can enjoy lunch, dinner, and brunch on Sunday.

The dinner menu shows off the chef’s desire to highlight local ingredients and the menu includes a tuna tartare, a signature conch chowder, a stunning King Prawns on Ravioli, and their Signature Dish for Two Grilled Seafood Platter with Caribbean lobster tails, fillets of fresh fish, jumbo prawns, and more!

They also offer up chicken, duck, beef, New Zealand lamb, popular brick oven pizzas, and a long list of signature cocktails – especially their mojitos that use the Cayman’s own Seven Fathoms Rum.

Naturally, there are many other dining options from which to choose during a visit to Grand Cayman or the Cayman Islands in general. Some of the other highly recommended options include:

The Beach House at the Westin Grand Cayman – A recipient of the coveted AAA 4 Diamond Award, it offers some of the best views of Seven Mile Beach and is often associated with “boutique” producers of key ingredients. Their five-course tasting menu is a must for those eager to make the most of a visit

The Lobster Pot – As one might expect, this dock-side restaurant specializes in Cayman-style lobster as well as conch fritters, marinated queen conch and lobster mango salad. Any daily catch dishes will feature only the freshest of local seafood. Their desserts are hugely popular, with a house coconut pie the most coveted of them all.

Morgan’s Seafood – This al fresco eatery gazes out towards Governor’s Creek and is an “ocean-to-table” menu that emphasizes all of the daily catches of the nearby fishing area. Their hottest dishes are their ceviche, their key lime pie, and their jerk burgers. A signature cocktail is also a sure hit with most guests.

There are many other eateries to savor during a visit, and whether it is a beach shack or a fine dining establishment, you are sure to enjoy the freshest ingredients prepared in classic or creative ways.

Many travelers do not know that the area that is now Punta Mita in the Riviera Nayarit area of Mexico was once home to the Huichol people. They believed the region was a place of spiritual renewal. That last bit may come as no surprise if you have visited the area in the past because it is a place of intense tranquility, and its design as a planned community has ensured that it retains much of its natural, pristine beauty and serenity. Some visitors describe the area as feeling a great deal like an island because of the surrounding waters, and that is why so many spend their time doing all kinds of water activities.

What else can you do during a stay? There is endless fishing, an immense number of dining options, lots of bird and wildlife watching, touring the area’s old fishing villages and beachfront town, golfing, and more. Of course, sunbathing and relaxing along the glistening white sands are also good ideas.

However, because water activities reign supreme, we’ll look at some of the most enjoyable among them.

Water Sports for Punta Mita Travelers

A visit to Punta Mita is the perfect time to learn all about the different water sports that might appear on your bucket list or wish list of skills to develop. This is because it is home to some of the world’s best scuba diving locations and schools. There are also snorkeling options and expeditions that won’t require any sort of training or certification, but which let you enjoy underwater views of the wildlife all around. There are even underwater cave diving opportunities for the more advanced.

Surfing is a possibility in the Punta Mita area, and the coast is known for its good waves. You can book guided boat tours to the regions where the best are found, or just tour the local beaches and discover them for yourself. Some of the top locations include La Lancha and El Faro (experienced surfers only) and the breaks at El Anclote are noted for their safety and are good for the novice.

Golf for Punta Mita Travelers

Golfing is easily one of the most common activities that travelers to the area intend to do during or even throughout their entire stay. Punta Mita is home to some of the world’s top brand names in resorts (including St. Regis and Four Seasons) and these institutions also pride themselves on their world-class golf.

In fact, the Four Seasons Punta Mita is home to one of the most coveted options for golf – the Bahia golf course. It was designed by, Jack Nicklaus, and stretches out along the coastline where golfers enjoy stunning views of Bahia de Banderas. It also features amazing water features and lakes. Bahia is an 18-hole course with a par 72. It has a 74 rating and features more than 7k in yardage. There is a pro shop, driving range and putting green here, too.

Yet, it is one of two on the grounds, and the other is the Punta Mita Pacifico course. This too was designed by Jack Nicklaus, and it provides players with an 18 hole course that is par 72. Sprawling over more than 200 acres and offering stunning views of the Sierra Madre Mountains and the famed Riviera Nayarit on the other, it is a must.

And as you gaze out at the sea views, you may wonder if there is something out at sea that could give you a unique experience of the area. The good news is that there is something quite remarkable just offshore.

Las Marietas Eco Discovery

The Marieta Islands are part of the Marietas National park and they offer some truly unforgettable views and experiences. There are many vendors offering day trips in which travelers get to enjoy some snorkeling, boating, and wildlife viewing. The Bay of Banderas is part of the experience, and it is a natural and protected sanctuary for the creatures calling it home. During the winter months, it is not at all unusual for travelers to see Humpback whales in the warm and shallow waters, and dolphins are a constant sight, too.

Travelers may choose a slow-moving catamaran tour or a much faster motorboat. It is a good idea to think about the sightseeing and opt for a tour that lets you take in the archways, caverns, and majesty of the setting. This might mean seeking out a tour provide with scuba diving options, snorkeling excursions or sea kayaking once you reach the islands. This is the one sure way to get a good look at the many colorful fish, the sea turtles, and even the giant manta rays that appear in the area. There is also the famous Hidden Beach or Lover’s Beach and you’ll want to be certain that your day trip out to the Marietas includes that highlight.

The Marietas Eco Discovery does all of this, and more and enables almost anyone to enjoy a day spent on the waters and in the area of the amazing Marietas Islands.

There are many other things to do while visiting Punta Mita. For example, you might want to see mangrove swamps for yourself and book a tour of the jungle nearby. You can enjoy remarkable hiking in such spots as Monkey Mountain and enjoy amazing views from the top. This is best done with a guide because there are some rope skills needed! A day trip to charming Sayulita can be fun and allow travelers to get some shopping done, take in some unique art, dine on local street food, shop in art galleries and even spend time at the beach.

If you have booked one of theluxury rentals in the area, get in touch with your concierge to find out more about the activities above or ask about other options that are in line with your goals or interests.

Ask the leading experts in luxury travel about Punta Mita and they are likely to shake their head with a knowing smile. After all, the Forbes travel expert said that “few places in the world do world-class service and aesthetic bliss as they do in Punta Mita.”

After all, Punta Mita is part of a private peninsula in the Riviera Nayarit, and is (as that same expert said), “the type of place where heavenly dreams of idyllic tropical getaways turn to reality.” It is home to two Jack Nicklaus Signature golf courses, a world-class tennis center, 15 premier residential communities, and home to two of the world’s most luxurious hotel brands: Four Seasons and St. Regis. It attracts the jet-set as well as the rich and famous and it is a consistently award-winning area for its beautiful design and facilities.

Punta Mita is a planned community that has been carefully designed by some of the leading experts in the world, and because of that, it has retained a sense of natural beauty and peace that very few developed areas can manage to keep. The landscape has been preserved, and yet many homes and other sites are tucked right into the scenery. This includes spaces where seaside dining, ocean sports, and waterfront clubs are found.

Little wonder, then, that it should also be home to a long list of amazing eateries.

The Sea and Its Bounty

Punta Mita is still a fishing village and this means that seafood is often a central ingredient in many dishes found in the array of restaurants. And our top recommendation is one such establishment. Tuna Blanca, as one food and travel expert explains, offers “showstopping Mexican haute cuisine, featuring organic produce, fresh-caught fish, and seasonal dishes. Owned by rock star chef Thierry Blouet, their rich menu features contemporary recipes highlighting local ingredients alongside elevated versions of traditional fare.”

Diners are encouraged to try the shrimp temazcal with flaming raicilla. There is also the house ceviche that takes the unusual step of using octopus as a main ingredient. The menu also features a five-stroke menu with options like Blue Bay Tuna Toast or Chef Thierry Prawns and Pumpkin Cream. There are milk tacos, and an array of amazing desserts like the fondant de cajeta which includes walnut crumble, banana ice cream and caramelized fruit.

As the restaurant’s website explains, it is “focused on seafood and Mexican style, brings fresh seasonal ingredients from the fisheries and from the Nayarit regional farms of Mexico to its table.”

If this idea appeals to you, then you also want to try another, more laid-back option known as Si Senor.

Si Senor

Many visitors to Punta Mita are eager to leave the resorts behind and head out to find any local favorites or unique restaurants with a more casual feel. Si Senor is that, and one reviewer noted that it is “funky, atmospheric and all about the fresh fish,” and then went on to say that travelers will want to “have your camera ready because the whole restaurant has a fun, show-like atmosphere and delicious Mexican cuisine and very strong margaritas.”

The margaritas are a signature item and made right at the table, with waiters squeezing lime juice and telling diners to “say when” as the tequila pours. Made with the tequila of choice selected by the diner, they are a popular part of dining here. The guacamole and salsa are the same and are made table-side and accompanied by the restaurant’s authentic totopos.

Menu options also include classic Oaxaquenos tamales, Peruvian ceviche, catch of the day, and much more. There are Chef’s Specialities, and these can include a seafood pozole, Puerto Nuevo lobster, vacio steak, and more.

Street Food

And if you are eager to have a more authentic, local dining experience (and with the fresh ingredients on hand every day, you really must try at least one local restaurant), the many street restaurants or street food vendors are a great choice. Here you can enjoy authentic tacos, pozole, and sopes. Consistently ranking as one of the best of the best is Norma’s Tacos. As one travel writer said of them, the “single best spot in Punta de Mita for authentic tacos, pozole, and sopes,” is Norma’s. Found in the Emiliano Zapato neighborhood, it is a warm and welcoming spot where you can bring your own beer and then dive into the specialties of the house. Pozole is a real treat but made only on weekends, and a must-try beverage is the agua de avena, which is made from oatmeal and has a sweet flavor similar to horchata.

The Naef Café is a more upscale version, but serves two meals daily and is housed in a courtyard space offering dishes made from the chickens (owned by the chef) who are kept nearby. Try the egg dishes, of course, but don’t miss the homemade bread and ice cream. It is also noted as being the best option for coffee in the entire area.

Tacos and Papas is another good choice and serves all of the classics that are made according to the diner’s preference of chicken, beef or vegetables. It is in the Calle Pescadores area. Mexique is another option found “about a 10-minute drive from the town’s center, on an organic garden, within a thatched-roof hut.” The menu changes daily and is made based on the fresh ingredients in the garden. It is a true farm to table option and uses classic Mexican dishes with a Thai kick.

Just like many areas designed to offer premier travel experiences, Punta Mita is a foodie’s paradise. Whether you opt for fine dining or street food, you won’t be disappointed.