Botánika Osa Pensinsula is like a homage to planet earth.
It’s a brand-new eco-resort in Costa Rica, situated where stunning rainforest meets an idyllic stretch of coastline that is more or less private except for the biota that also call this part of the world home.
Located right next to Corcovado National Park and Golfo Dulce, thriving reptile, marine and wildlife hubs respectively, the resort could not be better placed for animal lovers.
When you’re done watching those beasts roam around their habitats, you can roam the stunning expanses of the resort; be it the lagoon-style pool, world class restaurants or jungle-like luxury of your room or villa.
If you manage to round up a few of your best mates for a week at Oasis Kalua in Colombia, your life has surely peaked.
Kalua is a four-bedroom, thatched roof, tropical paradise surrounded on all sides by the Caribbean Sea, about an hour by boat from Cartagena. By day you’ll be faced with such tough decisions as whether to lounge in the cabana or on one of the many sunbathing decks, and whether to swim in the pool or the crystal-clear sea. By night, its coronas, Piña Coladas and dancing in your own private Casa de Fiesta. Salud!
A circle of children hold hands in eerie stillness while nearby, a man sitting at a desk taps blankly at his typewriter.
This surreal world lies beneath the calm waters of Grenada’s Molinere Bay where are number of life-size figures made mainly from concrete sit at the bottom of the Caribbean Sea, nibbled by tropical fish.
Hurricane Ivan swept through the tiny Caribbean island of Grenada in 2004 tearing up trees, houses – in fact, anything that stood in its path. The destruction occurred underwater too. The coral surrounding the island that had made it so appealing to snorkellers and divers was also severely damaged.
Killing two birds with one stone, sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor installed a series of underwater sculptures which also act as artificial reeds on which marine life can develop. They have attracted tourists armed with snorkels and diving gear, easing pressure on other reefs in the area, and have also drawn a wide range of marine life back to these waters.
The sculpture park continues to grow, with artists continuing to add their own work to the surreal space.
Prior to 2017, Saba Rock had developed a reputation as a famous island getaway for celebrities and the like.
And while the Hurricane Irma caused major destruction across the British Virgin Islands, Saba Rock included, it is now back and open for business.
The redesigned Rock has a contemporary aesthetic, with a fresh take on the destination’s nautical lifestyle and features. There are just seven guestrooms, and two suites designed as a chic retreat that plays up the island’s reputation as a kiteboarding and sailing destination.
The island also has an expansive, open-air restaurant, lounge, two very epic-looking bars (including a rooftop sunset bar), spa room, and retail space, that also serves as a museum with artefacts from nearby shipwrecks.
Made famous by diving pioneer Bert Kilbride in the 1960s, we reckon the new Saba Rock might even be just as good as the old one.
Costa Rica is, relatively speaking, a pretty small country. Which makes it the perfect place to cram a heap of experiences into a small timeframe.
Adventure World Travel (AWT) has an epic 12 day journey that takes in the equally epic Tortuguero, Arenal and Corcovado National Parks.
Among the highlights is Pacuare Reserve, a wildlife haven hidden in dense jungle along the Caribbean Sea, and accessible only by boat.
The trip is a Make Travel Matter journey endoresed by the Treadright Foundation – one with a focus on experiences that have a positive social and environmental impact on the destinations (and those who experience them). And that’s a good thing, right? You’re travelling, but you’re also being a bloody legend as well!
As well as intimate wildlife and conservation activities (think turtles, monkeys, macaws and jaguars) you’ll squeeze in absurdly attractive beaches, cloud forests, hot springs, volcanoes and more.
You can find more socially and environmentally positive trips like this one here.
When picturing Baja Club, think old school Mexico combined with modern indulgence like a rooftop bar and opulent swimming pool.
This newly opened hotel in La Paz, Mexico is an example of masterful architectural minimalism, providing luxury but also paying homage to more modest roots.
If you’ve heard of La Paz it might be because it’s the setting for John Steinbeck’s classic 1940s’ novella The Pearl. Located at the bottom of Mexico’s South-Western arm, the city has also been building for some time as a hot-bed for eco-tourism.
Travellers frolic in seaside ‘balnearios’ that line La Paz’s spectacular bay, where whales, whale sharks and dolphins are known to frolic themselves.
The hotel has its own library, as well as a boutique shop. But for us, taking in the Mexican sunset with a tequila or seven on the roof is where it’s at. Get me there now.
You’re shrouded from view by a thicket of greenery thriving beyond your windows. Just moments from your sanctuary are Mayan ruins, a shimmering white coastline and a bohemian beach town. Welcome to eco-friendly jungle living at Tulum Treehouse. Concocted by a coterie of artisans, architects and designers, this private five-bedroom oasis is all about shining the spotlight back on nature: from the white walls to the locally sourced wood, the upcycled furniture, the Oaxacan ceramics and the plush Mexican textiles.
Each room features a wrap-around balcony and a hammock, yet the pièce de résistance is the rooftop – perfect for a mezcal-infused tipple after a day exploring the Yucatan Peninsula’s best assets.
There is only one way to get to the tiny rocky outcrop of Isla Damas, one of three making up Pingüino de Humboldt National Park: hitching a lift with a fisherman from Punta de Choros. There is nothing on this 60-hectare island bar an unmanned lighthouse, a campsite with a couple of toilets and two beaches (La Poza and Las Tijeras) with white sand and azure water, that will make you think you’re kicking it in the Caribbean.
Except the water here is significantly colder, thanks to the current from Antarctica. It meets warmer water flowing down from Peru, making this a playground for marine wildlife, including sea otters, bottlenose dolphins, sea lions, sea turtles and the Humboldt penguin, the park’s namesake.
South of legendary party town Acapulco you’ll find Playa Ventura, a fishing village with a perfect golden arc of sand. The area sees just a smattering of visitors, including the turtles who lay their eggs on some protected parts of Casa de Piedra Beach, so it’s perfect if you’re after sunshiny days and quiet nights. Catch a wave off the shore, watch the pelicans diving for fish or stare out to sea looking for dolphins, Playa Ventura is one of those beaches you need to get lost to find.
As the sun sets locals cook fresh seafood on barbecues and cold Corona’s are sold at local prices.
Once the sun is down make your way to one of the few bars in the main square. Here you’ll find yourself mixing with the locals hopefully with a local band looking after the soundtrack.
It’s supposed to be a secret, but this boutique retreat is just so appealing we can’t resist spilling the beans. From its perch on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea, Secret Bay ticks all the boxes – incredible location, creative design and an eco-friendly ethos. Then it piles on more extras than you could possibly squeeze into one week-long stay.
For adventurers there’s diving, kayaking, caving and horse riding into the rainforest. Those looking to chill will be drawn to the waterfalls, white sand beaches and hilltop yoga sessions in warm air scented with guava, sweetsop and pineapple. Best of all there are just six villas, so your downward-facing dog technique is kept between you and the jungle.