Our Best of the Best: wildlife, beaches, snorkeling

As soon as people hear that we’ve been traveling nonstop for almost 4 years, they immediately ask “What’s your favorite country” or “What’s your favorite… ?” (Then they fill in the blank: destination to view wildlife, beach, places to snorkel, ancient ruins, cheap eats, etc.) We finally figured out how to answer that favorite country question, so we started to ask ourselves: which places are the best we’ve experienced (in our opinion, of course). Here’s a start to answering those questions.

Our best wildlife destination: Absolutely, without a doubt, our Tanzania safari was the best! Did it help that we saw so many more animals and birds than we could have imagined? We had the greatest guides and stayed at wonderful places, too – so, yes, it was the best!

We’d never before seen a dazzle of zebras. Mark Thornton Safaris arranged it all for our friends and us.

We’d never before seen a dazzle of zebras. Mark Thornton Safaris arranged it all for our friends and us.

Also very good, and worthy of mention, were our trips to Manu Biosphere Reserve (Peru), Corcovado National Park (Costa Rica), and the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador).

Visiting the Galapagos Island is like stepping into a “National Geographic” photo spread. What a wonderful opportunity!

Visiting the Galapagos Island is like stepping into a “National Geographic” photo spread. What a wonderful opportunity!

 

Our best beaches: Let’s just say we love Bermuda, Sanibel, and Whangaparaoa but for different reasons.

No one else was on the fine pink sand beach in Bermuda when we arrived. The water temperature was perfect in early September, and we still remember the colors of the water and sky. This is a beach for luxurious relaxation.

No one else was on the fine pink sand beach in Bermuda when we arrived. The water temperature was perfect in early September, and we still remember the colors of the water and sky. This is a beach for luxurious relaxation.

We can never resist searching for the best sea shells and watching birds as we walk on the long beach at Sanibel Island, Florida.

We can never resist searching for the best sea shells and watching birds as we walk on the long beach at Sanibel Island, Florida.

Huntington Gardens

You can find the town of Whangaparaoa on a little peninsula north of Auckland on New Zealand’s North Island. Most days we headed to one of a half-dozen beaches, all an easy walk from our AirBnB. Surprisingly, they were all different. Some had shells, others had tidal pools, some were long stretches of perfect sand. One thing they all had in common: perfectly clean. These beaches offered us variety and allowed lots of discoveries in a pristine environment.

 

Our best snorkeling: With snorkeling experience limited to seven major destinations around the world, we can definitely say the islands of Aruba and Bonaire had everything we were looking for: lots to see below the surface, calm and warm water, and easy access from a beach. Baby Beach in Aruba and a night snorkeling trip with Renee in Bonaire remain our most memorable.

Dropping off a platform or boat to snorkel is not our preferred method (as we did at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef).  We most enjoy snorkeling from a beach in fairly shallow water.

Dropping off a platform or boat to snorkel is not our preferred method (as we did at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef).  We most enjoy snorkeling from a beach in fairly shallow water.

 

Let us know what your own “best of the best” are so it’s our turn to get inspired!

To be continued…with best destinations for food and places to stay.

 

October 2016

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
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4 Responses to Our Best of the Best: wildlife, beaches, snorkeling

  1. Great post and Bonaire was the first place ever where we snorkelled so really thrilled so see it in the list. Have written a little about it on the blog so have a read. Cheers

  2. plaidcamper says:

    Best of the best? Great question, hard to answer. I’m biased, but for being outdoors, the Rockies always get my vote, and for being near the water, the west coast of Vancouver Island.
    Enjoyed this post, full of interest, as always!

  3. Jeannie Claypoole says:

    My best of the best for wildlife was also Tanzania and Galapagos. I’d add the whale breeding grounds of San Ignacio Lagoon in Baja. Alaska is up there on the list too. For snorkeling it is Belize. For beaches….our very own Sea Ranch, California and some of the beaches in Hawaii

  4. When people ask me that question, I just go completely blank because there are too many choices. Recently I was asked what is the best natural wonder I’ve seen and after some thought, my reply was the Bunda Cliffs on the Great Australian Bight, which you can see on the crossing of the Nullarbor. They are simply stunning.

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