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Highlights

"Life's an Adventure"
Reader Photo Album

Photo: Tanzania

This month's reader photos have it all—inspiring locales, great composition, and travel tips to take you there.
Reader Photo Album


Photo Gallery:
Patagonia's Cerro Torre
Photo: Cerro Torre

See photos of Patagonia's otherworldly Cerro Torre from the climb that bagged one of alpine climbing's greatest prizes.
Cerro Torre photos


Running Gear
Photo: Running shoes

Sleek shoes and running clothes that will get your heart racing.
Running shoes


Online Favorites

Paddling Croatia Photos and Video

Digital Cameras Review

Audio: Ed Viesturs

Video: Climbing Icebergs 

Adventure Travel

Adventures in Travel Expo

Robert Young Pelton's Travel Tips



The Caribbean's Wild Side: The Bahamas
The sports you love, set in the destinations you crave. Here are nine tropical escapes that scream action.  Text by Tom Clynes   Photograph by Tom Bol
Photo: Kayaking the Caribbean
AN ISLAND A DAY: Shroud Cay, one of the 365 in the Exuma chain, in a DIY paradise.

THE BAHAMAS  | PANAMA  |  DOMINICA  |  HONDURAS  |  ST. LUCIA  
ST. VINCENT  |  SABA  |  DOMINICAN REPUBLIC  |  GRENADA

THE BAHAMAS 
Sea Kayak to Infinity

Most sea kayaking tours are all about your view of the shore: You paddle along a coast, watching for birds and tiny tidepools. Not so along the Bahamas' Exuma Cays, which start about 35 miles (56 kilometers) southeast of Nassau and extend in an arch for almost a hundred miles (160 kilometers). People come to the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park for the uninterrupted vastness: cartoon-blue ocean as far as the eye can see. "The Exumas are extremely remote," says guide Bardy Jones, "and that can be kind of intimidating."

If the park's watery depths and largely uninhabited areas are too overwhelming for you to go it alone, a few outfitters, including Jones's Ibis Tours, lead up to eight-day expeditions. The rewards include visits to a number of isolated white-sand beaches, prodigious coral reefs, bonefish flats, swimmable sea caves, deep-blue grottoes, and British plantation ruins.

Self-guided day-trippers should bring food, water, and a radio. Explore the inlets of Warderick Wells, the park headquarters 15 miles (24 kilometers) north of the gateway port, Staniel Cay. More advanced kayakers can depart from the leeward side of Great Exuma, across from Barraterre. The nearby Brigantines, a short strand of cays good for picnicking and exploring, are reachable within two hours of paddling.

If it's a bed you seek, the Staniel Cay Yacht Club has affordable cottages with water views. Your included motorboat gives you easy access to Thunderball Grotto, where low-tide snorkeling gives up the best of the island's marine life. If you cherish your privacy, stay on the smaller, more isolated island, Sampson Cay, three miles (5 kilometers) north of Staniel, where four-person villas rent for $2,000 a week.
 
WHAT TO DO
Paddling
Ibis Tours runs eight-day excursions in the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park ($1,795 per person; www.ibistours.com). Starfish Exuma Adventure Center, in Georgetown, plans day trips ($85; www.kayakbahamas.com).
 
WHERE TO STAY
Camp right on the beach for almost nothing ($5 donation; www.thebahamasnationaltrust.org). Staniel Cay Yacht Club rents beachfront cottages ($173, including use of a motorboat; www.stanielcay.com). Or stay at the posh Sampson Cay Club ($225; www.sampsoncayclub.com).
 
GETTING AROUND
Flamingo Airways flies daily from Nassau, Bahamas, to Staniel Cay ($70; www.flamingoairbah.com). To get from island to island, try hopping aboard one of the 16 mail boats that serve the Exumas (+1 242 393 1064).

THE BAHAMAS  | PANAMA  |  DOMINICA  |  HONDURAS  |  ST. LUCIA  
ST. VINCENT  |  SABA  |  DOMINICAN REPUBLIC  |  GRENADA

Photo: March Cover


Pick up the March 2006 issue for more secrets of the Southwest, nine Caribbean adventures, the best gear for runners, and our World Class outfitter trips.

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