San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
This friendly, modest fishing village is not known for its material possessions. Instead, nature is the main draw. A perfect half-moon bay gushes into the white sandy shore. Beneath the turquoise surface lies a seafood loverÃÂ¿s dream. Inland, the volcanic hills of Masaya National Park harbor monkeys, birds, and rabbits. Barren expanses of more recent lava flows contrast against areas where orchids and moss crawl on every surface available, whether stone or ground. At La Flor beach, endangered turtles take shelter and lay eggs at the Turtle Sanctuary--some of these great sea mothers can live to be 400 years old!