SOUTH SEAS

WHY WE LOVE IT

  • The pristine beaches of these remote islands—including Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands—make the perfect romantic getaway.
  • Natural beauty abounds thanks to crystal-clear waters, rain forests studded with dazzling flowers, picturesque mountains and black volcanic rocks marking miles of white sand.
  • Here travelers can escape high-rise hotels and hyped-up beaches in favor of secluded, unspoiled landscapes and share the unhurried, peaceful Polynesian lifestyle.
  • The accommodations may not be as posh as those on neighboring South Pacific islands, but the prices generally aren't as steep either.
  • Literature buffs can revel on the islands that Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson once called home and visit the hotel that helped inspire James Michener to write Tales of the South Pacific.
  • Shop for hand-carved tiki figurines, pareus and fresh tropical juices—and get a good buy on commemorative honeymoon tattoos!

 

WHEN TO GO

There's no high season, though the best, slightly cooler weather is during the May-to-October dry season.

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