Snorkel + Spa Escape

Just off the east coast of Puerto Rico (and only a $2 ferry ride) sits the island of Vieques, home to the largest wildlife refuge in the Caribbean: nearly 18,000 acres on a former U.S. Navy practice base.

Budget travel tip A bargain hunter's dream, the island's accommodations are largely inexpensive guesthouses. Check into a suite with kitchenette at Casa La Lanchita from $90 a night (800-774-4717,

Get moving! Bring your snorkel and mask and make the short channel swim to Isla Chiva off Blue Beach to view Technicolor reef life.

Can't miss Vieques' most famous attraction appears after dark in the "Bio-Bay," so named for the sea life that glows at night. Check it out with Blue Caribe Kayaks, which leads paddling tours and night dips into the bay ($30; 787-741-2522,

Pamper yourself The island's sole full-scale luxury resort, Martineau Bay Resort &Spa, houses a spa with outdoor massage pavilions facing the sea. The signature massage includes a super-hydrating scalp treatment (from $120; 787-741-4100,

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