The Pacific offers destinations thriving with natural beauty in the forms of rare flora and fauna, from the protected islands of the tropical Galapagos Islands to the cold clear waters of Canada’s British Columbia.
Both regions have become popular eco-tourism destinations and each offers its own unique wilderness, whether it’s the mountain ranges and sandy beaches teeming with salmon in British Columbia or the exotic species of the Galapagos, including the various species of Finches and the Giant Tortoise. These Pacific destinations allow for a return to nature.
Originally founded as a fur-trading post, British Columbia’s numerous ports, inlets and islands make for calm waters and smooth sailing, perfect for kayaking and canoeing. Other summer activities include golfing, fishing, whale watching and hiking in one of the 850 parks or on the West Coast Trail, a great place to spot caribou, deer and bears.
The landscape includes volcanic mountains, called the Rainbow Range because of the unusually colorful peaks, marshland and pristine beaches. For winter visits, the area found around the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games is perfect for skiing and snowboarding. British Columbia brings a crispness to life found only here.
The Marshall Islands are a sprawling chain of volcanic islands and coral atolls in the central Pacific Ocean, between Hawaii and the Philippines. In the northwest, Bikini Atoll’s largely undisturbed waters, used as a ship graveyard after World War II, are now a popular wreck dive site. Near Majuro Atoll, which holds the islands' capital and largest settlement, the coral reef at Kalalin Pass teems with marine life.
Home to terrific surfing and one of the most active volcanoes in the world, the Hawaiian Islands embody life on a grand scale. Majestic Mauna Loa has been erupting regularly since 1983. Located in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on the big Island of Hawaii, it is miraculously open to visitation.
This former Royal Kingdom possesses cultural customs such as surfing, hula dancing, unparalleled natural beauty, as well as fascinating folklore surrounding the volcanoes, which formed the six Hawaiian Islands. Mark Twain once described the Islands as a place where “the imagination [has room] to work.”