Family Vacations on Castaway Island
|An aerial view of the aptly-named Castaway Island (Corbis)|
With a name like Castaway, you'd probably think this is where Tom Hanks and Wilson were holed up for all those days awaiting rescue in the film Castaway. You'd be wrong. (Though the raft used in the movie, complete with fake Port-a-Potty sail and "logs" made of foam, does sit out back; the film was shot on nearby Monoriki Island.) Castaway sits on 174 acres about midway up the island chain, surrounded by coral reefs and white-sand beaches. At last count there were 66 bures here, some with ocean views, others tucked away inside the island's gardens. These thatch-roof buildings have airy vaulted ceilings with traditional "tapa" decorations covering the interior roof.
There's an inviting pool in the middle of the complex, but why bother when you have some of the prettiest beaches in the country right out your door. Grab a windsurfer, a kayak, or snorkel gear and head out. Honeymoon Island, a nearby speck of land worthy of marine protection, has some of the best snorkeling you'll find anywhere. Grab a kayak and paddle over there for a swim around the entire island. It's so small it'll only take you an hour or so, with plenty of shallow areas to stand up should you grow tired.
The Sundowner Bar, a second-story open-air deck overlooking the beach, is the front-row seat of choice for watching the sunset when you're done. This is more of a family resortand one of the longest running resorts in the groupbut romantic types flock here, too. From Castaway, which also has its own dive shop, you can head out to places like Nigel's Wall on the barrier to the open ocean, where dogtooth tuna the size of large TV cabinets ply the Visine-clear waters.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication