Condé Nast Traveller has listed seven new wonders of the world, as selected yearly by Aaron Millar. Here are two (Caribbean) “awe-inspiring places on the planet for star-gazing, wildlife spotting and astonishing panoramas”—one in Vieques, Puerto Rico and one in Belize. The others on the list are Son Doong Cave (Vietnam); Meteor Crater, Arizona (USA); Marianna Trench, Marianna Islands (Commonwealth of the USA); Don Sheldon Amphitheater, Alaska (USA); and the International Space Station (low Earth orbit). See the full list and descriptions at Condé Nast Traveller.
MOSQUITO BAY, PUERTO RICO
Mosquito Bay is the best place in the world to see one of nature’s most fascinating spectacles: bioluminescence. Located on the isle of Vieques, off the eastern coast of the main island, this sheltered inlet is home to a special kind of plankton, called dinoflagellates, which emit a blue-green light when agitated. On their own, they’re barely perceptible. But here in Bio Bay, as it’s also known, there are enough to hold the Guinness World Record for the brightest bioluminescence ever recorded. That’s incredibly rare. While the phenomenon occurs spontaneously around the globe, there are only six places on the planet where it does so regularly. Of those, Mosquito Bay is by far the brightest. Come and see waves shimmer like disco lights or sparks trail from your fingers like the tail of a comet. At night, when its easiest to see, it’s like floating in liquid stars.
See it: A kayak tours is the best way to experience Mosquito Bay (some have see-through bottoms). Time your visit with a new moon. biequecotrips.com
The ancient Mayans were a remarkable people. Without the wheel, or advanced tools of any kind, they managed to build vast stone cities in the middle of one of the densest jungles on Earth. Chichen Itza and Tulum, in Mexico, are perhaps the most famous sites, but today they are a crush of souvenir stalls and mass-market tourism. Caracol is different. Located in the rainforests of western Belize, this enormous 30 square mile site is utterly undeveloped, free of crowds (less than a dozen people visit per day) and, because of that, perhaps, the most authentic way to experience the mystery and magic of the ancient Mayans today. There are thousands of individual ruins to explore, but the most impressive is Caana, the Sky Palace, a 143-foot pyramid where the king of this Tollan, or great city, once lived. Climb to the top and the view is the same as it would have been more than 1,500-years ago: no tourists, no souvenir stalls, just jungle and stone pyramids as far as the eye can see.
For full article, see https://www.cntraveller.com/gallery/seven-wonders-of-the-world