Best Islands for Communing with Nature

Nov 1, 2001
Outside Magazine

Peaks shooting 4,000 feet from the surf, rare Sisserou parrots, 100-foot waterfalls, an undersea hot springs called Champagne—welcome to the Caribbean's most primeval isle. Play "Me Tarzan, you Jane" at the orchid-filled Papillote Wilderness Retreat ($90; 767-448-2287;

Kangaroo Island, Australia
Eucalyptus-stoned koala bears roam this 1,737-square-mile island off Adelaide. Hundreds of miles of hiking trails take you through 21 parks, where you'll spot sea lions, kangaroos, and nocturnal penguins returning to their colony at Penneshaw (Alkirna Nocturnal Tours,

Nearly all 30 species of lemurs live on this 995-mile-long island off Africa—broad-nosed gentle, ring-tailed, red-bellied, fat-tailed, hairy-eared dwarf—and despite a host of other exotic animals, they steal the wildlife show. Contact Lemur Tours (800-735-3687;

Fernandina Island, Ecuador
Flightless cormorants, pelicans, marine iguanas, and sea lions congregate on Punta Espinosa in the Galápagos Islands. Contact Galapagos Adventures (561-393-4752;

San Miguel Island, California
San Miguel is unique for its seal and sea lion colonies; Point Bennet is the only place in the world where six types of pinnipeds congregate. Click on