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Fire & Ice: Adventures on the Pacific Rim

Fire & Ice: Adventures on the Pacific Rim
Glorious isolation on the islands of Fiji (John Carnemolla)

Few regions on earth are as vast or diverse at the Pacific Rim. Encompassing all the shoreline that borders the Pacific Ocean, the rim runs along the coasts of South and Central America, up past California to Alaska, along Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula and down around Japan, Korea and China to Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand.

Nestled along the rim are thousands of tiny islands, some of which are among the most spectacular tropical destinations in the world.


Take Fiji, for example. The tiny nation encompasses some 332 islands — 110 of which are permanently inhabited — and is one of the world's most famous tropical vacation spots. It's easily accessible by air from Los Angeles, and accommodations range from rustic huts on the beach to luxury resorts. Whether you want to snorkel, scuba or just lie on the beach, Fiji is a perfect tropical getaway.

For more diversity, try Queensland, Australia. Located on the northeast coast of the continent, Queensland offers cosmopolitan pleasures in the city of Brisbane, as well as natural wonders ranging from Daintree Rainforest to the Great Barrier Reef.

Some of the best beaches in Asia can be found in the Philippines. Though the capital city of Manila is one of the most crowded in the world, heading south into the Visayas island groups will reveal such tropical delights as the small island of Boracay, just off the larger island of Panay. The island is a resort paradise, with white sandy shores, a plethora of resorts and spas, and a lively dining and nightlife scene.

For a completely different experience, try the lush environs of Vancouver Island, just off the coast of mainland British Columbia, Canada. The capital city of Victoria — known as the city of gardens — offers luxury accommodations like the Magnolia Hotel and Spa. It's an ideal home base for exploring the island's Pacific shore, where hiking spots and rugged shorelines intermix with sandy beaches perfect for swimming or fishing.


—Thomas McLean, Custom Publishing Writer