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Situated roughly halfway between St. Thomas and the main island of Puerto Rico is the picturesque island of Culebra. Even the most seasoned of Caribbean travelers shouldn’t be ashamed if they’ve never heard of it. It remains one of the best kept secrets in the region, and particularly for Americans who don’t want to fiddle with a passport in order to reach paradise, it’s a destination worth discovering.
Accessing Culebra isn’t exactly easy, per se, but it’s hardly complicated. If you’re on the main island of Puerto Rico (that’s the one with San Juan), you’ll need to point your rental car to Fajardo. That’s on the eastern edge of Puerto Rico, and it’s the primary ferry port on the island. For intrepid travelers, you can show up at the docks and buy yourself an inexpensive (under $10) ticket for the ride, which lasts right around an hour each way. If the ferry is sold out (which was the case when our editor, Mike Barish, visited the island), you can book a quick puddle jumper flight at the airport in Fajardo and land on Culebra in about 10 minutes – though a one-way flight can start at $35 per person, so consider taking the ferry back. To make life easy, however, I’d recommend reaching out to Kayaking Puerto Rico. Read more
Many people have heard of Hungary’s Tokaj wine region – famous for its sweet wines – but did you know there are a total of 22 wine regions in the country? For an easy day trip from Budapest, head to Etyek, just over 30 minutes west of the city. Etyek is one of Hungary’s youngest wine regions, with a viniculture that dates back to the 18th century. Originally, Etyek produced sparkling wines, and it wasn’t until the 1980s and 90s that wineries began making the switch to other varieties.
Today there are about 30-35 wineries in Etyek. Many are small operations whose vintages rarely leave the region, let alone wind up exported to the U.S. On my recent trip to Budapest, I visited the Rókusfalvy winery (www.rokusfalvypince.hu). The winery – with just 13.5 acres of vineyards – started as a hobby for its owner in 1999 but expanded production in 2006. The majority of grapes grown are whites, including Chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and pinot gris.
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