CRA­ZI­EST GET­AWAYS

Maxim - - CONTENTS - By STEVE GAR­BARINO

Five wild ex­cur­sions guar­an­teed to melt away your win­ter woes.

BEACHCOMB LIKE BRANDO Te­tiaroa, French Poly­ne­sia

This re­mote atoll in the South Pa­cific served as Mar­lon Brando’s pri­vate es­cape hatch/love nest for four decades; now it’s the ul­ti­mate trop­i­cal par­adise in which to chan­nel your in­ner Colonel Kurtz. Brando (who died in 2004) made plenty of na­tive con­quests here (in­clud­ing his third wife), and THE BRANDO re­sort, which opened last year, cap­tures his leg­en­dar­ily he­do­nis­tic ethos. On TE­TIAROA, a se­ries of pris­tine islets en­gulf­ing a gor­geous turquoise la­goon, you and your posse can over­take its se­cluded three-bed­room villa (about $11,700 a night). Eat just-hooked fish at Miche­lin­starred chef Guy Martin’s LES MUTINÉS. Liquor up at BOB’S BAR on the beach, or at your own pri­vate pool­side. And if you crave eye-pop­ping is­land idylls, take an ex­otic-bird-watch­ing trip, snorkel pink co­ral, or night-view mi­grat­ing sea tur­tles lay­ing eggs on the beach. (Coconut-bra-clad Poly­ne­sian maid­ens not in­cluded.)

GO SHARK FISH­ING IN THE FLORIDA KEYS Islamorada, Florida

This highly touted “sport­fish­ing cap­i­tal” is renowned for its off­shore tour­na­ment-con­tend­ing makos, black tips, ham­mer­heads, bulls, and hard-fight­ing thresh­ers. Whether you fly into Mi­ami or Key West (pre­ferred), the road trip across Over­seas High­way is well worth your ef­forts for its salty-cracker sur­round­ings—at the cross­roads where mul­let ’dos meet smoked-mul­let dip. There are enough back­coun­try fish camps, out­law biker bars, and bar­na­cled honky-tonks here to keep you par­ty­ing all week­end long. Make your des­ti­na­tion one of the veteran shark-angling ports, such as the SEA HORSE or BUD N’ MARY’S; both opt for a cir­cle-hook catch-and--

Ready to skip town for an in­tensely plea­sur­able long week­end? Con­sider these five epic ex­cur­sions to recharge, re­fresh, and ban­ish your win­ter blues.

re­lease, while the lat­ter pro­vides some de­cep­tively comfy house­boat rental ac­com­mo­da­tions docked to their shove-off points. And if you’d like to take over a lux­ury hut of your own, up­scale the itin­er­ary at the MOOR­INGS VIL­LAGE, a pic­turesque At­lantic cove where sev­eral Sports Il­lus­trated Swim­suit cov­ers have been shot. There are plenty of sharks here just wait­ing for your fleshy meat hooks to be landed, mea­sured, and In­sta­grammed to those poor saps on land.

TEE OFF, RAT PACK–STYLE Palm Springs and Palm Desert, Cal­i­for­nia

Rather than reen­act­ing the Hangover movies along with ev­ery­one else in Las Ve­gas, ringa-ding-ding away the week­end amid the more in­ti­mate desert deca­dence of Palm Springs, the lit­eral cross­roads of Frank Si­na­tra and Bob Hope (Drives). It’s proudly old-school and home to more than 100 primo golf cour­ses (plenty of them pub­lic). Dur­ing win­ter the balmy weather’s never bet­ter for bo­gey­ing where Dino, Bing, and Sonny Bono all swung through to live a lit­tle. Post-tee­off, hit en­dur­ing 19th holes like TOU­CAN’S TIKI LOUNGE and the clas­sic MELVYN’S, and drop the clubs at such time-bub­ble lodg­ings as the MOVIE COLONY HO­TEL and the PARKER PALM SPRINGS. Or if you’d pre­fer to chat up Coachella-fre­quent­ing cuties, swag­ger into the ACE HO­TEL’S retro­fit­ted AMIGO ROOM, the per­fect place to kick up your own desert storm.

GET FLEX­I­BLE WITH YOGA BABES Tu­lum, Quin­tana Roo, Mex­ico

Study your Kun­dalini for Dum­mies on the plane to Cancún, and then get ready for the two-hour road trip to Tu­lum, a se­cluded, yoga-happy sanc­tu­ary on the “Riviera Maya.” Your goal: to get touchy-feely with the beau­ti­ful crea­tures who win­ter-mi­grate to its in­cred­i­ble beaches to stay per­fectly tanned and toned. (Get ready to as­sume the po­si­tion… that you ac­tu­ally care about yoga.) Frisky down­ward dog that you are, you’ll out­last all who are piled in the sweat lodge and win the naked mud bake on the beach. Not ev­ery­thing here is about healthy liv­ing: These yoga girls drink, you know (they earned it). Check in to one of the more prim­i­tive digs, like the el cheapo COCO TU­LUM (start­ing at $160 a night), and lux­ury-ho­tel barhop with your flex­i­ble new friends. Or up­grade to CASA DE LAS OLAS or the beach­front eco-re­sort AMANSALA. Check sched­ul­ing for the lat­ter’s fa­bled BIKINI BOOT­CAMP, and man up by show­ing you’re not afraid to be in touch with your fem­i­nine side.

SURF ’N’ TURF IN COSTA RICA Nosara, Costa Rica

End­less sum­mer, in­deed. In this go-na­tive surf­ing strong­hold—fa­vored by en­thu­si­asts of all wave-riding lev­els—win­ter’s dry sea­son (November through April) of­fers warm waters, high swells, and long point breaks. If you’re a novice, get your feet wet at the SA­FARI SURF SCHOOL in nearby Playa Guiones, where the breaks are waaay out there and less-in­tim­i­dat­ing waves roll right up to the beach. Be­sides the surf, there’s white-wa­ter raft­ing, zip-lin­ing down vol­ca­noes, rain-for­est hik­ing, and cliff div­ing. In Nosara, hit lo­cal grist sta­tion CASA TU­CAN (for mouth­wa­ter­ing plates of tra­di­tional casado) or fuel up at the bar at the KAYA SOL SURF HO­TEL. Once you’ve surfed—or swilled—your­self to ex­haus­tion, recharge at the eco-savvy HAR­MONY HO­TEL, which boasts a “Heal­ing Cen­tre” spa, spa­cious 1970sstyle bun­ga­lows, and am­ple ham­mocks in which to hap­pily laze around the gor­geous fresh­wa­ter pool.

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