One thing 16th century cartographers managed to get right was labeling the edges of their maps of Asia with "Here be dragons." On Indonesia's Komodo Island, there actually are dragons. And the best way to see the mostly uninhabited islands where the endangered Komodo dragons make their home is by hiring a wooden schooner and crew. Man-eating lizards aside, the Jurassic-like vistas onboard are the actual scene stealers. Moor at Rinca Island, where park rangers armed with sticks will accompany you on a cross-island trek. And don't let the fear of being devoured prevent you from taking advantage of some of the world's best diving. Despite some staged video footage, insist rangers, Komodo dragons don't like to swim. Cost: starting at $180 per person per day, including meals.
By Martha Ann Overland