Just because you're visiting the Coral Triangle doesn't mean you have to spend the whole time underwater—at least not if you go to the Solomon Islands. One of the world's ten most biologically diverse countries, the archipelago is loaded with rare and endemic species onshore and off. For the best of both worlds, make the Wilderness Lodge on Nggatokae Island your base camp. The accommodations are nothing fancy (two rooms total, minimal furnishings), but the location is tough to beat. Spend your mornings hiking through a mountain rain forest in the shadow of 2,900-foot Mount Mariu, and afternoons in nearby coral lagoons (from $145 per person, including meals; thewildernesslodge.org).
—Global Travel Editor Costas Christ, from his October 2009 World Class column.