Spanning from the frigid shores of northern Greenland down to the southern islands of Chile, the Americas offer a spectacular array of landscapes all open for exploration—and their rich diversity of climates have given rise to both fascinating wildlife and a multitude of high-end resorts scattered all across both continents. Whether you’re hoping to take a dip with massive sharks, marvel at baby sea turtles making their way to the ocean or lengthen your life list on an unforgettable birdwatching excursion, the following properties are perfect for the ultimate wildlife lover’s getaway.
The Puerto Rican capital of San Juan has long been known for its thriving nightlife and incredible food scene, but this vibrant city is no slouch when it comes to wildlife, either. During a stay at the historic Caribe Hilton, guests can spot massive iguanas sunning themselves all along the property’s massive outdoor pool complex, while the nearby reef is perfect for a lengthy snuba session, with all sorts of dazzling fish and invertebrates calling the area home. And as an added bonus, guests can even enroll themselves in a curated program with the local Manatee Conservation Center to get up-close and personal with one of Puerto Rico’s most adorable native mammals.
Hotel Las Torres
Few natural features across South America can match the splendor of Torres del Paine National Park, and for those seeking luxury accommodations just beyond its borders, Hotel Las Torres is the perfect fit. In addition to cozy cabins and a rustic dining space offering hearty Chilean barbecue, the property also offers a wealth of day tours via horseback, providing guests with an opportunity to encounter native Patagonian flora and fauna along some of South America’s most stunning backdrops. During a journey, visitors can encounter Patagonian foxes, guanacos, Andean condors and even the elusive puma, then return back to the lodge for some much-needed relaxation.
Resorts World Bimini
Parrotfish, triggerfish and spotted eagle rays are just a few of the creatures that can be encountered during a trip to Resorts World Bimini, a sprawling hotel that’s found just eighty kilometers off of the Florida coast. While Bahamian sea creatures abound all throughout the year, November brings an incredible opportunity in the form of the Great Hammerhead Safari. Available for roughly six months each year, this unforgettable diving experience brings guests to the sea floor to come face-to-face with friendly hammerhead sharks, with potential appearances from other aquatic species like the nurse and tiger shark as well.
Hotel Three Sixty
From colorful hummingbirds to inquisitive coatis, there’s no shortage of dazzling Costa Rican creatures to discover during a stay at Hotel Three Sixty. To kick off the day, guests can head to the outdoor yoga deck for a sunrise session to the tune of native Central American birds, then set off along the property’s nature trails for a birdwatching session in search of keel-billed toucans, three-wattled bellbirds and common black hawks. While the property also offers whale watching, sport fishing, and a wealth of other excursions, no nature lover’s trip is complete without paying a visit to Parque Nacional Corcovado. With 424 square kilometers of lush rainforest to explore, this massive preserve is perfect for spotting howler monkeys, sloths and even the occasional tapir.
When it comes to discovering the spectacular avian species that call Panama home, it’s tough to find a better destination than Mount Totumas. After a hearty breakfast and bout of hummingbird-watching at the property’s many feeders, guests can set off with one of the lodge’s expert guides in search of one of the planet’s most dazzling birds: the resplendent quetzal, a trogon that’s renowned worldwide for its iridescent plumage and long tail. In addition to this iconic megatick, the lodge grounds are also rife with crimson-fronted parakeets, flame-colored tanagers and long-tailed silky-flycatchers, while jaguars dwell deep in the surrounding Parque Internacional La Amistad.
Spanning more than 200 kilometers along the Lake Superior coast, Minnesota’s North Shore has been one of the state’s most idyllic tourist destinations for years on end, with the historic Lutsen Resort offering some of its finest accommodations. In business since 1885, this historic lodge has mastered the art of hospitality over the years, offering amenities like free s’mores kits and complimentary bikes for guests to enjoy—and to sweeten the deal, the property doubles as a top-notch birdwatching destination as well. During morning hours, guests can find large groups of mergansers bobbing along the water, while the nearby Gitchi Gami State Trail is perfect for spotting native passerines during a leisurely bike ride.
Equipped with idyllic beaches and verdant salt marshes, Sea Island offers a glimpse into the pristine beauty of Georgia’s Atlantic coast at its finest. High-end restaurants and luxurious cottages abound across property grounds, but for seasoned wildlife lovers, no visit is complete without snagging a Sea-fari Passport. Designed for younger guests with an affinity for the natural world, these documents invite visitors to seek out five particular creatures that call Sea Island home—namely, falcons, dolphins, turtles, horses and shorebirds. While a leisurely boat excursion or horseback riding session is perfect for spotting the bulk of the animals, guests can come face-to-face with a formidable raptor during one of the property’s famed Falconry Meet and Greets.
Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Set on a 240-hectare reserve, the Banyan Tree Mayakoba offers ample insight into the spectacular biodiversity of the Yucatan Peninsula. To kick off their visit, guests can set off on a curated ecotour to discover the rich array of avian species that call the property home, with the added potential for black iguana and even American crocodile sightings along the way. On a typical day, visitors can encounter bands of wandering coatis and small flocks of plain chachalacas as they explore the resort, while the on-property Saffron is perfect for sampling ultra-flavorful Thai cuisine while overlooking the verdant mangrove forests lining the property.
Ocean Edge Resort
The pristine beauty of Cape Cod is on full display at Ocean Edge Resort, an opulent manor that made its Bay State debut back in 1912. In the modern era, this stunning resort offers six distinct dining concepts, an 18-hole golf course, and a massive array of native species thriving along the beach during low tide. During an early morning tide pooling excursion, guests can spot scores of native crabs and shellfish, while shorebirds gather in abundance to feast on the tiny fish and marine worms that call the beach home. Later in the day, guests can keep the birdwatching going with a trip to nearby Nickerson State Park, an idyllic preserve that’s home to classic New England species like dark-eyed juncos, blue jays and black-capped chickadees.
The Westin Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta
Renowned for its gorgeous beaches and high-end hotels, Puerto Vallarta is one of most popular resort cities found on Mexico’s western coast—and it’s not just humans that call this Jalisco getaway home. From roughly June to December, guests at the Westin Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta can scan the property’s sandy shores for tiny sea turtles, with hatchlings emerging throughout the months and setting off into the open ocean. Meanwhile, wildlife lovers arriving in the offseason can set up an ecotour of nearby Estero El Salado, a sprawling state park that’s home to a massive array of avian and reptilian species thriving within several square kilometers of urban mangrove forest.