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Holy Trinity Of Travel

Crowds Sunbathing on South Beach on New Year's Eve, Miami, Florida

You want three things—women, booze, and adventure. Behold, places that’ll deliver you to the altar of the holy trinity of travel. It's Go Time!

Pam Anderson’s hot in your town. In Miami Florida she’s an Elks club pinup. We didn’t dream of growing up to be firemen or cops. We dreamed of growing up and rubbing lotion on tomorrow’s starlets as they work on their all-over tans on South Beach (SoBe). It’s good to have attainable goals—and even better to cruise a beach packed with the most sizzling collection of aspiring talent this side of Hollywood.

Tobacco Road earned its best-bar status the honest way: by being open for 88 years, holding Miami’s first liquor license, getting raided by cops, and being the city’s best live blues club, with cheap beer and a sick BBQ pork sandwich. If you don’t stop here, just get it over with and become a Mormon.

When you board a 50-foot sportfishing boat with Mark the Shark’s Monster Fishing, a big-ass hammerhead shark isn’t the only thing you can reel in. “We get hot chicks from South Beach on the boat all the time,” says Captain Mark the Shark. “The girls are into it as much as the guys these days—I’ve seen some guys hook up pretty good.”

There are two islands, but one party at Bay Islands Honduras. “Everyone’s here for two reasons: getting drunk and getting laid,” says D’Arcy, 34, a dive instructor on Utila Island. “You have to be seriously impaired not to get some here.” According to the locals, there are three lies told every day in Honduras: “I’m leaving tomorrow,” “I’ll stop drinking today,” and “I love you.” Practice them all on the outgoing Italian hotties who pack the beaches.

Eighty-degree, 100-foot-visibility water, and scuba certs for less than $200 (pay with your widely accepted U.S. greenbacks) make the Bay Islands official understudy for the Great Barrier Reef. Dive (or just sleep, eat, and drink) with pros, like American-friendly Anthony’s Key Resort, and you might swim with a whale shark—the biggest fish in the sea, but with none of that bull-shark attitude.

When were passports invented, and who came up with the design?

Though evidence suggests primitive passports were holding guys up at customs in Jesus’ time, world citizens were permitted to travel more or less freely between countries until World War I. After the war nitpickers at the League of Nations came up with the standardized guidelines that determined what our current docs look like. Since 9/11, security has gone tight-shorts. Border security measures currently in development involve biometric technologies like facial and eye recognition. And you thought 1984 would never get here!

The other Caribbean is Caye Caulker Belize. A scuba and suntan haven by day, dinky Caye Caulker has Belize’s best beach scene. But even the world’s ultimate slacker isle—there’s a reason the phones almost never ring here—gets up and throws down after midnight. Bronzed tourist girls and bootylicious locals (an African-Maya-Creole-pirate mix) take off even more clothing at the island’s only decent nightclub (just ask for “the disco”), among the coastal Caribbean’s most reliable pickup spots.

On Caye Caulker, not having an open Belikin beer in hand after 9 A.M. is just rude. Deep in the nearby Guatemalan jungle, the Mayan ruins of Tikal are tucked away more secretly than your ex’s phone number. Hop a 45-minute flight from Caye Caulker to Tikal base camp, Flores, and it’ll be you and 2,600-year-old pyramids, temples, and howler monkeys. Tropic Air flights leave daily. Bunk at the Jungle Lodge to catch sunrise before the “They filmed Survivor here” day-trippers move in.

Say “tere” to Europe’s latest party capital - Tallinn, Estonia. More than half a million lava-hot Scandinavian tourist women will flock to the city this year in sexy blonde hordes. You can also hunt for locals, including future Eastern European supermodels and the talent in a medieval lesbian stripper show in Tallinn’s old center, Toompea. Half the fun is saying it.

Tallinn’s old town is jammed with bars filled with drunk tourists sent by Tallinn Pissup, a travel agency that’ll point you to great local beers and the aforementioned lesbo gig, described by one guy on the company’s Web site as “a 10 out of 10.” Tallinn Pissup will hook you up with activities that are borderline illegal in your town, like occasional demolition derbies and firearms training at Dr. Death’s Military Academy. “Between the guns, women, and nightlife, it’s a weekend I’ll never forget,” says Ben, 24, another oddly delirious visitor.

Hey, in Sydney, Australia they still like Americans! (Sort of.) Babes are fun. They’re friendly. They’re flattered you came halfway around the world just to watch them drink you under the table. They can also wrestle alligators and catch dingoes while wearing ass-hugging jean shorts, then talk about life down under with their charming accents. Don’t worry, mate, you’ll get used to those.

Honor the proud legacy of Sydney’s founding fathers—exiled 18th-century Brit drunkards and felons—by guzzling the city’s best microbrew at its oldest pub, the Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel. The world’s best helicopter pub crawl leaves Sydney for drinking holes across the rugged New South Wales countryside. West crawls (there are also North and South options—collect all three for a free mug) hit the Comet Inn, a classic pub with a pet kangaroo named Boomer.

Moscow, Russia is the city where vodka is the tonic. “It’s absolutely true whatever stories you’ve heard about how many hot women there are here,” says Don, a 29-year-old Moscow-based businessman. With almost as many local billionaires under 40, there’s stiff competition. But nothing a 10-ruble subway ride can’t solve: “Miss, could you tell me when this train stops at Preobrazhenskayaploshchad station? And join me in paying tribute to sweet Mother Vodka when we get there?” “If you look around,” says Tom, 29, another lucky American in Moscow, “you won’t find a single woman you wouldn’t want to sleep with.”

Like an ex-president cleaning up on the speaking tour, Russia’s putting its otherwise wasted supertechnology where its fattening wallet is these days. You can try your skills as Maverick’s nemesis by flying a MiG 25 over the Moscow skies at 80,000 feet and Mach 2.4 speeds for a totally doable $13,750. Too rich for your filthy capitalist blood? Half an hour in a MiG 29 goes for a prole-friendly $10,200.

Montreal, Canada is a reason to stop bashing the French. Forget the “poor man’s Paris” rep. This freakishly festive city dedicated to hot women and shitty sports teams is closer and has a far better temperament. Montreal’s dark-haired beauties don’t care what kind of car you drive—just having one’s good enough. “Montreal women are beauty minus the attitude,” notes Boris, 33, a local film producer. “They exude a sexuality you don’t see in the rest of Canada.”

There are places to work on your Franglais pickup lines till 3 A.M., when news of after-parties spreads like brush fire. If you like white water, just not a whole day of it with some jagoff in the stern screaming at you to paddle, try Lachine Rapids Tours. For $50 you can shoot the rapids of the St. Lawrence River on a high-powered jet boat. Just aim for the side when you toss your cookies.

And you thought the city’s first three letters were a fluke - Barcelona, Spain. It’s not like we’re ready to push American girls to the curb. But there’s something about hangup-free señoritas who party till five in the morning that we can’t get over. “It is common to have one-night stands here,” notes Laia, 26. “Many young people still live with their families, so there’s no place to go. Cars are very popular.”

Your all-night crawl begins at Bar Marsella, reputedly the city’s oldest drinking joint and a must-try absinthe den. With tons of places to pound sangria, Las Ramblas, the crowded pedestrian tourist promenade, is home to a cleaner circus of trouble-seeking European women. But go to Danzatoria for a crop of angels who send sinners directly to heaven.

Featuring 99,000 rabid fans at Nou Camp, Europe’s most maniacal soccer grudge match—FC Barcelona vs. Real Madrid—is as frenzied in the stands as on the field. If whiny futból players in kneesocks don’t impress you, jump out of a plane on the Costa Brava, Europe’s best skydiving training ground. Skydive Empuriabrava welcomes first-timers…with release forms.

Wine, women, and snowboards can be found in Santiago, Chile. Santiago is so secluded you’d expect a gene pool smaller than east Tennessee’s. The truth is, Chile’s capital is the best-looking mutt in the Americas—filled with Spanish, Italian, German, French, and Serbo-Croat goodness, and more fake blonde hair and hidden piercings than a Tokyo modeling agency. You know a city is cool with the nasty when even the espresso is served by girls dressed like porn stars. Ask directions to the nearest café con piernas (“coffee with legs”), legendary coffee bars where caring staffs in pumps and G-strings dispense caffeine and flirty smiles. Makes Hooters look like Chuck E. Cheese’s.

After years of looking, we’ve finally stumbled across the best place in the world to buy feisty 18-year-olds pisco sours without getting arrested. Gyrate with your new girlfriend and South America’s friendliest live-for-the-weekend locals at rows of no-name bolero-techno joints in Barrio Bellavista.

Heli-skiing packages are a peso-saving bargain at Valle Nevado, one of the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest ski resorts, just 40 miles from town. Or drive the extra couple of hours to world-renowned Portillo, a perennial contender on those top-10 ski and snowboard resorts in the universe lists. Widow-maker 50-degree pitches here have laid claim to world speed records; seven-day, all-inclusive packages should run you a few grand. Plunked down in a bowl of towering, snow-covered peaks, the heated outdoor pool at Hotel Portillo will ease the pain of your shattered femur.

Jordan Rane. It's Go Time!. Maxim [Print + Kindle] . May 2006.


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