The magic of Bazaruto Island begins on the short flight from Vilanculos. The plane skims low over a turquoise sea, with the deeper blue stains of hidden coral reefs holding the promise of fantastic scuba diving and snorkeling. Bazaruto is the largest island in the Bazaruto Archipelago, with towering dunes and large inland lakes frequented by many water birds and even crocodiles. But the island's best feature is its soft sandy beaches, fringed by thick forests of casuarinas, coconut palms and cashew trees and gently sloping down towards the tropical ocean. There are various reefs along the coast, where you can see clouds of colourful fish, and have a good chance of swimming with turtles or even dolphin. If you're after something even more remote; take a boat trip to the nearby Paradise Island (Santa Carolina) for a day of sun, snorkelling and a picnic on a deserted beach.