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The 30 Best Exotic Islands to Visit (World Travel Bucket List)

Things to Do in Coron, Palawan: Island Hopping

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These tropical destinations usually boast a balance of exhilaration and relaxation, adventure and pampering. They provide a much-needed escape from our everyday routines, while rejuvenating our spirits with the simple power of nature .

From our earliest trips as a couple (to Hawaii , Curaçao , and the Dominican Republic ) to our memorable visits to Tahiti , the Galapagos Islands , and Isla Holbox, Mexico , Mary and I have always loved exploring tropical islands together.

Though we’ve been able to visit quite a few of the world’s best islands over our last 11 years together, there are still quite a few that remain on our bucket list.

To that end, we enlisted more than 25 top travel bloggers to help us assemble this epic guide to the  most beautiful islands in the world. They span the globe from the Caribbean and Africa to Asia and Polynesia, and should give you plenty of ideas for planning your next tropical vacation getaway.

READ MORE:   The Ultimate Beach Vacation Packing List


Best african islands.

  • Bijagos Islands, Guinea Bissau
  • Lamu Island, Kenya
  • Mafia Island, Tanzania

Seychelles Islands

Best asian islands.

  • Coron, Philippines
  • Cat Ba Island, Vietnam
  • Komodo, Indonesia
  • Langkawi, Malaysia

Best Caribbean Islands

  • Bonaire, Netherlands

Turks and Caicos

Best european islands, the canary islands, spain.

  • Corsica, France
  • Hvar, Croatia
  • Madeira, Portugal
  • Sardinia, Italy

Best Greek Islands

Delos island, karpathos island, naxos island, best polynesian islands.

  • Aitutaki, Cook Islands
  • Bora Bora, French Polynesia
  • Easter Island / Rapa Nui, Chile
  • Savaii & Upolu, Samoa
  • Yasawa Islands, Fiji

Exotic African Islands - Bijagos Islands

Bijagos Islands (Guinea Bissau)

Located off the coast of Guinea Bissau in West Africa, the Bijagos Islands are an untouched paradise with impressive biodiversity. This is one of those exotic places that most people have never heard of, let alone visited. The island is located 38 miles off the coast of Bissau, the country’s capital.

Best Things to Do in the Bijagos Islands

The island of Orango is one of the most biodiverse of the Bijagos Islands.  There you can visit the saltwater hippopotamuses by trekking an hour inland from the beach to their fresh water ponds.

The trek winds along a sandy path through tall grasses, and you can see birds and deer along the way.  The hippos are protected and sacred to the inhabitants of the island, and each visitor is allowed to spend 20 minutes with them.

There is also a long, beautiful stretch of beach on the island that stretches from the Orango Hotel to the drop-off point for the hippo trek.

Where to Stay in the Bijagos Islands

The Orango Hotel is a true ecotourism project where the hotel perfectly integrates into its surroundings. The hotel is located within Orango National Park, and is a major sponsor of protecting the islands’ biodiversity and indigenous cultural traditions. – Nicole LaBarge

READ MORE: The West African Griot

Lamu Island Kenya

Lamu Island (Kenya)

Most people traveling to Kenya cannot wait to see the country’s diverse array of wildlife and stunning national parks and reserves (including Amboseli , Meru and the Maasai Mara ).

However, visitors also should not miss out on the little-known (but incredible) Lamu island, which is located just off the coast in northern Kenya .

This part of the country differs significantly from the southern region, offering unspoiled nature as well as a unique culture.

Best Things to Do in Lamu Island

When visiting Lamu Island, you’ll have a chance to walk the streets of Lamu Old Town , one of the world’s oldest inhabited cities. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001, this historic area is truly a journey back in time.

However, you should also make sure to leave the city streets behind and explore the beautiful nature of Lamu during your visit.

I stayed on the southern tip of this beautiful island and went for long walks on Lamu’s beaches, climbed sand dunes for incredible sunset views, and went for a snorkeling trip along the coast.

I spent a full week on Lamu Island, which was the perfect amount of time to see and explore the island as well as to relax and unwind from my previous travels .

Where to Stay in Lamu Island

There are a few guesthouses and hotels directly in Lamu Town, but I decided to stay in the lovely and peaceful Kizingo  resort. It’s located on the southern tip of Lamu Island, and is highly recommended.

Here, you’re surrounded by remote beaches and far away from the hustle and bustle of the town.   – Patrick Muntzinger of German Backpacker Travel Blog

READ MORE: Animals in Kenya: A Guide to 40 Species of Kenyan Wildlife


Madagascar is sometimes referred to as “the eighth continent.” Ever since it split from the African land mass, the East African island evolved in isolation.

This resulted in an incredible amount of plants and animals that are found nowhere else on the planet, which makes for a truly exotic island vacation.

Those planning to relax can head to Nosy Be Island, a smaller island just off the northern shore, which is home to stunning beaches. Madagascar is the perfect destination for wildlife lovers.

Best Things to Do in Madagascar

Everyone knows about  Ring-tailed Lemurs , which were made famous by the 2005 animated film based on the island. But Madagascar animal life offers so much more.

There’s the Fossa, the island’s largest carnivore (the size of a small cougar); Chameleons in all shapes and sizes; the Leaf-tailed Gecko (one of the weirdest animals we’ve seen); many endemic birds; and more.Ranomafana and Andasibe/Mantadia National Parks are great destinations to see wildlife .

Landscapes around the island are also incredibly varied. Within a few hundred miles you can find deserts , rainforests, mountains , spiny forests, and heavenly stretches of coastline.

A road trip around the Route 7, which runs down the southern half of the island, is a great way to explore the Madagascar’s diverse landscapes

Where to Stay in Madagascar

Luxurious Eden Lodge is an eco lodge in Madagascar set within a private nature reserve surrounded by clear water and white, sandy beaches.

The property is committed to ecotourism: It’s completely solar-powered, built from natural materials, focuses on protecting coral reefs , and its a portion of its profits support local schools and teacher salaries.   –Margherita Ragg of The Crowded Planet

Exotic Islands in Africa - Mafia Island Tanzania

Mafia Island (Tanzania)

Some people claim that Mafia Island Marine Park offers the best snorkeling in all of East Africa . Still, the island– which is about 100 miles southeast of Dar es Salaam– remains well off the tourism track.

The small tropical island is packed with deserted beaches and a few low-rise boutique hotels that cater to divers. But it should be known as a barefoot-style island getaway, where time stands still.

Best Things to Do in Mafia Island

Snorkeling and diving are by far the main draws here. Mafia Island is home to 460 species of fish and 50 hard corals, and whale sharks visit the archipelago annually.

There are 160 species of birds in the area, as well as wildlife rarities such as Dwarf Hippos and Comoros Flying Foxes.

Take a nature walk to explore the verdant green inland and you’ll find overgrown ruins which shed light on the past of the Swahili coast.

Where to Stay in Mafia Island

Go barefoot in Butiama Beach, a casual beachfront boutique hotel on the western shore of Mafia Island. Butiama Beach has a prime location for whale shark watching, as the giants usually swim by the shore during their peak season.

Complimentary kayaks can take you to the island’s deserted sandbanks and uninhabited inlets, whereas snorkeling and diving trips explore nearby Mafia Island Marine Park. -Niina Lehikoinen 0f  Bizarre Globe Hopper

READ MORE: Top 10 Tanzania National Parks & Reserves

Curieuse island Seychelles - Giant tortoise photo by Full Suitcase

While most people associate the Seychelles with white sand beaches (and as one of the best islands for a honeymoon), this archipelago of more than 100 islands is actually a real nature lover’s paradise.

Every island offers something unique, whether it’s lush tropical forests , desolate beaches, endemic flora and fauna, or indigenous cultural traditions. Whether you’re a sun worshipper or an outdoor adventurer, the Seychelles is perfect for anyone looking for exotic vacation destinations.

Best of all, just a few islands are developed: The majority of the Seychelles is totally uninhabited.

Best Things to Do in Seychelles

Since the islands of the Seychelles are scattered in the Indian Ocean, it’s difficult to visit a lot of them in one trip. However, it’s fairly easy to build Seychelles holidays around a small cluster of islands in the vicinity of Praslin. For nature lovers, the following islands are the best places to visit in Seychelles:

Praslin , the second largest island, is home to Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). It’s a lush rainforest where you can find the world’s biggest nut, the coco-de-mer.

La Digue   Island is perfect for those who want to experience traditional local life. It also has some incredible scenery, especially at Anse Source D’Argent, a beautiful beach with giant granite boulders.

Curieuse  Island is a Marine National Park, and the best place to see giant tortoises , endemic birds, and untouched nature.

Cousin  Island is a paradise for bird-watchers, but there are also turtles, tortoises, and lots of other animal species. Snorkeling and Scuba diving are also very popular, with lots of nice spots all over the area. The coral reef here isn’t impressive, but there’s a large variety of colorful fish and sea turtles.

Where to Stay in Seychelles

Probably the best place to stay in this part of the Seychelles is in a Praslin Island hotel. This island has the best infrastructure, lodging for all budgets, and the possibility to arrange day trips. Check out Le Domaine de La Reserve or the  Colibri Hotel .

Best islands in Philippines -Coron, Palawan

Coron, Palawan (Philippines)

Coron encompasses a town (located on Busuanga Island), an island (nearby Coron Island), and over 50 minor islets in the Philippines’ Calamian archipelago. This is arguably the most picturesque part of Palawan , which has been voted Best Island in the Philippines and Best Island in the World several years in a row.

Best Things to Do in Coron

There are tons of awesome things to do in Coron, such as climbing Mount Tapyas, swimming in one of the world’s cleanest lakes (Lake Kayangan), snorkeling or Scuba diving impressively pristine coral reef systems, and island-hopping.

But it’s also an incredible place to simply soak in the otherworldly beauty of the stunning karst landscapes, impossibly blue waters, and jaw-dropping sunsets.

The beaches here have been consistently ranked among the best in the world, and the traditional Hilot massage will rub away any aches and pains you may have after a long day of outdoor adventure.

Where to Stay in Coron, Palawan

We enjoyed our time at  Club Paradise Resort Palawan – a secluded private island resort– so much that we stayed there twice.

They offer three types of rooms: Garden View Rooms, Garden Suites, and rustic Villas on both the east (sunrise) and west (sunset) sides of the island.

The snorkeling from the beach is exceptional (we saw Sea Turtles, Reef Sharks, Pufferfish, and Octopi), and their Glow Spa is both relaxing and shockingly affordable .

READ MORE:   Top 15 Things to do in Coron, Palawan

Exotic Asian Islands to Visit - Cat Ba Island Vietnam

Cat Ba Island (Vietnam)

The beautiful island of Cát Bà, located about three hours east of Hanoi, is perhaps best known as the home of Ha Long Bay.

Although Ha Long’s sheen has faded a bit in recent years due to mass tourism , this remains a stunning region where craggy limestone casts rise out of the turquoise sea. It’s also home to Ha Long’s less crowded (and more affordable!) sister, Lan Ha Bay.

Cát Bà is one of the best islands in Asia. And while its bays are breathtaking, you also won’t want to miss its mountainous jungles, world-class white sand beaches, and abundant wildlife .

Best Things to Do in Cat Ba Island

Going on a Lan Ha Bay cruise is a must. Be sure to book one that includes several kayaking stops, so you get a chance to marvel up close at the huge limestone cliffs looming above you.

Once you’re back on land, hit up Cat Ba National Park, where you can either choose a day hike through the jungle or a longer trek, like a 17-kilometer hiking trail to the remote fishing village of Viet Hai.

Be sure to keep an eye out for monkeys in the treetops as you’re hiking around the park!

Where to Stay in Cat Ba

Cat Ba Sunrise Resort offers unparalleled views of Ha Long Bay and is a conveniently located home base for your adventures around the island.

Plus, with amenities such as its own private beach, pool, and spa, this relaxing resort in Cát Bà gives you a well-deserved break from all that kayaking and adventuring.

Who’s to say that nature lovers can’t enjoy a bit of luxury as well? – Jessica Schmit of Uprooted Traveler

READ MORE: Saving Asian Animals (10 Best Conservation Programs)

Exotic Islands to Visit in Asia- Komodo Island

Komodo Island (Indonesia)

The country of Indonesia is made up of more than 14,000 islands, but few are more interesting than the island of Komodo and the National Park located there.

Komodo National Park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986 in an effort to recognize and protect the area’s vast amount of biodiversity.

Not only does this region boast the famous (and increasingly rare) Komodo dragons, but it’s also one of the best islands in Indonesia if you want to see an incredible amount of marine life.

Best Things to Do in Komodo Island

Visiting one of the Komodo Dragon Conservation Centers is a must-do for anyone in this National Park, as it’s the only place in the world you can see these rare creatures in their natural habitat.

For those who are interested in Komodo diving, the very best thing you can do is visit Komodo National Park on a scuba diving liveaboard .

You’ll have the opportunity for scuba diving several times each day in the region’s more remote sites, and you’ll likely spot creatures such as Dolphins, Sharks , Sea Turtles, Manta Rays, and more!

Where to Stay in Labuan Bajo

It’s not possible to stay in a Komodo Island accomodation, since it’s a protected national park. Instead, most visitors stay on nearby Labuan Bajo Island and visit the park on a day trip.

Plataran Komodo Beach Resort  is an excellent option. However, for an even better experience, skip the hotel entirely and stay on a liveaboard boat. This covers your accommodation needs as well as several dives per day.

Tanaka is a good choice for a mid-range budget. But if you’re looking for a bit of luxury on the water, Samambaia is sure to deliver. -Katie Diederichs of Two Wandering Soles

READ MORE: Best Things to Do in Indonesia for Nature Lovers

Exotic Islands in Asia - Langkawi Malaysia

Langkawi Island (Malaysia)

From spotting dusky Leaf Monkeys at breakfast to nighttime walks into the jungle to find the Colugo, those elusive gliding mammals who live in the trees, Langkawi Island is a nature lover’s dream.

This UNESCO World Geopark– part of a 99-island archipelago– lies 30 miles off the coast of Malaysia.

It offers a wonderous mix of wildlife, stunning beaches, and awe-inspiring landscapes, making it a great place for families, couples, and intrepid adventurers alike.

Best Things to Do in Langkawi

If you’re OK with heights, one of the most breathtaking Langkawi attractions is the Sky Bridge. Take a trip up to the peak of Gunung Mat Chinchang by cable car, and you’ll be rewarded with incredible views of the island. You can also walk through the jungle canopy on the Langkawi Sky Bridge.

Having taken in the scenic views, make your way down to the white sands of Pantai Cenang beach and explore the sparkling sea water by renting sea kayaks or snorkeling gear. You can also take a boat out to nearby Payar Island for the best local snorkeling spots.

The Kilim Karst Geoforest Park is teeming with wildlife, and a trip along the river Kilim is the best way to spot birds, lizards, and even swimming Macaques.

One of my favorite evening Langkawi activities is to take a guided walk into the edge of the jungle to look for Colugo. My kids loved spotting them high in the trees, leaping and gliding from one branch to another as dusk fell.

Where to Stay in Langkawi

Having breakfast at the Westin Langkawi Resort and Spa , you might be lucky enough to be joined by a passing family of Dusky Leaf Monkeys. After breakfast, you can enjoy a walk along their private beach overlooking the Andaman Sea, hire a catamaran, wind-surf, or simply let your stresses drain away at their serene tropical spa.

Temple Tree Resort is a wonderful selection of rescued houses from across Malaysia. They also rescue cats, who wander happily around the grounds.   -Nichola of  Globalmouse Travels

READ MORE: Top 25 Things to do in Malaysia for Nature Lovers

Beautiful Islands to visit - Maldives

Close your eyes and imagine yourself having one of the best island holidays in a tropical paradise. You most likely picture yourself lying on a pristine white sand beach under shady palm trees, looking out across an ocean filled with various shades of blue.

Now multiply that island by 1200, and you have the Republic of Maldives . With over 200 inhabited islands to choose from, you can treat yourself a life of luxury at any number of  Maldives all-inclusive resorts, adventure through 22 atolls, and immerse yourself in the islands’ rich indigenous culture.

Best Things to Do in Maldives

If you love the water, Maldives is the place for you. You can swim up close with giant Whale Sharks in Maafushi, dive with pods of hundreds of Dolphins in Thulusdhoo, snorkel with Manta Rays in Noonu, or catch some waves at the famous surfer’s hotspot of Coke’s Beach.

You can also enjoy the local cuisine of a traditional Maldivian breakfast, take jet-skis and a picnic lunch to spend the day on an uninhibited Maldives island, and catch your own dinner by handline fishing in the Indian Ocean.

Where to Stay in Maldives

Robinson Club Noonu is a wonderful Maldives all inclusive that offers dreamy over-water bungalows and private infinity pools. There’s also a WellFit gym, sauna and spa, a large pool overlooking the ocean, complimentary snorkeling gear, three restaurants with varied buffets, and three bars for an all-you-can-eat-and-drink experience.  -Sara of Our Kind of Crazy  

READ MORE: Maldives Becomes The World’s Largest Marine Reserve

Bonaire Island - Best Caribbean Islands

The small Caribbean island of Bonaire is the lesser known of the Netherlands’ “ABC Islands,” which also include Aruba and Curacao . While the other two islands have seen considerable urban development over the last few decades, Bonaire really hasn’t.

Bonaire is best known for its marine conservation , which dates back to the creation of   Bonaire National Marine Park in 1979. The island is a Scuba diving paradise, with over 80 dive sites and opportunities to see Loggerhead Turtles, Green Sea Turtles, and even Seahorses.

Bonaire is also a great place for birdwatching . Its mangroves offer safe nesting sites for beautiful birds  such as Herons, Ospreys, and Magnificent Frigates. Pink Flamingos can be observed in several locations, including the Pekelmeer Flamingo Sanctuary.

Best Things to Do in Bonaire

The island of Bonaire offers plenty of other outdoor activities for nature lovers. Visitors can hike in Washington Slagbaai National Park to see Iguanas in their natural environment, or kayak through the Lac Bay mangroves looking for Herons, reef fish, and the endangered Queen Conch.

It’s fun (and relatively easy) to bike the small, flat roads around the island. You can walk through Rincón, Bonaire’s old town, which was established by the Spanish in the 16th-century.

Learn about the island’s Dutch colonial past, which saw the expansion of salt harvesting and slavery, with the Slave Huts a reminder of that somber period.

And make sure to sample some Bonaire cuisine– a mix of fresh fish, Dutch influence,  Creole spices, and Spanish flavors. Local delicacies include barracuda ravioli, wahoo sushi, and iguana meatballs.

Where to Stay in Bonaire

Best tropical islands to visit for nature lovers - Cuba

Cuba is arguably one of the best tropical islands to visit for nature lovers . [Editor’s note: Sadly, one of the world’s most buzzworthy island holiday destinations just became MUCH harder for U.S. residents to visit due to the current administration’s archaic policies .]

The largest island in the Caribbean, Cuba is home to a whopping 263 protected areas and six UNESCO biospheres . These include Buenavista, Cienega Zapata, Cuchillas del Toa, Baconao Peninsula de Guanacabibes, and Sierra del Rosario.

Amd with almost 4000 miles of sandy coastline, Cubas’s coral reefs are pristine and virtually untouched (one upside of decades of travel bans by the U.S. government).

Best Things to Do in Cuba

There are many things to do in all these biospheres, and it seems each one has a specialty.

Sierra del Rosario Biosphere is next to the town of Las Terrazas,  which is a self-sufficient, farm-to-table town at the forefront of ecotourism. Every restaurant in town serves only what they grow. Las Terrazas also has an artist’s colony as well as the longest zipline in Cuba, stretching over 6 crystalline lakes.

All of the biospheres have swimming holes and nature hikes led by expert local guides.

Where to Stay in Cuba

The Hotel Moka , which has trees growing in the middle of the lobby, is a fine place to stay in Las Terrazas while you explore abandoned coffee plantations and visit the Soroa Orchid Garden. The hotel sits on a mountainside, overlooking the lush forest below.  – Talek Nantes of Travels with Talek

READ MORE: The Best Hotels in Isla Holbox, Mexico

Be a Responsible Traveler: Hire Local Guides

Dominica Island

Though often confused with the Dominican Republic, Dominica easily ranks among the best Caribbean islands due to its under-the-radar tourism profile and emphasis on ecotourism and conservation.

Known as the “Nature Island,” Dominica is said to be the only Caribbean island Christopher Columbus would still recognize if he landed there today.

And though Dominica has been hammered by devastating tropical storms in recent years, this tiny island (population 71,000) in the Lesser Antilles is as unspoiled as any destination we’ve ever visited. Even in 2019, a full two-thirds of its 290 square miles remains completely undeveloped.

Best Things to Do in Dominica

Morne Trois Pitons National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains a brief section of the 114-mile Waitukabuli National Trail . It’s also home to the stunning waterfalls at the aptly-named Emerald Pool, which we had all to ourselves during our visit.

The island’s location (and relative lack of tourism) makes it a great place to see nesting Sea Turtles, which are protected by the Dominica Sea Turtle Conservation organization.

You also won’t want to miss a whale-watching tour with Kubuli Watersports, run by Andrew Armour (who is locally known as “the Whale Whisperer”).

Other awesome things to do in Dominica include the volcano-fed hot springs of Screw’s Sulphur Spa, snorkeling/diving at the volcano -heated Champagne Reef, a boat tour down the Indian River, and getting to know the island’s indigneous cultural traditions at the Kalinago Barauna Aute.

Where to Stay in Dominica

One of the best Caribbean resorts we’ve ever visited, Rosalie Bay Resort, was permanently closed in 2018 after taking a major hit from Hurricane Maria.

But we also enjoyed the stunning scenic vistas and private beaches of Secret Bay and the recently renovated Fort Young Hotel , which was built into  a historic fort conveniently located in downtown Roseau. –Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

READ MORE:   Visiting Dominica’s Kalinago Territory

Best Caribbean Islands - Grenada Island

With its aquamarine waters, diverse wildlife , and lush mountainous interior, Grenada and its sister islands (Carriacou and Petite Martinique) are home to an incredible range of natural attractions.

Although this three-island nation is still under-the-radar for mainstream tourists, it’s ideal for independent travellers who want to immerse themselves in a naturally beautiful setting, but also crave exciting things to do.

Take a nature hike in Grenada’s Grand Etang National Park and you can expect to see Tree Boas, Green Iguanas and Lizards as well as Opossum, Armadillo, Mona Monkeys, and some of more than 177 species of birds .

Post-hike, you’ll feel as though you’ve landed in paradise when you cool off by plunging beneath   natural waterfalls .

Best Things to Do in Grenada 

While there’s plenty to do in the island’s interior for outdoor adventurers, the best way to experience Grenada’s natural attractions is to explore its coast.

You’ll find 40 beautiful Grenada beaches with white sand, 30 dive sites, and several coral reefs. The government continues to expand the island’s marine protected areas: Its fourth, the Grande Anse Marine Protected Area, stretches south from the Port Louis Marina. It encompasses the pristine white sands of Grand Anse Beach, which is widely considered one of the world’s top beaches.

A must-do in St. George’s, the island’s capital city, is to take a snorkelling excursion on a wooden sailing sloop to the Grenada Underwater Sculpture Park . This is the world’s first underwater museum  (featuring sculptures by Jason deCaires Taylor ), and an innovative ecological project helping to raise awareness about the fragility of the world’s environment.

Where to Stay in Grenada

You don’t need to rough it in order to immerse yourself in nature in Grenada. Many of the island’s luxury hotels are small, sustainable, and full of character. Their restaurants serve cuisine that showcases locally-sourced ingredients such as organic chocolate, fresh seafood, and fragrant spices.

The best small Grenada hotels include the Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel , a Relais & Chateaux property set on peaceful Lance Aux Epines Beach, as well as the all-inclusive Spice Island Beach Resort.  This low-rise collection of elegant guest suites is set on Grand Anse Beach, just steps away from some of the Caribbean’s most swimmable waters.

Also located on Grand Anse Beach is the newest addition to Genada’s luxury hotel scene, Silversands Grenada , featuring 43 posh guests suites and villas. -Michele Peterson of A Taste for Travel

READ MORE:   Caribbean & Latin American Art: History & Travel Guide

Beautiful Islands to visit -Turks and Caicos by Dianashealthyliving

The islands of Turks and Caicos have some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean . The crystal clear blue waters make it an incredible destination for snorkeling or scuba diving.

One of the best beaches in Turks and Caicos is Grace Bay Beach. The barrier reef is about a mile out and protects Grace Bay from the ocean swells of the Atlantic.

Best Things to Do in Turks and Caicos

There are many wonderful activities to enjoy on what I consider among the most  beautiful Caribbean islands . Both islands are primarily known for diving and snorkeling, as the island sits on an underwater plateau that rises more than 11,000 feet above the ocean floor.

The edges of the shelf are lined by miles of relatively unspoiled barrier reef . There are many wall diving sites and sheltered in-shore reefs. If snorkeling or diving is not your thing, lounging on the island’s beautiful beaches are just as good.

Where to Stay in Turks and Caicos

If there’s a downside to Turks and Caicos, it’s that the islands are relatively expensive. If you don’t mind cooking (though groceries are pricey as well), then renting an Airbnb may be a great option.

If you’re travelling with kids then try Blue Haven , an all-inclusive option that offers large suites with kitchens. -Diana of Diana’s Healthy Living

READ MORE:   Caribbean Music Styles (An Intro to Caribbean Island Culture)

Papagayo Beach, Lanzarote Canary Islands

The Canary Islands archipelago is a fantastic European holiday destination that goes well beyond the typical tropical island concept.

The seven main Spanish islands, as well as the numerous smaller ones, offer an incredible variety of beaches, charming little villages, and cities (including Las Palmas and Santa Cruz) thriving with life.

Nature lovers will also enjoy the island’s lush vegetation, picturesque hiking trails , and striking desert landscape.

Best Things to Do in the Canary Islands

Your opinion of the best Canary Islands to visit will likely depend on the kind of holiday destination you’re looking for.

Tranquil Canary Islands beaches, such as Papagayo in Lanzarote, offer perfect places to relax.  Lanzarote’s steady strong winds are a guarantee of excellent waves, making this the best place to surf in the Canary Islands.

Hiking Tenerife, the home of Mount Teide (the tallest volcano in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site), is fantastic and attracts the majority of active tourists.

Beautiful villages can be found all across the archipelago. And for that remote desert feeling, Gran Canaria’s Maspalomas Dunes is the place to go.

Where to Stay in Gran Canaria

Lopesan Baobab Resort  is a fantastic Gran Canaria resort located just 600 meters from Maspalomas Beach. Its main attraction is the incredible views it offers overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.  – Claudia Tavani of My Adventures Across The World

READ MORE:  10 Ec0-Friendly European Islands (World Travel Bucket List)

Pretty Islands in Europe by Expedition Wildlife Corsica Mountains GR20

Corsica (France)

Located just north of Sardinia, the French island of Corsica is utterly unique in its culture, food , music, and language.

This makes it an exciting destination for those looking to expand their off-the-beaten-path Mediterranean islands bucket list.

This stunning island has beaches that rival the best in the world, as well as impressive mountains to explore. Plus, having little light pollution makes the stargazing here out of this world!

Best Things to Do in Corsica

The island of Corsica is known in the hiking community as home to Europe’s toughest trek, the GR20. The trail traverses the island’s rugged mountains, and passes through farm stays and along clear blue streams.

The white-sand of Palombaggia in the south and the rocky Plage du Lotu in the north both make for incredibly relaxing beach vacations . Adventure-seekers can amp up their visit with all manner of water sports, such as paddle boarding, boating, Scuba, and more.

For wine lovers, Corsica’s northern wine region is a must-visit, especially when you pair the vintages  with beautifully made Corsican cheeses.

Where to Stay in  Corsica

Bastia is the perfect place to base yourself in Corsica, as it is the main hub for many excursions to other parts of the island.

Hotel Des Gouverneurs is in the Old Town of Bastia, situated adjacent to the citadel and numerous narrow, cobblestone streets leading to delicious local food/wine destinations.

The view out to the Mediterranean is an added bonus. –Christa Rolls of Expedition Wildlife

READ MORE: The Best Hiking Shoes for Travelers

Best Croatian islands -Hvar croatia

Hvar (Croatia)

Hvar is one of the best Croatian islands, mainly due to its cultural and historic significance.

The island is home to the Stari Grad Plains, an ancient agricultural area that has remained largely untouched from its original layout in the 4th century B.C. Now it is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Aside from history, the island also offers that quintessential Croatian coastline, stretching through the Adriatic Sea but maintaining numerous connections to the country’s  mainland .

Best Things to Do in Hvar Island

The island has a healthy mix of things to do  to suit all interests. In the city of Hvar, you can hike high atop the rocky cliffs to check out the Spanish Fortress or head into town to grab a sweet treat. In Stari Grad, you can visit Tvrdalj Castle, the Renaissance-era summer home of a famous poet.

Outside the small towns, the island is dotted with lavender fields and vendors selling natural lavender-based products. There is also a tradition of wine-making on Hvar, and there are many seaside coves and beaches where you can escape to enjoy the sunshine.

Where to Stay in  Hvar Island

If you’re looking to stay close to the ferry port in Stari Grad, check out B&B  Villa Apolon .  For a more secluded, but eco-conscious Hvar accommodation, Villa Perka is an authentic option you may want to check out! – Eric and Lisa from Penguin and Pia

Best European Islands - Madeira

Madeira Islands (Portugal)

Like most of the polaces on this list, the four islands of the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira have beautiful coastlines.

But they also offer interesting fauna and flora, amazing volcanic formations, delicious cuisine, and glorious mountain peaks, which ranks them among our top islands to visit.

There are a wide variety of activities nature lovers can enjoy on these beautiful islands, which are located off the northwest coast of Africa. And the temperature is pleasant all year round, thanks to the subtropical climate.

Best Things to Do in  Madeira

Hiking in Madeira  is easily the most popular activity. The levadas were historically used as Madeira’s irrigation channels, taking water from the northwest to the more fertile southeast.

But nowadays they’re also used as hiking trails, and offer a great way to explore the island. An absolute must for trekking enthusiasts is the Pico Areeiro to Pico Ruivo trail, which connects the highest peaks on the island.

You can also go swimming at Calheta Beach, or catch a boat from the pier to see Whales and Dolphins. If you’re feeling adventurous, try paragliding to get a bird’s-eye view of the island!

Where to Stay in Madeira

Four Views Baía has a great location in Funchal that’s close to many restaurants, cafes, and markets. It’s a great base to explore Madeira island, and a lovely place to relax after a long exhausting day. The hotel also has a spa and pool, which has a gorgeous view. – Krix Eniko  of Travel Hacker Girl <

Best Italian islands- Sardinia Italy

Sardinia (Italy)

Located just south of Corsica, Sardinia’s wild and rugged mountains hide a myriad of underground grottos, which give an insight into the island’s rich history.

Around the perimeter, pristine beaches (including 5 wheelchair-accessible beaches ) hug the coastline, interrupted by rocky promontories that are pockmarked with sea caves.

It’s arguably the best Italian island to explore, and offers a lot to the curious visitor.

Best Things to Do in Sardinia

Head to the hills if you want to experience hiking Sardinia, with some of the best trails in the European islands and incredible views to match.

Keep an eye out for the mystical looking nuraghi (mysterious beehive-shaped ruins of ancient fortresses that are unique to Sardinia) that punctuate the landscape. You can also discover stunning stalagmites and stalactites in many amazing caves  lurking beneath the island’s surface.

Be sure to also schedule some time to unwind at the beach. But while you do, keep an eye on the sky and you may spot the tell-tale silhouette of a Flamingo in flight!

Where to Stay in Sardinia

At nature’s doorstep you’ll find the authentic and welcoming Hotel Nascar . This unique Sardinia accommodation is a former granary that has been reincarnated as a charming place to stay. It’s the perfect launch pad for trekking the Selvaggio Blu. Awarded the European Eco-Label, it’s a hotel that goes the extra mile to protect the environment.  – Nadine Maffre of Le Long Weekend

READ MORE: A Local’s Guide to Le Marche, Italy

Best Greek islands for beaches -Things to do in Crete

Crete, the largest island in Greece, is also its southernmost. So you can enjoy tropical island weather here longer than the most popular Greek islands to the north, such as Santorini and Mykonos.

Between the stunning cliff beach of Seitan Limania, the pink beach of Elafonisi, and the paradise retreat of Balos Lagoon, Crete is one of the best islands in Greece for those seeking beautiful beaches.

Beyond that, you’ll find the towns of Heraklion, Chania, and Rethymnon to be full of charming historic spots left over from Crete’s Venetian, Ottoman, and even Egyptian past.

Best Things to Do in Crete

For the daring, take the drive out to Seitan Limania beach and make your way down the cliffs to the water’s edge. You can laze around in the sand or climb up the cliffs to jump into the water below.

Outdoor enthusiasts should make time to hike Samara Gorge , while history buffs should explore the island’s numerous amazing archaeological sites .

Where to Stay in Crete

The Rimondi Boutique Hotel  makes a great base from which you can enjoy all the things there are to do in Rethymnon, including touring the Venetian harbor, eating at Raki ba Raki, and strolling along the coast under the Fortezza at sunset. Enjoy their Turkish baths while staying in the heart of the charming Venetian city.   -Stephanie Craig of Sofia Adventures

READ MORE: The Best Places to Visit in  Greece

Picturesque Greek Island - Delos Island

Delos Island  is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known as a pirate island and Apollo’s birthplace. Greek heroes of old were trained here, hoping to absorb Apollo’s skills and blessing before battle.

Though it may not top most travelers’ bucket list of Greek islands to visit, Delos offers plenty of attractions for those with an interest in history and ancient Greek culture.

Best Things to Do on  Delos Island

I would suggest taking a guided tour to see this picturesque Greek island. Hike among the wildflowers, and walk past the famous Delos Lions towards Apollo’s Temple. Visit the Dolphin House, where a Rosetta Stone mosaic design still holds the artist’s signature from the 2nd century.

Walk among the many houses, which contain some of the best-preserved mosaic masterpieces from the 1st and 2nd Century BC. Many of these are considered even more well-preserved than those found in Pompeii.

Visit the Archeological Museum of Delos, which contains nine rooms full of artifacts found on the island from prehistoric times to the 15th century.

Where to Stay in Mykonos (to get to Delos)

While you cannot stay on the island of Delos itself, it is possible to stay on Mykonos and then take a ferry over to Delos. Of course Mykonos is also considered among the most beautiful Greek Islands, and is worthy of a visit on its own merits.

I recommend staying in Nissaki Boutique Hotel because of its close proximity to Psarou Beach, natural wood accents, and cascading pools.

You can also stay in the luxurious Mykonos Dove Beachfront Hotel , with sits olar powered umbrellas and private pools adorned with lush greenery. – Janiel from Culture Trekking

READ MORE:  13 Best Small Ship Cruises (World Travel Bucket List)

Best Greek Islands - Karpathos Greece

On Karpathos Island, which is located at the southeast corner of the Aegean Sea between Crete and Rhodes, people measure distances by walking time.

This long, thin, 116-square-mile island is criss-crossed by some 30 signed trails. They pass through forests, rocky mountains, agricultural land, shoreline, and ancient and modern villages. Once you’ve explored it, it’s no wonder some travelers consider Karpathos the prettiest Greek island.

Karpathos and its neighboring sister, Saria Island (which are separated by a 150-meter channel), combine unique natural environments with a fascinating cultural setting.

Once inhabited by Greeks, Romans, and pirates, today the islands attract migratory birds, the endangered Monk Seal , and a rich botanical array. The Natura 2000 nature reserve and national marine reserve demonstrate the island’s commitment to protecting its outstanding biodiversity.

Best Things to Do in Karpathos

Besides the hiking, Karpathos is known as a windsurfing mecca, with bays to suit every ability level. The island boasts more than 100 beaches, most in leeward coves with cliffs framing the clear water.

Snorkeling and caving are popular here. Scuba divers enjoy good visibility, underwater volcanic rock fields, and a few sunken ships. Back on land, activities include mountain biking and cliff climbing.

Hiking is often combined with birdwatching (over 200 species have been identified on the island) or a botanical and culinary walk (featuring dozens of endemic plants).

Don’t miss the northern village of Olympos for a taste of Karpathos’ distinctive food and culture. It produces some of the world’s best honey and the aromatic Greek oregano used generously in its dishes.

Where to Stay in Karpathos

Most Karpathos hotels are in the main port town of Pigadia (Karpathos City) or along the southern coast. Central to everything is the Alimounda Mare Hotel , which offers a complete array of upscale resort services.

For a more intimate, remote experience, try Villa Iliahtida in Tristomo . Contact EcoTourism Karpathos for your help with planning your eco-friendly trip. – Kristin Henning of Travel Past 50

READ MORE:   Ancestors & Expectations at the Acropolis of Athens

Picturesque Greek island on the Aegean Sea - Leros Greece

Best Things to Do in Leros 

Where to stay in leros.

The Alinda Hotel is in a beautiful and quiet area of Leros, set right on the beach. Agia Marina is full of hotel apartments. Both make great bases from which to explore Leros before the secret gets out about this idyllic island. -Alana Tagliabue of Family Bites Travel

READ MORE: Happy Accidents on Aegina Island, Greece

Naxos Island Greece

Naxos is a beautiful Greek island that offers  the perfect combination of food and nature, tourist infrastructure and local authenticity.

The view from the island’s main dock says it all. To the left is an ancient ruin, straight ahead you can see the mountain ranges, and to the right is a great selection of restaurants.

Of course, the iconic white houses and wine-dark sea the Cycladic Islands are famous for complete the dramatic scene.

Best Things to Do in Naxos Greece

As Naxos is one of the largest islands in the archipelago, the best way to explore it is by renting a car. Head into the mountains and hike to find the Kouroi, which are ancient half-finished statues.

Scattered throughout these mountains are beautiful Greek churches and breathtaking views. There are enough traditional tavernas and olive presses to excite any food lover . Just be sure to visit a local shop to taste the world-famous Naxian cheeses. 

Once you’ve had your fill of culture, you can relax on one of the amazing Naxo s beaches, where it is usually possible to find yourself almost completely alone!

Where to Stay in Naxos

Thalassa Naxos provides an amazing beachside base for exploration. This tranquil Naxos accommodation (with cooking facilities and fridge) is nestled in a quiet natural area with long white sandy beaches, cedar forests, and sand dunes. 

If you’re more of a pool lover, then the family-friendly Naxos Palace Hotel will suit you perfectly. It is conveniently located within easy reach of the town and provides complimentary transport from the hotel every 30 minutes. – Samantha of Carry On or Bust

Aitutaki Cook Islands in the Polynesian Islands

Aitutaki (Cook Islands)

Aitutaki is more than just another jaw-dropping Polynesian island. It’s actually an archipelago of 15 of the most beautiful islands circling a postcard-perfect turquoise lagoon.

This is the perfect place for a holiday in Polynesia, with all the charm you’d expect from the South Pacific and surprisingly few of the tourists. In short, this is the place to indulge your castaway fantasies.

Best Things to Do in Aitutaki 

Taking an Aitutaki lagoon tour is an absolute must. Several companies run small group tours, taking 8 to 12 people on a boat to a few of the nearby islets and the best snorkeling spots. Most include the chance to see giant Trevallies and Wrasses, Giant Clams, blue Starfish and bright purple coral.

For a more intimate, personal experience, rent a kayak or charter a water taxi and see where the mood takes you. You can even ask to be dropped off with a picnic lunch and have a deserted islet all to yourself for the day!

Back on land, don’t miss an “island night” cultural celebration. These luau-like feasts of food and music are the best way to see Polynesian dancing and try traditional Cook Islands cuisine.

Where to Stay in Aitutaki

Our favorite Aitutaki accommodation was Etu Moana , a locally-owned boutique hotel with eight gorgeous villas. There’s no all-inclusive option here, and no poolside waiter service. Just an honesty bar, a quiet stretch of beach, and several friendly cats. -Lisa Bott-Hansson of Rebellious Tourist

READ MORE: 21 Tahiti Photos to Fuel Your Exotic Island Fantasies

World Travel Bucket Lists -Bora Bora Tahiti

Bora Bora (Tahiti)

Bora Bora (whose original name in the Tahitian language means “first-born”) is a luxury traveler’s dream, and the epitome of exotic island indulgence. It’s no wonder Bora Bora is widely considered one of the best islands in the world for a honeymoon.

With two mountains in the center of the island and a picture-perfect lagoon and barrier reef surrounding it, it’s the quintessential Tahiti destination for rest, relaxation, and romance.

“Getting away from it all” is defined by a stay in one of Bora Bora’s famed thatched-roof bungalows, whose glass floors allow views of an underwater world filled with fish, Manta Rays, and Reef Sharks.

Best Things to Do in Bora Bora

Pearl Diving in Bora Bora had been on our bucket list ever since we saw it as a challenge on The Amazing Race . The Bora Bora Pearl Company offers a chance to do it in a picturesque setting, and you learn a lot about pearl-farming in the process. You even get to keep the pearl you harvest!

Swimming with Sharks is another awesome activity, and we found ourselves surrounded by Black-tipped Reef Sharks, Stingrays, and all sorts of tropical fish. Unfortunately many local tour operators still chum the waters, which isn’t exactly what you’d call a responsible travel practice.

But our favorite thing to do in Bora Bora was snorkeling the Ruahatu Lagoon Sanctuary at the Four Seasons Resort. Built from the ground up by marine biologist Oliver Martin, this tranquil lagoon was filled with fish, octopi, a coral farm, and intriguing underwater sculptures.

Where to Stay in Bora Bora

The Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora is everything you want from a Tahiti vacation. It’s got luxury over-water bungalows, stunning scenic vistas, gorgeous beaches, a sumptuous spa, and exquisite seafood.

In terms of the best holiday destinations for couples, it’s hard to beat. If you’ve got the budget, splurge for a private beachside dinner, complete with lobster and tiki torches! –Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

READ MORE: Harmful Traditions & Cultural Practices Tourists Shouldn’t Support

Best Exotic Polynesian Islands - Easter Island

Easter Island (a.k.a. Rapa Nui)

Easter Island, which is known locally as Rapa Nui, is a mysterious and mythical place.Protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site , this tiny island is littered with some 400 massive stone head statues (a.k.a. Moai ).

Though widely considered one of the world’s top islands to visit, Easter Island is very remote. There are only two ways to get there: a 4-hour flight from Tahiti or a nearly 6-hour flight from Santiago de Chile .

Best Things to Do in Easter Island

The obvious thing to do here is to either independently do the sightseeing of the Easter Island highlights, or join a guided tour group to take you to different places on the island.

Everything is magical here, but don’t miss out on visiting the Moai “birthplace” at Rano Raraku quarry. You can also explore the Ahu Tahai and Ahu Tongariki platforms, the dormant Rano Kau volcano, and Anakena Beach, which is the only white sand beach on the island.

One of our favorite Easter Island activities is  scuba diving . Ask to dive in the Hanga Roa Harbor if you want to see the eerie underwater moai! During the right season, you may even get to hear and spot the Whale migration in the clear waters.

Where to Stay on Easter Island

I highly suggest the 5-star Easter Island hotel,  Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa . Simply a beautiful and relaxing eco-resort, it’s definitely one of the best places to stay on the island.

While the hotel is within walking distance from the town center of Hanga Roa, they also provide a professional concierge service. So you can hire a car, arrange a guided tour, or simply get some R&R in its beautiful swimming pool.   -Halef and Michael of The Round The World Guys

READ MORE: Rapa Nui National Park: Easter Island Facts & Photos

Best Polynesian Islands -Savaii & Upolu Samoa

Savaii & Upolu (Samoa)

Western Samoa is an absolute gem in the Pacific, where volcanic activity has created incredible topography across two islands. Savaii and Upolu islands are arguably among the most beautiful islands in the world. They’re littered with waterfalls , rainforest, beaches, cliffs, and swimming holes.On top of that, Samoa has one of the warmest cultures I’ve ever experienced in my years of traveling around the world .

Best Things to Do in Samoa

Where to stay in samoa.

Octopus Resort in Yasawa Islands Fiji by Hannah Logan

Yasawa Islands (Fiji)

As a country, Fiji is world renowned for its many beautiful islands. But the Yasawa Islands stand out as some of the best thanks to their natural beauty and the fact that they’re so easy to get to from Fiji’s main international airport in Nadi.

Visitors can choose one of the island resorts to relax at for the duration of their trip, or make use of the Yasawa Flyer and island-hop their way through this exotic archipelago.

Whether you’re looking for relaxing tropical places to visit or an adventurous vacation with a bit more of an adrenaline rush, the Yasawa Islands  have you covered.

Best Things To Do in the Yasawa Islands

The Yasawa Islands are known as an island-hopping destination that is especially popular among water sports enthusiasts.

So the best thing to do there is to snorkel or dive the nearby reef systems, which are teeming with marine life. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot some massive Manta Rays, or maybe get to scuba dive with Bull Sharks .

Many Yasawa resorts also offer kayaks and paddleboards for rent or loan. At the end of a busy day, you’ll want to spend some time relaxing on one of the white sand beaches and takomh in a stunning sunset.

Where to Stay in Yasawa

The Yasawa Islands resort I stayed at was Octopus Resorts (on Waya Island), which was fabulous in terms of service, location, and amenities.

Another highly recommended place to stay is Mantaray Island Resort , which is located on a nearby Nanuya Balavu Island. -Hannah Logan of EatSleepBreathTravel.com

READ MORE: Hawaiian Mythology (Intro to Hawaiian Gods, Goddess and Legends

The 30 Best Exotic Islands to Visit for your World Travel Bucket List via @greenglobaltrvl #ExoticIslands #ExoticIslandsParadise #ExoticIslandsParadiseTropical #ExoticIslandsParadiseTravel #ExoticIslandsParadiseBeautiful #ExoticIslandsParadiseTrips #ExoticIslandsParadiseAdventure #ExoticIslandsToVisit #ExoticIslandsTravel #ExoticIslandsParadiseDreamVacations #ExoticIslandDreams #ExoticIslandBucketList #ExoticIslandsWanderLust #ExoticIslandsWorld

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Divergent Travelers

16 Exotic Islands That Are Worth Adding to Your Bucket List

There’s nothing quite like an island getaway, and the world’s oceans are filled with exotic islands just waiting to be explored.

But deciding which exotic islands to visit is a challenge, given the sheer number and sheer diversity of the islands out there.

While the classic view of an exotic island might be white sand and swaying palm trees of the Maldives or Fiji, there’s much more waiting to be discovered

You can explore the cold climes of Deception Island in Antarctica, or you can venture into the frozen wilderness of Greenland .

Sri Lanka is full of national parks and exotic wildlife while Penang is an island that’s made for foodies.

There’s an island out there for everyone though, and to inspire your next trip, here are our favorite exotic islands to visit! 

16 Best Exotic Islands

Table of Contents

1. Maldives

The Maldives is quite literally the definition of exotic islands, and this small archipelago in the Indian Ocean is often the first thing that comes to mind when you think tropical.

That’s because the Maldives is beautifully photogenic. There are white-sand beaches fringed by palm trees and the water is wonderfully crystal clear. 

You can also indulge and relax at some of the best hotels in the world, and you’ll find that many are situated on private islands or beaches, and the only way to reach them is by boat or seaplane. 

Alternatively, board a small dhoni cruise or liveaboard and explore a wide range of islands during your visit. This is the best option if you love to snorkel or scuba dive.

Our Top Recommended Tours:

  • Maldives Island Hopping with G Adventures – 8 days
  • Maldives Dhoni Explorer with G Adventures – 7 days

2. Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a great island destination for anyone looking for an adventure because the island nation is full of culture, history, wildlife, and scenery.

Sri Lanka has something for every style of traveler, be it luxury or budget backpacker, and there’s so much to do in this compact country that you might keep returning time after time. 

You can go on elephant safaris in the national parks, whale watching along the coast, relax on white-sand beaches or trek into the jungles or highlands in search of ancient cities and temples. 

It is all these things that keep us coming back to Sri Lanka. We’ve spent more than a month traveling this country and constantly discover new things.

  • Sri Lanka Encompassed with G Adventures – 14 days
  • Discover Sri Lanka with National Geographic Journeys – 12 days
  • Sri Lanka Express with G Adventures – 8 days

3. Deception Island

Deception Island might not be the traditional definition when you think of exotic islands, but it’s certainly a raw and untraveled place. 

In that sense, it’s exotic, because few people ever make it to the Antarctic to set foot upon the black sand beaches of Deception Island . 

This is a rugged and beautiful place, an island at the mercy of the extreme Antarctic weather. It is teeming with seals and penguins and is known for its dramatic harbor, formed from the caldera of a sunken volcano. 

Add all that to the fact that the beach is a hot water beach. Boiling hot water bubbles up through the sand causing a steamy release at the top as it contrasts with the cold air.

Deception Island is as exotic as islands come.

  • Antarctica Classic with G Adventures – 11 days
  • Quest for the Antarctic Circle with G Adventures – 14 days
  • Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica with G Adventures – 22 days

4. Greenland

Another rugged and wild island to visit is Greenland, the largest island in the world.

Greenland is also at the mercy of extreme weather, as the island stretches deep into the Arctic Circle.

You’re best visiting in summer when the snow has melted and there’s a surprising abundance of wildlife. Brave the winter though and you can experience the northern lights and learn how to snowmobile or dog sled.

In Greenland, there are huge glaciers, endless stretches of wilderness and countless opportunities for adventure.

We spent 3 weeks exploring Greenland, visiting places like Ilulissat , Kangerlussuaq , Sisimiut , and Nuuk . We also walked the 100 mile Arctic Circle Trail. 

5. Busuanga, Philippines 

The Philippines is an archipelago that’s composed of thousands of exotic islands, but one of the most outstanding is Busuanga .

Located north of Palawan and south of Manila , Busuanga is the jumping-off point for island hopping through the Calamianes Islands. 

Here you can find Coron , one of the most popular destinations in the Philippines, where there are freshwater lakes, tall limestone karst rocks, and endless snorkeling and diving opportunities in both wrecks and reefs.

Busuanga is an island that is largely undiscovered as most travelers do not venture beyond the popular Coron Town.

This is hands down one of our favorite places in the world. We’ve been multiple times since we first discovered this area in 2014. 

  • Philippines West Tour – 10 days
  • Philippines Island Hopper – 19 days
  • Palawan Island Hopper – 10 days

Cuba is one of the most exotic islands in the Caribbean because the large island nation is brimming with diversity.

In Havana, one of the oldest cities in the Americas, you can stroll through ramshackle streets as you search out the rich colonial history. 

In the countryside of Vinales , you can hike and marvel at the beautiful scenery, and see where guerillas such as Che Guevara and Fidel Castro once waged war against the government.

Along the coast, you can enjoy classic Caribbean beach resorts at Varadero or you can enjoy some off the beaten track scuba diving in the Bay of Pigs.

Trinidad , a charming Spanish colonial city, is one of those gems that will leave you yearning for a return visit from the moment you arrive. It’s also, arguably, our favorite place to visit in Cuba.  

  • Cuba Libre with G Adventures – 6 days
  • Cuba Explorer with G Adventures – 9 days
  • Cuba Colonial with G Adventures -15 days

7. Easter Island

Easter Island is just about as exotic as it gets, especially if it’s intrigue and isolation that draws you in.

First of all, Easter Island is incredibly remote , being found in the Pacific Ocean somewhere between Chile and New Zealand. 

But most of all, this is a mysterious place, where the fascinating Easter Island Moai statues stand tall.

These are statues that have confused and baffled scholars for decades, and they truly add to the mystique of this rugged and raw destination.

Moai aside, this island is rich in natural beauty and pacific islander culture. It’s a journey for the senses and we’d recommend you plan at least a week for a visit.

  • Easter Island Independent Adventure with G Adventures – 4 days
  • Easter Island Tour – 4 days

8. Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Located off the coast of New Guinea, the Raja Ampat islands are one of the best scuba diving destinations in the world. 

This collection of well over 1000 small islands is remote, and it’s still being discovered by tourists and travelers. 

Marine life thrives in the waters here, and while the islands and beaches are themselves paradisiacal, it’s what’s beneath the waves that really draws people in. 

This area is remote and expensive by typical Southeast Asia standards, but totally worth the money and effort to visit.

9. Islands of Fiji

Fiji is a classic tropical getaway, and few other places in the world can be described as exotic islands, in the same easy manner that Fiji and its many islands can.

You can snorkel pristine coral reefs and scuba dive in one of the most biodiverse parts of the Pacific.

Chase waterfalls and uncover the wildlife within Fiji’s rainforest , or simply sit back, relax and unwind in the sunshine on a white sand beach.

We spent a month traveling throughout Fiji and can personally attest that it is a place of rich culture and insane natural beauty.

Places like Vanua Levu , Taveuni, Qamea, Viti Levu , Pacific Harbour , the Mamanuca Islands , and the Yasawa Islands should not be missed.

  • Wanderlands Fiji – 8 days
  • Yasawa Islands Sea Kayaking Fiji – 8 days

The enormous island of Borneo is one of the most exotic islands in the world because this is a destination teeming with wildlife and diversity .

Borneo is divided between Malaysia , Brunei, and Indonesia, and there are countless adventures awaiting you. 

Marvel at the golden mosque and floating villages in Brunei, scale the peak of Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain in Southeast Asia in Malaysia, or get off the beaten track and uncover Kalimantan, a rarely visited part of Indonesia. 

It’s also home to some of the best scuba diving in the world, the famed Sipadan . It’s a chance to dive a massive underwater volcano with enticing wall drops, huge schools of fish, loads of turtles and more sharks than you can imagine.

  • Best of Borneo with National Geographic Journeys – 12 days
  • Experience Borneo with G Adventures – 14 days
  • Western Borneo Experience with G Adventures – 8 days

11. Dominica

Located in the Caribbean , Dominica is one of the best islands to visit if you are looking for outdoor activities. 

This is a rugged, volcanic island, and you can hike through dense forest to reach bubbling hot springs or the crater of the tall volcano that stands over 1500 meters tall. 

Unlike most islands in the Caribbean, you will not find white sand beaches in Dominica . This is the island of nature and rocky, black beaches paired with lush, dense rainforest are the flagship of this island.

You can adventure all day, then sit back and enjoy the comforts of the resorts in the evening, as you enjoy raw sunsets over the Caribbean.

12. Zanzibar, Tanzania 

Located off the coast of Tanzania, Zanzibar is one of the most exotic islands to visit in Africa and the Indian Ocean.

Zanzibar is not just an island that’s known for its white-sand beaches and crystal clear water – although there are plenty of both to enjoy – it’s an island that’s also renowned for its culture and history. 

You can uncover the best of the island’s rich heritage and colonial history – be it African, Portuguese, Omani or British – in Stone Town, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed capital. 

  • Zanzibar Independent Adventure with G Adventures – 5 days
  • Classic Serengeti & Zanzibar with G Adventures – 13 days
  • Kilimanjaro & Zanzibar Adventures with G Adventures – 12 days

13. Caye Caulker, Belize 

Sleepy Caye Caulker, Belize

Off the coast of mainland Belize, you can find Caye Caulker , one of the most exotic islands in Central America. 

Surrounded by clear water that’s perfect for snorkeling and diving, Caye Caulker is a perfect island retreat. 

There’s only one village on the entire island, and the rest of Caye Caulker is just sand and mangroves. 

You can relax and unwind, and enjoy the famously slow pace of life that Caye Caulker and Belize are so famous for. Things happen slowly on Caye Caulker but that’s just fine if you’re on vacation. 

  • Explore Belize with National Geographic Journeys – 9 days
  • Classic Belize & Tikal with G Adventures – 9 days

14. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador 

The Galápagos Islands are one of the most famed destinations on the planet because this is the place that helped Darwin to refine his theories of evolution and natural selection in the 19th century. 

The Galápagos Islands can be reached from Ecuador, and visiting this unique part of the world is an unbelievable experience. 

The Galápagos Islands are remote and isolated, being found several hundred miles away from the South American coastline.

That isolation is what led to the islands becoming so naturally distinct, and today, as it was in Darwin’s day, the Galápagos is a haven for wildlife and birds.

  • Galapagos Express Adventure: Wilderness & Wildlife with G Adventures – 7 days
  • Galapagos Island Hopping with G Adventures – 9 days
  • Galapagos Adventure: Snorkeling & Sea Lions with G Adventures – 9 days

15. Samos, Greece

In Greece, one of the most exotic islands to visit is the beautiful island of Samos. 

This is the Aegean at its best and you’ll find a rugged coastline and charming Greek villages and towns to explore. 

As well as being beautiful though, Samos is also a place of history. This is where the iconic Ancient Greek mathematician Pythagoras came from, as did many more ancient philosophers and writers too.

There are ruins across the island, from historic castles to ancient aqueducts, and it’s a fantastic place to delve into.

Another great option to experience the most exotic islands in Greece is on a Greek Island Hopping tour. Discover the ancient history with spectacular beaches as you sail around the Greek archipelago .

  • Saling Greece – Santorini to Mykonos with G Adventures – 8 days
  • Greece: Ancient ruins & iconic islands with National Geographic – 12 days
  • Sailing Greece – Mykonos to Athens with G Adventures – 8 days

16. Penang, Malaysia 

For food lovers, one of the most exotic islands in the world could easily be Penang.

Found on the northwest coast of Malaysia, Penang has some great beaches and a beautiful national park, but most travelers visit to dig deep into the culinary scene. 

Georgetown is renowned for the quality of its food, and you can chow down on a range of local dishes, be they Malay, Chinese or Indian.

Whenever we think of our time spent in Penang, our mouths water at the thought of the street food.

  • Singapore to Bangkok Journey with National Geographic Journeys – 15 days
  • Southeast Asia: Hilltribes & Street food with G Adventures – 21 days

You might also like:

  • 17 Cheap Places to Travel Around the World
  • Phi Phi Islands in Thailand: Everything You Need to Know  
  • Our Guide to 11 Caribbean Islands
  • 17 Awesome Things to Do in Islamorada
  • 13 MUST NOT Miss Things to Do in Key West
  • 18 Amazing Things to Do in Key Largo
  • 9 Cool Things to do in St Thomas USVI
  • 21 Spectacular Things to do in Mallorca, Spain

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Travel planning resources, about david stock.

I have always been an outdoorsman so becoming an adventure traveler was just the next natural step. I love nature, I love to get off the beaten path and I like to explore. I enjoy scuba diving and cars. And yes, Lina and I have a naked dog.

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Home » Budget Travel » 25 Best Tropical Islands • Vacation Destinations for 2024!

25 Best Tropical Islands • Vacation Destinations for 2024!

Aquamarine waters, chalk-white beaches, nodding palm trees, and fragrant jungles – who doesn’t lust after the balmy beauty of tropical islands?

It feels like anything is possible in the tropics. With all kinds of adventure activities to keep you busy, you can easily spend days diving, sailing, trekking, and practising yoga. There’s nothing quite just like planting your tush on the sands of tropical beaches and breathing in those sunkissed vibes.

But of all the beautiful tropical places that grace the planet, how to choose which one to visit next?

Everyone deserves their fair share of vitamin sea, which is why we’ve scoured the globe to collate the  25 best tropical islands!  Whether you’re after adventure or simply want to practice your supine pose under the sun, one of these tropical island paradises are sure to float your boat. First up, it’s to the island of the gods…

Bali – The Tropical Island of the Gods

Seychelles – tropical paradise at a premium price, barbados – caribbean islands are a no-brainer, phuket – southern thailand is magnificent, the maldives – the ritziest destination in south asia, the perhentians – two tropical places to visit for the price of one, palawan – for some of the best diving in the philippines, fiji – a growing top island destination on people’s radars, the galapagos islands – exotic islands don’t come much more exotic, niue – technically it’s not a tropical island, koh rong – thai isle feels at a more chilled pace, raja ampat – for a tropical vacation off the beaten path, vanuatu – an overlooked gem of a tropical destination, koh lipe – like the maldives but cheaper, lombok and the gili islands – lots of islands, lots of vibes, bohol – tropical sights and adventure delights, mauritius – man, mauritius is just… the best, kauai (hawaii) – expensive, yes, but worth the cost, bermuda – tropical vacay gone mia, ilha grande – felicidade, san andrés – colombia meets the caribbean, saint vincent and the grenadines – yet more caribbean islands to visit, the whitsundays – in the tropics down under, the canary islands – it’s not all tropical beaches, bora bora – the pacific isles are woefully overlooked, in conclusion, it’s time to plan that tropical island vacation retreat.

Handara Gate - Famous historical attraction in Bali

Bali is that rare jewel that hits the sweet spot with backpackers, honeymooners, and family holidaymakers alike! Neither the cheapest destination in Southeast Asia nor the priciest, you’ve got the full spectrum tourist accommodation in Bali from fancy beachfront resorts to cosy guesthouses, chilled-out dorms, and wicked party hostels.

In Bali, it’s easy to cram your days with activities and excursions. Steeped in spirituality, there are thousands of Hindu temples dotted around the island with just as many yoga retreats. Or you can find a spot in the sun and kick back with a tropical juice or cold beer – there’s no judgement on Bali.

Take your pick between partying until sunrise or waking up at the crack of dawn to practise your warrior pose on the beach. Choose to eat beside locals at warungs or order the floating breakfast buffet to your private pool. When you’re visiting Bali , it’s all good.

What to do in Bali

  • Hire a scooter and explore the hundreds of temples, paddy fields, beaches, and jungles of Bali.
  • Strengthen your body and soothe your mind with a cocktail of surf and yoga classes.
  • Nurture your Instagram feed with delicious smoothie bowls. 
  • Hop on the boat and travel to Nusa Penida , a small tropical island featuring a t-rex shaped cliff and manta ray snorkelling. 

exotic island trip

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A family visiting a topical beach bungalow resort in Seychelles

With the softest sand and the warmest ocean, the name alone makes is enough to relax your sense. This dreamy archipelago of 115 islands sits in the middle of the Indian Ocean, far off the East African coast.

You’ve got a lot of options for choosing where to stay in Seychelles . Choose a base on Mahé , Praslin , and La Digue , and spend your days cruising around the smaller, uninhabited islands. 

Given the location and just how utterly pristine Seychelles is, it’s a very expensive tropical destination for a vacation – especially during December and January. It’s definitely smarter to visit between May and September when temperatures are the most pleasant, and it rains less.

After all, you don’t want to spend all those dollars to just sit in the rain.

What to Do in Seychelles 

  • Book a crazy swanky resort complemented suited only to the grandest tastes.
  • Dine on a diet of fancy cocktails and the finest imported food (or go find some local grub).
  • Sit at the end of your private pier and contemplate the effects of climate change on small island nations .

Small town in Barbados - top topical vacation destination in the Caribbeans

Barbados is an absolute banger Caribbean island! With zesty nightlife, awesome local communities, and a surprising number of botanical gardens and other more sedate activities, there really is something for everyone in Barbados. It is easily one of the best islands to visit in the Caribbean .

Young travellers relish the vibrant festivals that take place throughout the year ranging from musical throwdowns to the harvest season and even a fish festival.

At the same time, families will also have a hoot! Barbados is a very safe destination swimming in family-friendly resorts and villas. It’s a much-beloved island for a tropical vacation in the Caribbean for travellers with a younger brood.

On the eastern side of the island, you’ll find some rad surfing spots. Every beach on Barbados is open to the public, which means you can take your pick from the 80 tropical beaches the island has on offer. The food is delicious and you can always pick between the pricey restaurants and the cheaper hangouts favoured by locals. 

If you have the cash, you’ll have no shortage of activities to throw it at, but Barbados is also one of the more affordable islands in the Caribbean. There are so many amazing places to stay in Barbados – you’ll find mid-range hotels and hostels to suit a whole variety of budgets. If you want a truly authentic experience, you could consider staying in a vacation rental in Barbados which is usually someones home that they have rented out.

What to Do in Barbados 

  • Swim alongside turtles in the warm, azure water. 
  • Gorge on fish fry washed down with plenty of locally distilled Mount Gay.
  • Visit Scotland. That’s right – the region known as Saint Andrews bears a striking resemblance to the architectural landscape of Scotland (just with much, much better weather). 

Longboats at a tropical beach in Phuket, Thailand

Thailand’s largest island is the top tropical vacation for a wide mix of traveller styles and budgets. With its idyllic tropical beaches – pearl-white fringed with palms, glittering seas, and a myriad of peaceful temples – what’s not to like? Although, be sure to do your research when choosing where to stay in Phuket .

As a rule of thumb, central Phuket is popular with backpackers and party animals looking for some of Thailand’s best nightlife. Meanwhile, families or couples seeking a romantic escape may prefer the north or south areas. You’ll find no shortage of digs, ranging from budget hostel beds and homestays to whopping resorts and luxury retreats. 

As a general tip for the Thai islands – don’t write off the monsoon season (May-October). This means sharing Phuket with fewer tourists and netting cheaper accommodation while you’re at it. But don’t forget your rain jacket! It may not be the most tropical place in the world during this season…

What to Do in Phuket

  • Embrace the full breadth of Thai culture. Experience an acrobatic massage, the vigour of a Muay Thai match, and find zen in a Buddhist temple all in the same day.   
  • Eat, eat, and eat some more. Surf on local delicacies at the various night markets dotted around the island or enrol in a Thai cooking class. 
  • Find out why you should never ride an elephant at the Phuket Elephant Jungle Sanctuary . At this ethical retreat, you can instead walk alongside the gentle giants. 

The Maldives

Luminous sapphire seas, blinding white sand, and flowing all-you-can-eat buffets are trademarks of the Maldives. Of the 1,200 islands that form this tropical paradise, around 100 are used for tourism. The most luxurious resorts straddle an atoll in its entirety, providing a more private (and luxurious) accommodation for visitors.  

A top tropical place to visit for affluent explorers, the Maldives is synonymous with honeymooners and loved-up couples with deep pockets. However, a number of the Maldivian resorts are set up to attract families too, with kids’ clubs, water slides, and other fun activities to keep the gremlins occupied. Make sure you check out the target market of any resort so you end up in the right place for your holiday. 

You’re more likely to find a Maldivian bargain between June and October – the monsoon season. ‘Bargain’ being relative: take that with a pinch of salt. They’d charge you for farting in the Maldives if they could. 

What to Do in the Maldives 

  • Blow a year’s salary and rent a bungalow over the water to spend your days gazing at the abundant marine life swimming beneath your feet. 
  • Discover all manner of world-class diving and snorkelling; the Maldives is a spectacular destination for a liveaboard trip . 
  • Utilise the ferry system to escape the all-inclusive lifestyle and explore neighbouring islands with a more local vibe – the real Maldives.   

A beautiful beach in the Perhentians - top tropical island destinations in Malaysia

A short boat ride from the Malaysian coast sits two of the most beautiful tropical islands in Southeast Asia. People come to the Perhenthians for two reasons – to dive or snorkel in the crystal clear water, or to lounge on the beach and do a fat load of nada. Featuring some of Malaysia’s most beautiful tropical beaches , the Perhentians are perfect no matter your preferred travel vibe!

Head to Perhentian Besar for a peaceful escape in a world-class resort with all your creature comforts supplied. This island is popular with families and honeymooners and comprises mid-range to top-tier hotels. 

Those of you counting the pennies, follow the rest of the broke backpackers off the boat at the more rustic and (slightly) rowdier Perhentian Kecil . This is actually one of the most affordable places to get your open water diving certificate in the whole of Asia. The diving conditions are mint too, so it’s totally worth it!

What to Do in the Perhenthians 

  • Accidentally-on-purpose miss your boat back to the mainland and extend your stay (indefinitely).
  • Don’t even bother asking for Wi-Fi codes on Perhentian Kecil. It won’t work, and you’ve got better things to do. 
  • Experience tropical camping on Perhentian Kecil.

exotic island trip

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A tropical lagoon in Palawan, the Philippines

Many say that Palawan is the most beautiful tropical island you’ll find while travelling in the Philippines ; it’s hard not to see why: the beauty of this tropical island paradise slaps you right in the face! (Gently and lovingly.) 

Palawan boasts two UNESCO World Heritage sites. Wiggle into your diving gear and explore Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park or hop aboard a canoe for the Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park .

In keeping with the rest of the Philippines, Palawan is a brilliant tropical island for backpackers on a budget. With plenty of hostels and cheap food, you can stretch your money far here. Travellers flock to Palawan, so if you’re travelling solo, you’re guaranteed to make some new travel buddies . 

What to Do in Palawan

  • Island-hop around the lagoons and islands of El Nido in the northern stretch of the island. 
  • Tickle your tastebuds with Filipino cuisine. Bull’s testicle soup (mysteriously branded Soup Number 5) and boiled duck embryo (balut) are two such delicacies. In fact, the termite of the sea – tamilok – is a Palawan speciality. 

Diving with manta rays at Yasawa's famous coral Reefs

Another of those islands formerly seen as a honeymoon destination, Fiji’s appeal has soared over recent decades. It now attracts a mixed bag of solo backpackers and younger explorers as well as the usual tropical vacation crowd. This is in part because Fiji is not that expensive !

As the most developed Pacific Island, it’s also the most popular for family holidays. Made up of more than 300 islands, there is no shortage of awesome places to stay in Fiji . However, you will find most of the tourism across the western islands – particularly Viti Levu and Vanua Levu .

Fiji has something for everyone! There’s diving and snorkelling, sailing and surfing, hiking and whale watching, and, of course, there’s embracing the tropical island lifestyle by swaying in a hammock for days at a time. The temperature remains mostly constant throughout the year, with cyclones occurring between November and January.

What to Do in Fiji

  • Take a break from the beach to slather yourself up in the therapeutic mud baths of Viti Levu. 
  • Befriend the friendly locals at a Fijian village. Rather than taking a tour, you can do this independently… as long as you brush up on the customs. Don’t forget to cover up and take a sevusevu (gift) for the turanga ni koro (village chief).

A seal on an exotic beach in the Galapagos Islands

Some 1,000 km from the South American continent, the 19 exotic islands that form the Galapagos are a melting pot of all forms if abundant fauna. With its undisturbed ecosystem and isolated location, wildlife is able to flourish in the Galapagos. Rather than lying still on the beach, a trip to the Galapagos Islands is all about early starts and days trawling the coast for nature sightings. 

While the Galapagos used to be exclusively for the wild-loving wealthy, there is more scope for a budget tropical vacation these days. If you have the cash to splash, sure – go ahead and book that liveaboard cruise.

If not, however, you’ll find dorms, guesthouses, and affordable local food. There are cheaper areas in the Galapagos Islands to stay, and then once you’ve got your feet on the ground, you can shop around for tours and excursions. 

What to Do in The Galapagos 

  • Ponder what the world would look like if we left nature in peace beyond this cluster of beautiful tropical islands.
  • Put down your camera and binge on the extraordinary wildlife you’ll encounter with your own two eyes. 

Coconut Crab - indigenous wildlife on the tropical island nation of Niue

Not so much a tropical island, the minuscule island nation of Niue is technically a coral atoll. In fact, it’s one of the largest raised coral atolls on Earth (as well as being one of the most beautiful tropical places on Earth… obvs).

You’ve got rock pools in the north and rainforest in the southwest with secret tropical beaches connecting the two. Oh, and it’s so small you can hike across the length of the island in about five hours!

At present, Niue is only accessible from New Zealand, which does make it trickier to access. It’s most popular with vacationing Kiwis (though not the feathery and cute kind), travellers backpacking in New Zealand , and other South Pacific islanders. But it’s way more chill than its neighbouring South Pacific islands, making it one of the top tropical islands in the vicinity for some R&R. 

What to Do on Niue

  • Swing by the Police Station to pick up your Niue driver’s licence – mandatory before you hire a car. Best souvenir ever, right?
  • Experience the underwater world – diving off Niue comes with a visibility of up to 100 metres. 

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A sole female traveller on a beach on tropical Koh ROng

Koh Rong is Cambodia’s answer to Malaysia’s Perhentian Islands. Again, you get to take your pick between two islands to visit both easily accessible for those staying in the Sihanoukville area . 

Koh Rong is the more happening of the two with regular raves and parties at Police Beach . It’s not quite on par with Thailand full moon parties, but it’s getting pretty damn close at this point.

Conversely, however, for a quieter tropical escape, head to the sleepier Koh Rong Samloem and nap on untouched tropical beaches in humble bamboo huts. Alternatively, you can just take the 45-minute boat ride between the two islands whenever you’re feeling like a change of pace!

While Koh Rong works out at a lower cost overall, both islands are ideal for budget travellers. They’re mainly frequented by travellers on a circular lap backpacking around Cambodia , and long-term wanderers who still haven’t left.

What to Do in Koh Rong

  • Fill your tummy on the catch of the day at the nightly beach barbecues while local kids dressed in British football shirts run riot. 
  • Switch your phone off and embrace the castaway vibe of Koh Rong Samloem – Wi-Fi is in short supply.

Man floating in the aquamarine waters of Raja Ampa - best tropical vacation spot in Indonesia

The Raja Ampat archipelago bobs around in Indonesia’s distant West Papua province. It’s hardly one of the easiest tropical places to vacation due to its remoteness. That being said, if you want to get as off-grid as possible, then Raja Ampat is your dream destination!

Once you reach this faraway cluster of jungle coated islands, you can choose to immerse yourself in snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking, and much more. 

A number of protected areas have been established in Raja Ampat to maintain the marine environment. That means, on the one hand, unspoiled nature and thriving wildlife. On the other, it does result in Raja Ampat being a costlier choice for those backpacking around Indonesia’s 17,508 islands . 

What to Do in Raja Ampat

  • See for yourself what a difference it makes when we protect the natural environment. 
  • Get the full Robinson Crusoe experience with a cruise out to some of the deserted islands in the archipelago. 

Young boys play on a sunset beach during a tropical holiday in Vanuatu

Of all the tropical places to visit in the South Pacific, Vanuatu ticks a lot of the boxes for your island escape. Vanuatu has managed to steer clear of mass tourism, and accommodation options are more along the lines of independent boutique bungalows and hideaway retreats. 

This fiery island has an ample scattering of simmering volcanoes, including a number beneath the water. There’s some of the best wreck diving in the South Pacific off the islands, making Vanuatu a top tropical vacation for adventure junkies. 

What to Do in Vanuatu 

  • Set yourself the challenge of seeing how many words you can pick up from the 100+ indigenous languages spoken throughout Vanuatu.
  • Duck beneath the palm trees with a platter of brie and a bottle of red wine – a hangover from the time the nation was a French colony. 
  • Sip on kava – a natural narcotic drink made from the root of the malok plant. 

A town in Koh Lipe, Thailand, with a beautiful tropical beach beyond

If you like the sound of the Maldives but are less enthused by the prices, Thailand has the perfect alternative. Dubbed the Maldives of Thailand for its turquoise bays and alabaster-white sand, you could almost convince yourself you really were sitting in the middle of the Indian Ocean. With no jetty to speak off, arriving on Koh Lipe is an adventure in of itself! 

With its romantic beachfront resorts, Koh Lipe is one of Thailand’s best tropical islands for couples. But it also caters well for budget explorers on the Southeast Asia backpacker trail . There’s a scattering of hostels and budget bungalows that – while pricier than other Thai islands – won’t break your budget.

From Koh Lipe, you can even take the ferry onwards to Langkawi, one of Malaysia’s top tropical vacation spots. 

What to Do in Koh Lipe

  • Set up camp in one of Koh Lipe’s awesome beach bars and chat the afternoon away with friendly locals. 
  • Watch the sun come up at Sunrise Beach and dip back below the horizon at Sunset Beach. 

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Woman scuba diving with a sea turtle in the tropical waters of the Gili Islands

Lombok suffered greatly in the wake of the 2018 earthquake, which destroyed homes and paused the island’s tourism. But now, the island is getting back on its feet, and tourists are a welcome sight. Plus, staying in Lombok is awesome; it’s even more laid-back than Bali and way less commercialised.

Besides Bali, Lombok is a springboard to the Gili Islands – three of the most tropical places in Southeast Asia. These are essentially broken down into:

  • Air – For mediation, yoga, and wellness as well as stellar diving. 
  • Trawangan – For hedonistic backpackers hungry for nightlife. 
  • Meno – For a romantic tropical island paradise or family holiday. 

What to Do in Lombok and the Gili Islands 

  • Support as many local businesses as you can and tip generously – it’ll help the locals regenerate their lost earnings.
  • If you’re short on time, stick to staying on one Gili Island rather than hopping around all three. 

The Chocolate Hills in Bohol - beautiful tropical destination in the Philippines

Selecting the most beautiful tropical islands in the Philippines is no simple feat, but the chocolate hills of Bohol make it an easy choice alongside Palawan. 

Bohol is the epicentre of outdoor nature fun in the Philippines. Once you’ve roamed the chocolate hills, you can take your pick from ziplining above the dense canopy, waterfall climbing, exploring caves, and cruising along jungle rivers.

Bohol is one of the most diverse islands in the Philippines. Every day is filled with different landscapes, animals, and adventures.

It’s the perfect area to stay in the Philippines for wanderers on a budget who want to see some otherworldly natural sights.

What to Do in Bohol 

  • Let yourself get gooey-eyed over the googly-eyed Tarsiers.
  • Take a day trip to neighbouring Panglao Island – accessible via a bridge. 

Leon Cascade - a beautiful waterfall on the tropical island of Mauritius

Don’t be fooled into thinking Mauritius is solely for honeymooners. Mauritius is still one of the best tropical vacation spots out there, even if you haven’t recently declared your undying love for your other half.

There’s not much of a backpacker scene on the island, but you can most definitely backpack Mauritius ! Despite the lack of a budget travel and hostel scene, there are some really dope accommodations on Airbnb fit for less financially buoyant travellers. 

Mauritius is a real playground for those who like their idyllic tropical destinations to come with a side of adventure. Hiking, watersports, skydiving, and regular ol’ scuba diving: it’s an island where all your scary dreams can come true. 

What to Do in Mauritius 

  • Take a helicopter tour to see the ‘underwater waterfall’ off the coast of Morne. 
  • Find a secluded spot in the less developed south end of the island for a wilder experience.
  • Alternatively, head north for tropical beach feels at a slow fishing village tempo.

Coastal views of the tropica island vacation spot Kauai in Hawaii

You can’t go wrong with visiting Hawaii no matter which of the state’s eight islands you choose as your destination. But – if you’re not sure where to start – check out Kauai. Kauai is perhaps the prettiest of the islands, with drop-dead gorgeous natural sights and the beaches to match

Besides that, Kauai is also the most backpacker-friendly Hawaiian island. It’s cheaper than the ultra swanky Maui and quieter than Big Island. Though there are still affordable villas in Kauai for those wanting a more traditional stay.

It’s also the wettest of the islands, seeing short bursts of rain more or less every day of the year. However, it’s for that very reason the ‘garden isle’ is so vividly green and gushing with waterfalls, such as the jaw-dropping Wall of Tears.

That being said, if you’d rather see a backdrop of spewing lava, stick with Big Island. It’s magma -nimous.

What to Do in Kauai  

  • Scout out the famous shoot locations used in such films as the Pirates of the Caribbean, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Jurassic Park. 
  • Explore the ‘other’ Grand Canyon – Waimea Canyon State Park.
  • Leave the accommodation behind in exchange for a tent under the stars. There’s mad camping in Hawaii .

A beautiful beachside villa on a tropical beach in Bermuda

With its pink tropical beaches, swathes of British phone booths, and the biggest monopoly on shipwrecks in the world, Bermuda isn’t your standard tropical paradise.

Bermuda is pricey, but it’s a top island destination if you’re a big spender with money to burn. It’s so expensive that even cooking in your Airbnb kitchen won’t make the slightest difference – even groceries come with x-rated price tags. That being said, it’s a very beautiful tropical island, and easily one of the coolest places to say you’ve visited and there are tons of cool places to stay in Bermuda . 

Another popular option is to join a cruise that stops over at Bermuda. You can pack your beach gear , spend a day soaking up the Bermuda rays, and then be back somewhere cheaper by nightfall!

What to Do in Bermuda

  • Swizzle a rum swizzle while watching the skies turn pink over the pink sands
  • Take a glass-bottom boat and snorkelling combination tour out to the shipwrecks of the Bermuda Triangle.

Brazillian flag surfboards on a beach in tropical Ihla Grande

Less of a holiday destination in its own right, the small tropical island of Ilha Grande is more a weekend getaway or day trip when staying in Rio de Janeiro . Only an hour’s boat ride away from the city, the island allures with its white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and exciting forest trails.

As Ilha Grande has managed to avoid mass development, the island remains mostly unspoiled with an easy-going atmosphere. 

What to Do on Ilha Grande 

  • Take a boat tour and visit the even tinier tropical islands around the main island. You’ll find even wilder beaches with marine rich waters crying out for a snorkelling session. 
  • Have a wander around the abandoned maximum-security prison, Candido Mendes. You might bump into Julio de Almeida, a former inmate who decided to stay after the prison closed down.

A beach house on a tropical palm-lined beach on San Andres island, Colombia

Officially a part of Colombia, the seahorse-shaped Caribbean island of San Andrés brings together a sparkling mix of Latino, English, and Creole culture. 

San Andrés is on the whole populated with Colombians who take advantage of budget flights from the mainland. They also waived the tourist tax fee on arrival. While the exotic island doesn’t generally appear on Latin American travel itineraries, it’s pretty backpacker-friendly. 

What to Do in San Andrés

  • Island hop to the Johnny Cay Natural Regional Park, a protected coral islet inhabited by iguanas and reggae tunes. 
  • Hire a golf cart from your hotel or local rental company and tour the island in style. 

A sailing ship in the tropic ocean waters on the coast of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Comprising the main island and a chain of smaller islands, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines lingers in the south-east of the Caribbean Sea. The topography is unusual; besides your sky-blue seas and emerald green jungle, you’ll also find spiky cacti! 

With yacht-filled harbours and chic private islands, this is a top island destination for sailors and boat owners. Affordable self-catering apartments and guesthouses are available on the main island. The further out you travel, however, the costlier and more exclusive your accommodation will become. 

What to Do in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

  • Visit Wallilabou Bay, where Captain Jack Sparrow escaped execution at the hands of the British Navy.
  • Summit the smouldering La Soufriere. Once at the crater, you can take a rope-guided walk down into the caldera of the volcano and get a closer look at the lava dome.

A boat tour in the Whitsundays, Queensland - Australia's most tropical places

Some of the world’s most beautiful tropical islands are located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Being Australia, the Whitsundays aren’t the cheapest tropical islands to explore, but they can be explored on a backpacker budget.

You’ve got some choices for where to stay in the Whitsundays . Use Airlie Beach as your base if you’re looking to form a crew to split costs with. And while you’re in the area, hitting up the Great Barrier Reef – the longest coral formation in the world – for a spot of diving is an unmissable experience.

What to Do in the Whitsundays

  • Book a boat trip to explore the uninhabited islands. 
  • Feast on some of Australia’s best seafood. 

Woman running across sand dunes in the tropical Canary Islands

Strictly speaking, the islands of Gran Canaria and its neighbours aren’t tropical destinations, but rather subtropical. But who likes rules, ey? Also – these islands have some of the most unique landscapes on the planet, encompassing mini deserts and volcanic black sand.

With guaranteed sun year-round, the Canary Islands are popular with Northern Europeans after some winter sunning. Gran Canaria is one of the most popular areas to stay , however, branching out just means you’re going to discover areas much less ventured by tourists!

You can also score some very budget-friendly package deals or camping spots. You just gotta break off the beaten path!

What to Do in the Canary Islands

  • Clamber around the volcanoes of the exotic island Gran Canaria. 
  • Visit the lesser-known El Hierro for unspoilt beaches and rural solitude. 

A bird flies in fron of a mountain on the tropical island of Bora Bora

Exclusive, expensive, and dripping with luxury, Bora Bora is one of the tropical places to vacation if you’ve got the cash. It’s expensive to get there, it’s expensive to sleep there, it’s expensive to eat there.

However, it’s also painfully beautiful, and the moment you plant your weary feet into the soft white sand of French Polynesia, all those money-shaped worries will drift away. It may not be one of the cheapest places in the world to travel, but man, it’s one of the best looking.

What to Do in Bora Bora

  • Lie back and soak up those desktop wallpaper views.
  • Hike up to the summit of Mount Pahia for a close-up of neighbouring volcano Mount Otemanu.

And that concludes our thoughts on the 25 best tropical places to visit! We hope that at least one of these tropical islands has sparked your wanderlust urges. 

While tropical islands used to be reserved for the rich and famous, fortunately, that’s changed. While not always cheap, affordable accommodation is out there – even in places like the Caribbean and Indian Ocean.

A growing emphasis on eco-tourism and sustainable travel also means that it’s not all about booking a deluxe resort anymore. That’s always an option, of course, but many islands have shifted to low-impact or independent accommodations and tours. 

Before you know it, you’ll be sipping on fresh coconut water while the salty sea air ruffles your hair.

A man on vacation on a tropical island drinks from a coconut

And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links . That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!

Ralph Cope

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You got me super interested in Bali, yet everything else I read is it’s a dirty shithole, and beaches are filthy and strewn with garbage. Is this still the case?

Hell no! Several of our team live in Bali and they love it.

It is true that certain areas like Kuta can be very crowded and boisterous during high season and the beaches there can get a bit trashed but there are plenty of clean pristine beaches around too.

When I visited Bali last years I was a bit dubious of it myself but soon fell in love with the place and can’t wait to get back.

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10 Best Tropical Islands for a Vacation

Perfect the art of doing nothing or engage in active pursuits on these islands..

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The Galápagos Islands is one of the most famous tropical destinations in the world, in part due to its diverse wildlife.

The Galápagos Islands is one of the most well known tropical destinations in the world, in part thanks to its wildlife.

Photo by Bailey Berg

From Earth’s finest assemblies of sugarloaf sands and jewel-toned seas to culture-rich wonderlands and wildlife havens, the islands along the equator are as diverse as they are exciting.

Buckle up for a journey around the globe with these 10 tropical islands to visit, which include the Maldives , St. Bart’s, and the Galápagos .

1. Galápagos Islands

Best for: A voyage of discovery through one of the ultimate bucket list destinations.

Made famous by the teachings of Charles Darwin, the photographs of National Geographic , and the cinematography of numerous nature documentaries, the Galápagos Islands reign as a top bucket list destination for many. More than 500 nautical miles west of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, the highly protected islands are a living museum of natural history, where plants and animals have evolved for centuries without human interference.

The best way to experience these marvels is by expedition cruise on an itinerary of seven nights on ships like Aqua Expeditions’ Aqua Mare (at the highest of high end) or Metropolitan Touring’s Yacht La Pinta (at a more midrange price point). Each island promises immersion in nature through activities such as hiking, snorkeling, and Zodiac adventures. Tip: Invest in a great camera and solid lenses before coming because the photo opportunities are many.

Maldives Islands Ocean Tropical Beach

Despite being Asia’s smallest country, the Maldives is home to more than 1,100 coralline islets.

Photo by Lifestyle Travel Photo/Shutterstock

2. The Maldives

Best for: Romance, castaway vibes and overwater excess

Cast across endless square miles of Indian Ocean blues, Asia’s smallest country comprises a collection of 1,192 coralline islets, the majority of which remain uninhabited. On 164 (and counting) of these mid-oceanic specks, developers have capitalized on their natural beauty to create some of Earth’s most swoon-worthy private island resorts—many with overwater accommodation and amenities.

Among the best is Kudadoo Maldives Private Island , a Yuji Yamazaki–designed property in the Lhaviyani Atoll with 15 ryokan-inspired floating residences and an “Anything, Anytime, Anywhere” policy in which everything is bundled into the nightly rate. Think: endless champagne, sand bar picnics, snorkeling with the mantas (alongside a marine biologist), floating breakfasts in your private pool, personal training sessions, and unlimited spa treatments.

Emerald Pool, Morne Trois Pitons National Park, Dominica

Nature excursions are aplenty within the approximately 17,000-acre Morne Trois Pitons National Park.

Photo by evenfh/Shutterstock

3. Dominica

Best for: Active pursuits, both on land and under the water

The Caribbean’s “Nature Island” brims with a rain forest, waterfalls, and emerald pools that recall Costa Rica and Hawai‘i —and plenty of hotels to boot. Hike the footpaths of UNESCO-recognized Morne Trois Pitons National Park to reach Earth’s second largest boiling lake (a flooded crater warmed by molten magma below) and ice-cold, swimmable gorges.

Plot a path through segments of the 115-mile long Waitukubuli National Trail in search of Dominica’s 170 colorful bird species, including the endemic sisserou parrot. Expect treasures aplenty under the sea as the Champagne Reef explodes with tiny bubbles from active fumaroles (where hot volcanic gas is released). A naturally occurring resident population of sperm whales (one of 20 species of whales and dolphins in Dominica’s waters) presents a unique opportunity to swim among these leviathans.

Rice Terraces Bali

Bali’s quieter landscapes, like its terraced rice fields, can be found once travelers get off of the coast.

Photo by Monika Vlageryte/Shutterstock

Best for: Cultural connection and wellness endeavors

Bali’s serenity is most palpable along its eastern coast and deep within its interior, two areas steeped in culture, tradition, and testament to Bali’s moniker “land of 1,000 temples.” The banyan-fringed forests and terraced rice fields of Ubud are sprinkled with high-design resorts like Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve , focused on wellness and cultural connection while easterly coastal towns of Manggis, Candisasa, and Tenganan have a lost-in-time appeal with scenes of traditional daily village life unfolding in real time. In the south, find more typical resort fare, a surfing scene, and Bali’s party-hard tourists.

Gustavia harbor in Saint Barthelemy

Named after Sweden’s King Gustav III, Gustavia features shops, restaurants, and plenty of cobblestone streets.

Photo by Christian Graugart/Shutterstock

5. St. Bart’s

Best for: The European good life in the Caribbean

Glamour and fashion converge on this 8.1 square-mile Caribbean island, channeling endless summer in St. Tropez —with a tropical twist. Luxury isn’t just an option here; it’s a way of life. The daily rhythm revolves around people-watching, sun worshiping, boutique shopping, sipping pricey cocktails, savoring exquisite cuisine, sailing on tricked-out yachts, and mingling with other fashionistas and trendsetters.

The capital harbor city of Gustavia features shops from Europe’s most upscale brands and sensational French-tinged restaurants, including Bonito Saint Barth and Bagatelle St. Barths, along its cobblestone streets. Meanwhile, the island’s top beaches are fronted by celeb-frequented, boutique resorts that often fetch a thousand or more per night. A top pick is the 66-key Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth : In 2022, the property finalized a four-year, head-to-toe renovation of its colorful cottages and added new amenities to its exclusive private peninsula, including a sleek, beachfront infinity-edge swimming pool.

Bora Bora and Mount Otemanu nature landscape in Tahiti, French Polynesia with coral lagoon sea and Mt Pahia, Mt Otemanu, Tahiti, south Pacific Ocean

Mount Otemanu is the highest point of Bora Bora.

Photo by Maridav/Shutterstock

6. Bora Bora

Best for: Overwater romance and epic diving

The 118 Islands of Tahiti rise over five archipelagos in the Pacific Ocean, encompassing an expanse surpassing that of the European continent. Among these landscapes none garners more attention than Bora Bora , a destination synonymous with terms like “paradise” and “heaven on earth” and home to some of the world’s most spectacular overwater bungalow resorts.

Here, admire the majesty of the 2,835-foot-tall Mount Otemanu in the distance and the Technicolor marine life in the ocean below (swimming among the parrotfish, butterflyfish, and puffers as you see fit). Tag on extra days to visit Moorea or Tahiti proper for a true taste of French Polynesian culture, or head to the Tuamoto archipelago for some of the best diving and snorkeling on the planet.

Aerial Photo of Belmont, Port of Spain, Trinidad with Lush Green Mountain as background

The colorful Port of Spain is located on the northwestern side of Trinidad.

Photo by Kenrick Baksh/Shutterstock

7. Trinidad

Best for: Carnival and culture

Trindad’s cultural endeavors may be the Caribbean’s most rewarding. During the region’s biggest Carnival—which happens between February and March annually—hundreds of thousands celebrate in the dazzle of custom-made costumes, the soulful sounds of steel drums, the taste of seafood creoles and doubles (fried bread stuffed with curried chickpeas and topped with chutneys), and the dance fever that fills the streets.

But the truth is, the party never truly ends in Trindad’s capital, Port of Spain, thanks to a love for “liming” (hanging out), a highly social street food culture, and a penchant for catchy calypso, soca, and steelpan music. For scenic beaches, drive north of the capital for an hour and find beautiful swathes at Maracas Bay Beach and Blanchisseuse Beach.

Aerial view of Lanai, Hawaii featuring Hulopo'e Bay and beach, Sweetheart Rock (Pu'u Pehe), Shark's Bay, and the mountains of Maui in the background.

Don’t miss the natural landscapes of Lānaʻi, which include Polihua Beach and the Garden of the Gods.

Photo by Frederick Millett/Shutterstock

Best for: Exotic scenery without needing a passport

Hawai‘i is home to a series of tropical island dreamscapes, each worthy of “Wish You Were Here” missives and coffee table pictorials. Among them is Lāna‘i, Hawaii’s smallest inhabited island (population: 3,102), which feels about as far-flung as it gets within the United States. Rest comfortably at the island’s sole coastal resort, Four Seasons Resort Lanai , and revel in easy access to Lāna‘i’s natural beauty, including cliff-side hiking trails and famed dive sites. (Don’t miss Cathedrals, a collection of lava tubes that recall the appearance of stained glass.)

Go deeper by renting a Jeep and venturing on dirt roads across windswept rocky terrain, discovering petroglyphs and desolate beaches along the way. Consider pairing Lāna‘i with a trip to Kaua‘i , aka the “Garden Island,” famed for its ridged mountains, skyscraping waterfalls, and rugged canyons. (Think: the backdrops from Jurassic Park and The Hunger Games. )

Sri Lanka: group of wild elephants at jungle drinking place of Yala National Park

Yala National Park is the second -argest national park in Sri Lanka.

Photo by krivinis/Shutterstock

9. Sri Lanka

Best for: An island that’s got it all, from incredible food to stunning temples and leopards

This island nation ticks all the travel boxes, including culture, wildlife, historical pursuits, and affordable luxury. Along the southern coast alone, discover Yala National Park (home to secretive leopards and swimming elephants), quiet palm-fringed beaches with world-class resorts, and centuries-old forts.

Toward the island’s center, explore mountainous terrain cloaked in tea plantations and a surfeit of Buddhist and Hindu temples. Whever you go, arrive hungry for local and regional cuisine that will ambush the senses. Food highlights from a recent trip to southern Sri Lanka included spicy crab curry with pulao and coconut sambal, ridge gourd curry, brinjal eggplant moju, and watalappam , a sweet coconut custard pudding. What’s more, Sri Lanka’s top properties, like Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort and Anantara Kalutara Resort, run a fraction of the price of other stunning island destinations, without sacrificing the luxury experience.

The famous beach, Source d'Argent at La Digue Island, Seychelles

North of Madagascar, Seychelles is an archipelago of more than 100 islands.

Photo by Zoltan.Benyei/Shutterstock

10. Seychelles

Best for: Striking boulder-strewn beaches and time with the tortoises

One hundred and fifty-five islands strong in the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles is Africa’s smallest nation and home to prehistoric, granitic beachfront landscapes—these are remnants of 75-million-year-old supercontinent Gondwana. (Populations of Aldabra tortoises, one of the oldest living species on the planet, also speak to this Land Before Time setting.)

Assemblies of towering, primordial boulders mixed with lazuline waters and wide stretches of downy sands are features of this paradise. While unrestrained display of ancient splendor defines the Seychelles’ easterly, inner islands, southern and western islands boast more familiar, low-lying sandy fare, cloaked in coconut forests. A duo of resorts in separate archipelagos, Four Seasons Resort Seychelles in Mahe and Four Seasons Resorts Seychelles at Desroches Island , facilitates exploration of the country’s dichotomous world—in fabulous style (with the bonus of communing with tortoises on Desroches).

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remote islands

7 Best Remote Islands for a Tropical Getaway

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Shayne Rodriguez Thompson

Shayne is a freelance writer with expertise in all things travel, food, and parenting. She regularly contributes to SmarterTravel, MamasLatinas.com, CruiseCritic.com, FamilyVacationCritic.com, and BabyCenter. Her work has also appeared on HuffPost and NBC News.

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If you’re craving a sunny tropical getaway but turned off by crowded beaches and sky-high prices, consider skipping the oft-beaten path. There are plenty of remote islands where you can swap frigid temps for warm waters and bright skies—without facing the high-season crowds that swamp the most popular winter vacation destinations.

Best Remote Islands for a Tropical Getaway

There’s a whole wide world out there with plenty of beautiful, peaceful spots to explore, including some lesser-known Caribbean islands and many of the world’s most pristine tropical getaways. Here are seven remote islands to check out for your next beach vacation.

exotic island trip

Located between Nevis and Antigua, the tiny, lush island of Montserrat feels a long way away from more popular Caribbean islands like Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. Though an active volcano has restricted access to the southern part of Montserrat, the northern half remains a gorgeous tropical getaway with a quiet vibe and plenty of activities for visitors to enjoy. You can view the volcano via helicopter, hike through miles of rainforest teeming with wildlife, veg out on a black sand beach, or engage in a variety of boating excursions and watersports.

Where to Stay: For sweeping sea views and a welcoming vibe, stay at the family-run Gingerbread Hill . Lodging options range from an affordable efficiency unit to the aptly named Heavenly Suite with its two private verandahs.

Check Prices for Gingerbread Hill in Montserrat

San andres, colombia.

exotic island trip

San Andres is a popular vacation spot among Colombians and other South Americans, but it remains mostly unspoiled compared to many other less remote islands in the Caribbean. Located off the coast of Nicaragua, San Andres is tiny—just 10 square miles—but visitors will find plenty to keep them occupied. There are a variety of accommodations, including all-inclusive resorts, and activities include caving, snorkeling, scuba diving, and boating. Those who want to be less active can relax on pristine beaches and indulge in fresh local seafood. History buffs can also check out some lesser-known World War II sites while visiting the island.

Where to Stay: The laid-back Hotel Bahia Sardina sits right on the beach (spring for an ocean-view room). The on-site restaurant serves Colombian and international fare.

Check Prices for Hotel Bahia Sardina in San Andres Island

Islas secas, panama.

exotic island trip

There is only one property on Islas Secas, an archipelago of remote islands off the Pacific coast of Panama, which is currently in a “preview season” with a grand opening date of January 2019. Most visitors stay in the nearby city of David and travel to Islas Secas via boat for day trips and eco-adventures. These remote islands have something for everyone; both beach bums and outdoorsy travelers can enjoy the stunning beaches or opt for a more active visit with boating excursions, jungle treks, wildlife hikes, water sports, and more.

Where to Stay: The rooms at Hotel Ciudad de David are chic, modern, and clean, featuring hardwood floors and complimentary Wi-Fi. Buffet breakfast is included.

Check Prices for Hotel Ciudad de David in David

Bocas del toro, panama.

exotic island trip

On the opposite side of Panama, along the Caribbean coast, travelers will find Bocas del Toro, a province that includes a small chain of islands as well as a strip of mainland. The primary island is Isla Colon, where you can enjoy the restaurants, bars, and shops of the province’s capital city, Bocas Town. Throughout the islands are plenty of unspoiled beaches where you can while away long, sunny days, as well as options for watersports, snorkeling, and hiking. There’s even a national rainforest to explore on the nearby strip of mainland.

Where to Stay: The Tropical Suites Hotel is convenient to just about everything, from restaurants and shops to water taxis and the airport. Some rooms offer ocean views.

Check Prices for Tropical Suites Hotel in Bocas Town

Fernando de noronha, brazil.

exotic island trip

If you like your beach days with a side of undisturbed nature, Fernando de Noronha may be the destination for you. Located in an archipelago off the coast of Brazil, this remote island has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In fact, the entire island is actually a marine national park. Warm-water beaches teem with dolphins, sea turtles, and other sea life, making the island a prime location for divers. Even snorkelers will find plenty to see beneath the island’s many waterside cliffs and caves. There are also a handful of historic sites, some small museums, and an aquarium to check out when you’re not on the beach. Note that only 420 tourists are allowed here at a time, so you’ll want to plan your visit well in advance.

Where to Stay: Whether you choose a bungalow or a luxury apartment, you’ll enjoy incredible bay views at Pousada Maravilha . Treat yourself to a massage at the on-site spa.

Check Prices for Pousada Maravilha in Fernando de Noronha

exotic island trip

Encompassing some of the most remote islands on the planet, Tuvalu is an independent nation in the South Pacific. Its capital, Funafuti, features a conservation area where visitors can enjoy some of the world’s best diving and snorkeling. Five of the islands are atolls surrounded by magnificent coral reefs. There are also some interesting World War II relics around the islands. Tuvalu is difficult to get to and not particularly well developed, but for travelers who enjoy marine life and quiet beach days, it should definitely make your bucket list. Don’t wait too long to plan your trip: Scientists predict that climate change could cause these islands to disappear entirely within the next century.

Where to Stay: Tuvalu doesn’t yet have many lodging options, but Filamona Guesthouse Funafuti is the best of the bunch. Rooms are clean, comfortable, and air-conditioned.

Palawan, Philippines

exotic island trip

The Philippines are one of the least visited countries in Asia, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing for travelers. In fact, it means you can get a decent deal on one of the world’s most spectacular islands. Surrounded by crystal-clear waters and covered with lushly forested mountains, Palawan is home to the Puerto Princesa Underground River, the world’s longest navigable underground river and home to fossils that are tens of millions of years old. Visitors can explore small fishing villages, hike through jungles, and go swimming in lagoons and sinkholes. Despite its small size, Palawan offers various accommodation types including everything from luxury resorts to overwater bungalows and vacation rentals.

Where to Stay: Located right on the beach near the Puerto Princesa Underground River, Daluyon Beach & Mountain Resort is the perfect spot to relax. All rooms have minibars, DVD players, and private balconies.

Check Prices for Daluyon Beach and Mountain Resort in Sabang

More from smartertravel:.

  • 9 Overwater Bungalows Closer Than the South Pacific
  • 11 Incredible Hotels Worth Planning Your Whole Trip Around
  • 12 Dream Destinations That Don’t Want You to Visit

Shayne Rodriguez Thompson is the founder of FitMamiLife.com and a freelance writer with expertise in all things travel, food, and parenting.

We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

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The 20 Best Tropical Islands in the World

An empty white sand beach covered in palm trees on a sunny day

I’m a beach guy. When I think of paradise, my mind drifts to white sand beaches, azure blue water, and palm trees in tropical locales. When most people think of paradise, chances are they’re also thinking of tropical islands in far-flung corners of the world. Lounging with a good book , drinking from coconuts, soaking up the rays.

Tropical islands are that peaceful escape where the days drift by, the problems of the world melt away, and time slows down.

They are a sanctuary.

I spent a month living on an island in Thailand and it remains one of the best months of my entire life.

Having grown up in Boston and spent many years living in New York City , one of the main purposes of my travels is to avoid winter. I seek the sun.

I’ve been to many of the best tropical islands in the world (and there are sooooo many). After over fifteen years of travel and countless hours staring out into the ocean, I’ve done the “hard” research of visiting lots of islands to find the best islands in the world!

In this post, I’ll give you my favorite and best islands to visit in your travels!

Here’s a quick overview of the islands in case you’re looking for something specific (and don’t want to read the whole article):

With a quick overview out of the way, here’s my list of the best tropical islands in the world — no matter your budget, travel style, or interests! Just click on the island below to jump to that section!

Table of Contents

1. The Seychelles

2. the maldives, 4. bali and the gili islands, 7. big island hawaii, 8. the cook islands, 9. curaçao, 10. the perhentian islands, 11. bermuda, 12. barbados, 13. isla de providencia (old providence), 14. the san blas islands, 15. the canary islands, 17. the whitsunday islands, 18. the galápagos islands, 19. saint lucia, 20. the azores.

A boat anchored near a small island in the Seychelles during a beautiful sunny day

This group of 115 islands offers everything a beach lover could ask for. It’s an amazing place to visit for its diverse marine life and it has several nature preserves and marine parks, two of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Sadly, these islands are pretty expensive — though it is possible to visit on a budget if you plan ahead. The best time to visit is during the cool season from May to September when it rains less.


  • Glass Boat Snorkeling Tour
  • Reef Safari at St Anne Marine National Park
  • 5 Beach Adventure Tour

BEST PLACE TO STAY IN THE SEYCHELLES : Jeanny’s Apartments – A beachfront three-star hotel on Grand’Anse Praslin with free breakfast, free parking, and lovely staff.

To start planning your trip, read my budget travel guide to the Seychelles!  

The stunning, clear tropical blues waters of the Maldives along a narrow white-sand beach

These little coral islands are surrounded by excellent diving, snorkeling, and idyllic white-sand beaches, and are filled with friendly locals. Private resorts litter the islands, and a vacation here is also very pricey, as the Maldives is one of the most sought-after luxury destinations in the world.

Luckily, you can at least get here cheaply, as Thai Air Asia offers cheap flights to and from Thailand (you can find round-trip flights for around $300 USD!).

The best time to go to the Maldives is from November to May when the weather is cool and dry. June through October sees wetter and hotter weather due to the monsoon season.


  • Go Diving or Snorkeling
  • Explore Malé
  • Go Parasailing

BEST PLACE TO STAY IN THE MALDIVES : Endheri Sunset Dhangethi ( Dhangethi) – A budget-friendly hotel near the beach that includes free bikes for use and basic amenities like flatscreen TVs and AC.

To start planning your trip, read my budget travel guide to the Maldives!  

Aerial view of a line of longtail boats docked on a beach on the island of Ko Lipe, Thailand

Located in southern Thailand , this semi-off-the-map island is one of my favorites and the month I spent here remains one of fondest memories .

Here on Ko Lipe , the super-friendly locals bring in the daily catch for amazing seafood, as the island’s water is teeming with life. Accommodation is still basic, though more and more places now offer electricity 24/7. I expect development will slowly erode this paradise, however, so visit soon!

Close to this island is a little island that provides excellent snorkeling opportunities. You may even spot a few reef sharks. Bathtub-warm water and fine sand beaches kept me here for over three weeks. It will do the same for you. Visit between November and March for the best weather and the fewest people. May through October sees a harsh monsoon season that shuts the island down. The best way to get there is by boat from Pak Bara.

  • Full Day Multi-Island Snorkeling Trip
  • Visit Nearby Ko Adang
  • Explore Tarutao National Marine Park

BEST PLACE TO STAY IN KO LIPE : The Chic Lipe – A boutique hostel with a restaurant on-site that’s just a short walk to Walking Street and Sunrise Beach.

To start planning your trip, read my budget travel guide to Ko Lipe!  

a gorgeous beach with a boat parked along the shore in the Gili Islands, Indonesia

But Indonesia has more than just Bali. The nearby Gili Islands are another incredible island getaway. Both destinations make for a more active tropical vacation and the weather remains pretty constant all year round (though April to October sees slightly drier weather). Both Bali and the Gili Islands are close enough that you should be able to visit them both on your trip to really get the most out of this idyllic corner of the world.

  • Sunrise Mount Batur Hike
  • Full-Day Instagram Highlights Tour
  • Waterfall, Rice Terraces & Monkey Forest Tour

BEST PLACE TO STAY IN BALI AND THE GILI ISLANDS : Tribal Bali (Canggu) – A fun coworking space and hostel with an on-site bar, infinity pool, pool table, and super chill vibe.

To start planning your trip, read my budget travel guide to Bali!  

Remote islands surrounded by blue water in Fiji

It’s a popular destination with young people and honeymooners, with something for everyone on offer — diving, sailing, snorkeling, whale watching, peaceful luxury, and much more! Most young people and budget travelers head to the Yasawa Islands , known for their inexpensive accommodation, cheap transportation, and late-night parties. The temperature remains mostly constant throughout the year, with cyclones occurring between November and January.

  • Serenity Island Sailing and Snorkeling Trip
  • Mamanuca Islands All-Inclusive Sailing Cruise
  • Viti Levu: Mud Pool, Temple, and Sleeping Giant Garden

BEST PLACE TO STAY IN FIJI : The Beachouse (Coral Coast) – A family owned resort located in a sheltered sandy lagoon, with private bungalows as well as dorm rooms available. Includes free breakfast and free kayak rentals.

To start planning your trip, read my budget travel guide to Fiji!  

Thatched bungalow on the water in French Polynesia

One of the biggest honeymoon destinations in the world, Tahiti offers pure paradise and a lot of romance. Its very name has long been synonymous with tropical paradise. Here you can relax in the sun, scuba dive, enjoy fine seafood, and take a morning dip right from your bungalow.

The island is expensive and caters to a more affluent tourist crowd, though there are still ways to visit on something of a budget. Try to visit the Museum of Tahiti and the Islands to get an insight into Polynesia culture. Le Marché Papeete (the public market) is the place to try local cuisine and pick up souvenirs. The weather is tropical all year round and very humid, though May to October sees cooler temperatures.

  • Bora Bora: Shark and Snorkeling Safari
  • Whale and Dolphin Watching Tour
  • 4X4 and Jet Ski Adventure Tour

BEST PLACE TO STAY IN TAHITI : Manomano Lodge – A cozy beachfront lodge with free Wi-Fi, a shared outdoor lounge and garden, and a fully-equipped kitchen.

To start planning your trip, read my budget travel guide to Tahiti!  

Steaming Hale Ma'uma'u Volcano Crater at Kilauea volcano, with the endemic Lehua tree in the foreground, on the Big Island in Hawaii, USA

Then there are all the waterfalls on the island, great snorkeling and diving, and the lush wilderness of the Waipi’o Valley, once home to Hawaiian kings. Big Island has it all. I mean it’s Hawaii — how could you go wrong?!

The wet season is from October to March, though the weather is cooler during these months. However, despite being located near each other, weather conditions on each island can vary greatly, so you never know what to expect!

  • Afternoon Snorkeling Sail to Captain Cook’s Monument
  • Eco-Friendly Twilight Manta Ray Adventure
  • Mauna Kea Summit: Sunset Stargazing Adventure

BEST PLACE TO STAY IN HAWAII : My Hawaii Hostel – This hostel is close to everything you’ll need and offers free parking, free Wi-Fi, a fully equipped kitchen, and has a chill indoor/outdoor common area to lounge in.

To start planning your trip, read my budget travel guide to Hawaii!  

Person snorkeling in the Cook Islands

With few amenities, this is the best place to find your inner castaway and escape modern life. Rarotonga is the largest and most visited island, however, I suggest you visit a few other islands if you make it out this way. Once you leave the main island, you’ll have miles of beaches and their crystal clear waters (perfect for snorkeling, diving, swimming, and sea kayaking) virtually to yourself!

The islands see similar weather to the rest of the area, with temperatures hot and humid all year round.

  • Watch a traditional dance show
  • Explore Aitutaki Island
  • Hike Around Rarotonga

BEST PLACE TO STAY IN THE COOK ISLANDS : Ranginuis Retreat – Located on the scenic Ootu Beach, this hotel includes free airport transports, free kayak rentals, and an outdoor swimming pool.

To start planning your trip, read my budget travel guide to the Cook Islands!  

Brightly painted buildings on the tropical island of Curaçao in the Caribbean

As the largest and most populated of the Netherlands Antilles, Curaçao has the most going on and the most “social life.” It’s the hippest island in the chain and the most visited by younger travelers, so hit the beaches, lay in the sun, and party the night away. This may not be Gilligan’s Island, but what it lacks in privacy, it makes up for in romance and fun.

The weather is pretty stable here year-round. It’s always hot and usually sunny. If it rains, it’s between November and January. And don’t worry about hurricanes – it’s below the hurricane belt!

  • Kayaking Tour
  • Half-Day Fishing Trip
  • Speedboat Adventure Snorkeling

BEST PLACE TO STAY IN CURAÇAO : First Hostel Curaçao – Located in a former ice cream factory in Willemstad, this hostel boasts an outdoor pool, dive shop, relaxing terrace, and air-conditioning.

To start planning your trip, check out my budget travel guide to Curaçao!  

Colorful jetty sticking out into the clear turquoise waters off a beach in the Perhentian Islands, Malaysia

There’s not much to do here, and visitors typically lay on the beach all day, resting from last night’s drinking. It’s the perfect place to put up a hammock; the Malay word Perhentian roughly translates to “stopping point” — an appropriate name considering most travelers who visit here end up staying longer than anticipated. The islands are also great for divers and snorkelers, as the reefs and crystalline waters are home to a wide variety of coral, sea turtles, sharks, and colorful fish.

A strong monsoon season limits when to go (visit between March and October). During the other times, it’s best to head to Thailand, where the weather is nicer.

  • Go Jungle Trekking
  • See Turtles at Turtle Beach

BEST PLACE TO STAY IN THE PERHENTIAN ISLANDS : Senja Bay Resort – Just one minute from the beach, this budget resort offers both fan-cooled and air-conditioned rooms, free Wi-Fi, and an on-site restaurant.

To start planning your trip, check out my budget travel guide to the Perhentian Islands!  

The historic Commissioner's House, surrounded by fortified walls in the Caribbean sea, on the island of Bermuda

While you will need a respectable budget, if you give Bermuda a chance you’ll find an island home to some of the most beautiful beaches in all of North America and the Caribbean (my favorites are Church Bay, Elbow Beach, and Chaplin Bay). The locals are incredibly friendly and you can find some world-class food here too. There’s tons to keep you busy, with caves to explore, lots of hiking, and world-class snorkeling and diving (Bermuda is known as the shipwreck capital of the world; there are over 300 shipwrecks here).

  • Visit the Crystal and Fantasy Caves
  • Climb the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse
  • Explore the Royal Naval Dockyard

BEST PLACE TO STAY IN BERMUDA : Blue Horizons Guest House – A cozy three-star guesthouse with a homey vibe and helpful staff that’s close to the beach.

To start planning your trip, check out my budget travel guide to Bermuda!  

Bright image of wooden promenade at the waterfront of Bridgetown in Barbados.

Like in Bermuda, you’ll find amazing beaches and caving here. You’ll also find some world-class surfing. The food here is amazing, and you’ll be able to enjoy expensive, delicious meals alongside cheap local food.

While there is plenty of luxury to be found here, you can also visit on a moderate budget making this one of the more affordable islands in the Caribbean .

  • Bridgetown Walking Tour
  • Rum Distillery Tour
  • 5-Hour Island Highlights Tour

BEST PLACE TO STAY IN BARBADOS : Monteray Family Hotel – Located a quick 2 minute walk from the white-sand Dover Beach, this two-star property includes fully equipped kitchenettes, private terraces, and air-conditioning. There’s a pool on site too.

To start planning your trip, check out my budget travel guide to the Caribbean!  

Colorful shack on a beach surrounded by palm trees in Providencia, Colombia

Unlike its luxurious Caribbean neighbors, here you’ll only find more budget-friendly hotels and guesthouses. Everything needs to come by ship or airplane, so it’s not super cheap. However, since no non-natives can own property there is no influx of overdevelopment, keeping the island simple but beautiful. For a more rustic, non-touristy getaway, this might be the island for you!

  • Hike El Pico
  • Go Diving & Snorkeling
  • Relax on Playa Manzanillo

BEST PLACE TO STAY IN ISLA DE PROVIDENCIA : Berton Place – With a homey ambience and local owners who go above and beyond, this three-star guesthouse includes free Wi-Fi, free parking, and is just 10 minutes from the beach.

To start planning your trip, check out my budget travel guide to Colombia!  

A thatched hut off the coast of the San Blas Islands in Panama

These mostly uninhabited islands are under the control of the Guna indigenous people and are quite rustic, making for a great off-the-grid island getaway. The lodging here is made up of simple huts, hammocks, and tents, and there are tons of beautiful spots for good sailing, diving, and snorkeling.

You can also book sailing expeditions here if you’re looking to get off the islands and out onto the water for a few days. Most sailing charters cost around $180-200 USD per person, per day.

  • 4-Day Island Hopping Adventure
  • Go Snorkeling

BEST PLACE TO STAY THE SAN BLAS ISLANDS : Discovery Gunayar – This laidback lodge is is right on the beach and offers rustic but comfortable accommodations with free breakfast.

To start planning your trip, check out my budget travel guide to Panama!  

Aerial view with Puerto de la Cruz, in background Teide volcano, Tenerife island, Spain

Tenerife is the largest of the islands and has a bit of everything, including one of the largest Carnival festivals in the world each February and two UNESCO World Heritage sites: the city of La Laguna and Teide National Park, home to Mount Teide (the largest mountain in Spain and the third-largest volcano in the world).

For beaches, head to Fuerteventura to soak up some rays. And for some hiking, make your way to Gran Canaria with its incredible and diverse landscapes. But no matter which island in the Canaries you choose, you’ll get to enjoy one of the best tropical islands in the world.

  • Dolphin and Whale Eco-Cruise
  • Half-Day Luxury Catamaran Cruise
  • Stargazing at Teide National Park

BEST PLACE TO STAY IN THE CANARY ISLANDS : Lagarto house – This chill hostel in Tenerife has an outdoor pool, bikes you can use to get to the beach, a BBQ area, and a fully-equipped kitchen.

To start planning your trip, check out my budget travel guide to Spain!  

People walking down a stone causeway leading to the white-washed Old Town town in Naxos, Greece

Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, head out for a hike, enjoy some water sports, or learn about history (there’s a huge ancient temple gate, a medieval castle, and the mountain Zeus was supposedly raised on, just to name a few sites), Naxos will be able to keep you entertained as you enjoy your little slice of Greek heaven away from the tourist mob.

  • Naxos Castle Walking Tour
  • Full–Day Historical Bus Tour
  • Rhina Cave Catamaran Cruise

BEST PLACE TO STAY IN NAXOS : Soula Naxos – Located in Saint George Beach just 20 meters from the ocean and 2 minutes from the center of town, this budget-friendly hotel includes free Wi-Fi and lovely views from the rooftop terrace.

To start planning your trip, check out my budget travel guide to Naxos!  

A propeller plane in the water off the coast on the Whitsunday Islands in Australia

The vast majority of these islands are designated national parks, so naturally there are some amazing coral reefs for snorkeling and diving and pristine beaches (my favorite is Whitehaven Beach). Upon arrival, you’ll instantly see why this is one of the best tropical islands in the world — and why over half a million people visit a year.

One of the most popular ways to see the islands is via a multi-day sailing tour (which is what I did when I visited). It was an amazing experience — especially diving! Expect to pay between 399-499 AUD per person for a three-day/two-night sailing trip.

  • Whitehaven Full-Day Eco-Cruise
  • Ocean Rafting Tour
  • Full-Day Catamaran Sailing Trip

BEST PLACE TO STAY IN THE WHITSUNDAY ISLANDS : Whitsunday Apartments – Just 2 minutes from Catseye Beach, these private apartments offer free Wi-Fi, ocean views from each room’s private balcony, and free airport transfers. There’s a beautiful outdoor pool as well.

To start planning your trip, check out my budget travel guide to the Whitsunday Islands!  

Three large marine iguanas standing on the rocks in the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador

Formed from active volcanoes, they’re most famous for being the birthplace of Darwin’s theory of evolution. The opportunities to see incredible wildlife here are practically unrivaled, with marine iguanas, Galapagos penguins, sea lions, orcas, manta rays, the Giant Galapagos tortoise, and many more incredible species.

Unfortunately, this is a very fragile ecosystem and it’s being drastically affected by the changing climate. Visit here while you can and be especially mindful of your impact on the environment. Book a multi-day visit to make the most of your time.

  • Go Kayaking
  • Snorkel with Wildlife

BEST PLACE TO STAY IN THE GALÁPAGOS ISLANDS : Hostal Romy – This two-star hotel close to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno Beach offers air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and kitchenettes in rooms.

To start planning your trip, check out my budget travel guide to Ecuador!  

Beautiful blue water and a massive green hill in Saint Lucia

First known as “Louanalao” by the indigenous Arawak in 200 CE, St. Lucia is filled with beautiful birds, orchards full of tropical fruit trees, world-class diving, incredible wildlife, and crystalline blue waters. Whether you’re looking for a lazy escape or an active holiday, St. Lucia will be able to keep you entertained!

  • 5-Hour Snorkeling Adventure
  • Full-Day Catamaran Tour
  • Gros Piton Hiking Tour and Sulphur Spring Bath

BEST PLACE TO STAY IN SAINT LUCIA : Green Fig Resort & Spa – This hotel boasts an outdoor swimming pool, a complimentary continental breakfast, free private parking, a garden, and a terrace. Rooms have basic amenities like coffee makers and free toiletries, and some rooms have a balcony.

To start planning your trip, check out my budget travel guide to St. Lucia!  

the rolling hills of the Azores in Portugal

Each of the islands offers a little something different. Rent a car and explore the winding roads of the main island, São Miguel, taking in secluded beaches and picturesque waterfalls, enjoy the wine in Pico, and go hiking on São Jorge. Best of all, it’s close to both Europe and North America and makes for a great stopover point if you’re traveling between the two.

  • Whale & Dolphin Watching
  • Kayaking Vila Franca do Campo Islet
  • Caldeiroes Canyoning on Sao Miguel

BEST PLACE TO STAY IN THE AZORES : Out of the Blue – This boutique hostel has a gorgeous interior as it’s set in a renovated traditional orange farmer’s manor. There’s also a pool, fast Wi-Fi, and a beautiful garden with hammocks for unrivaled relaxing.

To start planning your trip, check out my budget travel guide to to Portugal!

This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the best tropical islands in the world. There are countless other islands worthy of attention and it would take multiple lifetimes to visit them all (though I’d be happy to try!).

That being said, I think these are some of the best tropical islands in the world. Each one of these is a veritable paradise in its own right. You’ll be hard-pressed to find more beautiful surroundings than some of these islands.

But don’t take my word for it. Book a trip and experience a slice of paradise for yourself!

Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner . It’s my favorite search engine because it searches websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is being left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation You can book your hostel with Hostelworld . If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as it consistently returns the cheapest rates for guesthouses and hotels.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

  • SafetyWing (best for everyone)
  • Insure My Trip (for those 70 and over)
  • Medjet (for additional evacuation coverage)

Want to Travel for Free? Travel credit cards allow you to earn points that can be redeemed for free flights and accommodation — all without any extra spending. Check out my guide to picking the right card and my current favorites to get started and see the latest best deals.

Need Help Finding Activities for Your Trip? Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace where you can find cool walking tours, fun excursions, skip-the-line tickets, private guides, and more.

Ready to Book Your Trip? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use when I travel. They are the best in class and you can’t go wrong using them on your trip.

Got a comment on this article? Join the conversation on Facebook , Instagram , or Twitter and share your thoughts!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I recommend only products and companies I use and the income goes to keeping the site community supported and ad free.

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  • February 18, 2020

12 Exotic Destinations For A Tropical Island Vacation In 2024

Leleuvia, fiji.

Leleuvia Island

Ko Phayam, Thailand

Koh Phayam

Utila, Honduras

Exotic Island Destinations

Caye Caulker, Belize

Belize Itinerary

Siquijor, Philippines


Isla Holbox, Mexico

Holbox - Biking

Martinique, France


Taveuni, Fiji

Vanua Levu Beach

Placencia, Belize

exotic island trip

Coron, Philippines

coron island hopping

Langkawi, Malaysia

SkyCab Langkawi

Ko Lanta, Thailand

Koh Lanta Views

Need more island inspiration?

How about a trip to Dominican Republic? My friend Naureen is a true expert on traveling Dominican Republic and has got you covered when it comes to the best places and experiences around the island. Here you’ll find all the reasons why Dominican Republic should also be on your bucket list!


Hi, I'm Lena. I've been on the move traveling the world, diving oceans and climbing mountains for almost 10 years. On the blog, I share with you my favorite once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences, places off the beaten path and tips on how you can travel and dive the world without spending a fortune. Also, say hi and join my journey on Instagram - see you there!

Suchst du noch mehr Reiseinspiration?

Begib dich mit Reisejournalistin Lena im Podcast “On The Move“ auf einzigartige Reiseabenteuer abseits des Massentourismus. Kompakt, informativ und authentisch führt dich dieser Reisepodcast an magische, manchmal auch exotische Orte. Ob Inselabenteuer, Gipfeltour oder mehrtägige Rundreise: Lena teilt konkrete Reiseideen und eindrucksvolle Geheimtipps für alle, die die Welt auf eigene Faust erkunden wollen – stets mit Abenteuercharakter zum kleinen Preis.

On The Move Reisepodcast

2 Responses

Absolutely adore the destinations in Asia you’ve mentioned.. I’m surprised Indonesia didn’t make the list? I moved here last year and of the 17000 islands of the country I’ve probably only been to 12. Thanks so much for the travel inspo. Exotic island vacays are my favourite.

Hi there, Thanks for your comment and glad you like this post! I was supposed to go to Indonesia in April and May, though that trip didn’t work out due to Corona. However, I’ll add Indonesia for sure once I’ve been there and explored some of the island destinations myself. 🙂

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  • Island Vacations

30 Secret Islands to Visit for the Ultimate Secluded Vacation

From tropical luxury to frosty serenity, there's an island to suit every traveler's taste.

Anne Olivia Bauso is a travel writer and hotel expert based in New York City. She has written hundreds of hotel reviews, from 5-star Ritz-Carlton properties to treehouse eco-resorts in the jungle.

exotic island trip

You think of an island getaway , and certain heavy hitters likely rush to mind: Bali , Hawaii , Santorini . The big-shot isles of the world certainly have their place on any dream travel list, but there are secret, unknown islands hidden all around the globe that you can visit — if you know where to look.

Those wanting to get far off the grid can head to Rodrigues, an itty-bitty volcanic dot in the vast Indian Ocean, hundreds of nautical miles from neighbors in any direction. Mystery lovers could opt for the Nordic island of Sandön, where the foggy, forested landscape has inspired many a crime novel (perhaps you'll read one there for a real thrill). Prefer something closer to home? On North Carolina's Outer Banks , there's an island so remote, most state residents have no idea it exists.

Whatever your daydream, you'll find a destination to match it on our list of relatively unknown islands around the world.

Côn Đảo, Vietnam

The Vietnamese island of Phú Quốc might be considered a mini Phuket, but those looking to get far off the beaten path head to Côn Đảo, a little-known archipelago off Vietnam's southeastern coast. An hour-long flight from Ho Chi Minh City brings you to Côn Sơn, the largest (and only inhabited) member of the 15-island chain. Here, soaring granite cliffs border deserted beaches and crystal-blue water — imagine a tropical Amalfi Coast without the crowds. Most Côn Sơn accommodations are hostel-like budget spots, though there are a handful of boutique resorts, like the upscale Poulo Condor Boutique Resort and Spa and Six Senses Con Dao . Rent a motorbike or hire a private guide to take you to the area's most remote spots, including a 19th-century hilltop lighthouse and the spectacular Dam Tre Bay lagoon.

Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

Searching for the Bali of, say, 1970? Head to Gili Trawangan, a tiny island near Lombok dotted with laidback cafés, surf schools, and dive centers. No motorized traffic is allowed here, so it's up to your own two feet to walk or bike everywhere you go. The daily agenda involves nothing more than fishing, diving, or kicking back with a cold beer at Scallywags or Le Petit Gili , a charmingly ramshackle bar and eatery. On the southern coast, Pondok Santi Estate has thatched-roof bungalows scattered about the 17 acres of tropical grounds, a one-time coconut plantation. Hop the ferry to Mount Rinjani, an active volcano on Lombok.

Pico, Portugal

When Columbus made his world-changing expedition, Pico, part of the Azores , was considered a last outpost before you, well, fell off the earth — and the island still feels almost as remote as it did in 1492. Those who make the ferry or flight are met with wines unlike anywhere else and footpaths weaving through beautifully eerie lava landscapes. In the middle of a UNESCO-designated vineyard is the PocinhoBay , where six chic basalt bungalows take in views of the Atlantic. For dinner, head to Ancoradouro to sample regional specialties such as polvo guisado (stewed octopus).

Sandön, Sweden

There's a reason Swedish crime writers Stieg Larsson and Viveca Sten chose Sandön — aka Sandhamn — as a setting for their thrillers: The island is covered in a forest of moss and pine trees, and light fog dependably shrouds the windblown beaches. Check in to the modern Sands Hotell or the sweet eight-room Missionshuset Bed & Breakfast , both in the island's only village. At Sandhamns Värdshus , a historic restaurant (open seasonally) and pub (open year-round), feast on classic Swedish dishes such as house-marinated herring and pytt i panna, a traditional hash with fried egg and beets. Rent a mountain bike from Sandhamnsguiderna and pedal through the forest to Trouville, Sandön's best stretch of sand.

Scrub Island, British Virgin Islands

The name may suggest otherwise, but a trip here hardly constitutes roughing it. Once a pit stop for explorers, this island was virtually uninhabited for decades — until the luxe Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina opened its doors. What to expect? Spacious hillside villas, sea kayaking, and island-hopping day trips. Hike to the top of the island for an unforgettable sunrise.

Skopelos, Greece

An hour-long ferry ride from Skiathos (or about 20 minutes on a high-speed boat), the island of Skopelos is so picture-perfect (hidden coves, charming tavernas, hundreds of Byzantine-era churches) that Hollywood chose its Kastani Beach as a set for "Mamma Mia." Nearly every room at the seasonal Adrina Resort & Spa and its sister property Adrina Beach Hotel look out onto the turquoise Aegean. After a dinner of lobster pasta and slow-cooked lamb kleftiko at waterfront The Muses , walk along the beach-hugging road to the open-air Mercurius Cocktail Bar (open Easter through September) or to the hilltop Anatoli for ouzo and live rebetiko music.

Caye Caulker, Belize

There's nary a traffic light on this colorful, laidback island — a five-mile strip of land that's barely a 10-minute flight from Belize City. Water activities are the name of the game here: Snorkel among nurse sharks and stingrays or scuba dive in the underwater caves of Blue Hole. Aboveground, try the meat pies and rum cake baked daily at Reina's , or whole grilled lobster and jerk chicken at Dee N D's , a Caribbean barbecue spot right on the water. On the eastern side of the caye, the beachfront Colinda Cabanas has 14 brightly painted suites and cabanas, all with kitchens and outdoor space, tucked amid the palms and almond trees.

Flatey, Iceland

Don't expect to see much night sky here: In the summer, daylight shines for up to 21 hours on this one-mile, car-free hideaway in Breiðafjörður Bay. Lush meadows, multicolored timber houses, and incredible birdlife dot the scenery, and the mainland's Snæfellsjökull volcano is always within eyeshot. In town, Hotel Flatey stays true to simple Scandinavian design (blond-wood furniture, whitewashed walls), and the downstairs restaurant is a superb spot for local, fresh, seafood-centric fare. Swing by Iceland's oldest (and smallest) library, built in 1864.

Gozo, Malta

Rolling hills, crumbling castle walls, and a Bronze Age fortress are some of the most endearing features on Gozo. Check in to the upscale Hotel Ta' Cenc & Spa overlooking the sea from the island's highest point. From there, it's a short drive to rugged Dwejra Bay, where you can take a dip and gaze upon the famous limestone arch. Head to the ancient village of Xagħra for a hearty meal of fish soup, pasta with rabbit sauce, and fig ice cream at Oleander Restaurant . Bring home handblown objéts d'art from Gozo Glass .

Swaraj Dweep, India

Bone-white beaches and crystalline water make Swaraj Dweep, also known as Havelock Island, perhaps the most appealing of the 500-odd islands and atolls in India's Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Make a cottage at the much-loved SeaShell Havelock your island crash pad for days of snorkeling, diving, glass-bottom boating, and jungle trekking. Ocean breezes and down-home cooking take center stage at Anju Coco , a roadside seafood shack and breakfast spot. The mellow atmosphere and 28-page menu require at least one return visit .

Rodrigues, Mauritius

With 3,300 miles of Indian Ocean between it and Perth, the nearest civilization to the east, this fish-shaped island is about as remote as it gets. Verdant valleys, numerous islets, and shallow lagoon waters surrounding the island make Rodrigues heaven for hikers, kite surfers, and water lovers. Shack up in one of the island's Creole-style guesthouses, like the three-room Case Corail or the more upscale Domaine de la Paix . For freshly caught seafood, don't miss the down-to-earth Le Marlin Bleu . Spot gigantic Aldabra tortoises and tropical birds at the François Leguat Reserve before descending into limestone caverns (a welcome respite from the sun) .

Great Barrier Island, New Zealand

At 110 square miles, "The Barrier" is one of the largest islands off the Kiwi coast, but it's also one of the most pristine. Spend your days hiking through dense kauri woods or exploring jagged inlets. Then refuel over locally caught seafood at Currach Irish Pub . The four-bedroom, glass-walled Oruawharo Beach House has spectacular views of Oruawharo Bay; smaller accommodations on the property include a cabin and cottage. Take a scenic stroll to soak in the Kaitoke Hot Springs .

Pulau Mabul, Malaysia

Diving enthusiasts flock to Pulau Mabul, off the southeastern coast of Malaysia, where the marine life is on par with the Galápagos — native sea moths, bobtail squids, and the elusive paintpot cuttlefish are just a few of the inhabitants. Sleep over the sea at Mabul Water Bungalows , which offers dive packages and has an on-site spa. For local souvenirs, head to Tawau village's Sunday market in nearby Sabah.

Jicaro Island, Nicaragua

You may experience cognitive dissonance upon arriving at Jicaro Island . There are palm trees and thatched roofs, even a shadowy volcano in the distance, but the air has none of the tropical tang you'd expect, and there are no waves or powdery shores. That's because Jicaro is located on Lake Nicaragua (Lago Cocibolca), a freshwater lake near the country's western edge. Ten to 20 minutes by boat from the colonial town of Granada, the island is home to seven luxury treehouse casitas , stylish with their slatted façades and mosquito-netted beds, that are crafted entirely from Nicaraguan timber, salvaged from trees downed in storms. The food is organic and locally sourced, solar power heats the water, and there's a private pool for leisurely afternoons. Spend an afternoon hiking around the cloud forest on the upper slopes of the nearby volcano, Mombacho. You might just zipline down.

Robinson Crusoe Island, Chile

A one-hour flight west of Santiago, this rugged isle earned its fame from the 18th-century sailor Alexander Selkirk, whose wild spell as a castaway here inspired the novel "Robinson Crusoe." The aura of adventure still endures (there's even a rumor of buried treasure). Travelers arrive on a seven-seater plane, then take an hour, 30-minute boat ride to the town of San Juan Bautista. The best place to stay is perhaps in one of the 15 rooms at the Crusoe Island Lodge . The hotel will organize scuba dives, on which you might see a centuries-old shipwreck.

Colonsay, Scotland

A two-hour, 20-minute ferry ride from the west-coast whisky town of Oban takes you to this distant Hebridean island. Sheep far outnumber people, and those who have made the wildflower-carpeted island home are the sort of characters who would have inspired Robert Burns. Lay your head in the 1750-built Colonsay Hotel , a family-owned, nine-room Georgian inn with white pebble-dashed walls, sloping slate roofs, and spare furnishings. Meet all the locals at the village hall, where, in the summer, the weekly ceilidh dance is as authentic a gathering as you'll find in the British Isles.

Inis Meáin, Ireland

The pleasures of Inis Meáin are simple: a walk along the coast to the thunder of Atlantic swells, a tableau of fissured limestone that glimmers in the mist, and a mile-and-a-half cliff walk with the Cliffs of Moher as your backdrop. You can get the full experience with a stay in one of Inis Meáin's stone-walled suites . For an extra fee, you can add meals to your stay. Historically, this immersive hotel has served locally caught seafood and homegrown vegetables.

La Maddalena, Sardinia

Think you can't find Caribbean-blue waters in the middle of Europe? Set your sights on La Maddalena, an unassuming understudy to some of Italy's splashier islands, like Capri. A 15-minute ferry ride from the northern coast of Sardinia, La Maddelena spoils its visitors with pristine beaches, rare birds, and hidden coves. The sea-facing terrace at Hotel Excelsior is a perfect perch for watching the ferries ply the teal waters. Cala Coticcio, a short drive from La Maddalena's city center on the neighboring island of Caprera, is said to be one of the most beautiful in the Mediterranean. There, you can tour the Compendio Garibaldino, where the 19th-century politico Giuseppe Garibaldi lived.

Sir Bani Yas Island, United Arab Emirates

The roaring traffic sounds of Abu Dhabi, about 112 miles to the east, are replaced by the sound of lapping waves on this cluster of Arabian Gulf islands. Sir Bani Yas — with its wadis (dry riverbeds), mangroves, and Christian monastery excavation site — is the only island with overnight facilities of any sort. Luckily, those accommodations are provided by Anantara, a luxurious resort brand with a small collection of Sir Bani Yas hotels. The original, Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara , includes 64 chic rooms and an opulent spa.

Fogo Island, Newfoundland

This may be the last place you'd expect to find an artistic awakening — it's a fishing community off Newfoundland's northeastern coast marked by craggy shores and miles of blissful nothingness. But thanks to residents like artist Elísabet Gunnarsdóttir, social entrepreneur Zita Cobb, and architect Todd Saunders, the secluded island has become a cultural destination. The trio is behind Fogo Island Arts , a series of four artists' studios. Rent a car from mainland Newfoundland to tour the uber-contemporary structures or hike along the 4.5-mile Turpin's Trail, whose gentle path goes beside rocky coastline and grassy meadows (keep an eye out for grazing caribou). Regain your strength on a vintage school chair at Bangbelly Cafe (open seasonally) with a homemade cod cake sandwich. Feel like you're in a fantasy film at the architecturally stunning Fogo Island Inn , a modern, sustainable spaceship of a boutique hotel at the edge of the Atlantic.

Lummi Island, Washington

Nature enthusiasts and locavores love this nine-square-mile oasis full of working farms and verdant fields on Puget Sound. Immerse yourself in the Pacific Northwest lushness with a hike through any four of the nature preserves maintained by Lummi Island Heritage Trust. The 1.6-mile hike through Baker Preserve, specifically, will reward you with sweeping views of Rosario Strait and the San Juan Islands. Don't miss the chance to visit Michael Oppenheimer's Windy Hill Art sculpture park .

Salt Spring Island, British Columbia

Vancouver Island may hog the spotlight, but neighboring Salt Spring is impossibly picturesque (imagine rocky shores, rolling pastures, and sky-high oak trees). Cheesemakers, vintners, and an eclectic group of artists and craftspeople live here year-round. It's precisely that eco-artist vibe that prompted Michael Ableman and Jeanne-Marie Herman to open the sustainable Foxglove Farm , whose three guest rooms (a cottage, a cabin, and a log home) have views of Maxwell Lake. The seasonal Saturday farmers' market at nearby Centennial Park showcases works by potters, jewelers, soapmakers, and food producers.

Southport Island, Maine

Boothbay Harbor ranks as one of the busiest tourist havens on Maine's MidCoast, but nearby Southport Island, accessible by a single swing bridge, has a more low-key vibe with old Cape Cod-style colonial houses, small country stores, and winding roads. On the way to town, you'll spot the decades-old Robinson's Wharf , one of the state's most revered seafood shacks, serving fresh lobster, shrimp, and oysters. Snag a table on the dock facing Townsend Gut. A 20-minute walk away, Ocean Gate Resort has canoes and kayaks (free to guests) for self-paddling tours of the Gut's sheltered waters. Toward the island's far end, the 40-room, oceanfront Newagen Seaside Inn , with clapboard cottages and water-facing hotel rooms, abuts a quaint fishing harbor. This is classic Maine at its best. Plan a picnic on Southport Beach, overlooking Hendricks Head lighthouse.

Islas del Rosario, Colombia

Cartagena may be a Latin American travel hotspot, but consider venturing off the coast to the Islas del Rosario — a chain of mostly uninhabited islands that are home to mangroves, beaches, and the country's largest coral reef. Stay at the tropical-chic Hotel San Pedro de Majagua on Isla Grande. There, you'll find 17 white-on-white rooms, panoramic Caribbean views, and a restaurant where you might dine on fresh-caught snapper, grilled whole. Snorkel and dive the glittering waters, where you can spot butterflyfish, sea turtles, and hundreds of other tropical species. After the sun sets, take a boat or an evening walk to the Enchanted Lagoon, on the other side of the island, to see thousands of bioluminescent plankton twinkling in the night.

La Gomera, Spain

Not even an hour ferry ride from its buzzy big sister, Tenerife, tiny La Gomera is as peaceful as can be. The lushly green Canary Island is a haven for trekkers, with more than 300 miles of walking trails lacing over mountains and misty, subtropical rainforest. When you've hiked to your heart's (or quads') content, get thee to the water. Paddle around the teal waters of pretty, sun-drenched Playa de Santiago in a kayak, or book a boat tour in hopes of spotting pilot whales, dolphins, and other La Gomera underwater residents. The clifftop Hotel Jardín Tecina has far more frills than your average La Gomera hotel, plus head-spinning views of the Atlantic. Plan for at least one meal at the beach-shack-like La Chalana , a local fave serving a daily catch and Canarian specialties. If you need a post-lunch pick-me-up, a barraquito (a Canary Islands coffee drink with condensed milk, lemon rind, and cinnamon — con o sin licor) should do the trick .

Filicudi, Sicily

Filicudi (along with farther-flung Alicudi) is the least-developed outpost in Sicily's Aeolian chain. Its sheer remoteness and spectacular volcanic landscape have enticed in-the-know Italians for ages. Explore Filicudi's quaint fishing villages and hiking trails (prepare for thrilling sea views) by foot; when you're ready to take your sea legs out for a spin, there are jewel-toned coves, craggy grottoes, and pebble beaches for swimming, snorkeling, boating, and diving. Cap off your day with seafood hauled in from the surrounding Tyrrhenian Sea and a bottle of natural Aeolian wine. On a sunny afternoon, find a palapa-covered sunbed (and a cold bottle of Messina) at Lido La Sirena to call your own.

Iriomote Island, Japan

When it comes to Japanese scenery, coral reefs and pineapple fields are probably not part of your vision. But Japan's Okinawa prefecture is home to tropical islands straight out of a castaway fantasy, including one of Japan's best-kept secrets, the jungle-clad Iriomote. This hidden destination has stunning waterfalls, mangrove forests, and the kind of coastline you'd expect from southern Thailand — minus the throngs of fellow sunseekers. Beaches like Ida no Hama are startlingly pretty, with shimmering clear shallows and lush vegetation all around. After a day of snorkeling, diving, and paddleboarding, retire to Pension Hoshinosuna , a humble inn with great views over the bay and offshore islands. Join a guided tour for a day of kayaking through the mangroves followed by hiking through the jungle up to Pinaisara Falls, a dramatic waterfall cutting through the wilderness .

Portsmouth, North Carolina

The Outer Banks is a major vacation destination, yet one of its islands is so secluded, even many North Carolinians have never heard of it: Portsmouth, only accessible by ferry or private boat. Visitors dock in Portsmouth village, a once-thriving seafaring port dating to the 1700s, now a ghost town with a cluster of historic buildings — the post office-slash-general store and a one-room schoolhouse — to check out as you please. Beyond the village, miles of pure coastal wilderness await. Sand paths wind past grassy salt marshes, wispy evergreen shrubs, and sky-blue inlets. Natural dunes sling low over wide-open, empty, and amazingly pristine beaches. Look for shells and sea snails, get hypnotized by the powerful Atlantic waves, or pitch a tent right on the sand. On a clear evening, you're in for the starriest night of your life. When you're ready to reenter society, catch the passenger ferry to Ocracoke and set up shop with fried oysters and hush puppies on the roof deck of Howard's Pub , open seasonally .

Mnemba Island, Zanzibar

Drifting in an aqua lagoon in the Zanzibar archipelago, Mnemba is nothing short of an island paradise. The petite island is occupied by andBeyond Mnemba Island , a boutique resort with all the tropical trimmings you'd want from an Indian Ocean hideaway: a dive center, a handful of rustic, open-air bungalows, and wide swaths of stunning white-sand beach encircling a forested interior. The sparkling waters are perfect for swimming, kayaking, and snorkeling over coral reefs, and, at sunset, cruising on the resort's dhow, a traditional Arabic sailboat. Learn about Zanzibar's legendary spices on a tour of Tangawizi , a working spice plantation and cooking school outside of Stone Town .

Boa Vista, Cape Verde

All Cape Verde islands have incredible coastlines, but the vast white- and golden-sand beaches of Boa Vista are arguably the archipelago's best. Kiteboarders and windsurfers flock here (as well as neighboring Sal) to take advantage of the sweeping trade winds from Africa. Jeep and quad-bike outfitters stand at the ready for zipping around the shore and the giant windswept desert dunes that look like they're from another planet. Scoop up locally made pottery in the town of Rabil.

Protect Your Trip »

Best places to visit in the caribbean for 2023-2024.

A trip to the Caribbean islands may be just what you need if you're in search of some sun, sand and relaxation. Based on user votes and expert insights, plus factors like accessibility to beaches, tourist attractions and comfortable accommodations, U.S. News compiled a list of the best places to visit in the Caribbean for a getaway. Help us evaluate next year's top places by voting for your favorite destinations. And if you're in search of lodging, check out the  Best Hotels in the Caribbean.  (Note: If you plan to visit the Caribbean during hurricane season, which runs from May through November, purchasing an international travel insurance policy is strongly recommended.)

Turks & Caicos

British virgin islands, u.s. virgin islands, st. vincent & the grenadines, cayman islands, st. kitts & nevis, st. martin - st. maarten.

exotic island trip

Travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands to see some of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the Caribbean, including Grace Bay. Home to one of the largest barrier reef systems in the world, this collection of coral islands also offers unforgettable experiences for snorkelers and scuba divers. Whether you choose to spend the bulk of your time on land or underwater, these islands make a wonderful retreat for those seeking maximum comfort in a tropical setting. However, hotel prices can be higher here than in other Caribbean locales, especially during the peak winter season.

exotic island trip

Visit St. Lucia for its sprawling chalk-colored beaches, towering volcanic peaks and upscale resorts. You can start your day with a hiking adventure through the Pitons, soak up some midday sun along Reduit Beach and watch the sun set over the Caribbean Sea. You'll want to also save time for a visit to Sulphur Springs, the world's only drive-in volcano. St. Lucia's plethora of romantic luxury hotels, most of which offer incredible views of the Pitons, makes this Caribbean escape especially popular with couples.

exotic island trip

"Posh" is the best word to describe the British Virgin Islands. The island country's beautiful coast sets it apart from other Caribbean destinations. The shoreline at Cane Garden Bay and the white sand beaches on Anegada island are stunning. Meanwhile, the boulders and sea pools at The Baths National Park (touted as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world) mystify visitors. One of the best ways to see these scenic islands is by yacht or on a boat tour from the nearby U.S. Virgin Islands. Alternatively, you can relax on a beach or by a pool at one of the upscale hotels.

exotic island trip

Spring is the time to travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands, particularly in late April when the boisterous Carnival season on St. Thomas gets underway. Regardless of when you visit, try to spend at least a day enjoying the unspoiled beauty at one of the many beaches along St. John's shoreline, including the popular Trunk Bay beach. Or, visit a fort on St. Croix for a bit of Danish colonial history during your vacation. The best part? Americans don't need a passport to visit these Caribbean islands.

exotic island trip

Comprising 32 islands, St. Vincent and the Grenadines has something to offer every traveler. Enjoy time on the biggest island of St. Vincent in its capital, Kingstown, a port city where you'll find a lush botanical garden and fresh fish and produce markets. Then, hop on a boat and sail between the country's other islands for diving, snorkeling, golfing, sunbathing and photo-ops. No matter how you choose to pass the time, a trip to this destination will be one for the books.

exotic island trip

One of the most scenic spots in the Caribbean, the Cayman Islands is home to premier dive sites, including Eden Rock and Devil's Grotto, as well as plenty of picturesque shorelines such as the world-renowned Seven Mile Beach. For travelers who want to stick to the shallows, Stingray City offers clear water, a sandbar and opportunities to swim with stingrays. Hotel and flight prices tend to be on the lower end during the summer months, so you can enjoy the palm-fringed white sand beaches and serene sea without ruining your vacation budget.

exotic island trip

While you'll certainly find the standard Caribbean staples – picture-perfect sandy beaches, verdant golf courses and palatial resorts – you'll also discover that Barbados offers a unique roster of non-beach things to do. Travel here to sample Mount Gay Rum, explore the limestone caverns of Harrison's Cave and the Animal Flower Cave, attend a horse race at Garrison Savannah and dance to calypso tunes. Don't forget to save time for exploring the island's historical plantation houses and exotic tropical gardens.

exotic island trip

With 16 major islands and hundreds of islets, the Bahamas derives its appeal from its stunning beaches and Caribbean Sea views. The country's beaches run the gamut from bustling Cable Beach to Pig Beach and Pink Sand Beach (both of which derive their names from their most unique characteristics). After enjoying your fill of the Caribbean sun, explore the Bahamas' expansive protected areas, including Lucayan National Park. Just plan on sticking to one or two islands to avoid blowing your vacation budget on transportation costs.

exotic island trip

St. Barts is known for its scenic beaches (from beautiful Anse de Grande Saline to sprawling Anse des Flamands) and unique French Caribbean culture, which is evident in its cuisine and lively annual festivals. St. Barts is also synonymous with luxury, so you'll find many high-end hotels and upscale resorts here, plus harbors that house mega-yachts. To save some coin, grab food at a local supermarket before heading to the beach for a picnic.

exotic island trip

The bright-colored buildings and natural features of St. George's harbor in Grenada offer a view worth savoring. But don't stare for too long – Grenada has more than 45 beaches to choose from, including the 2-mile-long Grand Anse Beach. Regardless of which shoreline you choose, you'll find clear water and white sand surrounded by lush greenery. If you need a break from the sand, head to Belmont Estate for a chocolate tour or stretch your legs on Grand Etang National Park & Forest Reserve's hiking trails.

exotic island trip

St. Kitts garners its popularity in part from the soft sands and buzzing nightlife of Frigate Bay. While many choose to vacation here to relax at a resort on the beach and enjoy delicious cuisine (think: tasty seafood and fresh fruit), this destination offers plenty in the way of culture as well. It hosts excellent festivals, most notably the St. Kitts & Nevis National Carnival (known locally as Sugar Mas). When you need a break from the action, hop on a ferry for a daytrip to the quieter island of Nevis, where you'll find Oualie and Pinney's beaches.

exotic island trip

Antigua is home to a wealth of diverse beaches – 365, to be exact. So whether you're interested in grabbing a bite to eat at Valley Church Beach or seeking a more secluded, romantic vacation at Half Moon Bay, you likely won't be disappointed. Plus, Antigua is where you'll find some of the best resorts in the Caribbean. The island also offers historical attractions to recognize Antigua's Colonial past, such as Nelson's Dockyard, constructed by the British Navy using enslaved people for labor, and Betty's Hope, an early sugar plantation.

exotic island trip

As one of the ABC islands (along with Aruba and Bonaire), Curaçao sits outside the hurricane belt, meaning you'll find sunny, pleasant temperatures year-round and little threat from swirling storms that can wreak havoc in the Caribbean. The dependable weather and healthy coral reefs (compared to the rest of the Caribbean) make Curaçao a top destination for divers, snorkelers and beach bums. Plus, this Dutch Caribbean locale boasts a lively capital filled with pastel-colored architecture and culturally significant sights, such as a sand-floored synagogue from the 18th century.

exotic island trip

Home to towering mountains, dense rainforests, colorful coral reefs and stunning beaches, Jamaica boasts diverse scenery that attracts visitors from around the globe. Adventurous travelers can hike, rock climb or dive while their calm counterparts can lounge on Seven Mile Beach's soft white sand or swim in its clear water. It's perfectly possible to spend an entire trip having fun and relaxing at one of the island's numerous all-inclusive resorts. But for an authentic dose of local culture, head to Kingston (the island's capital) to attend a lively festival, listen to reggae tunes and try local specialties like Blue Mountain Coffee and jerk chicken.

exotic island trip

You'll find first-rate beaches and plenty of activities on St. Martin - St. Maarten, as well as an assortment of hotel options and vacation rentals for many budgets. Experienced and first-time scuba divers can explore the reefs, shipwrecks, sea life and rock formations that surround the island. Meanwhile, foodies can savor everything from fresh seafood dishes (think: conch, codfish fritters and whelk soup) to French-Creole specialties, such as callaloo (kale and spinach soup). Or, stop for casual barbecued meat and fresh fish at one of the open-air lolos located along the shore.

exotic island trip

Aruba appeals to all types of travelers: Gamblers can hit the casinos, nature enthusiasts can check out Arikok National Park or hike through the Ayo and Casibari rock formations, and water lovers can explore the sea or sign up for a boat tour. Meanwhile, beach bums can soak up some sun along the shoreline on a lounge chair, typically without overheating thanks to the constant breeze Aruba enjoys. What's more, this island lies outside the hurricane belt, so it's an ideal place to visit year-round, though room rates are generally lowest in late summer.

exotic island trip

Compared to its neighbors, this group of islands has flown under the radar for years but is worth a visit. In this French Caribbean archipelago, you can explore white, golden and black sand beaches. Plus, more than 70% of Guadeloupe's territory is protected nature reserves – not to mention several marine parks complement their dry counterparts – making the country perfect for ecotourists and scuba divers. These preserved areas also appeal to those looking to avoid the crowded resorts and tourist hot spots of more popular Caribbean destinations.

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Puerto Rico

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14 Incredible Exotic Caribbean Islands Everyone Should Visit

Photo of author

So what is these exotic Caribbean islands?

Incredible, enchanting and exotic; this Caribbean islands!!

Caribbean islands are without a shadow of doubt among the top spellbinding and glamorous getaways in all over the world.

Imagine setting in front of the long blitz ocean lying in the white sunny sand while the waves are crawling steadily under your feet; Meantime, enjoying a Caribbean Rum Punch, a Mojito or a Daiquiri, and by night dancing with a mix of Caribbean summer music under the clear open sky.

You’ve probably experienced all this beaming feelings or you are looking forward to explore some of the hidden sides of these exotic Caribbean islands.

Now let us take a look at some of the best and exotic Caribbean islands that will dazzle you, and everybody should visit them.


Jamaica classified among our top Exotic Caribbean islands because of its white sandy beaches, and the intense green jungles.

Jamaica has more to offer; we still have a bunch of question to answer and exotic ideas to experience in the island.

Unique Things

A bunch of exotic things to experience in Jamaica, but this two things considered as a must do in the island:

  • Day beach from Ocho Rios : start your trip in Jamaica with this spellbinding beach excursion; in addition of travelling beside the  River Falls, going through the rain forest and trek in the top 100 foot traced waterfall.
  • Negril nightlife : most visitors tend to visit Negril because of its nightlife, the reggae music; furthermore Negril lighthouse which has a popular sound and a point of tourists attraction in the area.

2.Turks and Caicos


If you are a fan of stunning and breathtaking beaches, Turks and Caicos Island is your home.

The island consists of a large number of islets; many of them are just more than sand banks or tough pieces of rocks that rise above the waters of the Caribbean Sea.

However, the number of activities that one should explore in the exotic island are infinity; but just try some of them are must do.

Experience night scuba diving in the Turks and    Caicos while everybody else is sleeping.

Night diving in the island is a stunning opportunity to experience diving in the core of   Caribbean ocean, and enjoy the light under water but it the light really depends on your dive light.  

also, Lay down  in one of the most spellbinding beach in the world, Grace Bay Beach , it is ranked number on the top of the luxury beaches in the globe.

You can experience it all in this beach; it is protected with a barrier of reef system, soft white sand and clear water.

You can’t feel the bay if your feet doesn’t touch its shores and the breeze of its harmonious waves.

3. St. Lucia


St. Lucia is among the best and mesmerizing Caribbean islands.

The island offers a variety of attractions where you can relish, Bubbling volcanic Springs, mud pools, and  national parks the island is recognized also with  its   Toothsome gastronomy and  exotic restaurants .

Besides the stunning beaches, snorkeling in crystal water, The island is known more with its rich wildlife; if you are a fun of national parks , walking tours and birds watching head to Saint Lucia.  

Grab your camera and head to the north of Saint Lucia, the wildlife and the ecosystem in the area are just amazing.

leopards, elephants, buffalo and water buck, all some adorable species that exists in bank of the river.


Cuba is another exotic island with a massive wide of breathtaking sceneries; In addition of the stunning nature and views, white sand beaches, turquoise waters and green palm trees, the paradise offers also a bunch of fun activities that you can enjoy such as carnivals.

Celebrate the most popular carnival in the island, Carnival of Santiago de Cuba with a traditional celebration, colorful explosions, drum rhythms and dancing.

What is most characterizes the festival are the congas – music groups within Cuban comparsas and the music they play – that full the city with their melodic rhythms.

In addition; Parandas de Remedies is another famous festival in Cuba.

The festival is the oldest  in the city of Santa Clara; you can celebrate almost all the night of the Christmas eve with The groups of musician which are competing against each others in a traditional rivalry, with their music, sons, dance, float display and fireworks.

To get the better view for the festival it is advised to go watching on from the roof terrace of a house.

5. Antigua and Barbuda


if you are looking for a place to get lost and enjoy your vacation to the fullest, Antigua and Barbuda is the right place.

  The two separated islands nestled in the midst of the Caribbean ocean and they are the main destination of a large number of tourists all the year around.

there are numerous things in the island to enjoy, I addition of stunning beaches and sunny weather.

Antigua offers one of the best views in the island, which is Shirley Heights-a restored military lookout and gun battery-.

The place has a spellbinding view of Falmouth Harbors, and the ideal time to enjoy the view is during the sunset or the early morning when the English Harbor is all lit up.

The two iconic islands are not onkly known with their fabulous beachesb and stunning water.

The islands have many beachfront coffees and restaurants with a blend of local and international food.

If you are a foodie” like me ” you will find a variety of interesting plates, so you will be confused which one to start with.


Nassau the capital of Bahamas known as the paradise island; another amazing island; however, the massive throng of visitors the island receives all the year around.

Uncountable activities to enjoy in the island, and Among  them  is banana boat rides beside snorkeling gear, river tube floats, hobbies cats, canoeing and kayaks.

You can rent any of these activities and relish yourself.

Besides the waters sports, white sand beaches, nightlife, hotels, restaurants etc… the island has also some historic sites that attracts people from different areas.

Adelaide has a big part of the story with a small community and quietly narrow streets in the southern of the New Providence.

 The heritage is a remnant of an era when the residents build   huts out of limestone or wood with thatched roofs from palmetto leaves.

7.Montego Bay


A resort and exotic Island located in the shores of Jamaica; however we mention Jamaica but this island has its unique beauty and some of the best beaches in the world.

 If you are planning to visit the island in the summer, you are making a great decision, a bunch of fun things to enjoy during summer in the iconic island.

Water sports as you know are necessary things to do in Caribbean island.

From sailing to snorkeling to scuba diving, deep-sea fishing and much more.

“Go big or go home “

Go for a big sailing in the spellbinding North Coast of Jamaica tracking the blue marin, white marlin, Sailfish, wahoo, king fish, dolphins or yellow Fin tuna.

subsequently; Swim also with dolphins near of the negril city, live the thrilling experience and get to know more about these lovely mammals.

8. Guadeloupe


Guadalupe is among the islands that has unbounded abundance , from the sandy beaches, spellbinding waterfalls and nebulous mountains; the island is an active destination for those who are seeking placidity.

There are a plethora things to see in the islands in addition of the astonishing beaches and clear water such as the colonial building, or shop at Marché Saint-Antoine, discover the story of the city by visiting St-Piére and St-Paul Cathedral, the Saint John Perse museum.

 Explore also the traditional music and dance  of the island known as “Gwoka”.


Grenada is an astonishing country consisted from plus than other six small islands.

The island known with its unspoilt landscapes, beaches and romantic spots.

You can go for a swim in the crystal clear waters of the Grand Anse beach, trekking through the rain forest of Seven sisters waterfalls.

Chocolate festival is also an annual event-between May 31 st and 7 th June – which the island known for.

The island celebrates all the sweet, savory and satisfying things that the chocolate have.

  The festival activities includes: tours and explore the cocoa farms to know more about cocoa and be a farmer for a day learning how the chocolate are molded.


Tobago located just about 35 kilometers northeast of the mainland of Trinidad and southern of Grenada.

The island known with its turquoise waters, gorgeous sunsets and vibrant wildlife.

The island is an active escape for those who are seeking serenity and rejoice.

  Many spots deserve to be visited such as Bon accord Lagoon, surrounded with lifelike mangrove, which serves as the home of a large variety of species of birds.

Meanwhile the lagoon has a hand in keeping the wildlife flourish, Including fishes, conch snails, crabs and oysters.

11.St Vincent and the Grenadines

 St Vincent and the Grenadines

SAINT Vincent and the Grenadines also Known as Saint Vincent, an attractive group of islands located in the southern of Windward Islands.

It consist from about 32 small islands and cays; nine of them are inhabited.

Just the name of the Island evokes that there are exotic and a plethora activities to enjoy.

Spend a week sailing in the amazing Caribbean sea, cruise through the beautiful ocean of  Tobago Cays and aboard of some of  some stunning and luxury boats of the island.

Enjoy a spellbinding and extensive water sport activities in the exotic island such as snorkeling with colorful and beautiful species of fishes.

12.Saint Kitts and Nevis


     Saint Kitts and Nevis another spellbinding Caribbean island, Saint Kitts is small enough to see in a day and big enough to explore for a lifetime.

   A bunch of things to enjoy in the mesmerize island Saint Kitts some of the best beaches in the world, each with its unique beauty and allure.

The spellbinding beaches of south frigate and South Friars bay offering some of thrilling water sports that you can adore

BANANA BAY, DIEPPE BAY BEACH , COCKLESHELL BAY are among the spectacular beaches that you will enjoy to the fullest.

You can lounge under the swaying coconut trees and live the placidity of the exotic island.

 Alternatively, take a brisk swim in addition of some exhilarating water sports such as body surfing.


Belize is a curious place with small isles and abundance nature that really deserve s to explore.

 If your heart yearns for some serenity and live for few days in a quiet atmosphere; this island is yours.

The island has them all, from luxury hotels spellbinding beaches, and water sports.

Scuba diving is the most popular activity in the exotic Caribbean island; the Blue hole of Belize a site, which attracts scuba divers from the whole world.

The extraordinary sinkhole is a vibrant place landed up over 300 meters in the Caribbean ocean.

If you choose to go further, try caving in the island, it ranged from easy walks to challenging hiking.

The caves are home of extensive and sorts of stalactite and stalagmite in addition of pottery shards.

14. Punta Cana


Punta Cana is a blessing island where the Atlantic meets with the Caribbean.

An amazing isle for relaxation near the beach sides, especially for couples and families who desire to escape from the regular hustle and bustle of the city.

The island has much to offer, you can golf in one of the most extensive courses (Cabeza De Toro Golf Club) and (Corales Golf Club) in the island besides having an escape in the luxurious marinas and fine dining.

exotic island trip

20 Exotic Islands to Put On Your Bucket List

The word “exotic” can mean a lot of different things to different people. Some people are looking for adventure and thrill in their exotic travels; others are looking for a chance to relax, disconnect and find remoteness. However, all of this can be found on some of the most beautiful tropical islands around the world!

We have chosen 20 of the best exotic tropical islands below, as chosen by our TierOne Travel Consultants . All of our choices include a perfect blend of all of these desirable traits, wrapped up in one beautifully stunning island!

Travel Agents’ Top 20 Picks for Exotic Islands

1. easter island (rapa nui).

Easter Island is a remote Polynesia territory belonging to Chile which is best known for its 900 Moai statues. These human figures with giant heads have made Easter Island a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As the island was formed by a series of volcanic eruptions, you can imagine the stunning hiking that is possible all over the island adding to its adventure appeal. Lesser known are the beautiful beaches scattered along the coastlines of this exotic destination.

  • See the iconic Easter Island heads (Moais) in Rano Raraku National Park where you can see half of the moai on the island. 
  • Watch the sunrise from Tongariki where you can see 15 moai statues arranged in a row. The sun will rise directly behind them making it a must-see sight on the island.
  • At Anakena Beach take the time to relax. Swim in its cool water and unwind on its white sandy shore. Even those this beach is a small one, the island has very few people on it, so it is rarely busy.
  • Explore the island on a bike. In a single day, you could cycle the entire island and still have time to pause and enjoy many of its attractions.
  • Visit Papa Vaka’s Ancient Petroglyphs. The island is covered in petroglyphs, with some of the more significant ones being at Papa Vaka, Ana Kai Tangata, and Orongo.

exotic island trip

2. Maldives

The Maldives are a series of 1,192 islands; however, only 200 of those islands are inhabited. What makes these islands more largely known is the fact that they might not be around for much longer. Due to climate change and rising sea levels, the islands are slowly sinking. The Maldives is also known for unique marine life, crystal clear waters and luxury accommodation, such as the water bungalows. This is a must-see while you can!

  • Take a picturesque flight over the islands. Take in a bird’s eye perspective of the stunning sandbars, turquoise lagoons, and pristine islands. To reach some of the private island resorts, a float plane flight may be necessary.
  • Stay in an overwater bungalow. You can swim, snorkel, or jump right into the sea from your luxury accommodation! From relaxing in the sun, swimming, and tanning out on your own private deck, you won’t want to leave.
  • A Maldives island hopping tour is a must-do activity. With more than a thousand islands, the Maldives is home to some of the world’s most pristine beaches, an always pleasant climate, and amazing coral reefs.
  • Enjoy stand-up paddle boarding. In protected bays with crystal clear water, you can paddle while watching fish swim just beneath your board.  The resorts typically have paddleboard rentals available.
  • Snorkeling is one of the best things to do here. You’ll feel like you’re in your own personal aquarium while you’re surrounded by schools of colourful fish, sea turtles and much more.

exotic island trip

Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia. It’s divided into two sections: Tahiti Nui and Tahiti Iti. Tahiti has been popular as a tourist destination for a long time because of its exotic black sandy beaches, lush jungles, rich Polynesian culture and world-class scuba diving/snorkeling. Tahiti boasts a perfect combination of exhilarating adventure and restorative relaxation.

  • Buy Tahitian pearls as a unique souvenir. Pearls are popular souvenirs in Tahiti since cultured black pearls can only be produced naturally in the archipelagos of Tuamotu and Gambier.
  • Enjoy French-influenced cuisine. Dine on upscale French cuisine plus baked goods like pains au chocolat, buttery croissants, crepes and crusty baguettes.
  • The lagoons you’ll find on the Tahitian Islands are a serene paradise with vibrant tropical fish grazing on coral beds. Put on a mask and snorkel or paddle an outrigger canoe across the water to explore the beautiful underwater world of Tahiti.
  • Visit a marare. A marare is a stone temple where local people can pray to their gods. These open-air temples allow people to have a closer connection with the gods.
  • Explore Tahiti Iti. Hike, climb, swim, and stay in traditional villages on Tahiti Iti (Little Tahiti), a more remote area of the island, accessible by driving across a narrow isthmus from the main Tahiti island. Explore the untamed coastline by boat to have unique access to mangroves, sea caves, and waterfalls. 

exotic island trip

4. Seychelles

Seychelles is in the Indian Ocean off the coast of East Africa. It oozes romance due to its white sandy beaches, bright turquoise blue waters, and abundance of remote locations. But, this island also has a lot more to offer in the way of adventure. Marine sports are popular as the water truly transparent, allowing you to see for miles. Trekking and hiking are also popular activities. The Island has many environmental protection initiatives to keep it as naturally beautiful as possible.

  • Outside of the Galapagos Islands, Seychelles is the only location in the world where you can see wild giant tortoises. Curieuse Island has the largest population and if you want to get up and personal with these endangered beauties, you can book a boat tour!
  • Relax on gorgeous beaches. Each island in Seychelles is covered in breathtaking coastlines and tucked-away coves, and these beaches are considered some of the best in the world.
  • Go island hopping. Cousin Island, Curieuse Island and St Pierre are some of the best islands to hop to. Cousin Island has diverse wildlife, Curieuse Island has gorgeous mango forests, and St. Pierre is well known for its fantastic snorkelling locations.
  • Find souvenirs in the Victoria Markets like sarongs, flavoured oils and art. Try some local Creole food and culture and don’t be shy to talk to the locals – they might tell you about hidden gems around the island!
  • Go hiking. Mahé Island, the largest island in Seychelles, has several incredibly lovely nature trails that go through picturesque surroundings with abundant wildlife and breathtaking views of the entire island.

exotic island trip

Palawan is located in the Philippines and feels worlds away from the busy city of Manilla. This exotic island has a unique landscape with limestone caves and underground rivers. It’s also home to a variety of indigenous wildlife and unique marine life. Your days will be filled with adventure exploring the island or pure paradise bliss on one of the many quiet sandy beaches.

  • Explore the Tabon Caves. The caves are significant for the Philippines since it is home to one the oldest discoveries of human inhabitants. The Diwata Cave and Liyang Cave are two enormous cathedral-like caves that you can explore.
  • Divers will fall in love with Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park. Expect to encounter robust populations of green sea turtles, manta rays, 11 types of sharks, loads of vibrant fish and more in and around the reef.
  • Go kayaking on the Iwahig River and see fireflies. Float under the stars, surrounded by bright fireflies and shimmering trees. The firefly illuminates your route as they move from tree to tree. A truly magical experience!
  • Travelers love Ugong Rock Adventures. Go spelunking, crawl into rock caverns, go ziplining through the forest at high speeds and trek through the jungle to breathtaking sights.
  • Kayak through an Underground River for a seriously unique experience! This is one of the world’s longest underground rivers, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

exotic island trip

6. The Big Island (Hawaii)

The Big Island of Hawaii is officially named Hawaii. This island is unique to look at, experience and reflect upon. The natural wonder is unavoidable and will leave you breathless. Home to one of the most active volcanos in the world, you have the opportunity to see steaming lava pour into the sea from above or below. The Big Island is known as “the island of adventure,” there are lots of things to do, including the famed deep water night dive and Waipio Valley trekking. Luxurious travel options and gourmet cuisine are around every corner, as in most of Hawaii.

Learn more about traveling to the Hawaiian islands in our blog: Solo Trip to Hawaii | 2022 Hawaii Travel Guide for Solo Travelers

  • Explore the summit of an active volcano at the UNESCO Heritage Site, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park which offers stunning and ever-changing landscapes. 
  • Go stargazing on Mauna Kea with its world-class telescopes. Join a knowledgeable guide for a narrated tour of our beautiful solar system. Hawaii’s Big Island offers some of the most incredible stargazing experiences on the planet!
  • The manta ray night dive/snorkel. One of the most magical experiences you can have on Hawaii Island is swimming with the manta rays, hop on a snorkeling tour where you’re likely to see a lot more wildlife than just Manta Rays.
  • Visit the Kona Coast for white sand beaches, Kona coffee, whale watching, and sunny weather are all famous on this gorgeous coast.
  • Head to Hilo for hiking in gorgeous rainforests, visit the enchanting Puna district, view cascading waterfalls, go on amazing roadtrips, and see red-hot flowing lava.

exotic island trip

Bali, often known as the “Island of the Gods,” is among the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and for good reason—it is one of the most picturesque places on the planet! Bali is unquestionably a surfer’s paradise, and if you’re looking for a beach vacation, there isn’t a better spot to find it than this stunning island located in the middle of Indonesia. But there’s so much more to do other than just relaxing on beaches.

Read more about Bali in our blog: Bali – The Island of the Gods

  • Have a thrilling jungle adventure as you fly through the trees on a zipline or soar through coconut trees on a swing, jump into hidden pools and more!
  • Check out some of the many temples on the island, and admire all the elaborate architectural details. These temples are considered some of the most peaceful areas on the island. Make sure to show respect for all the gods these shrines are dedicated to.
  • Hang out in Ubud, Bali’s cultural centre. Ubud is surrounded by stunning, gently sloping rice paddies and is home to many art galleries. The city is also home to shops where you may purchase unique souvenirs.
  • Explore Monkey Forest, a Hindu temple complex in Ubud. You can wander around the beautiful environment, take pictures of and even feed bananas to the monkeys!
  • Go on a safari at Bali Marine and Safari Park. Here, you’ll find over 60 different species of animals, including some of Bali’s unique flora and fauna. You can also choose to spend the night here and watch elegant elephants and giraffes strolling past your room.

exotic island trip

8. St. Kitts and Nevis

St. Kitts and Nevis are two islands located in the Caribbean that are best known for luxury, relaxation, restoration, and beauty. Nevis is the quieter island of the two without a single traffic light on the island. Just looking at the picture above you can imagine the recreational opportunities both on land and in the water, from sunrise hikes to sea kayaking to scuba diving. These two islands genuinely have it all!

  • A trip on the Sugar Train is one of the greatest things to do in St. Kitts. This is one of St. Kitts’ main tourist attractions, it transports visitors through the breathtaking Kittitian countryside.
  • One of the longest zip lines in the Caribbean can be found on St. Kitts. As you soar above the tree canopy, see the jungle from a monkey’s perspective.
  • Climb up a volcano! Epic views of the island will be your reward if you have the endurance for the three-hour climb up the island’s dormant volcano, Mount Liamuiga.
  • Take a catamaran to Nevis. This is St. Kitts’ small sister island which is only 2.5 miles away. The island is home to a volcano, as well as lush foliage and stunning white sandy beaches.
  • Go to a rum tasting! Purchasing bottles of rum in the Caribbean is as simple as stocking up on water, and attending a tasting requires learning about the history and various kinds of the popular drink so that you can leave with knowledge (and a bottle, of course)!

exotic island trip

9. Ko Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi is a slice of Asian paradise known for its clear waters, golden sands, and picturesque seascapes. One of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand is Phi Phi, thanks to its tropical surroundings and captivating island vibe.

  • Visit Phi Phi Le. After the movie The Beach (2000) was released, Phi Phi Le gained enormous popularity because it served as the setting for the movie. The area is always quiet, especially after the group tour boats have left.
  • Hire a sailing boat. Hire a private boat to explore Koh Phi Phi and avoid crowds. From catamarans to speedy motorboats and yachts the opportunities are endless.
  • Go snorkelling in Hat Yao. The probability of viewing a variety of vibrant and unique marine species is greatly increased by the clean water and mild temps. Clownfish and black-tipped sharks are frequently seen here.
  • Hike to Ao Lo Dalam. This hike is a leisurely 30-minute climb to a viewpoint near Ao Lo Dalam’s southernmost tip. From the top see a beautiful bay, beaches and crystal blue water. It’s the perfect setting for a swim after a quick hike.
  • Kayaking is among the most popular activities that draw tourists to Koh Phi Phi. It’s a great method to discover remote coves and caves that are inaccessible to larger boats.

exotic island trip

10. Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands is an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. It is home to astonishing wildlife and biodiversity, available to see above and below the surface. Many people have said that a trip to the Galapagos will change the way they look at the world forever. It’s an extraordinary place waiting to provide one-in-a-lifetime opportunities for its guests.

  • View the giant tortoises in Reserva El Chato.  No trip to the Galapagos is complete without seeing a giant tortoise in its natural habitat. At El Chato, a wildlife reserve tucked away in the Santa Cruz highlands.
  • Spot wildlife at Las Tintoreras, home to hundreds (maybe thousands) of marine iguanas. You may also see sharks, stingrays, seals, seahorses and even penguins.
  • The best way to see the Galapagos is on a cruise. Visit the many islands, and participate in once-in-a-lifetime excursions and wildlife encounters all in the comfort of a luxurious ship and like-minded travelers.
  • Visit the Galapagos Islands Volcanoes. The Galapagos islands were made by volcanoes and are still changing the landscapes of the island today. 
  • Investigate a pirate cove. The Galapagos Islands served as an excellent hideout for pirates in the past. With its numerous coves, lava caves, and locations to stow away ships and riches. Keep your eyes peeled, you might discover a hidden treasure!

exotic island trip

11. St. Barts

The glamorous Saint Barthélemy island, also known as St. Barts or St. Barths, emits a captivating fusion of European sophistication, unspoiled natural beauty, and laid-back island charm. On this stunning Caribbean island, there are no high-rise resorts. Instead, boutique hotels and private villas draw celebrities and business moguls to this island of endless sunshine. The main attraction are the beaches with golden sand, charming coastal villages, pristine waters and coral reefs, all surrounded by rolling green hills.

  • Enjoy watersports. From kayaking, windsurfing and paddleboarding to snorkeling and diving.
  • The greatest area to shop in St. Barts is in Gustavia, the island’s little, red-roofed harbour town and the capital of the island. The streets are lined with stylish boutiques, duty-free stores, and art galleries. 
  • Foodies will also enjoy exploring St. Barts through its cuisine. Gourmet restaurants in St. Barts feature delectable French-inspired fare, including croissants, crepes, and succulent, fresh seafood.
  • Dance all night and experience the nightlife. In Gustavia, Casa, Sky Bar, and Bagatelle are some of the greatest locations for dancing, while Modjo is the best in St. Jean. Try the Moulin-Rouge-style show at Pointe Milou’s Le Ti Cabaret for something a little different.
  • Watch small planes arrive and depart from Gustav III Airport while relaxing on St. Jean Beach. It has many beachside bars and bistros and is wonderful for swimming, playing in the sand, and people-watching.

exotic island trip

12. Bora Bora

It’s no wonder Bora Bora has long been regarded as one of the world’s most romantic destinations. Here, turquoise waters and lush green mountains meet, and ancient Polynesian traditions coexist with modern luxury, a variety of water sports, white sand beaches, vibrant sunsets, and friendly locals.

  • Scuba dive in the most gorgeous waters on earth. For snorkelers and divers of all skill levels, the island’s coral reefs are abundant with colourful fish. If you’re lucky, you could even glimpse a few stingrays.
  • Embark on an off-road Jeep adventure! For a fantastic day of exploring in some of the world’s most breathtaking locations, venture off the beaten path and up into the mountains.
  • Take a catamaran out to sea. With glass-bottom flooring, comfortable sitting places, shaded decks, and lots of onboard amenities, Catamarans are the ideal way to spend an afternoon out on the alluring waters of Bora Bora.
  • Search for souvenirs at the Pearl Market. The Tahiti Pearl Market is a great place to meet the always-smiling islanders and pick up a few gifts for all of your envious friends back home. It is located just outside of Vaitape, on the west coast of the main island.
  • Book an iconic Bora Bora overwater villa. The St. Regis Resort in Bora Bora is a luxurious, Instagram-worthy five-star resort with a picture-perfect location, pampering spas, oceanside pools, and all the typical water sports.

exotic island trip

13. The Cook Islands

A castaway’s fantasy comes true in the Cook Islands. The Cook Islands are considered some of the most beautiful islands in the world with their turquoise lagoons, volcanic peaks, and palm-lined beaches, all with a unique culture to experience and friendly locals to meet.

  • Go snorkeling with tropical fish in Aitutaki’s lagoon, one of the most beautiful lagoons in the world! Join a tour to easily see a few of the islets around the lagoon and get a delicious barbeque lunch.
  • Drive the ring road that circles the entire island on Rarotonga. Take your time to stop and discover a tonne of wonderful parks, beaches, restaurants, and pubs.
  • Enjoy an Island Night at the Highland Paradise Cultural Centre. Get treated to local dances, music, and a feast that includes an umu, where food is cooked in an underground oven.
  • Visit Black Rock Beach and relax on the white sand surrounded by contrasting volcanic rocks. The beach is the perfect swimming, snorkelling and sunset-watching spot.
  • Explore the Marine and Wildlife Eco Centre. This museum will teach you everything you ever wanted to know about the unique marine life of the Cook Islands.

exotic island trip

14. The Dominican Republic

Whether it’s swimming with colorful fish in the ocean, climbing to a waterfall and leaping into the water below, or dining on regional specialties, there are plenty of things to do in the Dominican Republic.

  • Take advantage of an all-inclusive vacation. From all-inclusive luxury resorts to a couple’s retreat and a family vacation, the Dominican Republic offers so much to travelers looking for a relaxing holiday.
  • Go Whale Watching in Samaná Bay. This is one of the best places to watch humpback whales in the wild from December through March.
  • Take a journey up the cable car in Puerto Plata to get a bird’s eye perspective over the Dominican Republic’s northern shore.
  • Visit the Taíno Caves. The caves are not far from Punta Cana so take a tour to see this interesting underground cave network.
  • Visit La Romana. Find stunning beaches, a golf course and the main attraction Altos de Chavón, a village outside of La Romana where you can shop for local souvenirs.

exotic island trip

15. Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka may be a small country, but this island paradise assures that visitors are never bored with its jungle-covered mountains, golden sand beaches, unique wildlife, and spice-laden cuisines. 

  • Take a train ride from Colombo and travel across the famous Nine Arch Bridge, seeing mountain views, British colonial-era railway stations, waterfalls and more.
  • Hike Little Adams Peak for a great view of sunrise or sunset. If you enjoy hiking, it’s one of the best things to do in Sri Lanka!
  • Go on a safari. Watch out for incredible animals like elephants, leopards, sloths, turtles, and more.
  • Surf at Hikkaduwa, a  surfer’s paradise exists on Sri Lanka’s south coast. This is the ideal surfing region due to its endless waves, warm water, and hot sun.
  • Explore the Markets. Meet the local merchants, sample some local cuisine, and try some new fruits.

exotic island trip

16. Grand Cayman

This Caribbean paradise, which is the largest of the three Cayman Islands, sets the standard high for captivating natural, culinary, and cultural attractions. Unspoilt hiking paths, beautiful historical monuments, and unique aquatic encounters are just a few of Grand Cayman’s unforgettable adventures.

  • Swim with the rays at Stingray City. Hop into the water and get up close and personal with these majestic and very friendly creatures.
  • Wander around George Town. This city is extremely picturesque, with jewel-coloured houses along the coastline. Here you can find hip cafes, duty-free shops and the Cayman National Museum, which is worth visiting for a lesson in local history.
  • Visit the Turtles at the Cayman Turtle Centre. The turtle populations in the nearby seas are being protected by this educational facility.
  • Kayak in a Bioluminescent Bay. Take to the water after dark to experience thousands of tiny bioluminescent plankton glowing all around you.
  • Find out why Grand Cayman is the culinary epicentre of the Caribbean. From Michelin-starred fine dining and hearty Italian cuisine to mouthwatering seafood and delicious plant-based options.

exotic island trip

17. The Canary Islands

These Spanish islands have always been popular island destinations. The most popular islands include Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, and Lanzarote, which are situated off the coast of northwest Africa and are simply too stunning to ignore. Discover charming little towns, climb through stunning canyons, take in the soaring hills and volcanic vistas, and eat your weight in delicious Spanish food.

  • Relax on beautiful golden sand beaches on the south coast of Gran Canaria.
  • Go dolphin and whale watching in Tenerife. Many cruises include a stop at a secluded bay for swimming or snorkelling.
  • Visit animals in Tenerife’s Loro Park. The park has one of the largest parrot collections in the world, a huge dolphinarium, and a massive aquarium.
  • Walk through a volcanic tube – this is one of the most popular things to do on Lanzarote!
  • Go Stargazing on Mt. Tiede, Tenerife. From Tiede, 83 of the 88 officially recognized constellations can be seen. Stargazing is a popular activity in Tenerife at night.

exotic island trip

18. Whitsunday Islands

The gorgeous Whitsunday Islands are the ideal tropical island getaway if you’re searching for one in Australia. These 74 gorgeous and sunny islands are located along the famous Great Barrier Reef.

  • Enjoy white sand beaches like Whitehaven Beach and relax in popular resorts.
  • Go sailing, cruising, snorkeling, and scuba diving in the Grand Barrier Reef.
  • Book a sailing trip or cruise. Many tours include stops for snorkelling and hiking within Whitsunday National Park.
  • Visit Hamilton Island, the only Whitsunday Island with an airport. This island has tons of attractions, resorts, and activities.
  • Go on a scenic flight and see the beautiful beaches and reefs from a new perspective.

exotic island trip

19. Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia (or St. Lucia) is a stunning island of the Caribbean, crowned by the enormous twin volcanic peaks known as the Pitons. Some of St. Lucia’s many features include crescent-shaped beaches, tiny fishing communities, rainforests, reefs, waterfalls, geothermal sites, and beautiful highlands.

  • Climb the famous Pitons on a guided hiking tour. Make the steep climb, but the views from the top make the challenge worthwhile.
  • Hang out on Marigot Bay, one of the most beautiful bays on the island. Renting kayaks is an excellent way to explore the bay.  Join a snorkeling tour to see shipwrecks and the aquatic life that inhabits St. Lucia’s coral reefs.
  • Go snorkeling and/or diving within the coral reefs of Anse Chastanet Marine National Park. Located in the park are two of the best beaches in St. Lucia the Anse Chastanet and Anse Mamin beaches.
  • Experience the thrill of zip lining in St. Lucia with Rainforest Adventures. Get off the beach and into the rainforest to soar over the treetop canopy!
  • Visit the Soufrier Volcano (Sulphur Springs) and enjoy a rejuvenating mud bath. 

exotic island trip

20. Viti Levu

The Republic of Fiji’s largest island is Viti Levu. The capital city and the location of more than 70% of the nation’s citizens. It is also an island of exceptional natural beauty, including peaks, waterfalls, beautiful sand dunes, and rainforests.

  • Take a boat ride down the Sigatoka Valley. Wind along the river banks through lush valleys, among the many sugar and vegetable plantations.
  • Explore the Sigatoka Sand Dunes, National Park. Some of the dunes provide breathtaking views of the island’s emerald hills in the distance as well as the crystal blue coastline.
  • Take a guided tour in a 4×4 in the Namosi Highlands. In the kilometres of sweeping hills and valleys, there are a thousand gorgeous things to view, including rivers, breathtaking waterfalls, and dramatic canyons.
  • Go rafting in the Navua River. The island’s rugged terrain has been cut by this fast moving river, creating spectacular creeks and magnificent waterfalls along the route.
  • Walk through the Garden of the Sleeping Giant. It provides a quiet getaway just three miles from Nadi. Its shaded pathways, tranquil lily ponds, exotic gardens, and lovely meadows are breathtaking.

exotic island trip

What exotic islands are on your bucket list?

We would love to hear from you about what “exotic” means to you and what you’re looking for in your next exotic destination.

If you have any questions relating to exotic travel, please contact one of our experienced  travel specialists and you’ll be off on your own personalized journey!


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Caribbean Islands All inclusive Vacations

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Top All inclusive vacation packages in Caribbean Islands

Riu Montego Bay - Adults Only - All Inclusive

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Ocean Blue & Sand Beach Resort - All Inclusive

5* all inclusive vacations in caribbean islands.

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Moon Palace Jamaica – All Inclusive

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Excellence El Carmen - Adults Only - All Inclusive

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4 night all inclusive vacations in caribbean islands, all-inclusive caribbean islands vacations: everything you need to know, can i book a caribbean islands vacation with airfare and meals.

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Affordable all-inclusive is yours, whatever your budget. Packages start tempting you from just $597. Prices and availability are subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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With little tummies taken care of, you just need to put smiles on their faces. Easy! Book an all-inclusive vacation with a full-on water park or epic pools—or book your stay near the world’s biggest theme parks and attractions.

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You can start your married life how you mean to go on with an all-inclusive honeymoon package. Eat and drink to your heart’s content, waltz around in happy harmony, and have your fill of delights. Together, you can book up adventure excursions and return to a pool-side cabana for cocktails at sunset.

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Top All inclusive Caribbean Islands Hotels

Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana, Gourmet All Inclusive by Karisma

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11 Easy And Exotic Escapes With Nonstop Flights

Easy and Exotic Escapes with Nonstop Flights | Abu Dhabi

Some are four hours away. Some are 12. But all require just one plane ride. Book now so you don't get stuck with that dreaded middle seat.

Easy and Exotic Escapes with Nonstop Flights | Aruba

11 of the most exotic places to travel in the world

Book your individual trip , stress-free with local travel experts

  • roughguides.com
  • most-exotic-places-to-travel-around-the-world

written by Lucy McGuire

updated 11.07.2023


When you’ve had your fill of history, culture and man-made wonders, sometimes sun, sea and sand is all you need. Desert islands like Fiji and Maui top the bucket lists of many a traveller, with all the ingredients for the perfect exotic holiday: tropical climes, swaying palms and blissful white-sand beaches. Closer to home, the Canary Island of Fuerteventura and Vis in Croatia make getting away from it all as easy as pie. Whether you're after some serious escapism or want to marvel at mother nature, Lucy McGuire picks some of the most exotic places to travel in the world. And for more inspiration, read our where to go when alternative month-by-month guide .

1. Maui, Hawaii

2. puerto rico, 3. fuerteventura, canary islands, 4. tayrona national park, colombia, 5. vis, croatia, 6. french polynesia, 7. the yucatan, mexico, 8. koh rong samloem, cambodia, 9. whitsunday islands, australia, 11. madagascar.

With a legendary surf scene and golden crescent beaches that span more than 120 miles, there are attractions everywhere you turn in Hawaii . Maui, known as "the Valley Isle", is a favourite for its misty peaks, gorgeous sunsets and bamboo forests. Relax on Kaanapali Beach or see the red sands at Kaihalulu – it’s like no other beach in the world.

Where to stay

Best hostel: Friendly Tiki Beach Hostel is the perfect surfer hangout for travellers on Maui. The beach is just moments away, while the communal areas are great for socialising with other guests. Rooms can be booked either indoors or outdoors; all come with indoor bathrooms, free Wi-Fi and communal kitchen facilities. There's a Women's Dorm ("Wahine"), too. Group activities – such as Friday night BBQs – add to the fun.

Best beachfront hotel: Napili Kai Beach Resort is a dazzling beachfront property where you can eat, sleep and play to the sounds of the ocean. The resort has its own putting green, four swimming pools, two whirlpool hot tubs, several outdoor BBQ areas and even two shuffleboard courts. Whether you want to put your feet up or while away the days with more active pursuits, it is all possible here.

Best to stay active: Maui is a tropical wonderland, laced with tremendous trails and hiking routes. Book onto a 5h Waterfall and Rainforest Hike to take in a range of breathtaking 10–40m-high waterfalls. You'll have the chance to swim in natural pools, enjoy a fresh picnic lunch and learn all about the culture, flora and fauna of the area from your experienced naturalist guide.

Best to relax: A Luxurious sunset cruise is an enchanting way to see Maui in the colourful tones of the evening. Drink in the sunset views from a luxury catamaran, while your award-winning chef prepares your dinner. Experiences don't come better than this.

Maui Island, Hawaii, seen from above

Maui, Hawaii, seen from above © Joe West/Shutterstock

With a tropical climate, secluded palm-fringed beaches and topography as varied as a patchwork quilt, Puerto Rico is arguably the most exotic island in the Caribbean. Spot tree frogs in the dense jungle of El Yunque, take a night-time swim in the bioluminescent Mosquito Bay and admire the country's abundance of beautiful golden sands.

Best for spa & golf: The Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort is a luxurious four star with all the amenities you'd expect from a world-class resort hotel. There are two championship golf courses, while the Mandara Spa takes its inspiration from Bali and features meditation areas, a salon and several steam rooms. Bedrooms, meanwhile, are light and airy with splashes of colour.

Best budget option: Aside from being kind on the wallet, Chalet Olas del Sol sports superlative sea views. There's a garden, too, as well as a number of great hikes in the area. With two bedrooms, a living room and a fully equipped kitchen, Olas del Sol is a great option for small groups or families on a budget.

For water enthusiasts: Active travellers shouldn't miss the chance to kayak in Fajardo . Taking to the waters of Bio Bay Laguna Grande Nature Reserve comes with a twist. After a full safety briefing, you'll head out in your kayak for a sunset to remember; after dark falls, the magic really begins. Marvel at the bioluminescent bay as the water's surface comes alive with twinkling sparkles created by tiny organisms. It is the perfect reminder that Puerto Rico is among the world's the most exotic holiday destinations.

For hiking: El Yunque is the only tropical rainforest registered by the US National Forest System. It offers fantastic hiking, with dense foliage, tumbling waterfalls and gushing rivers. The best way to learn about the area and its native flora and fauna is to take a guided tour to El Yunque .

Also, in our detailed guide you will find more different things to do in Puerto Rico .

El Yunque national forest in Puerto Rico

El Yunque national forest in Puerto Rico © Dennis van de Water/Shutterstock

If you're looking for exotic destinations close to home, this one's for you! Fuerteventura m ight just be the most interesting island in the Canaries, thanks to its deserted beaches, crystal-clear water and hippy vibe. Steady trade winds make it prime territory for watersports. Alternatively, if you’re looking for an all-over tan, join the naturists who flock here for its famed nudist beaches. For more information check out our guide to the Canary Islands .

Best for families: The all-inclusive AluaVillage Fuerteventura is the perfect base for families in Fuerteventura, with a dedicated children's pool, children's area and a chock-a-block entertainment programme. While the kids are happily amused, adults can take advantage of the spa – complete with steam bath, whirlpool tub, saunas and sundeck.

Best for spa & wellness: The Royal Palm Resort & Spa - Adults Only welcomes guests who are sixteen and older, making this an excellent choice for couples after some serious pampering. The spa includes an indoor pool, landscaped sauna area, gym and even a salt cave. As you might expect, there's an extensive list of cosmetic and wellness treatments on offer, too.

Best for spectacular landscapes: Book onto a Dune Buggy Tour to take in the gorgeous scenery of Fuerteventura in a PGO 600 buggy. Petrol heads and adventurers are in for a wild ride, with most of the tour spent exploring off road.

Best for ocean tours: If a Dune Buggy Tour sounds like a bit too much adrenaline, plump for a Dolphin & Whale watching tour instead. Seeing these beautiful animals breaching the waters is a breathtaking experience.

Fuerteventura windmills

Fuerteventura's desert-like interior © leoks/Shutterstock

Azure water, swaying hammocks and hidden beaches can all be found in Colombia – a country that until recently has escaped the tourist trail. Hike through Tayrona National Park , an eco-traveller’s dream destination and hands down one of the most exotic places to travel in the world. It’s the perfect place to stay in a beach hut, feast on exotic fruits and explore beautiful lagoons.

Best for beachfront vibes: With an outdoor pool and a sun terrace literally overlooking the beach, Senda Casa Tayrona Los Naranjos enjoys a stunning location. The characterful thatched roof and dark-wood shutters give the whole place tropical tiki vibes.

Best hostel: Shuttles from Simon Bolivar airport can be arranged directly to Viajero Hostel Tayrona & Ecohabs , making this a very accessible choice. But ease of access isn't the only thing going for Viajero Hostel. There's also a stunning pool, hammocks strung up under the palms and bookable activities including surf classes. The restaurant, meanwhile, serves up delicious dishes of fresh seafood. Why not wash it down with a tropical cocktail?

Tailor-made travel

If you're thinking of visiting Colombia – let us know . We can pair you with a local expert to plan and book a fully personalized trip.

Tayrona National Park in Colombia

Tayrona National Park in Colombia © streetflash/Shutterstock

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The secret’s out; the Croatian island of Vis has some serious pulling power among island hoppers, thanks to its dramatic cliffs and exotic beaches. This gem in the Adriatic is a short boat ride away from the Croatian town of Split , yet its secluded coves would look right at home in the tropics. Take a boat to Stiniva, a hidden beach that’s often heralded as the best in Europe.

Best for staying in the historical centre: Hotel San Giorgio is a friendly place with kind and helpful staff and a charming garden courtyard. Rooms are clean, colourful and come in the form of standard doubles plus junior and deluxe suites. The latter comes with a jacuzzi – perfect for special occasions and anniversaries.

Best sea-front spot: Mira Sea Front Guesthouse offers a good range of self-catering apartments on Vis. The studios and apartments are found in two different locations, both in the small village of Komiza. True to the name, all have sea views.

Rough Guides has paired with local experts in Croatia to offer personalized holidays – find out more! You could take a sailing trip along the Adriatic coast or explore the Dalmatian coast from two bases .

Stiniva Cove on Vis Island Croatia

Be prepared for spectacular beaches on Vis © ninopavisic/Shutterstock.com

French Polynesia is undoubtedly one of the most exotic places to go on holiday, where emerald lagoons sparkle and the scents of vanilla, coconuts and Tiare Tahiti flowers fill the air. Yes, it's as beautiful as you've heard. You won’t be able to cover all five archipelagos (a total of 118 islands), so head to Maupiti: "the untouched island". Its beaches are whiter-than-white, it’s sprinkled with mystical caves and Mount Te’urafa’atiu offers breathtaking views.

In Bora Bora: The Maitai Bora Bora offers a range of accommodation, from classic overwater bungalows to beach bungalows and ocean- and garden-view rooms. Located near to Matira Beach, the only public beach on Bora Bora, the hotel also has two restaurants and two bars. Settle in to your new luxurious surroundings before taking to the waters to get up close and personal with the island's dazzling marine life.

In Tahiti: Vanira Lodge , in the village of Teahupoo on the Tahiti peninsula, faces the ocean on one side and is backed by dense forest on the other. For exotic locations, this is the spot to beat. Choose from "nature", "spa" or "terrace" bungalows. All are exquisite, but the Maara nature bungalow is particularly atmospheric; raised on stilts at the edge of the forest, it's a far cry from the bungalows back home.

In Bora Bora: Explore the underwater world of Bora Bora on a Shark & Snorkeling Safari and seek out black tip sharks, moray eels, sting rays and other tropical marine life. Knowledgeable guides will help you spot colourful fish. Warning: searching for sharks, naturally, isn't for the faint of heart.

In Moorea: Booking a Half-day 4x4 Safari Tour will allow you to discover a number of island highlights in style. From visiting a tropical garden to admiring an old volcano crater from the island's pineapple fields and visiting a distillery, travellers will be captivated from start to finish.

Paradise Beach on Moorea Island in French Polynesia

French Polynesia has that true "pinch-me" quality as one of the most exotic places in the world © Daboost/Shutterstock

This southeast corner of Mexico which separates the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea has all the ingredients for an exotic holiday. Explore Tulum’s wide beaches, cool off in unique limestone cenotes and swim with whale sharks off Isla Holbox. The Mesoamerican reef just offshore – the world’s second longest – boasts a wealth of marine life.

In Tulum: If you love art and design, look no further than Casa Malca . This luxury hotel oozes contemporary charm, while modern art is hung throughout the rooms, hallways and communal areas. The spacious suites are works of art in themselves, making this a popular spot for weddings.

In Playa del Carmen: The philosophy at Palmaïa - The House of Aïa Wellness Enclave All Inclusive is all about being in harmony with nature. The concept is played out in everything from "vegan suites" to hand-crafted dishes in their restaurant and an innovative "Architects of Life" programme that promotes spiritual growth. Yoga, meditation, healing ceremonies or transpersonal astrology, anyone?

In Tulum: Tulum isn't all about white-sand beaches. The area's long history and rich culture is showcased in the wealth of Mayan ruins here – best explored with the help of a local guide. Visit the archaeological zone and a cenote on a guided tour to get beneath the skin of the area's culture before cooling off in a gorgeous cenote.

In Playa del Carmen: It would be criminal to stay in Playa del Carmen without visiting world-famous Chichén Itzá . The massive El Castillo pyramid that once dominated the old Mayan city remains the undisputed highlight. On a guided tour you'll not only benefit from the knowledge of your guide, but you'll save time by skipping the lines, too.

Consider combining the Yucatán with a visit to Mexico City or head to Chiapas and the famous Sumidero Canyon before relaxing on the white sandy beaches of Playa del Carmen . Contact our local expert today for your personalized quote.

Caribbean coast and Mayan ruins in Tulum © DC_Aperture/Shutterstock

Caribbean coast and Mayan ruins in Tulum © DC_Aperture/Shutterstock

This paradise island off Cambodia ’s southern coast is one of the Gulf of Thailand’s most exotic places to travel. It’s starkly different to the tourist town of Sihanoukville (where you catch the ferry), as you’ll find no traffic and very little development, except for a few rustic beach huts. Go night swimming with bioluminescent plankton off M’Pei Bay, take a rainforest hike or sip a coconut in a hammock on Saracen Bay.

Best for families with children: One Resort has a children's playground, plus a range of fantastic activities for the whole family to enjoy (think snorkelling, diving and fishing). The in-house restaurant makes mealtimes carefree, while the resort's two swimming pools and private beach area are perfect for cooling off. Family rooms and bungalows complete the picture.

Best budget choice: The white and blue beach huts of Sarasea Resort are totally charming, with little patios out front to sit and watch the world go by. Facilities include a restaurant, bar, garden and private beach area. The bungalows may look simple, but each comes with a flat-screen TV – not that you'll want to watch it, with the ocean lapping at your door.

With Rough Guides tailor-made trips we can connect you with a local expert in Cambodia to plan your ideal holiday . Everything is one hundred percent customizable, so if there's an activity or experience you've always dreamed of, just let us know.

Best time to visit Cambodia. Koh Rong Samloem, Cambodia

Koh Rong Samloem, Cambodia © Nebula777/Shutterstock

The brilliant white and blue hues of the Whitsunday Islands have become an iconic exotic location for travellers exploring Australia. Located off coastal Queensland, it’s home to the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef – a dream for serious divers. With hiking trails and secluded beaches, it’s just as beautiful above the water. Visit between July and September to catch a glimpse of the migrating humpback whales.

Hamilton Island beachfront: Large rooms – with private balconies – and gorgeous views are the hallmark of the Reef View Hotel . To make the most of the hotel's beachfront location, ask for a room that looks out over the twinkling Coral Sea, though the garden rooms are pleasant too. On top of various room options (including family rooms) are a range of superlative suites. For those with deep pockets, the two-bed terrace suite and the presidential suite are the best of the bunch.

Best for on a budget: Palm Bungalows might be reasonably priced, but there's nothing else that feels "budget" here. The stylish interiors are light and airy, while private balconies overlook the lush, tropical gardens. With air conditioning, tea and coffee and free Wi-Fi, plus a fitness centre, swimming pools and tennis courts, the facilities are excellent, too. And with Catseye Beach just a two-minute walk away, the world is your oyster.

Best for active travellers: There's a whole host of exciting activities to get excited about on the Whitsundays. For a day to remember, why not roll several stellar experiences into one, by attempting to snorkel, raft, and bush walk - all in one day . Action-packed adventures don't come better than this.

Best views: The Whitsunday Islands might look great from ground level, but the views from the air are something else entirely. Book a scenic flight from Airlie Beach and enjoy bird's-eye views over the dramatic seascapes of the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef. In-flight commentary helps travellers identify the key landmarks from above.

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays, Australia © Shutterstock

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays © Tanya Puntti/Shutterstock

When it comes to exotic holiday destinations, Fiji is hard to beat. A country blessed with gorges, mangrove forests, waterfalls and natural pools, it's the jewel of the South Pacific. There are over three hundred islands in the archipelago and its marine parks offer incredible soft coral diving. It’s also where five different turtle species, spinner dolphins and the rare Fiji crested iguana all call home.

Best for culture enthusiasts: The Untold Broadway Show entrance is a contemporary story about ancient Fiji told through song and dance. It's a well choreographed show, staged in a 450-person capacity arena by internationally renowned dance company VOU Dance Fiji. Prepare to be blown away.

Best for nature experience: The Fijan Nature & Waterfall Experience takes in the sublime tropical rainforests of Colo-I-Suva Nature Reserve, where your experienced guide will highlight all the local flora and fauna. Jungle treks can be hot work, but there are several natural pools and waterfalls along the way – the perfect excuse to jump in and cool off.

Find more ideas for your pastime in our guide to the best things to do in Fiji .

Get to know Fiji with a local expert: Fiji Forever is just one sample itinerary that can be modified and quoted according to your preferences.

Navala village, Viti Levu island, Fiji

Navala village, Viti Levu island, Fiji © Don Mammoser/Shutterstock

Home to otherworldly landscapes and one of the Earth’s most unique eco-systems, few places match the Eden-like quality of Madagascar . Explore Tsingy forests , a series of vertical limestone rocks dubbed the "Forest of Knives", or head to Masoala National Park, packed with unique plant and animal species found nowhere else on earth.

Thinking about heading to Madagascar? Have a look at our Wild Madagascar itinerary and contact your local expert today to receive your personalized quote or send in your details and have the expert craft and quote an itinerary according to your preferences.

The Tsingy Rouge stone formation in northern Madagascar ©  Framalicious/Shutterstock

The Tsingy Rouge stone formation in northern Madagascar © Chr.Offenberg/Shutterstock

What could be more exotic than being in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by stunning nature and cultural attractions? Our guide to Bermuda offers the perfect off-the-beaten-track holiday.

There are plenty of outstanding candidates for the most exotic places to travel in the world, but these are the pick of the bunch. If you're ready to start planning your next trip, get in touch with our local experts today . They can help you plan, organize and book the perfect exotic holiday, totally customizable to match all your preferences.

Top image: Island of Maui, Hawaii © Joe West/Shutterstock

Lucy McGuire

Lucy is a freelance travel writer and blogger with over 10 years of experience in the industry and has covered everything from bee tourism in Slovenia to dune bashing in Brazil for both print and online titles. She is just as curious about the people she meets while travelling as she is the destination and as a newspaper-trained journalist, she thoroughly enjoys interviewing people she meets along the way. Some of her most memorable travels have included her wedding in Jamaica and a three-month trip through Southern Africa which included canoeing among hippos in the Zambezi river. Follow her at @LucyAMcGuire on twitter and instagram .

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15 of the Cheapest Tropical Islands to Visit

03/24/2022 by Emily Becker 2 Comments

It’s time to debunk the misconception that tropical island destinations are only for mega-luxurious vacations that cost an arm and a leg. In many parts of the world, it’s actually more affordable to stay on a beautiful island as opposed to a big, bustling city. Sure, it might take a bit of out-of-the-box thinking to find places like this — or to find ways to save money in less budget-friendly destinations — but that’s what lists like these are for. After all, don’t we all deserve to disconnect from the world on a lush tropical island once in a while?

From North America all the way to the Southeast tip of Africa, these are the cheapest tropical islands to visit — and some may surprise you!

Table of Contents

North America

1. big island of hawai’i, usa : $113/day.

Cheapest Tropical Islands to Visit

I know what you’re thinking: Hawai’i?! Cheap?! But hear me out. You might be surprised at how budget-friendly visiting Hawai’i is, especially if you stay on the Big Island. Even if $125 a day sounds pricey, there are plenty of ways to save money when traveling to Hawai’i .

For starters, traveling to the Big Island during low season (February to April) will save you big bucks on accommodation and flights. Lower your costs even more by camping, which will only put you out $21/night; you can make a reservation here . You can also find lots of budget-friendly options on Airbnb, like this neat yurt for $76/night .

Making the most out of the incredible scenery is easy to do on the cheap, as many of the Big Island’s best things to do are free or very affordable. Take Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historic Park, for example. It has fee-free days, and regular admission ranges from $10 to $20, depending on if you need parking.

  • Meals: $30-50/day, if you cook breakfast on your own and have two meals out.
  • Accommodation: $21-80/day, the cheapest option being camping.
  • Transportation: $0/day if you rely on the free public bus , $44/day for the cheapest car rental.
  • SIM card with data: $0/day if you already have an American SIM card.

2. The Bahamas : $89/day

Cheapest Tropical Islands to Visit

With 700 islands and over 2,400 cays, it’s fair to say that there’s something for everyone in the Bahamas. Whether you’re planning to check out the vibrant city of Nassau or looking for a more laid-back spot like Staniel Cay , it’s totally doable to visit on a tight budget.

While you’re planning your trip, you might notice that popular excursions like swimming with pigs and nurse sharks can be pricey. A more affordable alternative could be kayaking through the Exuma Cays on your own and seeing the area’s wildlife that way. You can rent a kayak with Out Island Explorers for just $50 for the whole day. Another awesome excursion is visiting Lucayan National Park, which costs just $5 for admission. Find more ideas for what to do in the Bahamas here .

Saving money on accommodation might seem like an impossible task, considering the abundance of luxury hotels throughout the islands. However, a little bit of creativity and an open mind can go a long way here. For example, this beautiful bedroom is available for only $36/night , and you might be able to ask your host about cheap attractions and restaurants.

  • Meals: $25-35/day, and take advantage of the generous helpings of seafood at fish fries and the food stalls at the Port Lucaya Marketplace.
  • Accommodation: $36-50/night; this unique tiny house is a cheap option at just $50/night .
  • Transportation: $5-20/day, if you just stick to one island and use the private minibuses (aka jitneys) or taxis to get around. Ferries and flights to other islands will set your budget back drastically, and renting a car is also expensive in the Bahamas (over $60/day).
  • SIM card with data: $3/day, with SIM cards for around $15 that are already loaded with plenty of data.

3. Puerto Rico, USA : $77/day

exotic island trip

This Caribbean island is a paradise that won’t break the bank. Like many destinations in Latin America, it’s a breeze finding ways to save money in Puerto Rico, including avoiding big seaside hotels. You can find hostels and affordable Airbnbs easily in San Juan.

If you want to check out other places on the island, like El Yunque National Forest or tiny islands like Isla Culebra, you can easily catch a bus or ferry for cheap. In fact, the ferry from Ceiba to Isla Culebra is only $2.50. You can also book an excursion to El Yunque for as little as $55 , which includes transportation to and from San Juan.

Puerto Ricans are extremely hospitable and generous. You won’t have to pay big bucks for a filling lunch, and chances are you’ll even have leftovers. For an affordable meal, check out one of the many chinchorros (small food stalls) in San Juan. You can find these on busy streets and markets; meals there typically cost $4-8.

  • Meals: $20-30/day, if you stay somewhere with free breakfast and go out for lunch and dinner.
  • Accommodation: $18-30/night, with the cheapest hostels offering dorm beds for around $18 per night and some Airbnbs as low as $30/night for a studio .
  • Transportation: $15-40/day, if you use public transportation to get around San Juan or to other cities. Renting a car in Puerto Rico may be as cheap as $40/day.
  • SIM card with data: If you’re from the US, you won’t need a special SIM card for Puerto Rico.

4. Isla Holbox, Mexico : $75/day

exotic island trip

Isla Holbox never ceases to enchant me, and I would be lying if I said I was satisfied with visiting just one time. This is one of the many places I’ve gone back to in Mexico because of how beautiful and affordable it is.

Holbox is a small island off the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, with calm shores and even a bioluminescent lagoon. There are no cars there (except for the occasional maintenance vehicle); locals get around via golf cart or motorcycle.

The island has become more popular in recent years and thus less affordable than it used to be, which is unfortunately normal for a lot of places in Mexico. However, it still remains quite accessible compared to other places like Cancún, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum, which are nearby. In Holbox you can still find inexpensive dorm beds, places to camp, and even some very affordable Airbnbs. The food scene is also relatively cheap, with taco stands and small beach shacks selling ceviche here and there for about $5 a meal. The restaurants and cafés are still more expensive than other places in Mexico, but you can expect to pay $10-15 for lunch or dinner.

If you think this is the cheap tropical island for you, don’t miss out on this complete Isla Holbox guide for everything you need to know before your trip.

  • Meals: $20-30/day, if you stay somewhere with free breakfast.
  • Accommodation: $16-28/night, for a dorm bed or glamping on the beach .
  • Transportation: $0/day, as the island is so small you can easily walk anywhere you need to go. However, you’ll have to factor in transportation to the island from Cancún. The bus from Cancún to the ferry port in Chiquilá costs around $20 each way. The ferry to Isla Holbox costs about $11 each way. If you’re renting a car instead, check out this guide to renting a car in Mexico for budget tips.
  • SIM card with data: Telcel is the biggest provider; you can buy a SIM card for 150 pesos ($7.50 USD) and spend as little as 100 pesos ($5 USD) for up to two weeks of data.

5. Dominican Republic : $84/day

exotic island trip

There’s so much more to the Dominican Republic than the flashy resorts in Punta Cana. This vibrant Caribbean island nation has the perfect balance of laid-back beach vibes and lively Latin culture. The locals are warm and hospitable, always willing to lend a hand if you need directions or a restaurant recommendation for a cheap lunch. Not only that but the country is one of the cheapest destinations in Latin America if you play your cards right.

First, avoid Punta Cana if you want to save money in the DR. Opt for keeping your base in Santo Domingo, or even in a smaller town like Las Terrenas if you want a more authentic experience. Especially in the historic center of Santo Domingo, touristy restaurants might shock you with how expensive they are. Instead, try heading down a side street to find a more local joint for a home-cooked meal. Dominican food is incredibly rich and delicious, so you won’t be disappointed.

Transportation from Santo Domingo to other parts of the island can be really cheap if you don’t mind bopping around like the locals do. You can expect to pay around $10 for a bus ticket from the capital to Punta Cana, for example. These buses are cheap, so don’t expect a five-star experience — prepare for a potentially cramped ride.

The Dominican Republic has gorgeous beaches, thick jungles, and quaint small towns where you’ll get a taste for authentic island life. This one is for the adventurous traveler, for sure.

  • Meals: $20-30/day, by sticking to local favorites and avoiding tourist traps.
  • Accommodation: $20-$35/night, with hostels like Island Life Hostel as low as $20 for a dorm bed and free breakfast. Airbnbs like this beautiful off-the-beaten-path bungalow are around $35/night .
  • Transportation: $10/day, using public transportation; $50/day if you rent a car.
  • SIM card with data: $1-2/day, for a prepaid SIM card (that you can buy at the airport) with 28 days of data; it costs about $12 total.

South America

6. galápagos islands, ecuador : $99/day.

Galápagos on a budget

This one might surprise you. Long thought of a destination only suited for luxury travelers on fancy cruise ships, the Galápagos have earned a reputation for being a bougie place to visit. This certainly isn’t the case, however. This ecological treasure trove can actually be very accessible to travelers on a budget, which is great news if the Galápagos have been on your bucket list for a while.

Although there are plenty of expensive hotels there, there are also a few budget options that are comfortable. If you stay on Isabela, for example, you’ll find some of the cheapest accommodation in the islands, at around $18/night.

There are plenty of pricey excursions and diving opportunities in the Galápagos, but there are also enough activities that are completely free to keep you busy. You can swim in the lava-carved pools of Las Grietas, hang out on Tortuga Bay on Santa Cruz , hike to the Mirador Cerro Tijeretas on San Cristóbal , or bike the Wall of Tears on Isabela .

For more tips on traveling to the Galápagos on a budget, check out this guide .

  • Meals: $30-40/day, as seafood meals typically cost $10-15 per entrée.
  • Accommodation: $18-45/night, with basic rooms on Airbnb starting at $18/night, or hotels like Dolphin House that have great budget options.
  • Transportation: $30/day, if you plan to visit different islands via ferry.
  • SIM card with data: $2/day; you should grab a SIM card in mainland Ecuador for about $5, loading it with data as you go.

7. Islas Ballestas, Peru : $56/day

exotic island trip

Many backpackers moving through South America tend to visit the Islas Ballestas, known as “the poor man’s Galápagos,” because of how much more economical they are in comparison. But just like the Galápagos, this chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean is teeming with wildlife, from migratory birds to seals and even penguins.

You can’t actually stay on the Ballestas because they’re uninhabited, but this is a big plus for many adventurous travelers who want to see unspoiled nature at its best. You can stay in the coastal town of Paracas instead, which has plenty of cheap accommodation. There are tours to the islands for as little as $12, which is an absolute steal!

  • Meals: $20-30/day, with delicious ceviche plates around $7 that make a perfect beachside lunch.
  • Accommodation: $6-23/night, with dorm beds for as little as $6 and private rooms in Airbnbs for around $23/night .
  • Transportation: $12-20/day, for transportation to different parts of the islands via boat.
  • SIM card with data: $1-2/day, as SIM cards in Peru cost about $1.50 and you can load data as you go.

Although no islands in Europe are technically in the tropics, these have warm weather year round, making them feel in many ways like tropical islands.

8. Poros, Greece : $89/day

sailing greek islands poros

Greece is not only one of the best places in the world to island-hop but also one of the most affordable. Poros is one of the more low-key Greek islands, and also one of the cheapest. It has the pristine white buildings with blue domes and abundant bougainvillea flowers that you expect to see here, with a vibrant gastronomical scene that will make you want to eat your way through the whole island.

Poros is only a one-hour ferry ride from Athens, so you won’t need to invest too much in transportation costs like you would if you were going to another island further away from the Athens airport. Plus, accommodations are cheap there; you can rent an entire residential home for $33 a night . To top it all off, a full three-course meal will only cost you about $15.

Compared to places like Santorini , which are more expensive and crowded, Poros gives you the opportunity to enjoy everything that the Greek islands have to offer without breaking the bank.

  • Meals: $20-30/day, if you make breakfast yourself and spend $10-15 on lunch and dinner.
  • Accommodation: $33-56/night; there are great options on Airbnb and hotels like Poros Hotel (rooms at just $56/night) .
  • Transportation: $12-20/day, for taxis to places like Russian Bay or to rent a scooter or ATV to explore the island.
  • SIM card with data: $3/day, for a SIM from Vodafone that costs around $6 plus data.

9. Malta : $83/day

exotic island trip

Cities with hilly cobblestone streets and hues of yellow painted on antique buildings contrast with turquoise seas and green mossy cliffs in Malta. Sure, the scenes here are distinct from the tropical islands of the Caribbean, but this European island destination is just as dreamy.

Maltese culture is a fascinating result of centuries of North African and European invasions and control, giving the nation its modern-day uniqueness. Here you’ll find domes reminiscent of Middle Eastern mosques next to gothic-style buildings, and nearly every street bursts with color. And the best thing is that visiting Malta is incredibly affordable, especially in comparison with other destinations in Europe.

Here you can grab a tasty ricotta-filled pastizz for $1, take a city bus from one end of Valletta to the other for $2, and stay in a hostel for around $28 a night. During the summertime, prices go up , so plan to visit in the late spring or fall for the best shot at saving money.

Find a list of the best things to do in Malta here .

  • Meals: $25-45/day, if you stick to a cheap breakfast and cafés for lunch and dinner.
  • Accommodation: $28-31/night, with dorm beds as little as $28/night or an entire studio apartment for $31/night . Airbnb is the better option, as shared dorms are only slightly cheaper than a private room in a house.
  • Transportation: $2-28/day: if you take the bus, it’s about $2 for a two-hour ticket to go anywhere. Scooter rentals can be as low as $28/day if you avoid the summertime and book in advance.
  • SIM card with data: $3/day, with a prepaid SIM card for around $10, plus data.

10. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

exotic island trip

The Canaries are sunny, mountainous, and lush, with a brilliant mix of Spanish, African, and Arab culture that makes it a truly one-of-a-kind destination.

Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands of Spain, which are off the coast of West Africa. The island itself is made from a volcano called Mt. Teide, which is the tallest peak in Spain.

Here you’ll find extremely cheap accommodation, with Airbnbs starting at around $15/night, a price that is nearly impossible to find on the Spanish mainland. Tenerife also has free activities galore, like visiting Parque Natural del Teide, which has a shockingly similar geology to that of Mars. You can also visit La Laguna and the Museo de Historia y Antropología for free on Fridays and Saturdays or see giant basalt rock formations at Acantilados de los Gigantes.

With such an eclectic mix of cultures, you can expect the food here to be incredible. Even better, it’s super cheap, with two-course meals costing around $12. Eat, drink, and hang out on the beach to your heart’s content without overspending.

  • Meals : $20-30/day, with fried fish plates as cheap as $7 and famous papas arrugadas con mojo (wrinkled potatoes with dips) for $3.
  • Accommodation: $13-25/night. If you don’t mind being a bit further from the beach, in San Cristóbal de la Laguna, there’s this cozy room for just $13/night or this adorable attic bedroom for $25/night .
  • Transportation: $5/day, if you use the buses (called guaguas ) to get around the island. It will cost around $30/day to rent a car, with prices being lower in the spring and fall.
  • SIM card with data: $2/day, if you buy a $12 SIM card that includes 121GB of data from Movistar.

11. Koh Chang, Thailand : $33/day

exotic island trip

The lush green mountain jungles paired with the soft blue water below make it no surprise that Koh Chang is such a special place for so many travelers. Although it’s the second largest island in Thailand, it’s a bit more off the beaten path than other tourist hot spots like Koh Phi Phi and Ko Samui, but has become more popular in recent years.

Thailand is known as one of the cheaper destinations, so it’s no wonder why the country attracts so many backpackers on a shoestring budget. I mean, I once stayed in hostel in Chiang Mai for $3/night, which blew my mind. Koh Chang is no exception and has a great selection of affordable Airbnbs and hostels, like this entire bungalow that you can rent for $26/night.

Attractions are also affordable on the island, and there’s plenty of nature to explore. You can easily get to the Klong Plu waterfall via taxi or motorbike, or visit the Bang Bao floating village for the day. Another popular spot among backpackers is Lonely Beach, where you’ll find cheap restaurants and accommodations galore. For more ideas on what to do on Koh Chang, check out this guide .

  • Meals: $10-20/day, as meals are famously cheap; if you stick to local delights like curries, noodle dishes, and street food, you could spend as little as $10/day on food.
  • Accommodation: $6-12/night, with dorm beds starting at $6/night at Cafe Del Sunshine , or stay in this bungalow for just $12/night .
  • Transportation: $3-10/day, if you stick to local transportation to get around. You could also rent a scooter for as low as $10/day.
  • SIM card with data: $2-3/day, with lots of options available.

12. Nusa Islands, Indonesia : $31/day

suwehan penida

If you’ve been dying to go to Bali but are discouraged by overtourism, go to the Nusa Islands instead. Some people even say that this is what Bali looked like 30 years ago, which is enough of a reason for me. Plus, you can easily get to the islands from Bali’s Sanur via a 30-minute boat ride.

There are three islands here that are all worth visiting: Nusa Lembongan, Ceningan, and Penida. The beaches here are pristine and the interiors of the islands feature thick jungles, mangrove forests, and waterfalls. You’ll find breathtaking views on hikes throughout the islands, nearly all of which won’t cost you a dime. Intrigued? Check out this full Nusa Islands itinerary for more ideas.

Accommodations in Indonesia are famously cheap, and the Nusa Islands are no exception. Considering you can have a gorgeous jungle bungalow for just $26/night , you can imagine why so many people never want to leave.

  • Meals: $10-20/day, if you stick to traditional Indonesian delights like Nasi Campur (a mixed rice plate) which costs only about $1, balanced with other more expensive meals.
  • Accommodation: $5-14/night, with dorm beds at Bima Hostel starting around $5/night and bungalows like this one in the jungle for just $14/night .
  • Transportation: $2-5/day, if you take taxis around the islands or rent a motorbike to explore, which only costs around $5/day.

13. Coron Island, Philippines : $77/day

Cheapest Tropical Islands to Visit

From the stunning lagoons to the picture-perfect beaches, Coron Island is sure to enchant you. It’s a great spot to indulge in your island dreams without spending too much

If you are a snorkeling or diving enthusiast, Coron Island might already be on your bucket list for how popular it is. Like many well-known places, Coron Island does get crowded during peak season (January-March). Avoid the higher prices and hoards of tourists simply by avoiding a visit during this time.

You can find dirt-cheap accommodations in Coron Town, often the jumping-off point for island-hopping around Coron Island , as well as exploring other parts of the island itself. It’s also quite affordable to eat here if you balance going to restaurants with trying street food delicacies like adobo and seafood platters.

  • Meals: $20-30/day, if you have a light breakfast and do either lunch or dinner at a street food stall.
  • Accommodation: $10-30/night, as Dayon Hostel’s dorm beds start around $10 ; Airbnbs are around $30/night, like this two-person room with a bunk bed .
  • Transportation: $10-50/day, if you do any kind of island-hopping tours.
  • SIM card with data: $1-2/day, if you buy a prepaid SIM for about $2 and load data as you go.

14. Zanzibar, Tanzania

zanzibar style

Many travelers only dream of visiting this African island paradise. It’s not only a gorgeous, beachy haven, it’s also incredibly rich in history and culture. Known as “the spice island,” Zanzibar gets its fame as a star producer of spices like nutmeg, vanilla, and so much more.

Zanzibar’s cuisine is bursting with flavor and you’ll be able to try some of the island’s best street food at the Foradhani Gardens night market, where you can get a meal for just a couple dollars.

Zanzibar isn’t one of the cheapest places to visit in Africa, but it’s still very affordable in comparison to other tropical islands. Especially if you stay in Stone Town and avoid the big beach hotels in Nungwi and Kendwa, you’ll find that Zanzibar is very affordable for backpackers even. If you do want to stay near the beach, you won’t have to shell out too much. Beachside bungalows are as low as $22/night on Airbnb, so why not spend a couple days with your feet in the sand?

  • Meals: $10-15/day, sticking to street food and beachside seafood shacks for affordable and filling meals.
  • Accommodation: $20-30/night, if you opt to stay in Stone Town try this private room in a beautiful house for under $20/night .
  • Transportation: $7-12/day, if you use Zanzibus shuttles to get between different cities.
  • SIM card with data: $1-2/day, with a Vodacom SIM card plus data.

15. Ilha de Bazaruto, Mozambique

vilanculos mozambique

This sandy archipelago off the coast of southern Mozambique is virtually unknown to most travelers unless they’ve been to southeastern Africa.

So, here’s the kicker: You can’t actually stay on Bazaruto, as the population there is only about 4,000 and there are no hotels, hostels, or guesthouses. To visit, you can stay in Vilanculos and take a boat over for around $10 each way. Vilanculos is a sleepy beach town known for its shallow turquoise waters that go on for miles.

Bazaruto has five islands, actually: Bazaruto, Benguerra, Magaruque, Santa Carolina, and Bangue. You’ll find brilliant expanses of white-sand dunes as far as the eye can see, with tons of marine life. Diving and snorkeling off the archipelago is popular, as you can see manta rays, whale sharks, dolphins, and even dugongs. Find out more about what to do near Bazaruto and Vilanculos here .

  • Meals: $10-20/day, if you grab a meal in the local market or at a beachside seafood stand. Restaurants are also reasonable in Vilanculos; you can expect to pay around $7-10 for a nice meal.
  • Accommodation: $14-30/night, with modest cabins available for $14/night and an entire house for only $30/night .
  • Transportation: $20/day, for transportation to and from Bazaruto.

I tend to find that traveling on the cheap is more adventurous and down-to-earth, even if I’m not super strapped for cash. Often, looking for more rugged accommodation has led me to meeting interesting people and traveling more like a local, which I enjoy. After all, if you really want to get to know a place, as Anthony Bourdain’s advised, “Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them — wherever you go.”

What are your best tips for saving money while traveling to tropical islands? Let us know which places and tips we missed!

READ NEXT: 23 cheapest 5-star hotels around the world

About Emily Becker

Emily Becker is a digital nomad based in Costa Rica. She's been traveling on and off since 2014 and has visited 15 countries—planning to tick many more off her bucket list. In addition to writing for BMTM, she works as a copywriter and project manager.

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04/02/2022 at 11:50 pm

I did not realize how you can enjoy such incredible islands for a reasonable price. Malta, Poros, and the Canaries are geographically outside of tropical latitudes however to be a “tropical Island” or “tropical island paradise” you just have to be “tropical”-like according to many definitions, so even technically, you are fine to include them in a “tropical island” post. Tropical latitudes are not necessary required! In fact, technically, you can have islands in the tropical latitudes and they are desert islands!! 🙂 Either way, you all have made me realize the beauty of the Greek isles and now am eager to visit there. Either way, I now know that I can afford to go to all of these amazing places. Now I just need to find the time :). Another great article!

01/18/2024 at 9:48 am

I’ve actually never seen a beach vacay list based on affordability! This is great! Especially for small business owners like myself who are building their business and can’t readily get away with very expensive vacations.

Exotic Island Tour

exotic island trip

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exotic island trip

Exotic Island Tour (Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda): Hours, Address, - Tripadvisor

Marie Claire US

Marie Claire US

The 45 Most Exotic and Beautiful Beaches Around the World

Posted: April 22, 2023 | Last updated: August 6, 2023

<p>                     For those moments you need something to look forward to, allow me to present: the most dazzling and jaw-dropping beaches around the world. Get out your bucket list and a pen, and prepare yourself some intense vacation inspiration.                    </p>                                      <p>                     <em>By Krystyna Chávez</em>                   </p>

45 Most Exotic and Beautiful Beaches Around the World

For those moments you need something to look forward to, allow me to present: the most dazzling and jaw-dropping beaches around the world. Get out your bucket list and a pen, and prepare yourself some intense vacation inspiration. 

By Krystyna Chávez

<p>                     Also known as Shipwreck Beach, you can find this gorgeous cove in Zakynthos, one of the Ionian islands in Greece.                   </p>

Navagio Beach

Also known as Shipwreck Beach, you can find this gorgeous cove in Zakynthos, one of the Ionian islands in Greece.

<p>                     Live the hut life on Seram Island in Maluku, Indonesia.                   </p>

Live the hut life on Seram Island in Maluku, Indonesia.

<p>                     Found in Okinawa in the Yaeyama Islands, the pristine waters of this beach are mesmerizing.                   </p>

Found in Okinawa in the Yaeyama Islands, the pristine waters of this beach are mesmerizing.

<p>                     Mexico has plenty of gorgeous beaches, but the ones on Isla Mujeres, like Playa Norte, are extra special.                   </p>

Playa Norte

Mexico has plenty of gorgeous beaches, but the ones on Isla Mujeres, like Playa Norte, are extra special.

<p>                     As you drive down the California coast, stopping at Laguna is a must. The sunsets are unmatched and that cool, California wind in your hair is fabulous.                   </p>

Laguna Beach

As you drive down the California coast, stopping at Laguna is a must. The sunsets are unmatched and that cool, California wind in your hair is fabulous.

<p>                     Translated to "Cathedral beach," it's no wonder where this stunning Spanish beach gets its name.                   </p>

As Catedrais Beach

Translated to "Cathedral beach," it's no wonder where this stunning Spanish beach gets its name.

<p>                     Even the palm trees in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago are relaxed.                   </p>

Pigeon Point Beach

Even the palm trees in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago are relaxed.

<p>                     You can find this little piece of heaven on Havelock Island between India and Thailand.                   </p>

Radhanagar Beach

You can find this little piece of heaven on Havelock Island between India and Thailand.

<p>                     Heaven on earth does exist, and you can find it in the Seychelles.                   </p>

Anse Source d'Argent Beach

Heaven on earth does exist, and you can find it in the Seychelles.

<p>                     This stunning beach is located in Monterrico, Guatemala.                   </p>

Black Sand Beach

This stunning beach is located in Monterrico, Guatemala.

<p>                     Sip a cocktail off the coast of Espiritu Santo island in Vanuatu.                   </p>

Champagne Beach

Sip a cocktail off the coast of Espiritu Santo island in Vanuatu.

<p>                     You absolutely want to get to Salou in Spain during your lifetime.                   </p>

Llarga Beach

You absolutely want to get to Salou in Spain during your lifetime.

<p>                     You can't do a beach list and not mention Brazil's Copacabana. You just can't.                   </p>

Copacabana Beach

You can't do a beach list and not mention Brazil's Copacabana. You just can't.

<p>                     Not a postcard, just one of the most gorgeous beaches on Boracay Island in the Philippines.                   </p>

White Beach

Not a postcard, just one of the most gorgeous beaches on Boracay Island in the Philippines.

<p>                     Turquoise waters as far as the eye can see in St. Lucia.                   </p>

Reduit Beach

Turquoise waters as far as the eye can see in St. Lucia.

<p>                     Located in San Sebastian, Spain, this crescent-shaped beach will make you never want to leave the Spanish coast.                   </p>

La Concha Beach

Located in San Sebastian, Spain, this crescent-shaped beach will make you never want to leave the Spanish coast.

<p>                     Curieuse Island is located in the Seychelles, and those crystal blue waters are for real.                   </p>

Curieuse Beach

Curieuse Island is located in the Seychelles, and those crystal blue waters are for real.

<p>                     The Grand Caymans will inspire you...to never leave the Caribbean.                   </p>

Seven Mile Beach

The Grand Caymans will inspire you...to never leave the Caribbean.

<p>                     Florida gives good beach and Sanibel Island is no exception.                   </p>

Sanibel Island

Florida gives good beach and Sanibel Island is no exception.

<p>                     Known as one of Australia's nicest beaches.                   </p>

Bondi Beach

Known as one of Australia's nicest beaches.

<p>                     If you're looking for a remote beach with little development, look no further than Peru.                   </p>

Vichayito Beach

If you're looking for a remote beach with little development, look no further than Peru.

<p>                     Turquoise water and a white sandy beach are guaranteed when you visit Curacao.                   </p>

Turquoise water and a white sandy beach are guaranteed when you visit Curacao.

<p>                     The pink coral sand alone is worth a trip to Bermuda.                   </p>

Horseshoe Bay

The pink coral sand alone is worth a trip to Bermuda.

<p>                     Aruba has beaches that are guaranteed to keep a smile on your face.                   </p>

Eagle Beach

Aruba has beaches that are guaranteed to keep a smile on your face.

<p>                     Your 50 shades of blue fantasies will all come true in St. John.                   </p>

Your 50 shades of blue fantasies will all come true in St. John.

<p>                     All you need is a rum cocktail on this white sandy beach in Anguilla.                   </p>

Shoal Bay East

All you need is a rum cocktail on this white sandy beach in Anguilla.

<p>                     This secluded area in the Parish of St. Philip in Barbados will feel like your own private beach.                   </p>

Harrismith Beach

This secluded area in the Parish of St. Philip in Barbados will feel like your own private beach.

<p>                     Found on Francisqui island, the Archipelago Los Roques National Park in Venezuela is truly breathtaking.                   </p>

Found on Francisqui island, the Archipelago Los Roques National Park in Venezuela is truly breathtaking.

<p>                     This Chilean beach is not only gorgeous, but also features moai for you to relax under.                   </p>

Anakena Beach

This Chilean beach is not only gorgeous, but also features moai for you to relax under.

<p>                     These two stunning beaches run parallel to each other on Palawan Island in the Philippines.                   </p>

Nacpan and Calitang Beach

These two stunning beaches run parallel to each other on Palawan Island in the Philippines.

<p>                     This gorgeous strip of white sandy beach can be visited in the East Gippsland region of Victoria in Australia.                   </p>

Ninety Mile Beach

This gorgeous strip of white sandy beach can be visited in the East Gippsland region of Victoria in Australia.

<p>                     If you've never been to Cyprus, Nissi is the perfect excuse to get to Ayia Napa.                   </p>

Nissi Beach

If you've never been to Cyprus, Nissi is the perfect excuse to get to Ayia Napa.

<p>                     Found nestled in Nusa Penida Island, this is a quaint beach you should visit while in Bali, Indonesia.                   </p>

Kelingking Beach

Found nestled in Nusa Penida Island, this is a quaint beach you should visit while in Bali, Indonesia.

<p>                     If this particular beach looks familiar, that's probably because it was featured in the Leonardo DiCaprio movie <em>The Beach</em>. It's worth the hype.                   </p>

Maya Bay Beach

If this particular beach looks familiar, that's probably because it was featured in the Leonardo DiCaprio movie  The Beach . It's worth the hype.

<p>                     Found in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, this beach is a short hike to fellow beach Serendipity.                   </p>

Sokha Beach

Found in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, this beach is a short hike to fellow beach Serendipity.

<p>                     Located on Koh Samui in Thailand, this is the ultimate lax beach.                   </p>

Lamai Beach

Located on Koh Samui in Thailand, this is the ultimate lax beach.

<p>                     If you're looking for a laid-back vibe, this beach on the island of Panglao has everything you need.                   </p>

Alona Beach

If you're looking for a laid-back vibe, this beach on the island of Panglao has everything you need.

<p>                     The Myanmar beach is rumored to have been named after the Italian city of Naples.                   </p>

Ngapali Beach

The Myanmar beach is rumored to have been named after the Italian city of Naples.

<p>                     You can find this pristine, white sand beach in the Hon Khoi Peninsula in Vietnam.                   </p>

Doc Let Beach

You can find this pristine, white sand beach in the Hon Khoi Peninsula in Vietnam.

<p>                     This three-mile Vietnamese beach has golden sand to dig your toes into.                   </p>

Ho Coc Beach

This three-mile Vietnamese beach has golden sand to dig your toes into.

<p>                     This beach is basically at the edge of a jungle and is one of the best hidden gems in Cambodia.                   </p>

Ream National Park

This beach is basically at the edge of a jungle and is one of the best hidden gems in Cambodia.

<p>                     Found on St. John's Island in Singapore, this beach is a perfect escape in mother nature.                   </p>

Hidden Beach

Found on St. John's Island in Singapore, this beach is a perfect escape in mother nature.

<p>                     You won't be able to get over the aquamarine water at the best beach in the Langkawi archipelago. And definitely stay to watch the sunset!                   </p>

Tanjung Rhu Beach

You won't be able to get over the aquamarine water at the best beach in the Langkawi archipelago. And definitely stay to watch the sunset!

<p>                     El Nido province in Palawan has a variety of beaches for you to enjoy, but this is a local and tourist favorite.                   </p>

Marimegmeg Beach

El Nido province in Palawan has a variety of beaches for you to enjoy, but this is a local and tourist favorite.

<p>                     This beach is actually located within the Penang National Park and is home to many green turtles.                   </p>

Kerachut Beach

This beach is actually located within the Penang National Park and is home to many green turtles.

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  6. is an exotic beautiful Island watch part 1 2 and 3 #vacation


  1. The 30 Best Exotic Islands to Visit (World Travel Bucket List)

    READ MORE: 21 Tahiti Photos to Fuel Your Exotic Island Fantasies. Bora Bora (Tahiti) Bora Bora (whose original name in the Tahitian language means "first-born") is a luxury traveler's dream, and the epitome of exotic island indulgence. It's no wonder Bora Bora is widely considered one of the best islands in the world for a honeymoon.

  2. 20 BEST Tropical Islands to Visit in 2024 + Where To Stay

    11. Cook Islands. The Cook Islands are a nation in the South Pacific Ocean about 2,000 miles from New Zealand and is one of the best tropical places to visit. It's a fairly easy journey from the West Coast of the United States — compared to traveling to the Caribbean.

  3. 16 Exotic Islands That Are Worth Adding to Your Bucket List

    1. Maldives. Hurasdhoo Island, one of the many exotic islands in the Maldives. The Maldives is quite literally the definition of exotic islands, and this small archipelago in the Indian Ocean is often the first thing that comes to mind when you think tropical. That's because the Maldives is beautifully photogenic.

  4. 35 BEST Tropical Islands To Visit In The World

    Best Tropical Islands for Honeymooners: Bora Bora and Seychelles. Best Tropical Islands for Budgeters: San Blas, Bali, Little Corn Island. Best Tropical Islands for Hikers: Azores. Best Tropical Islands for Surfers: Bali, Kauai, and Siargao. Best Tropical Islands for Divers: Raja Ampat & Palau.

  5. 25 Best Tropical Islands • Vacation Destinations for 2024!

    Bohol - Tropical Sights and Adventure Delights. Mauritius - Man, Mauritius is Just… the Best. Kauai (Hawaii) - Expensive, Yes, but Worth the Cost. Bermuda - Tropical Vacay Gone MIA. Ilha Grande - Felicidade. San Andrés - Colombia Meets the Caribbean. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - Yet More Caribbean Islands to Visit.

  6. 29 Best Tropical Vacations Around the World

    Here are 29 incredible tropical vacations to consider. When a warm-weather getaway is calling, set your sights on the best tropical vacation spots around the world, and aim close to the equator to ...

  7. 24 Best Islands in the World for 2024

    Kaua'i. #24 in Best Islands in the World for 2024. Kaua'i is the oldest and most rugged of the Hawaiian archipelago. Adventure seekers will love hiking Waimea Canyon's crested buttes and gorges ...

  8. 10 Beautiful Tropical Islands to Visit in 2023

    Buckle up for a journey around the globe with these 10 tropical islands to visit, which include the Maldives, St. Bart's, and the Galápagos. 1. Galápagos Islands. Best for: A voyage of discovery through one of the ultimate bucket list destinations. Made famous by the teachings of Charles Darwin, the photographs of National Geographic, and ...

  9. 7 Best Remote Islands for a Tropical Getaway

    Tuvalu. Mbrand85/Shutterstock. Encompassing some of the most remote islands on the planet, Tuvalu is an independent nation in the South Pacific. Its capital, Funafuti, features a conservation area ...

  10. The 20 Best Tropical Islands in the World

    To start planning your trip, read my budget travel guide to the Cook Islands! 9. Curaçao. Located in the Caribbean Sea, this Dutch-owned island is perfect. Voted one of the best in the Caribbean, Curaçao is like being in tropical Holland. The island's capital, Willemstad, is a bustling city with brightly colored Dutch architecture and a ...

  11. 12 Exotic Destinations For A Tropical Island Vacation In 2024

    Utila, Honduras. The 42 km² island of Utila is the little brother of Roatan and Guanaja, and thus the smallest of the Bay Islands in Honduras. Utila is a popular travel destination, especially among divers, since the coral reefs around the island are among the most beautiful and intact reef systems in the world.

  12. 30 Secret Islands to Visit for the Ultimate Secluded Vacation

    Island Vacations; 30 Secret Islands to Visit for the Ultimate Secluded Vacation. From tropical luxury to frosty serenity, there's an island to suit every traveler's taste. By. Anne Olivia Bauso.

  13. Best Caribbean Islands

    Curacao. #13 in Best Places to Visit in the Caribbean for 2023-2024. As one of the ABC islands (along with Aruba and Bonaire), Curaçao sits outside the hurricane belt, meaning you'll find sunny ...

  14. 14 Incredible Exotic Caribbean Islands Everyone Should Visit

    3. St. Lucia. # St. Lucia. St. Lucia is among the best and mesmerizing Caribbean islands. The island offers a variety of attractions where you can relish, Bubbling volcanic Springs, mud pools, and national parks the island is recognized also with its Toothsome gastronomy and exotic restaurants.

  15. Tropical Vacations

    This Fiji Island Is An Absolute Must-Visit For Daring Divers. Many visitors to tropical destinations like Fiji, take part in activities like snorkeling and scuba diving, but only the bravest partake in dives such as this. Read More. By Hilary I. Lebow.

  16. 20 Exotic Islands You Must See!

    Travel Agents' Top 20 Picks for Exotic Islands. 1. Easter Island (Rapa Nui) Easter Island is a remote Polynesia territory belonging to Chile which is best known for its 900 Moai statues. These human figures with giant heads have made Easter Island a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  17. 15 Best Exotic Vacations to Take on a Budget

    Roatan, Honduras. Located off the northern Honduras coast., Roatan is an affordable slice of heaven in the Bay Islands. It's possible to find condo and apartment vacation rentals just minutes from the beach for only $300 a week.

  18. Caribbean Islands All inclusive Vacations 2024

    Enjoy the ultimate Caribbean Islands getaway with Expedia's all-inclusive vacations. Book now and save on flights, hotels, and activities for 2024.

  19. 11 Easy and Exotic Escapes with Nonstop Flights

    ARUBA Get Here This melting-pot island — billed as the happiest in the Caribbean — is also the most visited, with nearly 90 percent of travelers hailing from North America. Fly nonstop from 15 U.S. hubs, as well as Toronto and Montreal. Only Here It looks like a desert — dry, a tad barren, riddled with cacti.

  20. 11 of the most exotic places to travel in the world

    5. Vis, Croatia. The secret's out; the Croatian island of Vishas some serious pulling power among island hoppers, thanks to its dramatic cliffs and exotic beaches. This gem in the Adriatic is a short boat ride away from the Croatian town of Split, yet its secluded coves would look right at home in the tropics.

  21. 15 of the Cheapest Tropical Islands to Visit

    Although no islands in Europe are technically in the tropics, these have warm weather year round, making them feel in many ways like tropical islands. 8. Poros, Greece : $89/day. Greece is not only one of the best places in the world to island-hop but also one of the most affordable.

  22. 20 Most Romantic Islands in the World

    St. Lucia is known as one of the most romantic islands in the Caribbean, with the Pitons that soar about the glistening turquoise waters providing the backdrop for countless romantic escapes, including honeymoons and weddings. The island scores big with couples for its jaw-dropping scenery and luxurious resorts.

  23. Exotic Island Tour

    For all visiting the Island, this Tour is an excellent introduction to Antigua. Our Tour provides wonderful "photo ops", allowing guests to experience our beautiful historic sites and beaches, All our guests will receive a welcome gift along with local refreshments and local cousins. (Tour operation started in 2022)

  24. The 45 Most Exotic and Beautiful Beaches Around the World

    Meet Cuttyhunk Island, the westernmost of the Elizabeth Islands. This island has the claim to fame of being the site of a three-week-long colony in 1602, 18 years before the Mayflower brought the ...