20 Best Tropical Islands in the World

The most beautiful island in the world :

As soon as I think about travel, it doesn’t take long for my mind to wander over the white sand beaches, azure water and palm trees of the tropics. When most people think of paradise, they probably think of tropical islands in the remote corners of the world. Relax with a good book, drink coconuts, soak up the rays of the sun. Is there anything better than this?

Tropical islands are that haven of peace where days go by, the world’s problems disappear and time passes more slowly.

I have been to several of the best tropical islands in the world (and there are a lot). After more than a decade of traveling and countless hours of watching the ocean, I’ve made a “hard” search so you don’t have to. If you are looking for a tropical island for your next vacation, here is a list of my favorites!

1. Maldives

Located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the Maldives is a chain of 1000 islands (200 are inhabited and only 5 have a significant population). The country is in fact just a series of coral atolls just above sea level. During the 2004 tsunami, many of these islands were completely destroyed. The government has built flood barriers to help mitigate the effects of future tsunamis, despite being one of the first nations to feel the pressure of climate change.

These small coral islands are surrounded by excellent beaches for diving, snorkeling and white sands, and are full of friendly people. There are many private resorts on the islands and vacations here are also very expensive. Fortunately, Bangkok Airways offers inexpensive flights to and from Thailand.

The best time to travel to the Maldives is from November to May, when the weather is cold and dry. From June to October, you witness a more humid and warmer climate due to the monsoon season.


  • The Maldives are made up of 26 atolls and over 1,100 coral islands.
  • It is the lowest and flattest country in the world.
  • The capital Male is one of the most populous cities in the world.


2. Seychelles

Located on the east coast of Africa, these islands are pure paradise. If anywhere in the world I was convinced to drop everything and live in a beach hut, it would be Seychelles. Perfect beaches, perfect waters, numerous islands to choose from, and all the secluded environments you might want. Seychelles is my dream and should be yours too.

This group of 115 islands provides everything a beach lover might want. Unfortunately, these islands are very expensive, although it is possible to visit them on a budget if you plan in advance. The best time to visit is during the cold season, from May to September, with little rain.


  • The Seychelles are 115 islands, with a total population of less than 100,000 people.
  • Seychelles was once a hiding place for pirates and legend has it that there is still an unknown treasure buried somewhere between the islands.
  • Thanks to the government’s conservation efforts, the Seychelles is a diving paradise.


3. Bali Gili Islands

This tourist destination has been voted as one of the best islands in the world year after year. Bali has room for everyone, the surf is great, the food is amazing, it’s so cheap, the parties are great, the places are some of the friendliest in the world, there is a volcano to climb and temples to see. Clearly, Bali has it all.

But Indonesia has more than Bali. The neighboring Gili Islands are another amazing island getaway. Both destinations make tropical vacations more active, and the climate remains reasonably constant throughout the year (although a slightly drier climate is present from April to October). Bali and the Gili Islands are close enough that you can visit them on your trip and make the most of this idyllic corner of the world.


  • Thanks to the volcanoes that inhabit the region, Bali has black and white sand beaches.
  • 80% of Bali’s economy is based on tourism.
  • Fresh water is scarce in the Gili Islands, which has led some hotels and hostels to provide saltwater showers.


4. Ko Lipe

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

The island has a constant flow of water and the super nice Cariocas eat here every day and enjoy delicious seafood. Accommodation is still basic, most places cut off the electricity around midnight.

There is a small island near it which offers good opportunities for snorkeling. You can even see reef sharks. The warm bath water and the beautiful beach kept me here for over three weeks. It will do the same for you. Visit between November and March for the best weather and fewer crowds. From May to October, the island was closed after a harsh monsoon season. The best way to get there is by boat via Barra Norte.

Interesting facts about KO LIPE

  • You can walk from the other side of the island to the other in less than an hour.
  • There are no cars on the island (there are few roads).
  • There are less than 1,000 full-time residents on the island.


5. Fiji

Although this country has around 322 islands, less than a third are inhabited. Most of the action takes place on the Western Isles, but no matter where you go, it’s heaven. Every time you hear the name of Fiji, visions of tropical beaches and oceans dance through people’s heads. There is a good reason for this, because this place is one of the most incredible destinations in the world and with so many islands to offer, you are sure to find one that you like.

It’s a popular destination for young and honeymooners alike, with something for everyone: scuba diving, sailing, scuba diving, whale watching, quiet luxury and more. Most of the young people attend the Yasawa Island group. The temperature remains virtually constant throughout the year, with cyclones occurring between November and January.


  • Fiji has 333 islands, but less than half are inhabited.
  • 1,500 different species of marine life inhabit the waters around Fiji.
  • Fiji has 28 airports, but only 4 have paved runways.


6. Hawaii

Hawaii’s largest island has everything you could possibly want to do and more. But what separates it from the other islands is the Volcán National Park. Explore volcanoes, climb old lava tubes, and watch new lava flows in the ocean. Then there are also all the waterfalls on the island. Big Island has it all. I mean, this is Hawaii, how can you go wrong?

The rainy season runs from October to March, although the weather is cooler during these months. However, despite being close to each other, the weather conditions on each island can vary widely, so you never know what to expect.


  • Big Island is home to the world’s most active volcano (Kilauea).
  • Hawaii is the only state in the United States that grows coffee.
  • Most of the macadamia nuts in the world are grown on Ilha Grande


7. Tahiti

Do you know those photos you always see of tropical bungalows on the water? It’s Tahiti. The name has always been synonymous with tropical paradise. Tahiti is one of the largest honeymoon destinations in the world, offering a pure paradise and many romantic atmospheres. Here you can relax in the sun, snorkel, taste excellent seafood and take a morning dip in your bungalow.

The island is expensive and caters to more affluent tourists. The climate is tropical all year round and very humid, although milder temperatures are recorded from May to October.


  • Tahiti consists of 118 atolls and islands.
  • Hawaii receives more tourists in a single day than Tahiti sees in a whole year!
  • The world’s first overwater bungalows were built in Tahiti.


8. Curaçao

Located in the Caribbean Sea, this island in the Netherlands is perfect. Curaçao was chosen as one of the best in the Caribbean, just like in the tropical Netherlands. The town was built in the Dutch style, but the surroundings are all tropical.

Hit the beaches, rest in the sun and party the night away. It might not be Gilligan’s Island, but what lacks privacy makes up for the romance and fun. The climate is stable throughout the year. It is always warm and generally sunny. If it rains between November and January And don’t worry about hurricanes, you’re under the hurricane belt!


  • Curacao is a component of the Netherlands.
  • Iguanas are a popular food, usually in soups or stews.
  • Prostitution in Curacao is legal for foreign women (provided they get a temporary license).


9. Cook Islands

Another group of islands in the South Pacific (see a diagram here?), The Cook Islands are far off the map and considerably less visited than some of their neighbors.

These small islands are named after James Cook, the intrepid explorer who discovered them. There are few convenient facilities, this is the best place to find the abandoned in their hearts and escape from modern life. The islands have a climate similar to that of the rest of the region, with hot and humid temperatures throughout the year.


  • The Cook Islands are made up of 15 islands spread over 1.8 million square kilometers.
  • Citizens of the Cook Islands are granted New Zealand citizenship (although New Zealand citizens do not receive citizenship of the Cook Islands).
  • The Maori are originally from the Cook Islands and were the first to discover and settle in New Zealand.


10. Bermuda

Bermuda is one of the most beautiful islands in the world.. Unfortunately, it is also very expensive! Home of banks, tax evaders, and the rich and powerful have raised prices here, so resorts tend to cater to a sophisticated audience. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit!

While you need a respectable budget, if you give Bermuda a chance you’ll find an island that’s home to some of the best beaches in North America and the Caribbean. The locals are incredibly friendly and you can find world class food here as well. To keep you busy, there are endless opportunities for snorkeling, a few caves to explore, plenty of hikes and more.


  • Bermuda is an autonomous British overseas territory.
  • There were no inhabitants on the islands until the 17th century, when a shipwreck led Europeans to colonize the island.
  • Bermuda is the wreck capital of the world.


11. Perhentian Islands

Located on the east coast of Malaysia, the Perhentians consists of two islands. Both are covered with palm trees and are home to wide beaches and crystal clear waters.

There’s not much to do here and visitors tend to stay on the beach all day, having a drink the night before. It is the ideal place to place a hammock. A strong monsoon season limits the departure dates (visit between March and October). The rest of the time, it is better to go to Thailand, where the weather is more pleasant.


  • Perhentian means ‘stopping point’ in Malay, as the island was a common landmark for sailors in the past.
  • The Perhentian archipelago consists of 2 inhabited islands and 5 uninhabited islands.
  • The Perhentian Islands regularly feature on the lists of the best beaches in the world.


12. Isla de Providencia

Providencia is located between Costa Rica and Jamaica and is actually part of Colombia. Providencia is made up of two smaller islands: Providencia and Santa Catarina. The total area of ​​these two islands is only 22 square kilometers.

Unlike the luxurious neighboring Caribbean countries, you will only find more affordable hotels and hostels here. Everything has to be transported by boat or by plane, so it’s not cheap. However, since no foreigner can own the property, there is no influx of overdevelopment, which makes the island simple and beautiful. For more rural and less touristy seaside resorts, this could be the ideal island!

Interesting facts about ISLA DE PROVIDENCIA

  • The island was once the seat of a British Puritan colony.
  • Pirate Henry Morgan used these islands as a base, and there are rumors that there are still treasures buried on the islands.
  • The island has a considerable Rastafarian population.


13. Barbados

Barbados is a bustling island with a great night light. Bridgetown is one of the area’s nightlife capitals, so if you want to stay awake until the wee hours of the morning, this island could be for you!

Just like in Bermuda, you will find incredible beaches and caves here. You will also find world class surfing. The food here is amazing and you can taste expensive and delicious food as well as cheap local food.

Although there are many luxury goods here, you can also visit with a moderate budget, making it one of the cheaper islands in the Caribbean.


  • The Portuguese were probably the first Europeans to visit the island, although no one knows for sure.
  • Rihanna was born here.
  • Many stores offer a free store if you bring your passport.


14. Naxos

While most people go to Santorini or Mykonos, beat the crowds and go to Naxos. It’s so impressive and scenic, but without the crowds. Home to charming villages and unspoiled beaches, Naxos will satisfy your desire for peaceful Mediterranean living.

Whether you are looking to relax on the beach, take a stroll, enjoy water sports or learn about history, Naxos can keep you entertained while enjoying your little slice of Greek paradise away from the tourist crowds.


  • Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades islands, a group of islands in the Aegean Sea.
  • According to Greek mythology, Zeur grew up in Naxos.
  • Naxos was once called Callipolis, which means “the best city”.


15. Canary Islands

Located on the coast of Western Sahara in Africa, the Canary Islands are in fact a Spanish archipelago and therefore belong to Spain. There are 7 main islands in the Canaries, each offering something different for the intrepid traveler looking to relax and enjoy island life.

Tenerife is the largest of the islands and has a bit of it all, including one of the biggest carnival festivals in the world every February.

For the beaches, go to Fuerteventura to soak up the sun. And for hiking, head to Gran Canaria. It has incredible and diverse landscapes. But whichever Canary Island you choose, you can enjoy one of the best tropical islands in the world.


  • The Canary Islands have 2 official capitals: Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
  • The Canary Islands are one of the best places to see the endangered loggerhead turtle.
  • The islands are home to a local form of combat called “Lucha Canaria”.


16. San Blas Islands

Panama is an underrated destination in Central America, and that includes the San Blas Islands.

The San Blas Islands are a popular spot for boating and sailing, although there are some beach resorts too, in case you’re looking for a more luxurious stay. In general, the islands are very rustic and provide an excellent refuge outside the network. There are many beautiful places to sail, snorkel and dive.

You can also book boat expeditions here if you want to leave the islands and get in the water. A 4 to 5 day cruise will cost around US $ 425 per person.


  • The San Blas Islands are made up of over 365 islands.
  • The local indigenous people are called Kuna, who mainly reside in 49 of the San Blas Islands.
  • Rising sea levels will make most of the islands uninhabitable by the end of the century.


17. Azores

Although technically a subtropical island, if you are looking for something other than standard resorts, the Azores would be a good resort. The islands offer countless options for hiking and natural beauty. Hire a car and explore the winding roads of the main island, São Miguel Island, admiring secluded beaches and picturesque waterfalls. Best of all, it’s close to Europe and North America and makes a great stopover if you’re traveling between the two.


  • The Azores are made up of 9 islands with around 250,000 inhabitants.
  • Monte Pico is the highest point in the Azores and the entire Portuguese continent.
  • São Miguel is the only place in the world to grow pineapples in greenhouses.


18. Galápagos Islands

Few destinations top the list of destinations like the Galapagos Islands. The opportunities to see the incredible wildlife here are virtually unmatched. Located 1000 km off the coast of Ecuador, it is not only one of the most popular destinations in the country, but also one of the most sought after destinations in the world.

Unfortunately, this is a very fragile ecosystem and one that is significantly affected by climate change. Visit here while you can!


  • The Galapagos Islands are the only place in the Northern Hemisphere where you can see penguins in the wild.
  • The average life span of the Galapagos tortoise is more than 100 years.
  • 97% of the islands are a national park.


19. Whitsunday Islands

Located in Australia, the Whitsunday Islands are a beautiful collection of islands off the central coast of Queensland. Most islands are designated as national parks and are actually part of the Great Barrier Reef.

Of course there are amazing coral reefs for snorkeling and scuba diving and pristine beaches (my favorite is Whitehaven Beach). Upon arrival you will immediately see why it is one of the best tropical islands in the world and why more than half a million people visit it each year. One of the most popular ways to see the islands is on a multi-day boat trip (which I did when I visited them). It was an amazing experience, especially while diving! Prices start at around AUD 450 for multi-day sailing trips.


  • 70% of the Whitsunday Islands, part of a national park.
  • Captain Cook was the first European to visit (in 1770), but the area was inhabited by Aborigines for 8,000 years.
  • Whitehaven Beach has always been rated as the best beach in Australia.


20. Saint Lucia

This beautiful island is often considered one of the most romantic places in the world. With incredible lush landscapes and miles of white sandy beaches, it is no wonder that this tropical island is regarded as a paradise on earth.

Saint Lucia is home to incredible wildlife in abundance and the island also offers world class diving. Whether you are looking for a peaceful getaway or an active vacation, Saint Lucia has got you covered!


  • Due to its proximity to volcanoes, Santa Lucia is home to black sand beaches.
  • Saint Lucia is the only country in the world with the name of a woman
  • The first inhabitants of Saint Lucia were the Arawak Indians, who were eventually expelled from the island.


Travel Insurance

The most important advice I can offer is to buy good travel insurance. Travel insurance protects you against illness, injury, theft and cancellations. This is full protection in the event of a problem. I never travel without it, as I have had to use it several times in the past. You can use the widget below to find the policy that’s right for you:


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

Having said that, I think these are some of the best tropical islands in the world. Each of them is a true paradise in its own right. It will be difficult to find a more beautiful environment than some of these islands.

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