Best Tropical Islands: Perfect Places For Your Next Exciting Vacation

As the summer approaches, it's time for travelling. Tropical islands, for the longest time, have always been our recommendations. However, since the options are countless, where exactly are we recommending? 

That’s why we make this ultimate list containing our most beloved 23 islands that have something for everyone, regarding your preferences. Sounds interesting? It is. Scroll down and let us show you places where memorable experiences are waiting.

1. Bali

Known as the Island of the Gods, Bali is home to various stunning locations. Photo by felfin_photo05 evin on Unsplash

We think everybody knows about this one, but we still need to add it in. It is just that amazing. Bali is a one-of-a-kind tropical island that combines cultural experiences with natural beauty.

If you want to learn more about the Balinese culture, there are temples and local markets for you to explore. During your trip, make sure to look around. There might be some traditional dance performances going on. 

Other places to consider are its verdant rice farms, volcanic highlands, and of course, the tropical beaches on the island. They are not just beautiful but perfect for surfing as well, with world-class waves. 

One thing to remember is that there will be many people in popular destinations. Consider wandering around and exploring in your own way. 

2. Phuket

Phuket is a well-known island in Thailand with beautiful beaches and lively nightlife. Photo by Mike Swigunski

As the largest island in Thailand, Phuket is a popular tourist destination for people looking for a tropical island holiday. Besides the infamous beaches, nightlife activities, and culture, visitors coming to this island can enjoy the lively local markets. Especially you should try exquisite spa treatment services. After a long day, they are unique services and effective.

If you love some quiet time, Phuket has plenty of Buddhist temples, such as Wat Chalong and the Big Buddha, to visit. The atmosphere is sacred and peaceful.

3. Maldives

The Maldives is a tropical haven renowned for its immaculate shorelines. Photo by Mike Swigunski on Unsplash

Maldives is not an island but a collection of over 1,000 coral islands in the Indian Ocean. With crystal-clear seas and magnificent overwater bungalows, Maldives has always been a favourite destination for a romantic atmosphere. 

It is worth noting since the Maldives is home to a wide variety of marine life (manta rays, sea turtles, whale sharks, etc.), it is “the” tropical island for diving and snorkelling. It is not everyday that you have the chance to get in the sea with these beautiful animals.

Did you know that the tropical country is also home to some of the best underwater hotels in the world? The accommodations are not just high-quality. They offer unique experiences that you can hardly find anywhere else.

4. Bora Bora

The turquoise lagoon and breathtaking coral reefs are what make Bora Bora. Photo by Hugues de BUYER-MIMEURE on Unsplash

Even though it is just a small South Pacific Island, Bora Bora has some of the most spectacular tropical island beaches in the world. Bora Bora is the one for people who love and want something similar to Maldives.

Besides the overwater bungalows, Bora Bora has private villas for couples with a peaceful atmosphere. Diving and snorkelling with sea creatures are also available. 

For cultural aspects, Bora Bora has Tahitian dance and traditional music. You should not miss it because it is how Bora Bora introduces its culture to the world.

5. Maui

Maui welcomes all with its breathtaking natural scenery and relaxed atmosphere. Photo by Andrew Bain on Unsplash

There are reasons why Aloha is a world-famous phrase. Everybody who has gone to this beautiful tropical island comebacks with a deep appreciation for the natural beauty and the charming culture.

Maui is full of world-famous locations such as Kaanapali Beach, the Haleakala volcano, and the Road to Hana. Despite these amazing locations, don’t forget to enjoy the culture of this special land.

Traditional Hawaiian cultures, such as hula performances and native delicacies such as poke and shaved ice, is worth trying regardless of your tastes.

Especially, if you have never seen a humpback whale, which is probably most of us, Maui is a renowned location for said purpose. To increase your chance of seeing the whales, visit the island between April and December. It is when some 10,000 of them migrate to Maui.

6. Fiji

Fiji is an archipelago of more than 300 islands in the South Pacific Ocean and where you want to spend your tropical island holiday. With the turquoise seas, white-sand beaches, and lush vegetation, Fuji is a destination that is hard to beat. 

Visitors to Fiji can participate in a wide variety of activities, from snorkelling and scuba diving to learning the local culture and relaxing in spa treatments.

If you are not sure what the local customs are, don’t worry. Fuji is known for its friendly residents who are welcoming and love to give visitors deeper looks into their lives, such as the Kava rituals and the Meke dances

7. Santorini

Santorini is a magnificent Greek island known for its charming white houses. Photo by Philip Jahn on Unsplash

Located in Greece, Santorini is a magnificent tropical island with a stunning view of the Aegean Sea. Famous for its white-washed homes with blue domes, Santorini offers a memorable experience for visitors, even if all they do is take a walk around the area. 

For cuisine lovers, don’t forget to try the wine made from the indigenous Assyrtiko grape. Some must-try Greek foods include Souvlaki, fava, and moussaka. 

After an exciting day, visitors can sit back, relax, and watch the sunset from the Santorini caldera. Plus, the site is considered one of the most photogenic places in the world.

8. Koh Samui

Koh Samui is recognised as a perfect combination of relaxation and adventure. Photo by Yavor Punchev on Unsplash

Koh Samui is a beautiful tropical island in Thailand noted for its natural beauty, active nightlife, and opulent resorts. Coming to this island, you may unwind on the island's beautiful beaches, such as Chaweng and Lamai. Or learn about the local culture, which includes old temples and traditional markets.

One unique aspect of this island is the lively Fishermen's Village, where you can find local handicrafts, apparel, souvenirs, and delicious street food. 

Not too far away is the Wat Plai Laem temple, famous for its marvellous statues and architecture. Plus, you can learn a lot about Buddhist customs as well. 

For adventure enthusiasts, what is waiting for you are sports such as scuba diving, snorkelling, and kayaking, as well as jungle trekking, and zip-lining.

9. Jamaica

Jamaica is the best tropical vacation option for music lovers. Photo by Caidrro on Unsplash

Even though Jamaica is not an island, its capital city – Kingston, is an excellent spot to learn about its colonial history.

You may take tours of historical sites such as the Devon House, National Heroes Park, and Spanish Town Plaza. Another location, the Bob Marley Museum at Nine Mile, is also a must-see for music fans, showcasing the iconic reggae artist's life and career.

The Blue Mountains provide spectacular vistas and various hiking paths. The famed Blue Mountain Peak Trail will appeal to people looking for outdoor activities.

Not ending there, the Rio Grande is a famous rafting destination, and Dunn's River Falls is a prominent cascade that you may climb. All of these offerings draw thousands of thousands visitors to one of the best tropical islands in the world.

10. Seychelles

Seychelles is renowned for its crystalline oceans and unusual wildlife. Photo by Kamil Rogalinski on Unsplash

For those seeking a relaxing and dreamy getaway, Seychelles is one of the best tropical islands for you to consider. With its flawless white sand and azure seas, the beaches in Seychelles are considered some of the greatest in the world.

Two of the most beloved beaches are the Anse Lazio and the Anse Source d’Argent. Both of them have spectacular natural beauty accompanied by granite rocks. Go a little bit deeper to experience the underwater world. You may go snorkelling, diving, or on glass-bottom boat trips.

If you are not looking for a relaxing trip but are a nature enthusiast, Seychelles is still a paradise. This island is home to many rare bird species, such as the Seychelles Black Parrot and the Seychelles Warbler.

Another option for you to explore is the Aldabra Atoll. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the home to the world’s largest population of giant tortoises.

11. Barbados

Barbados, a stunning Caribbean island, offers year-round warm temperatures for its visitors. Photo by Kathryn Maingot on Unsplash

This Caribbean Island provides a special fusion of quaint British colonial architecture and colourful Caribbean culture. 

While there, you may participate in water activities like surfing and scuba diving. See historic buildings like the UNESCO-listed Garrison, or simply unwind on the island's beautiful tropical beaches.

The island also produces rum, and visitors may tour the Mount Gay Rum Distillery, with five different types of experiences to choose from. 

If you are looking for souvenirs or just want to do some shopping, head to Broad Street and the Street for duty-free goods. From luxury to local handicrafts, there is something for you.

12. Aruba

Travelling to Aruba and trying the numerous water sports offered here would be a memorable trip. by Kiril Georgiev on Unsplash

Aruba is a perfect combination of its crystal-clear waters, white-sand tropical beaches for water activities, and unique geological formations. Ayo and Casibari rock formation, which are world-renowned spots for hiking, is a must-see for first-timers.

Don’t forget to check out San Nicholas, the hub of Aruba's cultural life. The depth of Aruba's cultural identity is shown through creative growth in street-filling dancing, galleries, and energetic rhythms. In addition, Aruba also hosts cultural events, including carnivals, artisan fairs, and exhibitions of native artwork.

If you are seeking adventure, Aruba offers activities such as ATV tours, zip-lining, and exploring the island's shipwrecks. It’s truly the tropical island for everyone, both adventurous and cultural.

13. St. Lucia

St. Lucia is a lovely Caribbean island renowned for its magnificent beaches, luxuriant woods, and picturesque hiking paths. Photo by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash

Besides having one of the best tropical island beaches in the world, St. Lucia’s distinctive volcanic landscapes are some of the best places you can visit during the trip. The two most popular ones on the island are the Sulphur Springs and the Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens.

St. Lucia is also famous for its locally grown chocolate. If you are also a fan, leave time to take a Hotel Chocolat tour (around $120). While enjoying the magnificent view of the Pitons, two mountainous volcanic plugs, you will also be offered a chocolate drink and lunch.

Laa on, if you are still interested in those chocolate intakes, it’s time to learn about cacao production. And yes, you will have the chance to make chocolate yourself.

If you want more privacy when exploring St. Lucia, visit Pigeon Island in the north. Tour companies like Sea Trek provide snuba and sea helmet excursions in addition to swimming and snorkelling.

Following some time on the beach, you may visit Fort Rodney to learn more about St. Lucia's colonial past. To complete a perfect day, you may eat at the charming waterfront restaurant Jambe de Bois.

14. Bahamas

The Bahamas is a gorgeous archipelago of more than 700 islands and cays. Photo by Fernando Jorge on Unsplash

320 is the number of days that the Bahamas has sunny weather. This is the main reason making the Bahamas one of the best tropical islands to visit in the world. The island offers a variety of outdoor activities, including snorkelling and diving in its stunning blue seas, fishing for bonefish, and seeing the islands' many national parks and natural reserves.

A little bit different from other islands where you can swim with sea creatures. The Bahamas has another truly unique animal: Pigs. Make sure you take a trip to Big Major Cay (or Pig Island) to feed the adorable pigs swimming out to greet you.

You can also be fully immersed in Bahamian culture. Try its delectable food, including conch salad and guava duff, while enjoying the Junkanoo's traditional music and dancing customs.

If this event is the main reason you come to this beautiful place, be aware that it is celebrated only on December 26 and January 1 every year.

15. Mauritius

Mauritius is a distinctive fusion of African, Indian, and European traditions. Photo by Xavier Coiffic on Unsplash

Mauritius is a tiny tropical island that is often referred to as the pearl of the Indian Ocean. Noted for its magnificent beaches, coral reefs, and rich culture, you will never feel bored visiting such a paradise. 

In addition to engaging in water sports like windsurfing, diving, and snorkelling, you may visit the island's verdant rainforests and animal preserves. Among the best things to do on this tropical island, the Seven Coloured Earths is among the top/

It is a peculiar geological feature where seven different earth colours can be seen. This phenomenon can not be seen elsewhere, so Mauritius is now a significant attraction with hundreds of tourists each year.

This is the first time we have discussed cost in this article, but there is a reason for that. Given the low cost of living, Mauritius can provide luxury resorts at extremely inexpensive rates. Compared to Europe, expenses are quite affordable.

16. Turks and Caicos

With a wide range of activities and cuisines, the Turks and Caicos should be at the top of your list. Photo by Edgar Serrano on Unsplash

A British Overseas Territory in the Atlantic Ocean, Turks and Caicos is known for its world-class diving, gorgeous beaches, and beautiful turquoise waters. 

Turks and Caicos are not as sunny as the Bahamas. The temperatures ranging between 80° to 90° F (27° to 32° C) are still perfect for an epic vacation. 

For people who love exploring hidden gems, this beautiful Island has some hidden beauties. Since the trip requires having to take either short flights or ships to the outlying island, many people choose to remain on Providenciales. Hence, other areas are still able to keep primitive states. It does not mean the Providenciales is bad. It is not.

This area has been, for a long time, renowned for its lovely beaches and accompanying water sports. In addition, visitors to the island will have numerous opportunities to experience the wonderful culinary world here. Fresh seafood, Caribbean specialities, and even international dishes are all within reach. 

The Turks and Caicos Islands, like several other tiny archipelagos, are home to numerous indigenous species and fascinating creatures, such as a calm rock iguana (it is considered a critically endangered species) and a variety of small lizards.

Bird sighting is also popular due to the diversity of birds, including flamingos, herons, egrets, ospreys, pelicans, hummingbirds, etc.

17. Maluku Islands

The Maluku Islands are a collection of Indonesian islands with beauty beyond belief. Photo by Candy Hartawan on Unsplash

White sand beaches, verdant jungles, and historical monuments like the Dutch colonial-era Fort Belgica in Banda Neira, etc. Maluke seems to have it all.

Also known as the Moluccas, the Maluku Islands are a group of tropical islands in eastern Indonesia. They are renowned for their breathtaking natural beauty, fascinating history, and distinctive culture.

For an immersive experience, you can consider going scuba diving at Halmahera Island. This biggest island in the Maluku group features dive sites that provide underwater volcanic formations, drift diving, wall diving, lovely coral gardens, and WWII wreck diving.

More than 600 different kinds of fish and over 450 different types of coral can be found around the area. Especially, you might not be surprised to know that there are hammerhead and reef sharks as well.

For food lovers, the perfect blend of Indonesian, Chinese, and European, Maluku cuisine is a treat during your journey.

18. Boracay

Boracay is full of adventurous and fun water opportunities. Photo by Hector John Periquin on Unsplash

This little tropical island in the Philippines is renowned for its white sand beaches, breathtaking sunsets, and exciting nightlife. 

First of all, it is impossible to introduce Boracay without mentioning Puka Beach. Besides its unspoiled beauty, it is the perfect location for you to take a glimpse of Boracay's flying foxes (fruit bats).

The way these little creatures migrate is truly a unique view. If you want to contribute and do something different, join the Friends of the Flying Foxes and help them with their bat counting task. 

If this is the first time you come to this island, we recommend joining the Boracay island hopping tours. This tour allows you to visit three different islands: Magic Island, Crocodile Island, and Crystal Cove Beach.

Of course, the time spent on each island will be shortened, so consider carefully. The beauty of these islands might make you want to linger longer than expected. 

For bar lovers, you could spend weeks here and never get bored since the island has an absurd number of beach bars and beach clubs. Not just the amount, but the types are in large numbers as well, from beachfront bars, and rooftop bars to sports bars, etc.

19. Zanzibar

Zanzibar is an archipelago in East Africa off the coast of Tanzania in which visitors can go on several spice tours. Photo by Moses Londo on Unsplash

Think of Zanzibar is to think of soft sand, clear seas, and old Stone Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Anyone can easily have one of their best tropical vacations in this piece of paradise.

Probably the most fascinating activity to do in Zanzibar is diving. Go to Mnemba Island for steep drop-offs that are home to a turtle haven and shallow offshore coral gardens teeming with colourful reef species.

If you are a more experienced diver, our recommendation is Pemba. The reefs off Pemba provide prospects for not only some thrilling drift dives but also the possibility to observe species like the spotted eagle ray, which has a 3m wingspan.

Another location is Mafia Island. Here, look out for large predators under the clear water, such as barracuda, Napoleon wrasse, and grouper. 

However, if this beautiful sea does not satisfy your curiosity, the Ufufuma Forest might do the job. The red colobus monkeys are hard to spot here, but other beautiful wildlife, such as snakes, reptiles, and beehives, is still in sight. 

Since Zanzibar is an undeveloped area of Tanzania, there are many cultural aspects to learn. Here, the historical and rich heritage is heavily influenced by Arabic, Indian, African, Persian, and European.

Your senses will be overwhelmed by the vitality and detail of historic homes and palaces, bustling bazaars, market stalls, and stores. Together, these inanimate objects will tell you the tale of a long and turbulent past.

20. Anguilla

Anguilla, with its laid-back atmosphere, is the ideal location for a tranquil tropical vacation. Photo by Steve Adams on Unsplash

Anguilla is exactly what you usually imagine about a Caribbean paradise: white-sand beaches, a calm ambience with rows of palm trees along the coast. 

The lovely beaches of this tropical island are perfect for swimming and tanning, while nearby waterways are perfect for sailing, scuba diving, and other water sports. Particularly, if you have never tried this in your life, we highly highly recommend kitesurfing as Anguilla is a world-renowned place for this sport. 

In Anguilla, there is a great food scene. With over 100 restaurants for a population of fewer than 15,000, Anguilla has really focused on the culinary aspect.

As a fusion of culinary traditions from the Caribbean, Africa, France, and Great Britain, Auguilia’s food industry is exceptional. However, it does not mean that Anguilia lacks cultural dishes. The dishes favoured by the locals, probably named after our beloved captain, Johnny Cake is a carb source usually accompanied by barbecued meat or lobster.

21. Puerto Rico 

From the storied alleyways of Old San Juan to the lush jungles of El Yunque, Puerto Rico has it all. Photo by Wei Zeng on Unsplash

The reason why Puerto Rico is a famous option is because of its distinctive fusion of Spanish, African, and American elements.

While depicting the vibrancy of the boricua of this land, dance and music are vital. Just as diverse as the culture, Puerto Rico is also a result of the perfect combination of Spanish, Caribbean, African, and Asian essences.

In terms of nature, Puerto Rico does not lose to any other tropical islands. At Old San Juan, a UNESCO World Heritage site, visitors may learn about the history and culture of the island. In El Yunque National Forest, the only tropical rainforest in the US national forest system, visitors can deeply immerse in the beauty of nature. 

In addition, the island is renowned for its exciting nightlife and delectable cuisine. Some recommendations for us are mofongo, which is made with mashed plantains and a variety of fillings, and arroz con gandules, a rice dish with pigeon peas.

Without us saying anything, you probably know about traditional drinks like the piña coladas. However, for what it is worth, drinking piña coladas in its birthplace is different from drinking them elsewhere. 

>> Check out: Do You Need A Passport To Go To Puerto Rico?

22. Cook Islands

Cook Islands

Attending traditional dance and music events are just some of the many things you can do in the Cook Islands. Photo by Paul C. Szigety -

As a collection of 15 tiny yet beautiful tropical islands in the South Pacific, the Cook Islands are renowned for their breathtaking natural beauty, pristine oceans, and laid-back Polynesian culture. Plus, many refer to this island as an “Untouched paradise” due to its authentic and rustic appearance, thus making it one of the best tropical islands.

Besides the infamous oceans, visitors to this place also have rainforests within reach. With only 30 minutes of driving from the Rarotonga International Airport, you will arrive at the main town of Avarua, which is an activity hub filled with shops and restaurants.

If you still prefer a watering experience, make sure to come to One Foot Island (Tapuae ta'i). The easy way is to take a Vaka boat from Ootu Beach. The lagoon at this place is a stunning patchwork of blue, and the bathtub-warm water is teeming with clownfish, huge trevally, and massive clams with purple lips that waver as they pass.

23. Grenada

Travelling to Grenada to add some mystery to your romantic experience. Photo by Hugh Whyte on Unsplash

Grenada is a little island country in the eastern Caribbean that has earned the nickname "Spice Isle" for producing spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. Similar to Puerto Rico, the beaches in Grenada are relatively unspoiled. However, there is more to this beautiful tropical island. 

If you are looking for a romantic experience, take a trip to Concord Falls or Annandale Falls, both are close to St. Georges. If you're feeling more daring, there are opportunities to see wildlife, such as armadillos and mona monkeys, while hiking through the verdant Etang National Park and Forest. 

Some mysteries in Grenada are the underwater sculptures. The world’s first underwater sculpture park is haunting at first glance. Regardless, it is an incredible exhibition to experience for a lifetime. Come to this park and see whether you can find popular statues such as the Vicissitudes or the TAMCC Faces.


1. What Is The Best Time To Visit A Tropical Island?

It is very important to consider the time aspect of travelling to tropical islands. Sadly, there is no one objective answer. The perfect depends on the location and the climate.

However, generally speaking, the dry season, which typically lasts from December to April, would be the ideal time for a trip to the Caribbean. Regardless, it is best to check the weather before going or ask people about their experiences.

2. How Can I Prepare For My Trip To A Tropical Island?

There are a few different aspects that need to be put into consideration for a trip to tropical beaches. First, as packing for any other type of trip, we recommend having a packing list to avoid forgetting important things.

Other aspects are the weather, whether you need sunscreen or not, the type of activities you will engage in, and putting bug repellent in your bag, etc. Also, make sure to check whether there is any document required to enter the country/island.

3. What Are Some Safety Precautions To Keep In Mind When Travelling To Tropical Islands?

It's crucial to be aware of safety considerations before visiting and during the time on a tropical island to guarantee a safe and pleasurable trip. They can include avoiding remote regions or going on solitary nighttime walks, drinking enough water in hot weather, engaging in safe water sports, and exercising moderation while drinking alcohol.

Also, it's a good idea to conduct your homework on any potential health hazards in the region and protect any valuables and vital papers.

It’s time to get on with your journey!

Whether you are looking for an adventure or a slower time, tropical islands are suitable regardless. In addition to being natural wonders, they offer a great atmosphere for visitors to immerse in the local culture and history.

So, which tropical islands are getting on your wish lists? Were they easy choices or after very hard consideration? 

As great as that, If we have missed any great islands that are worth mentioning, comment down below and let us know. Have fun on your next trip! 

Bui Hoang Hai

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.