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

Handara Gate - Famous historical attraction in Bali
Where tropical tourism meets Hindu mysticism.

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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. 

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    Seychelles – Tropical Paradise at a Premium Price

    A family visiting a topical beach bungalow resort in Seychelles
    One of the worlds premier tropical island holiday destinations… if you can afford it

    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.

    Barbados – Caribbean Islands are a No-Brainer!

    Small town in Barbados - top topical vacation destination in the Caribbeans
    Calm and colourful days in blissful Barbados.

    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). 

    Phuket – Southern Thailand is Magnificent

    Longboats at a tropical beach in Phuket, Thailand
    Regardless of your feelings on Thailand, the southern areas are magnificent.

    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 – The Ritziest Destination in South Asia

    The Maldives
    Believe it or not, there is a local side to the Maldives too.

    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.   

    The Perhentians – Two Tropical Places to Visit for the Price of One!

    A beautiful beach in the Perhentians - top tropical island destinations in Malaysia
    Malaysia actually has heaps of exquisite tropical locales.

    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.
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    Palawan – For Some of the Best Diving in The Philippines

    A tropical lagoon in Palawan, the Philippines
    Honestly, some days aren’t beach days. Some days are lagoon days.

    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. 

    Fiji – A Growing Top Island Destination on People’s Radars

    Diving with manta rays at Yasawa's famous coral Reefs
    Swim with Manta Rays in Yasawas Famous Coral Reefs, Fiji

    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).

    The Galapagos Islands – Exotic Islands Don’t Come Much More Exotic

    A seal on an exotic beach in the Galapagos Islands
    Finding the right Galapagos tour comes down to your budget and what you want to do.

    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. 

    Niue – Technically It’s Not a Tropical Island

    Coconut Crab - indigenous wildlife on the tropical island nation of Niue
    Coconut crabs and coconut vibes.

    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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    Koh Rong – Thai Isle Feels at a More Chilled Pace

    A sole female traveller on a beach on tropical Koh ROng
    Chilled beach days and wild party nights.

    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.

    Raja Ampat – For a Tropical Vacation Off the Beaten Path

    Man floating in the aquamarine waters of Raja Ampa - best tropical vacation spot in Indonesia
    Nothing is better than doing nothing.

    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. 

    Vanuatu – An Overlooked Gem of a Tropical Destination

    Young boys play on a sunset beach during a tropical holiday in Vanuatu
    For those that would prefer a little less mass tourism in their isolated island retreat.

    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. 

    Koh Lipe – Like the Maldives but Cheaper

    A town in Koh Lipe, Thailand, with a beautiful tropical beach beyond
    There are countless tropical Thai Isle retreats to choose from, but Koh Lipe is a pretty swell choice!

    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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    Lombok and the Gili Islands – Lots of Islands, Lots of Vibes

    Woman scuba diving with a sea turtle in the tropical waters of the Gili Islands
    You’ll find more of Indonesia’s world-class diving scene in Lombok and 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. 

    Bohol – Tropical Sights and Adventure Delights

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

    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. 

    Mauritius – Man, Mauritius is Just… the Best

    Leon Cascade - a beautiful waterfall on the tropical island of Mauritius
    It doesn’t get much more chill than Mauritius.
    Photo: @themanwiththetinyguitar

    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.

    Kauai (Hawaii) – Expensive, Yes, but Worth the Cost

    Coastal views of the tropica island vacation spot Kauai in Hawaii
    Prepare for the lushness.

    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.

    Bermuda – Tropical Vacay Gone MIA

    A beautiful beachside villa on a tropical beach in Bermuda
    Bloody hell… now that’s a place to stay!

    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.

    Ilha Grande – Felicidade

    Brazillian flag surfboards on a beach in tropical Ihla Grande
    Brazil + Beaches + Booties = Three Good Reasons to Never Go Home

    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.

    San Andrés – Colombia Meets the Caribbean

    A beach house on a tropical palm-lined beach on San Andres island, Colombia
    Technically Colombia, yes, but still so damn Caribbean.

    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. 

    Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – Yet More Caribbean Islands to Visit

    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.

    The Whitsundays – In the Tropics Down Under

    A boat tour in the Whitsundays, Queensland - Australia's most tropical places
    Expensive to explore, however, you’re always paying a preium to be in Australia. Cause Australia’s pretty rad.

    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. 

    The Canary Islands – It’s Not All Tropical Beaches!

    Woman running across sand dunes in the tropical Canary Islands
    Can you hear the squeaks?

    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. 

    Bora Bora – The Pacific Isles are Woefully Overlooked

    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.

    In Conclusion, It’s Time to Plan That Tropical Island Vacation Retreat

    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