When it comes to tropical destinations, most bucket lists contain the “usual suspects”. Of course, these idyllic locations are well worth the time spent, but what is to be said for the places a little off the beaten path?
Next time you and your mate sit down to book an island getaway, try one of these seven locations
Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles
Bonaire, one of the three that make up the “ABC Islands” of the South Caribbean, is a relative unknown that sits along its sisters (Aruba and Curacao) in the Netherlands Antilles. One of the most remarkable places we’ve visited, Bonaire boasts world-class diving and outdoor adventures, as well as incredible locals that are equal parts welcoming, kind and entertaining. If you haven’t been, Bonaire is a must-do. Don’t forget to check out Buddy Dive Resort on the western coast of the island, facing Klein Bonaire, where some of the best snorkeling and diving the in world is made possible!
Tsarabanjina Island, Madagascar
Looking for really off the beaten path? Tsarabanjina Island (marketed as “an island of your own”) sits off the Northwestern Coast of Madagascar in the Mitsio archipelago. Primarily a location for the Constance Hotels & Resorts one can enjoy azure blue water, powder soft beaches, and private bungalows fenced by tropical plants and some of the most incredible natural scenery available anywhere.
Only four square miles in area, Boracay is an absolutely stunning island located approximately 200 miles south of Manila and less than two miles off the northwest tip of Panay Island in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. Boracay is a sporting paradise, a site of the Asian Windsurfing Tour, with the week-long Boracay International Funboard Cup competition usually held in January on Bulabog Beach. The best time to visit this tropical oasis is in mid to late winter (January through March), when the “dry season” produces only about one inch of rainfall per month.
The smallest of Honduras’ major Bay Islands, Utila is a Central American hotspot despite its population of only about 4,000 residents. The beautiful weather and relative solitude can help any traveler feel truly “off-the-grid” while touring the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the second-largest in the world.
I mean, its Greece, right? Seriously, Gavdos stands out as a unique target location for any traveler to Greece. If Santorini or Mykonos is a bit too touristy for you, you can get lost in the absolutely stunning, southern-most island that is home to only about 150 full-time residents!
Nikoi Island, Indonesia
The 42-acre resort island located 50 miles southeast of Singapore was purchased by Andrew and Julia Dixon, an Australian couple visiting Bintan, in 2005 and developed, with the aid of a group of financiers, into a boutique resort named Nikoi Island. The resort opened in 2007, and as of 2010 consists of fifteen beach houses. The resort is accessed by launch from Kawal, one hour’s drive from the Bintan Resorts ferry terminal, and stays fully booked many months in advance.
Mirihi Island, Maldives
Mirihi is an absolute stunner, currently used as a “tourist island” that hosts a holiday resort containing 36 guest bungalows, both closed and open-air. Another sporting paradise, Mirihi is a wonderful location for diving, snorkeling, boating and surfing!