6 Secluded Tropical Islands You May Put on Your Travel Bucket List

Posted on Jul 14 2017 - 12:32am by Archie Ward

Remote tropical destinations appeal to many as a prime choice for getaways. Clear, turquoise water, powdery sandy beaches, palm trees swaying the breeze and plenty of sunshine make for the idyllic location to relax and unwind. While there are many popular places around the world to enjoy the perfect vacation, there are a number of less frequented islands, which offer the chance to avoid crowds. Immerse yourself in local culture and cuisine while enjoying the quiet and laid back atmosphere away from daily life stress.

Cayo Coco, Cuba

Relax © Didier Baertschiger / flickr

Relax © Didier Baertschiger / Flickr

The pristine island is found off the northern coast of Cuba and favored for the miles of white, sandy beaches and sparkling, clear waters. Embark on a catamaran or a kayak. Explore the world beneath the water where one of the largest reefs on the planet serves as home to a wealth of colorful tropical fish including angelfish and parrotfish. Indulge in a deep sea fishing excursion Ernest Hemingway style. With more than 150 species of birds living here, Cayo Coco is perfect for bird-watching enthusiasts. In the evening, enjoy horseback riding along the beach. Venture to a waterfront restaurant and listen to the live music while feasting on a lobster dinner.

Stay: Pullman Cayo Coco has eight bars, a nightclub, eight pools, a fitness center and activities for the entire family.

Isla Robinson Crusoe, Chile

Natural resources on Crusoe Island © troita_<>< / flickr

Natural resources on Crusoe Island © troita_<>< / Flickr

Isla Robinson Crusoe inspired Daniel Defoe to write his now famous novel about a shipwrecked sailor. Despite the small village of San Juan Bautista, the destination remains one of the few unspoiled islands on the planet. The island also remains one of the most interesting of the tropical places to vacation. The magical landscape varies from picturesque beaches and clear water to greenery-covered mountains. Enjoy fishing, kayaking, sailing or swimming with the indigenous fur seals. Venture forth on a trekking journey to Centinela Hill, Puerto Frances or Puntas de Isla. Perhaps go horseback riding through the Rabanal Forest.

Stay: Crusoe Island Lodge features a pool, spa, pub, and restaurant, which prepares meals using local produce and fresh seafood.

Koh Yao Noi, Thailand

Beach facing Phang Nga bay © Coastal Escape

Beach facing Phang Nga Bay © Coastal Escape

Koh Yao Noi remains one of the quietest islands in Thailand. The magical location lies in the fantasy-like picturesque Phang Nga Bay and is bordered by Krabi and Phuket. The unique destination is a photography enthusiast’s dream. Things to do in Koh Yao Noi include adventure activities like kayaking the calm waters and going island hopping. Make a stop at James Bond island. Venture to the scenic and secluded lagoons or tour the caves. Explore the knotted forest or unwind on Buddha Beach or Hat Yao Beach. Rock climbing is fast becoming a popular sport, and frequented crags include the Grateful Wall and the Mitt.

Stay: Coastal Escape Resort lies right along the beach and features amazing views over the bay.

Mabul, Malaysia

Local Village © Stephen Masters / flickr

Local Village © Stephen Masters / Flickr

The local reef teems with marine life, which brings snorkelers and scuba divers to the tropical Malaysian location. Guests thrill at the chance to come face-to-face and photograph the many species of colorful fish and pelagics, which lurk beneath the sea. The calm waters around the island lend themselves to ocean kayaking. Relax under the warmth of the sun on the beach or indulge in an invigorating spa treatment. Perhaps catch a glimpse of sea turtles coming to and fro at night. The island is conveniently small enough to experience the entire destination by foot.

Stay: Sipadan-Mabul Resort offers a selection of dozens of detached and semi-detached chalets and private verandas. The resort is surrounded by a mature coconut grove and lies just steps from the waterfront.

Réunion, France

Trois Bassins, Arrondissement of Saint-Paul, Reunion © Damien Boilley / flickr

Trois Bassins, Arrondissement of Saint-Paul, Reunion © Damien Boilley / Flickr

The French Island lies in the Indian Ocean between Madagascar and Mauritius. Reunion has a fascinating history that dates back to the 12th century. The terrain varies from scenic beaches to forested mountains and the Maido Volcano. There are miles and miles of roads and routes to explore by vehicle or bicycle. Swim and snorkel in local waters to catch a glimpse of the dolphins and whales which frequent the Marine Nature Reserve. Explore the animal and plant life lining the ocean floor. If preferring to remain on land, the Reunion Aquarium at Saint-Gilles provides the chance to see hundreds of marine life species from around the world. Experience the Creole culture by sampling the cuisine, hearing the music and gazing at the architecture.

Stay: Tsilaosa provides world-class amenities and a perfect view of the Piton des Neiges in the heart of the island.

Montserrat, West Indies

Antilles archipelago, the West Indies © Patrick Nouhailler / flickr

Antilles archipelago, the West Indies © Patrick Nouhailler / Flickr

Montserrat is one of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles archipelago. Many arrive at the tropical destination to witness the Soufriere Hills Volcano and the destruction caused on part of the island. The Montserrat Volcano Observatory monitors the region and welcomes guests to learn more about the site. Venture to the Centre Hills Forest, which serves as home to many rare animal and plant species. The Botanical and Herbal Garden cares for a number of indigenous and endangered plants including the Heliconia, the Epidendrum Montserratians, the Pribby, and orchids. Explore the unique rock formations or bird watch along the black sandy shores of New Beach.

Stay: Miles Away Villa Resort offers all the amenities of home plus spectacular ocean views.

Archie Ward
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About the Author

Archie is a long time traveller in Asia, as well as a blogger, writer and entrepreneur. He wishes he could spend more time in Indonesia.