Located off the east coast of Africa, these islands are pure paradise. If anywhere in the world would get me to give it all up and live in a beach hut, the Seychelles. Perfect beaches, perfect water, tons of islands to choose from and all the seclusion you want. The Seychelles are my dream and should be yours too. This group of 115 islands offers everything a beach lover could ask for. Sadly, these islands are pretty expensive but I guess there is a price to pay for paradise. The best time to visit is during the cool season from May to September, when it rains less.
Located in the middle of the Indian ocean, this chain of 1,000 (200 are inhabited, and only 5 have any substantial population) is just a series of coral atolls that are barely above sea level. During the 2004 Tsunami, many of these islands were completely washed away. The government has build flood barriers to help lesson any future tsunamis. These little coral islands are surrounded by excellent diving and snorkeling, white sand beaches, and filled friendly locals. Private resorts litter the islands and a vacation here is also very pricey. However, Bangkok Airways offers cheap flights to and from Thailand. The best time to go to the Maldives
is during November to May, when the weather is cool and dry. June through October sees wetter and hotter weather due to the monsoon season.
Located in southern Thailand, this semi-off the map island is one of my favorites. Here on Ko Lipe, the super friendly locals bring in the daily catch for amazing seafood as the island's water is teeming with life. Accommodation is still basic and most places turn off the electricity around midnight. Close to the island is an a little island that provides excellent snorkeling opportunities. You may even spot a few reef sharks. Bathtub warm water and fine sand beaches kept me here for over three weeks. It will do the same for you. Visit during in November or March for the best weather and the fewest people. May through October sees a harsh monsoon season that shuts the island down. (There is a last boat!!). The best way to get there is by boat from Pak Bara.
This tourist mecca is voted one of the best islands in the world year after year. There's enough room on Bali for everyone, the surfing is great, the food amazing, it's dirt cheap, the parties are great, the locals some of the friendliest in the world, there's a volcano to climb, temples to see- Bali has it all. Bombings in 2004 and 2005 back hurt tourism on the island but the government increased security and there has been few problems since. For those looking for a move active tropical vacation, Bali is the place to go. The weather remains pretty constant all year round, though April to October sees slightly drier weather.
Though this country has some 322 islands, less than a third are inhabited. Most of the action happens in western islands but no matter where you go this is heaven. Most young people head to the Yasawa Island group. Anytime the name Fiji is heard, visions of beaches and tropical ocean dance in people's head. There's good reason for that- because this place is one of the best places to go in the world and with so many islands, you're bound to find one you like. It's a popular destination with young people and honeymooners with something for anyone. The temperature remains mostly constant through the year with cyclones occurring between November and January.
You know those pictures you always see of tropical bungalows in the water? That's Tahiti. The name has long been synonymous with tropical paradise. One of the biggest honeymoon destinations in the world, Tahiti offers pure paradise and a lot of romance. Here you can relax in the sun, scuba dive, enjoy fine seafood, and take a morning dip right into the water from your bungalow. The island is expensive and caters to a more affluent tourist crowd. The weather is tropical all year round and very humid though May to October sees cooler temperatures.
Big Island Hawaii
Hawaii's biggest island has everything you could ever want to do and more. But what separates it from the other islands is Volcano National Park. Explore volcanoes, climb through old lava tubes, and watch as new lava oozes into the ocean. Then there's all the waterfalls on the island too. Big Island has it all. I mean it's Hawaii- how could you go wrong!? The west season is from October to March though the weather is cooler. However, despite being located near each other, weather conditions on each islands can vary greatly so you never know what to expect!
The Cook Islands
Another south pacific island group (see a pattern here?), the Cook Islands are pretty far off the map. OK, not too far but they are considerably less visited than some of its neighbors. These tiny islands are named after James Cook, the intrepid man who discovered them. With few amenities, this place is the best place to find your inner cast away and escape modern life. The islands see similar weather to the rest of the area with temperatures hot and humid all year round.
Located in the Caribbean ocean, this Dutch owned island is prefect. Voted one of the best in the Caribbean, Curacao is like being in tropical Holland. The town is built in the Dutch style but the surrounding areas are all tropical. Hit the beaches, lay in the sun, and party the night away. This may not be Gilligan's Island but what it lacks in privacy it makes up for in romance and fun. The weather is pretty stable here. It's always hot and usually sunny. If it rains, it's between November and January. Don't worry about hurricanes- it's below the hurricane belt!
Located on the eastern coast of Malaysia, the Perhentians are two islands. Both are stunning covered with a lot of palm trees, wide beaches, and crystal blue water. There's not much to do here and visitors typically lay on the beach all day, resting from the night's drinking before. It's the perfect place to put up a hammock. A strong monsoon season limits when to go between March and October. During the other times, it's best to head to Thailand where the weather is nicer.