20 BEST Tropical Islands to Visit in 2024 + Where To Stay

BEST Tropical Islands to Visit

Looking for the best tropical island for your next vacation? These are the most beautiful tropical islands to visit and insider tips on where to stay on each island. We’ve gathered our top 20 picks with some of the world’s most gorgeous beaches. 

If you’re a budget-minded traveler looking to save money on your next tropical island vacation, we always check rates on AirBnb whenever possible. However, keep in mind that sometimes a hotel is the best choice for a particular destination. We give our suggestions of places to stay in many of the destinations below.

Best Tropical Islands To Visit

1. Bali

Bali in Indonesia will always hold a special place in my heart no matter how well known it becomes. Some of my favorite beaches are now changed forever as a result of the movie Eat Pray Love, but that won’t stop me from visiting again. It’s a destination where you will find welcoming locals, breathtaking beaches and, of course, epic surf.

Dreamland Beach on the tropical island of Bali, Indonesia

Read more: 10 Affordable Honeymoon Destinations for Every Budget & 15 Budget-Friendly Tropical Destinations

2. Maui

We have been to Maui, Hawaii three times and we’re going on our fourth visit in November. That’s how much we love it here. What is not to love? The hang loose island vibe is contagious and leaves you feeling recharged even after just a short visit. If you have time, make sure you venture all the way to the Seven Sacred Pools on the Road to Hana and don’t miss a stop at Red Sand Beach!

Our favorite hotel on Maui has some of the best snorkeling on the island and we ALWAYS see turtles here! We’ve found the best prices for the Sheraton Maui on Booking.com.

Read more: How to Travel to Maui on a Budget and Best Places to Stay in Maui

Red Sand beach, Hana

3. Bora Bora

Bora Bora is nicknamed “the romantic island” (it also made our list of the most romantic islands in the world) and as soon as you step off the plane, you will see why this place is a true paradise. To me, the best tropical vacations include perfect white sand beaches, overwater bungalows and emerald-colored ocean water — and Bora Bora has it all.

If you want to experience the ultimate luxury, then you can’t beat staying at the Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa.

The BEST Tropical Islands To Visit (And Where To Stay)

Read more: Moorea Travel Guide – Tips For Visiting Moorea, Tahiti on a Budget. and Where to Stay in Moorea: The Best Hotels in Moorea

4. Fiji

Fiji is a must visit for many surfers, including us. Of course, Fiji is known for more than its perfectly peeling waves and warm water. I recently spent two weeks traveling around this archipelago. The Yasawa islands where they filmed “The Blue Lagoon” is home to unlimited snorkel spots and it’s where I have some of my favorite memories in this beautiful country.

A trip to Fiji doesn’t have to break the bank. The Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa offers rooms for as low as $200/night and gets excellent reviews!

Read more: South Pacific Cruise Packing List (Must-Have Essentials!) & 17 Days in the South Pacific With Holland America

10 Best Tropical Islands to Visit -- And Where to Stay!

5. Aruba

Aruba is a small island — just 19.6 miles long — and boasts ideal temperatures year round, thanks to the constant trade winds (which helps with the humidity and limits the annoyance of mosquitoes). When travel to other islands in the Caribbean is dicey, Aruba is the optimal choice because it is located in the Netherland Antilles, outside of the hurricane belt.

One of my favorite things to do in Aruba is taking a horseback riding tour to the Natural Pool on the north side of the island.

I stayed for four glorious days at the Aruba Marriott in Palm Beach. Book your stay now!

Read more: 10 Best Things to Do in Aruba

10 Best Tropical Islands

6. The Bahamas

Ever since I was a child, I have longed to visit the islands of the Bahamas. Nassau is one of the more well-known islands, but certainly not the only island to visit. With 30 inhabited islands, there are plenty of spots to choose from.

I spent a week on Staniel Cay in the Exumas and would travel back there in a heartbeat — and there are not too many places I would choose to visit twice!

I stayed at EMBRACE Resort in the Exumas (use our promo code TRAVEL21 when booking at EMBRACE Resort to get 5% off!) which I absolutely loved! From this location, you can easily swim with the infamous pigs on Pig Beach too!

10 Best Tropical Islands

7. Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos consists of two groups of tropical islands in the West Indies. These islands are still under the radar for most travelers, but being situated just 90 minutes away from Miami, it’s only a hop, skip and a jump for United States East Coasters.

One of my favorite things to do in Turks and Caicos is taking a glow worm tour. If you can plan your trip during a full moon, it’s an experience not to be missed!

Villa Del Mar offers condos with a gorgeous pool for a reasonable price.

10 Best Tropical Islands to Visit -- And Where to Stay!

Read more: 10 Best Things to Do in Turks and Caicos & Tips For Planning An Unforgettable Honeymoon In Turks & Caicos

8. The Maldives

The Maldives is located in the Indian Ocean and is the smallest Asian country in both population and size. What this country lacks in size, it makes up for in beauty with some of the most gorgeous dive sites and beaches in the world. The government follows a “one island, one resort” policy and limits the height of the resorts to be equal or lesser than the tallest tree.

This hotel and spa is a great price for the Maldives and it gets glowing reviews.

BEST Tropical Islands to Visit

9. The Seychelles

The Seychelles are a group of 115 tropical islands which lie in the enchanting Indian Ocean, just east of mainland Africa and northeast of the island of Madagascar. The climate here is always warm, with temperatures rarely dropping below 75 degrees or rising above 90 degrees – making it a perfect year-round destination.

Doubletree by Hilton Seychelles is in a stunning location and offers very reasonable nightly rates.

10 Best Tropical Islands to Visit -- And Where to Stay!

10. Fernando de Noronha

Fernando de Noronha is a tropical island in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brazil. Noronha formed as a result of volcanic activity and initially the island was used as a prison for convicted Brazilians. The number of people allowed on the island at any one time is strictly limited to 420 people, so plan your trip early!

Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

11. Cook Islands

The Cook Islands are a nation in the South Pacific Ocean about 2,000 miles from New Zealand and is one of the best tropical places to visit. It’s a fairly easy journey from the West Coast of the United States — compared to traveling to the Caribbean.

The 15 islands that make up the Cook Islands are spread out over approximately 770,000 square miles of ocean but only have a combined landmass of 92! This paradise offers lush mountains, stunning coral reefs, and crystal lagoons. The main island Rarotonga has been called ‘Heaven on Earth’.

My personal favorite is the small island of Aitutaki. It’s a dream for honeymooners, especially with a stay at Pacific Resort! For a stay on the island of Rarotonga, I highly recommend Muri Beachcomber.

The BEST Tropical Islands To Visit

Read more: Cook Islands Travel Guide & Where To Stay

12. Palawan Island

Palawan Island is the largest island in the Philippines, with only half of it as developed land. It was ranked in 2017 as ‘The Most Beautiful Island in the World’. The draw to this island includes white sand beaches, clear blue waters, a surplus of lagoons and coral reefs and even shipwreck sites.

Beach and lagoon hopping is a very popular relaxing, yet adventurous activity to take in the abundant marine life and land vegetation. There is even an underground river noted to be the world’s second-longest subterranean river and one of the ‘New 7 Wonders of the World’ that you can explore!

I stayed at El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island and absolutely loved it! It’s all-inclusive and they offer overwater bungalows.

  Read more: The Ultimate Guide to El Nido, Philippines

13. Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe is a Thai island just off of the Malaysian border known for coral reefs and dive sites. The breathtaking beaches such as Sunrise beach, Sunset beach, Karma beach, and many others offer endless amounts of relaxation, snorkeling and exploring.

The island offers many viewpoints that are hike-able as well as walking street full of bars, stores and nightlife and even a tiny hidden temple to explore. There is so much to get out of this one tiny island so slow down and take your time exploring!

Read more: The 25 Best Honeymoon Destinations in the World

14. Curacao

Curacao is a Dutch Caribbean Island located near Aruba that offers visitors over 35 serene beaches and bays and over 70 dive spots. The never ending and all-encompassing excursions will provide a welcome adventure no matter what type of traveler you are!

This island isn’t just sand and sea, Willemstad is Curacao’s capital city known for its pastel-colored architecture. While exploring the bright colorful streets and seeing the city’s history, you can stumble across some unparalleled food and unique sites.

This apartment with a pool and private beach right in Willemstad is a top pick on this island!

Read more: 5 Affordable Island Getaways In The Caribbean + Where To Stay

15. The Whitsunday Islands

Between Australia and the Great Barrier Reef lie The Whitsunday Islands. Due to its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef, it has been noted as a mecca for all water faring activities. On land, dense rainforests, luxury resorts and pristine beaches offer endless exploration and luxury.

Hamilton island is one of our top picks for the Whitsundays and this adults-only beachfront resort is one of the best on the island — with an infinity pool and private beach area.

16. San Blas Islands

The 365 San Blas Islands are a top destination in Panama. Though there are many individual and unique islands only 50 of them are actually inhabited. These islands are a very unique destination as there is no internet access, credit card payments and it is unavoidable to immerse yourself in the local customs and ways.

Though there is no traditional flight to the San Blas Islands, you can take your choice on how you would like to get there. You could take a seaplane, sailboat charter, or a 4×4 jeep from Panama City. Each of these options gives you a special way to view the islands and the journey. Be prepared to eat your fill of seafood.

If rustic accommodations with some of the prettiest beaches in the world are your thing, then the San Blas Islands are the perfect getaway.

For accommodation, San Blas Wild comes highly recommended.

17. Galapagos Islands

Off the coast of Ecuador, the volcanic archipelago of the Galapagos Islands offers a diverse experience of plant and animal life that is unlike anywhere else in the world. The ongoing volcanic activity has been the main catalyst to how the islands themselves formed. Because the islands are so isolated from each other, a unique evolution of plant animal life has transpired.

The BEST Tropical Islands To Visit

There is an extreme emphasis on the preservations of the nature and wildlife of the Galapagos Islands and as such, there are many National Park rules to become familiar with. The Galapagos also has a list of requirements in order to enter such as round-trip airline tickets, travel and health insurance, and a few more stipulations so be sure to familiarize yourself with these before your travels.

Read more: Cruising the Galapagos Islands with Andando Tours

18. Big Island Hawaii

The Big Island of Hawaii is not to be missed. The vast diversity this one island has to offer is remarkable. To put the diversity into perspective, there are 12 separate climate zones on this one island!

Best Tropical Island Vacations

If volcanoes are of interest to you, you can visit Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park which is home to one of the most active volcanoes in the world: the Kilauea volcano. There is also a surplus of markets and beaches to roam and relax on.

I stayed at the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort and loved my stay here. Also, a manta ray night snorkel is not to be missed while visiting the island!

Read more: Big Island Hawaii Travel Guide & Packing Tips

19. The Azores

The Azores are home to 9 beautiful islands off the coast of Portugal. Known for hiking, whale watching, golf, diving, biking and so many other activities. Coined for having ‘The Best Natural Experiences’, the islands strive to have hotels and restaurants work in harmony with the environment and have a large focus on sustainability.

These islands are perfectly suited for nature lovers and explorers alike. Keep in mind that there are many more options to travel to the Azores from Europe than the United States. Look into flying into Europe first and then hopping over to these magnificent islands.

Also remember that the Azores are green and lush which means it does rain often and it is not always sunny! Check the weather and plan accordingly.

20. The Perhentian Islands

The two Perhentian Islands, Besar (“Big”) and Kecil (“Small”) are off-the-beaten path type destinations located within Malaysia. Besar tends to be the more expensive island that caters towards couples and newlyweds where Kecil is a backpacker’s dream.

Both islands offer immense snorkeling and scuba options as well as canoeing and kayaking. Exploring the many trails of the jungles is an amazing experience. The location of these islands is great for island hopping!

Read more: Windstar 7-Day Tahiti Cruise: What To Expect

Love to Travel?
Want to know how to travel the world? I’ve put together a page full of useful travel resources with tips and tricks I’ve learned after consistently traveling for over ten years. Learn how I get paid to travel the world, how to find the best prices on flights and accommodation, my best travel tips, how to start a travel blog, and more.

Plan Your Tropical Vacation

After traveling consistently for over 10 years, we’ve come to trust and rely on a few websites to help us find the best deals on flights and accommodation.


  • Going is the first place we check when searching for cheap flights. If you sign up for their email alerts, you’ll receive flight deals at up to 90% off. I have traveled all over the world using their flight deals.


  • Booking.com offers savings on hotels, apartments, and villas in 80,000 destinations worldwide. You can browse hotel reviews and find the guaranteed best price on hotels for all budgets.

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The BEST Tropical Islands To Visit (And Where To Stay)

Photo credits from top: Bahamas Tourism, nattu, Courtney Nash, stefanedberg

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  1. Yasseer Dhoomun says:

    What about Mauritius guys. Mauritius has something which these other Island doesnt have. It’s: Mauritius is a multicultural Island and besides there is also sandy beaches, flora and fauna, Mountains and gorgrs.

  2. Ken Snyder says:

    Except Aruba is a desert Island not a tropical island. Every palm tree you see in Aruba was planted there, not grew there. It is a wonderful island I enjoyed my Seven days there. Busy, lots of noise and night life. Safe and fun and the food was good.

  3. I would never go to Aruba because of what happened to Natalie Holloway!! But island living is great, my wife and I live on the Big Island of Hawaii, and have for the last 25 years!! I would like to visit some of the other islands in this article, perhaps some day!!

  4. michael k ray says:

    Michael k ray first of all i came threw for stop off from veitnam as a very young worrior so long ago this goes deep into my heart as i remember the looking at the sun and how big it was i was blowned away i turned my head from right to left sooooo big as if i will never forget that momnet in my life i was only 19 years old oh how short life is on earth i feel so blessed to have seen that in my life time on earth it made me forget i was in veitnam in WAR i will never forget that momnet thank u Lord Jesus Christ as the saying goes,iam still here hope one day to see that again before i pass to the Most greatest Pardise iam surely Blessed man thank u God M.K.Ray

  5. Tribalover says:

    Great site that I got to from CNN. We love many of the places you mention and are planning our fourth trip back to Fiji for my wife’s 60th birthday in May. My specialty is traveling to Africa where I went twice last year on Overland Adventures (one trip with my 12 year old grandson and the other to visit the Omo Valley Indigenous People of Ethiopia). I have traveled to over 70 countries visiting and living with Indigenous Tribes from Mongolia to The Amazon to Vanuatu to Thailand to Namibia to India. My wife and I were just talking about how we should do exactly what you have done with this site. Any advice? Thanks.

      1. Tribalover says:

        Thank you for your response. We really appreciate it

        Sent from my iPad

  6. Been to Jamaica, Cabo, several beaches in Mexico (don’t feel it’s safe anymore) and Greece; including Crete, Santorini, Rhodes and mykonos. I have to say I am dying to go to Bora Bora and the Seychelles. Our Kid is now in college so it may finally be our time.

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Yes, Bora Bora would be amazing! We still go to many places in Mexico and have always felt safe. Just stay away from the border towns!

  7. Escape Hunter says:

    Lovely places, indeed!
    Portugal’s Madeira feels far more exotic than its climate really is… Worth checking out.

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Portugal is high on our list!

    2. I was just going to suggest Madeira to this already great list. Returned a couple of weeks ago and fell in love. Ready to go back if there weren’t so many other wonderful places to explore!

      1. Christy Woodrow says:

        I am dying to go to Madeira! Hoping to visit in the next year. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Online RSA says:

    Bora Bora! I want to visit that paradise.

  9. Luizze Oliveira says:

    Here, these all are very beautiful and best Island of the world. From those Fernando de Noronha in Brazil and Seychelles Islands is my favourite beach in the world that people must should visit.

  10. If we can see the Beach in Bahamas its was very nice the water was very clean, my friend told nice making a fishing there. The fish was very big and you will enjoy for swimming. The sand of the beach nice to play to..The island was perfect for the family to may relax.

  11. Richard Greene says:

    I visited the Seychelles islands for three weeks Mahe’s Beau vallon is very beautiful Anse lazio on Praslin breath taking he Paradise lost island was La digue’s Anse D source D Argent beach just like in the photogragh’s magnificen.t

  12. Quirky Travel Guy says:

    I want to pick a favorite, but they all sound fantastic. The red sand beach seems very cool. And Bora Bora looks pretty sweet from above.

  13. El Boquerón Viajero says:

    Beautiful islands, we would like to be there!! But you really should visit Menorca in Sp1ain. You’ll discover a relaxing and exotical place in the middle of Europe!! Greetings from Spain!!

  14. This island life very pleasant..and I love these island places..Islands which you are shown are very beautiful.I hope that we will visit those islands soon….

  15. The top Island pictures are so beautiful..I feel excited after seeing those places and I’m waiting for looking those places directly….thank you for the collection of such a great places..

  16. Colleen Brynn says:

    I’ve only been to Maui… my mum has been to the Turks and Caicos and raved about it!
    I have been to loads of other islands though… I love the island life. I find it very easy to get accustomed to the laid back nature of living on an island…
    These places all look very beautiful… my wanderlust drools.

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Hi Colleen. I agree, the island life is perfect for relaxing. Which islands have you been to? We are always interested in hearing about or seeing more of them!

      1. Colleen Brynn says:

        If you visit my blog, it’s apparent that I love Easter Island. If you ever have the chance, you have to go.
        Other islands I can recommend are the island of Møn in Denmark (though not tropical!)… its white cliffs are spectacular… see a few photos in this post: http://colleenbrynntravels.blogspot.ca/2011/07/mns-klint-cliffs-of-mn.html
        Also, apparently Ilha Grande in Brasil is supposed to be wonderful. I had to miss that part of the country because a disastrous mudslide when I was there…
        And in Canada, there are some great islands… Vancouver Island, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland… Don’t miss out on the non-tropical places!

  17. On a day like today… this is a terrible tease lol

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Sorry. I had a hard time writing it because it made me want to visit each place even more.

  18. All I want to do now is take a tropical vacation… 🙂

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      All I EVER want to do is take a tropical vacation. 🙂

  19. Geert @ Inspiring Travellers says:

    Watching the rain out our window right now – really inspired to get away somewhere like one of these!!

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      It’s not cold here yet, but I’m sure I’ll be right there with you in a few months.

  20. Loved Cayo Coco! I didn’t want to leave the beach – even after I started looking like a lobster. 😉

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Wow. I’m officially jealous. 🙂