We surveyed over 555,000 Instagram users, asking them one question…
What’s your favorite tropical destination?
78% of the responses said they start their tropical vacation research on Instagram. While those that said no to researching on Instagram listed Google and Booking Websites as their primary way of researching.
After compiling all the data and using our ranking criteria, we’ve narrowed it down to the top 50 tropical destinations in the world.
50. Ouvéa, New Caledonia
Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Ouvéa is a bucketlist worthy island northeast of Australia. It’s an Overseas French Territory, known for its beautiful white-sand beaches and untouched landscapes.
49. Aitutaki, Cook Islands
Aitutaki is one of the Cook Islands in the South Pacific Ocean, between South America and Australia. The island is made up of three main parts: a main island, a turquoise lagoon, and a barrier reef. In the lagoon and surrounding reef, there’s a diverse amount of marine wildlife, making it a perfect destination for snorkeling.
48. Ambergris Caye, Belize
Ambergris Caye is Belize’s largest island, located in the northeast of the mainland. The island has beautiful beaches, as well as a variety of water sports and excursions. It’s well known for its access to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, the second-largest barrier reef in the world.
47. Rarotonga, Cook Islands
The largest of the Cook Islands, Rarotonga, is a beautiful tropical destination for your bucketlist. Surrounding the island is a 20-mile round-the-island road, making transportation simple. Visit Rarotonga to go to beaches, enjoy the water, go scuba diving, and more.
46. Magnetic Island, Australia
Magnetic Island is located about 5 miles off the northeastern coast of Australia in Queensland. Its accessibility to mainland Australia makes it the perfect destination for a short beach trip. It’s a serene place known for its incredible tropical landscape.
45. Perhentian Islands, Malaysia
The Perhentian Islands are a group of islands located off the coast of Malaysia. Though they aren’t as popular as the main tourist destinations in Malaysia, they have a good mixture of activities and relaxation. You can snorkel, sunbathe, or visit one of the many coral reefs.
44. Exuma, The Bahamas
A district of The Bahamas, Exuma is a group of over 365 islands, also known as cays. Great Exuma and Little Exuma, two of the main destinations, are known for the quiet beach time they provide, while The Exuma Cays are known for luxury. Whichever cays you choose, you’ll be on a beautiful island enjoying the sun.
43. Culebra, Puerto Rico
Culebra is a small island located off the northeastern coast of Puerto Rico. Known for it’s beautiful beaches and wide variety of marine wildlife. A must-visit is Flamenco Beach, a long stretch of whitesand with turquoise waters on one side and tree-covered hills on the other.
42. Ko Samui, Thailand
Ko Samui is Thailand’s second largest island, located off its eastern coast. Known for its beaches, nightlife, activities, and weather, Ko Samui is a great destination for families, friends, and couples.
41. Anna Maria Island, Florida
Anna Maria Island is a fun mix of both city and beach, located off Florida’s Gulf Coast. If you’re the type of beach vacationer who wants to shop, eat, and go to the beach, this is the perfect place for you.
40. Moorea, French Polynesia
Moorea is apart of French Polynesia, located in the South Pacific Ocean in between Australia and South America. While known for its beaches, Moorea also has beautiful volcanic mountains that you can hike in and around.
39. Palau, Oceania
Located to the east of the Philippines is an archipelago of 500+ islands, known as Palau. There are a variety of landscapes on the islands, ranging from stunning beaches to lush forests.
38. San Blas Islands, Panama
The San Blas Islands are a group of islands located off the coast of Panama. If you’re into island hopping, this is the destination for you. You can hop in between the San Blas islands, or start in Panama and sail to Colombia. And of course, there are a bunch of beautiful beaches, and activities to do along the way.
37. Miyakojima, Okinawa
Known for the most beautiful ocean in Japan, Miyakojima is a city district spread over a few islands in Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture. It’s a popular tourist destination due to the mixture of urban city and island life vibes.
36. Roatan, Honduras
A small island located off the northeastern coast of Honduras, Roatan is a tranquil tropical destination. Known for its serenity, white sand beaches, coral reefs, and wildlife, Roatan is a great place to unwind and spend some time in nature.
35. Santorini, Greece
Santorini is one of the Cyclades islands in Greece, famous for its picturesque white houses on a hill. Want beautiful beaches, incredible sunsets, unbeatable nightlife, and delicious food? Santorini is definetely the place for you.
34. Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands
Saipan is the largest and most well known of the Northern Mariana Islands. A part of the United States commonwealth, it’s known for both its beaches and mountains. It’s a great destination for adventurers.
33. Whitsunday Islands, Australia
Between Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef lie the Whitsunday Islands, a group of 74 islands in Australia. Complete with tropical beaches, rainforests, and many other activities, the Whitsunday Islands should be on every tropical lover’s bucketlist.
32. Montego Bay, Jamaica
Is resort life the life for you? Then Montego Bay, Jamaica is a perfect option for you. Filled with beaches, golf courses, water sports, and even an amusement park, Montego Bay is a great place to unwind.
31. Turks and Caicos Islands, Caribbean
Situated in the Atlantic Ocean, the Turks and Caicos Islands are a British Overseas Territory in the Carribean. They consist of 40 low-lying islands surrounded by coral reefs, turquoise waters, and uninhabited cays. There are seven main islands, the most popular being Providenciales.
30. Varadero, Cuba
Varadero is a beach town in northern Cuba, spanning the 12-mile Hicacos Peninsula. Along the 12-mile stretch are several resorts and spas. If you want a tropical beach vacation in Cuba, this is the spot for you.
29. Cayman Islands, Caribbean
Three large islands make up the Cayman Islands, an autonomous British Overseas Territory located in the Carribean. The Cayman Islands are known for its water adventures, including deep sea fishing, snorkeling, and scuba diving.
28. Raja Ampat Islands, Indonesia
The Raja Ampat Islands are located in West Papua, Indonesia. They’re made up of hundreds of islands, covered in jungles, beaches, and other landscapes. Raja Ampat is well known for its beautiful scenery and wildlife.
27. Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Famous for its magical feeling, Isla Mujeres is an island located in southern Mexico off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. While you can indulge in the beach, water sports, and other activities on this island, you’ll also have the opportunity to visit ancient Mayan ruins.
26. St Lucia, Caribbean
St Lucia is both a country and an island in the Carribean, located north of Venezuela. It’s well known for its dramatic mountains, the Pitons, as well as its volcanic beaches, rainforests, and fishing villages.
25. El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
Located on Palawan Island, El Nido is a municipality in the western Philippines. Visitors go to enjoy the pristine white sand beaches and coral reefs, as well as the various dive sites and lagoons.
24. Seychelles, East Africa
Situated in the Indian Ocean, Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands off the coast of East Africa. Seychelles offers rare marine wildlife, coral reefs, and stunning beaches. Visitors can also explore the mountain rainforests of Morne Seychellois National Park when on the island.
23. Tahiti, French Polynesia
The largest island in French Polynesia is Tahiti, located in the South Pacific Ocean, between Australia and South America. Tahiti is shaped like the number eight and divided into two islands: Tahiti Nui and Tahiti Iti. It’s famous for its black sand beaches, waterfalls, lagoons, and volcanoes.
22. Reunion Island, East Africa
Reunion Island is located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa, near Madagascar. The island has diverse natural scenery, including volcanoes, rainforests, coral reefs, and beaches. Many tourists go to climb Piton de la Fournaise, an active volcano peaking at 8,635 ft.
21. Guadeloupe, Caribbean
Located north of Venezuela, Guadeloupe is an Overseas French Territory in the Carribean. You may have heard of its unique shape, resembling a butterfly. Guadeloupe is popular for its beaches, national park, and volcanoes, but also for its sugarcane fields.
20. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Bora Bora is a French Polynesian island, located in between Australia and South America. It’s surrounded by an incredible turquoise lagoon and coral reef, making it a popular destination for tropical lovers.
19. Gili Trawangan, Indonesia
Gili Trawangan is one of the three Gili Islands in Indonesia. This island is often called a tropical playground, filled with bars, restaurants, and guesthouses. It makes for a lively vacation destination, though you can certainly find some time to relax on the beach.
18. Curaçao, Caribbean
Located north of Venezuela, Curaçao is a Dutch Carribean island located in the Carribean. It’s a great island if you’re interested in colonial architecture, as the capital Willemstad is known for that. The island itself is also known for its beaches, huge coral reef, and diverse marine life.
Tired of white sand beaches and black sand beaches? Then Bermuda’s pink sand beaches are the place for you. Bermuda is an Overseas British Territory located southeast of the United States in the Atlantic Ocean. Along with the pink sand beaches, Bermuda is known for its distinct history and culture.
16. Zanzibar, East Africa
Zanzibar, also known as Unguja, is an island located off the eastern coast of Africa. It’s a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania. Zanzibar is home to a mixture of Islamic and African culture, as well as wide tropical beaches along the coast.
15. Formentera, Spain
The smallest of the Balearic Islands, Formentera is an island that belongs to Spain. More commonly known for the parties is its neighbor, Ibiza. If you’re looking for beautiful Spanish waters and beaches, but a quieter vacation, Formentera is the place for you.
14. Viti Levu, Fiji
Located to the northeast of Australia is Viti Levu, Fiji’s largest island. It’s well known for its mountainous interior landscape that’s surrounded by beaches. Viti Levu is a great starting point to visit Fiji, as it’s home to the capital and Fiji’s main airport.
13. Boracay, Philippines
Boracay is an island in the Philippines, located in the center of the country. In Boracay you’ll find a mixture of beaches, water sports, coral reefs, shipwrecks, and more… Pretty much everything you could ask for in a tropical destination.
12. Key West, Florida
Q: What is an island, a city, and Florida’s most southernmost point?
A: Key West!
It’s a great tropical destination, especially if you don’t want to travel outside of the USA. Its crystal clear water and coral reefs, make Key West a great destination for snorkeling.
11. Mauritius, East Africa
Mauritius, or the Republic of Mauritius, is an Indian Ocean island located off the southeastern coast of Africa (near Madagascar). While it’s famous for its beaches, lagoons, and reefs, you’ll also find hiking trails, mountains, rainforests, and unique wildlife.
10. Aruba, Caribbean
If you sail 18 miles north of Venezuela, you’ll find Aruba, a Dutch constituent country and island in the Carribean. Aruba is a popular vacation destination, as it’s known to be one of the safest Carribean countries. It has beautiful beaches, a stunning national park, and a variety of other activities.
9. Barbados, Caribbean
Barbados is an independent British Commonwealth nation located off the northeastern coast of Venezuela in the Carribean. The capital is home to colonial-style architecture and is a popular cruise-ship port. Around the island, visitors can enjoy beaches, caves, gardens, and get a taste for old British culture.
8. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Punta Cana is located at the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic, bordering both the Carribean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Many spring breakers rush to Punta Cana in March, so if you’re looking for a party atomsophere, that’s the time to go. Otherwise, you’ll find serenity in its clear waters and large beaches year-round.
7. Tulum, Mexico
Tulum is a Mexican town on the edge of the Yucatan Peninsula, bordering the Carribean coast. While it definitely has beautiful beaches and waters, Tulum is famous for its well-preserved Mayan ruins, mangroves, and cenotes (AKA natural sinkholes that you can swim in).
6. Sardinia, Italy
Perhaps one of the larger tropical islands is Sardinia, an Italian island in the Meditteranean Sea. Sardinia’s proximity to Italy, France, Spain, and northern Africa makes it a great destination from other countries. It’s a beautiful tropical island with beaches, mountains, and ancient ruins.
5. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro is a large Brazilian city by the sea. It has incredible beaches like Copacabana and Ipanema, but it’s also a great destination for general tourism. Rio de Janeiro is home to Brazilian culture, museums, incredible food, and the famous Christ the Redeemer statue.
4. Cancun, Mexico
A tropical destination list isn’t complete without Cancun, Mexico. Cancun is located on the Yucatan Peninsula on the Carribean coastline. It’s a huge resort town, with a variety of accommodation options for travelers. When in Cancun, take a break from the beach and parties to visit the Chichen Itza Mayan ruins.
Situated in the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii is one of two states located off the continental United States. Hawaii is comprised of 137 islands, so there are plenty of options for visitors. Some of the most popular destinations are Oahu, Kaui, and Honolulu.
2. Bali, Indonesia
Known for its volcanic mountains, coral reefs, beaches, and of course, parties, is Bali, Indonesia. Bali is home to various religious sites and famous for its yoga/meditation retreats. It’s a great destination for those who like to do more than just relax on the beach.
1. The Maldives
Number one on this list is The Maldives, a small island nation located in the Arabian Sea of the Indian Ocean. The Maldives are known for their white sand beaches, warm waters, and friendly locals. And besides it being mentioned by hundreds of our followers, it was the number one most searched destination on Google in the USA. If you’re looking for one of the most tropical places on earth, look no further.