65 Best Tropical Beach Destinations (Ranked)

by Billy | Updated: November 11, 2021

We surveyed over 555,000+ Instagram followers, asking them one question…

What’re the best tropical beach destinations?

After spending a ton of time filtering responses, we narrowed it down to 65 destinations. From the Caribbean to the South Pacific, here are the best tropical beach destinations.

best tropical beach destinations

Let’s start with…

65. Oahu, Hawaii

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A beautiful option for your Hawaii trip is Oahu. Oahu is a very popular destination as it’s home to Hawaii’s capital, Honolulu. Nightlife, gourmet cuisine, authentic culture, and of course, a beautiful tropical environment. Oahu is a great island if you want a little bit of everything. Most visitors start their journey to Hawaii in Honolulu, so why not spend a little extra time exploring all that Oahu has to offer?

Popular things to do in Oahu

64. The Big Island, Hawaii

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The Big Island is Hawaii’s largest island and a great place to plan your first trip to Hawaii.  Known for its two active volcanoes, The Big Island also has beautiful places to get away and relax. Whether you’re looking for (active) volcanoes, lush forests, or sandy beaches, The Big Island has what you want. Nature-lovers should consider this island for their Hawaii destination, as it is home to unique natural beauties in the state.

Popular things to do in Big Island

63. Utila, Honduras

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Known for its coral reefs and diving is Utila, another one of the Bay Islands located north of Honduras’ coast. Utila is the smallest of the Bay Islands, following both Roatan and Guanaja, but is still teeming with reasons to visit. Whether you go to check out the amazing (and affordable!) marine life by diving or just relax on the beach, you’ll surely book a trip back as soon as you can.

Popular things to do in Utila

62. Christmas Island, Australia

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South of Indonesia is an Australian territory island, Christmas Island. This beautiful island is filled with wetlands, waterfalls, and wildlife, on top of its stunning beaches. Its location in the Indian Ocean surrounded by reefs makes it the perfect place for adventure lovers who want to snorkel. Perhaps you could take a day to hike and see the wildlife, a day to snorkel in the reefs, and a day to visit the waterfalls! Whatever you want to do, you can do it on Christmas Island.

Popular things to do in Christmas

61. Cocos Islands, Australia

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Cocos Islands, also known as Keeling Islands, are an island group of 27 islands in the Indian Ocean. This remote territory of Australia is well-known for its white-sand beaches, lagoons, and palm trees. Even more, it is a great place to explore a unique culture — that of the Cocos Malay people who inhabit the island.

Popular things to do in Cocos

60. Madagascar, East Africa

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Madagascar is a large island off the eastern coast of Africa – in fact, it is the fourth-largest island country in the world. With its size, there is pretty much everything that you could ever want in an island. Whether you’re looking for a secluded getaway, a vacation filled with hikes and adventure, or a mixture of the two, you can find it here.

Popular things to do in Madagascar

59. Guanaja, Honduras

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The sister island of the popular Roatan island is Guanaja, an incredible island in Honduras. Guanaja is located off the northern coast of the mainland and is a part of the Bay Islands. Its untouched and well-preserved natural beauty, along with its unique town feel gives you plenty of reason to visit the island. Guanaja is known to be a Caribbean Venice, as it is home to colorful buildings packed together, surrounded by canals. Whether you go to see that, relax on the beaches, go on a hike, or snorkel, you’re sure to enjoy your time there.

Popular things to do in Guanaja

58. Pemba Island, Tanzania

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Part of Tanzania’s Zanzibar archipelago is Pemba Island, an island that will teach you the art of switching off. Though the island has around 500,000 inhabitants, there are rarely more than a few dozen tourists visiting. If you are looking for an authentic remote trip, this is the island for you. On Pemba Island, you can expect to be overwhelmed by untouched natural beauty and welcomed by friendly locals.

Popular things to do in Pemba

57. Corn Islands, Nicaragua

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Corn Islands are two islands located off the eastern coast of Nicaragua, in the Caribbean Sea. While you may have never heard of them, Corn Islands are a popular destination for surfers and backpackers who were already in Nicaragua and were directed toward the Corn Islands by a local or fellow traveler. They are the définition of “off-the-beaten-path,” and offer visitors an authentic, stunning experience.

Popular things to do in Corn Islands

56. Coiba Island, Panama

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Located off the Pacific Coast of Panama is Coiba Island, a small island in the Gulf of Chiriqui. Coiba Island is a marine preserve as well as a lush, beachy island, known for its unique marine life and jungle animals. If you want to snorkel, dive, and hike your way to diverse wildlife, this is the place for you. Even if you don’t, consider giving it a visit for its turquoise waters and relaxed beaches.

Popular things to do in Coiba

55. Tortuga Island, Costa Rica

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Accessible by boat from mainland Costa Rica is Tortuga Island, an island with amazing beaches and lush forests that make the extra step worth the visit. Well-known for its forests and snorkeling, you can expect to see incredible wildlife on this island, including dolphins, octopuses, monkeys, and more. Additionally, Tortuga Island makes a great day trip if you don’t have too much extra time while in Costa Rica.

Popular things to do in Tortuga

54. Vieques, Puerto Rico

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Vieques, Puerto Rico is a small island off Puerto Rico’s coast. Located in the Caribbean, Vieques is known for its culture, wild horses, and bioluminescent microorganisms, on top of its stunning beaches. As it is a less well-known Caribbean destination, there’s a good chance that you’ll find peace and quiet while in Vieques. Then, when you’re ready for some excitement, you can head on over to the mainland.

Popular things to do in Vieques

53. St Kitts & Nevis, Caribbean

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Another great option in the Caribbean is St Kitts and Nevis, two islands that make up a country. These islands are located in between the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean, giving them a beautiful and unique environment. Both of the islands are filled with culture and activities, as well as lots of spots to enjoy the sun and sand. St Kitts is more lively while Nevis has more of a Caribbean island vibe, so you can pick your destination accordingly.

Popular things to do in St Kitts & Nevis

52. Grenada, Caribbean

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Grenada is a country and island group in the Caribbean, located to the northeast of Venezuela. Its largest island, Grenada, is the main tourist island, though you can and should visit the others. It’s known for its beaches, nutmeg plantations, 18th-century remains, and tropical vibes. It’s also known for its amazing resorts and nightlife. Win-win for your calm, cultural, and fun getaway. 

Popular things to do in Grenada

51. Niue Island, South Pacific

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Niue Island is one of the smallest and most remote nations in the world. Located about 1500 miles northeast of New Zealand, it’s a tropical gem that most people don’t even know exist. To give you more context, it’s located in the center of Samoa, Tonga, and the Cook Islands. Temperatures range from 70°F – 85°F year-round. If you’re searching for a remote tropical destination that’s filled with adventure, check out Niue.

Popular things to do in Niue

50. Ouvéa, New Caledonia

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Ouvéa is a small island located in the South Pacific, northeast of Australia. It’s an Overseas French Territory, known for its beautiful white-sand beaches and untouched landscapes. If you haven’t heard of Ouvéa, you should definitely add it to your bucket list.

Popular things to do in Ouvéa

49. Aitutaki, Cook Islands

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Aitutaki is one of the Cook Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. It’s located north of Rarotonga (the most visited island in the Cook Islands). With only about 1800 people living here, it’s a tiny island most common among honeymooners. They even have a beautiful overwater bungalow resort, called Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort. (worth checking out).

In the lagoon and surrounding reef, there’s a vast amount of marine wildlife, making it a perfect island for snorkeling.

It’s made up of three main parts…

  1. The main island
  2. A crystal clear lagoon
  3. And a barrier reef

Popular things to do in Aitutaki

48. Rarotonga, Cook Islands

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Briefly mentioned above, we have the most popular and largest of the Cook Islands, Rarotonga. Surrounding the island is a 20-mile round-the-island road, making transportation simple. Visit their tropical beaches, go scuba diving or climb one of their volcanic mountains.

Popular things to do in Rarotonga

47. Ambergris Caye, Belize

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Ambergris Caye is Belize’s largest island, located northeast of the mainland. With average temperatures ranging from 70°F – 80°F, it’s a perfect tropical getaway that’s fairly close to the USA. It has beautiful beaches and an environment that’s not overpopularized.

It’s well known for being near Belize’s barrier reef, which is the second-largest barrier reef in the world. If you’re looking for a low-key island vacation that has a bunch of beautiful snorkeling/diving spots, Ambergris Caye is a great option.

Popular things to do in Ambergris Caye

46. Magnetic Island, Australia

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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.

You can take a 20-35 minute ferry from Townsville. From hostels to luxury resorts, this is a must-visit if you find yourself in Northeastern Australia.

Popular things to do in Magnetic Island

45. Perhentian Islands, Malaysia

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The Perhentian Islands are a group of islands located off the coast of Kuala Besut, Malaysia. Though they aren’t as popular as the main tourist destinations in Malaysia, they have a good mixture of activities and relaxation. The two main islands are Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil. You can snorkel, sunbathe, or hike the many trails found on the islands.

Popular things to do in Perhentian

44. Exuma, The Bahamas

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A district of The Bahamas, Exuma is a group of over 365 islands, also known as cays. Great Exuma and Little Exuma, are two of the main destinations. They’re known for shallow, turquoise sandbars and world-famous swimming pigs. Whichever cays you choose, you’ll be on a beautiful island enjoying the Bahamian sun.

Popular things to do in Exuma

43. Culebra, Puerto Rico

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Culebra is a small island located off the northeastern coast of Puerto Rico. It’s known for its crystal clear beaches and variety of marine life. A must-visit is Flamenco Beach, a long stretch of white sand with turquoise waters on one side and tree-covered hills on the other. You can take a cheap ferry from Fajardo to access Culebra.

Popular things to do in Culebra

42. Ko Samui, Thailand

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Ko Samui is Thailand’s second-largest island, located off its eastern coast. Known for its beaches, nightlife and warm climate, Ko Samui is one of the best tropical destinations for families, friends, and couples. Whether you’re searching for a budget vacation or luxury getaway, you can find it all in Ko Samui.

Popular things to do in Ko Samui

41. Anna Maria Island, Florida

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Anna Maria Island is a fun mix of both city and beach, located on 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. Anna Maria Island gives off a small town beach vibe that’s perfect for your next family vacation.

Popular things to do in Anna Maria

40. Moorea, French Polynesia

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Moorea is apart of French Polynesia, located between the island of Tahiti and Huahine. It’s a short 15-minute plane ride from Tahiti. Snorkeling is a popular activity and you can often spot stingrays, sharks and sea turtles. While known for its breathtaking beaches, Moorea also has beautiful volcanic mountains that you can hike. And if you’re searching for authentic overwater bungalows, this is one of the best places to find them.

Popular things to do in Moorea

39. Palau, Oceania

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Located in the Pacific Ocean is an archipelago of 500+ islands, known as Palau. There are a variety of landscapes on the islands, ranging from stunning beaches to palm tree-lined forests. They’re known for incredible diving, especially at its world-famous Jelly Fish Lake.

Popular things to do in Palau

38. San Blas Islands, Panama

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The San Blas Islands are a group of over 370 islands located off the coast of Panama. If you’re into island hopping, this is the perfect 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.

Popular things to do in San Blas

37. Miyakojima, Okinawa

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Miyako Island, Japan (Miyakojima) is located in-between Okinawa Island and the Yaeyama Islands. It has some of the most beautiful tropical beaches in the world. A great place for snorkeling and diving. It’s a popular tourist destination due to the mixture of urban city and island life vibes.

Popular things to do in Miyakojima

36. Roatan, Honduras

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A small island located off the northeastern coast of Honduras, in between the islands Útila and Guanaja. Roatan is one of the most tranquil tropical destinations that won’t break the bank. Known for its serenity, white sand beaches, coral reefs, and wildlife, it’s a great place to unwind.

Popular things to do in Roatan

35. Anguilla, Caribbean

Anguilla Beaches

From Justin Bieber to Lebron James, Anguilla is a Caribbean destination that the celebs often visit. And it’s no surprise why. With beautiful tropical beaches to delicious restaurants, Anguilla is a tropical island worthy of your bucket list. Check out our must sea beaches in Anguilla (written by a local).

Popular things to do in Anguilla

34. Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands

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Saipan is the largest and most well known of the Northern Mariana Islands. A part of the United States commonwealth, it’s located northeast of Guam in the Western Pacific. Though it’s the largest of the NMI, it still will only take you about an hour to travel the entire island via car. It’s known for its gorgeous beaches, mountains, golfing and scuba diving. It’s one of the best tropical destinations for adventurers.

Popular things to do in Saipan

33. Whitsunday Islands, Australia

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Between Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef lie the Whitsunday Islands, a group of 74 tropical islands in Australia. Complete with stunning beaches, rainforests, and many other activities. Most of the islands are national parks, however, there are a couple of nearby island resorts that are conveniently located.

Popular things to do in Whitsunday

32. Montego Bay, Jamaica

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Is the resort life what you’re looking for? Then Montego Bay, Jamaica is a perfect option for you. Filled with tropical beaches, golf courses, water sport activities, and even an amusement park, Montego Bay is great for every type of traveler. Whether you’re searching for an all-inclusive or boutique resort, they’ve got you covered.

Popular things to do in Montego Bay

31. Turks and Caicos Islands, Caribbean

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The Turks and Caicos Islands are a British Overseas Territory located in the Caribbean. 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. Check out our Turks & Caicos travel guide before planning your next vacation.

Popular things to do in Turks & Caicos

30. Varadero, Cuba

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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 an affordable tropical beach vacation in Cuba, this is the spot for you.

Popular things to do in Varadero

29. Cayman Islands, Caribbean

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The Cayman Islands are a British Overseas Territory, made up of three large islands…

Located in the Caribbean, they’re a popular destination known for fishing, snorkeling, and scuba diving. The most popular island is Grand Cayman, whereas Cayman Brac has more for the adventurers. Little Cayman is the smallest and quietest of the three.

Popular things to do in Cayman

28. Raja Ampat Islands, Indonesia

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The Raja Ampat Islands are located in West Papua, Indonesia. They’re made up of hundreds of islands, covered in tropical jungles and lined with mesmerizing beaches. Raja Ampat is home to over 540 different types of coral, making it a popular spot for snorkelers and divers. To get to these remote islands, you’ll either have to take a flight to Waisai or a ferry from Sorong.

Popular things to do in Raja Ampat

27. Isla Mujeres, Mexico

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Famous for its tranquil tropical feeling, Isla Mujeres is an island located in southern Mexico off the coast of Cancun. Though it’s close to Cancun, it has a much more laid back vibe. While you can indulge in the beaches, water sports, and other activities, you shouldn’t miss out on visiting the ancient Mayan ruins.

Popular things to do in Isla Mujeres

26. St Lucia, Caribbean

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St Lucia is both a country and an island in the Caribbean, located north of Venezuela. It’s well known for its dramatic mountains (the Pitons), as well as its nightlife, volcanic beaches, and rainforests. The north end is most popular for tourists to stay, whereas the south end is closest to the airport.

Popular things to do in St Lucia

25. El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

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Located on Palawan Island, El Nido is a municipality in the western Philippines. Visitors go to enjoy the pristine white sand beaches, as well as the various dive sites and lagoons. Its jagged cliffs contrasting against the turquoise sea, make for a picturesque view. Easily one of the best tropical destinations in the Philippines.

Popular things to do in El Nido

24. Seychelles, East Africa

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Situated in the Indian Ocean, Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands off the coast of East Africa. They islands fall under two main groups…

From their rare marine wildlife to the smooth granite rocks, Seychelles is a tropical destination worth visiting. Their official tourism website even put together some great custom itineraries for different types of travelers.

Popular things to do in Seychelles

23. Reunion Island, East Africa

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Reunion Island is located off the southeastern coast of Africa, just east of Madagascar. The island has diverse natural scenery, including volcanoes, rainforests, coral reefs, and beaches. It’s most famous attraction being Piton de la Fournaise, which is one of the most active volcanoes in the world (peaking at 8,635 ft).

Popular things to do in Reunion

22. Guadeloupe, Caribbean

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Guadeloupe is a French overseas territory in the Caribbean, located between Dominica and Antigua. You may have heard of its unique shape, which resembles a butterfly. Guadeloupe is popular for its beaches, sugarcane fields, and volcanoes. With an average temperature ranging from 75°F to 85°F, it’s one of the best Caribbean destinations.

Popular things to do in Guadeloupe

21. Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

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Gili Trawangan is the largest of the three Gili Islands in Indonesia, located off the coast of Lombok. It’s often referred to as the party island, filled with bars, restaurants, and guesthouses. It makes for a lively vacation destination, though you can always find some time to relax on the beach.

Popular things to do in Gili Trawangan

20. Curaçao, Caribbean

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Located north of Venezuela, Curaçao is a Dutch Caribbean island located in between Aruba and Bonaire. 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.

Popular things to do in Curaçao

19. Bermuda

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Tired of white 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.

Popular things to do in Bermuda

18. Zanzibar, East Africa

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Zanzibar, also known as Unguja, is an island located off the eastern coast of Africa. It’s a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania and home to a mixture of Islamic/African culture. You can either take a plane or ferry to get to Zanzibar. A ferry being a smoother ride unless you get seasick.

Popular things to do in Zanzibar

17. Formentera, Spain

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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 a great spot for you.

Popular things to do in Formentera

16. Viti Levu, Fiji

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Located to the northeast of Australia is Viti Levu, Fiji’s largest island. It’s well known for its mountainous landscape that’s surrounded by beautiful beaches. Viti Levu is a great starting point to visit Fiji, as it’s home to the capital and Fiji’s main airport.

Popular things to do in Viti Levu

15. Boracay, Philippines

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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.

Popular things to do in Boracay

14. Key West, Florida

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What is an island, a city, and Florida’s most southernmost point? You guessed it, Key West! It’s a great tropical destination, especially if you don’t want to travel outside of the USA. The crystal clear water and coral reefs, make Key West a great destination for snorkeling.

Popular things to do in Key West

13. Mauritius, East Africa

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Mauritius (also known as the Republic of Mauritius), is an Indian Ocean island located off the southeastern coast of Africa (about 500 miles East of Madagascar). Whether you’re looking for tropical beaches that are lined with reefs, or a place to go hiking, you should definitely check out Mauritius.

Popular things to do in Mauritius

12. Aruba, Caribbean

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18 miles north of Venezuela, you’ll find Aruba, a Dutch constituent country located in the Caribbean. Aruba is a popular tropical destination, as it’s known to be one of the safest Caribbean countries. It has beautiful beaches, a stunning national park, and a variety of other activities. Aruba is easily one of the best tropical islands to vacation, especially since the weather is consistent year-round.

Popular things to do in Aruba

11. Barbados, Caribbean

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Barbados is an independent British Commonwealth nation located off the northeastern coast of Venezuela in the Caribbean. The capital is home to colonial-style architecture and is a popular cruise-ship port. Around the island, you can visit beautiful beaches, caves, gardens, and get a taste for old British culture.

Popular things to do in Barbados

10. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

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Punta Cana is located at the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Many spring breakers rush to Punta Cana in March, so if you’re looking for a party atmosphere, that’s the time to go. Otherwise, you’ll find serenity in its clear waters and large beaches year-round.

Popular things to do in Punta Cana

9. Tulum, Mexico

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Tulum is a Mexican town on the edge of the Yucatan Peninsula, bordering the Caribbean coast. While it definitely has beautiful tropical beaches, Tulum is famous for its well-preserved Mayan ruins, mangroves, and cenotes (AKA natural sinkholes that you can swim in).

Popular things to do in Tulum

8. Sardinia, Italy

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Often flocked to by the celebs, Sardinia is an Italian island in the Meditteranean Sea. Its location makes it easily accessible from Italy, France, Spain, and northern Africa. The jagged mountains contrasting against the tropical sea, make for scenery as you’ve never seen before.

Popular things to do in Sardinia

7. Maragogi, Brazil

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Often referred to as the Caribbean of Brazil, Maragogi is a beach town located on the eastern coast. This is a great place for snorkeling because of it’s protected coral reefs. Its tropical shallow lagoons will take your breath away. If you find yourself thinking about traveling to Brazil, you should definitely consider Maragogi.

Popular things to do in Maragoi

6. Cancun, Mexico

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Our tropical destinations list wouldn’t be complete without Cancun, Mexico. Located on the Yucatan Peninsula, just north of Tulum. From it’s thriving nightlife scene to its all-inclusive family resorts, Cancun has options for every type of traveler. Similar to Punta Cana, it’s one of the most popular Caribbean destinations for spring breakers.

Popular things to do in Cancun

5. Maui, Hawaii

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Last on our Hawaiian island list is Maui, Hawaii, another great island if you’re looking for nature and serenity. Maui is known to be much calmer than Oahu, but just as beautiful as all of the other islands. Well-known for its active and dormant volcanoes, 30-miles of beaches, and pools and waterfalls visiting Maui will make you feel like you’ve entered a dream.

Popular things to do in Maui

4. Tahiti, French Polynesia

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The largest island in French Polynesia is Tahiti, located between Australia and South America. Tahiti is shaped like the number eight and divided into two islands…

It’s famous for its black sand beaches, waterfalls, crystal clear lagoons, and volcanoes. When most people think of the holy grail of tropical destinations, Tahiti usually comes to mind.

Popular things to do in Tahiti

3. Bora Bora, French Polynesia

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Bora Bora is a French Polynesian island, located between Australia and South America. It’s surrounded by an incredible turquoise lagoon and coral reef, making it a popular destination for tropical lovers. It’s one of the most visited places amongst honeymooners because of it’s out of this world scenery and serenity.

Popular things to do in Bora Bora

2. Bali, Indonesia

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Bali is known for its volcanic mountains, rice fields, beaches, and of course, parties. It’s 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. Oh, and not to mention it’s one of the cheapest tropical destinations in the world.

Popular things to do in Bali

1. The Maldives

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Number one on this list is the Maldives, a small island nation located in the Arabian Sea of the Indian Ocean. The Maldives is known for its white-sand beaches, warm waters, and friendly locals. If you’re thinking about traveling here, check out our Maldives travel guide which goes over the best time to visit, transportation tips and more. Oh and not to mention their incredible underwater restaurant.

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.

Popular things to do in Maldives

And there you have it, the best tropical destinations in the world. Hopefully, you got some new ideas for your upcoming trips! Safe travels.