7 tropical islands I want to visit
I’m not much of a beach person and have only visited two tropical island locations: Hawaii and Aruba. Both trips were great, and I was able to find a lot of other activities than merely lying on the beach. Hence, I decided to look into similar destinations and make a list of tropical islands I’d like to visit. These are in alphabetical, not preferential, order.
Barbados is an eastern Caribbean island situated about 160 km east of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Barbados sports 60 beaches, so there is plenty of option to choose from. Just like Mauritius, Barbados has plenty to see besides the beaches. The Sunbury Plantation House houses 300 years of historical content. Mount Gay Rum is the world’s oldest rum and the distillery and visitors center display its 300-year history. Harrison’s Cave is a crystallized, limestone cave characterized by flowing streams, deep pools of crystal-clear water and towering columns. St. Nicholas Abbey is a three-story Jacobean mansion believed to be one of Barbados’ first plantation great houses. The Barbados Museum, located at the Garrison, is housed in the former British Military Prison. What attracts me to Barbados is a plethora of history and museums.
Since we really enjoyed Aruba and its climate, I think Curaçao could also be a good option. Curaçao is a Lesser Antilles island in the southern Caribbean Sea and the Dutch Caribbean region. Just like Aruba, Curaçao has numerous beaches to explore. Curaçao’s capital city, Willemstad, is full of Dutch colonial architecture and fascinating buildings, which I would love to see. All of Willemstad is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and interesting sites in the city include the Queen Emma floating pontoon bridge that swings open and closed each day. Built in 1888, the bridge connects the neighborhoods of Punda and Otrobanda. While on Aruba we visited the Guadirikiri Cave and the Fontein Cave, which was quite interesting. Curaçao also has caves, of which the 300,000 years old Hato Caves are the biggest. Curaçao has about half of the total number of visitors per year as Aruba. What really draws me to Curaçao is the capital.
The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean nation that shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti to the west. The DR was the first permanent Spanish settlement in the Americas or the “New World,” with the arrival of Christopher Columbus on his first voyage in 1492. It offers the most diverse geography, nature, and people in the Caribbean. The DR is full of iconic sights across its cities and provinces. The first buildings and monuments in the Americas line the streets of Santo Domingo’s Colonial City. The ruins of La Isabela, in Puerto Plata province is where Columbus built his first and only home on land in the Americas. There are numerous cathedrals and religious shrines to visit. You can enjoy various cigar and rum related activities, like touring cigar factories, visiting the Rum and Tobacco Museum in the Colonial City, and touring the Brugal Rum Factory in Puerto Plata. The DR’s coastline is 1,600-kilometer and it has over 200 beaches. So, there is plenty of sea and sand, but also plenty of things to see and experience.
Mauritius is an Indian Ocean island nation known for its beaches, lagoons and reefs. The mountainous interior includes Black River Gorges National Park, with rainforests, waterfalls, hiking trails and wildlife like the flying fox. Mauritius houses two Unesco world heritage sites: Aapravasi Ghat and the Le Morne cultural landscape. Apart from impressive natural landscapes and lovely beaches, Mauritius has a lot of interesting places to see. Ganga Talao is the Hindus’ sacred lake, where you also find a beautiful temple. L’Aventure du Sucre is an events center with a museum located in an old sugar factory. Chateau de Labourdonnais is a Victorian mansion on an old sugar plantation that is now a museum. Mauritius seems like a super interesting destination with plenty to see and do while you can also enjoy beach life and amazing nature sites.
Saint Lucia is an Eastern Caribbean island nation with a pair of dramatically tapered mountains, the Pitons, on its west coast. Its coast is home to volcanic beaches, reef-diving sites, luxury resorts and fishing villages. Saint Lucia is a melting pot of various cultures. Carib culture is mixed with African cultures brought over during colonial times. English, French, and Dutch elements also blend with the others on the island, making Saint Lucia culture unique. Interesting natural sites include the Pitons, two volcanic plugs on the southwestern coast of the island, and Pigeon Island where you find the ruins of Fort Rodney. While hiking around the ruins you can watch nature slowly reclaim the island. Saint Lucia’s lush landscape is full of waterfalls. Once the capital of the island of St. Lucia, Soufriere offers plenty to see and do. Cocoa is one of Saint Lucia’s most important crops and is a major part of its history. Visitors to the island can experience this delicious piece of Saint Lucian heritage through plantation tours, chocolate-inspired menus, ambrosial workshops, sweet spa treatments and more.
The Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, off East Africa. It’s home to numerous beaches, coral reefs and nature reserves. The Aldabra Islands a large atoll, are the site of a preserve inhabited by tens of thousands of giant tortoises. the Vallée de Mai National Park is the only place where all six of the palm species endemic to Seychelles may be found together. These are both UNESCO World Heritage sites. On Curieuse Island you can get up close and personal with giant tortoises as there are more than 500 giant tortoises roaming around. Here you also find the ruins of the leprosarium, a leper colony that was functional till 1965. Jardin Du Roi Spice Garden on Mahe Island will surround you with aromas of different local and exotic spices. The capital of the Seychelles, Victoria, is also located on Mahe. Some of Victoria’s most popular attractions are the Clock Tower, the Hindu Temple, and Sir Selwyn Selwyn Clarke market, a true taste of Seychelles culture. The site of L’Union Estate is a significant historic landmark in La Digue. It was a coconut and vanilla plantation in the past that has been converted into a natural heritage site today. The Seychelles seems like a place to visit to experience nature and wildlife but as it also offers some historic sites it could be an interesting option for a tropical getaway.
Turks and Caicos
Turks and Caicos is an archipelago of 40 low-lying coral islands in the Atlantic Ocean, a British Overseas Territory southeast of the Bahamas. A majority of the population of Turks and Caicos resides on the island of Providenciales. Grand Turk supports the second greatest population, as well as the nation’s capital city of Cockburn Town. In addition to all the typical beach and sea activities, the islands also offer historic attractions. You can l earn about the bygone salt industry, visit an old lighthouse, Her Majesty’s Prison and a cotton plantation, or explore exhibits from the Molasses Reef Wreck (the oldest European shipwreck excavated in the western hemisphere). If you visit Turks and Caicos between January and April, you can go whale-spotting.
Which tropical island destinations have you visited and where would you like to go?