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The 30 best tropical destinations to add to your travel bucket list

24/01/2024 5.020

Whether you seek adventure in Oceania, cultural immersion in Africa, or the historical charm of Asia, this curated list of the 30 best tropical destinations unveils the gems that define the essence of tropical bliss.

Best tropical destinations

The best tropical destinations promise a symphony of sun-soaked paradises, vibrant cultures, and breathtaking landscapes. Whether you are a beach aficionado, an adventure seeker, a culture enthusiast, or someone seeking tranquil moments amidst nature, this list spans the globe to present the most enticing tropical havens.
Explore 30 tropical destinations, each promising an unforgettable experience under the sun, here.

1. Best tropical destinations in Asia to visit for endless fun

1.1. Phu Quoc, Vietnam 

Asia, a continent rich in diverse cultures and landscapes, is home to some of the world’s best tropical destinations. Among these paradises is Phu Quoc in Vietnam, an island known for its diverse offerings. 

  • For beach lovers: Phu Quoc boasts pristine stretches of golden sands and crystal-clear waters. Long Beach, Starfish Beach, and Ong Lang Beach are among the most popular. 
  • For animal lovers: Vinpearl Safari Phu Quoc lets visitors get up close and personal with hundreds of species, and the island's diverse ecosystems are showcased in Phu Quoc National Park
  • For entertainment seekers: Entertainment-seekers are in for a treat with VinWonders Phu Quoc and Grand World Phu Quoc. These attractions boast a plethora of thrilling rides, captivating shows, and immersive experiences. 
  • For cultural enthusiasts: Cultural enthusiasts find solace in the charm of Ham Ham Ninh Fishing Village. Here, the authentic Vietnamese way of life is preserved, allowing visitors to witness traditional fishing practices, sample local delicacies, etc. 
  • For history buffs: History buffs can explore the somber but significant Phu Quoc Prison. It narrates a poignant chapter in the country's history and offers insights into the resilience of the Vietnamese people. 

That being said, Phu Quoc Island also makes for one of the best tropical destinations for families. For accommodation, consider Vinpearl Phu Quoc hotels and resorts: Vinpearl Resort & Spa Phu Quoc, Vinpearl Wonderworld Phu Quoc, and VinHolidays Fiesta Phu Quoc. With its thoughtful amenities and accommodations, Vinpearl Phu Quoc will enhance the overall travel experience. 

Best tropical destinations

>>> Book rooms in Vinpearl Phu Quoc for your time in one of the best tropical destinations! 

1.2. Trincomalee, Sri Lanka – Among the best tropical destinations 

Nestled within the Bay of Trincomalee, this coastal gem offers a blissful beach getaway for travelers from all over the world. The beaches of Trincomalee are nothing short of spectacular. With powdery white sands meeting the azure waters of the Indian Ocean, these shores provide an ideal setting for relaxation and rejuvenation. Nilaveli Beach, in particular, is celebrated for its untouched beauty. Visitors can bask in the sun, engage in water sports, or simply take a leisurely stroll along the shore to soak in the breathtaking coastal scenery.

1.3. Gili Islands, Indonesia

The Gili Islands, a trio of idyllic isles nestled off the northwest coast of Lombok, Indonesia, form a stunning tropical paradise that captivates Asia tour travelers with its laid-back charm. 

Gili Air strikes a balance between the liveliness of Gili Trawangan and the serenity of Gili Meno. With its crystal-clear waters and coral-rich snorkeling spots, Gili Air appeals to both adventure seekers and those looking for a peaceful retreat.

Last but not least, Gili Meno, the smallest and most secluded of the three islands, is a haven for couples and travelers seeking solitude. The pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters make it an ideal spot for snorkeling and diving. 

Best tropical destinations

1.4. Perhentian Islands, Malaysia

Comprising Perhentian Besar (Big Island) and Perhentian Kecil (Small Island), this archipelago is celebrated for its unspoiled natural beauty. It is one of the best tropical destinations in Asia. 

Perhentian Besar, the larger of the two islands, provides a glimpse into the marine life that inhabits its calm waters. Accommodation options on the island range from cozy beachfront bungalows to boutique resorts.

When coming to Perhentian Kecil, you will sense a lively social scene with beachfront bars and restaurants. Long Beach on Perhentian Kecil is a popular spot for budget travelers, featuring a stretch of white sand and clear waters perfect for snorkeling and sunbathing.

1.5. El Nido, The Philippines

The crown jewel of El Nido is its dramatic karst landscapes, characterized by towering limestone cliffs, hidden lagoons, and enchanting caves. The jagged formations create a picturesque backdrop for the numerous pristine beaches that dot the archipelago. White sandy shores, framed by lush greenery, beckon visitors to relax and bask in the tropical splendor.

The town of El Nido Town itself exudes a laid-back and welcoming atmosphere. Quaint shops, beachfront bars, and seafood restaurants line the streets, offering a taste of local culture and cuisine. Sunset sessions on Corong-Corong Beach provide a tranquil way to end the day, with the sky ablaze in hues of orange and pink. The Philippines’ El Nido is easily one of the most sought-after Southeast Asia travel destinations

Best tropical destinations

1.6. Koh Samui, Thailand

Visitors searching for the best tropical destination while in Southeast Asia will not regret including Koh Samui on their Southeast Asia travel itinerary. The island's palm-fringed beaches are iconic for their powdery white sands and crystal-clear waters. Visitors can unwind on the shores, partake in water activities, or indulge in seaside massages, epitomizing the laid-back tropical lifestyle. 

Beyond the beaches, Koh Samui boasts a diverse range of natural attractions. The Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks, also known as the Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks, are intriguing rock formations on Lamai Beach, drawing visitors with their unique shapes. 

1.7. Koh Rong, Cambodia – One of the best tropical destinations for water fun 

Koh Rong is a tropical haven known for its dazzling white-sand beaches. Long Beach is one of the most iconic stretches of sand on the island. Visitors can unwind in beachfront bungalows, sway in hammocks, and revel in the island's unspoiled charm.

Koh Rong's underwater world is also a paradise for snorkelers and divers. The coral reefs surrounding the island are teeming with marine life. Popular dive sites such as Koh Rong Dive Center offer opportunities for both beginners and experienced divers to explore the vibrant underwater landscapes.

Best tropical destinations

1.8. Maldives

The Maldives, often hailed as one of the best tropical wedding destinations, is a nation of coral islands scattered across the Indian Ocean. Renowned for its overwater bungalows, turquoise lagoons, and vibrant coral reefs, the Maldives offers a unique and opulent escape for travelers seeking a truly exclusive tropical experience.

Sunsets in the Maldives are a spectacle unto themselves, providing the perfect romantic setting for wedding ceremonies and celebrations. As the sun dips below the horizon, the sky is painted in hues of orange, pink, and purple, creating a mesmerizing backdrop for capturing timeless moments and beginning a new chapter of love.

2. Best tropical destinations in the Americas for a memorable vacay

2.1. Barbados

Barbados is undoubtedly one of the best tropical destinations in America for a memorable vacation. Bridgetown, the capital city, is a hub of history and culture. Travelers can explore historic sites like St. Nicholas Abbey and cultural spots like Cheapside Market. Accommodations in Barbados cater to various preferences, ranging from luxury resorts to intimate boutique hotels and charming guesthouses. The warm and friendly Bajan hospitality ensures that visitors feel welcome throughout their stay.

Best tropical destinations

2.2. Antigua and Barbuda

This gem offers a diverse range of experiences for travelers seeking relaxation and exploration. The beaches of Antigua are renowned for their powdery white sands and turquoise waters. One of the most famous is Dickenson Bay, where visitors can engage in water sports, soak up the sun, or enjoy beachfront dining. 

Antigua's English Harbour is a historical treasure, home to Nelson's Dockyard, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This well-preserved naval dockyard provides a glimpse into the island's colonial past and offers charming cobblestone streets lined with restored buildings, boutique shops, and restaurants. 

2.3. Islands of Hawaii, US

The islands of Hawaii are among the best tropical destinations to visit without a visa. Comprising a diverse group of islands in the central Pacific Ocean, each with its own unique character, Hawaii offers travelers a captivating blend of natural beauty and cultural richness. 

Water activities are a highlight across all the islands, with snorkeling, diving, and whale-watching being popular pursuits. Accommodations in Hawaii cater to various preferences, from luxury resorts and beachfront hotels to charming bed and breakfasts and vacation rentals. 

Best tropical destinations

>>> Seek inspiration: Tropical vacation outfits

2.4. British Virgin Islands

This group of pristine islands is known for their turquoise waters, coral reefs, and secluded coves. Accommodations in the BVIs range from luxury resorts and private villas to cozy beachfront cottages and family-run inns. The emphasis on sustainable tourism aligns with the islands' commitment to preserving their natural beauty for future generations. Whether sailing through crystal-clear waters, exploring underwater wonders, or immersing in local traditions, the BVIs provide an unparalleled tropical escape for travelers seeking an unforgettable vacation experience.

2.5. Costa Rica – The best tropical destination for nature lovers

Costa Rica, nestled in Central America between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, is one of the best tropical destinations for nature-loving travelers. One of the key highlights of Costa Rica is its extensive system of national parks and protected areas. Manuel Antonio National Park, located on the Pacific coast, showcases pristine beaches, dense rainforests, etc. Travelers can observe capuchin monkeys, sloths, and a variety of colorful birds while exploring well-maintained trails.

2.6. Aruba

Aruba is one of the best tropical destinations, offering a perfect blend of sun and sea fun. Palm Beach, one of Aruba's most iconic stretches of sand, is lined with high-rise hotels, restaurants, and water sports operators. The crystal-clear waters make it an ideal spot for swimming, snorkeling, and various water activities. Eagle Beach, known for its powdery white sands and divi-divi trees, offers a more serene setting for relaxation and enjoying the island's natural beauty.

Best tropical destinations

2.7. Saint Lucia

Whether seeking romance, adventure, or a blend of both, Saint Lucia provides a tropical haven that resonates with those in search of an unforgettable Caribbean escape.

The twin peaks of the Pitons rise dramatically from the Caribbean Sea, creating an iconic backdrop for the island. Visitors can hike the trails around these volcanic spires for panoramic views of the coastline.

Saint Lucia's beaches are equally diverse, ranging from the golden sands of Reduit Beach to the black sands of Anse Chastanet. The calm waters of Marigot Bay provide a picturesque setting for relaxing and having fun on the water. They are also what makes Saint Lucia a sought-after tropical honeymoon destination

2.8. Ambergris Caye, Belize

Ambergris Caye in Belize is one of the best tropical destinations, captivating visitors with its vibrant marine life and laid-back island atmosphere. Accommodations on Ambergris Caye range from luxury resorts and beachfront villas to cozy guesthouses and eco-friendly lodges. Whether seeking a romantic escape, family-friendly accommodations, or a base for water adventures, the island provides a variety of options to suit different preferences.

Best tropical destinations

2.9. Dominica

Dominica, often referred to as the "Nature Island" of the Caribbean, is a hidden gem and one of the best tropical destinations, celebrated for its lush rainforests, pristine rivers, and volcanic landscapes. Besides that, visitors can enjoy Dominican cuisine, which features a fusion of African, Caribbean, and indigenous influences. The island's local markets, such as the Roseau Market, provide a taste of Dominican flavors and a chance to interact with locals.

2.10. United States Virgin Islands

The United States Virgin Islands (USVI) consists of three main islands: St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix. 

St. Thomas, the most populous of the USVI, is known for its bustling capital, Charlotte Amalie, and its duty-free shopping opportunities. Meanwhile, St. John, with two-thirds of its land designated as a national park, is a haven for nature lovers. St. Croix, the largest of the USVI, offers a diverse range of experiences. Christiansted and Frederiksted, the two main towns, feature charming streets and vibrant cultural events. 

2.11. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is one of the best tropical destinations for solo travelers, beckoning with its collection of picturesque islands. Culinary delights in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines feature a fusion of Caribbean flavors, with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients. Fresh seafood, tropical fruits, and traditional dishes like callaloo soup and roti provide a delicious taste of the islands. Waterfront restaurants and beachside eateries offer a relaxed setting to savor the local cuisine.

Best tropical destinations

3. Best tropical destinations in Africa for your next vacation

3.1. Ganvie, Benin – One of the best tropical destinations for unique experiences

Ganvie is a remarkable village situated on Lake Nokoué. What sets Ganvie apart is its extraordinary setting. Instead of traditional houses on solid ground, the village is built entirely on stilts in the middle of the lake. 

This aquatic village has earned the nickname "Venice of Africa," and a visit to Ganvie offers a one-of-a-kind experience. Exploring Ganvie involves taking boat tours through its intricate network of waterways. Knowledgeable guides share the history of the village and its people while navigating the channels surrounded by vibrant flora and fauna. 

3.2. Cape Verde

Cape Verde, a cluster of ten volcanic islands off the coast of West Africa, is a tropical paradise known for its distinct blend of African, Portuguese, and Creole influences. With each island offering a distinctive atmosphere, travelers can embark on island-hopping adventures. From the lively atmosphere of Sal to the natural beauty of São Vicente and the tranquility of Santo Antão, each island has its own charm.

3.3. Likoma Island, Malawi

Ikoma Island, nestled in the northern part of Lake Malawi, provides a serene tropical escape far from the mainland's hustle and bustle. The island's small size contributes to its intimate atmosphere. The local community on Likoma Island is known for its warm hospitality. Visitors can engage with the friendly locals, experience the island's unique way of life, and perhaps participate in cultural activities. Exploring the markets and interacting with artisans provides insight into the islanders' daily routines.

Best tropical destinations

3.4. Mauritius

Mauritius is renowned for its stunning beaches, each offering a unique ambiance. From Trou aux Biches to Le Morne Beach, visitors can indulge in beachfront bliss surrounded by crystal-clear waters and swaying palm trees. The turquoise lagoons surrounding Mauritius also invite water adventures such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and sailing. Cruises provide a leisurely way to explore the coastline, with opportunities for dolphin watching, snorkeling, and enjoying a sunset cruise.

3.5. Seychelles – One of the best tropical destinations for a luxury vacation 

Seychelles is synonymous with paradise-like beaches framed by granite boulders. Anse Lazio on Praslin Island and Anse Source d'Argent on La Digue are iconic examples of Seychelles' captivating shores, featuring powdery sands, crystal-clear waters, and unique rock formations. The island offers exclusive private island resorts, providing an intimate escape for those seeking ultimate luxury. These resorts often feature overwater villas, ensuring an indulgent tropical experience.

3.6. Nungwi, Zanzibar

Nungwi, located on the northern tip of Zanzibar, is renowned for its postcard-perfect white-sand beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters. The expansive shores provide a serene setting for sunbathing, beachcombing, and enjoying the Indian Ocean's gentle waves. The waters around Nungwi are also an excellent destination for snorkeling enthusiasts. The coral reefs harbor a kaleidoscope of colorful underwater wonders. 

Best tropical destinations

3.7. Dakar, Senegal

Dakar, the capital city of Senegal, offers a unique blend of history, culture, and coastal beauty. Visitors can explore Goree Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dakar's street markets, such as Marche Sandaga and Soumbedioune Market, and the Île de N'Gor, which boasts stunning coastal landscapes. Dakar is also a paradise for food enthusiasts seeking cheap tropical vacation destinations. Dishes like Thieboudienne and Yassa showcase the diverse flavors of Senegal. 

4. Best tropical destinations in Oceania to visit for a wonderful beach holiday

4.1. Hayman Island, Australia

Hayman Island, located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, is synonymous with luxury and exclusivity. Visitors can choose from overwater villas, beachfront suites, and private residences for a truly lavish beach holiday. For a unique perspective of the Great Barrier Reef, visitors can also opt for private helicopter tours departing from Hayman Island. Aerial views showcase the mesmerizing beauty of the turquoise waters, coral formations, etc.

Best tropical destinations

4.2. Fiji – Among the best tropical destinations for underwater and cultural adventures 

Fiji is renowned for its breathtaking coral reefs, making it a haven for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. The Great Astrolabe Reef, Rainbow Reef, and Beqa Lagoon are among the top spots for underwater exploration. Visitors to Fiji also have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local Fijian culture. Traditional ceremonies, Kava ceremonies, and visits to Fijian villages provide insights into the warm and welcoming nature of the Fijian people. 

4.3. Bora Bora, French Polynesia

The lagoon surrounding Bora Bora is a mesmerizing shade of turquoise, inviting visitors to explore its crystal-clear waters. Snorkeling and swimming in the lagoon reveal vibrant coral gardens and graceful stingrays. The Coral Gardens and the famous Matira Point are popular spots for underwater adventures. The volcanic peak of Mount Otemanu is another dominant feature of Bora Bora's landscape. Hiking or 4x4 excursions to Mount Otemanu offer breathtaking views of the island and its surrounding lagoon. 

Best tropical destinations

4.4. Solomon Islands – The best tropical destinations for history buffs and culture enthusiasts 

The Solomon Islands played a significant role in World War II, and remnants of this history can be explored underwater. Divers can visit historical wreck sites, including shipwrecks and aircraft, submerged in the turquoise waters.

In addition, the Solomon Islands offer opportunities for cultural immersion by visiting traditional villages. Local communities warmly welcome visitors, providing a chance to witness traditional ceremonies, dances, and crafts. The islands' inhabitants are known for their hospitality and the preservation of age-old customs.

Whether you are envisioning a romantic sunset in Bora Bora, an underwater odyssey in the Great Barrier Reef, or a cultural immersion in Bali, these best tropical destinations promise a kaleidoscope of experiences that will stay etched in your heart. As you embark on your next adventure, may the warmth of the sun, the rhythm of the waves, and the spirit of each place guide you toward unforgettable moments and a lifetime of cherished memories.

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