Travel Tips

5 min read

Secret Sands Beckon: Top 10 Must-See Hidden Island Gems

Imagine undiscovered sands whispering tales of solitude and wonder. These 10 secret islands are not just places on a map, they're whispers of adventure calling your name. Ready to answer?

Tobi Miles
June 12, 2023

According to the United Nations Atlas of the Oceans, there are over 100,000 islands globally. However, ten extraordinary islands have remained veiled in obscurity yet possess a mesmerizing allure that demands your attention.

From secluded havens boasting untouched shores to hidden archipelagos teeming with rare wildlife, this compendium of hidden gems promises an enchanting escape from the ordinary. Join us as we unveil these hidden treasures, inviting you to awaken your wanderlust and embrace the allure of the unknown.

São Tomé & Príncipe

The chocolate industry stands as the most lucrative segment within the global confectionery sector, with a valuation exceeding US $100 billion, which is why you need to visit São Tomé and Príncipe. This area has a reputation for producing some of the finest cocoa in the world. Chocolate lovers will delight in visiting plantations and learning about the cocoa production process, from tree to bar. You can even participate in chocolate tastings and workshops to savor the exquisite flavors of locally produced chocolate.

São Tomé and Príncipe islands are a melting pot of cultures, blending African, Portuguese, and Creole influences. This fusion is reflected in the local music, dance, and culinary traditions. Explore the vibrant markets, savor delicious Creole cuisine, and experience the warm hospitality of the locals.

Tuvalu

Tuvalu is a unique and fascinating destination that offers visitors a range of compelling reasons to explore its beauty and culture. It's also the fourth smallest country in the world in terms of land area. Tuvalu is known for its unique cultural traditions, such as the skillful art of traditional boat building and the intricate weaving of traditional mats and handicrafts. The local cuisine, including fresh seafood and tropical fruits, is also worth exploring.

By engaging with the local community, you can gain a deeper understanding of their customs and way of life. However, due to its remote location and limited infrastructure, Tuvalu receives relatively few tourists compared to other destinations. But, this is to your advantage, as it means you can experience an authentic and unspoiled environment, interacting closely with the local community and avoiding the negative aspects of mass tourism.

Comoros

Comoros has a rich cultural heritage influenced by African, Arab, and French traditions. The islands are home to a warm and welcoming population that takes great pride in their cultural traditions. Visitors can experience the local way of life, witness traditional dance and music performances, and explore bustling markets where you can taste the flavors of Comorian cuisine.

These islands offer a range of exciting outdoor activities for adventure seekers. Hike to the summit of Mount Karthala, an active volcano, for breathtaking views and a challenging trek. Or, explore the underwater world through snorkeling or diving, discovering colorful coral reefs and marine life. You can also go fishing, sailing, or boat trips to explore the nearby islands.

Montserrat

Montserrat is the only place in the Caribbean where visitors can witness an active volcano up close. The Soufrière Hills volcano, though still active, is accessible to visitors, allowing them to see firsthand the geological forces shaping the island. The exclusion zone, established after the eruption, provides a unique opportunity to understand the impact of volcanic activity on communities and witness the resilience of the local population.

Montserrat also has a rich cultural heritage influenced by African, Irish, and British roots. The island celebrates its Irish heritage with a St. Patrick's Festival, a unique fusion of Caribbean and Irish traditions. Visitors can enjoy traditional music, dance, and local cuisine while immersing themselves in the island's vibrant cultural scene.

Vanuatu

With over 130 indigenous languages spoken among its population, Vanuatu holds the highest language density per capita in the world. What's more, is that it's loved by underwater enthusiasts, as it boasts an abundance of vibrant coral reefs, diverse marine life, and numerous shipwrecks waiting to be explored. The famous SS President Coolidge, a World War II wreck, is a must-visit site for advanced divers. Snorkelers can also enjoy crystal-clear waters and colorful marine ecosystems off the beaches.

Kiribati

Since 2008, Kiribati has not seen over 15,000 visitors in one year, making it one of the least visited countries in the world, making it an ideal destination for those seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure. The islands offer a sense of seclusion and tranquility, allowing you to escape the crowds and immerse yourself in nature.

Kiribati's pristine coral reefs and abundant marine life make it a haven for divers and snorkelers. The underwater world is filled with colorful coral formations, tropical fish, sea turtles, and even the occasional manta ray or shark sighting.

Coiba

Coiba's marine ecosystem is vibrant and diverse. The waters surrounding the island are teeming with abundant marine life, including colorful coral reefs, tropical fish, sharks, rays, and sea turtles. Snorkeling and diving enthusiasts will be thrilled by the opportunity to explore the underwater world and witness the beauty of Coiba's marine biodiversity.

Coiba is a diver's paradise. The island offers exceptional diving and snorkeling opportunities with excellent visibility, healthy coral reefs, and many dive sites to explore. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced diver, the underwater world of Coiba will leave you in awe.

Dhidhoofinolhu

Dhidhoofinolhu, also known as LUX* South Ari Atoll, is a stunning destination in the Maldives with a range of experiences and natural beauty. The calm and warm waters of the atoll make it an ideal playground for water enthusiasts of all skill levels.

From overwater villas with direct access to the lagoon to private pools, spa treatments, fine dining restaurants, and beachside bars, the resorts in Dhidhoofinolhu provide guests with an indulgent and memorable experience.

Bonaire

Bonaire is renowned for its pristine natural environment. Crystal-clear turquoise waters surround the island, boasting a unique coral reef system and a designated national park. For a good reason, it is often referred to as a diver's paradise.

Bonaire is home to a large population of flamingos, and witnessing these majestic birds in their natural habitat is incredible. Visitors can observe these elegant creatures up close, capturing memorable photographs and experiences.

Cayos Cochinos

Cayos Cochinos is a hidden gem in the Caribbean that offers travelers a unique and unspoiled paradise. It is an archipelago consisting of two main islands and 13 smaller cays located off the coast of Honduras. Crystal-clear turquoise waters, vibrant coral reefs, and lush mangrove forests surround the islands. It is recognized as a protected area and a marine biological reserve, emphasizing the commitment to conservation and sustainable tourism.

Article updated:
January 5, 2024

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