Whether you had to cancel travel plans due to the coronavirus pandemic, or you’re just sick of being stuck indoors, imagining a beautiful vacation getaway probably sounds sublime right now. What better place to relax and soak in the sun than a gorgeous tropical island? You can learn about the best places to visit here or on the MrOwl branch Top Islands. They’ve ranked the Top 10 Tropical Vacation Spots and we’re giving you a sneak peek for your much-needed vacation now. Here are just a few of them.
Barbados is the easternmost island in the Caribbean. Owned by the British until 1966 this island still holds tight to British traditions like afternoon tea, cricket and horse races. On the island, visitors can taste the bittersweet Mount Gay Rum or dance to the thrum of a calypso song. And though you could spend all your time on the must-see beaches, you’ll find plenty more to do when exploring this Caribbean paradise. This luxurious island is brimming with breathtaking architecture, a passionate sports culture and a party-loving attitude. Barbados is an island that has it all. In addition to fine powdery sand and brilliant turquoise bays, you’ll find smashing nightlife, a Unesco World Heritage–listed capital, a beautiful interior dotted with gardens, and wild surf on the lonely east coast, all inhabited by a proud and welcoming populace.
Once a single volcanic island, a massive eruption around 1650 B.C. forced the center to implode and succumb to the sea. Today, Santorini consists of two inhabited islands and several islets. Your first order of business in Santorini is to hit the colorful beaches – the black and red sands make for a memorable visit. Next up, indulge in the archaeological delights of the impressively preserved Ancient Akrotiri or hike to Ancient Thera to see the ruins of three empires, including the Romans. From there, catch a breathtaking view of the caldera, a brilliant turquoise pool of water that serves as the nucleus for the varied isles of this archipelago. Some would say you only need a day to enjoy these islands’ charms (they are a popular port of call for cruise ships), but to really drink in all Santorini has to offer, you’ll need a few days to a week.
In what could truly be called a paradise, Tahiti is full of waterfall-laden, shadowy mountains, unpretentiously beautiful black-sand beaches, sheltered blue lagoons and a distinctly Polynesian, modern buzz. In the heart of this French Polynesian island is Pape’ete, where the cultures from all the archipelagos are mixed in the cacophonous, dusty, yet smiling and energetic capital city. Outside the city, explore the majestic, mountainous interior and leafy forests on a 4WD tour, learn to dive in the translucent lagoon, wander amid mystical archaeological sites, and from July to October go whale-watching. Stay at a resort or head to Tahiti Iti to experience a more traditional pace of life. All international air travel goes through Tahiti, and it would be a shame to miss such an essential part of this region’s cultural puzzle.
Maldives is home to perhaps the best beaches in the world; they’re on almost every one of the country’s nearly 1200 islands and are so consistently perfect that it’s hard not to become blasé about them. While some beaches may boast softer granules than others, the basic fact remains, you won’t find consistently whiter-than-white powder sand and luminous cyan-blue water like this anywhere else on earth. This fact alone is enough to bring well over a million people a year to this tiny, remote and otherwise little-known Indian Ocean paradise. And with some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world, the clear waters of Maldives are a magnet for anyone with an interest in marine life. The richness and variety is astonishing; dazzling coral walls, magnificent caves and schools of brightly colored tropical fish await you when you get down to the reef. In deeper waters lurk manta rays, turtles, sharks and even the world’s largest fish, the whale shark. The best bit? The water is so warm many people don’t even wear a wetsuit.
Check out the other islands listed on the Top Islands branch or expand your search on MrOwl to even more potential vacation spots. It seems like the perfect time to research the places you want to go to when things settle down because it’s never too late to start planning that bucket list trip you’ve been dreaming of for so long.