Stunning Island Vacation Destinations for 2016

For many of us, spring has taken center stage with blooming trees and warm sunny days that act as constant reminders of the summer months ahead. Memories of last year’s activities are strong, and it’s easy to dream about what this summer has in store to make it the best one yet. This could include camping trips, boating, river floating, or even a big vacation. If you’re looking for the perfect summer trip, consider escaping to one of these amazing island destinations!

The Cook Islands

Cook Islands, Credit- Goway

Cook Islands, Credit- Goway

All islands in the South Pacific are breathtakingly beautiful, and each one has its own unique flavor. The Cook Islands are great if you like a laid-back atmosphere, seclusion, and plenty of beach activities like snorkeling and scuba diving. Rarotonga is considered the main tourism hub, but there are plenty of opportunities to explore the less populated islands by boat. Whether you choose to stay in Rarotonga or spend time island hopping, the locals will welcome you with open arms and big smiles!

If you want to extend your vacation, plenty of flights stop in the Cook Islands before heading to New Zealand and Australia. Since it’s fairly cheap to travel here, many tourists stay for a few weeks before exploring other destinations in the South Pacific.

The Maldives

The Maldives by Selda Elgler Flickr

The Maldives, Credit- Selda Elgler Flickr

Over 1,000 marvelous coral islands make up the official Republic of Maldives in the Indian Ocean. Many of these small islands house single private resorts that are exceptionally luxurious, which makes this destination a more expensive option. However, if you can afford it, the Maldives won’t let you down. Some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving experiences in the world are in these waters, and you’ll even have the opportunity to swim with a gentle whale shark!

Formentera Island, Spain

Formentera Island by Stephen H. Flickr

Formentera Island, Credit – Stephen H. Flickr

Compared to its famous party neighbor Ibiza, Formentera Island is more relaxed and less developed. Most of the hotels and restaurants are individually owned and ran by the locals. The shoreline is absolutely pristine and if you’re open to clothing-optional beaches, there are plenty of them here that aren’t crowded with massive amounts of people. The island is mostly flat with no high-rise buildings, so biking and mild hiking are great ways to see some spectacular views during your stay.

Jamaica

Jamaica, Credit- Sarah Ackerman Flickr

Jamaica, Credit- Sarah Ackerman Flickr

Home to Bob Marley and the most delicious jerk chicken in the world, Jamaica is always a great place to spend your vacation. Tourism is a primary player in the local economy, so many of the popular coastal towns are infiltrated with large resorts and hotels. If you’re looking to get away from the mass tourism, visit Port Antonio. You’ll find the best jerk chicken here and secluded bays surrounded by black rock cliffs littered with tropical plants and flowers. Activities inland include hiking the Blue Mountains and diving into the Blue Hole in Ocho Rios. It’s nearly impossible to run out of things to do in Jamaica, and the friendly locals will let you know about some secret treasures that the island holds.

Galapagos Islands

the galapagos islands, Credit-gowaytravel

the galapagos islands, Credit-gowaytravel

Do these islands ring a bell? You probably heard about them in Biology class when learning about Charles Darwin and his Theory on Evolution. Well, now you can visit the Galapagos Islands and witness the stunning biodiversity that Darwin did hundreds of years ago! The best way to experience as much as possible is to book a cruise that stops for multiple days at certain islands. Since most of the land is protected, independent hiking can be limited and is usually led by an experienced guide. The underwater wildlife is also spectacular, so be sure to snorkel and scuba dive while you’re here!

Making the Leap

Choosing the perfect island vacation isn’t easy. All destinations are absolutely breathtaking, and you’re guaranteed to have a great time regardless of where you choose to go. If you’re having a hard time deciding, take plenty of time to research and possibly hire an experienced travel agent to help narrow down your options. Sometimes an island vacation seems limiting or too expensive, so check out other destinations with amazing beaches that offer a wider range of activities. Happy traveling!

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Great list of Island for 2016. I always wanted to visit Galapagos Islands and didn’t know that the individual hiking is limited there. That’s good to know. I’m sure planing on doing one of those soon. While I love Maldives Jamaica didn’t impress me a lot when I was there. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Thank you for the kind words Marco! Most people start planning their Galapagos Islands vacation about six months or so in advance, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time. If you want to see certain wildlife while you’re there check a nature calendar to see when certain species are more active to help you determine when to go.

  • Thanks for this delightful piece … each island mentioned is on my bucket list, especially as I can no longer visit Mauritius ever since they doused the island in RoundUp and embraced Monsanto and GMO. I don’t understand why tourists who live in countries where these toxins are banned would come all the way to be subjected to GMO. Talk about shoot yourself in the foot when it comes to tourism!

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