Back in February, we gave you a visual tour of the 10 best beaches on TripAdvisor’s 25-best list. If your craving for a sandy vacation spot hasn’t yet diminished, don’t worry — we’ve got you covered like sunscreen. Here are the 10 best islands from TripAdvisor’s 2016 Traveler’s Choice awards—along with actual Insta photos from travelers themselves. Looks like it’s time to unearth that snorkel and get packing.
Of course Maui made the list. There’s something for everyone — from bamboo forests and waterfalls to explore, to windsurfing and snorkeling, to famous “Road to Hana” — undoubtedly one of the most famous drives on the planet.
This is the island you see in desktop backgrounds, with the blue-roofed churches and the spectacular sunsets. (Which are so notorious that they’re considered their own attraction on TripAdvisor.)
There’s more to Santorini than just pretty views, though. You can also visit the island’s wineries, explore the ruins at the Akrotiri archaeological site, or take a hike from Oia to Fira. And then, of course, watch that sunset at the end of your long day.
It’s not just a popular stop on the cruise-ship circuit. Jamaica, known as “the land of wood and water,” has real charms to offer! Music clubs in Kingston? Snorkeling and shopping in Montego Bay? History lessons in Trelawny? Yes to all of it. And yes to a cold bottle or six of Red Stripe throughout.
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
If you’re into diving or snorkling, Providenciales is where you want to be. The most populated island of the Turks and Caicos is ringed by miles of easily accessible coral reef for underwater exploration. And above the water, kayaking Chalk Sound is a great choice, too. Or…just getting your beach beer on.
Elizabeth Gilbert found love in Bali, but there’s more to the island than that. Like, say, more than 20,000 temples, coral ridges for your diving pleasure, a WWII shipwreck, and culture galore in the artistic capital, Ubud. It’s no wonder TripAdvisor calls it a “living postcard.” Just check out the photos of the place!
(Also, everything is shockingly cheap!)
Majorca, Balearic Islands
Also spelled Mallorca, this Mediterranean island off the coast of Spain takes the best of Europe and smashes it together with island living. You’ll find Roman and Moorish ruins along with beach resorts and white-sand coves. There are even limestone mountains to explore! Chopin was inspired here. Maybe you will be, too.
“Arguably Africa’s wealthiest destination,” TripAdvisor says of Mauritius. “A tropical paradise with tons to do.” Such as? The Bazaar of Port-Louis, for one, where you can find everything from cheap food to traditional handcrafted goods. If you want a more upscale tourist experience, Grand Bay or Mont Choisy is for you. And for you divers, Flic en Flac is where you want to be.
Also, the island has surprisingly good surfing, with very few surfers — a good combo.
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Insert obligatory joke about the island’s funny name here. Seriously, though — Phuket is where you want to be. It’s Thailand’s largest island and, yes, another huge spot for divers. If you’re not a diver though, there’s still plenty to do and see — including the Big Buddha!
If you really want to explore Thailand though, try the Adamans or the Ang Thong Marine Park. Not to talk smack on Trip Advisor, but those spots are better.
Bora Bora, Society Islands
Everyone knows this as the “one with overwater huts.” Which is just about enough reason to visit the island in the first place — but it has other charms aside from the “turquoise lagoons, soft white sands, and deep tangerine sunsets,” too. You can watch shark feedings and swim with turtles at the Lagoonarium! You can snorkel with the fish! But really, you’re going to just want to relax and take it all in.
Bora Bora is one of the places on earth where it’s literally impossible not to chill.
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Feeding the Stingrays in Bora Bora lagoon was the most awesome experience. The water visibility is incredible #lifeinparadise #lagoon #awesomeexperience #islandlife #stingray #magical #outrigger #aquamarine #50shadesofturquoise #tropicalisland #tropicalwater #borabora #tahiti
Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
This archipelago is a UNESCO world heritage site with gorgeous beaches, warm water filled with dolphins and sea turtles, and hiking trails, one of which “culminates in a climb up a steep set of stairs carved into the split of a cliff.” What more could you want?
Well, access, probably — only the largest island of the group is inhabited. The others require special authorization from the environmental authority to visit. But you’ll be too busy relaxing on the beaches to even notice you’re missing out. In the words of Beatriz P, “No wonder it is the most beautiful beach in the world. Beautiful landscape, soft sand, nice and clean water, sea life!”