Off the Beaten Path: 5 Unique Islands to Visit on Your Next Vacation

If you’re looking for a fresh new adventure that no one you know has done, read on. Here are 5 unique (and beautiful) islands to visit on your next vacation.

Off the Beaten Path: 5 Unique Islands to Visit on Your Next Vacation

Did you know that only 11,000 of the millions of islands in the world are inhabited?

While so many islands are more popular than others, some of the most stunning ones fly under the radar.

If you want to know which unique islands to visit on your next vacation, check out this list of 5 of our top choices.

1. Caye Caulker, Belize

This tiny island sits west of the Belize Barrier Reef. With a population of approximately 1,300 people, this island is about 5 miles long.

Due to its size, it’s easy for this island to slip off the radars.

Caye Caulker has a chill attitude. If you wanted to, you could explore the whole island on foot in a day. But who would want to do that?

In fact, the island has a slogan “go slow.” Remember this slogan if you ever visit Caye Caulker. Take your time to explore everything this chill island has to offer.

You can get to this island via water taxi from Belize City. The ride takes approximately 45 minutes. There are options to fly, and it will only take about 15 minutes.

Once you get to the island, you will discover there are no cars, so you’ll only get around via golf cart.

While in Caye Caulker, take a tour to explore the coral reef and watch wildlife such as manatees, sharks, and turtles.

When you want to take a break from the beach, you can explore the Forest Reserve. It expands 100 acres and you can find white, red, and black mangrove.

Looking to save a few bucks while visiting? Travel the off-season if you want to get better deals on hotels, food, and activities.

2. Isla Holbox, Mexico

While everyone is busy enjoying spots like Cancun, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen, Isla Holbox flies under the radar.

Isla Holbox sits north of the Yucatan Penninsula. So get your flip flops ready and plan a trip to Isla Holbox.

The first thing you need to know is how to pronounce it. Most locals drop the Isla and call it Holbox, which it’s pronounced “hole-bosh” and not “hole-box.”

Since Holbox is an island, you will need a ferry to take you there. Luckily, the ferries make trips from the town of Chiquila throughout the day.

Getting to Chiquilla will be the only challenge, if any, you will face. You can travel by bus via Playa del Carmen, there are two buses a day.

There’s also the option of taking a taxi, but it will cost you a lot of money. You could also rent a car and take the 2 to 3-hour drive. Most tourists have the option of arranging a transportation package to Holbox through their hotel.

Once you get to Holbox, all of your transportation problems will be over. You can easily get around the island on foot or bike.

Holbox is about 26 miles long and it’s home to 2,000 full-time residents.

Once in Holbox, you will enjoy a low-key lifestyle. Enjoy laying on the white sand beaches, exploring the shops, or eat all the fresh seafood you want.

But most visitors enjoy Holbox the most when they do nothing.

3. San Blas Islands, Panama

Off the coast of Panama, there are over 350 islands and over 300 of them remain uninhabited. These islands are so untouched, Google maps don’t even bother with them.

The islands are home to The Kuna indigenous tribe. They protect the culture, land, wildlife, and flora of the islands. You can leave technology behind in the mainland!

There are a few ways to get to San Blas Islands — take a speedboat from Panama or sail from Cartagena. Sailing with a crew will take about 5 days and you will stop at some of the most incredible and untouched islands.

The islands offer great snorkeling expeditions, so don’t forget to pack your gear. If you rather relax, bring your swimsuit and plenty of sunscreen.

4. El Nido, Philippines

While there are many islands to visit in South East Asia, El Nido often flies under the radar of many visitors to the area.

Made up of 45 islands and inlets, El Nido sits at the tip of Palawan Island. You will know you arrive at El Nido when you see the enormous limestone cliffs and crystal clear aqua water.

If you have the budget to do so, you might want to try bird’s nest soup. It’s made of real bird’s nest! The birds use saliva to make the nests and each day Philipino climbers risk their lives to retrieve it.

There are plenty of other things to do and enjoy if bird’s nest is not your thing.

Start by visiting El Nido’s Small Lagoon, which is one of the most popular attractions. Get to the Small Lagoon via a small opening in the limestone rocks — you can either swim it or Kayak it.

After you Visit the Small Lagoon, head over to the Big Lagoon. You will enjoy the Big Lagoon either by Kayak or small boat.

There are other activities to enjoy such as zip lining, swimming, and taking long walks on the beach.

5. Tasmania

Tasmania, Australia’s only island state, often doesn’t get the press it deserves. You can be rest assured, this island has a lot to offer. Make sure you stop at Tasmania if you’re ever in Australia.

If you want to run through a field of lavenders, head over to Bridestwe Estate to do so. It’s best to travel in February to see them in full bloom.

Travel to the East Coast of Tasmania to see the Bay of Fires. This bay actually looks like it’s on fire. It’s a short drive from the town of St. Helens.

Tasmania also has mountains to offer. Check out Cradle Mountain National Park for the best multi-day trek.  

Islands to Visit on Your Next Vacation

Now that you know which unique islands to visit, you can begin planning your next vacation.  

Want to explore and see more islands? Why not take a cruise? Check out the best tips on Cruises here.

About Marina Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of TravelExperta.com, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 20+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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