Best Tropical Islands
Go off the the grid, feast on fresh-caught seafood and sink your toes into soft sand at my picks of the best island escapes, including the Caribbean, Hawaii, Bali, Easter Island, and Fiji.
Bali is my idea of heaven.
On my fourth trip to Bali I was introduced to the Amanresorts’ award-winning, secluded properties. Amandari is located near the culturally rich town of Ubud, Bali’s artistic center and gateway to the mountainous region to the north. Amandari, is built to look like a village with stone walkways and traditional shrines. Amankila is a cliff-side resort in the eastern part of Bali. Thirty-four thatched-roof suites are perched above two levels of infinity pools and take advantage of the spectacular views across the Lombok Strait. Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report – Reader Survey Awards ranked the Amankila among the Top 20 Beach Resorts in the World.
Fiji - Click here for more.
With over 300 islands set in crystal-clear waters, palm-fringed white sand beaches, lagoons and coral reefs, relaxation is big in Fiji.
Navatu Stars is a small boutique property located on an uninhabited island. Six smiling staff members greeted us from the sand beach with songs, fresh fruit cocktails and flower leis of pink hibiscus.
Nine sumptuous, spacious bungalows, built in the traditional Fijian architectural style, dotted the property. Glass walls opened onto a shaded porch; two hammocks hung under trees in front of each bungalow, mere yards from the water at high tide.
Enjoy powder-soft white sand beaches amid coconut palms swaying in the breezy sea air. Sip an icy tropical drink while swinging in a hammock on the porch of your cozy bungalow, stilt-mounted over a lagoon of brilliantly transparent, tinted turquoise and azure water. Below the deck tangerine-colored star fish cling to the stilts and yellow-tail snappers dart about. Offshore an incredibly healthy coral reef is teaming with dazzling fish and invertebrate life. Anthony’s Key in the Bay Islands is my choice for an affordable,dive or snorkel destination.
Easter Island – Click here for more.
Despite its isolation in the middle of the South Pacific (roughly equal distance from Tahiti and South America), Easter Island is at the center of a lot of questions. Where did the heads come from? How were they transported?
In addition to exploring the archeological sites, you can bike ride, snorkel, scuba dive, take a surf lesson, fish or relax in your hotel, socializing with visitors from around the world at the bar, sipping Pisco Sours, a strong cocktail made with Pisco (Peruvian brandy), lemon, cane sugar and egg whites. If you scuba dive you’ll be amazed at the visibility — among the best in the world because the island is isolated from the three major currents in the Pacific. My favorite places to stay is the exquisite Explora Hotel.
From the Kona Coast, snorkeling at night to look for Manta Rays, to biking the rim around the volcano and the waterfalls and markets near Hilo. Read about it all on these blog posts.
About the Author: Marybeth Bond, the Gutsy Traveler, National Geographic author of 11 travel books, featured guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show and founder of the Online Travel Magazine www.GutsyTraveler.com She has been featured over 1,000 times on TV, radio and print. She is a Contributor to CNN, CNN Airport Network and CNN.com Speaker, spokesperson, author, travel expert, Marybeth, the Gutsy Traveler walks the talk. She's an adventurer; biked two months across the USA, traveler to over 90 countries, media travel expert for CBS News, CNN, ABC, NBC, NPR and National Geographic.