Add These Lesser-Known Tropical Destinations To Your Bucket List
Just an hour's flight from Seoul, this volcanic island is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.
Jeju Island, South Korea
You can explore the colorful lava tubes at Geomunoreum or hike to the top of Mount Hallasan, the dormant volcano at the heart of the island that forms Korea's tallest mountain.
There are panoramic views of waterfalls, craters, and basalt and lava rock formations, or you can catch a glimpse of the diverse marine life while snorkeling in the clear waters.
An archipelago of over 1,700 islands, this tropical destination is worth the effort it takes to travel there, with fewer tourists and pristine natural beauty.
Palawan, Philippines
Known for its stunning limestone cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and azure lagoons, try island-hopping by boat or kayak around Miniloc Island to look for secret lagoons and beaches.
Dive at Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park or take a boat tour along the Puerto Princesa Underground River — a unique subterranean world of stalagmites, stalactites, and wildlife.
These three tiny islands are worlds away from nearby Bali. You can only get around on foot, by bike, or by a traditional horse-drawn cart called a cidomo.
Gili Islands, Indonesia
With some of Southeast Asia's most beautiful white sandy shores, the calm, turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and diving.
Each of the islands has a slightly different vibe. A little over a mile long, Gili Meno is the most tranquil, with around 500 inhabitants and even fewer tourists.
Comprised of four main islands and over 1,500 smaller islands and cays, this paradise above and below the water has thick jungles and vibrant coral reefs.
Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Per the Nature Conservancy, over 75% of the world's marine species live in these crystal-clear waters, with turtles, dolphins, lionfish, giant clams, manta rays, and barracudas.
There are pristine stretches of sand, limestone karst formations, colorful birds of paradise, and incredible views over the scattered atolls that dot the turquoise seas.
Smaller and less crowded than the neighboring islands, La Digue is a haven of beautiful beaches, including Anse Source d'Argent, considered the world's best.
La Digue, Seychelles
The island is almost motor-free, and renting a bicycle is the best way to explore. The palm tree-lined beaches with white sandy shores often lack footprints.
There are very few amenities and attractions on La Digue, but you won't need them, and there's a range of simple yet comfortable accommodation options.