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Best Islands in the World

What is it about an island that immediately invokes a daydream? That feeling of seclusion, for sure, but also those sprawling beaches, those rolling waves and those untouched pockets of wilderness. For an island to be considered one of the "best," it must have that je ne sais quoi — that magical spark. The islands listed here boast a little extra something that keeps travelers enchanted.

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653 151

Why Go: This honeymoon hot spot caters to all sorts of travelers. Beach bums can lounge along Santorini's red sandsThira and Akrotiri. What more could you ask for? Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Santorini

Belongs on list?
709 162

Why Go: Who would pass up a chance to spend a relaxing couple of days in a thatch-roof hut standing over the turquoise South Pacific Ocean? Or lounging on sugary-white, palm-laden sands? Or stretching your legs along the trails to Mount Otemanu's summit? We sure wouldn't. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Bora Bora

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413 169

Why Go: The trek there may be long, but you won't regret it. These tiny islands in the Indian Ocean exude seclusion. You can spend your days snorkeling over coral reefs and lounging on powdery sands. Or you can watch the sun set over cerulean waves from your palatial resort. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Maldives

Belongs on list?
813 284

Why Go: It's no wonder that these islands draw celebs in droves. Who wouldn't want to lie across beautiful beaches or explore Brimstone's ancient fortress? From golden sands to beach bars, St. Kitts & Nevis give visitors an authentic Caribbean experience. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in St. Kitts & Nevis

Belongs on list?
305 137

Why Go: These islands' white-sand shores offer fantastic scenery. But there's more to Fiji than what you'll see from your beach towel: Hike the volcanic Mamanuca Mountains or hit the boutiques of Suva. If you need a taste of Fiji for more convincing, try its bottled water. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Fiji

Belongs on list?
361 167

Why Go: As far as Hawaiian retreats go, Maui takes the cake. You'll find opulent resorts, dramatic scenery and adventurous activities all in one place. And don't forget those sands: Nothing beats spending a day on Kaihalulu's red beach or Wailea's golden shores. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Maui

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554 159

Why Go: Whether you're looking for a new adventure or some peace and quiet, these three islands northwest of Jamaica have everything you need to experience something new. You can scuba dive in vibrant reefs, hike the 200-year-old Mastic Trail or kick back at Seven Mile Beach. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Cayman Islands

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688 201

Why Go: This half-French, half-Dutch island bursts with activity. The streets of Marigot and Philipsburg are filled with exotic eats and vibrant music. Outside these cities, a gorgeous scene of soaring mountains and beautiful shorelines awaits. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in St. Martin - St. Maarten

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269 148

Why Go: It may not have the luxurious reputation of the Maldives, but Seychelles does have striking scenery. This chain of islands off the eastern coast of Africa will astound you with its fawn-colored sands, massive boulders and calm waters, not to mention its giant tortoises.  Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Seychelles

#10
Belongs on list?
410 114

Why Go: With its skyline of gorgeous mountains and pointed pagodas, it's no wonder Bali means "heaven." On this Indonesian island, you can tour ancient temples, play with Sumatran elephants or simply lounge in one of many resplendent oceanfront resorts. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Bali

#11
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392 140

Why Go: Mykonos is like Santorini's wild sibling: This Greek island pulsates with a party beat nearly 24 hours a day. But there's a peaceful side to this island as well. For a more relaxed environment, watch the sun set over the Mediterranean from The Windmills' high perch. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Mykonos

#12
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261 115

Why Go: Kauai is the oldest and most rugged of the Hawaiian archipelago. Adventure-seekers will love hoofing it along the Kalalau Trail and hiking Waimea Canyon, while the Na Pali Coast beckons to photographers with its gorgeous ocean vistas. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Kauai

#13
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220 108

Why Go: Thanks to an embargo on cruise ships, casinos and high-rise hotels, Anguilla is a low-key island. Spend the day sprawled out on Rendezvous Bay, then listen to some home-grown reggae at lounges like Dune Preserve when the sun goes down. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Anguilla

#14
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241 131

Why Go: Darwin's wonderland hasn't lost its magic, and you won't be disappointed by what you find: Massive turtles and bizarre birds wander just feet from your camera. Sure, this isn't your typical getaway, but a trip to the Galápagos is one you'll never forget. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Galápagos Islands

#15
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344 206

Why Go: "U.S." may be in the name, but once you get here, you'll know you're not in Kansas anymore. Life moves at a slower pace and iguanas stake as much claim to the sidewalks as you do. Take the hint and stretch out on Trunk Bay's sands or grab a drink at the Cruzan Distillery. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in U.S. Virgin Islands

#16
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181 164

Why Go: This 290-square-mile Caribbean island is practically bursting with greenery. Its lush jungles, abundant wildlife and surging waterfalls are perfect fodder for adventurous travelers who are looking to commune with nature. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Dominica

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