The World’s Most Secluded Islands

Posted on September 7, 2010 by

Lounging on an empty beach floored by soft, white sand to find only your own footprints trailing behind you: that’s many travelers’ dream – but does that paradise really exist? This week we take a look at far-flung isles that might just make the cut to become some of my fantasy islands. We swing from Micronesia to Africa to find the world’s most secluded islands – their sheer isolation from the outside world have made them what they are today.

Rock Islands, Palau

Palau’s  Rock Islands are a phenomenal series of 485 jutting limestone islets rising from the turquoise waters of Micronesia. Most of these Rock Islands have stunning sandy beaches that are completely secluded and make for some excellent lounging ground after a day of scuba diving. Besides the empty beaches, you can head inland to uncover mystical caves, rock arches, ancient rock paintings and lakes. The Jellyfish Lake – made famous by National Geographic- gives you the unique chance to swim with millions of tiny stingless jellyfish.

1019491-Palaus_famed_Rock_Islands-Palau Photo from virtualtourist.com

Mafia Islands, Tanzania

Most travelers head to Tanzania’s popular island Zanzibar for pristine beaches, seafood and full-moon parties. But few know of the charm of its quiet neighbor, Mafia Island. There are only a handful of resorts on the isles – so if you’re looking for complete tranquility, then this might just be your slice of heaven. Mafia’s protected deep-water anchorage at Chole Bay is studded with islands, sandbanks and beaches. Swim with whale sharks or free dive into its coral-carpeted sea bed or lounge on the white sandy shore of Utende Beach.

whale-shark Photo from mafiaislandblog.com

Mahe, Seychelles

In the Seychelles archipelago, expect turquoise waters similar to that of the Caribbean Islands, without the flashy resorts and tourists. Grab your snorkel and wade through the shallow beaches of Mahe to find abundant marine life right by the coastline. The emerald beach of Beau Vallon is backed by the undulating slopes of the mountains that run down to the center of Mahe and then flattening out as it reaches the shoreline.

Seychelles_mahe_Baie_Lazare_89880b588c8a4d08bcf31c925e86c0ed Photo from willgoto.com

Christmas Island, Australia

What was once a refugee camp during the war is now a peaceful, quiet isle rich in endemic flora and fauna. Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean, has had minimal human interference and therefore is home to some unique animal species that can only be found here. Come and catch the annual red crab migration, swim with whale shark or observe turtles nesting by night – it’s a wildlife lovers’ paradise.

christmas_4

Vanuatu

A patchwork of secluded islands lie in the heart of the Pacific Ocean – many of which are either uninhabited or isolated. On the island of Vanuatu, the local way of life hasn’t changed much since centuries ago. Local tribes lead a primitive lifestyle, living in mudhouses and dancing along to the beats of drums, especially on special occassion. Besides empty beaches, the active volcano, Yasur, itself is worth visiting.

du_pacifique_grace_a_koh_lanta_le_vanuatu_n_attire_pas_encore_autant_que_la_nouvelle_caledonie_heroine_de_la_saison_2005_du_jeu_reference Photo from picses.eu

Andaman Islands, India

Stretching miles across mainland India is another group of islands so isolated from the world that the native tribal way of life is hardly influenced by the outside world. Their ancestors are thought to have arrived in the islands 60,000 years ago from coastal India in the initial expansion of humanity from Africa that began 100,000 years ago. To this day, these tribes still retain their ancestral practices and language.

andaman_jarawa_women_510306 Photo by cdnn.info

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About Nellie Huang

Nellie Huang is the co-founder of WildJunket. As a professional travel writer with a special interest in offgrid destinations and adventure travel, she scours through the world in search for a slice of undiscovered paradise. In her quest, she's climbed an active volcano in Guatemala, swam with sealions in the Galapagos and built a school in Tanzania.

22 Responses to “The World’s Most Secluded Islands”

  1. Migrationology September 8, 2010 7:54 pm
    #

    I’m thinking about going to Mafia Island when I travel to Tanzania later this year. I didn’t know you could swim with whale sharks there, nice!

    Very beautiful place, would love to go to the Andaman Islands and Palau!

  2. Connie September 9, 2010 11:46 am
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    Thanks for an inspiring post! I hope to one day make it to all of them!

  3. Sabai_Sabai September 10, 2010 1:13 pm
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    Wow. The Rock Islands in Palau look amazing!.
    I would love to be able to paddle around them for a day, just by myself. What paradise.

  4. TorAa September 11, 2010 1:57 am
    #

    This is truely amazing tropical Islands.
    What about the Andaman Islands after the sumani?

    Greetings from
    Norway

    byw. Came to you from RennyBA

    • Nellie September 21, 2010 7:37 pm
      #

      Hey TorAa thanks for dropping by, great to hear you found me through Renny! I met him personally in Oslo and had a great time seeing the city through his eyes.

      The Indian Andaman Islands were badly affected by the 2004 tsunami, I believe they are still recuperating from it but it would be interesting to see how they have worked to recover from it.

  5. Travel guide September 13, 2010 11:21 am
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    Mafia Island is gorgeous! It’s wonderful to swim with whales and sharks! Your photos are inspired me to take an island trip… Wonderful blog. Thanks for sharing

  6. Leigh September 15, 2010 12:04 pm
    #

    Your beautiful pictures spark the imagination and make most people want to hop on a plane and go….I guess I don't fit into the right category – maybe it's my northern blood. Several years ago I went to Rotorua, an atoll off of Tahiti, just about in the middle of nowhere. The pictures looked idyllic; there were sharks to swim with, colourful fish to BBQ and everything one associates with a tropical vacation. It was also so frigging hot that you had to cover all your body when you went swimming. I was kayaking and we swam more than we kayaked some days just to keep cool. Shade was our friend, The sun was relentless and even with zinc oxide or more likely because of zinc oxide I got second degree burns on my legs whch caused huge swelling. I'm thinking its dog sledding and northern lights for me. But a great blog (as usual) for the sun worshipers.

  7. Natural Wonders September 17, 2010 8:27 am
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    Nice and educational post. I didn't know that there's an island called Christmas and that India has black tribe.

  8. Norbert October 1, 2010 3:30 am
    #

    Wow! How I wish I could just hop to one of those islands right now. Great list!

  9. Michelle October 14, 2010 8:37 pm
    #

    Whale shark ‘season’ on Mafia is October thru to the end of March when there are daily trips. Code of conduct is very strict as the local population are keen to protect these magnificient creatures. Karibu (welcome) to Ras Mbisi Lodge, Mafia Island

  10. Journeys and Travels July 8, 2012 3:16 pm
    #

    I would love to to the Rock islands in Palau. Awesome

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