By MATTHEW KEPNES
The South Pacific is known for a lot more than just being the name of a Broadway musical. It’s also home to fabulous tropical islands, Polynesian culture, world war two, historical sites, coral reefs, and volcanoes. There are thousands of tropical islands in the South Pacific that make breathtaking tropical destinations for your holiday.
With so many tropical destinations to choose from, there is something for everybody in the South Pacific. Some islands are so small they are only beach and a surrounding reef. Others are so big they contain volcanoes, lots of wildlife, and even canyons. For the lover of tropical beaches, you have many options if you head to this part of the world.
Here are five of the best islands to visit:
For those seeking adventure, Fiji remains the best island to choose from. This country has some 322 islands. Fiji has excellent diving and Kadavu is one of Fiji’s best dive sites. The more energetic can go trekking in the Nausori Highlands overlooking Nadi. Taveuni also offers good hiking in the Bouma National Heritage Park. Most of the action happens in the western islands but no matter where you go this place is heaven.
A visit to here is like stumbling upon a parallel universe where hedonistic daydreams come to life. One of the biggest honeymoon destinations in the world, Tahiti offers pure paradise and a lot of romance. Tahiti is famous for its expensive resorts whose bungalows sit over the ocean, providing an excellent way to take a morning swim- simply dive out of your bed! There are fancy spas, hikes, sailing expeditions, and tours specially designed for couples. Be warned though- French Polynesia is not cheap and trips to Tahiti will cost you an arm and a leg.
Vanautu lies just south of the Solomon Islands. The real attraction of Vanuatu is its phenomenal sightseeing. Underwater visibility at its peak hits fifty meters, revealing limitless schools of colorful fish darting around spectacular coral reefs, as well as a formidable array of submerged WWII wreckages.
Visitors to Micronesia can enjoy spectacular diving, for example the many underwater wrecks in Chuuk. The ruins of Nan Madol in Pohnpei are also worth the trip, providing a fascinating view back to the 13th century Saudeleur dynasty who ruled there. Or if all you want to do is wind down, find a nice atoll and bask in the sunlight. It’s the kind of place where you pack your watch away and forget about time for a while. Don’t forget the sunscreen though.
The Cook Islands
This south pacific island group is pretty far off the map. OK, not too far but they are considerably less visited than some of its neighbors. These islands are named after James Cook, the intrepid man who discovered them. If you want Polynesian culture, unspoiled by mass tourism, this is where you should go. Woodcarving is a common art form in the Cook Islands. Weaving is another major cultural activity. Cook Island culture is most famous for Tivaevae, or path quilts. And if culture doesn’t interest you, just find peace and quiet among the palm trees.
For those looking for amazing tropical islands, you can’t beat the South Pacific islands. They offer some of the best beaches, best diving, and the best ocean in the world. There is great food and culture on these islands too. Polynesian culture is rich, diverse and has a long history. By far, I think that the best tropical islands are in this part of the world.
Matt is an avid traveler and beach lover. His ideal life is laying on the beach all day and working under the stars at night. You can find more information about his travels at Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site and more information about the best tropical islands at his other website, Best Tropical Islands