Which Island Destination is Right for You?
Updated: Dec 27, 2019
From the brilliant lagoons of Tahiti to the timeless beauty of the Maldives and the impressive limestone landscapes of Southeast Asia, there is something truly intoxicating about an island escape.
My clients often ask me which island destination is right for them? Should I go to Fiji, Tahiti, Cook Islands, or the Maldives? The destination depends on the budget my client has to work with, the time they have to get away and what type of experience they want. I ask many, many questions to determine the best destination. Plus, I work with some amazing island specialists and together we can help you craft the perfect island getaway.
Check out the interactive map above to help orient you with my island recommendations. Here are just a few overall highlights of these 4 popular island destinations.
Tahiti is a world beyond all other island destinations. It is a land of breathtaking beauty, untouched beaches and ancient traditions. It is actually a country called French Polynesia which consists of 118 islands spread out over 5 different archipelagos in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Tahiti is the largest of all islands but it also tends to represent the entire collection of islands in people's minds.
The island of Moorea charms visitors with her emerald mountains and sandy shores while Bora Bora romances lovers with her gentle lagoons of unimaginable shades of blue and turquoise. The islands of Huahine, Raiatea and Taha'a captivate with their lush vanilla plantations and ancient maraes (sacred place). The islands of Rangiroa and the Tuamotu atolls (a ring-shaped coral reef that encircles a lagoon) beckon divers with their untouched coral reefs and vibrant marine life. The remote Marquesas Islands (one of the 5 archipelagos) enchant with their rugged cliffs and soaring mountain peaks.
As a Certified Tahiti Specialist, I would be delighted to create an amazing multi-island itinerary for you.
The Maldives consist of 26 atolls (a ring-shaped coral reef that encircles a lagoon) located in the Indian Ocean. They are located southwest of India and Sri Lanka and they are world's lowest-lying country with no point higher than 10 feet above sea level.
These islands feature world-class hotels that offer the highest standards of sophistication. One item that is unique to this destination is the 'one resort per island' style of travel. This means that wherever you stay, you'll feel as though you've been hidden away on your own private paradise. The resorts provide their guests with the perfect setting to relax on their pristine beaches and watch a vivid sunset with cocktail in hand. The beauty, serenity, romance and exclusivity of this destination are a tantalizing option for many travelers around the globe.
Since our clients usually spend the majority of their time on hotel premises, it is very important to pick the right island/resort. This is why using a Travel Advisor like me is so critical.
Read more destination information on The Maldives.
Another great option with the Maldives is that you could combine the breathtaking scenery of the islands with the intrigue and spirituality of Southeast Asia. We can create multi-destination vacation packages that bring the Maldives together with Singapore, Thailand or Bali. Explore the glittering metropolis of Singapore and visit the famous hawker centers with a mouthwatering selection of award-winning food. Escape to the rain forests of Bali for a spiritual and restorative experience or a private dinner for two in a Balinese temple. Marvel at the rich history and culture of Thailand and enjoy an unforgettable experience with elephants at a local elephant sanctuary.
One more option with the Maldives is that you could combine it with a stopover at the United Arab Emirates. This will give you an intoxicating blend of tropical and desert luxury. The resorts in both destinations complement each other perfectly with their exceptional service standards, attention to detail, and delectable culinary offerings. Why not try exploring the thrilling sights of Dubai from the comfort of your own luxury boat? Next, escape to the desert and take a step back in time. Here you can marvel at the wildlife and glimpse the ways of the ancient Arabian bedouins with a traditional barbecue dinner. Combining these two Muslim countries together create a wonderful vacation experience to remember.
Check out this sample itinerary of the Maldives and Dubai!
Moving back over to the warm, tropical waters of the South Pacific, Fiji is home to over 300 magnificent islands. It is located about 1300 miles northeast of New Zealand in the Pacific Ocean. Fiji's origins are Melanesian rather than Polynesian like Tahiti and the Cook Islands so the culture here is quite different. Visitors are greeted with an enthusiastic "Bula!" at every turn. The warmth emanating from the Fijians is second nature to them and wildly infectious. This is one of the things unique to Fiji.
These magical islands are also the ideal destination for any honeymoon or romantic escape. Featuring a variety of luxury and boutique resorts, Fiji offers the perfect setting to laze on sandy shores, take a romantic stroll at sunset, and experience exhilarating dives. If you like diving, then this is the place for you! In fact, this is the reason why Jean-Michel Cousteau set up a resort on these islands. A vacation to Fiji is one that will stay in your heart forever.
The South Pacific holds an alluring image of remote tropical islands, dazzling white beaches with gently swaying palm trees, and a sweetly slowed down pace of life. The Cook Islands is one of those places where time stands still. It is a small island group of only 15 islands and they are located between Tahiti and Fiji geographically but they share close relations with New Zealand politically.
They have many flights that connect with New Zealand so you could combine your stay to explore the active volcanoes and hot springs. Or even include a visit to Hobbiton! It is also possible that you could continue your journey to Australia as well. You could discover the spectacular coral reefs of the Great Barrier, the cosmopolitan city of Sydney and the arid Australian outback.
Check out this sample itinerary for Australia and the Cook Islands!
No matter what island destination you choose, you are sure to have a great trip. However, if you still can't decide, make sure to reach out to a travel planning expert like me!