Eight Castaway Islands to Escape to in the Summer Months

05/21/2015 10:54 am ET | Updated May 21, 2016
Jacada Trael

Soak up barefoot island life and explore the pristine surroundings of these idyllic spots.



1. Mataking Island

Snorkel and dive with barracuda and turtles. With its palm-fringed white sand shores, crystal clear turquoise sea and emerald green forested interior, this 40-acre island off of wild Borneo's eastern coast is a tropical idyll, but connected to world-renowned Sipadan by the Alice Channel it's also an exceptional spot for scuba diving. Turtles and barracuda are in abundance amidst colourful coral reef. Back on land, hike through the rainforest, taking a cookery class or visit the turtle hatchery. Scuba diving conditions are ideal year-round and the summer months are a popular time to visit.

DON'T MISS Set out on a dive trip to nearby Sipadan.




2. Islas del Rosario

Discover the unique ecosystem of a protected marine park. Just a short boat trip from Cartagena on Colombia's Caribbean coast, this archipelago consists of over 30 coral islands that lie amidst a vast marine national park that's considered one of the most important coral reefs worldwide. Stay on Isla Baru - the biggest in the archipelago - and use it as a base to snorkel and dive around coral reef that's brimming with sea life. The climate is good all year round.

DON'T MISS Charter a private yacht for a personal tour of the islands.




3. Isabela Island

Get up close to the island wildlife. While many choose to take a cruise around the Galapagos, an island stay is also possible, enabling you to base yourself in one spot while exploring the surroundings. Stay between the sandy shores and volcanic slopes of the largest island Isabela and use this as your base for hiking, kayaking, snorkelling and diving to see the wildlife that the archipelago is so famous for. Visiting in summer means you'll witness the sea lions breeding, blue-footed boobies nesting and tortoises laying their eggs.

DON'T MISS Ride on horseback up the slopes of the island's Sierra Negra volcano.




4. Sumba

Delve into authentic Indonesian island life. Just an hour from Bali, Sumba is twice the size of its counterpart, yet the island remains relatively untouched while the community has retained its traditional culture and way of life, making a trip to Sumba culturally rewarding as well as one of outdoor exploration. Rainforest and rice paddies blanket the interior, with villages of bamboo thatched houses. Hike to waterfalls that tumble down amidst the rainforest, horseback ride through the surf, and visit the local villages and markets. Visiting during the summer months means you'll avoid the monsoon season.

DON'T MISS Learn to freedive and go spearfishing with the expert resident guide.




5. Tioman Island

Set out from sandy shores to dive amidst coral reef. The largest of over 60 islands off Malaysia's south-eastern coast in the South China Sea, Tioman Island attracts visitors to its sandy shores for the picture-postcard beaches that are backed by rainforest with the chance to dive amidst coral reef. Stay in a chalet looking out to sea, nestled into the hillside forest, and set out on island hikes and boat tours to make the most of the pristine surroundings. By visiting in summer, you'll miss the monsoon season.

DON'T MISS Take a boat trip to nearby villages and try your hand at fishing.




6. The Quirimbas

Settle into the archipelago's barefoot island life. Summer is the ideal time to visit the protected islands of the Quirimbas archipelago, which are situated across a 60-mile expanse of ocean off the northern coast of Mozambique. White sand and crystal clear waters make the island an idyllic spot for a barefoot escape but the archipelago also offers outstanding snorkelling and diving with over 400 species of fish, pods of dolphins and turtles that hatch on some of the islands' shores. On land, walk amongst baobab trees and kayak through the mangrove.

DON'T MISS Set sail on a traditional Mozambican dhow.




7. Silhouette Island

Discover rare and endemic wildlife on mountain slopes. As the third largest island in the Seychelles, Silhouette Island has some of the archipelago's most dramatic scenery with five mountains, rainforest-covered slopes and the white sand shores that the Seychelles are so well known for. And, as one of the most biodiverse spots in the western Indian Ocean, the island is also home to an abundance of rare and endemic wildlife, while the surrounding waters are designated a marine national park

DON'T MISS Explore the surrounding waters by catamaran.




8. Pemba Island

Trek through forest and snorkel in coral lagoons. Named Pemba, meaning green, by Arabs in the 17th century, this island still lives up to its name with lush green hills, valleys and forest. From the island's white sand shores, kayak and snorkel in turquoise waters, or go further afield to visit dive sites with coral lagoons that are remarkably rich in marine life. The summer months are the ideal time to visit, with the least rainfall year-round.

DON'T MISS Dive with manta rays and turtles at rarely visited dive sites.


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