Secret Pacific Islands to Visit at Least Once in Your Life

Explore the stunning landscapes of Lord Howe Island for a unique South Pacific getaway
Explore the stunning landscapes of Lord Howe Island for a unique South Pacific getaway | © Westend61 GmbH / Alamy
Konstantina Pyrnokoki

Travel Writer

Forget about Hawaii or Bora Bora – the following islands are just as idyllic and far less touristy. Picture smooth white sands, neon green waters and coconut palms, all hidden deep within the Pacific Ocean. Which of these would you rather get stranded on?

Niue

Dive among coastal reefs when you visit the tiny country of Niue

The smallest island country in the world, Niue is about 2,400km (1,491mi) northeast of New Zealand, at the heart of the triangle of Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands. It is also one of the largest raised coral atolls on the planet, which explains why it feels like paradise on earth. Think white-sand beaches, warm crystalline waters and corals clinging to rocky shores. You won’t find many people roaming around here, but you’re more than likely to spot brightly coloured fish and friendly humpback whales frolicking in the water.

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Destinations Unlocked:

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CentralAmerica

GORGEOUS GUATEMALA

Gorgeous Guatemala

5 days . Mini
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1. Guatemala

An express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.

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CentralAmerica

BEACHY BELIZE

Beachy Belize

5 days . Mini
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2. Belize

A quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
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CentralAmerica

COLONIAL MEXICO

Colonial Mexico

5 days . Mini
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3. Mexico

An exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
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SouthAmerica

ADVENTUROUS ECUADOR

Adventurous Ecuador

8 days . Epic
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1. Ecuador

A remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.

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SouthAmerica

ANCIENT PERU

Ancient Peru

9 days . Epic
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2. Peru

An alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
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Europe

SEDUCTIVE SOUTHERN ITALY

Seductive Southern Italy

10 days . Epic
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1. Italy

The ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.

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Europe

EDINBURGH AND THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS BY TRAIN

Edinburgh And The Scottish Highlands By Train

7 days . Culture
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2. Scotland

Embark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
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Europe

COMPLETE PORTUGAL BY TRAIN

Complete Portugal By Train

8 days . Culture
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3. Portugal

A wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
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Asia

SOULFUL SOUTH KOREA

Soulful South Korea

10 days . Epic
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1. South Korea

Discover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.

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Asia

THAILAND, CAMBODIA & VIETNAM

Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam

11 days . Epic
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2. Thailand

From Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
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Asia

SECRETS OF SRI LANKA BY TRAIN

Secrets Of Sri Lanka By Train

10 days . Culture
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3. Sri Lanka

A fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
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Africa

EPIC MOROCCO

Epic Morocco

11 days . Epic
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1. Morocco

An epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!

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Africa

ULTIMATE EGYPT

Ultimate Egypt

9 days . Epic
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2. Egypt

From Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
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Africa

IMMERSIVE KENYA

Immersive Kenya

8 days . Epic
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3. Kenya

An immersive blend of culture and wildlife for first time travelers to Africa. Learn about Nairobi, sample local coffee in the Aberdares and finish up with a fantastic safari stay in the Masai Mara.
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Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Aitutaki Lagoon on Rarotonga offers picture-perfect tropical scenery

There are about 15,000 residents spread among the 15 Cook Islands, which makes the destination particularly tranquil and naturally perfect for a low-key escape. The most popular of the bunch, Rarotonga, is still fairly undiscovered. You’re meant to appreciate the joys of the simple life here; and by simple, we mean hiking through lush rainforests and swimming in aquamarine lagoons before mingling with locals on “island nights” – these involve dancing and feasting on local delicacies such as rukau leaves or an ika mata salad.

Rock Islands, Palau

A getaway to the stunning Rock Islands is one for the bucket list

Comprised of 500 islands in the Micronesia region, the Republic of Palau is where to go for powdery sands and blue lagoons. Visit the Rock Islands in the Southern Lagoon of Palau (which are 300 islands shaped by ancient relics of coral reefs) to kayak around crocodiles gliding through mangrove swamps or snorkel among World War II wrecks. Don’t miss Milky Way cove – its turquoise waters contain limestone mud which is said to be rejuvenating – or Jellyfish Lake that’s home to millions of harmless golden jellyfish.

Vanuatu

Don’t miss Mele-Maat waterfall on a trip to Efate Island in Vanuatu

Just south of the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific is Vanuatu, a nation of 80 islands boasting magical scenery and rich marine life. Underwater, you’ll find yourself scuba diving among rainbow-coloured fish, coral reefs and fascinating World War II wrecks. And when you come back to the emerald surface, a whole other world of heavenly lagoons and dreamy waterfalls awaits. Make sure to visit the Blue Lagoon on Efate Island; it comes with rope swings, kayaks and picnic tables so you can make a day of it.

Huahine, Leeward Islands, French Polynesia

Head to Huahine to escape the crowds on Tahiti and Bora Bora – and to enjoy its gorgeous beaches

It’s no wonder some compare Huahine to the Garden of Eden. This pristine green island close to Tahiti and Bora Bora is less visited than its famous neighbours, which explains the unspoiled landscapes and relaxed way of living. Huahine comprises two equally pretty parts; Big Huahine hosts the slightly more touristy yet charming village of Fare, while Little Huahine offers isolated lagoons and white-sand beaches. Sacred temples are also found throughout the island, amid coconut palms, vanilla orchids and banana groves.

Lord Howe

Lord Howe Island is a perfect destination for active travellers

This Unesco-protected islet floating in the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand is such a well-kept secret that only 400 visitors are allowed to visit it at a time. This ensures Lord Howe’s amazing biodiversity remains intact. The island is a prime birdwatching destination – hundreds of thousands of 14 different species of seabirds breed here – while its waters brim with fish and coral reefs. Sunbathe on white-sand beaches or try kiteboarding, windsurfing and hiking through verdant kentia palm and banyan forests.

Uoleva, Tonga

Relax on the sandy beaches of Uoleva when you visit Tonga

Creamy sands and strikingly clear waters are the main draw of Uoleva. But what’s even better is the fact that the island is practically off the map – a tropical retreat floating in the Tonga archipelago, without roads and shops, stripped down to its sheer natural beauty. There are only five small resorts here, but they’ll make sure you’re super-happy here. And you really can have it all – from scuba diving, kitesurfing and paddleboarding to swimming with humpback whales in azure waters. The food is exquisite, too.

Monuriki, Mamanuca Islands, Fiji

Monuriki island in Fiji was the setting for ‘Cast Away’

The Mamanuca archipelago of Fiji comprises 20 islands, but seven of them are covered by the Pacific at high tide. Of the remaining 13, the uninhabited Monuriki feels like a secluded oasis made up of coral reefs, soft sands, coconut palms and volcanic cliffs. The island might look familiar to cinephiles as it was the set of the film Cast Away (2000), starring Tom Hanks. Sea birds, sea turtles and the endemic green iguana will keep you company here – but remember to bring your own food, if you don’t want to end up like Hanks.

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Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

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I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

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Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

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