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  • Top 5 islands you have to see before you die

    Vieques

    Islands are cool place to visit for at least to reasons. One, there’s the possibility that you have to (or can) take the boat to get to your destination. Two, they are (most of the time, and we are not talking about giants like Greenland) small enough so that you can explore them properly over the span of one holiday.

    Besides that, the stereotypical island has beaches, palm trees and sunny weather, what’s not to like about that? But regardless of your tastes in island climate and geography, here are some bits of land that you must be crazy not to like. Here are the top 5 islands you have to see before you die.

    Vieques, Puerto Rico

    The US Navy had a base on Vieques for more than 60 years, and when they packed up and left in 2003, they didn’t leave even the slightest mark of their presence. The tiny Caribbean island of Vieques (called little girl island, Isla Nena by Puerto Ricans) is virtually unspoiled.

    And what you can find here is not simply nature in its purest form, but one of nature’s most amazing wonders: natural bioluminescence. Puerto Mosquito, one of the seven bioluminescent bays on the planet, is probably the brightest of them all. Wait for a moonless night, rent a kayak and paddle through the waters filled with tiny luminescent microorganisms.

    Easter Island

    Easter Island is one of those places that doesn’t even need an introduction anymore. If you are planning on visiting this place, you are probably not going for a traditional island getaway.

    The vestiges of the ancient culture that flourished on Easter Island is all you need to see to fall in love with this island. Wander among the frozen figures of the moai scattered around Raraku crater, and marvel at the creations of people who lived centuries ago.

    Ischia, Italy

    Ischia’s appeal lies in the therapeutic hot springs that mystified scientists since ancient times. You can go to thermal gardens and baths if you want to test the healing effects of the water either in the privacy of Roman-style baths or modern spas, but if you want to go au naturel, just go to the beach and find a stream or a steam spouts. For some Italian sauna, try the sudatori, natural saunas in caves where steam spouts appeared.

    photo by Kevin Gabbert

    Chiloe Island, Chile

    Chiloe is not far off the coast of Chile, but the culture and customs of the islanders is visibly different from what you can find on the mainland. The mythology and folklore of this tiny island is one of the richest in the world, so if you speak/understand some Spanish, the most rewarding experience of your holiday here will be chatting with the locals.

    Penang, Malaysia

    Penang’s beaches are nice, but nothing compared to those in other parts of Malaysia, but beaches are not really the main attraction here. Penang is perhaps the most multicultural of all Malaysian states, and the diversity of people, culture and cuisine in Penang is unrivaled by any other island you might visit. It is the food paradise of Malaysia, so come with an empty stomach.

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