Girl on boat looking out to sea

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“A drop of paradise in the middle of the ocean like no other”

This is the most beautiful island in the world…

A 200-sq-km island surrounded by clear emerald blue ocean, with waters filled with live coral, schools of tropical fish and manta rays. The land is wild and rugged, home to many endangered species of animals that have been left to roam freely and grow to giant proportions.

Waterfalls, temples and natural pools are connected by hiking routes throughout the island, it’s quite honestly an adventurers dream. This is all complimented by almost annual sunshine and clear skies, rain is a rarity. The temperatures stay high over night so what’s to stop you from sleeping under the stars? All sounds pretty good right? It gets even better, the beauty is that nobody really knows about it… yet.

It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful islands in the world but we’re not telling you where it is. Let me explain why…

Why is it the most beautiful island in the world?

If you’re lucky enough to find your way to this magnificent part of the world, you’ll do so on a rickety boat with locals bringing fresh supplies from the mainland. The waters are so clear you can see the ocean floor for the entire journey and even the port has schools of fish swimming happily.

Jumping off the boat and the coastline is incredible – if you’re patient you might even be able to spot some dolphins! Rare species of sea life take refuge in the waters around the island, dazzling the coral with their bright colours, and at the right times of year you can see nesting turtles on the beaches. 

On land critically endangered species of birds live in large communities after being driven out from neighbouring islands. Coconut and palm trees fringe the coast whilst further inland dense jungle and bush gives home to pythons, cobras, spiders and monkeys. You can hear nature as soon as you step off the boat. 

Backpacker on beach with volcano behind her
Fresh off the boat!
Dolphin swimming in the sea
Dolphin spotting from the beach
Girl hiking to tropical beach
Making you work for it – this beach was 5km from the closest road!
Man staring into beautiful sea on the beach
Not a soul in sight on the most beautiful island in the world

Within this beautiful mash of wilderness and wildlife are an unbelievable amount of natural wonders which will blow your mind. Hidden waterfalls and secret beaches, coral drop-offs and natural infinity pools, all dotted around the most beautiful island in the world. Don’t expect a map as most of these hidden gems are kilometres away from the closest navigable road with no signs or directions. You’ll need a good pair of shoes because the dirt track will only get you so far…

On the most beautiful island in the world you can spend days hiking, climbing and scrambling to incredible vistas. And, when you finally arrive to that secluded pool after hours of adventuring you’ll remember what travelling is all about. Take a tent or a hammock and sleep under the stars using the sounds of nature and the sun as your alarm clock. Just make sure to pack some snorkels so you can immerse yourself in the beautiful underwater world.

Man sitting camping on beach in front of fire
Beach, fire, tent, happy.
Perfect blue sea crashing into cliffs
This area was filled with manta rays, swimming with them is an experience of a lifetime!

I’ll bet you’re picturing scenes of Leo in The Beach now, right? Well, honestly this is one of the last few places where you may get a glimpse of that.

Unfortunately, like the movie shows, tourism often comes with serious consequences. Surprisingly these have not yet hit this island, yet. Despite it’s size and blistering amount of natural beauty the island is relatively undiscovered. Small fishing communities and seaweed farmers live in harmony on the coastline, catching enough to feed their families and trade in the local market. These locals seem to lack greed and financial incentives, living in balance with the island instead of selling it out.

The waves of tourism which have savaged many neighbouring islands have had little impact here. This has helped keep a natural balance and unlike many other lands, the signs of human life has added beauty rather than taken it away.

You can watch the locals in the underground temples giving offerings of flowers, water and incense to the island, living in a perfect balance. 

Interested in some sustainable travel tips?

Villager drying seaweed on floor
Local villagers drying out seaweed
Local fishermen farming seaweed
Local worshippers in underground temple
Morning prayer at one of the underground temples

Why Are We Keeping It a Secret?

This island continues to live in unadulterated beauty, like how I imagine many islands were 100 years ago. Whilst everybody wants a piece of paradise, we think it’s important to keep this paradise a paradise. Save it from the booze cruises spewing petrol into the waters, road infrastructure tearing through natural habitats and tour buses filled with thoughtless visitors on their way to overbooked hostels advertising happy hour.

What’s baffling is that it hasn’t happened already. The surrounding islands have felt the effects of mass tourism and locals are starting to feel the tragedy of the commons. Perhaps the lack of water on the island has been a saving grace? Perhaps it’s the good nature of the locals who haven’t had the desire to sell their land to investors?

I do know that times are definitely changing. Will the island we visited years ago still be the same?

Want to find out about turtle conservation in Costa Rica?

After conversations with locals we were told that development was on the horizon. We saw areas near the port being cleared for roads and plots of land were expanding. We also had a long debate with an investor from Singapore who had come to buy land to develop ‘luxury’ accommodation…

Dive and snorkelling companies, with their trampling customers, have already impacted the marine ecosystems and levels of nesting endangered birds are slowly dropping.

“Surely the local government is debating how to protect the island, right?” Wrong. They’re debating whether to develop a major tourist area or a limestone mining site!

Skinny stray dog drinking from water bottle on beach
Helping a little friend we made

There is hope for the most beautiful island in the world!

For many incredible islands the future can seem pretty dark BUT I believe there is a great opportunity to move in the right direction. Although the forces of finance and capital are trying to claim and exploit every beauty this world has to offer, people are fighting back!

Thanks to the hard work from locals and conservationists the island has officially become an Marine Protected Area. This international agreement limits human activity in the waters and helps increase conservation efforts and funding. It also limits the number of tourists coming to dive and puts pressure on the tour operators to ensure their customers are respectful of the coral.

Local conservation groups are working to strengthen and redevelop coral and mangrove communities around the island and have created incentives for locals to practice responsible fishing and farming. On top of this turtle monitoring projects have been set up and are flourishing. These projects are working with coastal communities to limit the damaging impacts of fishing and stop seaweed netting from harming nesting turtles.

On land grassroots groups are working to restore habitats and protect wildlife. They’re also promoting sustainable livelihoods for local people while providing education and promoting environmental awareness. Designated bird sanctuaries are helping to maintain critically endangered species and huge tree reforestation programs have taken place.

Come on eco-warriors!

Baby hawksbill turtles swimming in conservation pool
Local conservation groups doing a great job!
Travellers with local worshippers
Eco warriors!

The Most Beautiful Island in the World

This is one of the most beautiful islands in the world, however, like many other, it has an uncertain future. If you are lucky enough to discover this incredible place (and remember you are lucky) then treat it with respect! Help to contribute to the islands conservation rather than it’s downfall. Preserve these beautiful places rather than treading it into non-existence. We as humans have quite a bad track record of not being respectful guests, this is why we are keeping the most beautiful island in the world a secret!

Have you ever been somewhere so beautiful you want to keep it a secret? Let us know in the comments box!

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  1. Really interesting read and very well written! Super jealous of you both, it really does look like paradise and good to hear people are committed to protecting it! Keep the articles coming! X

  2. Hey my man, glad you liked the article, It really was an incredible place! Really appreciating the love and support 🙂

  3. It looks like an incredible place, and I bet sleeping under the stars there would be amazing. I think it’s good that you decided not to name or give away the location of the island. There are so few places untouched and undamaged by tourism. Don’t get me wrong, I like tourism – it’s how we get to visit incredible places, but I feel like we need to leave something untouched by the masses.

  4. It’s a difficult situation isn’t it. We want to see all of these amazing places around the world but it’s pretty crushing when you see them being ruined by tourism. Sustainable travel is the way forward!!

  5. Wooow! this is absolute paradise! hidden waterfalls, natural pools, dolphins, turtles…the sunset…and much more!You were lucky to be in paradise!

  6. It looks like an amazing place. I love discovering places that aren’t overcrowded with tourists. I would love to explore the hidden waterfalls and natural pool. O! And those turtles were sooo cute 🙂

  7. being indonesian as i am, i wasn’t so sure the place until i got to the last picture then i was like… oh, bali. 😛 not sure though in which part of bali it was. not to mention i’m notoriously an indonesian who’s never been to bali so i’m not really familiar with the religion itself. hopefully i can pay a visit some time this year though. cheers! 😀

  8. Ugh, way to keep everyone in suspense! I wish I knew where this was but simultaneously am glad that your are keeping it secret! It looks beautiful and sounds exactly like the place I would like to visit. Sad to hear how development is coming, hopefully not too much! Thanks for sharing.

  9. That looks like complete and utter PARADISE. I have to admit I’m a bit jealous, but I truly admire your decision to keep it a secret. I’ve seen so many of my favourite places become adulterated over the last few years and I think it’s imperative that we do our best to protect what’s left. It reminds me of something an old mentor once advised me when we were chatting about travel writing – Share everything, but keep the best part for yourself. 🙂

  10. Such a cool post! It was well written and I really enjoyed that you kept the location a secret. It shows that you are really passionate about protecting these beautiful locations. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Hey Marya! What part of Indonesia are you from? I thought it was a very beautiful country, I wish I could’ve explored more of it! It’s not Bali btw 😉

  12. I’m torn between wanting you to keep the island location a secret and selfishly wanting to visit the mostly unadulterated island myself. I think you made the right choice. One thing we can all hope for in this new world in which we live is that more and more people are becoming aware of our carbon-footprint and making choices to preserve the locations from too much harm. We try to teach our children to respect where we are and leave it better than how we found it. Let’s hope this tradition carries on. Fantastic read.

  13. Hey Lance! Yes, the key is education I think, if everyone becomes aware of their carbon-footprint and travels sustainably then good things will come! Thanks for the comment!

  14. I was guessing all the way till the end, but there are no significant landmarks anywhere 🙂 You did a great job of keeping the name a secret. Places like these are hard to come by. I’m sure you had a terrific time at your hideaway.

  15. This island looks nice and probably not abused by rouge tourist. Will actually want to keep Iceland a secret because it is so beautiful. Hopefully few years down the road, Iceland can still preserve their natural landscapes. Read alot stories on abuses or disregard for the attractions.

  16. Yes, there seems to be a lot of attention on Iceland at the moment and the amount of tourism has rocketed. Hopefully it can keep it’s dignity!

  17. It does look like a fantastic place, especially since you pointed out all the wonderful things, like fishing and temples that aren’t just beachy. I love a good secret.

  18. The temples were incredible! Have you got any destinations that you’d like to keep secret?

  19. The Most Beautiful Island In The World

    It certainly looks like it.

    And fabulous pictures to suit. A very nice part of the world.

    Cheers Sharon…

  20. I found it in about 1 hour of searching various things and wow it is as amazing if not more amazing then you described, I dont want to say the name of it but trust me i know what It is. thanks for the great tip on this place

  21. I have spent many yesrs in Thailand and many years ago in Baja, Mex. 40 years in the outdoor business. I’m ready for a new adventure! Please tell me more! Best regards, Bill

  22. Hey there Bill, where abouts in Thailand were you? We’ve not made it to Mexico yet but we can’t wait to get there at some point. What kinda work were you doing in the outdoors?

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