“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.
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.
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.
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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?
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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!
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!
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!