Are you an island kind of person?
Some people prefer to spend holidays in mountains, but most of us dream to visit place alike paradise with white golden beaches, azure blue ocean, huge palm trees, peacefully relax on this secluded piece of heaven and forget about the rush of our everyday lives. There are probably many places around the world which meet this idea, but if you’re looking for real tropical, untouched spot with the unique experience of culture and diversity of people at the same time, then you should definitely head to some of the treasured Polynesian islands.
And this is the list of top 7 hidden gems among these Pacific treasures according to Independent Couple:
7. Easter Island
Everyone on this planet probably came across the picture above, but only a few people actually saw it with their own eyes.
Easter Island is a Chilean island originally known as Rapa Nui and it lies in the southeasternmost point of a Polynesian triangle. Huge monolithic statues of human figures called Moai have been craved between 1250 to 1500 CE by the Rapa Nui people. These statues represented their deceased ancestors and when considering the age and the size of the statues, it is a truly admirable human feat worth to see.
Tonga is a great place to visit if you like to explore the history and rich culture except for nature and spectacular beaches. It is the only South Pacific’s remaining Kingdom, with history dated 3000 years back. The rich cultural base and a friendly nature of locals are just the beginning. There is a least dozen of things you can do in this tropical paradise, but one of the most memorable and possibly only place in the world you’ve got to try is the swimming with whales. Yes, the real whales!
Samoa is a wonderful choice when you’re looking for some peaceful place from the touristic rush. In the very heart of Pacific, you can explore some of the most beautiful beaches, exotic nature, meet friendly locals and taste their interesting cuisine. The best experience in Samoa is trying to live in their traditional “home” called Fale – which is a small wooden shelter without walls, typically built just right on the beach. With the friendly hosts which will prepare to you wonderful cuisine and tropical treats every day, it is really an unforgettable holiday for wanderlusters. You can read our full travel guide to Samoa here.
Hawaii is probably the most popular island in the entire Pacific Ocean. We could only speculate whether it’s because its marvelous tropical nature and climate, or because of the fact, that it is the 50th state of United States of America. Anyway, no one can’t deny that the Hawaiian archipelago is a perfect choice when it comes to great holiday time. This northernmost paradise of Polynesia is almost entirely formed by a volcano, which is why islands have many steep spectacular green mountains and active volcanic areas are attractive for biologists and volcanologists. If you have luck, you can even see the real lava flow on the Island of Hawai’i. With plenty of stunning public beaches, great waves for surfers and a great welcoming atmosphere, Hawaii will steal your heart for good.
3. Cook Islands
Perfect especially for honeymooners and couples, Cook Islands have a bit of everything for tropical lovers. There are secluded areas for enjoying just the time together in the heaven, and there are also places with the real tourist rush with plenty of events and program. Modern and traditional at the same time, Cook Islanders with their friendly nature and passion in cuisine will make your stay remarkable. Enjoy your holiday on one of the most beautiful beaches of all Pacific with all the comfort and hospitality which these Polynesian locals offer.
2. French Polynesia
Often referred as the “most beautiful place in the world”, one could not resist the turquoise lagoons, coral atolls and beaches with sand so white and smooth…Even famous artist Paul Gauguin was swept off his feet by this miraculous place and decided to settle there. Try to snorkel or dive and you will meet colorful fishes, turtles, dolphins, even sharks. Being accommodated in one of the overwater private bungalows is the dream of many people I know. Could be something more desirable than what is written above? Yes, when you’re considering to visit some of the Polynesia Islands and are looking for a real paradise on Earth, then you should opt for Bora Bora, Tahiti or 65 other inhabited islands of this God’s land.
1. New Zealand
New Zealand is our #1 Polynesian island. It is the biggest island(s) in a Polynesian triangle with the most diverse fauna and flora. Even though its climate is more mild than tropical, its beaches in some areas could easily compete to any other Polynesian tropical islands. Furthermore, there you will find unprecedented biodiversity from vast sand dune areas looking like deserts, wild bushes, and forests with plenty of great walks, tracks, camping sites to glaciers, mountains, Alps, active volcanic areas, caves, natural hot pools, coasts, cliffs etc. New Zealand is home to very special species of animals which are not anywhere else in the world, like endangered Kiwi bird, Tui bird with robotic-sound singing, or Tuatara – prehistoric reptile which is the only animal on this planet, which lived during the age of dinosaurs. This makes it a living fossil! Still not enough? Then you should explore rich and interesting Maori culture and traditions of these pre-European inhabitants. Their culture is full of interesting stories and tales which are unlike you have ever heard of.
And despite the fact, that New Zealand has this all, it is very progressive and developed country with one of the highest ranking of well-being.
Have you visited some of the Polynesian Islands? What is your favorite pick?
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© Independent Couple
pictures were sourced from Google unless otherwise stated