For some reason, fictional stories always seem to portray being marooned on a deserted island as a bad thing. Books like Lord of the Flies, movies like Cast Away, and TV shows like Lost portray it as a terrifying ordeal that one is lucky to survive. But if you ask me, aside from the obvious food and shelter issues, being cast away on some tropical deserted island sounds great. At least if you get dropped off on the kind of island portrayed in these stories, you have access to a beach, good fishing, trees to build a shelter, and regular rain for drinking water. Sure, I'd probably want to get off the island at some point, but the rescuers can take their time.
So-called "deserted island vacations" are a growing adventure travel trend among people with enough cash to spend. There are obvious difficulties to this type of vacation, of course; most importantly, it's extremely difficult to find islands that are 1) uninhabited, 2) picturesque, 3) safe, and 4) open to tourists. However, as the deserted island vacation trend grows, it's likely that governments and private individuals who own islands will begin taking advantage of this potentially lucrative business.
So what are the areas of the world most likely to have the right kinds of conditions for deserted island vacations?
The Caribbean: The Caribbean region has over 7,000 islands, cays, above-water reefs, and islets, and that's just the number that has been counted. To the northwest, there are the Greater Antilles, comprised of larger islands like Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica, all of which are surrounded by numerous smaller islands right in the middle of some of the most beautiful seas in the world.
And even more promising, to the southeast are the Lesser Antilles, comprised of hundreds of little island territories, including the Virgin Islands, Trinidad, Tobago, Grenada, Saint Vincent, and many others that most of us have never even heard of. And then there are also the Bahamas, the Florida Keys, and many more stray islands out in the middle of the sea.
Tips and comments:
As every deserted island enthusiast knows, the South Pacific region is the mother lode. When you take into account the Melanesian, Micronesian, and Polynesian island chains, add in the islands of Oceania, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and all the other countries in the region, you get an uncountable number of islands that probably number somewhere around 100,000. If you weren't paying attention, you might not have realized that there were this many islands in the whole world, let alone in one region.
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