Destination Drifter: Tropical islands

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Boracay, Philippines

This tiny tropical island in the Philippines is making a big splash. After debuting at No. 4 in the World’s Best Awards last year, it has taken the top prize, appealing to travelers with its natural beauty and still-under-the-radar status—chances are you haven’t been there.

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Bali, Indonesia

It may be one of 17,500 islands in the Indonesian archipelago, but this paradise known for its temples is the country’s crown jewel, offering travelers glimpses into Balinese Hindu history thanks to a vibrant cultural scene filled with music and dance.

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Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

This exotic chain of isolated Pacific islands 600 miles off of South America is one of the ultimate dream trips. Where else can you spy a blue-footed booby or short-feathered penguins?

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Sicily, Italy

The sun shines on Sicily 300 days per year, illuminating an island rich in history (Greek and Roman ruins in Agrigento, for starters) and culinary traditions. Cannoli are made here, as are arancini, decadently golden fried rice balls, and all kinds of dishes showcasing the day’s fresh catch of fish.

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Kauai, Hawaii

Sleepy Kauai’s old-school charms and serene landscape will soothe even the most frantic urbanite. Two must-see sights: the dramatic Na Pali Coast and Waimea Canyon, both layered with scenic hiking trails.