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The world's best islands of 2015

TripAdvisor, a travel review and booking site, recently chose the world's best islands of 2015.

This year, Providenciales in Turks and Caicos was named the No. 1 island in the world. On the U.S. island's list, Maui, Hawaii came in first. In fact, Maui appeared twice, once on both lists.

The Travelers' Choice awards are based on TripAdvisor travelers around the world and are based on the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings for hotels, restaurants and attractions on islands worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period.

Check out the world's 20 best islands of 2015.

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

The world's best island according to TripAdvisor is
Photo Credit: TripAdvisor

The world's best island according to TripAdvisor is Providenciales of the Turks and Caicos islands. The diving and snorkeling in Providenciales is as convenient as it is stunning, thanks to miles of coral reef that’s easily accessible from the shore.

Don't miss: The beachscapes of Grace Bay and the cliffs and crags of Chalk Sound.

Maui, Hawaii

The Hawaiian island of Maui is a destination
Photo Credit: TripAdvisor

The Hawaiian island of Maui is a destination for true nature lovers. Explore the ethereal bamboo forest and churning waterfalls in Haleakala National Park. Stretch out on warm, golden sands or hit the surf for an unforgettable windsurfing or snorkeling session. Maui is such a popular travel destination that it's the only island to appear on both of TripAdvisor's lists for world's best islands and top U.S. islands of 2015.

Don't miss: Ka'anapali Beach, Haleakala Crater and Wai'anapanapa State Park.

Roatan, Honduras

From zip-lining to deep-sea fishing to exploring the
Photo Credit: TripAdvisor

From zip-lining to deep-sea fishing to exploring the military-protected archipelago of Cayos Cochinos, Roatan, Honduras, is a playground for lovers of water sports and ecotourism.

Don't miss: Landlubbers will love the Carambola botanical gardens, touring the Stone Castle Cameo Factory, or exploring beaches, like West Bay Beach, on horseback.

Big Island, Hawaii

Life on the Big Island in Hawaii is
Photo Credit: TripAdvisor

Life on the Big Island in Hawaii is a little bit slower … and locals like it that way. The natural beauty and ecological features of the island are a draw for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Test your chutzpah at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, home to the longest volcanic eruption in recorded history, or climb to the indescribably beautiful summit of Mauna Kea.

Don't miss: Kilauea Iki Trail, Mauna Kea Summit and Kona Ocean Adventures.

Santorini, Greece

Even if you’ve never been to Santorini, Greece,
Photo Credit: TripAdvisor

Even if you’ve never been to Santorini, Greece, the Cyclades island in the Aegean Sea, you’d still recognize it immediately: candy-colored houses carved into cliffs, sapphire waters, gleaming white buildings topped with half-spheres the color of a stormy sky. You'll find black sand beaches.

Don't miss: Beautiful Oia is world-famous for its sunsets, which seem tinted with every shade of an artist’s palette. Also, a must-see is Skaros Rock, one of Santorini's five castle fortresses, and Akrotiri Archaeological site.

Kauai, Hawaii

Relaxing and pristine, Kauai (the Garden Island) is
Photo Credit: TripAdvisor

Relaxing and pristine, Kauai (the Garden Island) is the least commercially developed of the Hawaiian islands. Waterfalls, scenic drives and more than 60 beaches dot the landscape. Some beaches have great snorkeling, others offer child-friendly tidal pools and some are perfect for all kinds of water sports.

Don't miss: Hiking the Kalalau Trail on the Na Pali coastline, taking a day trip to Waimea Canyon and experiencing life on a sugar plantation at Grove Farm Homestead Museum.

Ko Tao, Thailand

Drifting serenely in the Gulf of Thailand, the
Photo Credit: TripAdvisor

Drifting serenely in the Gulf of Thailand, the palm-fringed island of Ko Tao takes its name from the abundant sea turtles that reside on its shores. White sand beaches sheltered by steep hills — some only accessible with four-wheel drive vehicles — and 300 days of sun per year invite long afternoons of lounging.

Don't miss: Sai Nuan Beach and Apnea Total Koh Tao, the headquarters for a network of free-diving schools around the world.

Key West, Florida

Key West, Florida is known as the “Winter
Photo Credit: TripAdvisor

Key West, Florida is known as the “Winter White House” because of its appeal to visiting U.S. presidents, and the island has been home to literary greats like Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams. The diving here is phenomenal, as is the kid-friendly Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center.

Don't miss: The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, Dry Tortugas National Park and the Blue Eyed Trader Private Charters.

Madeira, Portugal

The capital city of breezy Madeira is Funchal,
Photo Credit: TripAdvisor

The capital city of breezy Madeira is Funchal, which was settled in the 15th century and is a colorful collection of gardens, religious sites and quirky tourist attractions like the thatched-roof Madeira Story Centre. Hike to the summit of Pico Ruivo and you’ll feel like you’ve climbed through the clouds.

Don't miss: The Monte Palace Tropical Garden and the Monte Cable Car, which offers panoramic views of the island.

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Marco Island, Florida

Marco Island in Florida brings visitors the best
Photo Credit: TripAdvisor

Marco Island in Florida brings visitors the best that the Ten Thousand Islands have to offer. Scavenge for seashells or hit the links for a sunny session of golf. Explore the Everglades in a swamp buggy or enjoy a rejuvenating nature hike at the Rookery Bay Reserve.

Don't miss: Mackle Park, Capt. Ron's Awesome Everglades Adventures and Keewaydin Island.

Bali, Indonesia

Bali is an Indonesian paradise that feels like
Photo Credit: TripAdvisor

Bali is an Indonesian paradise that feels like a fantasy. Soak up the sun on a stretch of fine white sand or commune with the tropical creatures as you dive along coral ridges or the colorful wreck of a WWII warship. On shore, the lush jungle shelters stone temples and mischievous monkeys.

Don't miss: The “artistic capital” of Ubud is the perfect place to see a cultural dance performance, take a batik or silver-smithing workshop, or invigorate your mind and body in a yoga class.

Hilton Head, South Carolina

Long known as a golfer's paradise, Hilton Head
Photo Credit: TripAdvisor

Long known as a golfer's paradise, Hilton Head Island in South Carolina is heaven for any type of sports enthusiast. Tennis, volleyball, polo, championship golf on some of the best fairways in the United States -- those are just a few athletic options. All of it surrounded by sunny beaches and lush greenery.

Don't miss: Explore Hilton Head's natural wonders: The Sea Pines Forest Preserve offers a close-up look at a swamp without having to get mucky. Raised boardwalks provide a protected path for pedestrians. And visit the colorful Harbour Town Lighthouse, which is the island's icon.

Mauritius, Africa

Mauritius, Africa is a 38-mile by 29-mile island.
Photo Credit: Trip Advisor

Mauritius, Africa is a 38-mile by 29-mile island. Port Louis, the modern capital, is a bustling port with a revitalized waterfront and a busy market. But most visitors gravitate toward resort areas such as Mont Choisy, quiet Trou-aux-Biches and the more bustling Flic en Flac, popular with scuba divers.

Don't miss: Rivière Noire is ideal for those looking for great deep-sea fishing.

Key Largo, Florida

Just a few minutes' drive but a world
Photo Credit: TripAdvisor

Just a few minutes' drive but a world away from the mainland, Key Largo, Florida has been the setting of movies, the home to abundant wildlife and a favorite destination for scuba diving. Lush flora and lively fauna abound in the Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and Everglades National Park. Underwater, the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary teems with life while the American crocodile thrives at Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

Don't miss: Molasses Reef, Dolphins Plus and Rainbow Reef Dive Center.

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Turquoise lagoons, soft white sands and deep tangerine
Photo Credit: TripAdvisor

Turquoise lagoons, soft white sands and deep tangerine sunsets set the scene for romance in Bora Bora, French Polynesia. Mingle with tropical fish as you flutter around Coral Gardens or Tupitipiti Point, or relax on a self-driving tour as you take in beautiful views of the once-volcanic Mount Otemanu.

Don't miss: At the Lagoonarium you can watch shark feedings and swim with turtles. Cap it all off with a succulent meal at one of the island’s fine French restaurants, then sip a tropical cocktail under the stars.

Chincoteague Island, Virginia

Wild horses can actually drag you away …
Photo Credit: TripAdvisor

Wild horses can actually drag you away … to Chincoteague Island in Virginia. Here, ponies run wild, you can catch or dig up your own seafood and the beaches bring literal breaths of fresh air. The Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is a wonderfully unspoiled spot for bird watching, horseback riding, swimming and biking. Every summer since 1925, all of the feral ponies on Assateague are rounded up for the world-famous annual Pony Swim over to Chincoteague.

Don't miss: The Museum of Chincoteague and the Chincoteague Cruises & Nature Tours.

San Juan Island, Washington

San Juan Island in Washington state might not
Photo Credit: TripAdvisor

San Juan Island in Washington state might not be a tropical retreat, but this scenic scape proudly features beaches, orca pods and one of the country’s largest lavender farms. Lime Kiln Point State Park is the perfect place for whale-watching, while Pelindaba Lavender Farm will set you up with a lifetime supply of the fragrant purple plant.

Don't miss: The bustling Friday Harbor is a jackpot of restaurants and shops, plus unique attractions like the 19-acre sculpture garden at Westcott Bay Reserve. Also check out Maya's Westside Whale Watch Charters, Crystal Seas Kayaking and Zip San Juan.

Fernando de Noronha

The archipelago of Fernando de Noronha in Brazil
Photo Credit: TripAdvisor

The archipelago of Fernando de Noronha in Brazil is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a delicate ecosystem. Visitors are restricted, but the lucky few are rewarded with unrivaled beaches and soothing warm waters filled with dolphins and sea turtles.

Don't miss: Hike the ecological trails of Jardim Elizabeth, the Esmerelda Coast or Sancho Bay, which culminates in a climb up a steep set of stairs carved into the split of a cliff. Also check out the Fortaleza N S dos Remedios, the largest Brazilian 18th-century fort.

Mackinac Island, Michigan

Charming Mackinac Island is a throwback to old-timey
Photo Credit: TripAdvisor

Charming Mackinac Island is a throwback to old-timey seaside leisure, from the candy-colored facades of downtown shops to the impressive (record-breaking, in fact) front porch of the Victorian-era Grand Hotel.

Mackinac is world-famous for its homemade fudge, available in every flavor you can imagine. Work off your sugar high with a round of golf, a bike ride along a seaside trail, or exploring the limestone bluffs of Mackinac Island State Park.

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