Traveling is fun, especially when it takes you to a lush, green island. Tropical destinations like Oahu, Jamaica, and more are certainly calling to visitors, pretty much constantly throughout the year. That goes double for people who live in places with harsh winters.
Not every island is welcoming, though, and not always because of nature. Some are off-limits to preserve the culture of the people there. It seems rude to tease you with tropical islands you can’t go to but it’s still good to know.
DON’T GO: North Sentinel Island, India
A part of Andaman Island, North Sentinel Island is protected by its natives, the Sentinelese. They don’t allow any outsiders on the island. Indian Navy even patrols the waters around the island to prevent attempts to contact the inhabitants as confrontations can turn violent.
In 1991, researchers tried to contact the residents. The tribal people accepted fish and coconut bags but didn’t allow anyone to enter their area. This prohibition eased in November of 2018, though it’s only for researchers and anthropologists with proper permission.
DON’T GO: Snake Island, Brazil
Approximately 10,000 years ago, Snake Island, aka Ilha da Queimada Grande, was cut off from Brazil’s mainland thanks to a rise in the seawater level. There are signs of human intervention as a lighthouse stands on the island which is patrolled by the Coast Guard.
A total of 4,000 species of venomous reptiles live on the island, including a rare species known as Golden Lancehead. As such, humans are prohibited. The snakes feed on birds that travel during migration, which has proven to be more than enough to sustain their numbers.
DON’T GO: Island of the Dead Dolls, Mexico City
Located in the channels of Xochimilco south of Mexico City, this island is not for everyone. It seems like something out of a horror movie. While the Island of the Dead Dolls is not prohibited, you wouldn’t want to stop by, particularly if you listen to some of the terrifying stories.
Reputedly, a resident of Mexico City moved alone to this island in the ’50s and started hanging dolls on trees and old buildings. He did it to decorate the island. But they have become deformed over the years. Locals even say that they have seen these dolls come to life at night.
DON’T GO: Bouvet Island, South Atlantic Ocean
At over 1,600 miles from South Africa and 1,100 miles from Antarctica, this is the most isolated island in the world. Bouvet Island is perfect for an introvert as its only residents are penguins and seals. The island is covered in a glacier but its center is a volcanic crater.
20th-century experts decided to build a weather station but found a lifeboat in a small lagoon in perfect sailing condition already there. Who arrived there first remains a mystery. While there are no restrictions to travel to Bouvet, people still refrain from visiting the island.
DO GO: Pig Beach, Bahamas
No one knows how the pigs got there, but legend has it that pigs were at least there before humans arrived. As such, the name of this island is Pig Beach. These pigs don’t just walk. They also swim, with can give you an interesting swimming buddy.
The pigs have survived the test of time due to the generous humans on the island. It’s a beautiful place with gorgeous beaches and wonderful weather. Plus, there are a lot of pigs all over the place, which can be pretty adorable.