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Best Secret Islands on Earth

Sampson Cay and Exuma Cays

Travis Rowan / Alamy

Bahamas: Sampson Cay and Exuma Cays

Partially protected from commercial activity since 1959, the Exuma Cays are normally the domain of cruisers—and a few privileged landowners such as Johnny Depp. But guests at Sampson Cay have access to the area’s thriving patch reefs and isolated islets. At the Sampson Cay Club (877/633-0305; sampsoncayclub.com; doubles from $275), the five modest villas include wide patios that are perfect for watching the sunset. While the limestone karst terrain may be rugged, every path ends on a stretch of secluded white sand.

T+L Tip: Rent a Boston Whaler from the hotel (from $250 per day) to tour the surrounding islands. —Dave Herndon

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