Ready to swap your home office for the beach?
With many of us still surrounded by the same four walls, working from our couches, kitchens and home offices, it’s no surprise that countless remote workers are desperate for a change of scenery, a different view, and maybe even a breath of fresh tropical air.
With this in mind — and as predictions reveal that more than a fifth (21.8%) of all workers will be entirely remote by 2024 — we wanted to remind people that “remote working” doesn’t always have to mean working from home. It turns out that the dream of replying to emails and taking client calls from a tiki bar in Hawaii may not be as far from reality as you’d think. There are plenty of countries now offering remote work visas and extended stays for United States citizens looking for a new type of office.
So, we decided to put together the ultimate list of remote islands offering the best possible setup for virtual work. To do this, we considered 7 different factors — across 50 tropical islands currently welcoming remote workers — that are vital to a successful workation:
- Average temperature
- WiFi speed
- Cost of accommodation
- Average daily budget
- Transport to the island from the U.S.
- Things to do and see
This is our ultimate travel guide to the 10 best islands, based on our research.
predictions reveal that more than a fifth (21.8%) of all workers will be entirely remote by 2024.
What makes Curaçao the best island for remote working? This tropical haven takes first spot not only for its pristine beaches and year-round sun, with the highest average temperatures in our list at 84.2°F, but it is also one of the 20 cheapest islands to stay on. It also finishes in the top 10 for internet speed (above average speeds of 55.03 Mbps), making the island a great option for those looking to work remotely from their own little slice of Caribbean paradise.
When on the island, there’s plenty to see and do, but an absolute must for any nature lover is a visit to Shete Boka National Park — a 10km stretch of rocky, wave-exposed coast on the north of the island where, if visitors are lucky enough, they can catch a glimpse of turtles laying their eggs at Boka Kalki.
2. Koh PhaNgan, Thailand
The Thai Island of Koh PhaNgan, although renowned for its monthly full moon parties, isn’t just somewhere to visit for a jamboree, but actually a perfect place for remote workers to call home for a workation. Thanks to the welcoming Thai culture, visitors will soon feel at home on the island. With the lowest cost of living of all our destinations, digital nomads and remote workers alike won’t have to break the bank to grab their own slice of this paradise as it’s possible to survive on a budget of just $17 per day.
The island has plenty to keep visitors busy both above and below the waves, finishing in the top 10 for activities and attractions. Any animal lover should make swimming with whale sharks at Hin Bai (Sail Rock) top of their list when visiting Koh PhaNgan for a truly unforgettable experience with one of the oceans most gentle giants.
3. Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
Renowned for its undeveloped beaches and incredible dive sights, this archipelago off the coast of Brazil is a true paradise for anyone looking for a remote island escape. With only a small population, putting it within the top 20 on our list for this metric, the island is a sanctuary for remote workers. Ranking in the top 10 for its internet speed (54.56 Mbps), which is actually higher than the U.S. average, this tiny island is ideal for hard-working Americans looking to swap their home office for the beach.
Anyone visiting this tropical paradise should make snorkeling at Praia da Atalaia a priority for their time away from the laptop. Praia da Atalaia is a unique tidal pool which only allows 100 visitors a day to explore its shallow waters filled with lobsters, octopus, fish, and, if visitors are lucky enough, baby sharks!
4. Easter Island, Chile
The iconic Moai statues aren’t the only draw to this beautiful island; with the 5th lowest cost of living and one of the top 5 internet speeds, it makes for a good base for remote workers or digital nomads to set up camp. Reaching the island is easy as it has its own airport, and with hundreds of archeological sites to explore, tourists certainly won’t be short of activities to keep them busy.
Anyone set on making Easter Island their away-from-home work base this summer should try and watch the Sunrise From Tongariki, where 15 moai statues stand next to each other on an Ahu (a form of ceremonial platform) facing inland, as the orange sun rises directly behind them, creating a shadowy silhouette out of the statues.
The island country of Aruba in the Caribbean Sea is a perfect place for remote workers to call home for a short while. With the 3rd fastest WiFi speeds in our ranking and an abundance of attractions and activities, putting it in the top 10 for this category, there’s plenty to keep visitors busy in their spare time. Although a little more expensive than some of the other islands on our list, Aruba holds its place in the top 10 thanks to year-round summer weather, beautiful beaches, and good connections to the rest of the world — both through internet speed and its own airport.
To make the most of their time on the island, visitors must take a look at the Guadirikiri Cave in their time off. Famous for its two chambers illuminated by sunlight streaming through holes in the roof, and hundreds of harmless bats nesting in the darker portions of the cave.
6. St. Lucia
This Eastern Caribbean island nation is great for travelers and remote workers on a low budget. It comes in at the 6th spot for cost of living, with guests able to live on the island on a budget of only $32 a day (excluding accommodation). Visitors will be able to live cheaply and remain online with a relatively slow but stable internet speed.
No visit to St. Lucia would be complete without climbing the Piton Mountains, some of the most recognizable natural landmarks in the West Indies. The higher of the two, Gros Piton (2,619ft) can be climbed with a guide who can take guests to the summit, with views more than repaying the effort.
7. Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
The largest of the 3 Cayman Islands, Grand Cayman is surrounded by colorful coral reefs and littered with stunning white sandy beaches — the ideal backdrop for a remote worker looking for a refreshing change of scenery. Finishing within the top 5 for temperature and within the top 10 for attractions, there’s no shortage of reasons to visit. Although accommodation on the island can be expensive, a daily budget of only $41 (excluding accommodation) should be enough to get by on for a short period of time.
When staying on Grand Cayman for a remote working vacation, visitors should make sure to take a tour of the Cayman Crystal Caves. The stalactite and stalagmite crystal caves are situated in a tropical forest in Northside on Grand Cayman and are a must see natural attraction.
8. Little Cayman, Cayman Islands
The smallest of the 3 Cayman Islands, with a tiny population of only 198, Little Cayman is a tropical island perfect for workers looking to relax while they work. The island just misses out on the top 10 for internet speed; however, it does finish in the top 5 for average temperatures (80.4°F) — putting it in the top 8 islands overall.
For anyone traveling to Little Cayman for a remote working vacation, diving at Bloody Bay Wall is our top recommendation. The diving spot is suitable for all experience levels and one of the most breathtaking dive experiences around.
9. Moorea, French Polynesia
Known for its volcanic mountains and sandy beaches, Moorea is the perfect playground for anyone looking to swap their usual remote work setup for a more casual, sun-kissed existence. It finishes high in the average nightly accommodation category, with a cost of under $120. Moorea also has the joint highest average temperature of 84.2°F — it’s a perfect workation destination!
The island boasts crystal clear waters, with a diverse coral reef providing the perfect place to cool down. There’s a whole host of activities to get your teeth stuck into, such as
- Paddle boarding
- Water skiing
Jamaica, renowned for its lush topography of mountains, rainforests, and reef-lined beaches is a remote work hotspot thanks to a relatively low cost of living. The island finished within the top 10 for average temperature; it also ranked in the top for attractions, with 1,734 things to see and do on the island.
Anyone traveling to the country as a remote worker must make time to visit the Luminous Lagoon, a bioluminescent shallow fresh and saltwater lagoon glowing nearly year-round. Boats will bring visitors to the middle of the lagoon after dark where they can swim in the radiant blue water which lights up when disturbed.
Remote work has never been easier
With so many countries now offering visas to U.S. “workationers,” taking a quick trip abroad to work has never been easier. If you’re overdue a trip across the pond, why not make your dreams a reality?