Recently crowned Oscar king Leonardo DiCaprio just gave $1 million to the Seychelles. It’s to help protect the island group’s pristine environment and more than 150,000 square miles of surrounding ocean. He couldn’t have found a more deserving recipient: While the Seychelles’ economy has struggled, it continues to be one of the world’s great island paradises. Many come simply for the white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters that make these pristine islands a top honeymoon destination. If you’re a nature lover too, here are five of the best nature spots to visit in the Seychelles, according to Lindsey Wallace, our Trusted Travel Expert for the islands:
1. Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, located on Praslin Island, is an ancient palm tree forest and home to the coco de mer, the largest coconut in the world (as well as the largest seed in the plant kingdom).
2. Aride Island. This protected nature reserve and its many unique flora and fauna are just a boat ride away from Praslin. Only the caretakers are allowed to overnight there; visiting is like taking a step back in time to what an untouched Seychelles island would have been like years ago.
3. La Digue. Best known for its world-famous beach, Anse Source d’Argent, this island is also noteworthy for its population of Aldabra giant tortoises, some of the largest and longest-living tortoises in the world. You can stay on La Digue or visit as a day trip from Praslin, or even from the main island of Mahe.
4. Aldabra Atoll. Rarely visited due to its remote location, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is the second-largest coral atoll in the world, and home to 100,000 Aldabra giant tortoises, plus a huge variety of seabirds and sea life. The only way to reach the atoll is by live-aboard boat. Few places in the world are as untouched.
5. Sainte Anne Marine National Park. This protected area is easily accessible from Mahe, lying just off its coast. It’s a fantastic spot for snorkeling; tours often include lunch and a visit to the park’s Moyenne Island.
Hats off to you, Mr. DiCaprio, for helping protect these unspoiled corners of our globe.
If you’re looking to plan the ultimate island-paradise trip to the Seychelles, we recommend reaching out to Wendy’s Trusted Travel Expert for the Seychelles, Lindsey Wallace. Be sure to use this trip request form so you’re marked as a WendyPerrin.com V.I.P. traveler.