TripAdvisor best islands for 2015: World's best island named in Travellers' Choice Awards

Providenciales in Turks and Caicos is the number one island destination in the world, according to TripAdvisor's latest Travellers' Choice Awards.

A former pirate haunt, Providenciales is a little east of  Cuba, luring tourists with miles of coral reef close to the shore, renowned for world-class diving. The tiny uninhabited islands dotted off its coast are easily reached by boat, perfect for day trips. Wildlife lovers can keep an eye out for whales, as the island is close to a common migration route.

Providenciales knocked last year's "fantasy getaway" winner, Ambergris Caye, off the top spot.

This year, Ambergris Caye, which is similarly located in the Caribbean off the coast of Belize, failed to snare a spot in the top 10.

At number two is the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands, Maui. If you like outdoor activities with spectacular backdrops, this is your island. Postcard-perfect waterfalls tumble from steep, lush mountaintops into shimmering pools of water. Visitors can hike or bike its lava trails, or head to the beaches to surf, snorkel or windboard.

In third place is Roatan, about 50 kilometres off the north coast of Honduras. Part of the Bay Islands, home to the second largest barrier reef in the world, Roatan is surrounded by coral reef teeming with fish, so it will come as no surprise the island draws visitors for the spectacular diving and snorkelling. There's also white sand beaches, and a rugged mountain interior begging exploration.

Greece's perennial favourite Santorini polled at number five, and Ko Tao climbed the ladder from 10th spot to number six. The smallest of three heavily-traversed islands on the Thai peninsula's east coast is popular with divers looking for cheap certification. 

Indonesia's Bali was a new entrant in the top 10 this year, slotting in at number seven.

Although Bora Bora in French Polynesia took a slide from third to ninth place, it retained the number one position for most popular island in the South Pacific. Two of Australia's most popular islands rated well, with Lord Howe at eighth position, followed by Norfolk Island at number 10.

Penny Holloway, Lord Howe Island board representative said tourism to the island is increasing; "Our visitor numbers have been trending upwards over the last few years and we are continuing to see travellers leaving the island very satisfied with the experience they have had."

The Traveller's Choice awards are based on contributors' reviews and ratings of hotels, restaurants and attractions over a 12-month period. 

Take a look at the world's top 10 islands in the gallery above.

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