The worst aspects of travelling abroad is the visa hassle that come with the preparations. There is red tape, conflicting information, interviews — we all know interviews are nerve-racking and awful right? In an ideal world, no travelers should have to prove themselves worthy to enter a place where they just want to relax for a couple of days/weeks.
Tripoto has consolidated the ultimate list of the most beautiful island destinations where Indians can go with minimal visa related fuss. Many Caribbean island destinations offer on arrival visa for Indians, visa-free and visa via email services (how convenient right). These are scenic island destinations; mysterious and unusual, with very little tourism. You should totally check them out.
Maldives – On Arrival Visa for Indians up to 30-days
Island facts: About 80 islands of the archipelago have been developed for tourists, so you’re guaranteed to have a wonderful vacation.
Things to do: Just about anything you like on the tourist islands. Inhabited islands are not all open to tourists without permits.
Keep in mind: Maldives is expensive. Most tourist islands are one-resort islands, which mean that you will have a great time, but you will pay for it. Inhabited islands can be very conservative and if you do go, you’ll need to act according to the local ways.
Mauritius - Visa free for Indians up to 90 days
Island Facts: Popular island destination with everything you might expect.
Things to do: Well, there’s everything, but step out of the box. Or plane, as it were – try tandem skydiving.
Keep in mind: If you don’t know French, you might want to get a phrasebook. A lot of people know English, of course, but a lot of instructions, media and so on might be in French.
Madagascar - On arrival Visa for Indians for up to 90 days, however, check with the consulate whether visas are being issued at all.
Island fact: Big Caribbean island with such a diverse array of flora and fauna that it’s sometimes called the eighth continent.
Things to do: Apart from the usual beach activities, go to Tsingy de Bemaraha Reserve, a limestone plateau that’s extraordinary. Also check out the baobab trees.
Keep in mind: Be cautious and don’t draw too much attention to yourself. Get a Malagasy phrasebook, it’ll make life easier. Some things are not to be photographed without asking – be it people, headstones and tombs.
Indonesia - On arrival Visa for Indians up to 30 days, visa fee USD 35
Things to do: Laze on the beach, go diving, check out temples and architecture, relax, and eat awesome street food.
Keep in mind: Some islands in Indonesia (like Bali) can be unpredictably expensive and tourists are many people’s income, so you might be fleeced.
Comoros - On arrival Visa for Indians; visa fee 61 Euros
Island facts: Tropical volcanic islands in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of east Africa.
Things to do: Trek, hike, dive, see dolphins
Keep in mind: It’s a Muslim country and while non-Muslims are not held accountable to the model code of conduct, it’s still considered disrespectful to wear skimpy clothes and drink alcohol in public. Malaria is widespread, so extra caution is required. And then there’s the matter of real political tension and conflict, so be really careful.
Dominica - Visa free for Indians up to 180 days
Island facts: Caribbean island with natural beauty and active volcano
Things to do: Fishing, diving, snorkelling, hiking, turtle walks, waterfalls, hot springs
Keep in mind: You can get by on English although fluent French is an advantage. The local music is excellent. It’s considered to be one of the safest of the island destinations.
Grenada - Visa free for Indians up to 90 days
Island facts: Caribbean island with lovely weather, spice estates, forts, waterfalls and beaches.
Things to do: Party till you drop, eat seafood, dive, snorkel, hike, elope (three days for wedding formalities!), sail, buy enough spices to bake and cook for a decade, drink rum, eat dark chocolate.
Keep in mind: Rum consumed by the locals is much stronger than the rum for tourists. Most people speak English. Many tourists are warned about traffic being a bit scary, but Indians should feel right at home!
Haiti - Visa free for Indians up to 90 days
Island facts: Caribbean country with the North Atlantic to, well, its north
Things to do: Haiti has been a troubled country for a very long time but in culture and history are as rich as any. Visit the ruins, preserved forts, castles and citadels; try the wonderful cuisine; drink cremas; experience a different side of life.
Keep in mind: Haiti can be unsafe and after the earthquake in 2010, rebuilding is still going on. In early 2014, a cholera epidemic broke out. The risks aside, it will be both an enlightening and an emotional experience that you will never forget.
Jamaica - Visa free for Indians (some sources indicate a 14-day limit)
Island facts: Caribbean island, as close to tropical paradise as you can get
Things to do: Apart from all the fascinating activities you can do on a tropical paradise, the fact that Bob Marley was born and buried here attracts many fans and followers. Take a trip to the site where he started his journey and his resting place.
Try zip lining for extra thrills. Try ackee, a fruit that tastes a bit like scrambled eggs. If you really want to take a leap into the unknown, try the biggest adventure of them all: get married here.
Keep in mind: Converting money into Jamaican dollars is straightforward, but know what the exchange rate is, or you might realise later that you were fleeced. Be careful with Jamaican rum, too. Don’t tell random people where you’re staying, even if they ask, and general advice is not to admit to random people that it’s your first time in Jamaica. Know the embassy address just in case you need help.
10. Federated States of Micronesia
Micronesia - Visa free for Indians up to 30 days
Island facts: Consists of over 600 islands in the Pacific Ocean. Federated States of Micronesia consists of four states: Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae. Expect tropical climate with lots of rain.
Things to do: Swimming, diving, beaches, visiting ruins, visiting remote islands if you’re feeling a bit adventurous. History buffs will have a lot of war artefacts and spots of significance to keep them busy. There are a few wrecks you could dive at, too.
Keep in mind: Be respectful and polite, and don’t expect luxurious accommodations. There are resorts for tourists, but don’t have extremely high expectations of convenience and amenities. It will be comfortable, just not five star on the lines of Maldives.
Saint Lucia - On arrival Visa for Indians up to six weeks; can be extended once you’re there. Visa fees: USD 50
Island facts: Caribbean island off Central America
Things to do: Visit volcanoes, botanical gardens, national parks, historical ruins. Go to beaches, try diving and snorkelling. Go to the hot springs. Climb the Gros Piton.
Keep in mind: The wearing of camouflage clothing, or owning camouflage bags is illegal in Saint Lucia for anyone not in military services.
Tuvalu - On arrival Visa for Indians up to 30 days
Island facts: Really tiny archipelago in the south Pacific.
Things to do: It’s a beach destination, so treat it as that. Catch a game of tea no, the national sport.
Keep in mind: It’s a really tiny country, so if you’re expecting luxury, you’ll be disappointed. If you want a beach vacation off the beaten track, this is possibly it.
Vanuatu – Visa free for Indians up to30 days, can be extended for up to 4 months
Island facts: Archipelago of about 83 islands in the Pacific Ocean. Mythology lovers will want to know that they used to be called East Hebrides.
Things to do: Diving (check first; not all the funny-looking fish and sea animals are friendly!), and visit an active volcano, Yasur. Try kava, a fermented drink that’s very different from what you might expect.
Keep in mind: There’re plenty of hotels and resorts, and lots of restaurants and bars, but what we’d consider wine shops are apparently closed on weekends. Weekends start from Friday afternoon.
There are many more islands you can explore with minimum paperwork. Nauru, earlier called Pleasant Island, in the south Pacific also allows visa for Indianson arrival. Palau, also part of Micronesia, will give you visa on arrival for 30 days. Their visa fees is USD 100.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines won’t ask for visa at all as long as you can convince the officials that you’re not up to anything fishy. Seychelles is a well-known island destination, and they offer a permit valid for a month on arrival. If you go to Timor-Leste and reach International Airport in Dili or Dili Sea Port, you will get a visa on arrival which will cost USD 30. Trinidad and Tobago will let you in without a visa for a visit of less than 90 days.
Remember to keep your passport close by, and there should be at least two pages free for any kind of stamp if required. It should be valid for six months from the date of departure and most places also require you to have a return ticket before the visa expires, as well as proof that you have enough money to cover your trip expenses. Some insist on proof of accommodation (like Seychelles) if you don’t have a fat wad of cash to show that you can cover your expenses. So pack your bags and take off. You’ve a visa-free adventure waiting for you!
Disclaimer: Visa requirements may change, please do check the consulate before planning your trips.