Largely untamed and raw, the islands of Papua New Guinea are not your classic beach paradise. Here you’ll live out your Indiana Jones fantasies, blazing a trail of your own amid wild jungles. The adventure starts by climbing the volcanoes near Rabaul, looking for WWII relics on the Gazelle Peninsula, paddling through lagoons mottled with pristine reefs near Kavieng, exploring the rugged beauty of Bougainville or escaping to an island off Lavongai (New Hanover).
The islands’ bounty goes beneath the surface, with its unbeatable repertoire of diving adventures. Shipwrecks, fish life in abundance and thriving reefs are the rewards of diving here. Surfers rave about the uncrowded waves off New Ireland.
Be ready for a culture shock, too. These islands are home to tiny villages where people lead lives that have changed little over centuries. If you plan a visit in July, try to make it coincide with the authentic Warwagira Festival of masked dance.