For the past 13 years, Survivor has taken us around the world to some of the most remote and exotic destinations. The twenty-seventh installment of the hit CBS reality show premieres tomorrow, and this season returns for the third time to the Philippines. Billed as Survivor: Blood vs. Water, the newest season will bring 10 former contestants along with 10 of their loved ones to the island of Palaui, a marine reserve where all 20 contestants will battle to take home the million-dollar prize.
Since the show’s debut in 2000, Survivor has been filmed in over a dozen locations worldwide, some of them worthy travel destinations in their own right. If you’re looking to play Robinson Crusoe on your next vacation, here are five of our favorite Survivor destinations.
Survivor got its start in Sabah, Malaysia on the island of Borneo. Sabah, known for its lush rain forests and beautiful beaches, is also home to several rare and endangered species, including the orangutan. If you want to see them for yourself, your best bet is to base yourself in Kuching to explore the surrounding national parks and wildlife reserves.
The small group of verdant islands located just southeast of the Philippines — collectively known as Palau — is home to some of the world’s most spectacular underwater scenery. The diving offshore is second to none, but perhaps the most iconic aquatic attraction is Jellyfish Lake, a marine lake where you can snorkel amid thousands of stingless jellyfish.
Pearl Islands, Panama
With such a close proximity to the Caribbean, Panama’s beach scene seems largely overlooked and underrated. Three seasons of Survivor have taken place on the beautiful white sand beaches of the Pearl Islands, a small archipelago in the Pacific, a short boat ride from Panama City.
While most travelers are familiar with the Mayan ruins of the Mexican riviera, similar ruins in Guatemala are much less famous (and have fewer tourists). The eleventh installment of Survivor was filmed in the jungles nearby to the UNESCO-listed Tikal ruins.
You’ll find the Cook Islands located in the South Pacific between French Polynesia and Tonga. Nicknamed “Hawaii Down Under,” the Cook Islands draw in tourists with blue lagoons, white sand beaches and welcoming culture. While the islands seem worlds away from anything when seen in Survivor, they’re actually accessible via daily flights from Aukland, New Zealand.