Throughout its 32 seasons, the popular reality series Survivor has marooned its contestants in some pretty exotic locations, most featuring endless blue sky and crystal clear turquois colored water. If you’ve ever found yourself watching the show and thinking about how you would love to be there with the contestants then you’re in luck – you can actually visit many of the beach locations that have been featured on the show. If you’d like to spend your summer vacationing Survivor style, here are twelve places you can do it.
Sabitang Laya Island - Caramoan, Philippines
Featured in both Survivor: Philippines and Survivor: Caramoan, this beautiful stretch of beach has been host to several Survivor reward and immunity challenges. With its long stretch of bare white sand beach, the isolated island of Sabitang Laya is the perfect spot for relaxing in the sun or taking a cool dip in the crystal clear waters that surround it. The unique rock formations that occupy the island are great for exploring and the clear waters are perfect for a day of swimming and snorkeling. There are no hotels on the island and camping on the beach isn’t permitted (unless you’re a contestant on Survivor, of course) so many people enjoy a day trip there while island hopping in Caramoan.
Tayak Beach - Caramoan, Philippines
Also located in Caramoan, Tayak Beach was home to several tribes in Survivor: Philippines and Survivor: Caramoan, whose lucky contestants got to bask in the beauty of this tropical paradise located on the Philippines’ Malarad Island. If you wish to visit this amazing beach you will need to time your vacation just right – the island is only accessible during high tide due to the magnificent coral formations that prevent boats from entering during low tides. Those same coral formations that make it so difficult to reach the island also make it a remarkable place for diving and snorkeling. If the timing is right, this amazing beach should be added to any tourist’s Caramoan experience.
Catanauan Island - Caramoan, Philippines
To round out the Caramoan experience there is Catanauan Island, which was called home by the Tandang and Gota tribes in Survivor: Philippines and Survivor: Caramoan, respectively. A little known treasure, this less popular Caramoan island makes for the perfect day time retreat with its long stretch of sugary fine off-white sand and crystal clear waters. Catanauan is the perfect place to enjoy some isolated peace and quiet while surrounded by a tropical paradise.
Cape Engano - Palaui Island, Philippines
Also located in the Philippines, this cape found at the northern end of Palaui Island was the site of tribal camps in both Survivor: Blood vs. Water and Survivor: Cagayan. With its breathtaking views and beautiful landscape, Cape Engano has much more to offer than just a tropical beach to lounge on. The cape is known for its lush green landscape in addition to its white sand beach. It is also home to the historic Cape Engano Lighthouse which was built in 1892, making it an ideal place to visit for the history buff. The beautiful landscape and serene waters puts Cape Engano high on the list of places to visit in the Philippines.
Siwangag Cove - Palaui Island, Philippines
Also located on the Philippines’ Palaui Island, Siwangag Cove is located southwest of the Cape Engano Lighthouse and is where supplies for the lighthouse workers were primarily dropped off. This beautiful and isolated cove is the perfect spot for a boat to anchor for the day and enjoy the tropical island paradise that Palaui Island offers. Once anchored, visitors can embark on a marked trail and up a 229 step concrete stairway that will lead them to the historic lighthouse - and if some visitors prefer an overnight trip and a more Survivor-like experience, primitive camping is permitted around the lighthouse vicinity. This breathtaking cove was home to tribal camps in Survivor: Blood vs. Water and Survivor: Cagayan.
Anguib Beach - Santa Ana Cagayan, Philippines
Another Philippine treasure, Anguib Beach was the backdrop for several of the challenges in Survivor: Blood vs. Water and Survivor: Cagayan. This long stretch of quiet beach is the perfect place to catch up on some rest and relaxation or engage in some of your favorite water sports. Anguib Beach isn’t as isolated as many of the other Philippine beaches on this list – it is able to be reached by land from Santa Ana. Though it is more easily accessible, Anguib Beach is still a peaceful stretch of paradise with no commercial establishments to be found along the beach. There are a handful of cottages available for rent at the beach and there is an area where camping on the beach is permitted. Unlike other beaches in the Philippines, there is an entrance fee for visiting Anguib Beach and an additional fee for campers, but the nominal fee is well worth the reward waiting for you at this beautiful beachfront property.
Jellyfish Lake - Palau, Micronesia
Jellyfish Lake is featured as a reward for contestants in Survivor: Palau and Survivor: Micronesia, and it is featured as a reward for good reason because this magnificent lake gives visitors the opportunity for a rare and amazing experience – the chance to swim with schools of jellyfish without the fear of being stung. Swimmers in this saltwater lake find themselves getting up close and personal with scores of jellyfish of all shapes and sizes. How is this possible? The golden and moon jellyfish that live in the lake have a low volume of stinging cells, so although they are stinging, their stings are not strong enough to be felt by humans. Due to this tourists are able to enjoy snorkeling and swimming freely with the jellyfish and can even touch and pet them. While the trip to Micronesia can be quite exhausting – it takes over 20 hours to fly there from the states – it is well worth it to travel there and partake in this once in a lifetime experience.
Talo Wow - Ko Tarutao Island, Thailand
The island of Ko Tarutao in Thailand once housed a prison and between 1938 and 1949 as many as 3000 convicts at a time were incarcerated there. On Ko Tarutao visitors can rent a rough bungalow for around $20 a night. The bungalows feature a generator which allows for only a few hours of electricity each day and a very primitive bathroom, so staying here will bring out visitors’ inner survivor. Once settled in visitors can visit Tarutao National Park and explore the many walkways leading through areas of the old prison site. The main structure is long since gone but many by structures are still standing and can offer a look into what life on the island was like for those unfortunate enough to be incarcerated there. Tourists enjoy visiting the Talo Wow pier, which offers breathtaking views of the ocean and surrounding lands and was also the site of the tribal council meetings on Survivor: Thailand. With its spooky history, many trails for hiking and biking, and glorious beach a trip to Ko Taruta Island is sure to inspire.
Mogo Mogo Island - The Pearl Islands, Panama
Named for the beautiful pearls found in its turquoise waters, The Pearl Islands is made up of a chain of 90 named islands with the beautiful Mogo Mogo Island among them. This breathtaking tropical island was utilized as a challenge site in three seasons of Survivor – Survivor: Pearl islands, Survivor: All-Stars, and Survivor: Exile Island. Located about forty miles off the coast of Panama, this uninhabited island has all the makings of a tropical paradise. Visitors who choose to anchor here for the day will find miles of untouched sandy beach, crystal clear turquoise water, and beautiful, lush green scenery in the background. Mogo Island is the perfect place to bring a good book or some good friends and just spend some time unwinding. The island is a popular site for the filming of many Survivor-type reality shows from many different countries, and it is not unheard of for unsuspecting visitors to stumble across a series being filmed or a challenge set being assembled.
Playa Hermosa – Nicaragua
Located just south of the town of Juan Del Sur, Playa Hermosa has been the backdrop for challenge competitions in four seasons of Survivor – Survivor: Nicaragua, Survivor: Redemption Island, Survivor: San Juan Del Sur, and Survivor: Worlds Apart. Only a thirty minute drive from the bustling Juan Del Sur, this wonderful beach is much less isolated than many of the other filming locations. There are shuttle buses that offer transportation from the city to Playa Hermosa for a nominal fee. Once visitors have made it to this long stretch of white sand beach, they are amazed by the view that the secluded beach offers – the beautiful hills of Costa Rica can be clearly seen in the distance. Playa Hermosa is a popular venue for surfers, who enjoy the five to seven different peaks the stretch of beach has to offer and the predominant offshore winds ensure that every day is a good day for surfing. For the beginner who wishes to learn, there is a surf school conveniently located on the beach. There is also a restaurant and showers and restrooms located on the beach as well. To add to the charm of this secluded beach, horse stables are available to rent horses from so visitors can enjoy a nice relaxing horse ride down the long sandy beach or through some of the woodland trails. If you are a Survivor fan but prefer your vacation spots a little less primal, then Playa Hermosa is the perfect place for your next vacation.
Borneo Island – Sabah, Malaysia
The island of Borneo takes Survivor fans back to where it all started – it was the filming site for the first season of the show. The largest island in the world, this breathtaking island features miles of lush, green rainforest and is home to droves of beautiful and exotic creatures, many of whom are featured on the national endangered list. In fact, Borneo Island is one of only two places in the world where endangered orangutans can still be viewed in the wild. In this tropical paradise visitors can take a trek through the rainforest, go scuba diving in Tun Sakaran Marine Park, or - for the truly adventurous – decide to try climbing the impressive Mount Kinabula – the tallest mountain in Malaysia.
Cook Islands – South Pacific
Cook Islands is made up of a chain of 15 islands which are located halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand. These beautiful islands were the backdrop for season 13 of Survivor – Survivor: Cook Islands. On these gorgeous islands visitors relish in the idyllic climate, beautiful beaches, and extremely friendly and joyful locals. This unique set of islands has all the beauty of Hawaii without the hustle and bustle. Here vacationers will find the peace and quiet they relish in a tranquil environment. With a government mandate in place that no building can be taller than a coconut palm tree, the obnoxious skyscraper resorts that line many popular beaches aren’t found here. Instead visitors will find a serene beach with much of its natural beauty preserved. Like most tropical islands, diving and snorkeling are big tourist draws for the island but there is so much more that the islands have to offer. There are countless events hosted on the islands throughout the year that encourage tourists to soak in the local Polynesian culture. At any given time there are art festivals, sports events, parties, celebrations, and competitions (including dance competitions) taking place. There is also a museum featured on one of the islands that exhibits the islands’ role in the Great War from 1914 – 1918. There truly is something to be found for everyone in this glorious South Pacific island chain, and while the islands appeared quite isolated while being featured on Survivor, they are actually quite easily accessible from New Zealand and the States.