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Belize's Ambergris tops TripAdvisor's 10 best islands

Ambergris Caye in Belize was recognized Wednesday as the world's top island in TripAdvisor's 2014 Travelers' Choice awards.

The western Caribbean island is a dream spot where scuba divers can tour the Belize Barrier Reef and the 400-foot-deep Blue Hole filled with sea life and stalactites.

And it's not all that crowded. It has "just enough amenities to make it exciting, but not so overdeveloped that you’re tripping over flip-flopped tourists," according to TripAdvisor.

The rest of the 10 best islands in the world range from the familiar (Easter Island) to the little-known (Nosy Be off Madagascar). The online travel website gathered reviews over a 12-month period that gave high marks to hotels, restaurants and attractions on each island. The others:

2. Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
3. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
4. Marco Island, Fla. (which tops the U.S. list below)
5. Lewis and Harris, Scotland
6. Naxos, Greece
7. Aitutake, Cook Islands
8. Nosy Be, Madagascar
9. Easter Island, Chile
10. Ko Tao, Thailand

In the United States, Marco Island off west coast Florida took the top spot for its white beaches and "sparkling sea." Beach-combing and golf go hand in hand at this island, TripAdvisor says. The others:

2. Chincoteague Island, Va.
3. Anna Maria Island, Fla.
4. San Juan Island, Wash.
5. Maui, Hawaii
6. Kauai, Hawaii
7. Island of Hawaii
8. Nantucket, Mass.
9. Hilton Head, S.C.
10. Key West, Fla.

Mary.Forgione@latimes.com
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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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