An archipelago of 16 islands located off the south coast of Vietnam in the tranquil waters of the South China Sea, Con Dao is a tropical paradise of stunning natural beauty which spells adventure, relaxation and lazy sun-filled days.
Listed as a protected national and marine park, this collection of sun-kissed paradise islands have long been Vietnam’s hidden treasure. Now emerging as a fantastic destination for diverse outdoor pursuits and luxurious indulgence, Con Dao is rightly being recognised as a haven of seclusion and rejuvenation.
With its coastal surroundings defined by pristine beaches, colourful coral and scenic bays, the islands are perfect for snorkelling, diving and swimming, while a large covering of tropical forest ensures great hiking and wildlife encounters. Nature walks within forested areas could see you spotting resident black giant squirrels or endemic bow-fingered geckos, while along the coast, turtles are known to favour the islands as a nesting site.
While today the islands are enjoyed as a tropical paradise, they were once home to a number of French colonial-era prisons. You can explore this era through the remains of many of these decaying jails and crumbling colonial villas that line the waterfront, providing an interesting window back in time.
When to go
From November through to May, the islands are a highly rewarding destination, particular during the dry season which mainly runs from November to February, though temperatures tend to average around 30°C year round. From February to May, the sea conditions are ideal for the likes of snorkelling and diving, while late spring and summer months see resident turtles nesting on the beaches.
What to do
- Snorkel, dive and relax
- Hike through the tropical rainforest or trek up to the Light House
- Experience authentic daily life at the Con Dao morning market
- Wildlife spotting