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The Best Small Caribbean Islands
We have all heard about secluded locations that cater to the rich and famous or to individuals with inside knowledge of the travel industry, but have you ever wondered where some of these places are? Keep scrolling for a list of seven out-of-the-way places in the Caribbean.
If you want solitude and privacy, avoid classic tourist destinations like Jamaica and opt for one of the islands on this list. Most of the islands mentioned here are only accessible via ferry or small aircraft and have few major resorts and hotels. If you see a location below that is intriguing, do your research and start planning your next vacation!
Bequia is part of the Grenadines, a collection of 32 islands west of Barbados. Bequia is the second largest of the group. However, it is still only 7 square miles in size. Most of the population resides either in the capital, Port Elizabeth or Paget Farm. Some popular activities on this island include snorkeling, scuba diving, and fishing.
Bequia has remained relativity unspoiled and undiscovered. If you wish to visit this island, you will have to land in Barbados since there is no international airport in Bequia. From Barbados, you will need to charter a flight to Bequia. Just remember, there aren't many hotels and resorts there, so arrange your accommodation ahead of time. If you are looking for a quiet, out-of-the-way place to visit, Bequia may be for you.
Vieques is a small island 8 miles east of Puerto Rico, measuring a mere 21 miles long by 4 miles wide. The main towns on this island are Isabel Segunda, located on the north side of the island, and Esperanza to the south. This location has become very popular in the last few years, attracting various celebrities to its cities. Even still, Vieques doesn't have many resorts, and there are no direct flights to the island, so it isn't as touristy as many other Caribbean destinations. Most visitors here choose to rent a home during their stay.
To reach Vieques, you must fly into San Juan, Puerto Rico, and then choose between a ferry ride or a 20-minute flight to Vieques. If you plan to explore the island, you will need a rental car to visit its outlying areas. Some activities in Vieques include boating, nature tours, and horseback riding. The number of restaurants is increasing, giving visitors more dining options, and the tourism industry is growing fast, so plan your trip before Vieques becomes too popular!
Saba is the smallest island in the Lesser Antilles, with a total area of just five square miles. According to the 2010 census, the population of Saba was just over 1,800. Because of its mountainous terrain, this island is known as "The Rock." Saba is also known as the sister island to St. Maarten.
This is a quiet, tranquil, and semi-undiscovered island known for its hiking, scuba diving, and snorkeling. However, because the terrain is mountainous, there aren't many beaches on this island, so don't come to Saba expecting the white, sandy beaches found elsewhere in the Caribbean. This island can be reached via airstrip from St. Maarten. As far as accommodations, there are around twelve hotels and resorts on Saba. When you plan a trip or visit here, ask about The Queens Garden; this is a well-known luxury resort here. Because this island is fairly new to the tourist industry, the amount of visitations is still relativity low. However, Saba is increasing in popularity, so plan your visit soon!
4. St. Barts
St. Barts has a land area of 8 square miles and a population of just over 9,000 people (as of March 2018). The capital is Gustavia, which is also the island's main harbor. Like many other islands, St. Barts is blessed with beautiful beaches. Of the islands' 20+ beaches, several are considered especially inviting. Colombier beach on the west side and Saline on the south side are two such examples. The island is accessible via small plane or ferry.
St. Barts is considered to be the playground of the famous. It is certainly the place to be if you want to see celebrities! Although this island is only ten minutes from St. Martin, it feels like it is a world to itself. St. Barts is expensive and has a party atmosphere, but if you want to get a look at some famous personalities, this is the place to be.
Anegada is the northernmost and second-largest of the British Virgin Islands. It has an area of fifteen square miles and is the most sparsely populated of the big islands. Although a ferry service and a small airport make getting there convenient, this island feels like it is a world to itself.
The remoteness of this island is one of its perks, as most tourists come here to relax. Anegada is a haven for beach lovers, nature lovers, and fly-fishermen. The northern part of this island is known for its white, sandy beaches, and the west end is known for its extensive salt ponds. The island is also home to a thriving population of exotic birds. This island is semi-undiscovered and has few hotels and guest houses. If you are into nature and you like solitude, Anegada may be for you.
6. Virgin Gorda
Virgin Gorda is part of the British Virgin Islands and is the third largest of the group at eight square miles. Though this island was recognized in the 1970s as a good tourist spot, it still isn't overdeveloped, giving it a pleasant intimacy. The southwest section of this island is called the valley. It is an area of gentle hills with businesses and various services around Spanish Town. Virgin Gorda is accessible via small plane or ferry.
The seascapes in Virgin Gorda are bordered by granite boulders that provide a dramatic background for its beaches, resorts, and restaurants. Virgin Gorda has a mountainous interior, with the island going from sea level to about 1,400 feet at its highest peak. One of the main attractions in the whole of the British Virgin Islands—"The Bath"—is located here. Typical Caribbean activities are available here, including sailing, fishing, snorkeling, and scuba diving.
Curaçao is an island in the southern Caribbean located just 35 miles north of Venezuela. It is the largest of the "ABCs" (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao), three islands in the Leeward Antilles (the westernmost part of the Lesser Antilles). Like its sister islands, it is considered a transcontinental island; geographically, Curaçao is part of South America, but it is also considered part of the Caribbean. This island has a land area of 171 square miles and a population of over 160,000 people (as of March 2018). It also lies outside the hurricane belt, so hurricane season is not a concern there. Curaçao's location has made it an important crossroads for international business and world affairs.
This island boasts beautiful beaches on its southwest side, while its hillier regions are home to a fascinating variety of tropical flora and fauna. If you're interested in discovering the natural side of the island, check out Christoffelpark, one of two national parks in Curaçao.
It is said that Curaçao is home to people of over 40 different ethnicities. Therefore, it is not surprising that the natives of this island are multi-lingual, speaking English, Spanish, and Dutch. Known for its sunny climate, secluded beaches, and delightful mixture of old and new world charm, this is a truly unique place to visit.