Secrets hideaways in the Caribbean
The Caribbean islands are full of hidden gems, and it’s no wonder tourists from all over the world flock to experience the famous hospitality, but if you want to beat the crowds, why not try these off the radar Caribbean discoveries.
With such diverse options from mangrove forests to shimmering sands and shipwrecks, the Caribeean offers a treasure trove of things to do and see. Whether you are looking for a fly and flop relaxation break, water sports and adventure, and the opportunity to taste authentic West Indian spicy food or local rum, you will be rewarded with powdery white sands and deliciously warm seas whatever time of year you visit.
Is possibly the chart-topper of the undiscovered islands. Nestled in the middle of the Lesser Antilles, is the tropical French ruled island of Guadeloupe. Shaped like a butterfly, the wings form two main islands, and is truly spectacular. From the tallest point of Terre-de- Haut to the flatt base of Marie-Galante, Iles des Saintes, it is a secluded and well preserved little slice of paradise, with stunning rocky coastal scenery.
Surfers love the white-capped swells of Grandes Salines, and nature lovers spend days enjoying the volcanic atmosphere and natural waterfalls, although these in-the-know visitors get together to enjoy the nightlife in Basse Terre or on the shimmering beaches of Caravel.
One of the smallest islands in the Caribbean, Montserrat is known for its
lush tropical forests. Nicknamed the Emerald Isle, due to its ties to Ireland, the locals are just as friendly, and visitors get a shamrock-shaped passport stamp on arrival.
However Montserrat is home to live volcanoes, and a major eruption of the previously dormant Soufriere Hills volcano took place in 1995, which decimated southern parts of the island. Now, the active volcano draws in tourists looking to safely see a volcano from afar, and then enjoy the black-sand beaches, coral reefs, cliffs and shoreline caves.
St. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Get two birds with one stone on a vacation to St Vincent, as the laid back Grenadine islands are only a fishing boat ride away.
The main island, St Vincent, is mostly rainforest while little idyllic Bequia is the star of the oh-so-mellow Grenadines, where you can enjoy endless sandy beaches, coral reefs, and friendly people; Or if you would prefer to charter your own boat, Port Elizabeth is a bustling yachting town, and is great for scuba diving and snorkelling.
The Grenadines account for the remaining 32 islands, some of which are uninhabited. It’s easy to ferry hop here between white sand beaches, volcanoes, and rainforests- perfect for those who don’t like the same scenery.
If it’s isolation you’re after, head to the tiny island of Anguilla. Not yet on the mass market tourist trail, the luxury accommodation is low key, and visitors aren’t too shouty. Situated next to St Martin Island, it is also accessible by air from Antigua.
Crocus Hill is worth a look at sunset- the tallest point on the island, it rises 65 meters above sea level, and you can catch incredible views of the neighbouring islands.
Divers will love Prickly Pear Cays, an underwater cavern whose rock formations play host to barracuda and nurse sharks- there are even several sunken shipwrecks waiting to be explored nearby.
BY SARA DARLING