Imagine lying in the shade with a drink in your hand on a white sandy beach – then imagine at 10am sharp seeing hundreds of tourists suddenly appear out of nowhere to fill up every inch of that beautiful beach that just minutes ago was near empty. That is often the reality on many islands in the Caribbean. The islands are a dream – but with too many tourists sharing it chances are it won’t be what you had pictured. But there is a way to get around this problem. Although most islands are accessible by cruises, some are less crowded than others. Here are a few more peaceful islands to check out…
With a relaxed atmosphere and uncrowded beaches, Anguilla is the perfect island escape for travelers looking for some peace and quiet. There is an abundance of high-end restaurants and white beaches, making it a popular choice for the rich and famous – rather than buzzing nightlife, you will find nice, laid-back bars with live music in the evenings.
Known for its pristine beaches and gourmet restaurants, Saint-Barts is an exclusive island popular among the rich and famous. As you can imagine, there are plenty of luxury villas to choose from. The great thing about this island is that the port simply is too small to accommodate big cruises, preserving its beauty only to a lucky few. St. Barths has more than 20 beaches, ranging from the bustling St. Jean and Grand Cul de Sac to the more private Grand Saline, Gouvernier, and Flamands. For a completely secluded beach, take a boat or hike down a goat path to Anse Colombier.
Although not completely cruise-free, the small port which only allows small cruise ships has a minimal impact on the island experience.
With the small picturesque capital Charlestown, lined with colonial architecture, Nevis is a conservative island and isn’t commercially developed – although prices are on the high side, you won’t see any Hollywood vibe at all, everything (and everyone) is very relaxed and easy-going on the island.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Being one of the least traveled islands in the Caribbean surely has its benefits: you have the unspoiled islands almost to yourself.
St. Vincent is the perfect destination for ecotourists looking for a tranquil beautiful island with plunging waterfalls and rain forests, far from any boutique-shopping and large-scale attractions.
Another low-key island, Bonaire is known as one of the region’s best diving locations. Easily accessible from shore, going diving in Bonaire isn’t as expensive as you would think ($100 for a half-day beginner course) so there really isn’t an excuse for trying it out while you’re there!
If you prefer to keep your head above water, there is plenty to explore as well; hiking, kayaking, cycling and bird-watching are other popular activities in Bonaire
This low-key corner of the Netherlands Antilles boasts some of the region’s finest diving, easily accessed from shore (which keeps dive costs down). Outdoors lovers will enjoy bird-watching, hiking, kayaking and cycling in a stark, natural setting that looks little like the Caribbean we expect.