10Best Under-The-Radar Caribbean Destinations

  • Signs throughout the Caribbean, such as this one on Long Island in the Bahamas, point you to true-true island living.

    This Way To Undiscovered

    Under the radar islands in the Caribbean stand out for their individuality. Whereas some of the more popular and commercialized islands often make you feel you could be anywhere in the tropics, some islands, by hiding from the spotlight, have better preserved their nature, culture and traditions. In the end, they usually make for a genuine, one-of-a-kind experience.

    Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

  • "The Nature Island" shows off


    Dubbed “The Nature Island,” Dominica hides from the limelight, strongly appealing to hikers, nature lovers and outdoor adventurers. It boasts unusual encounters both of the wildlife and human variety, including nesting loggerhead turtles, sperm whales and a rare indigenous tribe of Carib Indians. Unique natural features – a boiling lake, waterfalls, hot springs, mountains and black beaches – create drama. The 115-mile Waitukubuli National Trail circumnavigates the 29-mile-long island.

    Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

  • Nicholls Town is known for its beachfront conch salad shacks

    Andros Island

    The largest of the Bahama islands, it is kept a hidden secret by avid divers and bonefishers. Andros’ geology makes it stand out from other Bahama islands: vast pine forests, fertile wetlands, proximity to the to Tongue of the Ocean (a trench that plunges 6,000 feet deep), the third-largest barrier reef in the world (after Australia’s and Belize’s), a steep ocean wall and blue holes. Visit Red Bays’ African-Seminole community for distinctive hand-weaved basketry. 

    Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

  • Annual Goat and Crab Races at Buccoo Bay


    Trinidad's little, lesser-known sister retains many of the Caribbean's oldest traditions, such as goat racing, annual Ole Time Wedding festivities and culinary traditions that include its signature curried crab and dumplings and Sunday village feasts on wild exotic meats. Iguana or agouti anyone? It's also a haven for nature explorers on land and in the sea. 

    Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

  • Sunset on Ambergris Caye

    Ambergris Caye

    Some 20 miles offshore Belize mainland, Ambergris Caye is a snorkeling and scuba diving magnet. Snorkelers head to Hol Chan, a magnificent three-square-mile national underwater wildlife reserve. For scuba divers, the blue hole is the trophy adventure. It boasts the second-longest barrier reef in the world. Most people drive golf carts around downtown San Pedro. Lacking in spectacular beaches, Ambergris Caye is more about water sports and excursions to nearby cays and the mainland Belize jungle.

    Photo courtesy of Nickolay Stanev

  • Sugarcane mill ruins at historic Golden Rock Plantation Inn


    Get a taste of old-time Caribbean ways in this time-stilled sister of more well-known St. Kitts. Its singular attractions include historic plantation manors where you can dine and sleep, wild monkeys, gorgeous Pinney's Beach, beachfront Sunshines Beach Bar & Grill and charming Charlestown. Perhaps the island’s greatest treasure, however, is its friendly, unpretentious people. 

    Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

  • Impossibly small, ancient stone slave huts enshrine a stark chapter of Bonaire history


    Of the three Dutch ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, this one gets the least notice. Scuba divers love it because it affords shore entry into pristine waters filled with rich marine life. Birders go for the pink flamingos. Windsurfers and snorkelers like Sorobon Beach. History geeks shouldn't miss the petroglyph caves, slave huts and salt pans, and the old town Rincon.

    Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

  • Dean's Blue Hole is one of the prettiest in the Bahamas

    Long Island

    Not to be confused with the other Long Island – they have nothing in common – the Bahamian version is as lightly populated as New York's is heavily populated. Along its 80 miles, you will find bonefishing guides, incredible beaches, goat farmers, straw plaiters, limestone caves, quaint settlements with historic churches and a 663-feet-deep beachfront blue hole cupped by cliffs – the site of a semi-annual, international free dive competition. 

    Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

  • The unspoiled panorama on Carriacou


    Grenada’s little sister island requires a short airplane hop or 90-minute ferry ride from the main island. Known variously as the “Land of Reefs” and “Cradle of Caribbean Culture,” its small population makes its living off the land and sea, employing old-time methods and celebrating West Indian traditions. Tyrell Bay Beach is one of the island’s most popular, especially for snorkelers and divers. Given its long traditions of boat-building, its sailing regatta headlines on the calendar. 

    Photo courtesy of Grenada Board of Tourism

  • The beach at Foxy's

    Jost Van Dyke

    Any sailor who has come anywhere near the British Virgin Islands does have Jost Van Dyke on the radar. The tiny party island is a ferry ride away from Tortola. Many make the day trip to experience its salty bars and beaches. Foxy’s Tamarind Bar greets visitors a short walk from the ferry docks. A taxi drive away, Soggy Dollar Bar gets its name from all the yachties who swim in from their anchored boats.

    Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

  • Saba feels like Switzerland with a Dutch designer


    Sweet, five-square-mile Saba rises from the sea like an insertion caret slipped between fellow Dutch possessions Sint Maarten and Sint Eustatius, or Statia. Without the benefit of beaches, the island remains secure from tourist overload, with primarily its superlative diving to attract attention. Four tidy villages scatter on Mount Scenery's skirt, interconnected by hand-carved stairs and "The Road." It's known for its handcrafted Saba lace.

    Photo courtesy of Swedish Monica

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