These secret Caribbean spots will allow you to experience the best of paradise..and have it all to yourself.
There’s so much more to the Caribbean than Punta Cana and Jamaica. Of course, we’re not saying that those locations aren’t great places to vacation. However, the problem is that everyone and their grandmother knows they are. So why not visit some secret Caribbean hideaways, which are just as gorgeous, but decidedly less crowded?
1. Ambergris Caye, Belize
Also known as San Pedro Island, Ambergris Caye is the largest island off the coast of Belize. It’s famous for quiet beaches, sailing, and snorkeling. The Hol Chan Marine Reserve features incredible diving opportunities and abundant sea life. It’s also a great place to stay if you want to visit the famed Belize Blue Hole.
One of the most underrated islands in the Caribbean, Ambergris Caye has the power to make you fall in love. It even has a world famous fan in Madonna, who wrote the song “La Isla Bonita” in its honor.
Things to do on Ambergris Caye include exploring Mayan ruins in the Marco Gonzalez archaeological site, shopping in the Belizean Arts Gallery, and booking a catamaran to cruise through the coral reef.
2. Klein Bonaire
This uninhabited island off the coast of Bonaire is made up of white sandy beaches, scruffy bushes, and shady trees. The only structures on it are two thatch huts to provide shelter for those who decide to visit it.
With a Dutch name that translates to “Little Bonaire”, this tiny island is protected and owned by the Bonaire government. It has been preserved against development and the waters surrounding it are part of the Bonaire National Marine Park.
To get there, you can take a water taxi from the main island. If you go from May to November, you may even be able to see turtle nests or even baby turtles hatching.
3. Culebra, Puerto Rico
You’ve probably heard of Puerto Rico, the U.S. self-governing commonwealth near the Dominican Republic. However, you may not know that there are many uninhabited and sparsely inhabited islands near its coast. One of the most famous of these is Culebra, known for the incredible white-sand Flamenco Beach. About a mile long, its turquoise waters are calm and serene, thanks to its unique horseshoe shape that creates a sheltered bay.
To get there, you can take a ferry boat from the main island. The clear water offers incredible snorkeling opportunities. Since the island is populated by about 3,000 people, there are places to sleep and dine, in case you want to stay the night.
4. Tierra del Sol, Aruba
There’s a secluded community on the island of Aruba where vacation goers lounge in luxurious private villas and hang out on Noord’s Arashi Beach. The 234 hectares of property includes restaurants, a golf course, and spa facilities. This is Tierra del Sol, a collection of European-style vacation properties just minutes from the beach.
While in Noord, check out the famous California Lighthouse, a stately landmark overlooking Aruba’s northern coast. Visit the seven-mile Druif beach, with its incredible white sand. In addition, you can’t miss Boca Catalina, one of the island’s top snorkeling spots, and the natural pools of Arikok National Park.
5. Emerald Pool Falls, Dominica
Dominica is a small, largely overlooked island that has incredible diverse wildlife and wild, untouched natural landscapes. One of its best-kept secrets is Emerald Pool Falls, a romantic, breathtaking 50 foot cascade in the heart of the rainforest. Located in Morne Trois Pitons National Park, you’ll need to hike to the falls, but it’s worth the trip once you see the turquoise hues of the sparkling natural pool.
While in Dominica, you’ll enjoy nature at its finest. This island has worked hard to preserve its untouched forests and reefs, even banning one-use plastics in an effort to protect the island’s beauty.
Saba, a small island in the Dutch West Indies, is the smallest special municipality of the Netherlands. It is home to only around 2,000 people. Almost entirely covered by a rhomb-shaped volcano which itself is covered in lush rainforest, Saba is called the unspoiled Queen of the Caribbean for good reason.
While there, you can explore the rainforest and see a rare type of at the Elfin Forest Reserve on top of Mt. Scenery. An elfin forest is one that contains miniature trees. Saba is also famous for having the largest breeding colony of the Red-billed tropicbird in the Caribbean. It was designated an “Important Bird Area” by BirdLife International thanks to its rocky cliffs and sheer bluffs, which provide the perfect nesting grounds for sea birds.
While there, you can stay in one of four quaint, historic towns, and enjoy activities such as diving, hiking, and birdwatching. Although beaches are few, Saba does have several unique black-sand beaches created by volcanic activity.
7. Bequia (the Grenadines)
Bequia, which means “island of the clouds” in ancient Arawak, is the second-largest island in the Grenadines. It is home to a sea turtle sanctuary, quiet, quaint fishing towns, and over 30 easy-access dive sites. Diving and snorkeling in Bequia is rated as some of the best in the Caribbean. Wreck and night diving tours are available.
Fishing, water sports, and sailing are also extremely popular on the island. The Trade Winds create brisk breezes nearly year round, providing great conditions for windsurfers. To reach Bequia, you will need to fly to Barbados or St. Lucia, and then take another short flight to the island. Alternatively, you can get there via ferry boat from St. Vincent.
8. Guana, British Virgin Islands
As a protected wildlife sanctuary, this small 850 acre island is home to hundreds of bird, reptile, and plant species. It has just one resort containing private cottages and villas. While there, you can enjoy the serenity of unspoiled nature, hike the rainforest trails, and lounge on one (or all) of its seven pristine beaches. You’ll most likely meet few other tourists during your stay.
Ready to head to one of these secret Caribbean spots? Find your perfect secluded villa here.