For the sun-soaked jets setters who love turquoise waters and white, sandy beaches, the usual Caribbean destinations are always on the agenda. For years, the shores of popular tropical islands like Jamaica, The Bahamas, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic have been attracting visitors on a massive level. But during a time when we are all seeking our own spaces, it might be a better choice to go off the beaten path and book a vacay in a lesser-known destination. There’s more to the Caribbean than just these big, famous islands: there are over 7,000 islands making up the Caribbean archipelago, to put it in perspective! So explore past the cliché destinations - here are a few great choices to consider:
Vieques, Puerto Rico
Vieques is a small island found off Puerto Rico’s coast on the Eastside, known for Mosquito Bay - known as the brightest bioluminescent beach in the world. This island has a nice surprise - free-roaming horses owned by locals. There’s even a lighthouse called Punto Mulas Lighthouse, appropriately named. For the adventurers, this is a great destination for boat and scuba tours, so get ready for an aquatic escape where no one will think to find you.
San Andres, Colombia
Colombia is technically a South American country, but what many people don’t know is that it actually has islands that are in the Caribbean Sea. San Andrés is a small, 10 square mile island that is closer to Nicaragua than the Colombian landmass. This isn’t an island that boasts a lot of tourist attractions - it has a meager downtown full of plain buildings and some low-key duty-free shops. But you don’t go there for the infrastructure. You go for the mesmerizing beaches and electric blue waters. It’s close to the Johnny Cay National Regional Park, a hidden cave known as Cueva de Morgan and world-class snorkeling. This is where you go to appreciate Caribbean nature, to enjoy laid-back sun soaking with drinks in hand. Pack all your favorite summer wear for this vacation - that means colorful printed tops, bathing suits, leggings and sets.
Montserrat, Lesser Antilles
If you’re an adventure seeker, you’ll love discovering Montserrat. This island is known for its Volcano adventures! It actually has more mountains than it does beaches, however there is one sandy beach at Rendezvous Bay. There’s a museum, an observation deck for viewing the volcano, and plenty of opportunities to hike! That means you’ll have plenty of opportunities for cute photos on the hiking trails, so pack cute leggings and sports bras for the trails!
Acklins & Crooked Island, Bahamas
Most visitors head to Grand Bahama, Paradise Island, where you’ll find the world-famous Atlantis Resort, Pig Beach at Big Major Cay in the Exuma Cays, or Great Abaco. To get away from the crowds, however, head to Acklins & Crooked Island. These islands are separated by a 500 square mile lagoon dubbed the Bight of the Acklins. This is a little-known destination, so you won’t be fighting with crowds, but you WILL be surrounded by stunning beauty. This is a great area for scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing and boating.