Aruba, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic are a few amazing islands that are commonly thought about when planning an escape to the Caribbean. The choices are limitless, but sometimes an adventure is found in an area unexpected. The following is a list of islands under the radar that are less touristy and offer experiences that will appeal to those looking for seclusion, adventure or both, which means you will get the ultimate Caribbean vibe! The old Caribbean; safe, friendly and charming with exquisite natural beauty both above and below her waterline.
Montserrat is one of a handful of Caribbean islands still relatively untouched by mass tourism. Known as the “Emerald Isle,” Montserrat has a rich Irish heritage and is the only country outside Ireland that recognizes St. Patrick’s Day as an official holiday. Visitors even get a shamrock stamp in their passports!
Volcano tourism is the island’s most unique draw. Lookout spots including Jack Point Hill and Montserrat Volcano Observatory offer views of the eruption’s brute impact. The Exclusion Zone, which is the southern part of the island, holds eerie remains of the former capital city of Plymouth which lies buried under a lunarscape of volcanic ash, similar to a modern-day Pompeii. One may become drawn by the slow rhythm, the friendly locals, the fabulous hiking and birdwatching, and the blessedly tranquil ambience.
The mountainous island of Saba delivers a remote escape known for ecotourism, including hikes, climbs and spectacular dives. The smallest island (five square miles) in the Netherlands Antilles, Saba is primarily a dormant volcano covered in rain forest. A single road (aptly named "The Road") takes visitors to quaint cottage filled villages, where you can purchase the traditional Saba lace. Saba is ringed by coral reef, it rises sharply from the sea, with the aptly named Mount Scenery — the highest point in the Netherlands — as its misty peak.
The quietest corner of the Dutch Caribbean, St. Eustatius, or "Statia", is known as the Caribbean's hidden treasure. Today, Statia's visitors include intrepid scuba divers, and hikers exploring its rugged, volcanic terrain.
Divers may discover dazzling reefs, gorgeous marine life, rusting wrecks, anchors and cannons, and more. Who knows what other mysteries one may uncover under the sea!
Hiking is also popular on the island. Visitors can take a half-day hike to the 2,000 foot Quill National Park, a classically shaped volcano with a forest-filled crater. Orchids, fruit trees and ferns thrive in this unique environment.
A serene, old-Caribbean pace is highly felt as the sleepy island has a population of around 4,000 inhabitants!