June 15, 2016

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5 Hidden Caribbean Islands to Visit Now
Plan to visit one of these obscure, off the beaten path islands soon where the weather is tropical and the way of live slow and unhurried. There are no mega all inclusive resorts here now yet the activities are many. Relax by the beach or pool or dive, snorkel, hike, and explore these gems of the Caribbean.

Montserrat Named by Christopher Columbus in 1493 after the famous monastery in Spain, the island of Montserrat in the British West Indies is fast emerging as a top destination for eco-adventurers. From the black sand beaches to the woodlands to the mountains, Montserrat is perhaps best known for the Soufrière Hills volcano.

Fun Fact: 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.

Martinique

Thanks to an average temperature of 79°, Martinique is the island of the “never-ending summer.” Trade winds from the east and northeast provide a steady breeze that constantly refreshes the air. Due to these tropical climate conditions in Martinique, the island is lush with vegetation: lavish tropical forests, groves, savannas, countless species of trees, fruits, plants and flowers, not to mention the mangrove forests. Wildlife consists mainly of birds, fish and shellfish, as well as small lizards called “mabouyas” and “anolis”, iguanas and trigonocephalus snakes that are only found in Martinique. The “manicou”, a type of opossum, is one of the rare mammals to be found in the Antilles. The mongoose, however, was introduced by humans to control the snake population.

Fun Fact: Sip a rum punch at Josephine’s Bath, a pool of warm, shallow water surrounded by white-sand shoals in the middle of the ocean. Local lore claims Empress Josephine of Napoleon Bonaparte fame bathed here as a child.

Anguilla Welcome to Anguilla.  A warm and welcoming island destination tucked away in the northern Caribbean.  Embraced by unrivaled white beaches and breathtaking turquoise seas, Anguilla is casual and easy, a unique blend of high style and low-key elegance, and the best of the good life set to a slow and casual island tempo.  Anguilla is an experience that captivates our visitors and creates friendships and memories that last a lifetime.

Come visit Anguilla this fall and enjoy our endless summer with near perfect weather, blue waters and balmy trade winds. Quiet and low key from the end of August to October, the island is yours to explore and experience. No mega resorts, just a beautiful place to relax.

Fun Fact: Boat racing is the island’s national sport. During racing season, visitors are encouraged to join throngs of boisterous spectators, known as “landracers,” on the beaches to cheer on their favorite boats while celebrating with barbecue parties, plenty of drinks and dancing into the night.

Saba Discover a scuba diving paradise. Saba plunges below the sea as steeply as she rises above. From shallow patch reefs to deep underwater seamounts, Saba offers sites suitable for any diver’s level of experience. Past volcanic activity has created spectacular formations and structures. Underwater lava flows and hot springs are the most obvious evidence of Saba’s volcanic origins.

Saba is known as the “Unspoiled Queen of the Caribbean,” And it just got easier to get there. A new departures terminal at St. Martin’s Princess Juliana International Airport means it’s now even easier to make the five-minute flight to Saba via Winair Airlines.

Fun Fact: The original 1933 movie “King Kong” featured Saba’s mountainous silhouette as the backdrop for Skull Island. Today, hardy travelers can make the cardio-busting 90-minute hike through a fern-strewn cloud forest to the 2,877-foot-high summit of Mount Scenery.

Tobago To experience the Caribbean the way it was before mega-resort development, head to the island of Tobago off the coast of Venezuela. Just a 20-minute flight from its sister island of Trinidad, it’s small in size but rich with pristine beaches, old-growth rainforest and coral reefs that seem custom-made for snorkeling.  A birder’s paradise Tobago is home to over 260 species.

Since the vast majority of visitors to Tobago are seeking lots of sun, sea and sand, visit any one of 17 largely deserted beaches, varying from the pristine white coral sands of the Caribbean coast to the dark volcanic sands of the Atlantic coast.

Take in a variety of beach activities including fishing, sailing, and diving,. This year’s jazz festival is April 16-14.

Fun Fact: Tobago is the birthplace of goat racing, a sport that began in 1925 as the poor man’s alternative to horse racing but has since become a beloved event. The Buccoo Goat Race Festival is a top draw in Tobago, with cash prizes, a goat parade and bystanders donning fancy derby attire — not to mention the unique sight of jockeys running behind the competing goats.

 

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