Remember the movie Swiss Family Robinson from your youth? With its idyllic but vivid scenes of white sandy beaches, beautiful tree houses, savage natives and swashbuckling pirates, it inspired our vision of the tropics for generations.
Now we land in tourist traps where the view just isn’t as charming as the glossy travel pamphlets. The once pristine beaches are polluted by goopy sunscreen puddles, lobster red tourists and locals hawking endless amounts of China-made wares.
What happened to that place of adventure, seclusion and romance? Are there still those secret hideaways yet unbeknownst to the sun-starved masses? Here you will find an overview of 6 little-known islands that you can visit for an unforgettable vacation. These are places where the only sounds you hear will be the waves lapping, your family laughing and the trees swaying in that salty ocean breeze.
Isla Margarita, Venezuela
A stopping point for Christopher Columbus in 1498, Isla Margarita is a little known island off the Venezuelan coast. It was even captured and held by a humanitarian pirate known as Red Legs Greaves, who was notorious for being a “nice guy” with a large booty of pearls and gold.
To visit this exotic location you must travel to Caracas, Venezuela and then take a boat to the island. Kitesurfing and windsurfing are some of the most popular pastimes at Playa El Yaque. With over 50 beaches and 106 miles of coast there is room to explore, relax and work on your tan.
Providencia Island, Colombia
Midway between Jamaica and Puerto Rico is a quieter island that sits in the San Andres chain of archipelagos. Once the home of an English Puritan Colony, it was later a home base for the infamous pirate Henry Morgan.
Rumor has it there is still a large cache of gold buried somewhere in this small piece of paradise. Explore the forts and cannons or relax on the beach. You will find Providencia an old world location that is calmer than the more popular San Andres island.
Situated in the Cayman Island chain, Cayman Brac is a lesser-known hiking and diving spot. It features one of the only sunken soviet vessels in the western hemisphere, and it also has plenty of reefs and corals to peruse. If diving isn’t your allure, then there are plenty of other activities such as: rock climbing, fishing and several hiking trails that criss cross the island.
You may have seen this island before, as it was a popular filming location for the film, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. Nicknamed “The Nature Island” of the Caribbean, Dominica lives up to its name.. It is a volcanically active island that is constantly being formed by its geothermal activity. Visitors can explore the rainforests full of birds and wildlife or just relax on one of its beautiful beaches.
Named after the queen of Sheba, Saba is an island of towering volcanic mountains with beautiful sandy coves. Once a hideout for pirates, you can now visit the Dutch and English-speaking island and see its colonial heritage in the architecture and the culture. Their most famous export is a beautiful lace or drawn thread work made by women since the late 19th century. This island is especially popular for its scuba diving, climbing and hiking.
The most untouched island in the Caribbean is Barbuda. This is an island of whimsical country style and unspoiled scenery. If you enjoy archaeological pursuits check out the ancient petroglyphs in an old Indian cave. If nature is more your speed, attend a bird sanctuary, or snorkel the crystal clear waters teeming with brightly colored fish.
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