Lovers of the Caribbean will already have heard the good news in the UK budget about the drop in the Air Passenger Duty tax on flights to the islands from the UK, starting next April.
Meanwhile, if you’re heading to Caribbean shores later this year but want to explore the islands most holidays don’t quite reach, here’s our guide to some of the best-kept Caribbean secrets as well as the “best of the rest”…
The Grenadines are always a popular choice, not least with the yachting set.
So our first “off the beaten track” pick is the mini island of Bequia, home to the most protected natural harbour in the Caribbean. This tiny island in the Grenadines is one of the most precious destinations for divers, boaters and beach goers alike, making this idyllic spot definitely worth a visit.
Roughly 3 hours by boat from its from its big sister Antigua, Barbuda is another more remote gem – in fact you’ll probably struggle to find a soul on some of the blissful beaches here.
This island is well known for the Frigate Bird Sanctuary, home to some 5,000 of the outstanding birds. Definitely worth a visit, as strangely enough their mating rituals are a thing of wonder (visitors can watch them ‘in the act’ in their natural habitat).
Part of the Grenadines family, there are a handful of larger resorts here where you can lounge by the pool with a cocktail in hand, yet some of the most beautifully untouched beaches in the Caribbean are only a short walk away. Water sports lovers won’t want to miss the fantastic diving and snorkelling Canouan is famous for.
It’s probably fair to say that Culebra is today what its sister island, Vieques, was 15 or so years ago and it’s well worth a visit. Though it sits only 17 miles off vibrant Puerto Rico, Culebra is considerably quieter and worth a stop-off if you’re nearby.
Saba is a volcanic island that seems to mystically appear right up out of the water – and it definitely isn’t your typical beach-goers destination. Instead, it’s undeniably a diver’s and hiker’s paradise, with underwater volcanic mountains and 150 species of stunning fish…not to mention a strenuous but rewarding climb up Mount Scenary, the island’s highest point.
Virgin Gorda is one of the largest islands of the group and it isn’t exactly under-the-radar to Tortola-goers or the yacht crowd, but its photogenic beaches are certainly worth a visit.