If Carolina just can’t satisfy you’re every vacation need this winter, we understand. Sometimes you have to leave the best state in in these 50 for a destination decidedly less temperamental. We get it. If you do leave, beat the winter blues in one of these seven secluded Caribbean destinations.
Bonefishing capital of the world aside, Andros has some of the most spectacular beaches in the entire Caribbean. The seemingly endless flats surrounding the island boast beautiful shades of blue from the darkest royals to vibrant aqua marine. Its diverse flora and fauna, soft white sand, and absolutely pristine water comes with an added benefit: zero crowds, making it the perfect place to unwind and escape it all.
Derived from the Spanish word for “drowned,” this flat and low coral atoll rises only 28 feet above sea level and offers visitors a gorgeous 360 degree view of the Caribbean horizon. White beaches ring the island and the 18 mile Horseshoe Reef, the fourth largest barrier reef in the world, lies just offshore. Attracting only 200 visitors a day, Anegada is the northernmost member of the British Virgin Islands and is the perfect spot to get away from the crowds and stretch out and relax.
A paradise for divers, this small island in the Honduras bay has over 80 diving sites, covered with extensive reefs teeming with exotic marine life including the elusive whale shark. Once back on land, enjoy long backpacking trails and classic Caribbean culture. Private islands around Utila are available for week long rentals at as low as $125 per night (for the entire island!).
San Juan, Puerto Rico might not be the most secret of destinations, but it is often overlooked – something that makes absolutely no sense. After all, Puerto Rico offers its visitors the best of both worlds, a taste of the exotic Caribbean on familiar US soil. What makes this island destination different from the rest is what lies behind the surf and sand. Old San Juan’s centuries old charm offers curious travelers a timeless link to a grander era.
They call it the “Nature Isle of the Caribbean,” and with good reason. Dominica’s thick rainforests and lush landscapes are home to countless rare plants and animals. Featuring a highly active volcano system, the still-forming island resides in the Lesser Antilles region and is perfect for scuba diving. The surrounding sea is home for a family of sperm whales, making whale-watching a must.
A short two and a half hour plane ride lands you on the Yucatan’s azure shores. Upon arrival, opportunities abound. From access to some of the most impressive ruins in the world – Mayan step pyramids including the greatest of them all, Chichen Itza – to crystal clear fresh water cenotes, world-class beaches, scuba-diving, snorkeling, and a variety of sporting endeavors, Tulum has it all.
The largest of Belize’s coral atolls, Turneffe is another gem for divers with over 60 diving locations for the underwater enthusiast to explore. One of the highlights of the Turneffe Atoll is the obscure and intimidating, yet beautiful, 500 foot deep Blue Hole located just offshore. An enigma like this presents divers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Out of the blue deep water and back on the Atoll’s turquoise flats the waters boil with wildlife, including a year round population of bonefish that are perfect for fly fishing. Visitors to the atoll can also explore the island’s rich rainforests and observe dolphins, crocodiles, manatees, and so much more.