The sun, the sand, the unmatched tropical beauty: There’s a reason the Caribbean ranks high among the world’s most popular vacation destinations. But let’s be honest: You can do without the tourist throngs and the same old repeat destinations – Bahamas, Cayman, Cozumel. Seriously, is anyone going anywhere a little different anymore?
Yeah, they are. Contrary to what you might think, there are plenty of interesting, unspoiled destinations right under your nose in the Caribbean. But because of their remote locations and postage stamp size, getting to them can be somewhat of a challenge. The solution? Making your way there by cruise, naturally.
Off the coast of South America near Venezuela sits Bonaire, a totally small (and totally gorgeous) island municipality of the Netherlands. In the island’s surrounding Caribbean waters, you can dive and snorkel along a protected reef-lined coast and, on land, don’t miss the donkeys, pink flamingoes, and caves.
Sail there with Celebrity >
To be clear, this is not a cute little nickname for the Dominican Republic. Dominica is a real-live actual country in the Lesser Antilles south of Guadalupe and Martinique offering travelers an endless list of activities – from hiking to seeing bubbling lakes to swimming up narrow gorges.
Sail there with Carnival >
At a whopping 7 square miles, Bequia (pronounced bekway) is the second largest island in the Grenadines. Challenging to get to? An understatement. And because of that, this idyllic spot has held on to its natural beauty and old-world Caribbean vibe.
Sail there with Windstar >
The Dutch Caribbean island of Saba is vastly different from its neighbors. While St. Maarten is hailed for beaches, shopping, and gambling, Saba’s wild Jurassic Park-esque terrain makes it ideal for hiking, exploring, and driving down “The Road.” (Seriously, there’s only one.)
Sail there with SeaDream >
Wake up and smell the nutmeg! On Grenada (aptly nicknamed the Spice Island), you can enjoy spice plantation tours, as well as the hallmarks of any great Caribbean paradise – incredible beaches, charming towns, and hikes through tropical rainforests.
Sail there with Princess >