Travel and Leisure — October 13, 2014 at 5:00 am

7 Lesser-Known Caribbean Islands Worth a Visit

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Every traveler has heard about Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. Equally as worth a visit lesser known Caribbean Islands that some travelers have never heard a word about. Now, the secret’s out and travelers around the world are ready to explore new waters and beaches.

Anegada, British Virgin Islands
Anegada is accessible with a 75-minute ferry ride, accessible from it’s capital city, Tortola. Only around 200 people reside on this island with most living in the main town called, “The Settlement.” Visitors head off into the white sand beach distance as well as the 18-mile Horseshoe Reef, the fourth-largest barrier reef in the world.

Culebra
Located 17-miles off the coast of Puerto Rico, this mostly uninhabited island attracts visitors come with its quiet and pristine beaches. Year round high temperatures fluctuate between 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, thus there is no “bad” time of year to visit. For those with money to spend, gambling abounds. To explore the history of the island, visit the Culebrita Lighthouse, built by the Spanish Crown between 1882-1886.

Saba
With only five square miles of land, this volcanic island flourishes a fertile paradise and is well  known for its abundance of hiking and diving pursuits. This Dutch municipality welcomes trekkers to conquer the scenic Mt. Scenery, which is the highest lookout point on the island. Saba welcomes approximately 25,000 tourists per year, earning its nickname—the “Unspoiled Queen of the Caribbean.”

Buck Island
This island is part of the US Virgin Islands, located 1.5 miles off the coast of St. Croix. Environmentally aware, the island is closed from sunset to sunrise to protect the local nesting sea turtles. The island is 176 acres and is heavily protected through the US National Park Service. The local reefs are a snorkeler’s paradise, showcasing endangered elkhorn coral and rare hawksbill turtles.

Martinique
This overseas region of France is one of the larger islands in tecomprising of 436 square miles of land. Visitors sip on lattes on Villa Street where adventurists explore the tropical forests and sandy beaches. When hiking, keep your eyes peeled for endemic species such as anolis lizards and fer-de-lance snakes.

Barbuda
Located near its Big Sister, Antigua, visitors travel to Barbuda either with a three hour ferry ride or a 20-minute flight. The sand, sea and sky present a beautiful contrast for the photographer’s eye. One of the best attractions are the 5,000 birds, which reside in the Frigate Bird Sanctuary. Most of the attractions on this island are extremely laid back, including beach combing, snorkelling, diving and golfing.

Canouan
This 3.5 mile island is part of the Grenadines, which homes a magnificent barrier reef residing on the Atlantic side of the island. Besides the bonus-feature diving opportunities, visitors experience quiet, traditional Caribbean beaches. Choose one of the two upscale resorts or live life like a local in the non-touristy part of town. The average temperature ranges between 75-87 degrees  and the driest months are December through May.

images ©istockphoto

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