unknown island remote beach

Island Escape 101: Unknown Islands

Many travelers get a special thrill when they tell someone about their latest adventures and get blanks stares and questions of “Where’s that?” While many people travel to Jamaica (more than 4 million a year) or the Dominican Republic (more than 5 million annually), it’s not as often that you hear of travels to Montserrat or Guadeloupe. Here are some of the best Caribbean Islands you’ve never heard of!


Country: Guadeloupe
Location: Northeast of Venezuela
Language: French
Getting There: There are no scheduled flights from Guadeloupe, although charter flights are available in addition to several available ferries which take about 45-60 minutes from Pointe-à-Pitre or St. François in Guadeloupe.
Best reason to Visit: The beaches of this tiny island are nothing short of spectacular, but the three rum distilleries found here are not to be missed!

Country: Colombia
Location: East of Nicaragua
Language: English Creole
Getting There: Getting to Providencia is a challenge. Personal boat travel or chartered flights are the best options. Flights (15 minute ride) and ferries (2.5 hour ride) are available from nearby San Andres island, which can be accessed by direct flights from various Colombian cities.
Best Reason to Visit: The remoteness of this island makes it a truly unspoiled Caribbean gem. From golden sand beaches to idyllic turquoise waters to friendly locals, this is is the Caribbean paradise that movies and stories are made of.

st johns saba island

Country: Netherlands
Location: East of US Virgin Island, South of Antigua
Language: English, although Dutch is common
Getting There: Easily accessed by boat and has 4 flights per day from Saint Maarten. Take off and landing are sure to be memorable experiences as the runaway at Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport is only 400m in length–reported to be the shortest commercial runway in the world!
Best Reason to Visit: The diving is world renowned and the dense vegetation and dramatic landscape made this the perfect setting for the original 1933 King Kong movie.

Country: Montserrat
Location: South of St. Kitts & Nevis, West of Antigua and Barbuda
Language Spoken: English
Getting There: 20 minute flight or 90 minute ferry ride from Antigua
Best Reason to Visit: Check out the buried city of Plymouth. For more than 300 years this was the capital of Montserrat until 1995 when it was laid to waste by a volcanic eruption. You’ll need a certified guide to take you as this is area is now in a mandated exclusion zone.

Esperanza Vieques

Country: Puerto Rico
Location: Southeast of Puerto Rico
Language: Spanish
Getting There: Ferries run from the Puerto Rican mainland, but the best way is to take a commuter flight from one of four airports in Puerto Rico. No passport is needed for US citizens as Puerto Rico is a Free Commonwealth of the US.
Best Reason to Visit: A peaceful island full of beautiful beaches and with wild horses strolling through grassy meadows, this beautiful island caters to any travel taste from beach huts to fancy hotels. The real gem of this island, though, is Vieques’ dramatic Bioluminescent Bay, a lagoon full of microorganisms that glow purple-blue when disturbed after dark.

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