Caribbean Flair ...off the Beaten Path
(by Vincent)


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Looking for gorgeous beaches, lush vegetation, tropical weather and Caribbean flair but don't want to battle hoards of tourists at an all-inclusive resort? No worries, there are plenty of destinations in the Caribbean situated out of the average tourist's line of sight. You can feel free to interact with locals, take a solitary swim, and enjoy long walks through the jungle.

Havana, Cuba:

There's no place quite like Cuba; it's beautiful, surprising, and totally magnificent. Of course there are a number of quaint beach towns on the island, but Havana is a classic, and it's totally worth the visit. It's the Caribbean's largest city and the most vibrant, full of amazing food, excellent salsa music, colonial palaces, and vintage cars. The US is gradually easing restrictions on travel to the country, which could mean many more US tourists in the near future. So if you've been thinking about a Cuba vacation for a while, you should probably get there now, before everyone else does.



Saba:

A spiky volcano peak situated in sparkling turquoise waters, Saba is nothing short of paradise. The island is a diver's haven, ranking among the best diving spots in the world. Coral reefs abound, filled with reef sharks, sea turtles, and colorful schools of fish and everything is meticulously protected in a well-established national marine park. though surrounding islands have turned into vacation hotspots, dotted by luxury condominiums and plagued by constant development, Saba's locals have worked to ardently protect the island and its pristine wilderness and its Caribbean flair.

Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos:

There's azure water, golden sand, and quaint villages seemingly frozen in time but most people have never even heard of these pristine, tropical isles, let alone have visited. However, the cruise lines have been including them on "their ports of call" stops increasingly for the past few years. It is a kind of Shangri-La of the area with a unique Caribbean flair flying somewhat under the radar. Grand Turk is the true, secluded gem of this British overseas territory, home to about 31,500 people. It boasts a number of secluded beaches but is also home to the territory's capitol meaning that the action is never too far away.

Dominica:

Dominica is often referred to as the "Nature Island", marked by volcanic peaks, lush rainforests, and crystal-clear waterfalls. Opportunity for adventure abounds in this tiny but sparsely populated island, from snorkeling to diving to kayaking to hiking to bird watching. The scenery is truly Hollywood worthy. Don't believe us? All Pirates of the Caribbean movies were actually filmed here, chosen for it's pristine jungle and dramatic cliffs. Don't worry though; the island hasn't received any kind of dramatic tourist influx because of the films. Getting to Dominica is still a bit of a trek, so the island still remain situated away from hoards of tourists and off of the beaten path. Be sure to take a dip in Titou Gorge, a beautiful swimming hole with a torrential water fall, and don't forget to hike along the Waitukubuli National Trail, the Caribbean's first and only walking trail.

Grenada:

Known as the "Island of Spice" this Caribbean slice of paradise is home to a vast array of spice plantations and is one of the world's largest spice exporters. Excellent beaches and amazing scuba diving spots dot the coast, while the entire interior is covered in lush, jungle vegetation. These islands are rarely visited; aside from the locals you will likely have the island to yourself.


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