October 30, 2020

Best Caribbean destinations for island-hopping day trips

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Double your honeymoon fun with these getaway ideas.

A Caribbean island is the perfect post-wedding escape, with its white sandy beaches and sparkly blue waters. But why limit yourself to a single destination? Get two honeymoons in one with these incredibly romantic locales and the easy day trips to pair with them.

St. Kitts & Nevis

St. Kitts

St. Kitts is certainly a beach lover’s nirvana, but it’s chock-full of history, too. The Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s dubbed the “Gibraltar of the West Indies.” Climb to the top and you’ll be rewarded with the best-ever honeymoon pics. The island is also home to one of the last functioning passenger railroads in the Caribbean; a three-hour journey on the St. Kitts Scenic Railway hugs the coastline and offers stunning views of the water, while chugging through scenic sugarcane fields and small villages.

Take a 45-minute ferry ride to Nevis

Nevis has long been a haven for major chillaxing; travelers—and celebs such as Oprah Winfrey and Michael Douglas—have come here to enjoy its mellow vibe, the healing volcanic spring waters at the Bath Hotel and Spring House and fancy treatments at one of the many upscale spas. Adventurers will love Nevis too. Hikers can lace up their sneaks to traverse Nevis Peak, a potentially active volcano and one of the toughest trails in the Caribbean. Theater geek? Alexander Hamilton, of Broadway fame, was born on Nevis and couples can visit his birthplace.

St. Martin & Saba

St. Martin

This hilly dual-nation island with a French and Dutch side is both colonial and cosmopolitan. Channel your inner James Bond at the Casino Royale or spend the night dancing or boozing it up at one of the many other casinos on the island—it’s a party paradise. For something more low-key, laze the day away at Happy Bay beach or Petites Cayes, umbrella drink in hand.

Take a 1.5-hour ferry ride to Saba

Untouched by cruise ships and chain restaurants—and unknown to many tourists—the tiny five-square-mile island of Saba is a day-tripper’s dream. In addition to its unspoiled beauty on land, it’s also known for some of the best diving in the world, with each of its 30 sites revealing an underwater playground of marine diversity. Not a diver? The snorkeling is super. There are also hiking trails that range from moderate to extreme. Plan for lunch or dinner at the Queen’s Garden Restaurant, where couples can have fresh-caught fish and cocktails in the Bird’s Nest, a private tree house that overlooks the Caribbean Sea.

St. Thomas & St. John

St. Thomas

The most bustling of the three U.S. Virgin Islands, upscale St. Thomas has loads to see and do. Start the day at the Haagensen House, a restored 19th-century home brimming with antiques and art—and climb the 99 Steps nearby. Then cool off at Magens Bay, considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Take a 20-minute ferry ride to St. John

With much of its land protected within a national park, this island just three miles from St. Thomas feels wild and super romantic. Slap on your fins and snorkel among the starfish, spotted eagle rays and barracudas. Hiking is abundant at , where you’ll trek by the ruins of the Reef Bay Sugar Factory. For bites, NYC chef Zakary Pelaccio’s Fatty Crab has a Caribbean outpost that serves upscale, but unfussy Southeast Asian small plates.

Puerto Rico & Vieques

Puerto Rico

Roughly the size of Connecticut, Puerto Rico can be traversed in a day’s time. The capitol has one of the most charming old towns, dotted with blue cobblestone streets, colonial architecture, and Spanish forts. Plus, the country offers great golfing and killer waves for surf junkies. Just 45-minutes from Old San Juan lies the trails in El Yunque, the only subtropical rainforest in the United States Forest System.

Take a 1-hour-and-15-minute ferry ride to Vieques

This small island, just off the east coast of Puerto Rico, is best known for its glowing bioluminescent bay, but you don’t have to spend the night to enjoy the best that this destination offers. Beach bums will have loads of options, including Pata Prieta, the “secret beach,” located in the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge; or the Instagram-worthy black sand beach at Playa Negra. Swim among tropical fish, plus peep at sea turtles, manatees, dolphins, eagle rays and nurse sharks in zippy two-hour snorkeling tours around Cayo Afuera, just off Esperanza Beach. Landlub it with a visit to the Ruins of Playa Grande Sugar Plantation.

Bahamas & Pig Beach

The Bahamas

With over 700 islands and cays, the Bahamas is ideal for exploration. Spend one day in a bustling metropolis, and the next on a remote island. Cruise around the buzzing city of Nassau, where you’ll find megaresorts with nightlife and casinos. Or steal away to quiet Exuma, where pristine beaches make a perfect spot for a picnic for two.

Take an overnight ferry ride to Pig Beach

Two words: Swimming pigs. Bring your waterproof camera case and book a private charter with Four C’s to swim with the famous pigs on the uninhabited island of Big Major Cay, also known as Pig Beach. To complete the best-day-ever, there are iguanas to feed at White Leaf Cay and snorkeling in the Thunderbolt Grotto. Once back in Georgetown, take a speedy water taxi from Government Dock to Chat n’ Chill on Stocking Island for their ultra-fresh conch salad.

For more on this story go to: https://www.theknot.com/content/caribbean-honeymoon-island-hop

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