December 6, 2021

Destinations of the week

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jost5 tiny Caribbean islands to visit right now

From Caribbean Journal

There aren’t any really “big” islands in the Caribbean — it’s all relative. But in the world of Caribbean travel, there are certainly small islands — and some even smaller than that. The latter are often far off the beaten path, meaning you need to know how to get there and why. These little gems are small, pure and charming, full of all the things that make us travel in the first place: fascinating culture, warm people, or simply breathtaking scenery. These are the islands you escape to when other small islands get too big. Here are five tiny islands you should check out in the Caribbean right now.


The jewel of the Grenadines. This onetime whaling colony is now a funky, vibrant place, a West Indian islet with a playful kind of charm. This is a beautiful island, with quiet, untouched beaches, humble beach bars and jaw-dropping views. There are also a host of great places to stay, from the tony Firefly Plantation Bequia to the resort-style Bequia Beach Hotel to a CJ favorite, Sugar Reef. Bequia can be reached by air (use SVG Air) from around the Grenadines chain and Barbados, or by ferry from St Vincent. And since St Vincent is still building its international airport, that basically means you need to fly first to Barbados first to get here.

tinyTerre de Haut, Guadeloupe

People say this is what St Barth used to be like before it became St Barth. And whether that’s true or not, this remains one of our favorite little islands in the Caribbean, a French Caribbean paradise with the best of both worlds: the French joie de vivre and pure Caribbean beauty. That means seaside bistros and art galleries; tucked-away beaches and boutique hotels; and the unendingly endearing innocence of a hard-to-reach island. Of course, it isn’t that hard: Norwegian now flies direct to “mainland” Guadeloupe from several US cities, while American now operates several direct flights per week from Miami. And getting to Terre de Haut means hopping on a short ferry. When you get here, you’re choosing from a handful of small hotels like the picture-book Lobleu, the more traditional Bois Joli and the artful Les Petits Saints.

jost-cover-950x530Jost Van Dyke

It’s famous for its beach bars, and rightfully so. Jost Van Dyke, the 3.1-square-mile islet in the British Virgin Islands, has two of the region’s most famous beach bars: The Soggy Dollar Bar, on White Bay, and Foxy’s, in Great Harbour. But this little island also has miraculous white sand beaches, an eclectic vibe and a wonderful detachment from hustle and bustle. It can only be reached by boat, although there are regular ferries from around the US and BVI, including from St John, St Thomas and Tortola. As for where to stay, why not stay right at the Soggy Dollar? The bar has the adjacent Sandcastle Hotel, a toes-in-the-sand outpost with beachfront cottages. If you want a little extra quiet, the island has a handful of great villas in the hills.

Little Caylittle-caymanman

There is very little here, and that’s what makes it so wonderful. The best-kept secret in the Cayman Islands, this is a sliver of beachy goodness a 30-minute plane ride from Grand Cayman. It’s the kind of place where traffic is impossible, where bustle is just a bad dream. And it’s home to some of the world’s best diving. Cayman Airways flies multiple flights per day here, and when you get here, there are several terrific places to stay, including the Little Cayman Beach Resort (named Caribbean Journal’s Best Caribbean Dive Resort) and the Southern Cross Club.

Harbour Island, Bahamas

“BrilandHarbour Island,” as the locals call it, may be small, but it’s got perhaps the highest density of great hotels anywhere in the Caribbean. The island, reached by a quick ferry from Eleuthera, has a veritable cornucopia of lovely, exclusive hotels. It’s really up to you: Coral Sands, Pink Sands, The Dunmore… the list goes on. And did we mention that the sand here is actually pink?

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