Ready to branch out from the Caribbean classics? These five islands have amazing beaches, gorgeous water, and under-the-radar reputations … for now.
By Bob Curley
1 of 5Photo: shakzu/Getty
Culebra, Puerto Rico
The little sister to Vieques, Culebra has gorgeous beaches braced by healthy reefs and protected as part of a U.S. National Wildlife Refuge. Where to Stay:Club Seabourne is a boutique hotel with a well-regarded restaurant. Rates start at $169.
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San Blas Islands, Panama
This archipelago is one of the few places left in the Caribbean where native Amerindian culture still thrives. Where to Stay: The Yandup Island Lodge features overwater rooms, waterfall hikes, and shopping excursions for traditional fabrics. Rates start at $244.
3 of 5Photo: Holger Leue/Getty
Isla de la Juventud, Cuba
Little-known even to seasoned Cuba travelers, this island is rich with pirate lore, black sands, and great diving. Where to Stay: Cuba Accommodation has casas particulares (Cuba's traditional version of the B&B) to rent on the island starting as low as $20 per night.
4 of 5Photo: John Gerbino/Getty
The quietest corner of the Dutch Caribbean, St. Eustatius (or "Statia") is known for excellent diving and hiking, and a serene, old-Caribbean pace. Where to Stay: The Kings Well Resort is a short stroll from Statia's historic synagogue, Fort Oranje, and the island's museum. Rates start at $135.
While not in the Caribbean Sea, the Bahamas are considered Caribbean in style and spirit—and this remote part of the country's Out Islands is a gem. Where to Stay: The Baycaner Beach Resort is the only hotel on the island, and draws anglers, divers, and solitude-seekers to its long stretches of deserted beaches. Rates start at $155.