Lesser Antilles

Category: Lesser Antilles

Antigua

Antigua and Barbuda

Nicknamed “the Land of 365 beaches,” this nation offers a fresh stretch of pristine white sand for every day of the year. Popular reasons to come to Antigua and Barbuda include weddings, honeymoons and the kind of relaxing vacation you can only experience in the Caribbean.

Antigua is the larger island, and means “ancient.” Barbuda, or “bearded,” lies a few miles to the north. The population is mostly of West African descent, though there is a large minority whose ancestors made the easy decision to leave behind the often-drab UK for the warmth and sun of the islands. From the 17th C. until 1981, Antigua and Barbuda was ruled by Great Britain and is now a sovereign nation and member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Consequently, English is the primary language, though most of the population also speaks an English Creole dialect. Read more

Willemstad Curacao

Curacao

This sun-swept island with gentle breezes lies in the southern Caribbean, not far from Venezuela. It is a haven for scuba divers and snorkeling enthusiasts, and everyone raves about the sugar-white sand on miles of gorgeous beach.

Whether planning a romantic romp, a family adventure or a memorable experience with friends, Curacao has what you’re looking for. The rainy season is October to February, so plan around it if you want a better chance for sunshine.

Curacao is now a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It’s a bustling island with a population exceeding 150,000 on 177 square miles. The vast majority of Curacao’s people live in or near the capital of Willemstad. The culture is a rich blend of West Indian, East Asian and Latin American influences splashed with Dutch. Read more

Pigeon Point Beach - Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago

This island lies just north of the Venezuelan coast, and it is one of the most prosperous Caribbean nations due to its oil industry. Trinidad is the larger island and is more industrialized. The nation’s capital is Port-of-Spain. The island is less dependent on tourism than most Caribbean nations, so the experiences you’ll discover will be more diverse.

There are tourist areas, for sure, but when you travel here, the feel is different. There isn’t an “all about the tourist” vibe. For many, that’s an attraction. It can be off-putting for some. That’s why many travelers prefer Tobago where there is less manufacturing and more focus on tourists.

The tropical climate in Trinidad and Tobago is divided into two seasons. The dry season is from January through June. It warms up slightly after that and gets wetter, so summers into fall can be steamy. This two-island nation is south of the path of most hurricanes. Read more

Schooling Fish Turks and Caicos

The Turks and Caicos Islands

These splendid groups of islands are like the Bahamas without the crowds, and hundreds of secluded little beach locations are perfect for a romantic swim or loud family fun.

Part of the Larger Antilles and strung north of Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos deliver greater serenity and privacy while offering less nightlife, shopping and bustle. That’s “less,” but not “none.” You’ll find things to do on a rare rainy day or at night, but with an easier-going vibe.

The Turks and Caicos are an overseas territory of the UK. The majority of the population is descended from African slaves with mixed Caribbean ancestry. A significant minority are descended from British loyalist fleeing the US after the War of Independence. The official language is English, and a creole dialect is also spoken. Read more

Philipsburg and the Great Bay, Sint Maarten, Caribbean

Sint Maarten

This lovely territory of the Netherlands shares the island of Saint Martin with the French country Saint-Martin. Sint Maarten comprises the southern one-third of the island, approximately 21 square miles, and majors in beautiful weather, dynamic nightlife and the enjoyment of rum cocktails.

You typically won’t meet a border check traveling between the two countries on this one small island, but keep your passport handy just in case.

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Saint Martin, Caribbean

Saint Martin

Saint Martin to the north and Sint Maarten to the south are two nations sharing quite a small island. The term SXM is typically used by tourists of the island as a whole. Saint Martin, or Saint-Martin, comprises about 60% of the island. There’s typically no hassle in passing back and forth between the two countries.

Saint Martin is a French territory known for beautiful beaches – many of which are clothing-optional and quite secluded, brilliant-blue seas and fabulous boutiques and outdoors markets. St. Martin is generally considered a better destination for couples and singles than for families with young kids.

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Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas, USVI

US Virgin Islands

Many experienced travelers proclaim the US Virgin Islands to be among the prettiest lands in the entire Caribbean. Located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles, the three largest islands are Saint Croix, Saint John and Saint Thomas, with many smaller islands surrounding them. They form 133 square miles of gorgeous terrain with lovely beaches and a brilliant climate, and if you love life outdoors, the US Virgin Islands will surely delight.

As part of the United States, the national language is English. Several creole languages are spoken too, and you might hear Spanish during your visit. The US dollar is the official currency. More than two million visitors arrive each year, many via cruise ships, but you can still find quiet beaches or nature trails where you can unwind amidst nature’s beauty. Read more

Anguilla Harbor

Anguilla

The Caribbean island of Anguilla is 35 square miles of pure beauty. Its name means “Eel” and reflects the long, thin geography of the island, a shape which keeps you close to gorgeous stretches of powdery-white beach leading into clear, turquoise waters.

Because Anguilla lacks a major airport, it doesn’t get the heavy traffic of larger Caribbean islands, and maybe that’s exactly what you’re looking for. Most visitors arrive by ferry or cruise ship, though some cross the sea from Saint Martin by sailboat for an unforgettable adventure.  Getting to Anguilla is part of the fun. If you’d rather fly to your destination, you’ve got better options throughout the Caribbean. Read more