Are you wondering what are the best Caribbean islands to visit without cruise ships? Then, you are in the perfect place.
The Caribbean is the biggest region for cruise travelers in the world. As a result, many destinations can be crowded with numerous visitors which does not appeal to every traveler.
Therefore, if you are seeking relaxation and privacy major cruise destinations such as Jamaica and Dominican Republic may not be right for every traveler.
In this article, we outline some of the best Caribbean to explore without the huge crowds that comes with the cruise ships.
Some islands mentioned below do receive cruise passengers but the numbers are negligible.
So let us begin.
1. Carriacou Island
Our first recommendation is Carriacou which is a dependency of the tri island state of Grenada.
Carriacou which means “Isle of Reefs” has a population of about 8,000 persons and is the largest of the Grenadine chain of islands.
In addition to Carriacou, Petite Martinique is the other Grenadian dependency which is only 586 acres with approximately 900 inhabitants.
The easiest way to get to Carriacou is by ferry services which is available on Osprey Lines and Tyrell Bay Express.
We have a comprehensive guide on the blog on how to get to Carriacou. So feel free to explore for more details.
Top Things To Do In Carriacou
Tour The Belair National Park
A visit to this location will truly reveal the history of sugar cane on the island with the windmills and old French and English ruins.
This site is where various cultural festivals are held such as Carriacou Maroon Festival and the String Band Music Festival.
Have Dinner At Cassada Bay
Located in Belmont, this resort has one of the best restaurants in Carriacou. The resort serves salads, light bites, sandwiches, main courses and desserts.
Lime At Wayne’s Bar
This is an excellent location for socializing on the weekends in Carriacou. During the weekends, music begins from 6pm.
The bar also has a big screen which makes it a perfect venue for watching sporting activities with your friends.
Where To Stay In Carriacou
Beach Eco Studio
Located in Hermitage, this location has a bedroom with fridge, toaster, kitchenette and coffee machine. The location is a few steps away from the beach and the bus route.
Green Roof Inn
Located in the capital city of Hillsborough this property is a short 50 metres from the beach. There is a bar a short walk away which serves lunch for your convenience.
Bequia is nine miles away from mainland St Vincent and is seven square miles in size and is the largest in the entire Grenadines island chain.
Boat building is a main part of the history and tradition of Bequia and is known for having the largest regatta in the Southern Caribbean.
We have created a guide on how to get to bequia on this website. Feel free to go over and have a read at this article, if you are planning a trip to this island.
Things To Do In Bequia
Attend The Bequia Music Festival
Music lovers from all over the world flock to the tiny island to dance and sing along to a diverse range of music.
The annual Bequia Music Festival is one of the most popular of its kind in the Caribbean as it attracts a wide range of local, regional and international artistes.
The atmosphere on the island is what truly makes the experience remarkable as locals and visitors alike bond over their fondness of music.
Relax On Lower Bay Beach
This is another well-loved spot in Bequia which is walking distance from the Princess Margaret Beach listed above.
The beach is quiet with turquoise waters perfect for snorkeling. The easiest and most affordable way to get to Bequia is by boat.
Where To Stay On Bequia Island
This is a luxurious villa with each bedroom ensuite with a fully equipped kitchen.
The property has amazing views of the sea and island and is within walking distance to restaurants and bars.
Bequia Plantation Hotel
Located on Admiralty Bay, this hotel has amazing views of the sea. There are villas and suites some with self-contained facilities.
Crown Point House
This property is located just a few short steps away from the shores of Crescent Beach and Spring Beach.
Both beaches have fine restaurants and amenities to make your time at the beach comfortable.
Known as the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean, Montserrat is the least visited Caribbean island by tourist in the region.
The rich Irish heritage on the island has earned it the name Emerald Isle. The eruption of La Soufriere volcano in 1995 has resulted in massive migration.
Today, approximately 5,000 inhabitants call Montserrat home.
Top Things To Do In Montserrat
Tour The Island On A Hummer- travel around the island in style. Visit several historic and cultural spots such as the Little Bay Town Area and the Barzeys Estate Sugar Mill.
Trek Silver Hills-this is a mountain peak which stands at an elevation of 219 metres. The location provides scenic views of Rendezvous Bay Beach, Little Bay region and the John A Osborne Airport.
Where To Stay In Montserrat
Montserrat does not have high end all inclusive resort chains. Nevertheless, there are cozy villas and hotels on the island with lots of charm, guaranteed to make your stay comfortable.
Hereunder are two amazing recommendations:-
This is a four bedroom villa which sleeps approximately nine guests. There is a pool and the property is situated 1.5km from the center of Old Towne.
A deposit is required to cover any incidences. Little Bay Beach mentioned above is situated nearby.
This oceanfront property features three bedrooms with private pool and WIFI.
Little Bay Beach is about 6km away which is about five minutes’ drive. Pets and smoking are not allowed.
Restaurants are about twenty minutes’ drive away. The property can arrange a private chef if desired.
Barbuda is a small Caribbean island consisting of only 62 square miles and is a dependency of Antigua.
There are approximately 1,500 inhabitants and the main village is called Codrington.
There are two companies providing ferry services to and from Antigua to Barbuda with a travel time of about 90 minutes.
We have also written a detailed article on this on how to get to Barbuda so feel free to have a read.
Top Things To Do In Barbuda
Barbuda is proud to be the home to the largest frigate bird colony in the Western Hemisphere.
For more information and to see the bird, feel free to visit the Frigate Bird Sanctuary.
Explore Pink Sand Beaches
Barbuda is blessed with stunning pink sand beaches that are often crowd free which makes these locations perfect for privacy and seclusion.
Barbuda Belle and Pink Sand Beach are two of these magnificent spots to visit.
Pink Sand Beach is situated between Spanish Point and Palmetto Point and is one of the longest beaches in the Caribbean.
Where To Stay In Barbuda
Harrys Cottages 5
This is a property near the airport with patio, free parking and WIFI. Towels and linens are available.
1 Bedroom Cottage In Codrington
Located in Dulcina, this holiday home is only 6km near the Barbuda Codrington Airport.
The location is near the beach with Free Wifi and parking.
Nevis is truly a hidden gem in the region. It is only 36 square miles and does not receive as many tourists as mainland St Kitts.
Its tranquil atmosphere has attracted many international celebrities to its shores such as the late Princess Diana and A list celebrities such as Oprah and Beyonce.
Top Things To Do In Nevis
Tour The Nevis Botanical Gardens– a short stroll away from the capital city is the island’s botanical gardens.
This is an excellent location to see water lily ponds, orchids and other tropical flowers.
The garden consists of five acres with a scenic view of Mt Nevis in the background.
Soak At The Old Bath House– this was built in 1778 and was the Caribbean’s first tourist hotel. Today, it is no longer open to the public.
However, it is a perfect for a hot spring bath in which you can visit early in the morning or later in the evening.
This location can be crowded especially during the busy cruise ship season. It is situated about fifteen minutes’ walk from Main Street in Charlestown which is the capital city of the island.
Hike To Saddle Hill Fortress- this is a small fort on the Eastern side of the island.
It was built by British Lord Nelson with stellar views of neighboring islands of St Kitts, Montserrat and Redonda.
Learn History At The Museum of Nevis– though this was mentioned above in the Pinney’s Beach section, this is one of the most visited attractions on the island.
If you are interested in diving deeper into the history of the island especially around slavery and the life of the Arawaks and Caribs in Nevis, then a visit here is a must.
Nevisian Heritage Village-situated on Fothergills Estate this was a former sugar plantation and cotton station on the Eastern side of the island.
Visitors can also enjoy the magnificent views of the islands of Redonda and Montserrat.
The property gives comprehensive insight into various parts of the history of Nevis from the Carib Indians.
There is also a small café with dishes made with local ingredients.
Where To Stay In Nevis
Mount Nevis Hotel
This is a beautiful property near Oualie and Nisbet beaches. The property has garden, pool, and fitness centre. The restaurant serves both West Indian and vegetarian cuisine.
Montpelier Plantation and Beach
This is a 60 acre plantation near Nevis Peak which is the highest point on the island.
The property features a wellness centre, pool, tennis court with the capital city of Charlestown about 10km away.
Four Seasons Resort Nevis
This upscale property features spa facilities, golf course and three infinity pools. It is situated on the famous Pinney’s Beach in the capital city of Charlestown.
There are four restaurants on the property serving West Indian and international cuisine.
6. St John
Our final recommendation is the smallest of the major US Virgin Islands which is 19.6 square miles called St John.
Often confused with the capital city of Antigua, St John has no airport and hence access is only via boat.
The Cyril E King International Airport is located on the island of St Thomas which is the port of entry for all incoming visitors.
As an overseas territory of the United States of America, US dollars are the official currency and no passport is required for entry and exit for US Citizens.
Top Things To Do In St John
Tour The Island
Visit all the beautiful scenic spots on the island including the iconic Trunk Bay Beach. This is the most photographed beach loved for its white sand and turquoise waters.
Caneel Bay National Park Hike & Snorkel
Explore the US Virgin Islands National Park via guided tour. Delve deeper into the history as flora and fauna of the island.
The tour includes guided snorkel experience where guides will identify and explain the island’s marine life.
Where To Stay In St John
Gallows Point Resort
With stunning views of the capital city Cruz Bay, this resort is equipped with fitness center, pool, Jacuzzi and free parking facilities.
Additionally, there is free shuttle service which is available for pick up from the Cruz Bay ferry terminal.
There is free WIFI as well as a restaurant on the property.
Coconut Breeze Villa
This oceanfront villa is near the capital city. There is a pool, hot tub, patio, air conditioning with fully equipped kitchens.
Final Thoughts: Best Caribbean Islands Without Cruise Ships
So this is our recommendations for the top 6 Caribbean islands to explore without cruise ships.
Some of these islands do receive minimal amount of cruise visitors such as Nevis from St Kitts and St John from St Thomas and St Croix.
Nonetheless, attractions would not be as crowded when compared to islands such as Jamaica, Dominican Republic and St Lucia.
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