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Your perfect winter escape

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If you’re stuck in winter’s icy chokehold, any island may seem like a good idea right now. 

While you may be tempted to pack your bags and relocate to anywhere but snow, we’ve done the work for you and came up with a list of less popular tropical vacation destination spots that should be on your radar. Full disclosure: we’re definitely partial to the Eastern Caribbean, so most of this listing will reflect that.

So, what makes the ideal vacation spot? Is it sun-bathing on a pink sand beach? A tropical eco adventure? Island culture, food and daytime parties? Long winding coral reefs? Sailing? Kite-surfing, snorkeling and scuba diving? (Have you packed yet?)

In no particular order, here’s a list of sunny island paradise that you should definitely trade your coat in for.

1. St. Lucia

While you may be thinking of packing your bags and relocate to anywhere but snow, we’ve done the work for you and came up with a list of unspoiled tropical vacation destination spots that should be on your radar. Full disclosure: we’re definitely partial to the Eastern Caribbean Islands so most of this listing will reflect that.

2. Antigua and Barbuda

No, this isn’t a photo-edit or fancy filter – the sand is actually pink. Boasting of having a beach for every day of the year with 365 white and pink sand beaches with crystal clear turquoise water, Antigua was named the best island for a romantic destination wedding twice in a row. A two package deal – Barbuda is just 15-minute flight or 90-minute ferry ride away from Antigua. Barbuda’s claim to fame is a long pink shell beach stretching 17 miles with some of the clearest water around.

3. Grenada

Okay, choosing a picture that embodied Grenada was hard. Rich in Look like something off the set of Pirates of the Caribbean? It is!  The harbour of 'Port Royal' was built at Wallilabou Bay on the leeward coast of St Vincent. The dock and a facade have been left almost exactly in tact and is accessible for tours or of course, a photo-op, to the delight of many visitors. This is just one of the many reasons to visit St. Vincent and its 32 island gems called the Grenadines which serve as the perfect place for any water based activity you can imagine–  from snorkeling, to kite surfing, diving, kayaking. Lush green forests and nature trails, crystal clear waters and more local food than you can eat make St. Vincent the ideal get away.

4. St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Grenadines. these serve as the perfect setting for any water based activity you can imagine–  from snorkeling, to kite surfing, diving, kayaking and the very popular sailing. Lush green forests and nature trails, crystal clear waters and the best local food than you can eat ,all make St. Vincent the ideal get away.

5. Anguilla

Rendezvous bay, Anguilla, has been listed as the number one beach in the Caribbean on several occasions. Its pristine white sand stretches for miles, covered by clear turquoise water, make it one of the best beaches for a romantic stroll or some sandy soul searching. Any direction you look gives you an equally spectacular ‘wow’ view;  you can even see St. Martin in all its glory from here. The perfect sun- sand and sea vacation.

6. Dominica

Dominica is known as the “nature isle of the Caribbean” and is the perfect, unspoilt paradise for hikers, nature lovers and divers. Its winding volcanic terrain with the highest mountains in the Eastern Caribbean, lush rainforests, waterfalls, lakes, and numerous hot springs known for their healing properties, make it the naturalist’s paradise. Its rugged coastline also fringes rustic coastal villages and stunning black-sand beaches,  many of which offer good snorkeling and/or diving spots.  

7. British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands are one of the best destinations for sailing. Island hopping is essentially a way of life in this volcanic archipelago. Locals and visitors alike can take advantage of the wide-open ocean, perfect for diving. Wading through the colorful coves and granite boulders of The Baths in Virgin Gorda is noted by travelers as the most exhilarating experience you can have. 

8. St. Kitts

More proof that the Eastern Caribbean literally has something foreveryone. Sun, sea and golf are St. Kitts growing attractions. Royal St. Kitts Golf Club has 10 water hazards, 80 bunkers and stretches across 125-irrigated acres overlooking the sea. Truly something to behold. From the tee, look eastward toward the breathtaking ocean. To the north, cascading mountains coated with a rich coat of tropical foliage flanking a dormant volcano. Imagine a better way to stay in shape on this beautiful course as you get your game on, then end the day with a dip in the sea and a glass of rum cocktail waiting at the bar.  Bliss!  

9. Montserrat

Montserrat may be known for its greenery and noteable hiking trails, but after the series of volcanic eruptions the coastal life has been reborn and has become a noteworthy attraction. The southern reefs have been totally revived and new marine life have drifted to the reefs. Get an eye-full of this beautiful seascape; from huge sponges and heads of brain coral to kaleidoscopic tropical fish, spotted eagle rays, sea turtles, and sharks.

10. Trinidad and Tobago

Okay! So Trinidad had to make this list! Apart from having a tropical biodiversity unlike any other island it is the home of one ofearth’s natural wonders; the pitch-lake. Now Trinidad is definitely the King of Caribbean entertainment and nightlife. In fact, early in the New Year is the perfect time to visit Trinidad with Carnival in the air, if you want to get away and experience a party ambience that simply cannot be replicated (no exaggeration here). Tuesday mas is the grand finale and features a parade of iridescent costumes draped in pearls, glitters and feathers. As it gets closer to Tuesday mas there are parties (fetes) island wide featuring performances from local and international superstars, music, local food and local rum. “De vibes can’t done!” We’ve already booked our ticket. No, serious! 

11. Barbados

Barbados is essentially a visitor’s paradise. This country has some serious attractions to offer. From naturally emerging underground caves, to snorkeling with turtles, submarine tours, long winding beaches, or bumping to international sensation Rihanna during their kadooment street parade. Barbados checks off every item on a traveler’s list.