Hidden Caribbean islands

Hidden Caribbean islands

Discover the Caribbean’s best-kept secrets; you may just have a romantic island all to yourself...

The Caribbean has long been a popular spot for couples and newly-weds, not least because of its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters and diverse wildlife. But there are corners, little gems, which are still a welcome respite from the hundreds of all-inclusive resorts. Some of the smaller islands remain mostly unspoilt by tourism, making them the perfect under-the-radar honeymoon spot - particularly for nature and romance lovers.

1. Laguna de Oviedo, Dominican Republic

While many resorts are often packed to the hilt, the natural wonderment of Oviedo, within the Jaragua National Park, is almost unknown. It is a saltwater lagoon to the south-west of the country and, as well as being a magnet for much of its wildlife, the water is also dotted with 24 little islands (cayos). The main draw is that visitors might just see flamingos flying across the lagoon in search of food while they hop from isle to isle, or become close pals with tame rhinoceros iguanas. The park is also ideal for walking, bird watching and snorkelling and each island is a habitat for a different species.

Where to stay? Try the modest yet amenable Hotel Loro Tuerto (in Spanish), in Barahona. Doubles from £22pn.

2. Isla de la Juventud (Island of Youth), Cuba

Isla de la Juventud is the second largest Cuban island but is often missed by travel brochures. Despite having a history of piracy - both Treasure Island and Peter Pan are rooted in accounts of the island and its pirate inhabitants - it is probably most famous for being the place where Fidel Castro was imprisoned between 1953-55. The facility where he was held, Presidio Modelo (Model Prison), is now one of the island's most talked-about attractions, alongside its sea turtle conservation. Near Cocodrilo, to the south-west of the island, is a breeding centre, which protects some of the country's most endangered species. Visitors can visit the breeding site for just 1 CUC (60p) and see the different varieties of turtle, before enjoying a romantic evening stroll on the beach.

Where to stay? A standard double room at the Hotel Villa Isla de la Juventud (no website, call +53 46 32 32 90) - part of the Rancho El Tesoro Hotel - is from £15pn.

3. Marie-Galante, Guadeloupe

For a true taste of the Caribbean - far beyond hotel complexes and beaches - visit the small island of Marie-Galante, 15km south of Guadeloupe. The Murat Plantation, which had 207 slaves, was considered to be the largest sugar cane plantation in Guadeloupe in 1839. Today, it is a museum that documents three centuries of the island's sugar refinery history. And why not visit the Gueule Grand Gouffre (pictured above), an impressive deep gulf which is open to the elements? Or, if you're feeling energetic, hike to the cliffs in the north-west, where you can see the island's receding façade, which has been dramatically eroding since an earthquake in 1843.

Where to stay? La Kallina (in French), just 5km from Marie-Galante airport, offers doubles from £42pn.

4. Tobago Cays, St Vincent and the Grenadines

This small group of five uninhabited islands (Petit Rameau, Petit Bateau, Baradal, Petit Tabac, and Jamesby) is just east of Mayreau in the southern Grenadines. It became a wildlife reserve - the Tobago Cays Marine Park - seven years ago in a bid to preserve the natural beauty and biodiversity of the cays. Visitors can experience some of the best snorkelling in the world here, especially in the sparkling-clear water of Horseshoe Reef, which surrounds four of the islands. Here, the water is studded with sponges, small networks of mangroves and coral formations that are populated by countless sea creatures. The downside is that the island is included on several of the snorkelling excursion itineraries, which means at times it can get overcrowded. A top tip for fending off tourist hordes and explore the islands in your own time is to hire a private water taxi or fishing boat. Much more romantic that way too!

Where to stay? The Kings Landing Hotel in Clifton is just 14km from Tobago Cays. Double rooms start at £59pn.

Image courtesy St Vincent and The Grenadines Tourism Authority.

More like this

5 top honeymoon experiences in St Lucia
5 top honeymoon experiences in St Lucia

Think honeymoons to St Lucia are just relaxing beach breaks? With rainforest hiking routes, colourful nightlife and thrilling wildlife encounters, this Caribbean gem may just surprise you…

Read More

14 of the best cycling honeymoons
14 of the best cycling honeymoons

Bike trips make great honeymoons for active couples and offer new perspectives on well-worn destinations too. From challenging routes to leisurely pedals along the flat, these are our favourites

Read More

The 5 most romantic restaurants in London
The 5 most romantic restaurants in London

Want to treat your loved one to a meal to remember? These five London restaurants are perfect for honeymoons, candle lit dinners for two and popping the question

Read More

Honeymoon Finder

Looking for your perfect honeymoon? Try our honeymoon finder and search some of the best tour operators available.

Honeymoon Finder
Honeymoon
offers
Save 5% on travel insurance with Insure & Go
Save 5% on travel insurance with Insure & Go

Unique Honeymoons readers can save 5% on travel insurance with Insure & Go

Twitter bird
CONNECT WITH
UNIQUE
HONEYMOONS
Get Honeymoons in your inbox

Unique Honeymoon Ideas sends out regular email newsletters – be the first to know about web exclusives, competitions, hot offers and travel jobs. Register today!