For an off-the-beaten-path party or chilled island-vibing holiday, here are the best-kept secret Caribbean hidden gem destinations to rest, relax, and refresh post-pandemic. Because let's be honest. After last year, you've earned an escape.
Cabarete, Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is where to start the new era of post-pandemic travel. Whether relaxation to you means nightlife, waterfall hikes, surfing, kitesurfing, all-inclusive resorts, or laying on a beach, the Dominican Republic is the perfect escape to rest and refresh. You may even forget the pandemic existed while sipping a mojito at a beach bar in Cabarete or surfing the waves at Encuentro. Take kitesurfing lessons at kite beach or relax by watching the sun dip below the horizon while enjoying a beer. The prices, people, and the place is by far underrated and underappreciated. The DR is a must-visit for your adventure list this year.
Ambergris Caye, Belize
Belize makes a statement as a destination with beautiful beaches, endless outdoor activities, and vibrant nightlife. Sharing a border with the popular tourist haunt of Mexico, Belize offers a quiet but intriguing escape for the individual who is tired of "going where everyone else is going." Ambergris Caye is Belize's largest island and known for water sports, scuba diving, and the captivating white sand and teal blue waters of Caribbean beaches. The central hub of Belize City is an ideal launch point for all that the country has to offer. Belize includes a broad offering of things to do, see, and explore, from jungle to Mayan ruins, reef exploration, and fun nightlife. Like many countries, evening curfews and health guidelines remain integral to the Belizean travel experience. Still, if you want to avoid the clichés of traveling to Mexico and partying in Tulum or Cancun, Belize is an exciting option. Grab your hammock and a beer and find yourself happily refreshed.
British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands comprises four main islands and many more minor archipelagos of gorgeous reef-lined beaches surrounded by crystal turquoise waters. To best experience the BVIs, book a catamaran or sailing charter with you and your friends. There is a myriad of benefits to chartering a boat and sailing through the BVIs. You'll see and experience more of the beauty of the Caribbean, save on the costs of resort accommodation, avoid curfews or quarantine requirements that may still be in place, and have a boat to party on with your friends. Cheers to that!
Although the typical nightlife is mellow with mandatory curfews still in place, Jamaica is a destination full of lush rainforests, stunning mountains, and white sand beaches. If that's not enough, did we mention legendary reggae musicians? Many think of visiting Montego Bay for an all-inclusive resort experience, but a more secret, off-the-beaten-path escape is the beachside city of Negril. Known for its white-sand beaches and entertaining nightlife, Negril is a rewarding mix of relaxation and revelry.
The Bahamas may sound too popular for a post-pandemic trip, but the destination remains an accessible and entertaining escape with its picturesque beaches, restaurants and bars, and comfortable resorts. Think of Nassau as a starting point and island-hop to the Abacos, Exumas, Eleuthera, or Harbour Island. Whatever you choose, the Bahamas offer variety and beauty for a girls' trip, guys' trip, family trip, or solo rendezvous.
Palm Beach, Aruba
Aruba is a destination that promises to unplug and recharge your spirits with its fun and refreshing vibes. With gambling, booze cruises, big resorts, shopping, boutique hotels, beautiful beaches, outdoor activities, and nightlife, the island does have it all. If you want a destination that feels worlds away and includes Dutch influence, Aruba is the place to go post-pandemic.
Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos
Some of the most beautiful water in the world is found at the edges, and surrounding, Turks & Caicos. Although a more pricey destination, the islands that comprise Turks and Caicos do not disappoint. If your idea of an off-the-beaten-path party is eating conch and drinking cocktails, diving and snorkeling, or beach lounging, Turks & Caicos will meet all of your needs.
Whatever your post-pandemic travel plans, always remember to go Rogue and deviate from tour guides and travel plans – these are always the memories that stand out for life!