20 Apr Two Hidden Gems of the Caribbean
For many people, a dream vacation is one in the Caribbean. The white sands on endless beaches and sun all year round is so enticing, it conjures up the idea of the ideal getaway.
Perhaps this is why the Caribbean is such a popular vacation destination. In fact, the most famous island countries here including the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico attract millions of tourists each year, who love to arrive and hate to leave.
But along with these more famous destinations, there are others in the Caribbean that are just as delightful, and in some cases have special qualities and experiences that surpass their more well-known sister locations. Here are two that are lesser known but certainly worth visiting.
Samana, Dominican Republic
It surprises many people to learn that the most visited country in the Caribbean is the Dominican Republic. But with more than 4 million visitors last year, it is more than 25% more popular than second place Puerto Rico. Most travelers are drawn to its buzzing capital city Santo Domingo, which is the largest in the Caribbean, and has a reputation for 24 hour excitement.
But there is so much more to do and see in the Dominican Republic in addition to its capital. One place on the island that is very popular with couples and families is Samana, a province on the northeast side of the island that features a picturesque bay. Samana is world renown as a breeding ground for humpback whales and a near perfect destination for nature lovers.
Whale watching is definitely an attraction, but it is only one of the many things to do in Samana. You can explore the lovely coastline during the day, trek along the beaches, mountains and coves and take in the sights and sounds of nature. You can walk along the crystal sand beaches and go snorkeling and scuba diving to experience the exotic fish and coral. And you can dine at the local restaurants that feature fresh seafood caught that day.
If you choose to stay at the Bahia Principe Samana, an all-inclusive resort in Samana that caters to couples, you can participate in tour packages that include exploring the breathtaking Samana Bay or the El Limon Waterfall. Your nights will also be busy with dinner served at their international quality restaurant, and after your meal, you can dance the night away at the resort’s private discotheque. For guests at the resort, the fun goes all night seven days every week. Samana will leave you with memories that last a lifetime.
If your preference is for first class service comparable to the highest quality British hotels ,you want to visit Anguilla. This small British territory sits in the middle of the Caribbean, and is known as the place to go for the area’s best service. Anguilla is not as popular as many of its neighbors perhaps due to it being off the main travel path. Getting here requires taking more than one commercial flight, or a flight and a ferry or seaplane.
But arriving here immediately tells you that it is worth the extra work. In addition to lovely beaches and all of the desirable water sports, the island is replete with upscale resorts and greats restaurants. In fact, some say that Anguilla has the best selection of high-end restaurants in the Caribbean. There is also an 18-hole Greg Norman golf course and enough all-day spas and other amenities to keep you busy throughout your stay here.
Sometimes the best vacation destinations are not always the most traveled ones. Consider visiting Samana and Anguilla and have a vacation you will never forget.