4 reasons to visit this lesser-known Caribbean destination right now

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The Caribbean is undisputedly America’s number one vacation destination, but it could be argued that it remains largely unexplored. While destinations like Cancun and Punta Cana are packed with visitors, other lesser-known sunny spots still fly under most travelers’ radar.

That’s right British Virgin Islands (BVI)an autonomous archipelago controlled by the United Kingdom and Puerto Rico’s immediate neighbor to the east.

Next destination is the BVI trending among sun seekers right now.

Woman snorkeling in the British Virgin Islands

They are here 4 reasons why You should miss the Cancun-Punta Cana power duo this year and be one of the first to discover this British addiction;

It feels more exclusive

Whether you’re staying on the most populous and best-equipped island or on the more remote paradisiacal islands surrounding it, you’ll be greeted by virtually deserted white-sand beaches that sparkle against turquoise waters and beautiful palm trees. lined promenades.

On average, the British Virgin Islands host: 83,000 tourists every year.

If you’re looking for a complete getaway away from the throngs of vacationers flocking to Mexico’s fancy mega-spas, the BVI will definitely feel that much more exclusive.

According to 2019 estimates, the islands have around 30,000 British residents, and due to their relatively compact size – the main island, Tortola, is only 12 miles long – their capacity is reduced. In other words, expect less crowds.

An empty hammock in the British Virgin Islands, Caribbean

One of the few five-star listings Booking.comThe Sugar Mill Hotel has deluxe double rooms with sea views starting at US$399.

However, with prices ranging from US$400 to US$500, Long Bay Beach Resort, located 7 km from Road Town, Tortola’s main settlement, offers overnight accommodation starting at US$489, but if you’re on a tighter budget, you you will find staying at a guest house as cheap as US$81 per night in the center of the city.

Tropical shocks

As a destination for the natural world, the British Virgin Islands boast unique biodiversity and truly unspoiled nature that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else in the hyper-tourist sub-set.

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A pile of stones balanced on a sandy beach with crystal clear Caribbean waters in the British Virgin Islands

Compiling more than 50 islandsThe BVI is known for its coral reefs, picturesque coastal cliffs, volcanic terrain, and unspoiled rainforests that serve as nature parks with hiking trails and wildlife viewing spots.

It’s a place you go to disconnect from the craziness of the modern world, putting it at the forefront of the “digital detox” travel trend.

If lying on warm sands all day with the Caribbean Sea caressing your feet under the bright tropical sun, notifications off, sounds like your idea of ​​fun, then these unheard of islands are definitely where you need to go.

Young woman snorkeling in the Caribbean Sea, British Virgin Islands

Since tourism in the BVI is not as popular as its Caribbean counterparts, and the islanders enjoy a high level of social development due to their status under the British flag, you extremely unlikely to be bothered by beach vendors or even in the face of security issues.

All you have to do is kick back, relax and soak up the oceanic vibes.

A unique culture

The BVI may be primarily a resort destination, but it’s also an incredible destination an underrated cultural destination waiting to be revealed.

Annaberg Surgan Plantation in the British Virgin Islands, Caribbean

Originally inhabited by Native Americans from the south of the continent, the islands were resettled by Europeans after Christopher Columbus’s second voyage to the Americas in 1493, after which they were renamed the British Virgin Islands.

Over the centuries, the archipelago would come under the control of several different empires, ruled by the English, Dutch, French, Danes and even the Spanish, who fought their Anglo-Saxon rivals in an attempt to establish the boundaries of their empire. The new world.

Eventually, the area would return to British control as it became an important trading hub associated with the area sugar cane trade.

Road Town, the capital of the island of Tortola and the largest settlement in the British Virgin Islands, in the Caribbean

During this period, large numbers of enslaved Africans would be forcibly brought to the BVI to work in the fields.

Today, the multi-ethnic population of the archipelago reflects the centuries racial diversity and intermarriage, although Afro-Caribbean descent continues to form the majority. Nevertheless, all islanders are British citizens.

For those interested in the BVI’s complex history, especially tourists looking to add some culture to their sunny vacations, there are four main museums in Tortola where they can learn more:

  • H.M. prison museumthe oldest building on the island, founded back in 1794
  • Old Government Housethe official residence of the ruler of the archipelago, originally built in 1899.
  • The Lower Estate Sugar Works 1780a plantation formerly associated with slavery
  • People’s Museumtelling the story of the native inhabitants of the islands, the Arawak and Carib peoples
Beautiful beach in Costa Rica (Caribbean Sea)

Direct flights

Finally, if you think the BVI aren’t worth the trouble because they’re further away than other resorts a stone’s throw from home, you can reconsider knowing that the first ever non-stop flight between the US and the territory began recently.

The first three-hour trip offered by American Airlines took place on June 1, connecting Miami to the BVI’s main international airport on Beef Island.

Although it is not the capital or the most populated island, it is connected to Tortola by the Queen Elizabeth Bridge, which spans the bright blue sea.

An American Airlines plane on the runway

The daily flight will continue to operate August 14ceasing in the fall until service restarts in November.

In total, the BVI administration has estimated that more than 2,100 visitors per month will travel to the archipelago during the active months.

Flights depart Miami at 10:07 AM, arriving in Beef Island at 1:06 PM. Returning to America, guests will depart at 1:47 p.m., touching down in Miami at 4:25 p.m.

Additional flights have also been added on certain dates in June due to high demand.

woman in yellow sarong on deserted tropical beach, Sandy Cay, British Virgin Islands

As BVI Prime Minister Natalio Wheatley stated, “This is the first time in history that the flight has been completely sold out in such a short time,” and the administration is grateful to American Airlines for partnering with them to implement this long-awaited service. bringing “ease and accessibility” to the “treasured” destination.

Round trip flights from Miami starting at US$998 and $503 from San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Cheaper options are lacking as both seat availability and capacity are lower, but it is a more exclusive destination where you will be able to really enjoy! The natural wonders of the Caribbean without having to fight for a spot in the sun in the frenzied crowds.

For some, it can cost an extra hundred dollars.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

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