I recently published the top 10 most visited Caribbean islands based on data from the Caribbean Tourism Organization. On the list were primarily larger Caribbean islands that, over the last three decades, invested heavily in their tourism infrastructure with increased aviation capacity, new resorts, tour offerings, etc., and now are reaping the benefits. They account for 85% of the stay-over visitors to the region.
So what about the other Caribbean islands? Well, below, I count down the ten least visited Caribbean islands. They represent just 1.36% of the stay-over visitors to the region, but some would say these beautiful and mostly pristine Caribbean islands are a fantastic opportunity for tourists to the region to have a more authentic experience — to discover the Caribbean the way it used to be. So check out these least touristy Caribbean islands and consider one or more for your next vacation.
Least Touristy Caribbean Islands
Based on 2022 data provided by the Caribbean Tourism Organization, the ten least Caribbean islands/countries include Grenada, Saint Barthelemy, Suriname, St. Kitts & Nevis, Anguilla, Dominica, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, St Eustatius, Saba and Montserrat.
Stay-Over Tourists: Year 2022: 133,115 / Year 2021: 42,099
The iconic Grand Anse Beach is one of the leading attractions in Grenada, where the Caribbean Sea’s gleaming blue waters gently lap the two-mile stretch of pristine white sand. Visitors who manage to pull themselves away from the magnificent beaches can go snorkeling in the world’s first underwater sculpture park or hike through the tropical rainforest. Grenada is also known as ‘The Spice Isle’ due to an abundance of rich spices grown and harvested on its islands. Enjoy these spices in mouthwatering local dishes and take back some spices and locally made bean-to-bar chocolate with you.
- 🎨 Art & Culture: Concord Waterfall, Chocolate Factory, Rum Distillery, Grand Etang
- 🥘 Food & Drink: Grenada Island Food & Sightseeing Tour
- 🥾 Outdoor Activities: Coastline Explorer – Grenada ATV Adventures
- ⛵ Watersports: Sunset & Champagne Cruise under sails on a Classic Schooner in Grand Anse Bay
- 🐠 Wildlife: Half-Day Sail & Snorkel to Grenada Underwater Sculpture Park
Stay-Over Tourists: Year 2022: 108,000 / Year 2021: ???
At just eight square miles, the island of Saint Barthélemy (casually known as St. Barts) is exquisite in its beauty, with sparkling white sand gently hugging its rugged coastline. Among its imposing beaches are Marigot, known for impressive snorkeling, and Anse des Cayes beach – a favorite of surfers. Go back in time to Gustavia and see the Anglican Church built between 1853-1855, and which still has much of the original structure today. While there, explore the Port of Gustavia, a decades-old symbol of the country’s economic development.
Stay-Over Tourists: Year 2022: 100,000 (Est.) / Year 2021: 70,978
In Suriname, travelers experience the perfect blend of nature and culture, from its dense forests to the excitement of its Dutch capital, Paramaribo. The mix of cultures is reflected in the languages spoken throughout the country and in Suriname’s spicy cuisines. Shopping, pulsating night spots, and many unique restaurants adorn Paramaribo, while the vast, untamed jungle – reachable by boat – awaits trekking expeditions. Adventure seekers can enjoy birdwatching, wildlife spotting and discover distinct species that can only be found in the area.
Stay-Over Tourists: Year 2022: 77,746 / Year 2021: 19,444
Unspoiled beaches and spectacular landscapes await visitors to the twin-island nation of St. Kitts & Nevis. It’s home to the historic UNESCO Brimstone Hill Fortress, once known as the ‘Gibraltar of the West Indies.’ Explore the Saint Kitts Scenic Railway Tour – the only one of its kind in the Caribbean. From the lush rainforest to the dormant Mount Liamuiga volcano, there are plenty of hiking opportunities on these islands. Enjoy adventures like scuba diving and skydiving in between bar hopping on the beach, sampling rum cocktails, and eating local dishes.
- 🎨 Art & Culture: Full Island Panoramic Tour of St Kitts
- 🥘 Food & Drink: Basseterre Food and Walking Tour
- 🥾 Outdoor Activities: ATV Tour of St Kitts through the Island’s Rugged Interior
- ⛵ Watersports: St Kitts Deluxe Catamaran Snorkeling Tour With Lunch or St Kitts Full Day Catamaran to Nevis
- 🐎 Wildlife: 3 Hours Horseback Riding from Nature Trails to Sofa Stone
Stay-Over Tourists: Year 2022: 74,053 / Year 2021: 28,376
Although it’s only 35 square miles, Anguilla has 33 sparkling white-sand beaches lapped by the gentle waves of turquoise-colored Caribbean waters. It’s no surprise then that the island boasts a wealth of sporting activities, including boat racing, Anguilla’s national sport. Visitors can also enjoy sailing, scuba diving, kite surfing, and paddle-boarding. Accommodations range from luxury resorts to quaint villas and guest houses, in addition to over 100 restaurants where visitors can indulge in local crayfish and lobster dishes or relish international cuisine
Best Tours in Anguilla
- 🥾 Outdoor Activities: Morning Kayaking Tour to Little Bay
- ⛵ Watersports: Traditional Sailing Adventure to Anguilla’s Prickly Pear Cays or The Best Sunset Sail and Cocktail Hour in Anguilla
Stay-Over Tourists: Year 2022: 60,873 / Year 2021: 14,888
Dominica: Canoe on Indian River. Photo Credit: © Discover Dominica Authority.
Known as The Nature Island, Dominica (pronounced Dom-in-EEK-a) boasts tropical rainforests that host a plethora of wildlife and more than 1,000 plant species. This nature lover’s paradise includes the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Eastern Caribbean, and Waitukubuli National Trail, the Caribbean’s first long-distance walking trail. Dominica is rated as one of the world’s top ten diving spots and is the only country where sperm whales reside year-round. Hiking, canyoning, and a world-famous boiling lake add to Dominica’s natural appeal.
- 🎨 Art & Culture: Dominica Day Trip: Indian River Rowboat Tour, Fort Shirley Ruins and Purple Turtle Beach
- 🥘 Food & Drink: Caribbean Cooking Class with Daria
- 🥾 Outdoor Activities: Boiling Lake Hike in Dominica or Canyon Experience in Dominica
- ⛵ Watersports: Waitukubuli Volcano Snorkeling
- 🐋 Wildlife: PH Whale Watch & Dolphin Cruise in Dominica
Stay-Over Tourists: Year 2022: 59,021 / Year 2021: 24,230
View of the Port of Kingstown in St Vincent. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey.
Seventh on the list of least visited Caribbean islands is Saint Vincent & The Grenadines, well-known for the diverse and rich character of its people and landscape. Regular ferries allow visitors to pack several experiences into one vacation, hopping between its nine inhabited islands – St Vincent, Young Island, Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, Mayreau, Union Island, Palm Island, and Petit St Vincent. Explore lush rainforests and jaw-dropping waterfalls, and stroll through the oldest botanic gardens in the Western Hemisphere. Discover the old charm of Bequia’s villages and go snorkeling with hawksbill turtles in Tobago Cays.
- 🎨 Art & Culture: Fort Charlotte, Botanical Gardens and Kingstown Tour
- 🥘 Food & Drink: Rum & Fun Tour or Pirates of the Caribbean Port Royal Experience & Beach
- 🥾 Outdoor Activities: Dark View Waterfall and Beach Tour
- ⛵Watersports: Crystal kayaking in St. Vincent
Diving Site in Saint Eustatius. Photo Credit: ©St Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation.
Sint Eustatius is a Dutch Caribbean island and remains unspoiled and naturally beautiful. Known locally as Statia, you won’t find mass tourism here. Instead, the tropical island is teeming with rare and exotic life forms, including 35 globally endangered or vulnerable species, and boasts several natural wonders such as coral reefs, seagrass beds, and woodlands. Dive into the surrounding waters of Statia to discover the wonderful world of colorful corals and sponges, as well as hundreds of meters of the old town walls and 17th-century warehouse ruins waiting to be explored. On land, ‘Climbing The Quill’ is a highly recommended activity, where giant trees and colorful flowers grow in abundance.
Stay-Over Tourists: Year 2022: 4,900 / Year 2021: 4,100
Saba is one of the most exquisite destinations in the Caribbean and remains largely untouched by the bustle of tourism. Visitors are drawn to the allure of old Caribbean charm and unparalleled splendor. A stone’s throw away from St. Maarten, Saba is a diver’s paradise with year-round tropical temperatures perfect for exploring striking reefs of fish and coral. Hiking Mt. Scenery, the highest point in the Dutch Kingdom, rewards the traveler with spectacular views. At its peak is the Elfin Forest, a movie-like scene of mysterious clouds gently covering Epiphytes, orchids, and many other unique and rare plants.
Stay-Over Tourists: Year 2022: 4,613 / Year 2021: 1,591
View of the Montserrat Soufrière Hills volcano from the Montserrat Volcano Observatory. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey.
With just 1,591 stay-over visitors in 2021, Montserrat is the least touristy Caribbean island. Lush green mountains abound on the island of Montserrat, known as the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean. From honeymooners to nature lovers and everyone in between, this gorgeous country has a little something for everyone. And for honeymooners and nature lovers who want to get away from it all, Montserrat is the perfect Caribbean destination. The former capital Plymouth is now a modern-day Pompeii as it was buried in volcanic ash during the 1995 eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano. What’s left of the island are evergreen mountains dotted with spectacular hiking trails and mysterious dark sand beaches. Montserrat offers travelers a friendly Caribbean charm blended with modern villa accommodations and nature-themed attractions for a serene vacation experience. Don’t leave the island without trying Goat Water, a tasty stew that is Montserrat’s national dish.
So do you fancy any of these least visited Caribbean islands for your next vacation? With little-known beaches, mesmerizing mountain trails, and untouched forests, these least touristy Caribbean islands offer a plethora of unique experiences for the adventurous traveler to slip away from the crowd and explore hidden gems in these lesser-known Caribbean islands in the region.
Note: Originally published September 15th, 2014, this post was updated June 11th, 2023.