Caribbean Destinations

Off the Grid Caribbean Islands: 5 Destinations for the Perfect Escape

Off the grid Caribbean Islands

Close your eyes and picture paradise. Chances are your imagination has conjured up long stretches of secluded coastline. Or perhaps you’re envisioning dense and untamed forests just waiting to be explored. Both scenes, a far cry from the sprawling all-inclusive resorts; one-size-fits-all tours and over-subscribed tourist attractions commonly associated with the Caribbean. However, the region still has quite a few islands that maintain a low enough profile to make for a peaceful escape. I haven’t had the pleasure of visiting them all (yet), but of the ones I’ve made it to, I’m happy to share these 5 incredible off-the-grid Caribbean islands that guarantee a vacation full of serenity and solitude.

Off-the-grid Caribbean Island: Saba

Off the grid Caribbean Islands: Saba

Rising out of the ocean in all it’s conical glory, the volcanic island of Saba is a haven for nature lovers. And a perfect destination for solitude-seekers! This mountainous dot is covered with a lush rainforest that provides the perfect escape from civilization. Or, if you prefer the serenity of the underwater world, the island’s 30 dive sites are teeming with beautiful marine life that happily give divers a wide berth. Whatever your preference – even if you opt-out of such adventures and stick to one of Saba’s four small villages – you’re guaranteed to find yourself blissfully unbothered. Intrigued? Check out my first-timer’s guide to Saba to see if this off-the-grid Caribbean island is for you.

Saba at a Glance:

  • Size: 13 km2
  • Population: 2,000
  • Annual visitors: 25,000 (approx)
  • Activities: Diving, snorkeling, hiking
  • Getting there: From St. Maarten you can take the 1.5 hr ferry ride (runs daily) or a 15-minute flight via WinAir.

Off-the-grid Caribbean Island: Carriacou

Off the grid Caribbean Islands: Carriacou

Even as the tri-island state of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique experiences record-breaking growth with over half a million visitors in 2018, Carriacou has managed to maintain it’s standing as a perfect escape for those who wish to unplug. On this Caribbean island, long stretches of paradisiacal beaches after often unoccupied or underutilized on even the “busiest” of days. Top-rated restaurants are only ever called upon to cater to a handful of customers at a time. And even spectacular lookout points, like the fort at Princess Royal Hospital, receive a trickle of tourists throughout the day. Click here to learn more about Carriacou and so you can plan a visit to this little gem.

Carriacou at a Glance:

  • Size: 31 km2
  • Population: 9,000
  • Annual visitors: Unconfirmed
  • Activities: Diving, snorkeling, beaches
  • Getting there: From Grenada you can take a 2-hour ferry ride or a 20-minute flight via SVG Air.

Off-the-grid Caribbean Island: Petite Martinique

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Petit Martinique isn’t for everyone. But if peace is truly what you seek, PM just might be for you! Walk along the island’s lone road and you’re likely to encounter more grazing goats than people. There are more cemeteries than restaurants and even fewer accommodation options. WiFi access is limited and oftentimes weak. Lights are usually all out by 9 pm. And the only sounds after dark come courtesy of Mother Nature. The beaches are hardly “idyllic” and apart from making the walk up to the highest point on the island, PM doesn’t offer additional diversions. But, if you’re perfectly content to slip off the grid and do absolutely nothing but enjoy clean air, starry nights, and time with your thoughts, here’s a guide to Petite Martinique to help you plan your trip.

Petite Martinique at a Glance: 

  • Size: 2.37 km2
  • Population: 900
  • Annual visitors: Unconfirmed
  • Activities: Walking
  • Getting there: From Grenada (or Carriacou) you can take a 2.5 hr ferry ride that runs daily.

Off-the-grid Caribbean Island: Bequia

Off the grid Caribbean Islands: Saba

The second largest of the Grenadine islands, Bequia is a prime destination for anyone who wants to avoid the masses. Thus far, the island has kept its visitor numbers manageable and its key attractions uncrowded. Bequia’s stunning beaches are ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Its lush forests are perfect for hiking. While charming gingerbread-house hotels and an impressive selection of dining options facilitate its ability to offer solitude without compromising on quality and convenience.

Bequia at a Glance: 

  • Size: 18 km2
  • Population: 5,300
  • Annual visitors: Unconfirmed
  • Activities: Diving, snorkeling, beaches
  • Getting there: From St. Vincent you can take a 1-hour ferry ride that runs daily or fly with SVG Air.

Off-the-grid Caribbean Island: Tobago

Caribbean Islands for solitude: Tobago

Tobago must be featured on any list of mine highlighting off-the-grid Caribbean islands. It may be notably larger and more populated than its counterparts in this article, but the destination has succeeded in staying just under the radar. Admittedly, the western side of the island sees its fair share of action during peak season, however, it’s a completely different world in the east. Throughout the sprawling countryside, there are quaint villages, untouched beaches and a thriving rainforest that all combine to create all sorts of opportunities for an exquisite escape.

Tobago at a Glance: 

  • Size: 300 km2
  • Population: 60,800
  • Annual visitors: Unconfirmed
  • Activities: Diving, snorkeling, hiking, fishing, bird watching
  • Getting there: Direct flights from the UK, Germany, Toronto and New York service the island weekly, along with multiple daily flights from the twin isle of Trinidad. Tobago can also be accessed via a daily ferry service from Trinidad

The Caribbean archipelago spans 1.7 million km² and with over 700 islands, there’s a destination ideal for every type of vacationer. However, if a quiet escape is what you seek, trust me when I say that these 5 off-the-grid Caribbean islands are a great place to start.

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