A far cry from your standard Caribbean experience, St. Lucia’s flourishing jungle covers sharp mountain peaks that look down over striking black-sand shores. Soufriere’s port town is a great starting point for getting into the island’s hot springs, hike the trails, and climbing Gros Piton, which gives sweeping views over St. Lucia and a few bordering islands. For a memorable idyllic day at the beach, set your sights on Anse Mamin, a secret strip of black sand contrasted by the dramatic lush peak of Jade Mountain on the island’s western sunset coast. It’s nearby the ridiculously lavish Jade Mountain Resort, so everyone assumes the beach is exclusive to the hotel. They would be wrong—it’s open to all, perfectly secluded, with enough trees to provide shade and green cliffs admire.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Leisure and unbeatable prices at one of the Caribbean’s most popular destinations, Punta Cana, may not be a hidden gem, but there’s a good reason for its popularity. Punta Cana is objectively gorgeous, complete with soft white sand and pretty much any tropical experience you desire. Your vibe will vary based on lodging, be it upscale and luxurious, laid back and relaxed, adventurous and active, or romantic and honeymoony. There’s yoga, snorkeling, ziplining, cooking workshops, windsurfing, sea kayaking, golfing, and great restaurants.
Cinnamon Bay, St John
The isolated part of this already untouched land with most of the island of St. John protected as national parkland; there’s not a trace of the waterfront over-development often widespread in the Caribbean anywhere close to a port or airport. But what makes Cinnamon Bay so heavenly is that it’s an especially quiet beach on an island with nothing but tranquil beaches. Here, you’ll find even fewer visitors than at nearby Trunk Bay. This means untouched beaches with soft yellow sand, clear blue waters, and swaying palm trees for you to enjoy. Suppose computer-wallpaper-fodder levels of natural beauty aren’t enough to entice you.