For daring, inquisitive souls who prefer to take the road less traveled, holiday destinations that are off the beaten tourist track and away from the crowds are the most alluring. Such hidden treasures provide both seclusion and authentic cultural experiences and can be found the world over. All that remains is to discover them.
Catanduanes Island, Philippines
The island of Catanduanes is located in the Bicol Region of the Philippines and is still essentially untouched by mass tourism. With its secluded, unspoiled beaches, prime diving spots, undiscovered caves, marine life, rugged landscape and impressive waterfalls, the island is an ideal escape. Accommodation can be found in the various towns around the island, including Virac, Baras and San Andres. Life is quiet and laid-back. The locals are friendly. The scenery is breathtaking. This vacation spot is the best kept secret of the Pacific.
Vieques Island, Puerto Rico
Vieques is a beautiful island off the Puerto Rican coast. Its history as a U.S. naval base led to it remaining largely undeveloped for tourism. There are two main towns on the island – Isabel Segunda and Esperanza – and no major tourist resorts. It is easy to find an isolated stretch of beach to spend a quiet day by the sea, relaxing or snorkeling in the clear, blue waters. There are several things to see on the island, including the Count Mirasol Fort, the Puerto Ferro archaeological site, the 300-year-old Ceiba tree and the spectacular bioluminiscent bay with micro-organisms that brilliantly illuminate the water when it is disturbed.
Bequia Island, St. Vincent & the Grenadines
Bequia Island is west of Barbados and part of the island state of St. Vincent & the Grenadines. It is a quiet island, just seven square miles, with a population of approximately 5,000. The capital of the island is Port Elizabeth, where visitors will find markets, shops and restaurants. Accommodation varies from small, intimate hotels to villa rentals. There are many things to do on the island, including diving, fishing, sailing and hiking. While Bequia is becoming somewhat more well-known, particularly with the yachting crowd, its isolated location, lush woodlands, small villages, relaxed pace and secluded, sandy beaches still make this Caribbean island an ideal vacation spot that distinguishes itself from traditional holiday destinations.