Though it may be ominously named, Devil's Bridge makes for a heavenly day trip on the island of Antigua. The "bridge," on the island's northeastern coast, is actually a naturally formed arch carved by seawater erosion in the landscape's limestone ledges. Today it's part of a national park and is a unique draw for those who want to go beyond the beach.
To adventure seekers, the island of Dominica may be best known for its famed boiling lake, a bubbling gray-blue pool usually enveloped in steamy mist. The island's newly opened Waitukubuli National Trail—a 115-mile-long walking trail and the first of its kind in the Caribbean—is still something of a secret. But with mile upon mile of waterfalls, rainforests, gorges, and dramatic mountain passes, it may not stay undiscovered for long.
Teeming with giant iguanas, endangered sea turtles, and red-footed boobies, Puerto Rico's Mona Island is often compared to the Galapagos because of its unique biodiversity. Of course, Mona Island is considerably closer than the Galapagos for most visitors—and it's not far from the beaches, rainforests, and city life of Puerto Rico. Another added bonus: No passport is required for U.S. travelers.
A diamond in the rough if ever there was one, Saba is emphatically not a mass tourist destination. It only hosts about 25,000 visitors each year. That doesn't mean it's without its attractions, however. On Saba, even the mountains are scenic; the most popular for climbing is aptly named Mt. Scenery. Those who visit Saba come to escape the posh commercialism of nearby St. Maarten and St. Barts.
If you've ever wanted to hike inside a volcano, here's your chance. In Boven National Park on St. Eustatius in the Caribbean Netherlands, you can get up close and personal with a perfectly formed 2,000-foot-high dormant volcano called The Quill. A network of well-maintained trails will take you inside the crater. Bonus: The Miriam C. Schmidt Botanical Garden rests nearby, making for a nice pit stop before or after your hike.
You may need to hire a guide to help you find Aripo Cave, but donât let that put you off. Miles into the forested interior of this island near Venezuela, Aripo Cave boasts one of the most unusual sights you're ever likely to encounter: rare cave-dwelling birds with fiery red eyes that were once thought to be guardians of the dead. Getting up close and personal with these "devil birds" might be the closest you'll come to being Indiana Jones.
The oldest legally protected preserve in the Western Hemisphere, Tobago's rainforest has remained virtually undisturbed by human interference for more than 200 years. As a result, it's home to hundreds of species of birds, 23 types of butterflies, and 16 varieties of lizards—not to mention colossal flora that make everything else (including human visitors) appear miniature by comparison.
Natural attractions don't come much more idyllic than The Baths on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. Formed by giant boulders, these exotic pools are punctuated by caves, coral ledges, sparkling seawater, pristine white beaches, and the soothing crash of the not-too-distant surf. For a true "hidden Caribbean" experience, complement your visit with a stay at the nearby Guavaberry Spring Bay Vacation Homes and saunter on over to The Baths in the early evening—just as everyone else is heading home.
You want off-the-beaten path? Head to the tiny 11-square-mile island of Culebra, east of Puerto Rico proper, for Playa Flamenco—a brilliant white-sand crescent hailed by many as the world's most beautiful beach. Just a 20-minute walk from Playa Flamenco is Carlos Rosario Beach, another hidden gem with a shallow reef that makes for easy snorkeling.