One Of The Caribbean's Most Charming Islands Is A Lesser-Known White Sand Paradise

When it comes to the Caribbean, the biggest mistake travelers make is that all Caribbean islands are the same. It sometimes can feel like finding unique, off-the-beaten-path destinations in the region is a challenge. It certainly doesn't have to be that way, and the proof is in the pudding with one particular white-sand paradise. While it might take some logistical planning to get to such an underrated gem, the reward is well worth the effort.

Canouan Island, part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is but a dot in the universe measuring only 3.5 miles by 1.25 miles. Safe to say, not many people have even heard of Canouan Island, let alone visited, but the island boasts all the sought-after Caribbean charm, from beautiful beaches to luxurious stays. If you're looking for a unique experience for your next international trot, skip the more popular, crowded Caribbean vacation destinations, and opt for a place few have dared to trek. 

Why visit Canouan

Part of the excitement of visiting Canouan is its uniqueness. Not only are you visiting St. Vincent and the Grenadines, one of the most underrated destinations in the Caribbean, but you're also visiting a hidden gem within the country, leaving the entire experience feeling exclusive.

Aside from bragging rights and the feeling of having a vacation tailored for you specifically, Canouan has such a low population that the local tortoises outnumber the people. One of the island's larger beaches, Charlestown Bay, is known for its stretch of white sand and crystal-clear water. Of course, you can kick back in a hammock and relax all day in between breaks of splashing in the Caribbean Sea, but for a deep dive into the island (no pun intended), visit the Canouan Scuba Center.t The island is a great destination for swimming alongside some sea turtles. And what better way to get to know a place than by kicking it with the locals? Head to Scruffys Bar and grab a Hairoun, the island's local beer.

Where to stay and how to get there

You might not expect to find a range of accommodation on an island so small, but Canouan is home to several hotels and bed and breakfasts, private apartments, and villas to rent. For those who want to experience the island while enjoying the finer things in life, there's a Mandarin Oriental Hotel, a five-star luxury resort for you to sleep comfortably and have all of your needs met.

Getting to Canouan is all part of the fun. The flight time from mainland St. Vincent is only about 15 minutes. Grenadines Alliance offers flights through both Saint Vincent and Barbados. If you're less keen about flying and prefer to stay as close to the vibrant blue Caribbean waters as possible, a ferry ought to do the trick. Jaden Sun Fast Ferry has options departing from Bequia and Mayreau, and MV Barracuda offers a ferry service from Kingstown that takes approximately 90 minutes.