Caribbean Snapshots: Carriacou

This uncrowded island outpost is the Caribbean at its best


Carriacou is a “just right” island. There are no high-rise hotels or mega resorts overshadowing the beaches, just quaint guesthouses tucked into the green hills. Instead of swarming cruise ship crowds, the waterfront is a casual mix of local fishermen and visiting yachtsmen. It’s been called the friendliest island in the Caribbean, where laid-back locals welcome the off- the-beaten-path travelers who arrive by private boat, small plane or a ferry from Grenada.

This 13-square mile dollop of green provides scenic hikes that lead to hilltop vistas, or down to a stunning collection of white, golden and black sand beaches. Snorkel-worthy coral reefs lie just beyond the turquoise shallows, along with a smattering of tiny offshore islands and sandbars perfect for beach combing getaways.

Carriacou is also known for its rum shops, with more than 100 small taverns scattered through neighborhoods and villages. Most concoct their own house blends from a potent stock known as Jack Iron. The afternoon toddy is a long-standing island tradition, which may help explain why everyone seems so relaxed and friendly.