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Spring Break Small Caribbean Islands

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 24/02/2016 Andrea Poe

Who doesn't want to escape the cold weather and head to the Caribbean for Spring Break?

And that's the problem. Just about anyone who has had her fill of slogging through snow is eyeing a Caribbean escape. So how to escape the crowds?

© Provided by The Huffington Post Head to the smaller Caribbean islands.

Nevis is located across "The Narrows", a stretch of water about 35 minutes from its big sister island St. Kitts.

This 36-square-mile island, which is defined by a 3,232-foot-tall dormant volcano, is one of the smallest in the Caribbean. Only 12,000 people call the island home. It is Alexander Hamilton's birthplace and his home is a now a history museum. His family's sugar plantation, now eerie ruins, is up a hillside and is worth a hike because of the extraordinary views across the water to St. Kitts.

Pinney Beach, Nevis © Peter Phipp/Getty Images Pinney Beach, Nevis Stay at the Four Seasons Nevis, which has been rebuilt after Hurricane Omar destroyed it in 2008. The resort, which has tennis courts and multiple pools, all the amenities you want, its greatest asset is the fact that it sits on a spectacular stretch of Pinney Beach.

Although the resort has all the amenities travellers want, including tennis courts and golf, it offers visitors a true sense of island life. For instance, colonies of green monkeys have free reign on the golf course here.
Just up Pinney's Beach from the Four Seasons, puttering distance, actually, sits Sunshine's, an island institution known for it knock-out signature rum drink called the Killer Bee and for its all night beach front parties. Plus, the joint serves hyper fresh fish and conch that's lucked from the sea right out front.

Nevis is also one of the most committed Caribbean islands when it comes to the protection of endangered sea turtles. Hawksbill, Green and Leatherback turtles all nest here and the beach is regularly monitored by a non-profit group called Nevis Turtle Group.

Grenada, just off the coast of Venezuela, has long been known as the "Island of Spice" because of its nutmeg and mace crops, but it may be remembered as the scene of a "war" with the United States in the 1980s.

The island of 110,000 residents is blessed with a rainforest, the mist-enshrouded Grand Etang National Park and Forest Reserve, which is home to the Grenada dove, the island's national bird, Mona monkeys, armadillo, along with waterfalls including the Royal Mount Carmel which cascades over 70 feet.

Perched above the ocean on a hillside, Mount Cinnamon Resort is a boutique resort that scampers up a lush hillside surrounded by riots of colourful gardens. The low-key resort is prized for its snow-white sandy beaches and snorkel-ready water at Grand Anse Beach.

An island of less than 500-square miles and fewer than 100,000 residents, Antiqua is renown for it's pristine beaches.

Nelson's Dockyard Park -- Nelson's Dockyard, named for Horatio Nelson, the commander of the British Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, was originally developed as a base for the British Navy in 1725. It is the only Georgian dockyard that still exists in the world. There's a museum here that traces the roots of the dock and puts the struggle of the people of Antigua in context.

Antigua's Donkey Sanctuary, which us run by the Antigua & Barbuda Humane Society, is home to abused and abandoned donkeys. Right now it's home to about 150 donkey, but is looking to expand. Visitors can spend the day strolling the property, interacting with donkeys and even helping groom them. Children love this place so much that families often make a couple of pilgrimages out to the dusty inland property a few times during week-long visits.

At Galley Bay Resort, nestled in 40 acres, most rooms front the ocean, but the Gauguin cottages are tucked within tropical gardens alive with birds and butterflies and have individual plunge pools. The treetop spa is rustic luxury at its best.

A remote island off Tobago. © Matt Anderson/Getty Images A remote island off Tobago. Tobago
Tobago is the 116-square-mile island sister island of Trinidad, is located just off the coast of Venezuela.

Tobago is known as a naturalist's paradise. The Tobago Forest Reserve (Main Ridge Reserve) is the oldest protected rainforest in the Western hemisphere, earning its designation in 1776. This forest here has great biodiversity and may be one of the only spots where you can see particular species of birds like the dancing blue-backed manakin, which have become something of YouTube sensation.

Tobago's beaches are also prime spots to see nesting leatherback turtles, which begin making their pilgrimages to shore in April.

Spring also marks a unique festival featuring racing goats and crabs that takes place in the village of Buccoo. During the Easter holiday specially trained goats sprint followed by jockeys clutching long ropes toward the finishing line, where they are feted. As for the crabs, there's no glory in the win, just a place in a pot of spicy curry sauce.

For a slightly glammed up experience on this island known for its knock about bungalows, book a few nights at Blue Haven, known for its movie star clientele that's been flocking here since the 1940s. The beach is rumoured to be where the original Robinson Crusoe was stranded in 1659. 

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