Photos: Caribbean way of life

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  1. Barbados

    This undated photo courtesy of the Barbados Tourism Authority shows Harrismith Beach, Barbados. Sun, surf and sand are the main draws on this tropical Caribbean island. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Barbados

    This undated photo courtesy of Barbados Tourism Authority shows The Watering Hole rum shop in Barbados. The rum shops on the island are good places to sample local food and drink, watch a game of dominos, or just get to know the friendly and hospitable Bajans. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. St. Lucia

    Developed, beautiful and situated in the Eastern Caribbean, St. Lucia is accessible from Europe and Canada, and reachable -- albeit not as easily -- from the United States. St. Lucia is known as a romantic destination. The island gets plenty of visitors, including wedding parties. (Holger Leue  / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. St. Lucia

    Cocoa pods lie on the ground ready to be processed at Fondoux Plantation in Soufriere, St. Lucia. Cocoa is one St. Lucia's main produce alongside the more obvious banana crop. (Chris Jackson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. St. George's

    The capital of Grenada, St. George's is considered one of the prettiest harbor towns in the Caribbean. Grenada's unique layout includes many finger-like coves, making the island a popular sailing destination. (Richard Cummins  / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. The Cayman Islands

    The Cayman Islands very popular attractions, Stingray City and the nearby shallows known as the Sandbar, provide the only natural oportunity to swim with Atlantic Southern Stingrays. (David Rogers / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Stingray City

    The Cayman Islands very popular attractions, Stingray City and the nearby shallows known as the Sandbar, provide the only natural oportunity to swim with Atlantic Southern Stingrays. (David Rogers / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. St John's

    In high season, up to five cruise ships visit St John's, Antigua, each day. The boats unload mostly American and European passengers who fan out across the island visiting the casinos and beaches. Antigua is easily accessible, and can offer good values for tourists. (Chris Jackson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Antigua

    Antigua, located in the Northeastern Caribbean, is a popular tourist spot. While there are high-end, stylish hotels, the island also features a large number of mid-priced options. Visitors will find beach bars, restaurants, casinos and shopping. (Richard I'Anson  / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Antigua

    People walk along an area known as Devils Bridge in Indian Town Point, Antigua. Antigua is a wintertime destination for many visitors from the north. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Dominica

    Not as well known as other Caribbean islands, Dominica is green, fertile and mountainous. Visitors will find some opportunites to scuba dive, but watersports are not its main draw. The island does, however, offer a slew of rainforest trails -- great for hiking and sightseeing. (Greg Johnston  / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Dominican Republic

    An old church building is seen in La Romana, the third-largest city in the Dominican Republic. (Wayne Walton / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Belize

    Belize gets more than 850,000 visitors each year. The hot spot allows watersports such as kayaking and snorkeling, as well as inland activities like hiking and birding. The Mayan ruins of Altan Ha, pictured, are easily accessible from Caye Caulker. (Andrew Marshall / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. La Tortuga

    A fisherman repairs his nets on Cayo Herradura, off the island of La Tortuga in Venezuela. The country offers visitors a variety of activities to choose from, but remains undervisited -- especially compared to its South American neighbors. (Lynne Sladky / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Cuba

    Cuba blends the fantastic attractions associated with other Caribbean destinations with an amazing history. Tourists can stroll white sand beaches, take in the incredible architecture and party into the early-morning hours. (Javier Galeano / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. St. Barthelemy

    St. Barthelemy is a vacation spot of stars and millionaires. Trendy, chic and sexy, St. Baarths is safe for tourists, but expensive to visit. About 8,700 people reside on the island. (Mark Mainz / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Puerto Rico

    A man climbs to a 40-foot waterfall at the south side of the Caribbean National Rain Forest, commonly called El Yunque, near Naguabo, Puerto Rico. Most visitors hike the well-marked paths in the northern half of the park's rain forest but the trails in the south allow hikers and nature lovers to explore the only tropical forest in the U.S. national forest system. (Herminio Rodriguez / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Puerto Rico

    The cupola of San Juan Cemetary as well as colorful homes sit next to the ocean in Old San Juan, the original capital city of San Juan, Puerto Rico. The old city is a historic district of seven square blocks made up of ancient buildings and colonial homes, massive stone walls and vast fortifications, sunny parks and cobblestoned streets. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Puerto Rico

    Men play dominos in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Old San Juan is a well-preserved colonial city that allows tourists a peek into the past. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Guadeloupe

    Guadeloupe isn't as developed as some other Caribbean islands, but it offers a variety of beaches -- some active with watersports, some secluded. The island also offers beach bars, restaurants, mid-range hotels and other tourist amenities. (Marcel Mochet / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 3/13/2009 10:04:57 AM ET 2009-03-13T14:04:57

The deal
While popular Caribbean islands have their best beaches lined with shorefront high-rise hotels and mega-resorts, there are still some hidden outposts, home to pristine beaches and quiet resorts far from the crowds.

We've scouted out delightfully laid-back getaways on Jamaica, Nevis and the Bahamas with value rates, spa and scuba packages, and incentives, like flight credits, that are just as appealing as the empty beaches. Rates start from only $95/night.

Jamaica: Jake’s from $95 a night
Located in Treasure Beach on Jamaica’s southern coastline, Jake’s is a boutique hotel that offers guests a chic and secluded beachfront getaway. Stay in one of the resort’s 45 rooms, which include suites, cottages and villas, and enjoy your days swimming in Jake’s oceanside seawater swimming pool or lounging in the sun on the resort’s private beach.

For guests in search of more active pursuits, Jake’s also offers guided adventures that include safari tours along the natural wetland of the Black River and excursions to nearby islands and waterfalls. Rates for a one-bedroom garden room start at just $95/night.

Jamaica: Unwind Package at Strawberry Hill Resort from $296
Perched high among Jamaica’s stunning Blue Mountains, this former 18th Century coffee plantation offers a sophisticated stay on more than 40 acres of lush tropical grounds and botanical gardens. Surrounded by miles of meandering nature trails, the resort offers a range of biking and hiking tours of private gardens, coffee estates and nearby national parks.

It's A Snap! Readers' best shotsEach Georgian-style guest cottage includes four-poster beds, hand-carved fretwork, and private verandahs with magnificent mountainside views. The resort’s spa specializes in Ayurvedic healing techniques. For a deeply relaxing getaway, try the resort’s special Unwind Package, which covers breakfast and a la Carte dinner, a one-hour spa treatment, free use of the Sauna and more, from $296/night for single occupancy and $455 for double occupancy.

Bahamas: Kamalame Cay Resort from $400 a night
Situated along three miles of sandy Bahamian beachfront, Kamalame Cay is a private island resort just off the coast of Andros island. Accommodations range from cottage suites, one- to three-bedroom villa suites, and marina and beach rooms. Resort highlights include a beachfront freshwater swimming pool, surrounded by silver coconut palm trees, and an oceanfront Tiki bar. Rates start at $400/night.

Nevis: $500 air credit at Nisbet Plantation Beach Club
Originally built as a sugar plantation in 1778, this historic resort occupies 30 acres of prime beachfront on the tranquil Caribbean island of Nevis. Situated on either side of the resort’s 18th century Great House (now a formal dining area) are 36 elegant guestrooms offering romantic and private cottage-style accommodations.

Resort highlights include an oceanfront freshwater pool, tennis courts and a state-of-the-art spa offering an affordable menu of custom massages, body treatments, and skin therapies. Rates for a superior room start at $365/night.

For longer stays, the resort has a special offer to help offset the rising cost of airfare. Stay seven nights and you’ll receive a $500 air credit toward the cost of your airline tickets. Guests can also receive a $400 air credit with six-night stays, and $300 credit on five-night stays from April 1 through May 31.

Nevis: Oualie Beach scuba package from $849
Discover the untouched coral reefs, tropical fish, and ship wrecks off the shores of Nevis. The boutique, cottage-style Oualie Beach Resort is offering a seven-night Scuba Package, which includes five days of diving, full breakfast daily, transfer service from the airport, maid and laundry service, and all diving equipment. Rates start at $849 for non-divers and $1,269 for divers in a deluxe room located some 40 feet from the beach.

The dollars
Based on double occupancy unless otherwise noted. Taxes and fees are additional.

The catch
Airfare is not included and may add a hefty sum to your secluded resort vacation.ShermansTravel is a guide to top travel deals and destinations. Sign up for Sherman's Top 25 e-newsletter which features the best editor-screened deals from hundreds of travel providers and is delivered to over 2.5 million subscribers, free, each week. ShermansTravel also publishes trip ideas and travel features to inspire, guide, and go.

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