When you think of the ultimate summer destination, your mind probably goes someplace in the Caribbean, and you’re not alone.

The region has officially become more popular than ever, and while most social media feeds are filled with the same three or four islands, a couple of lesser-known gems are emerging into the international travel scene, too.

Take Turks and Caicos and Anguilla, for example.

Both are breaking tourism records as we speak, turning what were once off-the-beaten-path destinations reserved only for locals into stunning hotspots attracting tens of thousands of travelers in a matter of months.

But why have we just now discovered the untouched, unassuming allure of these islands?

Meads Bay Beach, Anguilla

People Are Growing Tired Of Overcrowded Hubs

I want to start off by saying that I’m not putting down bigger, better-known hubs like Jamaica or the Dominican Republic in any way, shape, or form – there’s a reason why they’ve gotten so popular in the first place.

Sometimes, though, people either can’t deal with the chaotic crowds or want to relax in the type of quiet, untouched nooks that have long been lost in these destinations, which is why they’re flocking to lesser-known islands like Anguilla or Turks and Caicos more than ever.

Chairs on a beach in Anguilla

Sharing your vacation with millions of other travelers also means less intimate experiences and higher prices, and if that sounds like something you want to avoid at all costs, adding these two trendy destinations to your bucket list might be a good idea.

There’s Still Plenty To See In Anguilla And Turks And Caicos, Though

Don’t let these islands’ small size fool you, though – there are still plenty of sights to marvel at even if you’re planning on a longer (10+ days) vacation.

Aerial view of Chalk Sound National Park in Turks and Caicos

In Anguilla, the colonial-era architecture of the Valley and the white powdery sand of Shoal Bay alone will leave you speechless, whereas in Turks and Caicos, you’ll get to see the enchanting glow of Chalk Sound National Park, whose bright turquoise waters are unlike anything else you’ve ever seen in your life.

Plenty To Do, Too

Sure, you’re going to these islands to sit back and relax but you probably want to have some fun, too.

Luckily for you, the list of things you can do in both Anguilla and Turks and Caicos is virtually endless.

Obviously, sea-related activities are a must.

People snorkeling in Anguilla

It’s a matter of personal preference whether you prefer diving alongside the coral reefs, embarking on a snorkeling expedition in the Prickly Pear Cays in Anguilla, or setting sail to the uninhabited islands of Turks and Caicos.

Back on dry land, you can spend your days indulging in the incredible local cuisine, going on ATV rides, or dancing the night away to the beats of reggae and soca.

Accessibility Is Getting Better By The Day

The main concern people have when it comes to visiting these smaller, lesser-known places is how to get there.

Aerial view of Turks and Caicos

Since most connections to the Caribbean are made through major hotspots like Punta Cana or Nassau, it can be harder to find flights that take you directly to your destination of choice.

That all seems to be changing, though, since many, many new flights are being launched to both Anguilla and Turks and Caicos (1,2), helping travelers reach these insanely trendy islands faster (and cheaper) than ever.

Woman walking along a beach in Turks and Caicos

You’ll Get To Experience The Famous Caribbean Beaches In Their Most Authentic Form

One major downside of these insanely popular destinations that I’ve yet to touch on is the fact that they’ve become too commercialized for their own good, losing some of that authenticity that makes people want to come to the Caribbean in the first place.

You know how when you think of a Caribbean summer getaway you think of quiet, untouched beaches and quaint little shops where you can talk to locals?

Beach in Anguilla

By now, that can only be found on smaller islands that have yet to be affected by mass tourism.

So, if you’re curious to see how those legendary Caribbean shores look in their rawest form, places like Anguilla or Turks and Caicos will be just perfect for you.

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