Beautiful Mini Islets of the Caribbean
30 islands to explore: Tips for daytrips to some of the Caribbean's most beautiful mini-islets! A tiny little island with a palm studded beach, surrounded by nothing but the turquoise blue sea - you won’t find jumbo-jets landing in the Caribbean’s most beautiful locations. Normally, the only way to get to the islet paradises shown in the holiday brochures is by yacht. The exception: Martinique and Guadeloupe. There, over 30 small islets await holidaying Robinson' s to beach themselves.
The only thing an island explorer needs is a rental car – to drive to the coastal towns and villages. All sorts of boats and ships set sail from there each day en route to the nearby islets in the sea: out in the morning, back in the afternoon. Most of the mini islands lie only a few miles off the coasts of Guadeloupe and Martinique. But they are a world away nonetheless.
On the smaller uninhabited islets, nature has been preserved in her original beauty. The islets are home to populations of rare birds, and sea turtles breed on their beaches. However, the most spectacular of the islets’ inhabitants are the giant iguanas. These primordial creatures are seen most often at Ilet Chancel in the bay of Le Robert in Martinique. A good 400 saurians live there, on a surface barely 2 km long and 850 metres wide.
The islets inhabited by human beings are also preservation areas: for old customs and traditions. In Marie Galante, for example, ox-drawn carts and ploughs are still as common today as they were centuries ago. And the wives of the fishermen in Les Saintes still bake their traditional cakes of love when their men set out to sea.
The most convenient way for holidaying Robinsons to reach the islets is by taking an express ferry or one of the large catamaran sailboats. Individualists and explorers with a taste for adventure may well find the excursions on fishing boats, canoes or rubber boats more in their line. If visiting one of the larger islets, it makes sense to take a hotel room for a night or two. For, as Gisèle Maisonneuve, the wife of a fisherman in Les Saintes, is convinced: "One can only get a sense of what our life and our islands are really like once the boats with the day-trippers have left for the afternoon!"