A sojourn to the Southern Caribbean islands is often a throwback in time. Many say these are the authentic West Indies. The geography is usually hikeable verdant rainforests, desert terrain and distinct volcanic rock formations. There's a slower pace of life and often a lack of modern-day distractions, which means many visitors arrive for an off-the-beaten path escape.
Entertainment centers around liming -- hanging around a bar, beach, or pool chatting about everything and nothing at all. Life can be quiet on the smaller islands, but the major ones can put on quite a show, especially during festival and carnival seasons.
Want this kind of nirvana? Here are nine of the Southern Caribbean's Best Beach Escapes.
--by Chanize Thorpe, Cruise Critic contributor