The tiny island of Nevis is considered by some to be one of the Caribbean's most beautiful. It's not overly developed or packed with tourists, but isn't a backwater, either -- its shores are dotted with quietly luxurious hotels and restaurants. And unlike some other islands, where people think you've lost it if you try to engage in exercise beyond raising a p?na colada to your lips, Nevis offers a wealth of ways to get active -- both water-based activities like diving, windsurfing and kayaking, and land-lubber sports like hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking and golf.
Before You Go: Need-to-know info
East Caribbean dollar
About 6 hours from NYC, 12 from LA. You'll have to connect to a flight from a larger island like Puerto Rico or St. Martin.
When To Go: Nevis at its best
November through May is reliably gorgeous, with average highs in the high-70s to mid-80s.
Look for bargains in June, when the high season has ended and hurricane season is just starting (so the risk of a big storm is still low). You'll likely find even cheaper fares in August and September, but those months are the riskiest, weather-wise.
What To Do
Take a hike:
You can climb all or part of Nevis Peak, which rises an impressive 3,000+ feet above sea level. Take a map and brave it yourselves, or hire a friendly and informative local guide to lead the way. If you're not up for mountain climbing, there are a number of smaller hills and more gentle trails around Nevis that are perfect for mellow hikes and mountain bike rides.
Be beach bums:
When you're done flexing your muscles for the day, sack out on one of the beaches that rim the island. One beautiful one is Pinney's Beach, three miles of reef-protected dark sand.
Catch your dinner:
The waters around Nevis swimming with tasty fish such as tuna, mahi mahi, grouper and snapper. Most fishing charters include an open bar, so if your lines come up empty you won't mind.
-- Celeste Perron