A unique Caribbean experience: Laidback and unspoiled Vieques

One of the most popular holiday destinations for spring breakers and families alike are the Caribbean Islands. It consists of an archipelago in the Caribbean Sea, a large arm of the Atlantic Ocean. Because of their natural beauty, year after year hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to these islands. The clear blue waters, white sandy beaches, and warm tropical climate make them a year-round summer destination. However, there are some vacation-goers who may shy away from the Caribbean because of the large crowds. Luckily, there is an island in the Caribbean which is just perfect for their preferences.

 

Image source: vieques.com 

 

The Vieques is a 21-mile long and 4-mile wide island.  In terms of land area, it is very identical to the nearby (and more popular) Saint Martin.  The main difference lies in the number of tourists. Annually, 70,000 people visit Vieques, while its neighboring island would easily number in the millions. For the former, the numbers can only mean two things: unspoilt beaches and a lot of elbow room. Plus, it’s one of the very few islands in the world to have a bioluminescent bay, a beach that glows neon blue every night.

 

Granted, Vieques is not one of the most known or most luxurious islands in the Caribbean, but it can give tourists a different kind of experience that can’t be found anywhere else. They have an ocean so blue and so clear that you can see right to the bottom. It’s also perfect for sailing on one’s very own boat, drinking out in the open sea while grilling a sumptuous steak. Since there aren’t a lot of people on the beach, visitors will be able to feel like they have their very own private Caribbean beach.

 

Image source: bluehorizonboutiqueresort.com

 

The likes of Bermuda, Dominica, and the British Virgin Islands are also stunning places to visit, with relatively fewer visitors compared to the likes of Cuba and Dominican Republic but with equally gorgeous natural scenery to boast of. In addition, these are islands with thriving financial industries, which means that they have well-developed infrastructure and First World-level public services.

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Tiny but mighty: The world’s richest small countries

The likes of the United States, Canada, and Australia are huge countries with substantial natural resources, making it relatively ‘easy’ for them to amass enormous fortune (along with many other factors, of course). However, large area does not always equate to great wealth on a per-person basis. In an eclectic world of big economic events and heavy emphasis on globalization, wealthy small jurisdictions have seemed like an anomaly. They have very little resources and a limited manpower, and yet they are home to a significant number of millionaires and billionaires. Below are some of the planet’s tiniest countries that defied so many odds and eventually succeeded in the end:

 

Image source: transrivieratour.com

 

Monaco

Strategically located between France and Italy in their Riviera regions, Monaco is home to a Grand Prix and the Super Yacht Show as well as one of the world’s biggest gambling scenes. It is a popular holiday destination for the rich and famous that even if it is only about half the size of the Central Park in New York City, it boasts of an average income per person of more than $180,000.

 

The Bahamas

With an economy primarily driven by luxury tourism and offshore banking, The Bahamas is among the richest countries in the Caribbean. It has a population of just above a third of a million, but is frequented by millions of tourists each year to stay in its world-class luxury hotels and resorts. Majority of these visitors arrive via cruise ships.

 

Image source: 1worldbermuda.com

 

Bermuda

Although technically not a country (it is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom), Bermuda is a highly impressive administrative unit. This small Atlantic island has a population of just around 65,000, but has one of the highest income per capita in the world according to the World Bank. It has a thriving tourism sector and is considered a major offshore financial center, being home to some of the world’s largest offshore financial services companies. Many international companies headquartered in this island benefit from its zero corporate income tax.

 

Singapore

One of the world’s greatest success stories, Singapore—which covers an area of only 720 square kilometers (some of it are reclaimed)—currently enjoys a status of being a global financial hub. With a stable politics, business-friendly environment, a booming tourism sector, excellent infrastructure, strategic location, and a highly educated cosmopolitan population, this South-East Asian powerhouse is a force to be reckoned with.

 

Image source: andorrawelcome.com

 

Andorra

Nestled in the Pyrenees mountain range between France and Spain, Andorra is home to around 270 hotels and 400 restaurants. Those are pretty impressive numbers considering that this tiny landlocked nation only has around 85,000 residents.  With more than 10 million visitors arriving each year (easily dwarfing the local population), Andorra unsurprisingly enjoys massive tourism revenues.

 

These small countries are a living testament that wealth is not always about having the best resources or the largest labor pool. Becoming rich sometimes boils down to proper strategies, hard work, smart decisions, extensive research, and learning from the mistakes of others.

 

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