Strict laws against large-scale commercial development have kept this Colombian islet as pristine as the day Puritans landed on its shores, seeking divine Providence. They may not have found that, but tourists generally do among the towering palms, soft sands, and pure indigo waters. Providencia's past as a pirate hideout led to rumors of hidden treasure buried in its cays and coves, and untold hours can be spent digging in the white sand for forgotten fortunes. What little tourism there is can be found centered on the hamlet of Aguadulce, with its handful of small hotels, dive shops, and motorbike rentals. Sample the local favorite rondon, a rich fish, conch, and coconut-milk casserole, before heading back out for treasure or swimming the underwater caves of Morgan's Head while dodging the resident barracuda.
Where to Stay: Deep Blue is a hidden gem on Providencia, with splendid views of Crab Caye. Located near the edge of McBean Lagoon National Park, the hotel is eco-friendly and surprisingly elegant.
(Photo: Providencia via Shutterstock)