British Virgin Islands
First inhabited by the Arawak and Carib, settled by the Dutch, ruled by the Queen, and beholden to the Yankee dollar, the British Virgin Islands are one of the Caribbean’s most curious places. Once you’ve been here for an hour or two, though, you’ll understand why no one’s really in much of a hurry to figure it all out. Dotted with small coves and bays that call out to sailors (and inspired Robert Louis Stevenson’s pirate classic Treasure Island) and lined with more stunning beachfront than any country deserves, the pace of life in this chain of 40 islands – some of which are little more than big rocks – is as mellow as a rambling Jimmy Buffet tune. How laidback are the BVIs? So laidback that you might just forget to come home.