08/07/2016 4:15 AM AEST | Updated 04/10/2016 7:14 AM AEDT

The Affordable Island Paradise You've Never Heard Of

Pack your bags. 🌴

Getty Images
Getty Images

Imagine a white-sand island that’s home to movie stars and billionaires, yet affordable enough to visit on your own. 

Welcome to Virgin Gorda. 

As one of the largest British Virgin Islands, Virgin Gorda took top honors in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards for 2016. Readers praised the island for its blue water, lively yacht club and famous secluded Baths that put all other Caribbean hideaways to shame. Travel + Leisure calls Virgin Gorda the best island in the Caribbean... but we’d dare say it’s the most beautiful in the entire world. Take a look:

  • Andia via Getty Images
  • Christian Wheatley via Getty Images
  • Jeff R Clow via Getty Images
  • Stuart Westmorland via Getty Images
  • Linda Whitwham via Getty Images
  • M.M. Sweet via Getty Images

All this stunning scenery is closer than you might think. Yes, you’ll need to bring a passport and make at least one flight connection if you’re coming from the U.S., but the island’s position near the middle of the Caribbean makes it a far easier trek than Fiji or the Maldives

We found July flights from the East Coast to Virgin Gorda for less than $600 round-trip. Not bad for such a paradise with such a storied past.

Laurance Rockefeller helped turn Virgin Gorda into a luxury getaway when he founded Little Dix Bay in 1964. While there’s a swanky hotel right in that area, the island remains pretty low key, and you truly can find places to stay for cheap. Try booking an affordable rental on VRBO or sleeping in a quaint little hammock by the ocean

Hmm... we’ve never heard of a better place to take a break. Happy travels!

Photo gallery World's Best Islands See Gallery