The Caribbean Islands as a group may be famous for their sunshine and beautiful beaches, but each of the islands has its own flavor—its own special claims to fame. Because most people can’t get to them all, it makes sense to visit the islands that are most in line with the things you love to do. You might like to hike island rainforests, relax on white sandy beaches, or dine in posh hotel restaurants with stunning views of the sea. And if you can't choose, don't worry, we've saved the best for last!
With its beautiful beaches that tend to remain relatively calm and a plethora of nature-based activities, Turks and Caicos beckons families in search of a beach-centric holiday. The island boasts many renowned resorts that cater to families, with kid-friendly amenities like swimming pools and babysitting services. Families with older kids will enjoy exploring the mangroves or horseback riding on the beach.
Part of the Lesser Antilles, Curacao is one of the more arid Caribbean Islands, but don’t let the dry terrain stop you from getting into the turquoise waters off the coast. Curacao is the ideal destination for snorkeling enthusiasts. Among its best-known sites is the Curacao Underwater Marine Park. Teeming with tropical fish, the depths boast sunken ships and a myriad of coral splendors.
If you’re looking to escape from it all and enjoy a romantic getaway with your partner, head to breathtaking St. Lucia. An island in the Lesser Antilles Chain, St. Lucia borders the Atlantic Ocean in the Eastern Caribbean. The island features a myriad of romantic hotels with views of gorgeous beaches and the peaks of the Pitons. Couples can relax on the beaches by day and dance in the nightclubs all evening long.
If your idea of a Caribbean vacation is to comb the beaches, head to Antigua. This island seems made for beach hopping. Antigua attracts visitors who love swimming, sunbathing, and sailing. You’ll be hard-pressed to settle on just one beach here. There are so many breathtaking options to explore — and each one is more postcard-worthy than the last.
If your idea of fun in the sun is a round of golf, set your sights on Barbados. This island boasts world-class resorts and golf courses that attract people from all over the globe. Often dubbed a “golfer’s paradise,” Barbados features stunning courses with amazing sea views. Of course, the island also features beautiful beaches, posh hotels, and various cultural attractions.
Part of the Leeward Island Chain, the island of Nevis is a nature lover’s dream. This island boasts some of the best hiking in the Caribbean, with pristine landscapes, waterfalls, and peaks that look over the surrounding crystal blue sea. To reach Nevis, you’ll simply take a short boat ride from neighboring St. Kitts. Once there, you can check into one of the friendly hotels or the posh Four Seasons Resort.
If you love to scuba dive, you’ll love enchanting Cozumel. This Mexican island is located off the Yucatan Peninsula in the turquoise Caribbean Sea. The island boasts more than 30 spectacular dive sites that include coral reefs, a 50-foot tunnel, and a plethora of marine life like parrotfish and barracudas. Back on land, you’ll find Cozumel also boasts relaxing beaches, world-class resorts, and an all-around friendly atmosphere.
St. Barts is where Hollywood A-listers jet to when they can get away. Featuring posh resorts and upscale hotels, St. Barts can certainly be called luxurious. There are plenty of high-end boutiques and shopping to be found here, as well as yachting adventures and gorgeous beaches. Of course, you don’t have to be a millionaire to visit — you just need millionaire taste!
Yes, St. Martin has extraordinarily beautiful beaches and landscapes, but if you’re a foodie, you may be more interested in the fact that the island is dubbed the culinary capital of the Caribbean. With its French and Dutch influences, St. Martin will wow your taste buds with its unique offerings. Brimming with bistros and seaside cafes, you'll quickly see life is just tastier on this gourmand's paradise!
If you’re looking to enjoy a party atmosphere with awesome nightlife action, head to Jamaica. From the clubs of Montego Bay to the resort lounges of Negril, you’ll find everyone is eager to have a good time in Jamaica. Many of the island's popular beaches, such as those in Ocho Rios, feature live reggae bands and right-on-the-sand barbecues. With all those beachside dance clubs and bars, Jamaica is a fun spot for meeting people and partying until the wee hours of the morning.