The Caribbean Islands are among the most popular vacation destinations in the world, and with good reason. With white sandy beaches, warm, sunny weather, and drinks with little umbrellas in them, there’s no better place to take a vacation than this tropical paradise.
The islands offer much more than just beautiful scenery, however; each one has its own unique culture, history, and natural attractions that add a special character to each island experience. If you’re thinking about taking your next vacation to the Caribbean Islands, here are some tips on how to choose the perfect island for your trip.
Choosing the right place
The first thing you should consider when choosing a Caribbean island is which region most appeals to you. Different islands have different temperaments, so it’s important that you choose a destination that meets your personal travel style. For example, if you enjoy partying and live music, Jamaica might be right up your alley—but if quiet beach time is what really floats your boat, then Bonaire might be more suitable.
Some of our favorite islands include
- Anguilla: With long stretches of secluded beaches, Anguilla offers travelers who prefer privacy and minimal activity an idyllic setting in which to relax.
- Aruba: While many visitors come here specifically for its beautiful beaches, Aruba also has plenty of cultural attractions, including museums and art galleries featuring work by local artists.
What type of traveler are you?
The first step in choosing your perfect island is determining what type of traveler you are. Do you prefer exotic, laid-back beaches, or would a party-centered atmosphere be more up your alley? Are you traveling solo or with family/friends? These factors and more can help guide your search for an ideal destination.
For example, if you’re planning on going on vacation with a group of friends, it might make sense to consider larger islands that offer plenty of things to do during your stay. However, if you’re planning on spending some time alone while away from home, smaller islands might suit your needs better—after all, why pay for things like hotels and entertainment when there’s so much beautiful scenery right outside your door?
The best islands by category
Family Islands: * Jamaica * St. Martin * Bahamas * Turks and Caicos * Dominican Republic * Barbados * Aruba * Cuba * Curacao * Antigua and Barbuda * Trinidad and Tobago * Guadeloupe
Party Islands: * St. Bart’s * Puerto Rico * Jamaica * St. Martin * Bahamas
Luxury-Lover’s Paradise: * Bora Bora
Honeymoon Havens: * St. Lucia
The Ultimate All-Inclusive Getaway: * Cancun, Mexico
Jamaica is a vibrant, diverse island with both white-sand beaches and mountains. In Kingston, you’ll find reggae music, great coffee and world-class jerk chicken. If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten path destination without leaving North America, consider booking a flight to Montserrat.
This tiny island is only about seven miles long and five miles wide, making it one of the smallest islands in all of The Caribbean. This volcanic paradise offers hiking trails through lush rainforests and waterfalls—and did we mention that there are no cars on its streets?
The Bahamas is a popular vacation destination because it’s close enough to get to easily and offers an array of activities. The country features numerous islands, ranging from small and uninhabited, such as Bluff Cay, down to larger destinations with resort communities such as Nassau.
The Bahamas offer travelers a taste of island life with access not only to beaches but also water sports, nightlife and more. A trip to one of these islands might be just what you need if you want to relax on your next vacation.
This French Polynesian island is known as one of nature’s most unique destinations. It offers a little bit of everything: white-sand beaches, vibrant underwater life, friendly locals and luxury all-inclusive resorts. Its beauty makes it an excellent choice for a honeymoon or family vacation.
People who choose Bora Bora often come back year after year. The only downside? Getting there can be pricey.There are no direct flights from North America, so you have to fly through another city in another country. If you don’t mind that extra step, then Bora Bora could be your next dream destination.
Why St. Lucia? There are a ton of reasons why St. Lucia is such a great place to vacation! Whether you want luxurious accommodations, an abundance of activities or an island experience with old-school charm, St. Lucia has it all.
The beachfront setting and unique tropical location makes it easy to relax and enjoy every minute you spend here! Its stunning sand beaches are known as some of the best in all of the Caribbean, along with its amazing food, drink and nightlife scene.It’s also very affordable when compared to other islands in the region. If you’re looking for a true island paradise, look no further than St. Lucia!
Mexican cuisine, nightlife and shopping are just a few of Cancun’s draws. The capital of Quintana Roo, Cancun boasts some of Mexico’s best resorts, including Secrets Wild Orchid Maroma Beach & Golf Resort and RIU Palace Las Américas. It also has a popular Carnival celebration during summer months.
For those looking to go off-the-beaten path, consider Playa del Carmen or Tulum.Both spots offer bohemian flair with a laid-back vibe—but you can still get your fix of raucous nightlife in Playa del Carmen and luxury resorts in Tulum. For travelers seeking quiet relaxation on white sand beaches, head to Cozumel or Isla Mujeres.
Turks and Caicos
While Turks and Caicos isn’t particularly large, there are several islands that can be visited. The most popular island is Provincials, and a large portion of tourists stay at Grace Bay Beach. If you are staying on Grace Bay, you can relax on one of two main beaches: Grace Bay or Serenity Beach. However, don’t stop there! This former British colony is part of an archipelago and features pristine, untouched beaches.
The best time to visit Turks and Caicos is between mid-May and late October. With gorgeous reefs, a tropical marine life and numerous scuba diving locations, Turks and Caicos is one of our top picks for anyone looking to relax on a beach with warm water.
There’s so much more than beaches and tropical drinks on St. Martin; explore its culture, culinary scene, and rich history. You’ll also find some of most beautiful beach-fronts in all of Europe. Visit Orient Beach, Maho Beach, or Grand Case Beach for a taste of paradise! When it comes to traveling abroad, one of your biggest concerns is safety.
No matter where you go, you want to be sure that you and your family are protected while having fun in an unfamiliar place. The United States Department of State has created an interactive tool that helps travelers identify their risks while abroad based on factors like travel location and purpose.
Located just two hours from Miami, Dominican Republic is a beautiful island with great weather, gorgeous white sand beaches and a variety of natural attractions. The country’s colonial architecture also makes it one of the most culturally rich vacation spots in all of Latin America.
With so much to see and do in such an easily accessible location, Dominican Republic is a perfect destination if you’re looking for an island getaway that won’t break your budget. Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning your trip.If you’re looking for value, look no further than Punta Cana on eastern tip of Dominican Republic.
With its many resorts catering to all budgets, there’s something here for everyone—from travelers who are trying to stick to a tight budget by staying at small hotels and apartments near tourist areas (which can be found in abundance), to those who want nothing but luxury during their stay.
This island is just a short flight from major US cities, and it’s home to many all-inclusive resorts. If you’re staying on an all-inclusive, you can live like a king (or queen) without ever leaving your vacation. But if you want some adventure on your trip, there are plenty of things to do beyond sitting poolside with a pina colada in hand!
The waters surrounding Barbados are teeming with aquatic life, including dolphins and whales. You can also head inland to explore caves or climb Mount Hillaby for stunning views of the island. You won’t be bored here!
Home to classic cars, rolling cigars and sun-drenched beaches, Cuba is a wonderful destination for travelers in search of more laid-back island life. The country boasts an array of fascinating cities that are worth exploring. There are also many luxury hotels that beckon visitors with their warm hospitality.
If you want an unforgettable holiday, book your trip soon—this tropical getaway won’t last forever! A visit to Cuba is like going back in time: The country hasn’t yet been overwhelmed by American culture.This makes it one of our favorite Caribbean islands.
In fact, we love it so much that we recently took a group tour there ourselves! Our tour group visited Havana and Santiago de Cuba, two vibrant cities packed with history and fun things to do. For example, our hotel had an awesome rooftop bar where we enjoyed cocktails under starry skies.
Located in the northeastern corner of South America, Puerto Rico is actually an archipelago made up of a main island and several smaller islands. Puerto Rico provides a fascinating mix of tropical and colonial cultures, offering travelers everything from deserted beaches to active cities with cobblestone streets.
For example, Old San Juan offers both beautiful scenery and charming boutiques and restaurants. Visitors can also explore El Yunque Rainforest, which hosts breathtaking natural scenery while also providing excellent hiking trails.