Ah, the Caribbean. A collection of gorgeous islands that are as famed as they are loved. Whether it’s your first time visiting the Caribbean, or you’ve already seen every island on the list, you’ll find that there’s always something new and exciting to explore. Let us be your guide as we give you a tour of every gorgeous island. You may rediscover old favorites, find new ones, or even start adding fun things to see and do to that ever-growing bucket list!
Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Antigua has a beach for you to kick back on every day of the year. We’re not kidding; there are literally 365 beaches. If you don’t have a whole year to spend there — which, sure, is understandable, but also a bummer — we recommend Darkwood Beach, Doigs Beach, Rendezvous Bay and Pigeon Point to lay your towel down.
Off the sand, hip island vibes blend with English roots to create what is basically laid-back tea time. The island has a lovely balance of high-end restaurants and candy-colored villages, giving you the option to just stroll and sample the day away. If you want a little history, check out Nelson’s Dockyard National Park and Harmony Hall Art Gallery. Then move on to the next beach.
Let’s start here: Yes, the Bahamas are just as awesome as you’ve heard. A brief flight away from the continental U.S., you’ll find the 700-plus islands packed with excitement and adventure. Take advantage of the clear blue water and go bonefishing, scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, or take a swim with the dolphins. Off the ocean, indulge your taste buds at a chocolate factory or take the kiddos to Aquaventure, an Atlantis Paradise Island water park. Then, cap the night off by boogying down in the many bars and nightclubs. Ask nicely, and a local may even teach you the “Conch Style” or “Stomping The Roach”. Life really is better in the Bahamas.
Named by the Portuguese traveling to Brazil, Barbados translates to “the bearded ones” — in reference to the island’s tree, not burly natives — and plays host to both British and Caribbean traditions. Ranging from afternoon tea and cricket, to scuba and snorkeling on Dottin’s Reef or a round of golf on designer ocean-side courses, the mish-mash of culture leaves visitors delighted.
One of the best parts of Barbados? No relentlessly checking the weather app in the weeks leading up to the trip. The island fluctuates between 70 and 80 degrees year-round, which we’re pretty sure is the official thermostat of paradise. You can relax on the beach without burning up and take a midnight walk without a sweater. It’s the sweetest of sweet spots.
Just like its signature shorts, the islands of Bermuda boast laid-back vibes with comfortable hospitality. Borrowing traditions from Britain and America, this historic island group transforms isolation into an enviable lifestyle. We know it’s tough, but if you were ever to unplug your phone and leave the Internet be for a day — we are aware how crazy that sounds — this is the spot to do it.
Pink-sand beaches like Horseshoe Bay Beach guarantee a seaside experience like no other. Ranked among the top beaches in the world, prepare to be amazed by the tiny red organisms that grow under the coral reefs and expire on the ocean floor. Pieces of corals and shells wash up on the beach, creating an unforgettable pink hue. There’s definitely #nofilter needed in Bermuda.
Caribbean vibes mix with old-world charm in Curaçao, with its historic, rainbow-colored district of old Willemstad at the forefront. This UNESCO World Heritage City, with popular attractions like the Queen Emma Bridge and Queen Wilhelmina Park, offers so many options for you to explore – and take plenty of pictures. But that’s not all this amazing destination has going for it (although, seeing those brightly colored houses is an absolute treat for the eyes). Be sure to enjoy the crystal-clear water, dreamy beaches, and laid-back atmosphere. Oh, and with over 60 dive sites, you’ll have no trouble catching a glimpse of the sea life that lives below those mesmerizing blue waves.
If you’ve ever seen a breathtaking image of someone standing in the ocean having a friendly chat with a stingray, it was probably taken on Grand Cayman. The island is known for its Stingray City Sandbar where you can interact with stingrays in their natural habitat. Honestly, “stingray” is a tad misleading— they’re one of the friendliest sea creatures in the Caribbean. Just treat them with the warm respect they deserve, and they’ll treat you to an unforgettable experience.
And you know the island’s a prime beach spot when the beach is longer than the width of the island. Seven miles to be exact. It’s located on the island’s western coast and is public for anyone to enjoy. Do you want in on a secret? It’s also home to world-class scuba diving and a sea turtle hub. As if you needed another reason to visit.
There’s no passport needed for Puerto Rico, but you will need to bring your bucket list. No matter how long you are visiting, you must check out the bioluminescent bays. These wonderful waters play host to tiny microorganisms, which when disturbed, give off a breath-taking blue-green glow. It’s the very definition of “you have to see it to believe it.” Nighttime tours by kayak are available through a mangrove, giving you the wow-moment every trip needs.
In Old San Juan, make sure to stop by Castillo San Felipe del Morro and other historical forts and structures. They are on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and grant a deep cultural appreciation for the island. Enjoy the convenience of easy travel, with the wonder of the Caribbean.
Steady, rhythmic soca beats set the soundtrack for this sweet-as-sugar island nation. With stretching mountain ranges, glasslike water, and mellow local culture, we won’t blame you for wanting to make St. Kitts’s resorts a second home.
What makes this lush and natural island a true gem is its new-kid-on-the-block status. St. Kitts’s economic mainstay was rooted in the sugar industry until early 2005, which is why the island remains unspoiled, uncrowded and new developments are carefully planned to blend with the surrounding natural landscape.
INSIDER TIP: For a unique dining experience, opt for Salt Paldge, a salt factory turned restaurant. No pepper allowed (just kidding).
One word that comes to mind when describing Saint Lucia: Honeymoons. One more word? Fantastic. This small southeastern Caribbean island really packs a romantic punch and we want to shine the light it deserves. You can start with a hike up the iconic Piton Mountains. Then explore an array of sulfur springs, mud baths and a postcard-perfect rainforest. Oh, and did we mention? You can drive through a volcano. Which, yeah, is pretty neat. When you’ve had your fill of adventure, kick off your shoes and bury your toes in a black sand beach. May the honeymoon period never end.
St. Maarten (St. Martin)
St. Maarten actually divides between two countries — the North is controlled by France, with Dutch oversight in the South — giving you twice the opportunities for fun.
While the French side of the island is culturally laid-back — think Paris café — the Dutch side is best known for its lively nightlife. No matter which side you are sitting on, there’s incredible food everywhere. With a worldwide reputation for fusion cuisine, and over 500 restaurants, St. Maarten (the Dutch side) features a subtle blend of flavors including lobster, shellfish, traditional barbecue, plus local delicacies and spices like Creole sauces and tropical fish.
Turks and Caicos
This cluster of 40 islands lies north of the Dominican Republic and has an average of 350 days of sunshine and 78 degree waters in the winter. In other words — there’s no bad time to visit. Just remember to reapply that sunscreen every now and again.
While you are there, make sure to check out the Thursday fish fry on the main island of Provo. A recent tradition, it’s a family-friendly combination of locals and visitors from all over sharing the same love of seafood. And Turks and Caicos is known for a delicious preparation of conch, so don’t leave without checking this delicacy off your bucket list.
U.S. Virgin Islands
The U.S. Virgin Islands consist of three islands: St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix. We also call them Awesome, Fantastic and Superb.
St. Thomas holds the islands’ international airport with plenty of direct flight options. This island is popular amongst families, but doesn’t lack romance for you honeymooners out there. If you’re looking for a nature-filled vacation, you’ll want to ferry over to St. John, where half the island belongs to the U.S. Virgin Islands National Park. Compared to St. Thomas, it has a more secluded atmosphere. If more adventure and some island pizazz are both on your list, then St. Croix is our suggestion. It’s an additional 20 minute plane ride to this less populated island that boasts refreshing tide pools like Annaly Bay and Carambola.
There are so many amazing Caribbean islands to choose from. Start planning your Caribbean getaway today!