Everyone has dreamed, at least once, of spending a vacation on one of the best Caribbean islands – and not for no reason. These places are like dreams come true in every single respect.
The blue waters, the perfect sands, the exotic environment, the food, the fun activities, the sense of complete relaxation – they all await for you on the islands in the Caribbean.
It’s literally impossible not to find a place on the list of Caribbean islands that you will absolutely love. There are 7,000 islands in the Caribbean archipelago, though. How do you choose the BEST Caribbean islands?
We have some tips for you – so read on and find out more.
#1. Turks and Caicos
Located at the Southeast of The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos are, by far, one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Stunning and breathtaking, this place is not as crowded as you might think it is (especially given its popularity).
How to get there: Providenciales International Airport + a domestic flight to Grand Turk
Sights/ activities: scuba diving, snorkeling, golf, local art galleries, Christmas Carnival, International Film Festival.
#2. Cayman Islands
There are three islands in the Cayman Islands: Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman. Each of them is different in its own way, with its own attractions and activities you can enjoy while there.
Overall, the Cayman Islands are a luxurious, opulent spot where you can do pretty much whatever your heart imagines you can do on an exotic island (and more!)
How to get there: direct flight via Nassau
Sights/ activities: wilderness, secluded beaches (on Little Cayman), rugged and charming views (on Cayman Brac), nightlife, restaurants, Seven Mile Beach, duty-free shopping, trips to Bodden Town, The Turtle Center, or the National Museum of the Cayman Islands (on Grand Cayman)
#3. The Bahamas
Undoubtedly one of the most famous names in the Caribbean Archipelago, The Bahamas is a true dream come true for pretty much everyone. The entire area is made out of 700 smaller islands, spread across no less than 100,000 square miles.
Some of the most famous islands here include The Exumas, Rum Cay, Long Island, and Ragged Island.
How to get there: fly to Nassau, and then take a domestic flight or a ship to the Bahamas
Sights/ activities: family activities, honeymoon activities, relaxation and pampering, eco-tours (to learn about the biodiversity on the islands), sightseeing, beaches (both family-friendly and secluded)
If you are looking for sights that will take your breath away, if you want to be pampered and if you want to enjoy a vacation that is genuinely unforgettable, Antigua is what you are looking for.
How to get there:
Sights/ activities: snorkeling (especially at Carlisle Bay Beach) scuba diving, coral reefs, windsurfing at Buccaneer Cove Beach, sandy beaches, off-road tours with 268 Buggies, kayaking through mangroves, hiking.
A place that needs no introduction whatsoever, Jamaica is sometimes not associated with the Caribbean area precisely because it has such grand fame of its own.
Home to the great Bob Marley and to the entirely new music genre he helped give birth to, Jamaica can also be a fantastic vacation destination.
How to get there: fly to Montego Bay, Kingston or Ocho RIos
Sights/ activities: cultural diversity, art scene, nightlife, natural sights, beaches, restaurants, the Luminous Lagoon (a cover with bioluminescent water).
#6. The Dominican Republic
As the second-largest country in the Caribbean Archipelago, The Dominican Republic couldn’t have missed from our list. This destination is quite accessible for people in the United States, as it is located around two hours away from Miami.
How to get there: fly to Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata, or Punta Cana
Sights/ activities: luxury resorts, restaurants, tropical landscape, beaches, Santo Domingo’s Zona Colonial, Bahia de Las Aguilas (remote beach), the Waterfalls of Damajagua.
Also a very famous name in the Caribbeans, the Bermuda area is, by far and large, one of the most astounding places you will ever see. There is literally nothing not to love here, from the breathtaking sights to the unforgettable experiences.
How to get there: direct flight from most major cities in the United States
Sights/ activities: the Crystal Caves, hiking, biking, tennis, golf, luxury spas (Grotto Bay Resort and Elbow Beach Bermuda are the most famous ones), the Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts, the Bermuda International Film Festival.
#8. St. Barthelemy
Although it may not be as famous as some of the other names we have mentioned here, St. Barthelemy is definitely worth checking out if you are looking for a very luxurious vacation.
Most people refer to it as St Barts, and tourists from all over the world gather here. Don’t be amazed if you see some celebrities here as well! A luxury
How to get there:
Sights/ activities: restaurants (including French cuisine), St Jean beach, Grand Saline beach (more private), luxurious entertainment and accommodation
Same as pretty much all the islands in the Caribbean Archipelago, Anguilla is a stunning, stunning place. Everything here calls for relaxation, beauty, and peace. One vacation here can make you feel like a completely different person, without any kind of doubt!
How to get there: fly to St Maarten Princess Juliana International Airport, and then transport by ferry or by air to Anguilla
Sights/ activities: luxury resorts, villas, natural landscapes, crystal clear waters, soft sandy beaches, horseback riding, boating, family activities, restaurants (including fine dining), artistic and cultural activities.
#10. Costa Rica
There is just no way you haven’t heard of Costa Rica. Here, even the name of the place resonates with the beauty of what it can offer: Costa Rica is roughly translated as “the rich coast”. A paradise on Earth for many types of visitors, Costa Rica is almost a must-see, a bucket-list item you absolutely have to consider.
How to get there: fly to Juan Santamaría
Sights/ activities: shopping for handmade pieces made by local artisans, music and dance (creole swing dance is the “specialty” here), the Guayabo National Archeological Monument, restaurants.
Another madly popular name in the Caribbeans, Barbados is located East of the Archipelago, and it is considered to be one of the most attractive touristic spots in the entire area.
Beautiful and fascinating at the same time, Barbados has many places that might interest you, including UNESCO World Heritage items. Cultural heritage is very important here, and this will transpire every step of the way.
How to get there: fly to Grantley Adams International Airport.
Sights/ activities: Historic Bridgetown and Garrison, museums, libraries, historical architecture, guided tours, restaurants, beaches.
#12. Trinidad and Tobago
Who doesn’t dream of living in a place where warm temperatures are there all year round? Trinidad and Tobago are one of those places, which makes the island absolutely perfect for a vacation whenever you want it.
How to get there: fly to Piarco International Airport (Trinidad) or to ANR Robinson International Airport (Tobago)
Sights/ activities: restaurants, street food (Bene Balls are recommended, as well as coconut water), Englishmans Bay, the Maracas Beach, Pitch Lake.
#13. Saint Kitts and Nevis
A mysterious and charming spot in the Caribbeans, Saint Kitts, and Nevis might not be a name that is as popular as others mentioned in our list. Yet, it is so worth considering a vacation here!
The two islands are of volcanic origin, so the beaches have black sand on them, and the sights are out of this world beautiful.
How to get there: fly to St. Maartens and then take a domestic flight to Nevis
Sights/ activities: black sand beaches, coral reefs, old shipwrecks, restaurants, history, stunning landscapes, Frigate Bay, Mount Liamuiga, Brimstone Hill Fortress
There are so much abundance and beauty in Guadeloupe that you will fall instantly in love with the place. The island still has a very powerful French influence in terms of culture and food, so it will be a unique experience you will never forget.
If you are searching for an island that combines stunning sightseeing and utter relaxation, Grand Terre or Basse-Terre (the main islands in Guadeloupe) are what you need.
How to get there: fly to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and then get one of the domestic flights to Guadeloupe (they fly there on a daily basis)
Sights/ activities: rugged mountains, beaches, water sports (including windsurfing), exotic animals and birds, music and dance, carnival (first three months of the year), the Guadeloupe National Park
As one of the most popular destinations in the Southern Caribbean, Aruba is a golden destination for tourists from all over the world. Excellent accommodation, white sands, and plenty of fun activities await for you here all year round, as the weather stays warm throughout the entire 12 months.
If you want to avoid crowds, though, it is recommended to visit Aruba between April and December.
How to get there: direct flights (no passport needed for citizens of the US, EU, or Canada)
Sights/ activities: the Aruba Carnival (between January and March), the Arikok National Park, Palm Island, Eagle Beach.
#16. The US Virgin Islands
The US Virgin Islands is the kind of destination that’s just perfect for pretty much everyone: couples going on honeymoon, girls getting away from the city to have fun, family trips, and so on.
St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix are all attractive in the US Virgin Islands, and each of them has its own charm and attracts its own kind of tourists.
How to get there: fly to St. Thomas and transfer to St. John or St. Croix if those are your destinations
Sights/ activities: landscapes and natural beauty (St. John), golf, nightlife, Skyride 700 ft. above the city (St. Thomas), honeymoon activities (St. Croix), duty-free shopping (across the entire US Virgin Islands territory)
#17. The British Virgin Islands
Although quite expensive, the British Virgin Islands are consistently ranked among the most beautiful spots in the Caribbean Archipelago (and the world as a whole). Luxuriousness feels at home here, with resorts and villages that will make you feel truly royal from every point of view.
How to get there: fly to Beef Island Airport in Tortola, or fly to the US Virgin Islands (St. Thomas) and transfer
Sights/ activities: sailing, diving (Devil’s Bay National Park, The Bubbly Pool), The Baths, Peter Island, Virgin Gorda.
#18. St Vincent and the Grenadines
If you are searching for a Caribbean island that is not crowded and feels a little bit more secluded than the most popular ones, you should consider St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The landscape here is mountainous and rugged in a charming way, and the place is home to an actually active volcano as well (La Soufriere hasn’t erupted in decades, though).
How to get there: fly to Argyle International Airport and transfer if needed
Sights/ activities: dense forests, wildlife, black sand beaches, Union Island, Tobago Cays, Bequia (turtle sanctuary)
#19. Saint Lucia
Also a volcanic island at its origin, Saint Lucia is located right in the Caribbean Sea. The landscapes here tend to be a bit different than in other areas of the Caribbeans, which is mostly due to the rich mineral soils.
How to get there: fly to Hewanorra International Airport
Sights/ activities: sulfur springs, mud pools, rainforests, kayaking down the Roseau River, cultural and historical spots in Soufriere (the town), scuba diving, wildlife (including endangered species, such as the Saint Lucia parrot).
Although not an island per se, and although many would not classify it as a Caribbean location, Cuba is frequently associated with the Caribbeans – and it is a place with so much culture and so many things to do and see that we could not miss introducing it on our list.
There is something for everyone here – regardless of who you are and where you come from, Cuba will be a completely new and amazing experience for you.
How to get there: direct flights available from all over the United States (passport needed)
Sights/ activities: Old Havana (for historical landmarks, stories, and architecture), Vinales Valley (for sightseeing), Cayo Largo del Sur (for turtles and the beach), the Malecon lighthouse, Castillo De Los Tres Reyes Del Morro
The Caribbean Archipelago is a true treasure trove of islands meant to make everyone happy. If you are the kind who likes to spend time on a beach and then shop luxury items, you will find it here.
If you are the kind who loves enjoying natural landscapes, you will find them here. If you want excellent food, amazing culture, diversity, color, and an explosion of energy, you will find them here. If you want adventure, you will find it here.
The best Caribbean islands to visit are truly amazing for pretty much everyone. From the very high-end destinations to those that have grown to be quite affordable for everyone, there is something for every type of tourist, regardless of budget, preferences, or style.
The Caribbean Archipelago is a true dream come true!