7 minutes reading time Caribbean
Travelers have been coming to the islands of the Caribbean for years in search of tropical beaches with clear water, warm sun, and the smell of the sea. From the pink-sand beaches of Bermuda in the north to the dry desert inland of the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao) in the south, and from the mountains covered with lush rainforest in Dominica in the east to the dazzling white beaches of the Antilles in the west.
The Caribbean has a wide range of activities, scenery, and luxury hotels, so there is something for everyone. Want to know how to move to the Caribbean? Check this ultimate Caribbean Guide to Paradise.
Who wants to know which island is the most beautiful and has the best beaches? Here are our choices for the 10 best Caribbean islands for a vacation.
Anguilla is a small island in the Caribbean that is a British territory. Travelers who know what they want come here to relax on the island’s silky beaches, swim in the clear turquoise waters, play Robinson Crusoe on Anguilla’s offshore islands, and snorkel or dive the reefs and wrecks that are full of fish.
The white sand beaches on the island are its biggest draw. With 33 beautiful beaches to explore, beach lovers will find it a fun and doable challenge to see as many as they can. With more than 100 restaurants and beach bars, Anguilla is also known as the culinary capital of the Caribbean.
These are the hotels that we recommend: Belmond Cap Juluca and Four Seasons Anguilla.
2. St. Lucia
People often call Saint Lucia “Hawaii of the Caribbean” because of its beautiful scenery. Anyone who walks along the coast of Saint Lucia is instantly captivated. The island’s calming waves, warm beaches, and friendly people make it a great place to visit. St. Lucia is the only independent country in the world that was named after a woman. Saint Lucia is not like any other island in the Caribbean.
All of the island’s mountains, jungles, beaches, and famous landmarks, like the Pitons, which are two volcanic plugs on the southwestern coast, tell stories about its past.
These are the hotels that we recommend: Ladera Resort and Jade Mountain.
3. St. Vincent and Grenadines
St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a beautiful group of islands that look like emeralds scattered across the Caribbean Sea. The name of the country makes it sound like an old soul band, and this is a good way to describe the place. This is one of the most diverse places in the area because it has lush mountain peaks, white sands, hidden coves, volcanic landscapes, and beautiful coral reefs.
The country is made up of 32 beautiful islands and cays. It became famous when it was used as a setting for the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
These are the hotels that we recommend: Petit St. Vincent and Mandarin Oriental, Canouan.
4. British Virgin Islands
To see the beauty of the British Virgin Islands, you have to find out what makes each island in this group of unspoiled volcanic islands unique. Every place you drop anchor has its own special magic, from the culture and history of the BVI’s four largest islands to the natural beauty of its more than 50 smaller ones.
Be drawn in by the natural granite pillars of Virgin Gorda, rediscover play and adventure in Tortola, feel the island spirit on Jost Van Dyke, and catch a glimpse of perfection on Anegada. No matter where you land, there will be friendly people, beautiful beaches, and fun things to do.
These are the hotels that we recommend: Rosewood Little Dix Bay and Necker Island.
The Cuban archipelago is in the part of the Caribbean islands that is furthest to the west. It includes the island of Cuba, the island of Youth, and more than 4,000 smaller islands and keys. Cuba has been known as the “forbidden island” for a long time. It was seen as a communist stronghold in the tropics, and this added to its mystique.
The island is slowly changing, and people who want to see a socialist system that is falling apart, miles of undeveloped, sparkling coastline, and have a chat in the back of a beat-up Oldsmobile can do so.
This is the hotel that we recommend: Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana
6. Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is the second largest and most varied country in the Caribbean. Its people are known for being friendly and helpful. The lush tropical island paradise is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and the Caribbean Sea to the south.
It has nearly 250 miles (402 km) of the world’s best beaches and some of the best resorts and hotels. Here, you can dance the merengue, look at old artifacts from hundreds of years ago, enjoy delicious Dominican food, or go on ecotourism adventures in the country’s beautiful national parks, mountain ranges, rivers, and beaches.
These are the hotels that we recommend: Amanera and Eden Roc at Cap Cana.
7. Puerto Rico
There is a lot of history and culture, great food, clean beaches, beautiful mountains, relaxation, and adventure all in one Caribbean paradise: Puerto Rico. People on La Isla del Encanto are kind, friendly, and welcoming, which is called “Buena Gente” in Boricua.
Here, you’ll feel more like a member of the family than a guest. Around every corner of this sun-kissed mix of Spanish and American influences, you’ll find a celebration of life, a vibrant cultural experience, soul-satisfying food, and a captivating rhythm.
These are the hotels that we recommend: St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort and Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve.
8. Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda is in the northern Caribbean. It is made up of the islands of Antigua, Barbuda, and Redonda, which has no people living on it. Almost all of Antigua’s coastline is washed by the Caribbean Sea, and it has 95 miles (150 km) of beautiful coastline. Her sister, Barbuda, is protected by reefs and has a large lagoon and a sanctuary for Frigate Birds.
Most people know the islands for their warm and friendly people, pink and white sand beaches, clear waters, and some of the best weather in the world.
These are the hotels that we recommend: Carlisle Bay and Hermitage Bay.
9. St. Barts
There’s no doubt that celebrities and jetsetters love the French Caribbean island of St. Barthélemy. The 14 beaches on St. Barts (or St. Barth) are all open to the public, so it’s not as exclusive as you might think. The island is perfect for people who want a European-style utopia with a lot of beachfront to relax and enjoy lunches with their toes in the sand and quiet dinners under the stars with a bottle of French wine.
Martinique or St. Martin, which are close to St. Barts, are good choices for people looking for an island with a lively nightlife and fun things to do off the coast.
These are the hotels that we recommend: Hotel Christopher St Barth and Le Sereno.
10. Turks and Caicos
Turks and Caicos is a small country south of the Bahamas that is made up of more than 40 islands in a tropical archipelago. The islands are surrounded by the world’s third-largest coral reef and have some of the world’s most beautiful powdery-sand beaches and most ethereal turquoise seas.
Every island and cay in the archipelago is its own place to visit. Turks and Caicos went classy while their neighbors in the Bahamas went mass with their lost-on-the-way-to-Las-Vegas resorts. In the past 20 years, they quietly opened a string of very luxurious resorts.
These are the hotels that we recommend: Parrot Cay and Amanyara.