Best 16 Places to Visit in the Caribbean
1. U.S. Virgin Islands
Why go:Â Spring is the season to enjoy the USVI, particularly in late April when the boisterous Carnival season in St. Thomas gets underway. You can still enjoy the unspoiled beauty of a St. John beach or historic trivia on a St. Croix plantation tour at any time of year.
2. Cayman Islands
Why go: One of the most scenic destinations in the Caribbean, the Cayman Islands offer premiere diving sites. This archipelago features some of the best hotel deals around, so you can enjoy the white beaches and clear waters while sticking to a budget.
3. St. Kitts & Nevis Â
Why go:Â St. Kitts gets its approval in part from the soft sands and buzzing nightlife of Frigate Beach, plus its reputation for excellent festivals. When you want to get away from this popular, sophisticated spot, just hop on a quick ferry to the quieter island of Nevis.
Why go: While you’ll certainly find the standard Caribbean luxuries â beaches, golf courses and palatial resorts â Barbados offers more unique flair. Here, you can sample bittersweet Mount Gay Rum, attend a horse raceÂ and dance to a calypso tune.
5. St. Martin – St. Maarten
Why go:Â You’ll find first-rate beaches and plenty of activity on St. Martin-St. Maarten, as well as an assortment of hotel options for all budgets. This is also a great island for eating; consider having lunch at one of the lolos located along the shore.
6. St. LuciaÂ
Why go: This island’s got it all: sprawling chalk-colored beaches, towering mountains, upscaleÂ resortsÂ and bargain bungalows. Start your day with a hike through the mighty Piton Mountains, soak up some midday sun along Reduit BeachÂ and watch the sun set over the Caribbean Sea.
7. British Virgin IslandsÂ
Why go: “Posh” is the best word to describe the British Virgin Islands. The shoreline at Cane Garden Bay is exquisite and The Baths are mystifying. Infused with refined British culture, this archipelago is the epitome of Caribbean luxury.
8. Turks & CaicosÂ
Why go: Turks & Caicos offers some of the most stunning white beaches of the Caribbean, including Grace Bay. These islands make a wonderful retreat for those who seek maximum comfort in a tropical setting, thoughÂ hotel prices can be higher than on other islands.
Why go:Â These well-liked islands transform into spring break nerve centers each year, so it’s best you avoid them around then if you don’t like crowds. Still, the Bahamas are unparalleled when it comes to flight deals and discounted room rates.
10. St. BartsÂ
Why go:Â Khaki-colored beaches separate the island’s hilly landscape from the turquoise waters. Just be prepared to splurge: St. Barts is for the well-heeled, beckoning to Hollywood’s finest. Still, you can score some good deals if you plan well in advance.
Why go: Aruba has beautiful beaches, lively clubs and adventurous activities. Divers and boaters say this island is one of the best spots for offshore activities in the Caribbean. Plus, it’s a safe destination for families. Lodging can be expensive, so plan ahead.
Why go: As one of the ABC islands (along with Aruba and Bonaire), Curacao sits outside the hurricane belt, meaning you’ll find great weather year-round. That factor, along with the island’s notable coral reefs, makes Curacao a top spot for divers, snorkelers and other water sports enthusiasts.
Why go: The bright colors of St. George’s habor in Grenada offer a view well worth enjoying. But don’t stay in one spot for too long âÂ Grenada has 45 beaches along its shores to choose from, including the popular 2-mile Grand Anse beach.
14. St. Vincent & The GrenadinesÂ
Why go: Comprising 32 islands, St. Vincent & The Grenadines has something to offer every traveler. Enjoy time on the biggest island of St. Vincent, but be sure to hop on a boat and sail between the many other remote land masses for diving, snorkeling and exploring opportunities.
Why go: While many people think of Bermuda as just another Caribbean island, it is actually quite unique. As part of the British Commonwealth, Bermuda boasts cricket matches, biscuits and afternoon tea. Just prepare yourself for steep hotel prices here.
Why go: Dominica is perfect for ecotourists on a budget. You can spend a few days exploring the waterfalls and nature trails of Morne Trois Pitons National Park or diving at Scotts Head Pinnacle. But beach bums take note: Dominica’s shores may not live up to other Caribbean beaches.