There are hundreds of islands in the Caribbean, each seemingly more beautiful than the next. With the number of options, it’s sometimes difficult choosing the best Caribbean Island to visit. While they all offer warm water, plentiful sunshine and wonderful beaches, each island has its own particular attractions that can help to narrow down the choice.
Choosing the Best Caribbean Island to Visit – A Top 10
1. Saint Lucia – An Island for Lovers
Romantic strolls along the beach and intimate dinners for two at one of the surprisingly affordable resorts are a highlight of this pretty island off the coast of South America. Sea kayaking is a highlight of the clear turquoise waters, and visitors can even trek through the lush rain forest interior on a number of nature hikes. Cap off a perfect day of fun with a sunset walk along Reduit Beach and admire Pigeon Island in the distance.
2. Saba – Wall Diving Paradise
Off the beaten track, the Dutch island of Saba is a dramatic landscape of lush jungle, charming villages and Mt. Scenery, a volcano perfect for hiking. The trail leading up the side of the mountain will take around 90 minutes to complete each way, but the view from the top is spectacular. A sweeping panorama shows the blue Caribbean to best advantage. But Saba’s true draw is its impressive wall diving opportunities. With steep cliffs plunging straight into the sea, it allows divers of any ability level to enjoy a vertical seascape filled with creatures. Any dive shop on the island can help to certify new divers or help more experienced ones gear up for their adventure. Pampering reaches impressive levels at Queen’s Gardens Resort, the perfect place to unwind after a day playing in the waves.
3. Turks and Caicos – Turquoise Waters
The thriving capital of Providenciales is the gateway to exploring this beautiful island chain. Called “Provo” by the locals, its white beaches are the perfect backdrop for resorts that offer golfing, scuba excursions, kite surfing, horseback riding and spa treatments. Their on-site restaurants take full advantage of the abundance of seafood to prepare lavish buffets. Unwind poolside, stretch out on the pristine beaches or head to a nearby reef to spot unusual species of fish. Just don’t forget to book your room early, as they can fill up quickly at the height of the season.
4. Antigua – Fisherman’s Paradise
The deep blue waters around Antigua boast a range of sport fishing favorites, like mahi-mahi, tuna, marlins and swordfish, making it the best Caribbean Island to visit for fishermen. Charter a fishing trip for a day filled with the thrill of pulling these giant fish from the sea. Once you’ve returned from your voyage, the island’s villas provide rest and relaxation with private pools, sumptuous food and spectacular views.
5. Aruba – Fun for the Whole Family
With sugar-like beaches and clear water, Aruba’s beautiful scenery is quintessentially Caribbean, but its list of activities make it the perfect destination for the whole family. While splashing in the waves is a daily delight, kids especially will enjoy a visit to Arikok National Park, where rock formations, local wildlife and limestone caves will keep them enthralled. Baby Beach on the island’s southern end is five feet deep or less, making it perfect for little ones to go wading. Families can rent a jeep for a tour of the island’s interior or just sprawl by the pool at a resort.
6. Barbados – Connect with Sea Turtles
Offering all of the beauty of many Caribbean islands, Barbados also offers the opportunity to swim with beloved sea turtles on a catamaran tour. Enjoy a catered lunch and snorkeling in the clear waters just off the island. There’s also golfing on immaculately maintained courses, making it perhaps the best Caribbean Island to visit for golfers. Plunge beneath the earth on a tram ride through Harrison’s Cave and marvel at the underground waterfalls and limestone formations.
7. Bonaire – Shore Diving at its Best
With less crowds than some better-known islands, but with all of the beauty, Bonaire is an alluring destination especially for scuba divers. Chartering a boat to dive locations can get expensive, and Bonaire is known for its accessible reefs that are easily reached right from the shore, making it the best Caribbean island to visit for novice divers. Shallow dives like the one at Tori’s Reef are perfect for spotting favorite Caribbean fish species in the perfectly clear water. The island also offers history buffs a glimpse of fascinating rock art by ancient native inhabitants in caves along the shore at Boca Onima inlet.
8. Jamaica – Culture and History
The ultimate luxury resort vacation can be found on the popular island of Jamaica, complete with your own private butler to provide round-the-clock service. Jamaican beaches are perfect for working on a tan and sipping exotic, fruit-filled drinks. There’s shopping available at many of the malls and outlets around the island, and prices are often very competitive. The easy hike up Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios is a fun half-day excursion that proves why Jamaica is the best Caribbean island to visit for waterfalls. Plunging white water and deep green jungle plants highlight the enormous boulders and are perfect for snapping photos.
9. Grand Cayman – Caribbean Nightlife
Offering fun attractions like Stingray City, where visitors can interact with these shy creatures, Grand Cayman also offers a varied nightlife and excellent dining. Many resorts offer all-inclusive packages, but venturing out to explore the bars in George Town is its own kind of fun. There are a range of seafood restaurants for the fresh-from-the-water flavor of lobster, oysters, crab and fish. There are even a few pubs and bakeries specializing in British-themed cuisine, making Grand Cayman best Caribbean Island to visit for nightlife and restaurants.
10. Tortola – Beautiful Sun, Sea and Sand
The British Virgin Islands are a favorite destination for their convenient location. Tortola is the largest island and houses the capital, Road Town. Beachcombing, sunbathing and relaxing are top priorities here, although the chance to swim with dolphins is a fun alternative to working on your tan. Booking your own private villa is a popular choice for those who stay here, as it allows for privacy and the chance to cook your own meals using some of the wonderful local seafood on offer.
Summing It Up
When it comes to picking the best Caribbean island to visit, it’s hard to go too far wrong. Dazzling underwater seascapes, brilliant white beaches, clear water and unique local culture are all characteristics of the entire region. Pick the perfect island to visit based on your favorite activities and you’ll have a vacation you’ll treasure and memories to enjoy for a lifetime.
Images taken from depositphotos.com.