In Photos: The Best Caribbean Islands to Visit
The Caribbean has long been known for its azure waters, tropical beaches and incredibly slow pace that makes finding peace and relaxation a breeze. These 10 islands can help you get away from it all with picturesque beaches and lush green foliage – plus the brilliantly blue Caribbean Sea serving as your backdrop.
Antigua offers peace, quiet and 365 gorgeous beaches to boot. All of the island’s beaches, including the popular Dickenson Bay, are open to the public and boast white sand and vibrant blue water ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Add in the island’s hearty mix of all-inclusive and traditional hotels and you’ve got yourself a great vacation.
Isla Mujeres, Mexico
The small island of Isla Mujeres is located across the Bahia de Mujeres, off the coast of Cancun. Stay for a day or book a longer retreat at one of the many hotels and rental condos that dot this laid-back island paradise. While here, visit the white sand beaches, dive to the popular local turtle farm (La Tortuga Granja) or take a sunset cruise on a catamaran.
There are plenty of reasons to visit Aruba, though many travelers come here for its combination of stunning beaches and plentiful nightlife options. Aruba boasts a number of casinos, bars and clubs to keep night owls entertained. Stay on the island’s famous Palm Beach for easy access to the shore and plenty of highly rated hotels.
Head to Curacao for some of the Caribbean’s best snorkeling and diving, explore the colorful restaurants and storefronts in the capital of Willemstad or, if you’re looking for exciting outdoor activities, try kite-boarding. And if you want to hang with the locals and party, head to Mambo Beach for gorgeous sunsets and access to a string of waterfront restaurants and bars.
Anguilla is an upscale, quiet Caribbean island, perfect for honeymooners or anyone who wants to get away from it all. Located right next to St. Maarten, this island is known for its easygoing and friendly locals, plus its exquisite beaches, including the popular Rendezvous Bay and Shoal Bay.
Vieques, Puerto Rico
Vieques island sits just 7 miles off Puerto Rico’s eastern coast, but it might as well be a world away from the busy mainland. Head to this tiny island to explore one of the world’s brightest bioluminescent bays (where microorganisms emit a blue glow from the water), along with undeveloped beaches and unspoiled nature.
Corn Islands, Nicaragua
Nicaragua’s Corn Islands may not be your first pick when you think of planning a Caribbean getaway, but they could be ideal if you’re craving quiet and solitude. Big Corn and Little Corn –the two islands that make up the Corn Islands – offer small, affordable hotels and far fewer cars on the road. While here, partake in do-it-yourself snorkeling trips off the shore, enjoy beautiful Caribbean sunsets or relax in a beachfront hammock.
Roatan in Honduras has become a popular cruise port as well as a hot spot for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. The entire coast of this tiny island paradise is lined with untouched coral reefs teeming with tropical fish. And thanks to the astonishing clarity of the water they call home, you’ll be able to see the local ocean life perfectly.
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Virgin Gorda is the third largest island in the British Virgin Islands, making it ideal for relaxation seekers who want to enjoy fewer crowds and more peace and quiet than you’ll find on neighboring Tortola. Travelers flock here to stay in upscale resorts, enjoy delicious seafood and hike the island’s many peaks and valleys for spectacular views.
Set off the coast of St. Kitts, Nevis offers a quieter atmosphere with smaller crowds compared to other Caribbean hot spots. This island boasts an array of luxury resorts and fine dining establishments along with unspoiled beaches and natural beauty you come to expect in this part of the world. Nevis is also widely known as the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton, whose roots you can explore with a visit to his childhood home.