Did you know that there are more than seven thousand islands that reside within the region known as the Caribbean archipelago? If not, you’ll now know why there are so many Caribbean destinations from which to choose. While there are official Caribbean countries, there are even more Caribbean destinations that are part of the region.
Which are the best Caribbean islands to visit? That is a very subjective topic. After all, what makes a location an ideal spot for your holidays or vacations may not be all that interesting to someone else. But in that statement, we can start to find the answer to which Caribbean destinations are the “best.”
For instance, as we just noted, you might think that it takes fantastic beaches to make one of the Caribbean islands more desirable than another. On the other hand, someone else may not rate a beach scene highly and may instead want their Caribbean vacations to be all about sailing or diving.
Even more travelers may say that the best Caribbean vacations are found on the islands with the largest number of luxury rentals from which to choose.
So, that means we might reasonably say that the best Caribbean islands will be a combination of such options as:
- Great choice in accommodations
- Excellent beaches
- A fair amount of water sports to enjoy (on or below the waves)
- Good dining options
- Lots of activities (including shopping, dining, sightseeing, and nightlife)
We should also consider a major factor that many overlook, and that is that they are easy to get to and to travel around.
This starts to narrow things down quite considerably. For example, one of the top Caribbean destinations is Turks and Caicos, because it hits all of those points above. However, not all of its 30 islands would rate as the best islands to visit. Instead, it would be the major islands in the two groups of which the destination is comprised.
Not all of the best places to visit in the Caribbean are made up of multiple islands, though. Consider St Barts, although it has many small “satellite islets,” it is the main island itself that consistently ranks as one of the finest of all Caribbean destinations.
Clearly, this doesn’t really help those who want to know the best Caribbean destinations for their travel planning. This is why you want to refine your decision-making process down to a few specific factors. They include:
- What is your main activity going to be when you travel to the Caribbean?
- Are you a solo traveler, couple, or group or family?
- What amenities do you want to have available at your accommodation?
- Are there any events you wish to witness during your visit?
Let’s start with the first point – what activities are your emphasis?
If your visit is going to be about sailing, then your top choice is likely the BVIs or the British Virgin Islands. A posh and high-end destination, it is also one of the most sailing-friendly locations and has an annual regatta that draws tens of thousands of visitors.
If you are about hiking and exploring, St Lucia is likely to be a favorite for its two Pitons, volcanic peaks that allow for easy to challenging hiking and climbing. The island is also noted for its excellent beaches and western views that promise at least a few stunning sunsets during your visit. It is also the only location with a “drive-in” volcano!
If you’re eager to experience some of the most beautiful beaches throughout the entire Caribbean, it is Turks & Caicos for you! With Grace Bay Beach to its name, the islands can claim the world’s most beautiful beach! There are scores of other flawless beaches to enjoy here, and most have white sand and the kind of turquoise waters that are only thought to exist on picture postcards of tropical paradises. A runner up here is Barbados and its Platinum Coastal beaches or Antigua with 365 beaches (one for each day of the year).
If you want to dive and snorkel, there are a few areas that can safely lay claim to offering some of the best options. Again, Turks and Caicos stands apart because it is home to the world’s third-largest barrier reef. The Cayman Islands are also rated as one of the world’s premier dive sites, and you may find yourself at Stingray City where you can safely walk among the elegant rays that make the area their home.
If your goal is to enjoy an exciting nightlife or a world-famous music festival it is St Kitts and Nevis that will appeal. It is a popular spot in general but is noted for fun nightlife and lots of festivals – including the St Kitts Music Festival. Barbados is also a good option for this sort of activity, and its annual Carnival is noted as a real shining star.
And if dining is a goal, it is safe to say that almost any Caribbean destination can rate as the best for its unique food culture. The region is a growing focal point in the world of gourmet dining, and many islands have even received attention from Michelin with starred restaurants or noted chefs creating an ever-increasing reputation for the region. St Barts is particularly trendy thanks to its French influences and its history of cosmopolitan-influenced eateries.
Staying in Style
One thing that many travelers want to know about before booking a holiday in the Caribbean, is where they will stay. Fortunately, the entire region is famous for its villa-friendly culture. These are private homes with luxurious locations, and they offer resort-like amenities and services, but in a far more private setting. You can find luxury villas along the beaches of many of the islands mentioned, as well as in the hills and the towns. Some premiere resort areas are offering entire villas for travelers to enjoy, as well.
One thing is clear – the Caribbean is a must-visit location. You will want to take the time to choose the one with the activities you desire most, and you are sure to make memories for a lifetime, but will also want to return many times after your first visit.