The most beautiful places in the Caribbean

Guide to the Caribbean Islands: which of the 26 islands to choose?

There are many islands scattered across the Caribbean Sea. Lively Jamaica has little in common with densely populated Aruba. And even the islands that are extremely close to each other, such as St. Kitts and Nevis, differ significantly not only in appearance but also in what they offer to tourists.

So, which of the islands to choose a tourist who is going to vacation in the Caribbean? Big or small, near or far, urbanized or lost – such thoughts can turn a carefree vacation into a hard-to-understand chorus of voices. A guide to the Caribbean islands will help you make the right decision and get rid of doubts. Here you can find detailed information about the most visited islands, as well as the best of each.

map of the caribbean islands

1. American Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands are not called that for nothing, because it is a favorite vacation spot of many Americans who make their first stop here during their trip. The island has all the amenities and is virtually no different from the native places in America. The islands of St. Johns and St. Croix attract tourists with natural and cultural attractions.

Best place for: lovers of big resorts and nature.

U.S. Virgin Islands

2. Anguilla

The beaches on this small island are a model of perfection. They are small, with a friendly local culture and luxury villas scattered around. These are endless beaches that create a standard of beach clichés.

The best place for: a luxurious, yet discreet and secluded vacation.


3. Antigua.

This medium-sized island is surrounded by many small beaches with large and not so large, with modest and not so modest resorts. English Harbor offers yacht rides and an introduction to its colonial heritage.

Best place for: a classic beach vacation at the resort. But be warned, it will take several days to get here.

4. Aruba

Lifeless and virtually featureless, the island of Aruba attracts many beaches with world-class resorts and boulevards with famous restaurants and bars.

Best place for: carefree luxury vacations.


5. Bahamas

Not far from the U.S. there are many mysterious places and chic resorts in the islands of the Caribbean region. In total there are about 700 Bahamas islands.

The best place for: island-lovers traveling from island to island, diving and partying fans, and Americans craving a change of scenery.


6. Barbados

British accents are common on this clean, medium-sized island on the Atlantic Ocean border. The many beaches are perfect for all tastes and wallets. There is both active recreation and moderate luxury.

The best place for: surfers, windsurfers, sunbathers, as well as for true gourmets and lovers of luxury dining.

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7. Bonaire

One of the most interesting islands in the southern Caribbean Sea is the small island of Bonaire, famous for great diving in the open sea. It also boasts an amazing history and the charming and accessible for excursions town of Kralendijk .

The best place for: divers, inexpensive travelers, and fans of small discoveries.


8. British Virgin Islands.

This is a richer, less developed and more isolated version of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Yachting and diving enthusiasts will find much to enjoy among the 40 islands . And the main island of Tortola can offer the most luxurious vacation.

The best place for: diving, snorkeling, cocktail parties at sunset.

British Virgin Islands

9. Haiti

The famous island of Haiti is the opposite of a carefree vacation. There was an earthquake here in 2010. But if you want to explore the rich culture, which is mostly African, you should visit this place.

The best place for: people who love to learn and explore new things.


10. Guadeloupe

The tranquil islands are perfect for people who like to take small trips, relax on the sand and eat good food. It’s a combination of gorgeous beaches and tropical nature.

Best place for: topless tanning from morning to evening with a great seafood lunch.


11. Grenada

You can smell the nutmeg in the air of this former British colony. The capital of St. George’s is a city of stunning beauty. Here the traveler will have the opportunity to enjoy the small and welcoming beaches that rival the rainforest-covered slopes.

The best place for: an inexpensive vacation among the wildlife, as well as interacting with the cheerful locals.

12. Dominica

Beaches are all over the place. Dominica is a local, unspoiled gem with mountains and valleys surrounded by verdant forests and adorned with waterfalls.

The best place for: mountain lovers, nature lovers, and people wanting an escape from Caribbean clichés.


13. Dominican Republic.

A large country with a predominantly Latin American culture. The DR (as it is also called) is home to world-class resorts with exquisite beaches, colonial-era history, and vast territories with impregnable mountain peaks.

The best place for: resort lovers and adventurers.

Dominican Republic

14. Cayman Islands

Grand Cayman resembles South Florida, but it’s neater and doesn’t have as much heavy street traffic. On it you can find a variety of resorts, famous diving, snorkeling, schools to learn how to swim with stingrays.

Best place for: water sports and carefree vacations.

Cayman Islands

15. Cuba

Mysterious and wild beauty. Time seems to stand still on this big island unlike any other. Cuba is famous for its famous music, political events and decaying urban beauty. Havana alone is worthy of several days of travel.

The best place for: a moderately priced vacation in a truly “foreign” country, adventure and discovery, a little bragging rights.

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16. Curacao

A medium-sized island that attracts lovers of far-flung excursions. The main attraction of the main town of Willemstad a is, not without reason, the famous beautiful, historic harbor. Isolated beaches can offer vacationers a lot of water attractions.

The best place for: unexplored trails, hiking in the city.


17. Martinique

It is the most French corner of the Caribbean, the capital of which is Fort de France, not often visited by tourists. The wide sprawling beaches attract day-trippers.

The best place for: lovers of the French language, visiting beautiful and isolated beaches, traveling on foot.


18. St. Martin’s Island/St. Maarten

Two different cultures – Dutch and French – have divided the territory of this small and very lively island. It’s like one whole brain made up of two hemispheres that are stronger together than they are separately: the French side offers low-key vacations, while the Dutch side offers grand parties.

The best place to: relax in mid-range hotels, day trips to France, Holland and the heart of Creole culture, and a visit to the craziest airport bar on Earth.

St. Martin/St. Maarten

19. Puerto Rico.

Ancient San Juan is one of the region’s greatest attractions, a ruined colonial past that boils with vitality. The main attractions are the huge beach resorts, casinos, visible history and rich Hispanic culture.

The best place for: long distance excursions, enjoying the sea and the sand without leaving the U.S.

Puerto Rico

20. St. Kitts

Nevis and St. Kitts are home to huge hotels and developed condominiums. The area is large enough for a fun day trip around the island, and there’s a huge pirate-era national park, Brimstone Hill-Fortress.

Best place for: comfortable vacations, day trips to Nevis, mastering the pirate language.

St. Kitts

21. St. Lucia

Beaches on one side, gorgeous resorts on the other, and slopes covered in lush forests on the third, these are the three temptations of this island, famous for its French language and honeymooning newlyweds from different countries. Here you can perfectly relax both on the water and on land.

The best place for: lovers of diving, snorkeling, kitesurfing and other things, as well as lovers of nature and luxury.

Saint Lucia

22. St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Tempting fishing boat rides between islands surrounded by beaches are a classic vacation in the Grenadines (you can rent a boat if you wish). The main island of St. Vincent is mostly covered in rainforest, and Bequia Island is the most popular part of the tranquil Grenadines.

Best place for: boaters, divers, explorers, and people who don’t have a clear travel plan.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

23. Trinidad

Completely overshadowing neighboring Tobago, Trinidad is a large, lively Caribbean island famous for its Creole culture and parties, which gain maximum momentum during the world’s most famous carnival.

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The best place to go: to attend the annual festivities, which can compete with the parties of Rio de Janeiro.


24. Tobago

Trinidad’s small companion island is famous for everything the big islands lack: unspoiled nature, resorts beckoning fun on water and land. The best place for: traditional vacations without the hustle and bustle, diving enthusiasts, and birdwatching.


25. Turks and Caicos.

Many small islands with immaculate beaches and turquoise water beckon travelers. Even the world-class diving spots are not crowded with tourists.

Best place for: boat trips, beach bums, and fans of quiet and secluded relaxation on the sand.

Turks and Caicos Islands

26. Jamaica

A center of such Caribbean clichés as Bob Marley songs sung to the chords of opening beer bottles, boundless Jamaica offers resorts ranging from aristocratic to downright dirty, as well as a distinctive urban culture.

The best place for: exploring spicy food, exotic music, and wild adventures.

The most beautiful places in the Caribbean

Islands in the Caribbean Sea – a coveted piece of paradise for tourists: white sand, gentle sun and excellent service. Everyone has heard about such places as Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Bahamas and Jamaica more than once. That is why we decided to tell you about less known but not less attractive islands of the Caribbean.

Photo: British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands

Sixty islands in the northeastern part of the Caribbean Sea are considered British Overseas Territory and maintain close ties with the Metropolis, so the level of service, language and culture here are English, but the money is American. To travel here you will need a lot of it: the standard of living on this archipelago is one of the highest in the region.

Photo: British Virgin Islands

Many tourists come to the British Virgin Islands by ferry from other nearby tiny states for a day or two. What to do here? Tortola, the main island, is known for its white beaches and chalk cliffs, little Yost Van Dyke has the best restaurants with Caribbean cuisine, the former pirate residence of Anegada attracts diving fans – more than 200 ships are sunk in the coastal waters, and on Virgin Gorda are The Baths – unique natural rock pools filled with sea water. Read also: 5 the most unusual places for diving

Photo: U.S. Virgin Islands

2. the U.S. Virgin Islands

The archipelago north of Puerto Rico and south of the British Virgin Islands belongs to the U.S. and is little different from its British namesakes in terms of prices, service and luxury. San Tomas is the largest island of the archipelago and is also called Rock City because of its rocky skyline. From entertainment there is an Ocean Park, diving and numerous festivals, and from the sights – the castle of Blackbeard, a famous pirate.

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Photo: Picturesque Beach

The smallest island, St. John, attracts celebrities and honeymooners seeking solitude on picturesque, sparsely populated beaches, as well as nature lovers: there is a large nature reserve with hiking trails. South St. Croix is a great place for history buffs, with its colonial-era sugarcane plantations and distilleries, which now house small museums.

Photo: St. Lucia

3. St. Lucia .

The small, teardrop-shaped island of St. Lucia, the second largest of the Leeward Islands, has become increasingly popular in recent years. The wildlife here is fairly well preserved (unlike many other Caribbean islands) and it is relatively inexpensive.

Photo: Twin Pitons Mountains

In the spring, the island hosts an international jazz festival attended by famous musicians. Honeymooners, for whom almost half of all rooms are prepared in the hotels, love to spend their honeymoon “weeks” here. Lovers of outdoor activities can climb to the crater of an extinct volcano or climb the twin mountains of Pitons, protruding directly from the sea in the southwestern part of the island. See also: Top 10 Mountains to Explore

Photo: Cayman Islands

4. the Cayman Islands

One of the most picturesque places in the Caribbean, the Cayman Islands were so named because the first Europeans mistook the large number of blue iguanas living there for caymans. The archipelago of three islands lies south of Cuba. Do not miss: Why go to Cuba now

Photo: Stringray City

The largest island is Grand Cayman, home to the capital, Georgetown, and Stringray City, a maritime entertainment center named for the coastal stingrays (stingrays),

which you can feed. Here you can also visit the former capital city of Bodden, near which there are caves of pirates, which they used for centuries for shelter, or a turtle farm, or walk the Mastic Trail hiking trail in the middle of the island.

Photo: Coral Reef

On Little Cayman, nature is almost untouched: mangroves with wild (or feral) animals. There is also a bird sanctuary. On the island of Cayman Brac, there are many caves and a national parrot park. Interestingly, all the islands have beaches with both white and black sand.

Photo: Grand Turk

5. Turks and Caicos.

A network of 40 small islands with snow-white beaches, clear azure waters, colorful coral reefs – an ideal place for a quiet secluded vacation. Most of the islands do not have permanent residents, only staff in hotels and hotel cabins. The largest island, Providenciales, receives huge ocean liners in the port, more like a pier.

Photo: Grand Turk Island

On the island of Grand Turk in two hundred meters from the shore is very popular with divers reef, which abruptly drops to a depth of 2.4 kilometers. Here is also the National Museum, where among the exhibits is evidence that Columbus first set foot on the Western Land on this island (although historians dispute this fact).

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Photo: Barbados

6. Barbados

Barbados sets the standard for vacations on the islands: pristine sandy beaches, green golf and cricket fields, palace-like hotels, European level of service (with a traditional British tea) and a Caribbean climate. It’s where you drink top-notch local rum, race, and calypso dancing.

Photo: Historic Bridgetown, Barbados

The west and south coast are traditionally used for beach holidays, and the Atlantic east, more turbulent, is loved by surfers. Bathsheba beach is especially popular with wave catching enthusiasts. The cultural program also includes a visit to the Andromeda Botanical Garden and the gallery of pirate caves. See more: Surfing: Five rules for a successful trip

Photo: Picturesque View

7. St. Kitts and Nevis

The little-known twin islands in the southern Caribbean offer a choice of relaxing on black sand beaches and luxury hotels, or finding adventure and visiting places with history. The busier island of St. Kitts is filled with restaurants, bars, and nightlife.

Photo: St. Kitts

On laid-back Nevis, you can walk and swim on the quieter beaches. There are landmarks on the islands, too: the ancient Fort Brimstone, which the conquerors of these lands called the Gibraltar of the West Indies.

Photo: St. Maarten & St. Martin

8. St. Maarten or St. Martin

St. Maarten or St. Martin is the smallest of the inhabited islands, controlled simultaneously by two independent governments, located in the northern Caribbean Sea. The northern part of the island, called St. Maarten, belongs to France and attracts tourists with gourmet restaurants and trendy beach parties.

Photo: Maho Beach

The southern, Dutch part of Sint Maarten is famous for its casinos and Maho beach. Above the beach, intercontinental airliners land literally over the heads of vacationers. This attracts spotters (plane photographers) from all over the world and surfers.

Photo: Bonaire

9. Bonaire

On the island of Bonaire in the southern Caribbean almost all the main attractions are underwater, so if you’re not an avid diver, you might want to go to the neighboring islands of Aruba and Curacao, more famous and full of tourists. Surrounding the island, the coral reef has the status of a National Park, and under the protection of everything alive, living below 60 meters in depth.

Photo: Bonaire Island

If you want to take a break between dives, you can go on a land trip: Washington Sloughbay National Park – a charming nature reserve with hills and lakes, parrots, pink flamingos and iguanas.

Holidays in the Caribbean islands can’t be called cheap, but by ordering a package “Flight + Hotel” you can save up to 30% of the cost. Do not forget about visas – you will need them to visit most Caribbean islands.

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