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20 Best Caribbean Islands to Visit

Are you in search of the best Caribbean islands to visit for a honeymoon, destination wedding, family vacation, or adventure trip? From movies, songs, and your friend’s Insta pics, the Caribbean is a tropical destination we’ve probably all dreamed about visiting.

Can’t you just hear the tune of the harmonies of the Beach Boys and Kokomo in your head … “Aruba, Jamaica, ooha I wanna take ya … ” Many may prefer Cruise as Maverick, but we’re all into the Jamaica vibes and steel drum bands of 1988’s Cocktail.

The Caribbean region is made up of more than 7,000 islands, islets, and cays (only about 100 are inhabited) scattered about the Caribbean Sea (and bordering the Atlantic Ocean) between Central and South America, the Gulf of Mexico, and Florida.

Bermuda is usually included in the region even though it’s technically not in the Caribbean Sea. It’s in the north Atlantic Ocean about 640 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (and about 900 miles from the Caribbean Sea).

These tranquil islands – with a varied culture of British, Spanish, French, and Dutch heritage – are known for their white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, tropical fish, lush waterfalls, and laid-back lifestyle (and tiki hut bars, of course). If you’re looking for a relaxing, tranquil, or adventure-driven escape, you can’t beat the Caribbean.

From Aruba‘s desert seascape, Bermuda’s pink sand, and Dominica’s lush rainforest to Jamaica’s traditional cuisine, Cuba’s history and culture, Bahamas snorkeling and shark swimming, and Cayman Islands diving adventures, there’s something for everyone in the Caribbean.

With so many stunning settings, cultures, cuisines, and excursions to choose from, how could anyone possibly make a decision on which one to put on their itinerary?

Picking the best Caribbean islands to visit was no easy task. We were up to that challenge and chose to accept the mission by diving (pun intended) right in.

For the best rates and travel alerts, tune into Going (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights) to find flights to the best Caribbean islands you can use our promo code VIA20 for 20% off a premium membership. Now, let’s get going!

Best Caribbean Islands to Visit

1. Jamaica

Bus in Jamaica

The third largest Caribbean island, Jamaica is one of the most popular and well-known tourist destinations in the region. It’s 146 miles long and 51 miles wide. The island is known for its beautiful beaches, stunning waterfalls, all-inclusive resorts, and rich array of culture, cuisine, British Colonial architecture, and music.

You’re probably familiar with the Marley name, but there several other artists hail from the tropical paradise. Do Peter Tosh, Usain Bolt, Shaggy, Sean Paul, Sean Kingston, or Sandra Denton (Pepa of Salt-N-Pepa fame) ring a bell?

Additionally … Blue Mountain Coffee, Red Stripe Beer, and Myers’s Rum … all from Jamaica. Add in the flavors of ackee and codfish, rundown soup, oxtail, and red beans and rice, and you’ve got a collection of cuisine to last the whole trip. Foodies (and drinkies) love checking out every beach bar, restaurant, and roadside food stand on the island.

While on island (and to take a break from all that eating and drinking), take time to visit the Bob Marley Museum, historic sites in Port Royal, and Park, or take a rainforest tour. You could also just relax on the beach at Montego Bay or Seven Mile Beach (Negril Beach). We’re not judging.

Montego Bay, Negril, Kingston, Portmore, Ocho Rios, and Port Antonio are the most well-known regions in Jamaica, with Montego Bay being one of the most popular tourist cities.

You’ll find lots of high-end hotels, all-inclusive resorts, and rental accommodations in this area. Some of the top-rated hotels on the island include the Half Moon, Round Hill Hotel and Villas, and Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay.

Negril Beach Boats

The stunning white sand and dramatic sunsets of Negril’s Seven-Mile Beach make it the perfect place to try jet skiing, diving, snorkeling, or an adventurous ATV ride along the beach. For a more relaxing experience, opt for a catamaran cruise around Montego Bay.

If you’re looking for a laid-back atmosphere, Negril has that. You can spend your days lounging on the beach or exploring the cliffs. Ocho Rios is home to many of Jamaica’s best attractions, including Dunn’s River Falls, Blue Hole Mineral Spring, and Green Grotto Caves.

See Related: Best All-Inclusive Family Resorts in Jamaica

2. Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos Skyline

This British Overseas Territory of the Turks and Caicos is located in the Atlantic. It consists of 40 small coral islands and cays (only eight are inhabited). With a total length of about 37 miles long, the chain offers as much seclusion, relaxation, or adventure as you want.

The island chain starts in the west at Providenciales (or Provo) and swings around eastward to North, Middle, East, and South Caicos. You’ll then come to the Turks Island Passage, which runs through and separates Grand Turk.

Grace Bay Beach, located on Provo, is considered one of the best beaches in the world. It’s a major draw for honeymooners, families, and groups.

While most visitors come to the islands for the beaches and resorts, there are plenty of other activities to keep you busy. Book a glass-bottom boat tour to explore the underwater world, take a nature hike through thick mangrove forests, or hike along Bird Rock Trail to get up close and personal with native wildlife.

Beach in Turks and Caicos Islands

For those looking for more action in their vacation, the islands offer great scuba diving and snorkeling opportunities. There are more than 200 dive sites around the islands, making it a paradise for both beginner and experienced divers. You can also go deep-sea fishing, stand-up paddleboarding, or even windsurfing.

For a taste of the local culture, take a day trip to Grand Turk, the capital island of Turks and Caicos. This is where you’ll find the National Museum, which houses artifacts from the Lucayan people who once inhabited the islands. You can also learn about the island’s salt-producing history at the Turks and Caicos National Historical Park.

In addition to its natural beauty, Turks and Caicos is home to some of the best luxury resorts in the Caribbean. If you’re looking to splurge, this is the place to do it. World-famous resort chains like COMO Parrot Cay and Grace Bay Club offer visitors the chance to relax in luxury.

See Related: Best Places to Travel Alone in the World

3. The Bahamas

Port of Nassau Aerial View

The Bahamas is a chain of islands located in the Atlantic Ocean east of Florida. These pristine Caribbean islands are a popular destination for tourists and Caribbean cruise ships as they’re easy to get to from Florida shores. Plus, they’ve got a lot of natural beauty going for them.

The island nation is known for white (and sometimes pink) sand beaches, clear turquoise waters, and beachfront resorts. Visitors can enjoy diving and snorkeling along coral reefs, hiking through rainforest habitats, and taking a catamaran ride to see dolphins.

Made up of more than 700 islands, there’s plenty of paradise to explore in the Bahamas. The toughest task is choosing just which island to visit. A couple to consider include Cat Island, Bimini, Harbour Island, Andros Island, the Exumas, Eleuthera, and the Abacos.

On a side note, you can take day trips from one island to another, so that’s one option to the island-choosing conundrum.

Nassau, the capital city, is located on New Providence Island. Nassau is known for its colonial architecture, so be sure to stroll through the streets and snap some photos. Visit the historic Fort Charlotte, shop for duty-free goods, or visit the perfectly pink Atlantis Resort and its varied activities and attractions on Paradise Island.

Pig in Exuma, Bahamas

Grand Bahama Island is another popular tourist and cruise ship destination. It offers plenty of activities and attractions like golf, fishing, and cave exploration.

For a more remote and natural experience, head to the Exumas. You can explore uninhabited islands, check out the swimming pigs at Big Major Cay, or visit the Thunderball Grotto made famous by the James Bond movie Thunderball.

While on Bimini, take a peek into the underwater world of sea turtles, stingrays, and sharks (if you so choose) with Neal Watson’s Bimini Scuba Center. You’ll head out to the Sapona shipwreck for snorkeling among the cute creatures.

Your next stop takes you to a spot where you can get in the water with reef sharks. Swimmers are required to hang onto a line off the back of the boat. This is an excellent way to take a (big) step out of your comfort zone.

We love Eleuthera for its seclusion, stunning scenery, pineapple plantations, and outdoor recreation. The island’s Glass Window Bridge is located where the blue Atlantic water meets the turquoise tones of the Bight of Eleuthera. They’re separated by a 30-foot-wide stretch of land.

See Related: Hidden Gems in the Caribbean Sea (You Can’t Miss)

4. St. Lucia

St. Lucia Scenery

Part of the Windward Islands, St. Lucia is located in the eastern Caribbean. The small island is 27 miles long and about four miles wide. It’s home to lush rainforests and towering volcanic mountains that extend down to gorgeous white sand beaches.

Popular beaches include Reduit Beach, Anse Chastanet Beach, and Sugar Beach. For a more remote and natural experience, take a hike to one of the many hidden beaches along the coast.

The Pitons, two volcanic mountains, are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is one of the best places for nature lovers and adventurers in your travel crew.

Marigot Bay Aerial View

Hike through the rainforest to experience the island’s diverse flora and fauna or take a zip-line tour for a bird’s-eye view.

For a taste of local culture, be sure to visit the capital city of Castries. You can stroll through colorful streets or visit the local market to find fresh produce and handmade goods. Learn about the island’s history at the Saint Lucia National Museum.

See Related: Best Things to do in Nassau (secrets from a local)

5. Antigua and Barbuda

Sunset in Antigua

Antigua and Barbuda is a twin-island nation located in the Caribbean Sea. The islands are best known for their pristine beaches, secluded resorts, and excellent sailing conditions. Visitors can enjoy diving, snorkeling, windsurfing, and deep-sea fishing in the island’s warm waters.

The island of Antigua is the larger of the two islands and is home to the capital city of St. John’s. Antigua is a popular tourist destination, with its many beaches, luxury resorts, and historic sites. Visitors can spend their days lounging on the beaches of Rendezvous Bay of Half Moon Bay, exploring the rainforest, or visiting one of the many historic sites.

Barbuda is a smaller island located just north of Antigua but is just as beautiful. The island is known for its secluded beaches, lush rainforest, and native bird population. Barbuda is also a popular destination for diving and snorkeling, as the island is surrounded by coral reefs.

Antigua and Barbuda Boats and Houses

While staying on Antigua, you can take a day trip tour to explore the beauty of Barbuda for a day before returning to your hotel.

For a taste of the local culture, be sure to visit St. John’s. The capital city is home to many historic sites, such as the St. John’s Cathedral and the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda. You can also stroll through the streets and soak up the vibrant atmosphere, or visit the local market to find fresh produce and handmade goods.

Be sure to try some of the local dishes, like roti and Johnny cakes, while you’re here!

See Related: Best Romantic Getaways in USA

6. Barbados

Barbados Skyline

Barbados is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean. It’s the island home of Rihanna, Grand Master Flash, and Doug E. Fresh.

You’ll find soft sand beaches, resorts of all shapes and sizes, and vibrant culture. Visitors to this iconic Caribbean island can spend their days lounging on the beach, exploring the rainforest, or visiting one of the many historic sites.

Popular beaches include Sandy Lane Beach, Mullins Beach, and Paynes Bay Beach. Crystal-clear water and vibrant colored reefs make for some of the best snorkeling and diving in the Caribbean.

Fruit Stand in Bridgetown

You’ll find the stunning Animal Flower Cave and Harrison’s Cave, a limestone cave system that dates back as early as the 1730s. Take a guided tour of the caves and descend into the depths of this natural wonder.

To really immerse yourself in the culture and get the complete Barbados experience, visit the capital city of Bridgetown where you can learn about the island’s history at the Barbados Museum or take a tour of the Parliament Building.

See Related: Things About Long Term Travel You Can’t Miss

7. Aruba

Palm Beach Skyline

Surrounded by dazzling coral reefs and soft sand beaches, Aruba is filled with a varied landscape of arid desert cacti, tropical palms, and colorful Dutch architecture. Add in bright pink flamingos, ostriches, and mountain-climbing goats, and you’ve just stepped onto one of the most unique Caribbean islands on our list.

This Netherlands-owned tropical paradise is located just north of Venezuela in the Southern Caribbean. It’s known as the “A” of the ABC islands (that would be Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao).

Aruba beaches include Baby Beach, Palm Beach, Hadicurari Beach, and Eagle Beach, which is known for its soft sand and clear waters and is a popular nesting spot for Aruba’s iconic flamingos.

Sunset in Eagle Beach Strip, Aruba

The nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts in your crew will enjoy hiking through Arikok National Park, exploring the Aloe Vera Plantation, and meeting giant flightless birds at the Aruba Ostrich Farm. Then, there’s the Donkey Sanctuary, a butterfly farm, and the Bubali Bird Sanctuary.

For a taste of local culture, be sure to visit Oranjestad, Aruba’s capital city. The city is home to historic sites like Fort Zoutman and the Archaeological Museum where you can get an in-depth look at Aruba’s history and the Dutch influence on the island. Other landmarks include the California Lighthouse and the Aruba Archaeological Museum.

Visit during January and February for Carnival, an annual event that celebrates the island’s Afro-Caribbean culture with music, food, and dancing.

Aruba is home to many 5-star resorts and private villas, such as the Ritz-Carlton Aruba and the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino.

See Related: Best Places to Get Married in the World

8. Bermuda

Horseshoe Bay Skyline

This stunning Caribbean (well, not exactly) island has had a historically bad reputation for centuries due to the number of shipwrecks and missing planes that have occurred near the island (Thanks for nothing Bermuda Triangle!). However, it’s still a popular tropical destination for honeymoons, weddings, and family vacations. We think the Triangle legend just adds to its appeal.

Home to beautiful beaches and secluded coves, Bermuda is located in the Atlantic, several hundred miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina in the Outer Banks. It offers the charm of traditional British ambiance combined with the tropical decor of a Caribbean island.

This picturesque British Overseas Territory is known for its pink sand, clear turquoise waters, and gorgeously rugged coastline. Elbow Beach, Horseshoe Bay Beach, and Warwick Long Bay are just a few of the popular beaches on the island.

Bermuda Aerial View

Spend the day exploring Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve, taking a sunset cocktail cruise from South Hampton, visiting the Unfinished Church, or discovering Bermuda’s underwater beauty on a glass-bottom boat tour. The wide array of shipwrecks around the island (those reefs are dangerous) makes for terrific diving and snorkeling.

The historic capital city of Hamilton is filled with museums and attractions such as Fort Hamilton, the Bermuda National Gallery, and the Bermuda Maritime Museum. Hamilton is also a great place to do an authentic Bermuda food tasting experience where you can indulge in local cuisine like fish chowder, codfish and potatoes, fish sandwiches, spiny lobster, and Bermuda rum cake. Don’t forget a rum swizzle or dark-n-stormy.

Visit the Royal Naval Dockyard for shopping, dining, attractions, and art galleries. Other places to visit include Gibb’s Hill Lighthouse, Crystal and Fantasy Caves, the Lili Bermuda Perfumery, and the historic town of St. George’s, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Bermuda is about 24 miles long and only about two miles wide at the widest. It’s pretty easy to navigate your way around on a scooter, bicycle, or moped.

Looking for a hotel in Bermuda? Check out the Hamilton Princess Hotel and Beach Club, The St. Regis Bermuda Resort, The Reefs Resort & Club, or Grotto Bay Beach Resort.

See Related: Best Ski Resorts in the US to Visit

9. Cayman Islands

Boats in Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands are a series of three islands spread out over 102 square miles across the West Caribbean. They are Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, and Cayman Brac. Located south of Cuba and west of Jamaica, this trio of Caribbean islands is famous for luxury resorts, clear waters, world-class diving, and much more.

Grand Cayman is the largest of the three islands and home to the capital city of George Town, which is well-known for duty-free shopping.

Seven Mile Beach is the most popular beach on Grand Cayman for its crystal-clear waters and powdery white sand. Visitors can enjoy activities like swimming, sunbathing, stand-up paddle boarding, and more.

Seven Mile Beach Skyline

Some of the best scuba diving in the world can be found along the reefs and shipwrecks off the coast of Grand Cayman. If you’re looking to explore the underwater world, be sure to check out the North Wall, Stingray City, and Eden Rock. You could also book a snorkeling experience or scuba diving tour.

Resorts lining the island have amenities like golf courses, spas, and restaurants. Many of the resorts offer all-inclusive packages, so you can relax and enjoy your time on the island. One of the best is the Westin Grand Cayman Seven-Mile Beach Resort.

See Related: Best Vacations For A Group Of Friends

10. Dominica

Dominica Island Pier

Officially named the Commonwealth of Dominica (not to be confused with the nearby Dominican Republic and Punta Cana), Dominica is located in the Eastern Caribbean just north of Martinique.

Dominica is known for its lush rainforests, waterfalls, hot springs, and volcanic beaches. This unspoiled island is the perfect destination for those looking to get away from it all and enjoy some time in nature.

To check out those waterfalls and hot springs, head to Morne Trois Pitons National Park. The Boiling Lake is one of the most popular attractions in the park (as well as being the world’s second-largest hot spring.

Dominica Trafalgar Falls

Dominica is also a great place to go birdwatching. It’s home to many different species of birds, including the Sisserou parrot, the red-necked parrot, and the imperial amazon. If you’re looking to spot some of them for your Insta feed, pay a visit to the Syndicate Parrot Reserve or the Caroni Bird Sanctuary.

The Caribbean island of Dominica is well-known for its black sand beaches. Created by volcanic activity, they make for a beautiful and secluded spot to relax. Some of the best ones can be found at Scotts Head, Batibou Beach, and Mero Beach.

See Related: Fun & Best Things to do in Dominica Island

11. Grenada

St George's Aerial View

Located in the West Indies, Grenada is an island country made up of several smaller islands, including the main island also known as Grenada. The island is best known for its spice plantations(its nickname is Spice Isle), beaches, rainforests, and waterfalls.

One of the most popular things to do on the island is to visit a spice plantation. Grenada is best known for its nutmeg production, and many of the spice plantations offer tours where you can learn about the history of nutmeg production on the island. You can also purchase fresh spices to take home with you.

Beaches such as Grand Anse Beach, Morne Rouge Beach, and Levera Beach are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, and more. Divers will love the Underwater Sculpture Park.

Grenada Overview

For those interested in adventure, Grenada is a great place to go hiking. There are a wide variety of trails of varying difficulty levels, so you can find one that’s perfect for you.

If you’re looking for more of a challenge, you can try your hand at climbing Grenada’s tallest mountain, Mount Saint Catherine. Grand Etang National Park & Forest Reserve’s hiking trails are highly recommended.

See Related: Best Hiking Trails in America

12. Guadeloupe

Guadeloupe Cliffs and Ocean Scenery

Located in the Southern Caribbean, Guadeloupe is a French territory in the Lesser Antilles region. It’s best known for its beaches, hiking trails, and waterfalls.

Scuba divers will be happy to know that Guadeloupe is one of many world-class dive sites. There are numerous shipwrecks, coral reefs, and underwater caves to explore.

If you’re lucky, you might even spot some turtles. Grand Anse Beach, Plage de la Caravelle, and Anse des Cayes are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and simply relaxing.

Hiking is one of the most popular things to do on this Caribbean island. Trails range from easy hikes that are perfect for families to more challenging trails for experienced hikers. If you’re looking for a real challenge, you can try climbing Pic des Trois-Rivières, the highest point in Guadeloupe.

Guadeloupe Overview

When it comes to hotels, Guadeloupe has something for every travel style. For luxury options, check out the Hotel Bakoua Les Trois Ilets and the Marco Polo Resort. There are also plenty of budget-minded options like guesthouses and apartments.

See Related: Most Beautiful Places in the World

13. Martinique

Martinique Beach Palm Trees

Another French Caribbean island, Martinique is located in the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean and is best known for rainforests, volcanoes, and the postcard-perfect beaches of Grande Anse des Salines, Les Trois-Îlets, and Sainte-Luce.

It’s rumored that Martinique got its name from Christopher Columbus, who saw the island on his journey to the Americas and thought it was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. He is said to have named the island Madinina, meaning “island of flowers”, or Matinino, “island of women”.

One of the best things to do in Martinique is explore the island’s mountainous interior. The island is home to an active volcano, Mount Pelée, as well as a variety of hiking trails.

Martinique Jungle Scenery

Don’t forget to try the food while in the Caribbean islands. Martinique is known for its Creole cuisine, which is a blend of French and African flavors.

Resorts like the Hôtel Frégate Bleue and the Hotel Bakoua Martinique are popular choices for those looking for a luxurious and relaxing vacation in Martinique.

See Related: Best Island to Visit in Hawaii: What’s Best for You?

14. Saint Barthélemy

Saint Barthelemy Ocean Scenery

Saint Barthélemy (also called Saint Barths or St. Barts) is a small French island located in the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean. it’s only about eight square miles.

Saint Barthélemy is often referred to as the playground of the rich and famous because of its popularity among, well, the rich and famous. It’s a go-to destination for couples looking for a romantic vacation or a luxury getaway with a secluded ambiance.

St Barths Resort Pool and Skyline

Places to visit and things to do include the 17th-century Fort Karl, the yacht-filled harbor of Gustavia, Fort Gustave, the Wall House Museum, the village of Lorient, and the beautiful stretches of sand along Saline Beach, Flamands Beach, and Corossal Beach.

Some of the most popular lodging options on the island include the Hotel Christopher St. Barth and Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa.

15. Saint Kitts and Nevis

Saint Kitts Island Aerial View

Officially named the Saint Christopher island, Saint Kitts and Nevis is located in the West Indies and is best known for its tropical atmosphere and birthplace of Alexander Hamilton. The island was one of the first to be colonized by Europeans. It was supposedly named by Christopher Columbus after his patron saint, Saint Christopher.

There are many different things to do and places to visit while on Saint Kitts and Nevis. One of the most popular activities is taking a tour of the island’s natural wonders, such as the Romney Manor and the Emerald Pool.

Jetskiing, diving, a sail and snorkel tour, and kayaking are just a few of the watersports you can experience while visiting one of the many sandy beaches on St Kitts.

Beach in Saint Kitts and Nevis

St. Kitts is also well known for its rum. In fact, St. Kitts is home to the oldest rum distillery in the world. Visitors can take a tour of the distillery and learn about the history of rum on the island.

Set aside some time to explore the capital of St. Kitts and Nevis, Basseterre, where you can find the National Museum, the Circus, and the Treasury Building.

St. Kitts accommodations range from deluxe resorts to budget-friendly hotels and guest rooms.  The Park Hyatt St. Kitts Christophe Harbour and St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino are popular choices for visitors to St. Kitts.

16. Trinidad and Tobago

Maracas Beach Aerial View

Trinidad and Tobago are the southernmost islands in the Caribbean. They consist of the two main islands, Trinidad and Tobago, as well as many other smaller islands.

Interestingly, tourism is not the main industry in Trinidad and Tobago. The islands are best known for their oil and gas reserves.

Because they don’t see as many visitors as some of the other Caribbean islands, the islands are thriving with untouched natural beauty. If you’re looking to relax on a quieter island, this is the Caribbean destination for you.

Bucco Reef, a natural coral reef on Tobago, is a popular spot for snorkeling and scuba diving. You can also explore the island’s rainforest, hike to one of its many waterfalls, or take a tour of the Asa Wright Nature Centre.

Mount Irvine Beach and Skyline

While in Trinidad, a visit to the capital city, Port of Spain, is a must. You’ll find a melting pot of cultures and a vibrant nightlife scene with many different restaurants and cafes to choose from. This is a great place to take a food tour!

The Fort George Historic Site, the Temple in the Sea, and the Tobago Museum are all great places to learn more about the island’s rich history and cultural heritage. Divali, the Hindu festival of lights, is celebrated every October on the island of Trinidad.

When it comes to finding somewhere to stay in Trinidad and Tobago, there are many different options available. The Hilton Trinidad & Conference Centre, the Hyatt Regency Trinidad, and the Kapok Hotel are all popular choices.

17. US Virgin Islands

Trunk Bay Aerial View

For those looking for a tropical Caribbean vacation with no passport required, the U.S. Virgin Islands are the perfect destination. This group of islands, which includes St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas, is a U.S. territory, which means that American citizens don’t need a passport to visit.

The U.S. Virgin Islands are best known for their sandy beaches, swaying palm trees, crystal clear waters, pristine white sands, and nature preserves.

St. John is home to the Virgin Islands National Park, where you can hike to beaches, snorkel the reefs, and explore the island’s many caves and coves. Many consider Trunk Bay the most beautiful and most popular beach destination in the Caribbean islands. Maho Bay Beach, Cinnamon Bay Beach, and Hawksnest Bay Beach are other excellent choices.

St Thomas Beach

In St. Croix, visit the Cruzan Rum Factory, the only rum distillery in the U.S. Virgin Islands, or take a tour of the island and the 18th Century Fort Christiansvaern. Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge, the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts, and St. George Village Botanical Gardens are other great places to visit in St. Croix.

While on St. Thomas, visit the capital city of Charlotte Amalie, Blackbeard’s Castle, Coral World Ocean Park, or the Phantasea Tropical Botanical Garden. You could also go parasailing across the Caribbean Sea.

The Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas, Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove, and Bolongo Bay Beach Resort are just a few of the many hotels available on St. Thomas.

See Related: Best Spring Break Destinations For Families

18. Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Beach Scenery

The fourth largest Caribbean island, Puerto Rico is a popular destination for visitors from the U.S., as it’s also a U.S. territory. This means that, unlike other Caribbean islands (with the exception of the U.S. Virgin Islands), no passport is required for American citizens. The island is 100 miles long and 35 miles wide.

Puerto Rico is best known for its stunning beaches and excellent surfing conditions, but there’s much more to this island than just its sandy shores.

El Yunque National Forest, the only tropical forest in the US National Forest system, is located in Puerto Rico. It’s a must-visit for nature lovers as you can hike through wooded trails, swim in waterfalls, and even take a kayaking tour through the forest.

San Juan Colored Houses

San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital city, is worth a visit. With colorful Spanish colonial architecture, Old San Juan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops to explore.

Other attractions include the Castillo San Felipe del Morro, Castillo San Cristobal, and the bioluminescent bay on Vieques, just off Puerto Rico’s eastern coast.

Looking for a hotel in Puerto Rico? The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort and the Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort are all popular choices.

See Related: Ultimate Vacation Packing List (+ Printable PDF)

19. British Virgin Islands

Port with Tortola Bay in British Virgin Islands
Gerwin Schadl / Adobe Stock

Whether you’re into sailboats, power boats, kayaks, or catamarans, the British Virgin Islands are one of the best Caribbean destinations for boaters of all breeds. Of course, even if you’re not a boater, you’re bound to fall in love with the idyllic beaches, funky beach bars, and friendly folks on these Caribbean islands.

Situated to the east of Puerto Rico, and northeast of St. Thomas and St. John (U.S. Virgin Islands), the BVIs are made up of Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, Anegada, and Virgin Gorda. There are several small islands and a private island or two (including Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island) in the chain as well.

The small British Virgin Islands are close enough for day trips to other islands. For example, if you decide to stay on Tortola, you can book a snorkeling excursion to Jost Van Dyke, a trip to the Baths on Virgin Gorda, or a shopping trip to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. It’s just a short boat ride away.

Ships at White Bay Beach in British Virgin Islands
napa74 / Adobe Stock

While on Tortola, check out Cane Garden Bay, the Callwood Rum Distillery, and Sage Mountain National Park. Jost Van Dyke is the place to go for snorkeling at Sandy Cay or hanging out at world-famous beach bars like Foxy’s and the Soggy Dollar Bar.

Anegada is where you’ll want to go for diving, snorkeling, and swimming among limestone formations, underwater caves, reefs, and shipwrecks.

While on Virgin Gorda, visit Devil’s Bay National Park, hike up to Gorda Peak, or go shopping, dining, and sightseeing in Spanish Town.

20. Cuba

Mayari Beach Skyline

The largest island in the Caribbean, Cuba is about 750 miles long from east to west. It sits south of the U.S. state of Florida (about 90 miles from Key West) and west of Haiti.

Visitors can learn about the country’s tumultuous past by taking a walking tour of the UNESCO World Heritage cities of Havana and Trinidad, visiting the Museum of the Revolution, exploring the Castillo de San Pedro del Morro, or touring the Ernesto “Che” Guevara Mausoleum.

Looking to enjoy some time on the beach? Head to Varadero Beach, which is located on the Hicacos Peninsula, and is one of the most popular beaches on the island.Other popular beach destinations include Cayo Santa Maria, Guardalavaca, and Trinidad.

Havana Streets

Cuba is home to some of the best cigars in the world. Cuban cigars are hand-rolled using tobacco leaves that are grown in the country’s Vuelta Abajo region. Visitors can take a cigar-rolling workshop, tour a tobacco plantation, or visit one of the many cigar factories on the island.

Popular resorts on the island include The Melia Cayo Coco, The Melia Varadero, and The Iberostar Ensenachos. Budget-friendly accommodation can be found at Casa Particulares, which are privately owned homes that rent out rooms to travelers. This is a wonderful way to learn about the culture of the country from locals.

PRO TIP: Make sure that if you are traveling from the US to Cuba, follow the US Treasury Department’s guidance on travel to Cuba.

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Use Skyscanner to find flight deals. As my personal favorite flight search engine, Skyscanner scours websites and airlines across the globe, leaving no stone unturned to help you find the best deal possible. And if you really want to take your savings to new heights, pair Skyscanner with Going (Formerly Scott's Cheap Flights). With access to exclusive mistake fares delivered straight to your inbox, you'll be packing your bags and jetting off on your next adventure before you know it.

Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is a low cost way to ensure your travel plans go smooth no matter what's thrown at it. Cover yourself against illness, injury and theft, and protect the arrangements you've made with our flexible travel cancellation insurance. My favorite options for travel insurance are:

Book Your Accommodation
In order to capture the widest selection of properties and the best price, use as they have the cheapest rates for guesthouses, hotels, luxury condos, B&Bs and so much more.

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Discover the Best Travel Tools
Be sure to visit our page on our favorite travel resources to learn how you too can visit over 10 countries in year.