The Caribbean is something of a wish list destination, but when dreaming of lush beaches dotted with perfect palm trees how many of us actually distinguish between the many islands of the Caribbean waters? There are thousands of islands in the Caribbean Sea, and to merge them all together as part of the same family is to argue that brother and sisters must always be alike. Before putting those dreams into action, check out this list of some of the best Caribbean islands and what makes them special.
Not only is Aruba particularly pleasing to pronounce, it is a tiny island situated below the hurricane belt and as such escapes the rain that hits many of the Northern islands in hurricane season. Inland, the Arikok National Park offers an oasis of wildlife and cacti, but it is the coast that keeps visitors coming back year after year.
Great for resort holidays and honeymoons, Antigua has 365 beaches – one for every day of the year. Yet with Neolithic caves and ancient offshore shipwrecks, you don’t do this island justice simply by sitting on the beach; head out to sea for watersports or swimming with stingrays.
The dominant Hispanic culture of the Dominican Republic, or DR, as you’ll be calling it after your first visit, makes for a vibrant country with lots of history, warm local community and fabulous food. The influence of the native Taino people is still felt, along with African and European cultures, and baseball is one of the country’s most popular sports. For more ideas of what to see and do in the DR, check out this guide.
It might be a Caribbean cliché but Jamaica has managed to retain its charm despite being seen as the centre of it all. With more of an urban culture than its sea-neighbours, Jamaica also has the highest concentration of anglophone residents. It’s worth visiting for the famous jerk chicken alone.
Popular with the French, St Lucia is the only place you’ll find Hotel Chocolat’s Cocoa Juvenate Spa. Yes, you can be massaged in cocoa from head to toe! If you struggle staying still however, St Lucia’s lush forested hills are popular with trekkers and nature lovers, not to mention the divers and kite-surfers who can be spotted above and below water.
Trinidad is loud and proud. Relatively unchanged by the tourist industry, the annual Carnival is the best chance you’ll get to party with the locals. The steel-pan band competition is one of the highlights so avoid February if you’re looking for a quiet holiday.
British Virgin Islands
As an overseas territory of Her Majesty, you can go to the British Virgin Islands for a different take on the classic beachside fish and chips. With roughly 50 islands to explore, yachties and divers can’t get enough of the Brit corner of the Caribbean.
The Caribbean has something to offer everyone, from families to couples, adventure seekers to spa fans. Visit for year-round sunshine and the ultimate experience in relaxation.
Article submitted by Community Writer