Top 10 best islands in the Caribbean for a holiday

Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.

Today (February 8, 2021): Top 10 best islands in the Caribbean.

The islands of the Caribbean have long been the playground of travelers looking for tropical beaches with crystal-clear waters, soul-warming sun, and fragrant sea air. From the pink-sand beaches of Bermuda in the north to the dry desert inland of the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao) in the south, and from mountains covered with lush rainforest in Dominica in the east to the dazzling white beaches of the Antilles in the west, the Caribbean offers a wide variety of activities, scenery and luxury hotels, with something for everyone. The question is: which island is the most beautiful and has the best beaches. Here’s my pick of the 10 best islands in the Caribbean for a holiday.

What is your favorite Caribbean island? Leave a comment below!

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10. PUERTO RICO

Rich history and culture, exceptional food, pristine beaches, majestic mountains, relaxation, adventure – all packed into one sun-kissed Caribbean paradise. La Isla del Encanto is full of people who are buena gente (which is boricua slang for kind and friendly) and welcoming. Here, you’ll feel like you are family instead of just a visitor. Around every corner of this sun-washed medley of Spanish and American influences, you’ll find a celebration of life, a vibrant cultural experience, mouthwatering food for the soul, and a captivating rhythm.

PUERTO RICO


9. ST VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES

Scattered across the Caribbean Sea like so many emeralds, St Vincent and The Grenadines is a glorious-looking archipelago. The country’s name makes it sound like an old soul band, and aptly there’s is something timeless about the place. Lush mountain peaks, white sands, secluded coves, volcanic landscapes, and spectacular coral reefs all go towards making this one of the region’s most diverse spots. The country – which found Hollywood fame when it was used as a setting for the Pirates of the Caribbean films – is made up of 32 magnificent islands and cays.

ST VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES


8. BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

Discovering the beauty of British Virgin Islands is all about uncovering the unique character of each island in this unspoiled volcanic archipelago. From the culture and history of BVI’s four largest islands to the pristine natural splendor of more then 50 smaller isles, every place you drop anchor offers its own special magic. Be drawn in by Virgin Gorda’s natural granite pillars; rediscover play and adventure in Tortola; let the island spirit move you on Jost Van Dyke; and glimpse perfection in Anegada. No matter where you land, you’ll find friendly people, incredible beaches and exciting recreational activities.

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS


7. CUBA

The Cuban archipelago is located in the westernmost part of the insular Caribbean. It includes the island of Cuba, the island of Youth and more than 4 thousand islets and keys. Cuba has long been the forbidden island, a tropical bastion of communism whose mystique was amplified by the fact it was largely off limits to Americans. The island is gradually changing and welcoming visitors who want to glimpse a crumbling socialist system, see the miles of undeveloped, glittering coastline and strike up a conversation in the back of a battered Oldsmobile. 

CUBA


6. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

The Dominican Republic is the second largest and most diverse Caribbean country, known for its warm and hospitable people. Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the north and the Caribbean Sea on the south, the lush tropical island paradise boasts nearly 250 miles (402 km) of the world’s top beaches, and magnificent resorts and hotels. Here you can dance to the pulse pounding thrill of the merengue, explore ancient relics of centuries past, delight in delicious Dominican gastronomy or enjoy ecotourism adventures in magnificent national parks, mountain ranges, rivers, and beaches.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC


5. ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

Antigua and Barbuda is located in the Northern Caribbean and includes the islands of Antigua, Barbuda, and the uninhabited Redonda. Antigua’s shoreline is washed almost exclusively by the Caribbean Sea, and is hugged by 95 miles (150 km) of spectacular coastline. Her sister Barbuda, is surrounded by protective reefs, and features a large lagoon and Frigate Bird sanctuary. The islands are best-known for their friendly and welcoming people, pink and white-sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and some of the most satisfying and enjoyable climates in the world.

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA


4. ST BARTS

There’s no doubt that the French Caribbean island of St. Barthélemy is in vogue with celebrities and jetsetter. But it’s far from snobby and also more accessible than you might think as St. Barts’ (or St. Barth’s) 14 beaches are all open to the public. The island is ideal for those seeking a Euro-themed utopia with plenty of shoreline to unwind and enjoy toes-in-the-sand lunches and quiet dinners under the stars – with a bottle of fine French wine. Those looking for an island with exciting nightlife and off-shore activities should check out St Barts’ neighbors Martinique or St Martin.

ST BARTS


3. ANGUILLA

Anguilla is a tiny British territory in the Caribbean. Discerning travelers come here to sprawl on the island’s silky strands, swim in clear turquoise waters, play Robinson Crusoe on Anguilla’s offshore islands, and snorkel or dive the fish-filled reefs and wrecks. The island’s biggest draw are its dazzling white sand beaches. With 33 pristine beaches to explore, it becomes a highly enjoyable and achievable challenge for beach lovers to visit as many as possible. Anguilla is also known as the Caribbean’s culinary capital, with more than 100 restaurants and beach bars.

ANGUILLA


2. ST LUCIA

Often dubbed “The Hawaii of the Caribbean,” Saint Lucia’s magnificent scenery captivates anyone who sets foot on her coastline. Always evocative, the island welcomes visitors with her soothing waves, warm beaches, and hospitable people. The only sovereign nation to be named for a woman, St Lucia personifies adventure and inspiration. Saint Lucia is no ordinary Caribbean island. Her mountains, jungles, beaches, and famous landmarks of the Pitons (two volcanic plugs on the southwestern coast of the island) whisper echoes of her history to all who visit.

ST LUCIA


1. TURKS and CAICOS

Turks and Caicos is a small tropical archipelago nation comprising over forty islands south of the Bahamas. The breathtakingly beautiful islands have some of the planet’s most ethereal turquoise seas and finest powdery-sand beaches, and are surrounded by the globe’s third-largest coral reef. Each island and cay in the archipelago is a destination on to its own. While their neighbors of the Bahamas went mass with their lost-on-the-way-to-Las-Vegas resorts, Turks and Caicos went class, quietly opening a string of very luxurious resorts in the past two decades.

TURKS AND CAICOS


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