There’s no place on earth quite like the Caribbean, where complete paradise is around ever corner and on all 28 of its breath-taking islands. This best of the Caribbean guide will help you find your perfect escape.
For adventure: St Lucia
Known for its jaw-dropping scenery – think verdant, rolling hills, countless waterfalls, and pristine beaches – St Lucia is one of the most popular Caribbean islands because of its diversity. You’ll of course finding white-sand beaches here, ideal for lounging around on while you soak up the sunshine, but many people come to St Lucia to experience the beauty that lies inland.
Go zip-lining through the treetops, gawp at the Piton Peaks – two towering volcanic plugs – hike the Tet Paul Nature Trail, which offers sweeping panoramas, and explore Sulpher Springs Park, billed as the Caribbean’s only ‘drive-in volcano’.
For unspoilt paradise: St Kitts & Nevis
St Kitts and Nevis are two separate islands, and one of the most unspoilt parts of the Caribbean – therein lies the beauty. In fact, Nevis is so untouched that there isn’t a single street light on the island.
It’s rare in this world to find beaches as beautiful as this without the build-up of tourism around them, so if escaping to the sands with as little people as possible in sight is your top priority, this is your best option in the Caribbean.
That’s not to say it’s uninhabited, of course. Head to Frigate Bay on St Kitts to drink cocktails in the sunshine and dance the night away, or treat yourself to accommodation in one of the numerous luxury resorts on Nevis.
For island-hopping: British Virgin Islands
One of the best places in the Caribbean to hop in a boat and take to open water, the British Virgin Islands are made up of 50 beautiful blips of land in the ocean.
Visit Virgin Gorda and head to The Baths area – a beach dominated by giant boulders – or Spring Bay, take a trip to White Bay on Jost Van Dyke and have a few drinks on one of the numerous bars next to the beach, or visit Smuggler’s Cove on Tortola for uninterrupted sea, sun, and sand.
For ultimate luxury: Anguilla
Driven away from the Caribbean’s busier islands, the rich and famous are big fans of Anguilla. This island is littered with luxury resorts and massive villas, and with no less than 30 beaches it’s paradise for those look to experience the high life during their time in the Caribbean.
The long, white sands of Rendezvous Bay are among the best in Anguilla, ideal for a long beach stroll. Shoal Bay is also a good choice for relaxing on the sand, and here you’ll find a few bars in which to grab a drink as the sun goes down.
For a packed schedule: Barbados
One of the most famous islands to visit in the Caribbean, Barbados is a good choice for travelers looking to do more than just relax on the beach and drink cocktails. The island has retained its colonial past – afternoon tea and a love of cricket are part of daily life here – and as a result it’s one of the most developed places in this part of the world.
Go underground to discover the eerie world of Harrison’s Cave, visit famous landmarks, like St Nicholas Abbey and the Parliament Buildings, and go scuba diving off the shore among wrecks and reefs.
For heritage: Cuba
Vibrant and truly one-of-a-kind, Cuba is the go-to spot if you want to soak up some culture in the Carribean. As the US embargo was lifted, the last few years have seen a huge revival in travel to Cuba, and more people than ever are discovering its fascinating background.
Walk the streets of Habana Vieja (Old Town) in Havana and stop for a drink in squares to take in the atmosphere, visit Trinidad to see the bright and beautiful buildings and Cuba’s colonial past, and venture out in Viñales to witness small-town, rural life.