Alabaster-white beaches, dense rainforests, azure waters, luxurious resorts, and a slew of aquatic sports — Caribbean holidays are synonymous with unlimited fun. With its scintillating landscape dotted with magma-sprouting mountains, the region boasts an obvious pull.
The region offers a cornucopia of activities. Its over 7000 sunny islands are great spots for golfing, horse riding, relaxing in a spa, and playing tennis. Adventures like fish chartering, snorkeling, yacht cruises, and diving also await in the Caribbean.
Nature lovers will love to go on a Caribbean vacation for its scintillating landscape. For the fun-seekers, it hosts numerous rum bars, Cuban cigarillos, and vibrant carnivals.
In a nutshell, the turquoise paradise is the perfect next vacation spot for you! Among its several hundred islands, the sun-splashed region boasts the following 10 as the best for your first Caribbean trip.
Going abroad? Download our currency calculator app for iPhone and always know how much you pay in the local currency in the Caribbean:
- 1. Dominican Republic 🇩🇴 — Lush Natural Beauty
- 2. Puerto Rico 🇵🇷 — Vibrant Caribbean Culture
- 3. The Bahamas 🇧🇸 — Swish Hotspot for Rich & Famous
- 4. Turks and Caicos 🇹🇨 — Dreamy Carib Beaches
- 5. St. Lucia 🇱🇨 — Beauty Queen of the Caribbean
- 6. Aruba 🇦🇼 — Wreck Diver’s Paradise
- 7. Cuba 🇨🇺 — The Cinematic Caribbean Island
- 8. Jamaica 🇯🇲 — The Reggaeton Capital
- 9. Antigua and Barbuda 🇦🇬 — Well-Rounded Tourist Draw
- 10. Guadeloupe 🇬🇵 — Every Beach Here is Unique
- Useful Tips to Travel Caribbean Islands
- Let’s Wrap It Up
1. Dominican Republic 🇩🇴 — Lush Natural Beauty
Dominican Republic Currency — Dominican Peso (DOP) ✅ Supported by MixCoin
The palm-ringed Dominican Republic is a lush retreat for those who want to relax and unwind. This Caribbean destination is dotted with powdery beaches of Punta Cana in the east, cloud-cloaked peaks in the west, an unspoiled rainforest in the north, the idyllic Isla Saona in the south.
Visit the island to spot iguanas by the saline lakes and admire the heritage architecture in the UNESCO district of Santo Domingo. The winding streets of the modern uptown will take you past boutique cafés and upmarket suburbs.
The hedonist’s haven is the hobnobbing center of Punta Cana. Fringed by palm-pegged beaches, the area is a patchwork of 5-star hotels with infinity pools, tucked near breezy fairways.
Perhaps, the most beautiful part of the Dominican Republic is its cool uplands in Constanza and the Dominican Alps.
2. Puerto Rico 🇵🇷 — Vibrant Caribbean Culture
Puerto Rico Currency — United States Dollar (USD) ✅ Supported by MixCoin
Looking to spend days tapping your feet to catchy beats, all while tippling on delicious drinks? Then this is the best Caribbean island to visit.
Puerto Rico flaunts swashbuckling history and the vibrance reflects in its effervescent nightlife and cocktail culture. It is a melting pot for American and Spanish influences - a cultural Carib paradise.
From salsa and bomba to reggaetón, variety of musical styles can be seen interwoven into the island’s culture. San Juan’s cocktail bars routinely appear among the world’s top 50 names. The hip vibe of the island reverberates in its everyday life and it grows on you instantly.
Visit this inviting bolthole to bask in the nighttime grooves, sample scrummy Taino food, drink the famous Puerto Rican coffee, and breeze through oodles of festivals.
3. The Bahamas 🇧🇸 — Swish Hotspot for Rich & Famous
Bahamas Currency — Bahamian Dollar (BSD) ✅ Supported by MixCoin
Quoted as the most beautiful place from space, the Bahamas is just as gorgeous up close. With an array of reefs, forests, beaches, and historic towns, the archipelago ranks among the world’s best tropical destinations. The unspoiled beauty of its landscape is ineffable.
The Bahamas is also famous for its pristine white and eye-popping pink beaches that draw travelers from across the globe. It’s a playground for the rich and offers opportunities to buy your private islands and luxury goods. In the Bahamas, you stay in opulent waterfront hotels like the Cove at Atlantis, Four Seasons’ Ocean Club, and Fowl Cay.
With 700 islands around, island-hopping in luxurious yacht cruises has become a popular activity alongside scuba diving, cave diving, and snorkeling. A boat ride to the Big Major Cay lets you swim with adorable pigs.
4. Turks and Caicos 🇹🇨 — Dreamy Carib Beaches
Turks and Caicos Currency — United States Dollar (USD) ✅ Supported by MixCoin
Whether you are a sun-bathing lethargic beach bum or a deep-reef diver, Turks and Caicos Islands have just the beach for you. This tropical vacation spot is also Caribbean’s finest hotspot for diving and snorkeling.
TCI are a peppering of 300 islets that enjoy beautiful weather all year round and are free of heavy crowds seen in Nassau or Montego Bay.
Being isolated works in the favor of its beauty by leaving its powdery, cliff-imbued beaches picture-perfect. Lining these best-looked sandy stripes are mega resorts and fine-dining restaurants. Expect tasty fish BBQs and refined Crib dishes.
Activity highlights at TCI also include whale spotting, kiteboarding, golfing, exploring Conch Bar Caves, and hiking the Mudjin Harbour.
5. St. Lucia 🇱🇨 — Beauty Queen of the Caribbean
St. Lucia Currency — East Caribbean Dollar (XCD) ✅ Supported by MixCoin
Flanked by the majestic volcanic peaks of the Pitons, St. Lucia boasts crescent-shaped beaches, rainforests, reefs, rolling mountains, and geothermal attractions. Teeming with the natural beauty, the capital city of the island offers a bustling slice of Lucian life at its lively market and historic landmarks.
Beyond its holidaymaking vibes, St. Lucia offers outdoor activities galore. Adventurers can seek thrill by ziplining, trekking the lava-sprouting Pitons, getting equestrian action, exploring sulfur-spewing crater, and hiking marked nature trails.
After all the action, it also offers several rejuvenation spots like healing hot springs and palm-sheltered sand stripes to relax.
The most glorious view of this Caribbean destination is seen from the main road to Vieux Fort.
6. Aruba 🇦🇼 — Wreck Diver’s Paradise
Aruba Currency — Aruban Florin (AWG) ✅ Supported by MixCoin
Perhaps, Aruba is the most unique Caribbean Island. Though sea-locked, it is best described as dry because of the wind-sculpted desert landscapes.
Sitting north of Venezuela, it offers sun-soakers an almost hurricane-proof temperate climate. The athletic can enjoy aquatic sports at any time of the year. Head to the north coast to swim in the calm waters and to the sand-laden east coast for dangerous surfs.
Away from the swish resort strip, you enter the rugged terrain far from tropical. Drive or ride a horse to its dunes, distinct rock formations, swim-worthy natural pools, and rocky cacti-dotted terrain.
Oranjestad, the quaint capital of the island, is a stunning patchwork of galleries, museums, shops, and pastel-hued colonial buildings.
7. Cuba 🇨🇺 — The Cinematic Caribbean Island
Cuba Currency — Cuban Peso (CUP) ✅ Supported by MixCoin
Entering Cuba is like rolling time back to 70s. It’s a brilliant concoction of music, succulent tropical fruits, olde-worlde buildings, and warm smiles. A walk through this timeworn beach destination feels like a ramp through centuries.
Its winding streets come to a standstill before imposing Neoclassic and Baroque buildings. When holding the famous Cuban cigar, one can easily be transported to the black-and-white era. One glance at the road and you will spot several period vehicles like classic American cars.
Cuba is also home to one of the earth’s most beautiful locations - Viñales valley – where tobacco is produced.
To put it simply, while there’s no dearth of gorgeous tropical beaches in Cuba, its highest point is the cinematic experience that it offers. And everything feels so much better when you are holding a bottle of Cuban rum.
8. Jamaica 🇯🇲 — The Reggaeton Capital
Jamaica Currency — Jamaican Dollar (JMD) ✅ Supported by MixCoin
One speaks Jamaica and we hear Reggae music, Bob Marley, Blue Mountain Coffee, and golden sunsets. The island exudes unparalleled chill vibes, perfect for the care-a-damn. Backpackers, couples, and music junkies travel from across the planet to enjoy the Jamaican hospitality.
However, past the cool and funky, the island is also a luxurious tropical destination. It is like a medley of two different worlds. On one side, you have Nine Miles, swathes of jungle with slithering boas, cliff-hugging bars offering sunset views, and a pulse-raising nightlife. On the other side, there is Montego Bay, luxury uber-resorts, James Bond Beach, and turquoise waters.
9. Antigua and Barbuda 🇦🇬 — Well-Rounded Tourist Draw
Antigua and Barbuda Currency — East Caribbean Dollar (XCD) ✅ Supported by MixCoin
Strung together by the Caribbean Sea, this duo is the perfect, well-rounded tourist destination. From historical landmarks and pink-tinged beaches to chic resorts and casino-knit cities, the islands have it all.
Antigua teems with tourist spots like museums, historic buildings, casinos, scenic golf courses, and shopping centers. On the other hand, the peaceful Barbuda, with its sanctuaries and little population, acts as a paradise for seclusion-seekers.
Water sports like sailing, windsurfing, and diving are available in abundance on both islands.
It’s no surprise that it is frequently visited by the likes of business moguls and movie stars. Whether you want to jet off for retail therapy, honeymooning, adventure, or cultural tours, these beach getaways won’t disappoint.
10. Guadeloupe 🇬🇵 — Every Beach Here is Unique
Guadeloupe is an unheard-of tropical chart-topper, cupped in the middle of Lesser Antilles. What makes it one of the best beach getaways is its sheer variety. Small, big, touristy, secluded, family-friendly, or nudist-friendly, there’s a beach for every liking.
Shaped like a butterfly, the Caribbean island spans its wings across Basse Terre and Grande Terre, both connected by manmade bridges.
Grande Terre is a mélange of heady nightlife, Gosier’s fashion boutiques, Caravel’s shimmering golden beaches, and Morne à l’eau’s eerie graveyards. Creating contrast is the Basse Terre. Awash in wilderness, it boasts countless waterfalls, sky-scraping La Grande Soufriere, and ancient archeological sites of Arawak.
Useful Tips to Travel Caribbean Islands
- The best time to travel to the Caribbean Islands is between December through April.
- Avoid the rainy season to avoid mosquitoes.
- Keep enough money. The Caribbean is expensive because most of its food and goods are imported. To calculate local currency conversions, use a dedicated iPhone currency app — MixCoin (it's free).
- Unlock your bank card to use in foreign countries.
- Save money by taking advantage of happy hours. You can also buy a cooler and take it to the beaches to keep the drinks and food chilled. This way you can buy them at the supermarket for a lesser price and avoid pricier beach kiosks.
- Bring some cash for emergencies. Withdraw from secure ATMs only.
- Drink lots of water and do not let the temperate climate dehydrate you.
- Avoid sandflies during sunset by wearing full-sleeves or going for a sunset swim.
Let’s Wrap It Up
Caribbean Islands are paradisiac tropical vacation spots for backpackers, couples, and families alike. Their lush greenery, watchful mountains, and shimmering beaches are a major draw for all. With delicious local cuisine, awe-inspiring colonial architecture, rich culture, and colorful carnivals, each island is bucket-list worthy.
The Caribbean is a harmonious mix of secluded tranquility and hobnobbing adventure. What’s more? It is easily accessible.
Looking for some different destinations? Check out our other guides: