The Top Ten Caribbean Island Vacation Destinations

I love traveling to new and exciting places and sharing what I learn.

Are you looking for a great vacation destination? Composed of a group of roughly 7,000 islands, the Caribbean is home to some of the best vacation spots on the planet. Known for its friendly people, pristine beaches, warm breezes, and clear blue waters, it's hard to find a better getaway than the Caribbean. Whether you're looking for fun or just a little rest and relaxation, this is the place to go.

Don't worry if the island you want to visit isn't listed here; all of them are beautiful, and no matter where you go, your trip will be unforgettable.

1. Puerto Rico

If you like deep-sea fishing and scuba diving, then Puerto Rico is for you. Known as the land of enchantment, this tropical island is famous for its exotic places, white sandy beaches, and other natural wonders. Travelers are equally drawn to its mild weather, quality accommodations, and excellent restaurants.

This island nation was founded in 1521. Its capital, San Juan, has the distinction of being the oldest city under U.S. jurisdiction and is home to a third of Puerto Rico's population.

2. The Bahamas

Are you into island-hopping? With 700 islands of white sand beaches, you are sure to love the Bahamas. This group of islands gets its name from the Spanish words baja mar, which mean "shallow sea." If you enjoy shopping, outdoor activities, and good nightlife, this is the place to go.

The Bahamas is an ecological oasis surrounded by some of the clearest water on the planet. It is said that its turquoise waters are as warm and inviting as the locals who live there. The visibility of the water is over 180 feet; a person can see the barrier reef below them as easily as their toes. As you can imagine, the snorkeling here is top-notch. If that is not enough, head to one of the Bahamas' busy straw markets to haggle on the prices of ceramics, handicrafts, and local art, or play a round of golf on one of its world-class courses.

3. St. Thomas

If you're a fan of breathtaking panoramas, then St. Thomas is the place to be. In addition to the magnificent views on this mountainous island, St. Thomas is also known for its snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, fishing, beautiful real estate, and spectacular golf courses. If you plan to vacation here, be sure to allow time to visit the beaches, or at least take an island tour.

The capital of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Charlotte Amalie, is located on St. Thomas. It is the largest city on St. Thomas and home to half the island's 50,000+ population.

4. The Dominican Republic

With miles of beautiful beaches, coconut palms, and spectacular mountains, the Dominican Republic is an incredible vacation destination. Many consider this island nation to be the perfect place for weddings and honeymoons.

With the variety of topography, climate, wildlife, and plants found here, the Dominican Republic invites you not only to visit but to explore. Beautiful beaches and various adventure activities such as bird watching, camping, and four-wheeling make this island the perfect vacation getaway.

5. Jamaica

Beautiful beaches, spectacular mountain views, and a vibrant local culture make Jamaica one of the world's most unique destinations, and any trip here is sure to be memorable.

Jamaica has an area of roughly 4,200 square miles. The island is the third largest in the Caribbean and is surrounded by delightfully warm waters. Jamaica is known as one of the most colorful islands in the Caribbean. With vibrant tropical blooms against a background of blue mountains, it is a sight to see. Montego Bay and Kingston are the two main cities on this island. Visitors here can look forward to fun nightclubs, excellent dining, and world-class golf courses.

6. Aruba

This island is known as one of the most attractive in the Caribbean. Aruba is located in the heart of the southern Caribbean, just north of Venezuela. Unlike other islands in the Caribbean, it doesn't have a rainy season, and it is less humid; this makes it a great year-round destination. In addition, Aruba is outside the hurricane corridor, so it is safe to visit during hurricane season. This island is known for its beaches, water activities, casinos, shopping, and beautiful golf courses.

7. St. Maarten

If you crave the excitement of a cosmopolitan atmosphere but still want that Caribbean feel, visit St. Maarten. This island has two governments—one French and the other Dutch—making life on St. Maarten interesting. The Dutch and French have maintained a peace for over 340 years, the longest of any two nations sharing a border, and the Treaty of Concordia, enacted on March 23, 1648, is still honored today. If gourmet food, good nightlife, duty-free shopping, and pristine beaches excite you, visit St. Maarten.

8. The U.S. Virgin Islands

Would you like to experience the feel of the Caribbean without leaving U.S. territory? Welcome to the Virgin Islands! The U.S. Virgin Islands include St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John. Though they may technically be part of the U.S., visiting these islands is like going to a different country.

If you are a swimmer, this is the place to be. The U.S. Virgin Islands are known for their white sandy beaches, warm turquoise water, and abundant marine life. Although it is impossible to do everything in one trip, popular activities include snorkeling, scuba diving, hiking, biking, and mountain climbing.

If none of those appeal to you, there are other worthwhile activities available in the Virgin Islands. Try a helicopter or boat tour to get some of the best views of the islands. Because there is so much to do and see, many tourists take a cruise to see as much as possible. Doing this gives travelers the time to visit all three main islands and to enjoy the spectacular scenery at a slower pace.

9. St. Croix

St. Croix in the U.S Virgin Islands is the largest of the three main islands at 28 miles long and 7 miles wide. Its vegetation ranges from rainforest to desert, and it is home to roughly 50,000 people. This island has an average winter temperature of 82 degrees Fahrenheit and a summer temperature of 88 degrees Fahrenheit.

St. Croix is known for its beaches, coral reefs, and recreational water sports. On the west end of St. Croix is Frederiksted—a city growing in popularity as a cruise ship port and an excellent fine dining location. On the eastern side of St. Croix is Christiansted—a city known for the duty-free shopping, art galleries, pubs, bars, and restaurants, that can be found along the harbor boardwalk. This island is a low-key, laid-back destination; it doesn't have a Spring Break-style atmosphere, nor is it a mainstream tourist spot. It's an island of adventure with a variety of activities including horseback riding, ATV tours, and parasailing. Doesn't that sound like an amazing getaway?

10. Barbados

When visiting Barbados, you will notice it has stretches of wide, flat plains, as well as beautiful rolling hills and deep ridges. This topographical variance makes for a marvelous assortment of flora and fauna.

This island is located north of Trinidad and east of the Windward Islands and is one of the most popular ports of call in the Caribbean. Perhaps this is why Barbados has a more sophisticated feel than the other islands on this list, with some of the best resorts and hotels in the Caribbean. It is also home to Welchman Hall Gully, a must-see for nature lovers. All in all, Barbados is a beautiful place with many activities to choose from, including cultural exhibits, great nightlife, and world-class dining—but what makes Barbados truly special is the people.

Honorable Mentions

Although they didn't make the top ten list, I want to give the following islands their due. Some of the ones on this list may not be as well-known, but they are all wonderful vacation destinations.

  • Anguilla
  • Cayman Islands
  • Curaçao
  • San Andres
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines


Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on June 05, 2018:

@Liz Westwood - Thanks for your comments; I am glad you found the article useful

Liz Westwood from UK on June 05, 2018:

This is a very helpful article. A great reference tool for anyone planning a visit.

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on April 05, 2018:

@James Yes I agree a cruise would be nice; thanks for your comments

James on March 30, 2018:

Would love to take a cruise near some of these Islands. Nice List of Caribbean Islands https://travelitineraryblog.com/best-islands-in-th...

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on March 14, 2018:

@MaryNorton - Yes the beaches are beautiful. Thanks for your comments

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on March 06, 2018:

I have only visited the Caribbean through a cruise but my husband has worked there and the beaches are truly stunning as you showed here.

Izzy on January 16, 2018:

Oh my gosh these are simply stunning, I think I may be in love! I think I’ve just become even MORE excited about my holiday (I literally didn’t know this was possible). So me and my husband are going to Barbados (at least we think it'll end up being Barbados) for a romantic getaway - it’s long overdue and we’re so excited for it. We haven’t figured out where we’re staying though yet so this is so so helpful! I’m a sucker for anything luxurious and as it’s a special treat my husband has said the sky's the limit for choosing where we stay (the phrase every woman wants to hear). I was actually looking at earlier at going here which looks BEAutiful: http://www.berkeleytravel.co.uk/resorts/sandy-lane... Do people know if this is this meant to be a good place to stay? I liked the look of it but thought I’d do a bit of research before booking anything first? Any other recommendations people have at all though would be massively appreciated too! Anywhere in the Caribbean is great though - whether it's Barbados or another island or anywhere literally! Myself and my husband love exploring so we’re open to absolutely any suggestions! Thank you everyone!

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on May 07, 2015:

I saw that article and was thinking the novelty of cruising would wear off after a week or two. If that what makes her happy, I am happy for the old lady; thanks for your comments.

poetryman6969 on May 04, 2015:

It might be nice to cruise around and partake of all these islands. I read about an old lady who is living out her final years on cruise ships.

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on June 01, 2012:

@rafeeqq - Yes you are correct, there are a variety of languages spoken there. Thanks for your feedback.

rafeeqq from Mandeville, Jamaica on May 31, 2012:

The French Caribbean island of St. Martin is one of the top islands to visit. There are at least four languages spoken on the islands French, English, Spanish and Dutch.


Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on January 05, 2012:

@Lisa - Since you are planning a vacation in March, hurricane season wont be a problem. As for spring break, I would suggest staying away from Cancun, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Dominican Republic and Jamaica. The two of you are close to my age; I would suggest some where like Anguilla, Barbados, Curacao, St Lucia maybe even Turks & Caicos. I hope what ever destination you decide to visit will be a great trip for the two of you.

LISA on January 05, 2012:

Would love some help from all of you - My husband and I are taking a well overdue vacation - first one in five years - willing to spend some money - within reason - leaving from boston during the month of early march - concerned about hurricane season and spring break - both of us are in late 48's but young at heart - foodies and love great wines - both restaurant owners and need a great time away - any suggestions

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on December 31, 2011:

@Anonymous - I Thank you for your comment, but Hawaii is not part of the Caribbean.

Anonymous on December 31, 2011:

How I wish I could go to one of those places! I'm surprised that Hawaii isn't on there!

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on December 15, 2011:

@NiaG - Thanks, I am glad you like my article :)

NiaG from Louisville, KY on December 15, 2011:

All of these sound awesome. I would love to visit Aruba and Venezuela and Brazil and, and, and...Ha! Great hub!

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on December 03, 2011:

@cebutouristspot - I hope your wish will be granted. Thank for your comments :)

cebutouristspot from Cebu on December 02, 2011:

Those are great place to visit I hope that I can save enough money to even visit one of those places. I know my wife will really appreciate it.

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on November 29, 2011:

@Genesis - Thanks for your comments.

Genesis from Canada on November 29, 2011:

Jamaica, and Barbados are my favorite to visit but perhaps it's time for some place new on the next vacation. I agree with cajunhank that Trinidad & Tobago should be included though, it has probably the best carnival in the world, and the people are wonderful. Always a good time in sweet T&T! Great Hub.

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on August 03, 2011:

@Prince of Barbados - I am glad you are pleased and thanks for your feedback on this article :)

Prince of Barbados on August 03, 2011:

My Barbados sweet!!!!! All of the islands are just lovely but I love Barbados! That is my home! Sweet Island In De Sun

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on July 27, 2011:

@Peter Owen - Thanks for your comments :)

Peter Owen from West Hempstead, NY on July 27, 2011:

st Maartens my favorite

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on July 20, 2011:

@mib56789 - Thanks for your comments; I will check out the link you provided.

mib56789 on July 19, 2011:

Awesome, useful, beautiful and interesting. Another Texan dreaming of the Caribbean. Posted a link to your HUB following my HUB.


Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on February 26, 2011:

@Mike Fuller - Thanks for your time and your comments too :)

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on February 26, 2011:

@Balsam Mountain - I am glad you found this article useful :)

Mike Fuller from Indiana on February 18, 2011:

Aruba is beautiful, I will have to try the other ones soon. I need a vacation. Thanks for the information

Balsam Mountain in Western NC on February 08, 2011:

St. Croix looks good to me :).Thanks for the fantastic hub, enjoyed a lot.

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on November 04, 2010:

@onehub - Thanks for your text left on this article. I like the article you linked to, nice writing.

onehub on November 03, 2010:

St Maarten St Martin Island the breathtaking beauty of the Caribbean. Shared by two nations, on the north is the French side of the Island and to the south the Dutch half of the island, which is a member of the Netherland Antilles. Two nations, in one island that offers a unique experience like no other. ??With its varieties in life style and populations the island is very cosmopolitan with its own natural charm.


Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on September 02, 2010:

@Barbados.org - Thanks for your comments and for making me smile too :)

Barbados.org from Barbados on September 02, 2010:

Nice hub, glad to see Barbados made your top 10... of course I would have made it #1 :) One of my favourite videos too!

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on August 19, 2010:

@Sydney Getaways Guy - Thanks for your comments and I like the layout of your website too.

Sydney Getaways Guy on August 19, 2010:

what a georgeous place to hang out and I'm stuck on the other side of the planet but fortunately we also have nice tropical places to visit withing Australia both east and west coast. Hopefully one day I will get to the Carribean. Thanks for the hub Coolmon.

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on July 31, 2010:

@Micky Dee - I could see you cycling along the coast of St Lucia or Aruba. When you pack your bags don't forget to bring your cycling gear too :)

Micky Dee on July 31, 2010:

My bags are almost packed!

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on June 07, 2010:

@st lucia for sale - I am glad you enjoyed reading my article, and thanks for linking to my article :)

st lucia for sale from St Lucia on June 07, 2010:

Nice hub! Particularly the section on St Lucia - its spot on. I've linked to this page from my own St Lucia related hub :)

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on May 28, 2010:

@tonymac04 - I hope you enjoyed viewing your game, and i hope your team won :)

Tony McGregor from South Africa on May 28, 2010:

Hi Coolmon - we are watching the Proteas ()South Africa's cricket team) right now playing on the island of Dominica. The TV showed us some of that little island which has a population of about 74000. It is simply beautiful.

Thanks for this beautiful and informative introduction to the islands.

Love and peace


Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on May 24, 2010:

@hypnodude - Thank you taking a second look, hope you get to visit these islands in next few years :)

Andrew from Italy on May 23, 2010:

Probably it's the sun, but I needed to have another look at these beautiful places. I already rated it up, so now I've added also beautiful. :)

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on May 09, 2010:

@habee - Thanks for your feedback, I will think on it:)

Holle Abee from Georgia on May 09, 2010:

I love the Bahamas! You ned to add this to Hubtrail!

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on April 28, 2010:

@Nell Rose - Thank you for the kind words, and it is nice to hear from you again:)

Nell Rose from England on April 28, 2010:

Hi, Oh this is lovely! I couldn't stop looking at all the videos. I want to go now! I was also singing along to 'I'm going to Barbados la la la! brilliant, I haven't heard that for years.this is great thanks nell

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on April 16, 2010:

@PearTreeGreetings - I am glad you enjoyed reading my article, and I hope you get to visit a few of them soon.

PearTreeGreetings from Rexburg, ID on April 16, 2010:

Wow -- this Hub makes me excited to travel! I would love to visit any of these amazing locations. :)

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on March 31, 2010:

@Wanderlust - Thanks for the tip, and thank you for taking the time to stop by :)

Wanderlust from New York City on March 31, 2010:

When in St Martin take a ferry to St Barts - the toppest destination in the Caribbean and the most expensive one :)

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on March 27, 2010:

@Dr. Cherie - it must be nice to have a villa on St. Maarten, I am happy for you. I am glad you enjoyed the photos, and I thank you for the link I will check it out :)

Cherie Santasiero PhD from Hamburg, NY on March 27, 2010:

Hi Coolmon,

I loved this hub. We have a villa in St. Maarten and have been going there since 1983. We have been to the other islands, but there is just something about SXM. The Caribbean is such a "fun" and "happy" atmosphere.

Thanks for the enjoyment of the beautiful photos.

You can see photos of the other side of the island on my web site: www.caribbeanoceanvillas.com It's in Dawn Beach Estates. This is a quieter part of the island, very close to the French side.

Thanks again, really enjoyed.

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on March 25, 2010:

@jill of alltrades - Sounds good, I will take a look at your Boracay Hubs. Thank you for your comments :)

jill of alltrades from Philippines on March 25, 2010:

Wow, sound and look very much like my favorite island, Boracay. I wish I will be able to visit someday!

You can check out my hubs on Boracay. You will see the similarities.

Thanks for sharing!

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on March 20, 2010:

Sounds good..hope you have a good time and a safe trip back home :)

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 20, 2010:

I love the Caribbean Islands and have visited several of them but not enough yet. I liked your pictures and descriptions. I'm going to the Bahamas for the first time next week and hope to go back to Jamaica by next spring. Thanks for a great hub.

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on March 02, 2010:

@St John USVI - Thanks for your comments; if you are planing a trip to St. John hope it works out for you - Thanks you for stopping by

St John USVI on March 02, 2010:

@Coolmon2009 -- I'm actually worried about booking any trips to the virgin islands/caribbean between June and November. I can't afford to miss a booking due to hurricane (financially) and I can't afford it mentally either :). On this list I would choose St Thomas btw, only because its how I get to St John. There's really not much on St Thomas that I enjoy doing, but I like walking around with a beer in my hand between December and May in St John. :-p

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on February 14, 2010:

@habee - Thank you for your feedback

Holle Abee from Georgia on February 14, 2010:

Wonderful hub, and I LOVE the pics!

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on February 08, 2010:

@travel_man1971 - Thank you for your comments; when the time comes, I hope your vacation in Cayman Islands is enjoyable.

Ireno Alcala from Bicol, Philippines on February 08, 2010:

I've been to St. Estatius, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Aruba and Bahamas as a seafarer. People are friendly and the beaches, especially in Bahamas is very clean. I also want to go to Cayman Islands (British Commonwealth) as tourist. Thanks for this hub, Coolmon2009.

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on January 25, 2010:

@SensuousWorld - I understand what you mean I prefer quiet out the way places myself Thanks for sharing

SensuousWorld on January 25, 2010:

I was born on St.Croix, we moved to the states when I was 14. You do have some good choices in your group and I guess it really depends on what you are looking to get out of your vaction. I find St.John to be far better than St.Thomas or St.Croix...if you want to have a nice relaxing time the others are to commercial and touristy. I love St.Lucia, maybe the most beautiful island in all the caribbean. Jamaica is good if you stay at a resort...it can become quite crazy trying to get out and drive around on your own. The BVI's are great also but tend to be more expensive than the USVI's.

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on January 14, 2010:

@Nicks - Depends on where, when and what you trying to do and at what Altitude. Above all try to avoid hurricane season or pick a location outside hurricane alley.

August is hurricane season it doesn't mean there are storms all the time just be aware of the weather. The further south you go the less chances there is of seeing a big storm. Any destination that is south of St. Vincent during hurricane season is thought to be safer.

For now the official hurricane season for Caribbean is from June 1 and to Nov 30 Peak months of Aug, Sep and Oct

The people of Caribbean have the following saying about hurricane season: June - is Too Soon; July - Stand By; August - Look Out You Must!; September - Remember; October - All Over

If you require more information or you are a weather buff that likes to look at weather charts etc. I included a few links on hurricanes, humidity and temperature in Caribbean. Hope all this helps thanks for stopping by




Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on January 14, 2010:

@Has_aWayWithWords - Thank you for your feedback

Has_aWayWithWords from United States on January 14, 2010:

The climate can be quite humid in summer, I was in Jamaica a few years back in the fall and it was beautiful. October was perfect, hot enough during the day to swim the cool ocean waters and cool enough at night to get dressed up and go out for some dancing and drinks. Avoid hurriane season is my only suggestion...lol

Nicks on January 13, 2010:

Are the islands not very humid - and, if so, when is the best time to avoid the most humid season?

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on January 09, 2010:

@Bhawna Sharma - I am glad you enjoyed my article. I look forward to reading more of yours too.

Bhawna Sharma from Mumbai, India on January 09, 2010:

I love travelling. The way you have described these islands is so wonderful that know one can resist temptation to visit them.

Your hub has added one more international destination in my list =D

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on January 06, 2010:

@Truth From Truth - Thank you for your feedback

Truth From Truth from Michigan on January 05, 2010:

Great hub, I love the Caribbean myself. St Thomas, and Grand Cayman are my favorites. I really enjoyed your pictures. Thanks.

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on January 01, 2010:

@hypnodude - I hope to visit one or two new Caribbean destinations in 2010 myself - thanks for stopping by

Andrew from Italy on January 01, 2010:

Very nice hub. I wish I could fly there now. And great pictures.

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on December 31, 2009:

@PWalker281 - Thank you for your feedback; I Hope you have a Happy New year

PWalker281 on December 31, 2009:

Very informative hub with lots of lovely photos and resources. Makes me want to pack my bags and hop on a plane!

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on December 20, 2009:

pddm67 - Sounds like you had a nice trip, would like to make another Caribbean trip. I miss the white sands and blue waters. Thank you for your comments

pddm67 from Queens, New York on December 20, 2009:

Another cool hub. I've only been to Barbados and Aruba. totally loved Aruba. The weather is ALWAYS awesome and the trade winds keep you nice and cool even when it's really hot. Now I just gotta visit the others :-)

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on December 17, 2009:

@Mikel G Roberts - Thanks for your feedback

Mikel G Roberts from The Heartland on December 17, 2009:

Looks great, when are we going? :)

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on December 17, 2009:

@Bostons's First - Sounds like your visit to Grand Cayman was a special time for you and your family. Yes i agree you cant beat the weather. Nothing like walking on a white sand beach looking at the blue waters!

Boston's First on December 16, 2009:

I have been to several that you mentioned and they were all beautiful, but Grand Cayman holds a special place for me. We swam with the stingrays! What an awesome experience! It is true, there is something for everyone and you can't beat the weather!

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on December 15, 2009:

@hubber_girl - I wouldn't mind making a trip to Jamaica and Bahamas myself thank you for your comments

hubber_girl on December 15, 2009:

nice article! I like to go to the carrebean again, i was there once 2 years ago i visited Dominican Republic, now i want to go to Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, Bahamas and Barbados look sooo nice!

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on December 15, 2009:

@prettydarkhorse - you are welcome thank you for looking at my hubs too

prettydarkhorse from US on December 15, 2009:

wow, they are all awesome, I like to visit Puerto Rico, Barbados too, I just dont have money, thanks for reading my hub too, Maita

Coolmon2009 (author) from Texas, USA on December 10, 2009:

Cajunhank - Thank you for your feedback looking forward to reading more of your Hubs

cajunhank from in my own mind on December 10, 2009:

you left out t & t? awww, what a terrific place that is to lime, relax, and enjoy good food, soca, and carnival. very good article

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