Top Ten Caribbean Island Vacation Destinations
Looking for a great vacation destination? A Caribbean Island vacation can be a relaxing fun adventure. Known though out the world for its white sandy beaches and clear waters, a trip to the Caribbean will be an energizing trip to remember. This group of roughly seven thousand islands has some of the best vacation spots on the planet. Known for its friendly people, pristine beaches, warm breezes and clear blue waters, this is the place to go for fun, or just for rest and relaxation.
For this article, the ranking used is from a travel poll based on number of tourist only. So don't worry if the island you want to visit isn't listed; all of the islands are beautiful, and there is something for everyone.
#1 Puerto Rico
If deep-sea fishing and scuba diving is what you like, then Puerto Rico is for you. Puerto Rico is know as the land of enchantment. This tropical Island is famous for its exotic places, white sandy beaches, and other natural wonders. This Island nation was founded in 1521. Its capital is San Juan; it has the distinction of being the oldest city in the US territory and is home to a third of Puerto Rico's population. Travelers are drawn to its beautiful beaches, good accommodations, and excellent restaurants.
Are you into island hopping? then the Bahamas are for you. With 700 islands of white sand beaches, you are sure to find something you enjoy. This group of islands gets its name from the Spanish word "baja mar" which means "Shallow sea."
The Bahamas is an ecological oasis that has some of the clearest water on the planet; it is said the turquoise waters here are as warm and inviting as the natives who live here. The visibility of the water is over 180 feet. A person can see the barrier reef as easy as their toes. 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. If you enjoy outdoor activities try sailing, snorkeling or golfing on one of its world class golf courses. If you enjoy shopping, outdoor activities, island hopping, or a good night life this is the place to go.
#3 St. Thomas
If you enjoy breath taking panorama views then St. Thomas is the place to be. In addition to its magnificent views on this mountainous island, St Thomas is also known for, snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, fishing and spectacular golf. This island is home to Charlotte Amalie, the capital of the U.S. Virgin Islands and home to half the islands 50,000 plus population. This island was once a hangout for pirates including the infamous Blackbeard. In addition, St. Thomas is a water lover’s dream come true. If you plan to vacation here, allow time to visit the beaches, or at least take an island tour.
St. Thomas is a great place to visit. It is a territory of the United States and the laws are similar to the North American mainland. If panorama views, fine dining, shopping and golfing on some of the worlds most beautiful real estate excites you, St. Thomas is for you.
#4 Dominican Republic
With miles of beautiful beaches, coconut palms and spectacular mountains, Dominican Republic is the place to visit. This Island nation is known as the perfect place for weddings and honeymoons. The Dominican Republic is located on the second largest island in the Caribbean, shared with Haiti.
With the variety of geography, climate, wildlife and the assortment of plants found here, it makes Dominican an interesting place to visit. Whether it is because of the beautiful backdrop, or the interesting differences found here, this is a truly unique place to visit. Dominican not only invites to to visit, it invites you to explore. With beautiful beaches, and various adventure activities such as bird watching, camping and four-wheeling, The Dominican Republic has the making of a good getaway.
A vacation in Jamaica will be a memorable vacation experience. With beautiful beaches, spectacular mountain views and a culture full of life, has made Jamaica one of the world's most unique destinations.
Jamaica is an island with an area of roughly 4,200 square miles. The island is surrounded by the waters of the Caribbean Sea and is the third largest island in the Caribbean. Jamaica It 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. On this island, Montego Bay and Kingston are the two main cities. Visitors here are attracted to Jamaica's beautiful beaches, night clubs, excellent dining and world class golf courses.
If you are looking for an island to visit on the outer edges of the Caribbean, Aruba is for you. This island is known as one of the most attractive in the Caribbean. Aruba is located in the heart of southern Caribbean, just north of Venezuela. Unlike other islands in the Caribbean, it doesn't have a rainy season and it is less humid; so it is a good year around location. In Addition, Aruba is outside the hurricane corridor; so it is safe to visit during hurricane season. For you shoppers, Aruba is in a tax free zone.This island is known for its beaches, water activities, casinos, shopping and its world class golf courses. If this excites you visit Aruba.
#7 St. Maarten
If you crave excitement in a cosmopolitan atmosphere with a Caribbean feel, visit St Maarten. This is the smallest island in the world to have two governments French and Dutch. The Duel governments makes life interesting there. The Dutch and French have maintained a peace for over 340 years, the longest of any two nations sharing a bordering. The Treaty of Concordia enacted on March 23,1648 is still honored today. If gourmet food, a good nightlife, duty free shopping and pristine beaches excites you, visit St. Maarten.
#8 U.S. Virgin Islands
Would you like 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; visiting the different islands is like going to different countries. 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 are among the best islands in the world. Although it is impossible to do everything in one trip, popular activities include hiking, biking, and mountain climbing.
There are other worthwhile activities available in the Virgin Islands. Try a helicopter or boat tour; this will give you one of the best views of the islands. What about a sailing adventure? Because it is so much to do and see, many tourist take a cruise to see as much as possible; doing this gives travelers the time to visit all three main islands, 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; it is 28 miles long and 7 miles wide. Its vegetation ranges from rain forest to desert. St. Croix is home to roughly 50,000 people. This Island has an average winter temperature of 82 degrees and a summer temperature of 88 degrees. St. Croix is know for its beaches, reefs, and recreational water sports. On the west end of St. Croix is Frederiksted; it is a city growing in popularity as a cruise ship port and its excellent restaurants. On the eastern side of St. Croix is Christiansted; a city known for its duty free shopping, art galleries, pubs/bars and restaurants, along the harbor boardwalk. This island is a low key, laid-back destination; it is not a Spring Break style atmosphere, nor is it a mainstream tourist spot. It's an island of adventure with a variety of activities including water sports, horseback riding, ATV tours, and Para-sailing . Does this sound like a great getaway? Plan your trip today.
When visiting Barbados, you will notice it is a flat coral island with beautiful beaches; it also has rolling hills & deep ridges with an interesting assortment of flora. Within Barbados there is an array of underground lakes and caves, which are believed to have some of the cleanest drinking water on the planet.
This island is located north of Trinidad and east of the Windward Islands, in the western North Atlantic. Barbados has a more sophisticated feel than the other islands. It has some of the best resorts and hotels in the Caribbean and is known for Welchman Hall Gully, a must see for nature lovers. Barbados is a beautiful place with many activities to choose from including: cultural exhibits, a great night life and world-class-dinning, but what makes Barbados special is the people. Lastly, Barbados is one of the most popular ports of call in the Caribbean.
Although they didn't make the top ten popularity list, I want to give the follow Islands honorable mentions. Some on this listing may not be as well known as most, but they all have the characteristics that you will want in a beautiful beach island including excellent accommodations. For additional travel information see my Caribbean Islands Map.