Choosing the right island can definitely make a difference in your vacation experience. Many travelers assume the islands of the Caribbean are all the same with great beaches, plenty of sun, and warm turquoise waters . . . and most islands offer plenty of the above. I say most because the islands of Dominica and Saba are not on any beach lovers’ list.
Aside from spending time at the beach, most vacationers enjoy a particular lifestyle or activities such as Shopping, Quiet and Secluded, Hiking, Golf, Photography and Nature, History and Archeology, Snorkeling, Diving, Sailing, All-Inclusive Resorts, Family Friendly Islands, Gambling, Nightlife, and the list goes on.
Just remember when spending your hard earned money, choosing the right Caribbean island will ensure the “perfect” Caribbean vacation.
SHOPPING IN THE CARIBBEAN
Both islands have extensive stores, shops, and designer boutiques that rival any U.S. or European city. Other islands that offer a variety of shopping are Barbados, Grand Cayman, Puerto Rico, and St Martin/St Maarten.
QUIET AND SECLUSION
Travelers who are looking for a more peaceful, secluded vacation will find it on Parrot Cay which is located in Turks & Caicos.
You will also find peaceful settings in St Kitts, St Vincent & The Grenadines, and Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands.
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HIKING IN THE CARIBBEAN
Hiking in the Caribbean is an unforgettable experience. The lush, vibrant landscapes are full of breathtaking sights, sounds, and smells. In fact, Caribbean islands are known for their stunning beaches and waterfalls, but there’s also plenty of opportunity to explore the diverse terrain on foot.
From coastal hikes to rugged mountain trails, there is something for everyone. Some popular hiking destinations are:
- Dominica – Valley of Desolation and the Boiling Lake
- Dominican Republic – Pico Duarte Ascent (Caribbean’s highest peak)
- Grenada – Mt. Qua Qua
- Guadeloupe – La Soufriere Volcano
- Jamaica – Blue Mountains
- Puerto Rico – El Yunque National Forest
- St. Kitts – Bloody Rivers Stream
- Tobago – Little Tobago Cay
- Trinidad – Asa Wright Nature Center
- US Virgin Islands – 2/3 of the island of St John is a nature preserve.
With year-round warm temperatures, stunning scenery, and some of the most beautiful courses in the world, it’s no surprise that golfers flock to the Caribbean islands to enjoy their favorite game.
If you’re looking for the best Caribbean golf courses, check out Aruba golf courses and golf resorts. Other islands you should add to your list include the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Nevis, Puerto Rico, St Croix, and St Thomas.
CARIBBEAN PHOTOGRAPHY AND NATURE
As a photography enthusiast, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to finding the perfect shot in the Caribbean. From dramatic sunsets over the ocean to close-up shots of colorful marine life in their natural environment, the Caribbean offers an abundance of photo opportunities.
Nature photographers will also be delighted by the region’s unique array of flora and fauna, which includes a wide selection of endemic species that are found nowhere else in the world.
The Bahamas, Dominica, Jamaica, St John, and St Lucia are wonderful islands for photography and nature lovers. In fact, Dominica is called the nature island of the Caribbean.
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HISTORY & ARCHEOLOGY
History and archaeology buffs will love discovering Caribbean historical sites and hearing about island stories. From ancient ruins to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, there is plenty to explore in this beautiful region. So pack your bags and let’s get exploring!
Check out these Caribbean islands:
- Barbados Historical Travel
- Curacao UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Dominican Republic Travel Guide
- Puerto Rico Memorable Historical Sites
Ready to make a splash? Snorkeling in the Caribbean is an experience like no other. With crystal-clear waters, colorful coral reefs, and an abundance of marine life, you’ll be amazed at what you discover beneath the surface.
Barbados is famous among active travelers for scuba diving, kayaking, jet skiing, and snorkeling. In fact, one of the best spots to visit for snorkeling is Carlisle Bay in Saint Michael.
Here are some of the top Caribbean islands offering the best snorkeling:
Have you ever dreamed of exploring a piece of the Caribbean Sea? Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced diver, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful region.
These are some of the best diving spots in the Caribbean. Check them out:
SAILING AND PADDLING
Sailing and paddling in the Caribbean is a great way to experience all that this region has to offer.
And the best sailing in the Caribbean can be found in Antigua, Barbados, St Martin, The Grenadines, US Virgin Islands, and the British Virgin Islands. Also, Jamaica and the Bahamas offer lots of opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, and paddling.
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CARIBBEAN ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORTS
Neither Jamaica nor the Dominican Republic has an infrastructure that is set up for tourism. This is why both islands offer an abundance of all-inclusive hotels and resorts. Jamaica is the largest of the Caribbean islands and has many points of interest, however, the roads can be a challenge.
Known for its warm and hospitable people, the Dominican Republic is one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean. English is spoken in the resort areas, however, once you get into the Dominican countryside, Spanish is required.
FAMILY-FRIENDLY CARIBBEAN ISLANDS
For those looking for family-friendly islands, the Four Seasons on the island of Nevis offers a great kids’ program, and all the Hyatt Regency resorts throughout the Caribbean offer family-friendly vacations.
If you’re looking for a place to take kids of different ages, consider Accra Beach, Christ Church in Barbados. Besides small waves, perfect for body surfing, there are several amenities and facilities nearby, like multiple food vans, restaurants, and sun lounger rentals.
Other islands worth checking out for family vacations are:
- British Virgin Islands
- St Lucia
- Turks & Caicos
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CARIBBEAN GAMBLING CASINOS
The largest gambling casinos in the Caribbean are found in Aruba, The Bahamas (Cable Beach & Paradise Island), Curacao, San Juan, St Croix, and St Maarten. Barbados and Jamaica only have slot machines. Antigua, Belize, Bonaire, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St Kitts, St Vincent, and Turks & Caicos all have much smaller gaming operations.
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Hopefully, this will give travelers a guide to choosing a Caribbean island that will fit any lifestyle.