No matter where you travel in the Caribbean, you’ll be treated to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, along with tons of water and outdoor activities, as well as fine dining and nightlife. Still, each island and each little corner of the Caribbean brings with it something uniquely distinctive and unforgettable. With each being on equal footing when it comes to paradise, here are the top 10 in no particular order.
One of the things that makes the Bahamas stand out among all the other islands in the Caribbean is how clear the water is. While this makes for excellent swimming and water sports, it also allows for premiere sightseeing of what lies below the surface of the water; and you’ll see a lot of it! The water surrounding this group of islands are known for being an ecological paradise for all those in it – and those that visit. When it’s time to come up shore for a bit, visit the straw markets that are sprinkled throughout the islands, and be prepared to haggle. That makes up half the fun of it!
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The Dominican Republic is on the second largest of the island in the Caribbean, one it shares with Haiti. With such a huge amount of space and geography, the Dominican is one of the best places for nature lovers to visit as, in addition to the white sandy beaches, you’ll also have tons of forest area and different terrain to cover and explore by either hiking, biking, or four-wheeling. The Dominican is also one of the top choices for destination weddings year after year, and also includes one of the most diverse mixtures of culture you’ll find on any of the islands.
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If you want everything that the Dominican has to offer, but want to do all of it in a bit more lazy fashion, Punta Cana is the choice. Here you can hang out on a straw-covered boat, look for aquatic life in its see-through waters, or just have a cocktail on the beach. Punta Cana is all about doing nothing, so be prepared to come back fully rested!
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When you’re looking for outstanding nightlife to go along with those huge stretches of gorgeous coastline, Jamaica is the place you’re looking for. Jamaica has their own unique cuisine, great shopping in its two major city centers, Kingston, and Montego Bay, and is also known as the most colorful islands due to the tropical blooms that decorate just about every corner of it. Plus, if you’re into history, music or both, Jamaica is also the site of Bob Marley’s hometown, as well as his burial grounds.
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If sheer beauty, and a completely stress-free vacation is what you’re after on your Caribbean vacation, Aruba should be your destination. Not only is it known as the most beautiful islands in all the Caribbean, but weather will never be a concern for you. It’s the only island that doesn’t have a rainy season, and it’s also located outside of the hurricane corridor, leaving you rest assured that you won’t have to face anything but pure relaxation.
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Yes, you can still experience that busy city feel and fantastic nightlife when you visit the Caribbean, if you visit St. Maarten. Here you’ll find some of the finest food you’ve ever tasted, as well as all the shopping your wallet can handle – and duty-free at that! This island is also the smallest in the world to share two different governments –French and Dutch. Still the Treaty of Concordia, created in 1648, is still upheld today, it the longest length of time any two nations have shared a bordering.
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Nature, nature, nature, this is what you’ll find in Barbados. The topography of this land is unique, as it’s extremely flat and is also designated as a coral island. This is due to the way in which the island was formed, from a dried-up lagoon that filled up with coral sand. This gives this island some of the most pristine and gorgeous beaches you’ll view; but it’s not completely flat. Go further in and you’ll encounter many hills and ridges, and almost each one has a network of lakes and rivers below. If you love being outdoors, and love exploring while you’re out there, Barbados is a great destination.
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Grand Cayman is where you can have a little bit of everything. Its Seven Mile Beach makes for a great walk on its own, as well as some of the most breathtaking scenery you’ll ever see. If you want to get a bit more up close and personal with these waters and all the wonders within it, the Stingray City Sandbar allows you to be just inches from friendly stingrays. When it’s time to come back in for the day, there’s tons of great restaurants and shopping on shore.
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St. Kitts and Nevis
Are you looking to get away from the throngs of tourists and just enjoy some quiet beach time on your own? If so, St. Kitts and Nevis is the quiet destination you’re seeking. You’ll still be able to enjoy those turquoise beaches, just with secluded cloves and unexplored snorkeling sites to go along with them. And don’t be surprised if you come across a black sand beach every now and again. While quite rare, they’re something that’s quite common in St. Kitts and Nevis.
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When you want to see how the locals in the Caribbean really live, you need to head to Curacao. Here the culture is intensely rich and evident just about everywhere you turn. The architecture is not only distinct and beautiful, but it’s also some of the most colorful in the world, helping to further decorate this piece of paradise. The beaches here are also mostly secluded, great for those looking for a vacation with a bit more privacy.
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It’s true that no matter what corner of the Caribbean you visit, you’re bound to experience something unforgettable. Once you’ve determined what you want out of your vacation, it becomes easier to narrow down the choices of where to go.