“Aruba, Jamaica, oh I want to take ya, Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama!”
The Caribbean is one of my favorite places and its probably the destination I visit back the most! With so many beautiful diverse islands to choose from – you can make many return trips and have a different type of vacation every single time. Aside from the gorgeous beaches, what I love about the Caribbean is its culture, food, friendly locals and so much more. If you live in the US – a major plus is that its so easy to get to most parts of the Caribbean with direct flights from many east coast hubs and convenient connections from the rest of the country.
Having travelled to this part of the world a ton of times, I often get asked whats my favorite Caribbean island and its so hard to pick one when they are all so unique and beautiful in their own way. I’ll admit a few of them do have a special place in my heart (read the post to find out which ones!). In this post, I wanted to round up my top 10 Caribbean Islands to Visit in no particular order. Hope that it inspires you to book that summer vacay now :)!
Aruba is the Caribbean’s most revisited travel destination and there’s no surprise why! It was certainly the most diverse Caribbean island we have been to. One half of the island is a tropical paradise and while the other half is an arid desert! Also its way out of the hurricane belt so you are guaranteed good weather for the most part of the year. Planning a trip this spring/summer? Check out my things to do in my travel guide to this “one happy island” HERE.
Eagle beach in Aruba – my fave beach on the island!
Jamaica is seriously one of the most chill islands I have been too – amazing beaches, incredible food, the grooviest island music and friendly people! It is a hugee island and offers tons of different things to make your vacay perfect, catch my travel guide HERE. We only visited Montego Bay and Ocho Rios; but I have also heard great things about Negril!
Rafting on the Martha Brae river is a must do in Jamaica!
Punta Cana in DR is a budget friendly, fun and easy Caribbean vacay to consider from the US. It has a ton of all inclusives to choose from so this island is ideal if you want to stay on a big resort for your entire trip. But even if you plan to step out – DR has a ton of things to do – catch my travel guide HERE for details. Also we didn’t have the time to do Santo Domingo but I have heard that its a super cool destination to visit so you might want to consider adding that to your itinerary aside from just Punta Cana.
Saona Island, DR is a must visit on your trip!
The Bahamas is so easy to get to from Miami and has so many stunning islands to choose from. The only part we have been to is the Exumas which is quite honestly one of my absolute fave places I have ever been to! Not only cos of the drop dead gorgeous islands but also cos we got to actually get to experience what it was to live like a local islander and it was beyond awesome. We stayed on a tiny island called Staniel Cay where we only rode bicycles or golf carts on the island and rented a boat to go around the neighboring islands. Since we lived on such a small island we got to mix and mingle with the locals everyday and this by itself was such a memorable experience. There’s so many bucket list items to cross off in these little islands too from swimming with pigs, to swimming with nurse sharks and more! Catch my full travel guide HERE.
If staying in a big all inclusive is more your kind of scene I would suggest staying in the capital of Nassau which has so many great resorts to choose from ; and then do a day trip to the Exumas.
A bucket list moment – hanging out with the Swimming pigs!
Having been to the Caribbean so many times I think I can confirm that not all Caribbean islands have the idyllic calm blue waters that one dreams of. That dosen’t go to say that these islands aren’t gorgeous but the Caribbean islands are really so diverse there is something to love in every place you go! But if the no 1 thing that you are looking for in your Caribbean vacay is idyllic blue tranquil empty beaches then you MUST add Antigua and Barbuda on your list stat! This island certainly had the best beaches of the islands I have been to the Caribbean thus far. Its also far less done than some of its other popular (sometimes overcrowded) Caribbean cousins.
While Antigua has a ton of things to do on the island the thing that its most known for is being the “Land of 365 Beaches!” Did you know that Antigua has over 365 beaches; theres a new beach for everyday of the year quite literally! Aside from being the Caribbean island with probably the most number of beaches, the diverse island of Antigua has so much to offer from history to rainforests to amazing restaurants and much more. Check out my detailed travel guide to Antigua HERE.
Empty postcard like beaches are plenty in Antigua!
Ok I’ll admit it straight off the bat – Anguilla is probably my favorite Caribbean island (very closely followed by Antigua) ! Its a little bit more special to me cos for me the no 1 thing I look for is the quality of beaches and man oh man – Anguilla is a beauty! I kid you not but some Anguillan beaches reminded me of the waters and sand quality of what I have seen and experienced in the Maldives too. Anguilla has been consistently voted best Caribbean island by several travel publications for years in a row and it totally deserves that title! It also has several award winning resorts and restaurants too. Anguilla is a little on the luxe and expensive side but its 1000% worth it for what will be in store for you on this idyllic island. I’m itching for a return visit stat. Check out my travel guide to Anguilla HERE.
Shoal Bay in Anguilla is one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever been to!
Most people who I mentioned this to had never even heard of the island of Nevis! Nevis is a part of St Kitts and Nevis and is an island in the Caribbean. It is a tranquil and untouched Caribbean island where there are no cruise ships, no fast food chains, no traffic lights (this one totally surprised me :)!), no building taller than a coconut tree and more monkeys than humans on the island ; its truly the perfect island getaway that is off the beaten path ! Check out my travel guide to the island of Nevis HERE.
Nevis has the best of both – beaches and rainforests!
8 ) US VIRGIN ISLANDS :
Looking for a Caribbean escape without leaving the country? The US Virgin Islands is for you! We have been to both St Thomas and St John and they were both incredible. St Thomas is a lot more developed with tons of resorts and airbnb’s to choose from, amazing beaches, hikes, etc. Here is the link to the incredible airbnb we stayed at – the location and views were spectacular. St John is a short ferry ride away and even if you don’t stay overnight here I urge you to do a day visit to the beautiful Trunk Bay! I went here pre blog days so unfortunately I don’t have a travel guide to this destination.
Please excuse this bad quality photo of baby us haha!
But this was one of our fave beaches in St Thomas – Lindquist Beach.
9) PUERTO RICO :
Another Caribbean island that is within the US. I have been to Puerto Rico twice and its such a beautiful diverse island to visit, with a Latin American flair to it. It offers beaches, rainforests, biobays and so much more. If you do go do not miss out on also doing a day trip or overnight stay at the islands of Puerto Rico – Culebra and/or Vieques. The beaches on the islands were much better than the ones on the mainland. Again, I went here pre blog days so unfortunately I don’t have a travel guide to this destination.
Birds eye view flying over Flamenco Beach in Culebra, PR (my fave beach in PR!)
10) TURKS & CAICOS * :
Adding this here as an honorary mention cos its the island I am yet to visit. I have heard nothing but incredible things about Turks and Caicos and I am dying to visit it! Fortunately, I have a trip planned to the destination later next month so stay tuned for my travel guide and recommendations from here then.
Have you visited any of these islands? Do you have a favorite Caribbean Island?
Thanks for stopping by! xoxo