If you’re looking for a warm, sunny, tropical getaway the Caribbean has over 7,000 to choose from! The toughest part, of course, is choosing which one to head to in order to find exactly the type of travel adventure you’re looking for. Each island has its own unique offerings, aside from the sandy beaches, palm trees and amazing blue ocean water that can be found on virtually all of them.
Use the following list to decide where to go in the Caribbean, based on your specific traveler type:
Martinique is an overseas region of France, with a wonderful mix of French and West Indian cultures mixed into the gorgeous Caribbean landscapes. The blissful rolling green hills, tropical rainforest, to-die-for resorts, incredible nightlife and natural inland coves and (private) white beaches are everything two lovers need for an incredible island getaway.
Singles: Old San Juan
Old San Juan off the north coast of Puerto Rico is perfect for singles. The island’s a national historical landmark, being the oldest of all Puerto Rican settlements, but the nightlife here holds the key to every singles’ heart. You can boat, parasail, swim, jet-ski, or go on a scenic hike during the day — then get ready to start hitting the clubs soon after dinner. Jazz, reggae, salsa, rock and latin music are the preferred audio here in Old San Juan.
Families: The Bahamas
With over 700 islands to choose from in the American Commonwealth of the Bahamas, you won’t find it hard to find a place you and your family can call your own for a few days or weeks. The main reason these islands stand out for family travel is because they have the best all-inclusive resorts to be found anywhere, ensuring you and yours are safely separated from street crime. Check out the Atlantis for a truly stellar experience.
Budget Minded: Dominican Republic
The Dominican is another Latin American resort island with tons of all-inclusive resorts to stay at. It has one of the second largest populations of all the Caribbean islands. Do a quick Internet search and you’ll find tons of monumentally cheap places to hang your hat. From all-inclusive hotel type stays, to quaint shanty-type resorts that put you right on the water in your own little shack, to $10 a night hostels, there’s something here to suit every budget.
With the official nickname “The Nature Island,” Dominica is a real treat if you’re into nature and outdoorsy activities. There are mountainous rainforests, hidden inland waterfalls, geothermal baths, rivers and streams all make for a great place to hike, canoe, kayak and enjoy all the fresh air this tiny little slice of tropical heaven has to offer. Warning: there aren’t many beaches to speak of here, so don’t plan to lounge around in the sun too much. There’s tons of guided tour packages available if you don’t like to venture out on your own in a strange place.
Sun Loungers: St. Martin
There’s more beachfront here, I think, than any other of the islands. This island is jointly claimed by the French and the Dutch, so the culture on St. Martin is very unique to say the least. If the site of a 747 flying what seems like inches above your head scares you, stay away from Maho Beach and head on over to Orient Beach or one of the other less trafficked beachfronts.
Loves Being on the Water: Aruba
Aruba sports some of the most epic headwinds in all the Caribbean islands, making it spot on for some windsurfing, parasailing or kitesurfing. It’s also a great boating and fishing destination if that’s your thing. The water here is a clear pale blue and the nightlife is also pretty awesome if you want to go for some dancing and drinks to help ease away the pain from a sunburn.
The Curaçao Underwater Marine Park is a serious destination for divers worldwide. As with many islands in the Caribbean, there are tons of awesome shipwrecks to explore and the tropical marine-life leaves nothing to the imagination. Head to Bonaire Island to get the most of your experience.
The Beach Boys included this one in their famous song “Kokomo” way back when and I’m sure those of them who remain alive are spending their retirement years here on Bermuda, at one of the 8 world class golf courses found on the island. There’s tons more to do here, of course, but Bermuda is on every golfer’s bucket list!
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Main Image Credit: Luca Moglia/Flickr