With more than 7,000 individual islands and at least 28 island nations, the Caribbean is one of the most stunning places anywhere. From the British Virgin Islands, including Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, and others to St. Barts, Jamaica, St. Vincent and more, there are countless islands to relax and soak in the sun. The crystal clear water alone is enough to excite you as soon as you step off the plane, but there’s more to experience as the islands offer everything from scuba diving and protected coral reefs to charming towns, stunning beaches, and culture.
Jamaica is much more than beautiful beaches, stunning sunsets and palm trees. Known for the king of reggae, Bob Marley, the island is home to towering mountains, dense rainforests, colorful coral reefs to go scuba diving, and much more. The interesting mix of people and the different cultures also add to Jamaica’s a one-of-a-kind charm. If you’re looking for adventure, then Jamaica is the place to be, as it also is perfect for hiking, rock climbing and diving. The island’s capital, Kingston is home to diverse culture, a great Bob Marley Museum, terrific restaurants, and authentic resorts. Be sure to try local food specialties like jerk chicken and their famed Blue Mountain Rum!
For almost 60 years, a cast of jet setters, including moguls, musicians, royals and billionaires have retreated to this tiny island for exclusivity and its beauty. Technically, Mustique is part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but the exclusivity of this island has set it apart. Surrounded by intrigue, Mustique has some of the most unspoiled beaches anywhere in the Caribbean, which is something you would expect from this ultra-private resort island. With many private villas set in the hills above the beach, it’s easy to experience stunning views, white sand beaches, and water as far as the eye can see.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a technically a string of 32 islands and cays that make up the entire nation. If you’re looking to get away from the touristy Caribbean islands, then St. Vincent is the place to be. With its quiet charm the island is favored for those looking to get away the hustle and bustle of some of the larger islands. Hotels on the island are quaint and usually independently owned, making for a great Caribbean experience. Separate from the island of St. Vincent, The Grenadines are the perfect set of islands to relax at exclusive resorts and inns, walk the white sand beaches and play in the warm crystal clear Caribbean water. Some of the top islands that make up the Grenadines are Bequia, about an hour boat ride from St. Vincent, as well as the boot shaped Canouan, a quiet and unspoiled island with only about 1,200 full-time residents. The small island of Mayreau, with even less residents (200), has some of the most beautiful beaches in The Grenadines!
Saint Barthélemy / St Barts
There’s little doubt that St. Barts is truly one of the glitziest and sexiest of all of the Caribbean islands. Celebs, and those in the know frequent this French Caribbean island for its super yachts, exciting clubs and restaurants, and of course, the clear waters and pristine sand. It’s a hot-spot for Europeans and offers sophisticated charm with a laid back atmosphere.
Known for its pink sand beaches, delicious seafood, exotic wildlife (monkeys and sea turtles), Barbados offers something for any time of traveler. This British Commonwealth nation, which claims Bridgetown as its capital, has a global reputation for its private polo clubs, amazing golf courses, and, of course, the stunning beaches. The island has some of the best hotels and restaurants too, including The Cliff, Cin Cin By The Sea, and Daphne’s. What makes Barbados unique is that as the easternmost Caribbean island, on one side of the island there is the calm Caribbean sea, while on the other side of the island travelers experience the rough seas of the Atlantic. The best time to visit is December through May.