Best Places to Visit in the Caribbean
Based on user votes and expert insights, plus factors like accessibility to beaches, tourist attractions and comfortable accommodations, U.S. News compiled a list of the best Caribbean getaways. Help us evaluate next year's top places by voting for your favorite destinations. And if you're heading to these ports of call by way of a cruise, visit our ranking of the Best Cruise Lines in the Caribbean.
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"Posh" is the best word to describe the British Virgin Islands. The shoreline at Cane Garden Bay is particularly picturesque, the white sand beaches on Anegada Island are stunning and The Baths are mystifying. One of the best ways to see these scenic islands is by yacht or on a boat tour from the nearby U.S. Virgin Islands, especially since some resorts are still recovering after sustaining hurricane damage.
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Visit St. Lucia for its sprawling chalk-colored beaches, towering mountains and upscale resorts. You can start your day with a hiking adventure through the Piton Mountains, soak up some midday sun along Reduit Beach and watch the sunset over the Caribbean Sea. Home to many romantic luxury hotels, St. Lucia is especially popular with couples.
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Spring is the time to travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands, particularly in late April when the boisterous Carnival season in St. Thomas gets underway. Spend the day enjoying the unspoiled beauty of a St. John beach or visit a St. Croix fort for a bit of history while on vacation. The best part? Americans don't need a passport to visit these Caribbean islands.
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Travel to Turks & Caicos to see some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, including Grace Bay. These islands make a wonderful retreat for those who seek maximum comfort in a tropical setting, though hotel prices can be higher here than on other islands, especially during the peak winter season.
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Comprising 32 islands, St. Vincent & The Grenadines has something to offer every traveler. Enjoy time on the biggest island of St. Vincent, but be sure to hop on a boat and sail between the many other remote land masses for diving, snorkeling, exploring and photo opportunities.
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St. Barts is known for its scenic beaches and unique French Caribbean culture, evident in the cuisine and lively annual festivals. St. Barts is also synonymous with luxury, home to many high-end hotels (some of which are still undergoing renovations post-Hurricane Irma) and harbors that house mega-yachts. To save some coin, grab food at a local deli before heading to the beach for a picnic.
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Powdery white sand, striking turquoise water and a variety of lodging options make Anguilla an extremely popular Caribbean vacation destination. The island enjoys warm weather year-round and even though it's just 16 miles end to end, Anguilla is home to dozens of pristine beaches. Visit Meads Bay and Rendezvous Bay if you're looking to escape the Shoal Bay East crowds.
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As one of the ABC islands (along with Aruba and Bonaire), Curacao sits outside the hurricane belt, meaning you'll find sunny, pleasant temperatures year-round. The dependable weather, along with the island's notable coral reefs, makes Curacao a top destination for divers, snorkelers and beach bums.
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One of the most scenic spots in the Caribbean, the Cayman Islands offer premier diving sites, including Eden Rock and Devil's Grotto, and plenty of crescent-shaped shorelines. Plus, this archipelago features some great hotel deals, so you can enjoy the white sand beaches and clear waters without ruining your vacation budget.
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Antigua is home to a wealth of diverse beaches – more than 365 to be exact. So whether you're interested in surfing and water sports at Galley Bay Beach or seeking a more secluded, romantic vacation at Half Moon Bay, you won't be disappointed. Plus, the island boasts some of the best resorts in the Caribbean.
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St. Kitts garners its popularity in part from the soft sands and buzzing nightlife of Frigate Beach, plus it hosts excellent festivals like the St. Kitts & Nevis National Carnival and the St. Kitts Music Festival. When you need a break from the action, just hop on a quick ferry for a daytrip to the quieter island of Nevis, home to Oualie and Pinney's beaches.
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While you'll certainly find the standard Caribbean staples – sandy beaches, verdant golf courses, duty-free shopping and palatial resorts – you'll also discover that Barbados offers a distinctly unique flair. Travel here to sample bittersweet Mount Gay Rum, explore limestone caverns, attend a horse race and dance to calypso tunes.
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Compared to its neighbors, this island has flown under the radar for years but it's worth a visit. Seventy percent of Guadeloupe's territory is protected nature reserves, making it perfect for ecotourists and scuba divers, as well as those looking to avoid the crowded resorts of more popular Caribbean destinations.
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You'll find first-rate beaches and plenty of activity on St. Martin-St. Maarten, as well as an assortment of hotel options and vacation rentals for all budgets. This is a great island for foodies, too. Consider having lunch at one of the lolos, or open-air restaurants, located along the shore.
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The bright colors of St. George's harbor in Grenada offer a view well worth enjoying. But don't stay in one spot for too long – Grenada has 45 beaches to choose from, including the popular 2-mile-long Grand Anse Beach. If you need a break from the sand, head to Belmont Estate for a spice tour.
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Aruba appeals to all types of travelers: gamblers can enjoy the casinos, nature lovers can check out Arikok National Park or hike through the Ayo and Casibari Rock Formations, scuba divers can explore the sea and beach bums can laze along the shoreline. What's more, this island lies outside the hurricane belt so it's an ideal Caribbean getaway year-round.
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Culture hounds, architecture buffs and amateur historians will find plenty to tour on a trip to Havana. Though the city is not as easily accessible as its neighbors, the island's cultural offerings are unparalleled. Plus, if you're craving a little beach time, just head east of the city to Playas del Este.
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