The best Caribbean islands offer unlimited sunshine, tropical landscapes and to-die-for beaches. As a region, the Caribbean is an eternally popular vacation destination. After all, who could turn down the earthly paradise of these sunkissed isles? From the vibrant culture and musical heritage of Jamaica to the immense history of Cuba and the pure nature of the San Blas Islands, it’s time to discover the best Caribbean islands to visit on your next trip! From familiar favourites to off-the-beaten-path paradises, here’s our selection of the most unmissable Caribbean islands!
San Blas Islands, Panama
An archipelago of 365 islands in the Caribbean Sea, the San Blas Islands are Panama’s best-kept secret! Undisturbed by mass tourism and controlled by the indigenous Kuna people, this archipelago is a must-visit. Expect little more than white-sand beaches, coconut palms and the kind of desert-island experience you’ve always dreamed of! When it comes to getting to these Caribbean islands, visitors can drive or fly to coastal cities such as Playon Chico or the Port of Carti in Panama. From here, water taxis and sailboats allow you to island-hop through the archipelago and discover its uninhabited islands. In fact, only 49 islands are inhabited, so you’ll find plenty of space to kick back and enjoy the idyllic scenery. Simple, eco-friendly accommodations are available on some islands so be sure to stay for a few nights to witness the famous bioluminescence sea spectacle at night!
Rosario Islands, Colombia
Around 100-kilometres across the water from Cartagena is the earthly paradise of the Rosario Islands. Bathed in Caribbean sunshine, the Rosario Islands are part of a National Park, created to protect the extensive coral reef system. Snorkelling, diving and boat tours are some of the most popular ways to experience the abundant underwater world. On dry land, you can choose to stay at a range of accommodations, from budget hostels in renovated mansions to high-end resorts. One of the must-visit islands is Pirate Island, the smallest in the archipelago, yet arguably the prettiest. Furthermore, just like the San Blas Islands, the Rosario Islands are home to the phosphorescent plankton phenomena, an enchanting sight to witness at nightfall.
If you want to visit one of the most culturally fascinating Caribbean islands, Cuba is an excellent choice. With an incredible history, modern-day Cuba is known for its Communist government and colonial-era architecture. From the lively streets of Havana to the picture-perfect beaches of Varadero, there’s a little bit of everything here. Indeed most fascinating is the lack of many modern amenities, which makes this Caribbean island endlessly interesting to explore. From the faded elegance of the capital’s buildings to the rural plantations of the Viñales Valley, scratch beneath the surface and you’ll find each destination in Cuba has its own stories to tell. So, if you’re in search of more than an average sun, sea and sand escape, Cuba is one of the best Caribbean islands to visit!
Discover a fusion of old-world charms and new world innovation on the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico! Small, yet perfectly formed, Puerto Rico blends Spanish, Indigenous and African influences. Expect eclectic restaurants, lively nightlife and warm hospitality, set against a backdrop of unforgettable landscapes. Vibrant San Juan is the capital, yet most visitors head for the west coast beaches of Aguadilla, Rincón, and Cabo Rojo to indulge in the beautiful Caribbean climate. For more active pursuits, the tropical El Yunque National Forest offers excellent hiking routes. On the other hand, the imposing El Morro fortress and San Cristobal Castle provide insights into the island’s fascinating history.
If you’re looking to let your hair down and watch the waves roll in whilst listening to the laid-back rhythms of reggae, Jamaica is for you! What sets Jamaica apart from other Caribbean islands is its vibrant urban culture. Therefore, visitors can combine a relaxing resort stay with sightseeing in Kingston, the capital city set against the backdrop of the Blue Mountains. Here you can experience Jamaica’s thriving arts scene, from street dances to theatre performances. Museums, top restaurants and excellent shopping also invite you to leave the resort and get to know the real Jamaica. Finally, Jamaican cuisine is another reason to visit this Caribbean paradise. From spicy jerk dishes to tropical fruits, foodies will be in their element here.
The second-largest Caribbean country, Dominican Republic is located on the island of Hispanola. With over 1,000 miles of beautiful coastline, Dominican Republic is famed for its family-friendly resorts and the epic landscapes of its interior. In fact, it is considered a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, with exciting hiking and mountain biking trails weaving through its rainforests, arid desert expanses, mountain ranges and steamy mangrove swamps. On the other hand, the capital of Santo Domingo boasts beautiful colonial-era architecture and a vibrant cultural scene. For more laid back pursuits, the northern and eastern coasts are where you’ll find luxury resorts and enough sun, sea and sand to indulge in a blissful week or so of pure relaxation!
Ambergris Caye, Belize
The largest island in Belize, this Caribbean paradise is a place where life moves at a slower pace. The only town on the island is San Pedro. The rest of the island is dotted with quaint fishing villages and quiet stretches of white sand. One of the main attractions here is the Belize Barrier Reef, the second-largest reef system in the world! Boat trips to the Great Blue Hole are a popular activity. Furthermore, scuba diving is another reason to travel to this little known Caribbean treasure. Largely undeveloped, the usual means of getting around the island is by motorized golf cart. Therefore, if you’re in search of a tranquil escape, Ambergris Caye might just be the best Caribbean island to visit!
So, are you already dreaming of a sun-kissed escape to an island paradise? Explore our full range of extraordinary travel plans on our official website: