The Caribbean: The Places You Must Visit
When you think about a tropical holiday cruising warm waters and stopping at sun-kissed beaches, the Caribbean is one of the first destinations to spring to mind. Little wonder! The Caribbean has long been a cruising hotspot with waters perfect for meandering amidst the islands and enjoying a decadently relaxing holiday, with a touch of vibrant colour and some irresistible music.
But out of all the islands in the Caribbean, which ones are best to visit? That all depends on what you’re looking for. What you’re pretty much guaranteed to find are beautiful, white-sand beaches and iridescent lagoons, often surrounding rainforest-clad, mountainous terrain.
The old fortresses and cannons guard the secrets of slave history and naval battles, and still stand watch over the islands. You’d be forgiven for thinking you'd see Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean sailing into one of the harbours. With at least 28 island nations, and over 7,000 individual islands making up the Caribbean, it’s easy to see why this region is a sailing Mecca.
Here’s an A-Z summary of locations in the Caribbean and a snapshot of what you can find there:
- Anguilla – beaches, cays, amazing sunsets, events
- Antigua and Barbuda – beaches, cays, naval and slavery history, sailing week, golf and more
- Aruba – Dutch Caribbean, watersports, geological formations, snorkelling, historic sites, diving
- Barbados – beaches, festivals, music, dancing, nightlife, museums, golf, shopping, botanic gardens
- British Virgin Islands – beaches, Rhone National Marine Park, snorkelling, Sage Mountain National Park rainforest, the Baths
- Caribbean Netherlands – conservation, marine park, diving, volcano, rainforest, hiking
- Cayman Islands – beaches, diving, deep sea fishing, wildlife (including endangered iguanas), swimming with turtles, historic buildings, sites and museums
- Colombia – rainforests, Andes mountains, coffee plantations, castles, Walled City of Cartagena, museums, parks, architecture, shopping, churches and cathedrals, historic sites
- Cuba – architecture, history, shopping, 1950-era cars, music, nightlife, fortresses, beaches, museums, gardens
- Curacao – beaches, diving, snorkelling, swinging bridge, museums, National Parks
- Dominica - mountains, boiling lake, National Park, waterfalls, canyoning, rivers
- Dominican Republic – beaches, golf, rainforest, mountain, Spanish forts, museums, sailing, snorkelling, adventure sports
- Guadeloupe – French speaking, less crowded, beaches (black, golden and white), low-key french vibe, volcano, rainforest
- Haiti – history, culture, adventure, mountains, waterfalls, caves and caverns, beaches
- Honduras – Once harbouring a dangerous reputation, things are looking brighter for Honduras but travellers still need to remain cautious. National parks, mountains, ruins, culture, history, adventure
- Jamaica – beaches, rainforest, watersports, dancing, music
- Martinique – beaches, heritage, French
- Montserrat – Devastated in 1995 by the cataclysmic eruption of Soufriere Hills volcano, Monterrat is gradually recovering and tourists are starting to return. Hiking, birdwatching, friendly locals, quiet.
- Nicaragua – lakes, volcanoes, beaches
- Puerto Rico – Spanish colonial buildings, fortresses, history, culture, shopping, beaches, snorkelling, watersports, rainforests, museums
- Saint Barthelemy – beaches, designer shops, high-end restaurants, yachting, forts, history
- Saint Kitts and Nevis – beaches (white, grey and black), rainforests, mountains, adventure sports, The Circus (based on London’s Picadilly Circus)
- Saint Lucia – rainforests, moutains, fishing, history,
- Saint Martin/Sint Maarten – Half the island is French, the other half Dutch. Beaches, snorekelling, markets, watersports, more beaches, adventure sports and more
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – Much of the Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed here and you can see why! Ancient fortresses, ruins, history, picture-perfect beaches, yachting, privately owned islands …
- The Bahamas – Perhaps the most well-known islands of the Caribbean with 700+ inhabited and uninhabited islands and cays. Postcard-perfect beaches, shopping, markets, history, ancient forts and more
- Trinidad and Tobago – culture, carnivals and festivals, distinctive Creole traditions, beaches, interesting architecture, opulent colonial homes of yesteryear, museums, history and more. Trinidad and Tobago are not as touristy as other Caribbean islands as they do not rely on tourism for their economy.
- Turks and Caicos Islands – perfect beach after perfect beach, golf, national park, museums, history, snorkelling and more.
- United States Virgin Islands – history, museums, shopping, carnivals, beaches, watersports, diving, snorkelling and more.
To start planning your Caribbean cruise holiday, speak to our reservations team who can assist with everything from luxury cruises through to chartering your own yacht.