Which is the Best Caribbean Island to Visit?

In total, there are over 7,000 islands that comprise the Caribbean. That’s a lot to choose from when deciding which one to visit!

Of course, many of them are small, uninhabited, or otherwise not quite geared up for a relaxing holiday in the sun.

But, there is still great diversity on offer between those that do attract discerning visitors.

From secluded hideaways to glamourous retreats and all-out adventures, each Caribbean island offers its visitors something distinct from its neighbours.

Click here to skip straight to our top 10 Caribbean islands

What is the best Caribbean Island to visit?

So, how do you decide which Caribbean island you should visit?

This entirely depends on what you want.

For example, if you are travelling with young children, you’ll likely want to find an island with calm, safe beaches for paddling in, plus plenty of amenities close by and fun things to do. In this case, Barbados is a great starting point for a stress-free beach break. Antigua would also be a fabulous option, especially if your children are old enough to enjoy a boat trip around the coast.

There is, of course, adventure on offer in the Caribbean, too.

Jamaica has plenty for fun-loving holidaymakers, a highlight being Dunn’s River Falls. There’s also rafting opportunities and some stunning hiking routes beyond the pristine waters, where all kinds of watersports can be found. There’s also a colourful culture to immerse yourself in – this is the home of Bob Marley, jerk chicken, Jamaican rum and even inspired Ian Fleming to create James Bond himself!

The Caribbean can also be undeniably romantic. So, if you are looking for a couple’s holiday or a honeymoon destination, seek out the more secluded spots. St. Lucia is a favourite honeymoon island, thanks to its beautiful rainforest setting, though you might prefer your own private hideaway somewhere in the British Virgin Islands or St Kitts & Nevis.

Turtle swimming in the Ocean, Caribbean

Which is the most beautiful Caribbean Island?

Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. Every Caribbean island has its own appeal, and, wherever you go, you will find picture-perfect scenes of swaying palms, sweeping beaches and vibrant sunsets. We mean it when we say there is no such thing as an ugly Caribbean island!

But, it’s true that some of the islands are particularly admired for their beauty.

The Pitons in St.Lucia are perhaps what makes this stunning island so distinct. Beyond these landmarks, you can also explore a volcanic landscape characterised by lush rainforests and hidden waterfalls.

Antigua has its own charm, too. Most visitors make the journey up to Shirley Heights, where you can enjoy the best view over the historic English Harbour and watch yachts glide across the blue waters between the many coves and inlets.

If your idea of beauty is a classic beach scene, you really will be spoiled for choice in the Caribbean! The Bahamas are a highlight, often described as not only among the prettiest islands in the Caribbean, but the world. You’ll find uninterrupted swathes of pink tinged sands, while brightly coloured buildings add even more character to the mix.

For some of the clearest waters, you could head to the Cayman Islands. The coast here is absolutely pristine, offering exceptional diving opportunities.

USS Kittiwake Ship Wreck, Cayman Islands

Should you choose a big or small Caribbean island?

When it comes to size, the Caribbean offers everything from tiny castaway islands to bustling towns and expansive landscapes.

So, it goes without saying that the size of the island you are visiting has a huge impact on the experience you have.

For instance, Jamaica is one of the largest, and liveliest, islands in the Caribbean. It has three main ‘resorts’ that many visitors choose between; Montego Bay, Negril and Ochos Rios. These areas offer plenty of things to do, while further afield you can explore Kingston, the Blue Mountains or stay at the famous GoldenEye, the former home of Ian Fleming.

If you were to visit one of the small islands, such as Nevis, you’ll find a more intimate experience. Beaches here are less visited and you can spot peaceful birds flitting between the hillsides. With fewer resorts, bars and restaurants rarely feel busy.

St Barths, on the other hand, is small but can be busier. With a sophisticated French influence, it’s known as one of the Caribbean’s most glamourous islands. Resorts here are highly sought-after and it’s a popular stopover for yacht crowds.

Our Top 10 Most-Visited Caribbean Islands…

Still not sure which island to visit? Take a look at our top 10 most visited Caribbean islands at Inspiring Travel Company…

1. Barbados

Colourful Beach Huts at Oistins Fish Fry, Barbados

Best for: A luxury beach holiday for all ages, find some of the best hotels in the Caribbean, fantastic restaurants and fun activities.

Highlights: The ‘platinum coast’ of Barbados, which refers to the west side of the island, is where you will find beautiful beaches – think white sands, turtles frolicking in crystal waters and cocktails at sunset. It also has some of the Caribbean’s best restaurants. See our 10 Best Restaurants in Barbados more.

2. St Lucia

Boat on the Sea in front of the St Lucia Pitons

Best for: Adventurers and romantics. Explore the Pitons, go snorkelling and admire the beautiful flora and fauna at the Botanical gardens before reclining on the sugary sands.

Highlights: Aside from the standout UNESCO Work Heritage Pitons, you can hike the rainforest nature trails, go ziplining and see bubbling volcanic springs. You can also tour the cocoa plantation of Hotel Chocolat.

3. Bahamas

Swimming pigs on the beach in the Bahamas, Caribbean

Best for: Some of the finest beaches, including the famed pink sands and Pig Beach. You can wander the sleek marinas, discover the bustle of Nassau or head out by boat to visit the more secluded cays.

Highlights: There are 16 islands in the Bahamas, so island hopping is a must to experience the true diversity. The clear waters are ideal for snorkelling and fly fishing, while dining at the local fish fry and catching a live Junkanoo band will reveal the Bahamas’ colourful character.

4. Antigua

Pink beach huts in Antigua, Caribbean

Best for: A taste of island life, there is something for everyone in Antigua. This welcoming island paints a pretty picture with the colourful town of St Johns, beautiful beaches and a historic harbour.

Highlights: Antigua boasts perfect conditions for sailing and holds its own world-recognised annual regatta. Visitors love this island for its laidback atmosphere, its 365 immaculate beaches and its maritime hub, Nelson’s Dockyard.

5. Jamaica

Birds eye view of beach at Port Antonio, Frenchman's Cove, Jamaica

Best for: Culture and those looking for fun. Listen to reggae rhythms and sip rum on the white sands, or head out for some adrenaline-fuelled adventures in the rainforest or sea.

Highlights: Jamaica is one of the liveliest Caribbean islands, filled with music, flavours and history. Of course, it’s the birthplace of Bob Marley, but you will also find more peaceful beaches, fantastic surf spots and cascading waterfalls.

6. Guadeloupe

Terre-de-Haut, Les Saintes Islands, Guadeloupe

Best for: A classic tropical escape with French-Caribbean charm, this island has a lush interior comparable to St Lucia. Less ‘touristy’ than many Caribbean islands, you can relax, soak up the culture and admire the natural beauty.

Highlights: Kick back in the sands while surrounded by tropical beauty. Great for a classic beach holiday, you can wander quaint villages, relax on sun-kissed shores or head out for a rainforest adventure on this diverse island.

7. St Vincent & the Grenadines

Beach with Palm Trees at Tobago Cays, Grenadines, Caribbean

Best for: A secluded hideaway, these islands are a favourite for honeymooners. There are plenty of untouched beaches to discover, plus private islands for those who really want to get away from it all.

Highlights: You can completely relax in total peace and quiet when staying in St Vincent & the Grenadines. This quintessential island paradise is untouched by over-the-top tourist attractions, so you can snooze in your hammock and snorkel the pristine waters, undisturbed.

8. British Virgin Islands

White sand beach at Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, Caribbean

Best for: The British Virgin Islands are bursting with natural beauty and perfect if you want to fill your days with white sand beaches, scenic hikes, boat trips and world class snorkelling. It’s here you will find the renowned Necker Island.

Highlights: These Caribbean islands offer the ultimate luxury beach break. While the capital of Tortola is vibrant, you will find unspoiled and serene sands wherever you go. Watersports are very popular here and sailing conditions are almost perfect from November to May.

9. Grenada

Annandale Falls, Grenada

Best for: Tranquil yet full of life, the ‘Spice Island’ is bursting with flavour. You can visit spice and chocolate plantations and chow down on fresh seafood, when you are done exploring one of the Caribbean’s best beaches, Grand Anse.

Highlights: Excellent beaches aside, there is plenty to do in Grenada. There is amazing wildlife to marvel at, plus there are numerous festivals throughout the year that really brings this Caribbean island to life.

10. St Barths

Gustavia harbor, Saint Barthelemy

Best for: This French-speaking island is a celebrity favourite, with a hint of St Tropez mixed in with typical Caribbean delights. There are plenty of uber-luxurious hotels to hide away in, placing you just steps away from soft sandy beaches and chic beach bars.

Highlights: Along with stunning beaches, St Barths also offers luxury shopping, fine-dining and a buzzing nightlife scene with top DJs providing the soundtrack. Naturally, the island is a favourite among yachting crowds, and there are two annual events that are ideal for sailing enthusiasts.

The best way to decide which Caribbean island is best to visit is to speak to someone who knows them best.

If you’d like some expert advice, contact us at Inspiring Travel Company to chat to one of our Travel Specialists.

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