What is the best Caribbean island for your next vacation?
Well, that really depends on what you are looking for.
I’ve been coming to the Caribbean for 13 years now, visited numerous Caribbean islands, and yes, they all have something to offer.
But, some Caribbean islands are better for families, others are a paradise for scuba divers, for foodies, or for a luxury vacation.
And that’s what I want to share in this article: the best islands in the Caribbean with an explanation of what type of traveler they are perfect for.
And, because I haven’t been to every Caribbean island (yet), I teamed up with some incredible travel bloggers who know the islands well, to create this detailed list.
I hope you’ll find it helpful to decide where to go to in the Caribbean!
The Best Caribbean Islands For Different Types of Vacations
The island of Antigua is well-known as a sailing mecca but is perhaps more famous for its beaches.
This eastern Caribbean island has a beach for every day of the year. That’s right, 365 beaches on one single island. And they’re all publicly accessible by law, even those that back onto some of the many exclusive all-inclusive resorts on the island.
Antigua isn’t just for the mega-rich though – there’s a network of local mini-buses and affordable places to stay. The local bus service will take you to more off-the-beaten-track spots, where you’ll be able to eat locally and enjoy the famous Antiguan Black Pineapple, which is unique to the island.
And when it comes to stunning views you simply can’t beat the iconic Shirley Heights for sunset. Whether you walk here or take a taxi, you’ll definitely not want to be the designated driver, the rum cocktails on the Sunday night parties are both recommended and strong!
Bonaire is a small island and a “special municipality” of the Netherlands. Situated quite close to Venezuela, it is outside of the main hurricane zone.
With a population of only about 20,000 people and a very dry climate, it has a laid-back vibe, perfect if you prefer to avoid a loud, party atmosphere.
Bonaire is a great place to visit if you like exploring the natural world.
The birdwatching is excellent, and the island is home to a flamingo sanctuary. You can kayak through mangrove forests or take a hike among the cactuses in Washington Slagbaai Park, keeping your eyes open for lizards or the feral pigs, donkeys, and goats that roam the island.
3. US Virgin Islands
The US Virgin Islands are the perfect Caribbean destination for anyone who enjoys spending their days exploring the outdoors. With some of the best snorkeling in the Caribbean, lush hiking trails, and pristine beaches, it’s a nature lover’s dream.
St. Thomas, the hub of the US Virgin Islands, is just a quick flight from the United States (with no passport requirements for US citizens) and serves as the perfect home base.
Without any high-rise buildings along the shore, the smaller condos and resorts right on the beach offer a more natural and intimate feel. You could easily fill up a week just on St. Thomas snorkeling Coki, Sapphire, and Secret Harbour Beaches, or visiting Magen’s Bay, which consistently ranks as one of the best beaches in the world.
4. British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands are an archipelago of four main islands, plus about 60 tiny islands and Cays, located in the Caribbean Sea east of Puerto Rico, and a sailors dream come true.
Each island is unique in its charm and offers something for all tastes, from strolling the pristine white sandy beaches to endless watersports, fresh seafood, tropical fruits, and peace and tranquility.