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Which Caribbean Island is Best for You

by Travelbag on 25 October 2019, 14:10PM

Aruba sunset

The Caribbean is famous for its sweeping beaches, reliable sunshine and flavour-filled food. While this is true of every island, that doesn’t mean they’re all the same. Each Caribbean isle has its own unique character and attractions – but, with so many islands to choose from, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. Whether you’re looking for romantic beaches, family-friendly activities or cultural sites, some places will suit you better than others. So, before you book your holiday, read our handy guide to find out which Caribbean island is best for you.

 

Best Caribbean Island for Beaches: Antigua

Any Caribbean country can boast beautiful beaches, but Antigua takes the crown. In fact, the island nation of Antigua and Barbuda prides itself on having 365 beaches – one for every day of the year. And each one is more impressive than the last, with unbelievably blue waters and talc-like sands.

The beaches along Antigua’s north coast tend to be busier than elsewhere on the island, thanks to their proximity to the capital city, St John’s. Half Moon Bay is the most famous stretch of sand, but popular Dickenson Bay and Fort James are also worth a visit. Or you could don your flippers at Deep Bay and explore the ancient shipwreck.

Once you’ve ticked off Antigua’s busier beaches, head to the south coast to soak up that away-from-it-all vibe. Rendezvous Bay is a lovely quiet spot, while crescent-shaped Carlisle Bay has the best snorkelling on the whole island. If you’re going on holiday to Antigua with little ones, make sure you spend a day at Long Bay – this eastern beach is protected by an off-shore coral reef, so the calm waters are safe for tots.

Antigua

Best Caribbean Island for Families: Barbados

It’s easy to think of the Caribbean as an adults-only corner of the globe, but Barbados is a brilliant choice for families. This laidback isle has all the sunshine and beaches you’d expect from a Caribbean island but, unlike some of its neighbours, Barbados has plenty to offer families. Bajan beaches tend to have very shallow waters, making them great for young kids. If you’re travelling with older children, you can catch a wave at the Soup Bowl – Barbados’ prime surfing spot – or head to Pebbles Beach for some chilled-out paddle-boarding. Animal-loving families should visit Barbados Wildlife Reserve, where you’ll find monkeys, tortoises, parrots and more. And, if you’re travelling with teens, an off-road safari is a must. Buckle up in a 4x4 and rumble through the rich rainforests of St George, looking out for wildlife as you go.

 

Best Caribbean Island for Couples: St Lucia

Romantic St Lucia is a firm favourite for honeymooners – and it’s easy to see why. With high-end luxury resorts, secluded beaches and delicious food, this Caribbean island is perfect for couples. And it’s not just a pretty face. When you scratch the surface, you’ll find there’s a lot more to sleepy St Lucia than meets the eye. On the coast, you can snorkel with tropical fish at Anse Chastanet, and try all kinds of watersports at Reduit Beach. In the heart of the island, ride the open-air gondola above the canopy in search of monkeys and birds, or go zip-lining through the rainforest. Fancy something a little more relaxing? Unwind in thermal pools at Sulphur Springs, or take a mouth-watering tour of the famous Rabot Estate – the plantation where Hotel Chocolat grows all their delicious cocoa beans.

Saint Lucia

Best Caribbean Island for Variety: Grenada

Grenada actually consists of seven islands, making it a great choice for restless travellers. If you get itchy feet after a few days in one place, you can simply pack your bags and go island-hopping. Carriacou, Petite Martinique and the biggest island – also called Grenada – each has something different to offer. On Grenada, you can swim in crystal-clear waters at Grand Anse Beach, or explore the tropical rainforest – we’d recommend hiking to Seven Sisters Falls, which you’ll find in Grand Etang National Park. If you’re into snorkelling, though, Carriacou will certainly be your favourite island. Surrounded by colourful reefs and rusting shipwrecks, Carriacou is bursting with marine life. And, with visibility up to 100 feet, the water is astoundingly clear. Last, but certainly not least, traditional Petite Martinique gives you the chance to escape and unplug – literally. Restaurants and bars are few and far between, the population is just 900, and there’s absolutely no Wi-Fi – but who needs the internet when you can hike, swim and stargaze?

 

Best Caribbean Island for Culture: Cuba

Cuba’s combination of old-world charm, pastel-coloured streets and magnificent beaches makes it a truly unique Caribbean island. Step back in time in Old Havana, where you’ll be surrounded by colonial buildings and classic cars. There are lots of historical sites, too. Marvel at the ancient Havana Cathedral, with its ornate baroque facade and mismatching towers, and stroll through iconic Revolution Square. After a morning of exploring, why not take some time out in Plaza Vieja? Once used as a marketplace, this bustling square is lined with cafés and restaurants – there’s even a microbrewery. Pull up a chair and grab a drink, or sit by the fountain and people-watch. Make sure you visit El Capitolio as well. Made from limestone and granite, this grand government building was declared a National Monument in 2010, and is a must-see on any holiday to Cuba.

In the evenings, Havana really comes to life. Tuck into delicious cuisine – expect a mixture of Spanish, African and Caribbean flavours – and sip cocktails in Hemmingway’s favourite bars. If you want to really experience a slice of Cuban life, find a salsa bar and join in the fun. Or, head to Tropicana Club for a carnival-like cabaret show and free-flowing rum.

Havana Cuba

Take a look at our Caribbean holidays and start planning your exotic escape. Or, for more inspiration, read about the best places for winter sun.


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