Luxury is almost guaranteed when it comes to Caribbean travel. This region offers some of the finest islands in the world. Windswept white sands, palm trees swaying side-to-side, vibrant turquoise waters and spectacular hotels overlooking it all. What more could you ask for?
While all of these islands offer deluxe experiences, these six islands are a step above the rest when it comes to Caribbean luxury vacations.
1. The Bahamas
Technically, there is more than one island in the Bahamas that is perfect for a high-class experience. Whether you choose to stay on New Providence, Grand Bahama Island, Eleuthera, the Exumas or one of the many others, you’re sure to enjoy your stay.
Take a helicopter tour of the area by day then head out on a yacht at night or hit the local beachside bars. Guests will also enjoy adventure activities like swimming with sharks, getting up close with stingrays and exploring caves and blue holes.
A lesser-known island in the West Indies, Antigua is especially stunning. It’s deep teal water and island greenery make for unbelievable views—and photos.
While the beaches are ideal for swimming, snorkeling, diving, windsurfing and horseback riding, the island has an underlying culture that enriches each and every visitor. From the Anglican cathedral of St. John the Divine to the historic sugar plantations and mills, there is a lot to see.
There are also many small islets offshore that make Antigua a huge boating, fishing and sailing destination. Consider staying on 300-acre Jumby Bay, a private island where you’ll find quiet, expansive villas to rent.
3. St. Thomas
St. Thomas is part of the Virgin Islands, making them a territory of the United States. But you definitely won’t feel like you’re in the U.S. as you explore this history-filled island.
Get back to the island’s roots with visits to Blackbeard’s Castle, a famous watchtower built in the 1600s, and Fort Christian, which has been converted into a local history museum. There are also five historic churches on St. Thomas.
Don’t forget to check out the island’s activities: diving, snorkeling, shopping, a marine park with animal encounters and one of the best golf courses in the world. There is also a Skyride attraction that lifts visitors 700 feet above Charlotte Amalie for panoramic views.
4. Turks and Caicos
Seven main islands make up Turks and Caicos, a Caribbean gem that has some of the best beaches and coral reefs around.
Tourism isn’t a major part of this country (yet) so you’re less likely to find crowds on the beaches and modern towns. Instead, relax on your Turks and Caicos luxury vacation and explore the historic villages. You’ll feel as if you’ve been transported back in time.
Make sure to go diving or snorkeling along the reefs, but there is plenty else to do as well. Head to the top of a local lighthouse to spot whales frolicking below, get a town on the powdery white sand beaches or explore the caves on Middle Caicos. There are also museums to visit as well as a 200-year-old cotton plantation and the only conch farm on earth.
5. Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is one of those places where you find adventure around every turn. We’re talking adventure parks, off-roading, ziplining through the rainforest, horseback riding, cave exploration and scuba diving with sharks.
Those looking to explore less and relax more have that option too. Whether you want to spend the day at the golf course, snorkel with colorful fish or sunbathe on a catamaran, the options in the Dominican Republic really are endless.
Quality vacation rentals can be found everywhere from Punta Cana and Playa Grande to Cabrera and Cap Cana.
The British territory of Anguilla is another island known for its luxurious beaches. But it also happens to have a huge variety.
Beaches like Shoal Bay East, Rendezvous Bay and Meads Bay offer guests a chance to relax, sip drinks in the sun or partake in water activities like swimming and snorkeling. Though stunning, these are your typical tourist beaches. For something a little different, visit Sandy Ground, where you can dine along the sand or experience some stellar nightlife.
For some seclusion, Little Bay and Sandy Island both offer unique experiences. Little Bay is hard to reach, but it is also very small—you’ll feel lost in paradise on its shores. Sandy Island, though not on the mainland, is a little spit of sand that will give you that castaway feeling all day long.
What other islands should be on this list? Share your experiences!