The most beautiful islands Dominican Republic Bahamas Dutch Antilles Barbados Jamaica Puerto Rico Antigua Barbuda Martinique Guadeloupe Tortola-Virgin Islands Dominica Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Trinidad and Tobago St. Lucia Grenada Grand Cayman Aruba Anguilla Cuba
The Bahamas have 700 islands and islets. Unspoilt nature and endless deep white or pink beaches, are the setting for an ideal holiday. Password: relax, because in the Bahamas it really is possible to abandon the hectic lives and get in touch with nature.
Grand Bahama welcomes visitors with its mangrove swamps and coral reef and is also one of the few inhabited islands in the archipelago. It hosts Freeport and Lucaya, the two centres where the local population is concentrated, but offers ample space for parks and nature reserves.
These include the Garden of the Groves, a tropical garden that is home not only to flowers and exotic plants, but also to many tropical animals and birds, amongst which there are pink flamingos the national birds of the Bahamas.
Barbados encompasses a tropical microcosm. The white sand of the beaches, its coral reef and the possibility of practising water sports such as snorkelling, are just a few of the attractions it can offer, as well as green expanses, pastures and sugarcane plantations.
Also of great interest is a visit to the capital of Barbados, Bridgetown, full of monuments and colonial buildings and with a lively Port. For nature lovers, the Andromeda Gardens with their tropical plants are a must as well as the Farley Hill National Park.
After endless open-air proposals you can also choose a visit to the Harrison’s Caves, caves full of stalactites and stalagmites, lakes and waterfal
Jamaica is undoubtedly one of the most famous islands in the Caribbean Sea. Montego Bay with its beaches, coral reefs and rainforests, as well as its colonial architecture and Negril, a real paradise for all fans of diving, are destinations that easily fit on the wish lists of people of all ages.
It is easy to imagine yourself in the sun, dancing to the notes of reggae music with a cocktail in hand, or to be enchanted by nature and the Dunn River Falls.
The beating heart of Jamaica is the city of Kingston, created with a perpendicular and grid geometric plan based on some projects designed for the reconstruction of London after the fire of 1666
Antigua always strikes you. With its 150 km of coastline it can count on 365 beaches that allow you to relax, but also to practice all nautical sports or engage in other activities. Among these you can choose to go swimming with stingrays, with Costa, giving yourself an experience to remember and tell friends about.
For surfers the appointment is on the beach of Galley Bay, California, which in addition to having palm trees and lush vegetation, is the beach where the sea turtles nest and you may witness the birth of their young.
Soufrière Bay is perfect for snorkelling and for diving thanks to the underwater caves where you can meet Barracuda, stingrays, parrotfish and dancer fish.
Dominica is an island full of rainforests, lakes and rivers, dominated by the Morne Diablotin, a 1447-metre mountain. Many treks are therefore possible through the unspoiled nature, or also while mountain biking.
Don’t miss the nebulous atmosphere of the Boiling Lake, one of the largest steam lakes in the world, with water reaching temperatures between 80 and 90 degrees. Dominica also has waterfalls and hot springs, for complete a truly exciting visit!
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines have a coral reef all to discover, as well as white beaches and many palm trees. Bananas and coconuts grow on the islands, where historically the main activity was fishing.
A trip to the capital, Kingstown, will reveal a small town where you can find numerous colonial buildings alternating with those in Creole style and other more modern ones.
Fort Charlotte, a British colonial-era fortress dominates the town and is undoubtedly the ideal place for observing the archipelago of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Descending, you can linger amongst the colourful stalls that sell fish, rum and chocolate, hoping to meet some film, music or sports stars who have chosen to build a house on one of the archipelago’s private islands.
Trinidad & Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago are two islands that make up a perfect state for spending time to relax and tan. A crystal clear sea is the perfect backdrop to a heavenly atmosphere but is also perfect for snorkelling, discovering marine wildlife or the Buccoo Reef in Tobago.
A visit to the capital, Port of Spain, on the island of Trinidad, will offer a taste of the culture of the place, with its harbour and its modern buildings.
It is also the centre where the Caribbean Carnival takes place in Trinidad and Tobago, which has become a world-class event. In Trinidad and Tobago there is also the Caroni Bird Sanctuary, where the Scarlet Ibis is at home, along with many other tropical bird species. An area where animals can easily find food and protection and where it is possible to experience eco tourism.
The Pitons are two taper-shaped volcanic formations that characterise the island of St. Lucia and have been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Considered now extinct, the two Pitons are covered with a lush vegetation that colours them green and that makes them stand out in contrast to the blue of the water from which they seem to emerge.
St. Lucia, however, is full of surprises, such as its volcanic beaches and its extraordinary coral reef. Snorkelling, diving, windsurfing and kite surfing are all viable sports in amazing sea. There is no shortage of rainforests, where you can see some stunning waterfalls to swim in.
The capital of St. Lucia, Castries, is worth a visit to Derek Walcott Square, surrounded by wooden buildings and the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and to its market offering local crafts as well as fruits and vegetables.
Grenada is conquering the whole world with its charm. It attracts those who love the sea, because it has about thirty sites for diving where you can swim with the hawksbill turtle. There is also the Grenada Underwater Sculpture Park, an underwater art project involving 75 sculptures by Jason deCaires Taylor that should stimulate the formation of a new coral reef. Irresistible, therefore, for lovers of the underwater world.
For green lovers, in Grenada, there are rainforests, spice tree crops and many waterfalls. Paths to walk amidst nature to be in awe of the vegetation and its fauna.
However, Grenada knows how to make itself even more intriguing by enticing us with chocolate and its fragrant spices, or with many partying opportunities like the Carriacou Maroon Music Festival or Carnival.
Cuba is an island, but it is also a state of world renown. It is often forgotten that it is in the Caribbean Sea. Yet like the others, this island has great white beaches, such as Playas del Este, which spans nine kilometres or the Playa Jibacoa protected by hills with dense vegetation.
Cuba is also known for the many tobacco fields that are essential for making the cigars, appreciated by connoisseurs around the world, and for sugarcane crops that are fundamental for the island’s prized Rum.
In Cuba, a visit to its capital is also a must, Havana, with its pastel-coloured houses and on whose streets 1950s cars still whizz past. Since 1982, much modernisation of the old part of the city has taken place under the tutelage of UNESCO.
You cannot count the squares and buildings to visit, in a city where history has written very important pages, but where you can still see people dancing in the streets and in its clubs, frequented by prominent personalities such as Ernest Hemingway, to whom a museum is also dedicated.
Where Is the Caribbean?
The Caribbean is generally known as the region of warm waters south of Florida and east of Central America, but technically the Caribbean Sea begins south of the Greater Antilles and extends to the coasts of Central and South America, with the Windward Islands making up its eastern border.
The water north of the Caribbean countries Cuba,a Haiti, and the Dominican Republic is technically known as the Florida Strait, which separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Atlantic Ocean.
Any country with a coast on the Caribbean Sea can be considered a Caribbean country, but not all of them are islands, including Mexico, Belize, and Colombia. Some island nations that are commonly believed to be a part of the Caribbean, like the Bahamas and Bermuda, are technically in the Atlantic Ocean, and Guyana, which is neither an island nor located on the Caribbean Sea, is considered a part of the Caribbean because it still has a deep cultural connection to the region.
Eastern Caribbean Islands
Because of the natural sloping shape of the archipelago, there are far more islands in the Eastern Caribbean than the Western Caribbean. When defining east and west you can draw the line between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, which leaves mostly the smaller pieces of land of the Lesser Antilles and the Windward Islands. The Eastern Caribbean is made up of many small island countries and territories that can encompass one or multiple islands.
Western Caribbean Islands
The Western Caribbean includes everything west of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, which is also known as the island of Hispaniola, plus the coastal nations of the Caribbean.
Some coastal nations in the Western Caribbean claim islands off their coast, like Honduras’ Roatán or Mexico’s Cozumel, which may be included on a Western Caribbean cruise itinerary. However, there are only five main countries and territories associated with the Western Caribbean.
While Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti are independent countries, Jamaica is part of the Commonwealth of Nations, and the Cayman Islands are a British territory.
Although Haiti and the Dominican Republic share the same island, the two countries have extremely different histories and cultural influences with the formerly French-ruled Haiti defined by the uprising of self-liberated slaves that led to the Haitian Revolution.
Southern Caribbean Islands
The categorization of “Southern Caribbean” is most commonly used by those planning cruise itineraries and it usually refers to islands just off the coast of South America. It also includes some overlap with many Eastern Caribbean islands.
The Windward Islands
The Windward Islands are the northern islands of the Lesser Antilles island group in the Eastern Caribbean. They are so named because the trade winds touch here first, placing these islands upwind from the Leeward Islands. The term dates back to the days when explorers and merchants relied on the trade winds to carry their ships across the Atlantic to the Caribbean.
The British West Indies
Historically, the British West Indies (BWI) included more than 20 Caribbean islands that were part of the British Empire. Many of these islands have gained their independence from Great Britain over the years, however, but are still referred to as the BWI, as you’ll still find historical landmarks and influences of British culture on these islands. These countries are connected by their common heritage and may be a popular choice for travelers looking for an English-speaking country.
U.S. Virgin Islands
40 miles east of Puerto Rico, the other American territory in the Caribbean, the U.S. Virgin Islands, consists of three main islands: St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix. Beyond these, however, there are also dozens of smaller islands filled with white sand beaches and deep harbors. The islands sit along the fault line of the North American and Caribbean plates, which means earthquakes are common, and these islands are often in the path of hurricanes. The islands became a territory of the United States when Denmark sold them to the U.S. in 1916.