The 7,000 plus islands in the Caribbean have much more to offer than just white sandy beaches. The region is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places on earth, and there are countless reasons to visit. But not all the islands were made the same. Some are known for the colourful corals and clear blue waters, while some feature luxuriant rainforests. Whether you’re looking for an escape from the daily humdrum or craving for a warm weather getaway, check out some of the most beautiful Caribbean islands.
1. St. Lucia
Equal parts beauty and mystique, Saint Lucia captivates anyone who sets foot on her coastline. Apart from behind one of the most beautiful Caribbean islands, she’s famous for a duo of spires known as the Pitons. The volcanic peaks – Gros Piton and Petit Piton – are the most iconic landmarks of the island. If you’re an avid hiker, you should most definitely add them to your bucket list. Although the climb is strenuous and lengthy, the views from the top will easily make the journey worth it.
Much rather stay at sea level? Sugar Beach is set dramatically between the two Pitons. Other attractions include the Sulphur Springs at Soufrière and water activities such as snorkelling and scuba diving. Castries, the island’s capital and cruise ship port, offers a colorful slice of St. Lucian life. Shop at its lively market, and visit some of its fascinating historic landmarks.
2. Turks & Caicos
If you want to spend your time underwater, Turks & Caicos is home to one of the largest barrier reef systems in the world. Experience some of the world’s best wall diving – there are many sites where the depth drops abruptly from the barrier reef to 2100 meters. Want to stay closer to shore? The Bight Reef and Smith’s Reef in central Providenciales are close to the beach and perfect for shore snorkeling. You’ll see colorful fish, turtles, stingrays, eagle rays, and even small sharks!
With 40 islands and cays here, a day trip to other islands is a must, and you will understand why the most beautiful Caribbean islands are here. Check out the green and verdant islands of North Caicos and Middle Caicos, or explore the wild and scenic landscapes of South Caicos. Whether you choose to spend your time on land or on sea, Turks & Caicos islands make a wonderful retreat.
Jamaica is many people’s entry point to the Caribbean, whether it’s for a stay at GoldenEye or to indulge in the local food culture. Whatever your reason, Jamaica’s beauty is unreal. Head west to the town of Negril for some of the best swimming and diving spots in the country, in particular Seven Mile Beach. Then, head inland for a hike through misty mountains and views of hidden lagoons and waterfalls.
And of course, there’s reggae. In Kingston, Jamaica’s cultural district and edgy capital, you can tour reggae legend Bob Marley’s former home. Fans can also visit the Trench Town Culture Yard Museum in the ghetto, the birthplace of reggae music.
4. St. Barts
St Barts is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean. The capital city of Gustavia offers all the modern comforts such as boutiques, restaurants, private hotels and villas. They peek from behind veils of tropical foliage, drawing in movie stars and moguls to this sun-soaked island.
On the other hand, more rural areas offer a beautiful natural landscape for visitors to explore. Popular things to do include kitesurfing, kayaking, fishing, surfing, and sailing. You can also snorkel and dive at the Nature Reserve of Saint-Barthélemy. The island also hosts many festivals, celebrating everything from sporting events to movies and music.
The British Overseas Territory of Anguilla is the place to get away from it all. A Caribbean gem, its beaches are the island’s biggest draw. Mix that in with friendly locals and an authentic island vibe that has diluted on other Caribbean islands.
People who just want a peaceful holiday come here to lay on the island’s silky sands and swim in the dazzling waters. Or, pretend to be Robinson Crusoe on Anguilla’s offshore islands, and explore the fish-filled reefs and wrecks. Other popular things to do here include checking out the island’s fine restaurants, art galleries and museums. You can also hop aboard a ferry or small plane and take a day trip to the nearby St. Barts!