We pick out six of our favourite Caribbean Islands to help you choose the holiday that suits you
Every Caribbean island is as unique and beautiful as the last, with many offering a selection of resorts, from the original and authentic to the modern, sophisticated, and high end.
The brilliance of the Caribbean, though, is that there is a little something for everyone, whether you enjoy your hikes, cocktails, or relaxing on a golden, sandy beach – there is an island for that. So no matter which category you fall into, we have found an island for you.
Cuba – For the culture lover
Cuba is the largest and one of the most diverse of the islands in the Caribbean, with over eleven million inhabitants. Known for its fabulous beaches and coral reefs, its colourful history is peppered with music and arts, leaving behind the lasting legacy of a modern, vibrant culture.
The bustling capital city of Havana is a sight to behold, full of 1950s vintage cars and colonial buildings, laid-back cafés and music filled bars.
Two of the most popular resorts are Varadero, a premier beach resort, and Cayo Coco, located o the Northern coast of Cuba and part of an archipelago called Jardines Del Rey (King’s Gardens).
The best time to travel is November to April, when there is less rainfall and lower humidity.
Cuba is ranked very high for human development, and health and education by the United Nations. Viva Cuba libre!
Barbados – For the beach cruiser
Barbados Boasts Spectacular palm fringed beaches and some of the most lavish hotels in the Caribbean. Ideal for traditional sun seekers, honeymooners, cricket lovers and even those who want to learn more about its rich colonial history. Barbados draws on its English, African and West Indian roots, yet establishes its own distinctive identity, evident in its customs, traditions and cuisine – an exciting fusion of East Indian, African and Creole.
The birthplace of rum (some say the oldest distilled spirit in the world), Barbados also hosts the Crop Over festival, which is the largest carnival in the region, and is an important event for the islanders and the many thousands of tourists who flock there to participate. Traditionally, the male and female Barbadians who harvested the most sugarcane are crowned as the ‘king and queen of the crop’.
Along Barbados’ swanky west coast lie some of the best hotels, from pure luxury resorts such as Sandy Lane, to the more family-friendly Almond Beach Resort – and with over 3000 hours of sunshine and average daily temperatures of 26°C, it is hard to imagine a place that enjoys better weather.
Antigua – For the history buff
The largest of the British Leeward Islands, Antigua has a coastline of soft white-sand beaches, lagoons, natural harbours and coral reefs and o ers a selection of luxury beach- front hotels.
“National Park featuring unique plants and beautiful wildlife in abundance is perfect for hiking, sight-seeing, or maybe just taking a break from it all”
Feeling a need to recharge and feel rejuvenated? Antigua has developed a range of first class spas and wellness retreats, with many tucked away in secluded corners of the island, o ering their guests much-needed space and tranquillity.
For history lovers, Antigua’s coastline is dotted with the ruins of numerous British forts, including Nelson’s Dockyard National Park – formerly a major port used for the British Navy’s West Indies operations. There are also several museums, with the unique architecture of St John’s Cathedral, being particularly worth a visit.
Bogey Peak, the highest mountain on the island, is now a National Park featuring unique plants and beautiful wildlife in abundance and is perfect for hiking, sight-seeing, or maybe just taking a break from it all.
The Bahamas – For the view hunter
The Bahamas Comprises of hundreds of small islands sprinkled over 100,000 square miles of ocean. They start just 50 miles o the coast of Florida, and boast some of the clearest water in the world, with visibility down to over 200ft.
From the lush mangrove forests of Andros Island to the pink sands of Harbour Island, each of these spits of land has its own unique character and attractions. Although many of these islands are now private resorts or celebrity hideaways, the remainder o er a plethora of boutique hotels and stylish luxury resorts.
The islands gained independence from Great Britain in 1973, and, as a member of the British Commonwealth, the islands have an appointed governor general, representing the Queen.
The Bahamas attracts around six million visitors per year, and more than 70% of those are normally cruise visitors. As such, tourism accounts for around 60% of the Bahamian GDP, so holiday makers are always given a warm welcome!
The capital city of Nassau is a wonderful place to lose yourself and explore, where the charming pastel coloured Georgian architecture is a photographer’s dream.
If you are looking for a luxury getaway, you will find the Bahamas is geared up for little else other than spoiling and entertaining those lured to these dreamy islands.
Jamaica – For the music fan
Jamaica is the land of reggae and the famous Bob Marley museum in New Kingston, where guests can see and hear their way through the life of this musical legend, is a must see for any music buff.
Jamaica’s music blends elements from Africa, and neighbouring Caribbean islands such as Trinidad and Tobago, and, while reggae is especially popular, Jamaica’s musical influence has also infiltrated and influenced other countries. The practice of ‘toasting’, when brought to New York City, evolved to become rapping and the late 1980s Did musical movement known you known as hip-hop.
Virgin Islands – For the watersports
The Virgin Islands are the western island group of the Leeward Islands, forming the border between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Politically, the eastern Virgin Islands islands are British and the western ones are owned by the United States.
“The sailing capital of the Caribbean”
The British Virgin Islands comprise of approximately 60 islands and cays, including Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, and Anegada and are world-renowned as the sailing capital of the Caribbean, attracting thousands of visitors each year.
Now more accessible than ever before, there has never been a better time to visit these glorious turquoise waters.