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When people dream of the Caribbean, they generally don’t think too hard about what that means; they think of a singular destination, as opposed to a collective region; a region of 28 island countries located in the Caribbean Sea.

28 might seem like a manageable enough number to choose between, though those 28 nations are home to some 7,000 plus islands; each with sugary white beaches, swaying palms, and shimmering reefs.

Combining adventure with relaxation, culture, and history, the Caribbean is a diverse region with something for every type of traveler. If you’re after a tropical vacation you can’t go wrong with one of these.

Beautiful Places in the Caribbean

Lalomanu-beach-open-fale Samoa

Which Countries are in the Caribbean?

While this post will cover only our favorite destinations, the following is a full list of nations in the Caribbean Sea.

Anguilla 

Antigua and Barbuda

Aruba

Bahamas

Barbados

British Virgin Islands

Cayman Islands

Cuba

Curaçao

Dominica

Dominican Republic

Grenada

Guadeloupe

Haiti

Jamaica

Martinique

Montserrat

Puerto Rico

Saint Barthélemy

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Saint Lucia

Saint Martin

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Sint Maarten

Trinidad and Tobago

Turks and Caicos Islands

United States Virgin Islands

Saint Croix

Saint John

Saint Thomas

Jamaica

Jamaica RF

Jamaica is one of the most iconic Caribbean nations, with a culture at sits somewhere between old and new worlds. A tropical landscape, with Caribbean rhythms, creole food, and African spice, at night you’ll down shots of rum, and in the morning wake up to a glorious sunrise.

Jamaica is a beautiful island, and has something to suit every traveler, whether you’re looking for off the beaten path adventure, or a resort town where you can chillax at a beach bar with a cocktail in hand.

The South Coast is a great place for immersing yourself in nature, with natural healing mineral baths, verdent jungle and rides down to dark sandy beaches. Kingston on the other hand is half jungle, half cosmopolitan, and is the heart of Jamaica’s trendy nightlife.

Pro tip: A trip to Jamaica wouldn’t be complete without seeing the Bob Marley Museum. Located in Kingston capitol city, you can take a tour through the house where Bob Marley lived. See his studio where he wrote many of his popular songs, and don’t miss the gift shop where there’s plenty of Bob Marley memorabilia to buy.

Montego Bay is the ideal destination for beach lovers; this region is known for perfectly white sand beaches, and is an easy day trip from Kingston. Negril is along the same vibe, and is known as the capitol of casual; a very lazy beach destination, with a distinctly Jamaican vibe. 

The Bahamas

Bahamas Pig swimming RF

The Bahamas is another iconic group of Caribbean islands, attracting families, couples, and individuals for its crystal clear blue waters, beautiful colored sand beaches, and unique attractions – like swimming pigs!

With so many beautiful islands at your disposal, it’s hard to go wrong with the Bahamas. These islands are home to some of the most beautiful (and colorful) beaches in the world; of particular note, the pink sand beach on Harbour Island.

A definite perk of a vacation here are the many beautiful villas in the Bahamas; if you’ve ever wanted to stay in a luxury villa over a standard hotel room this would be the place.

One of the most affordable destinations for a villa experience, it’s no surprise that luxury villas have become the trend in the Bahamas, tempting travelers with offers of exotic locations, private beach access, and personal chefs!

Cuba

Is it safe to travel to Cuba?

A little more than a hundred miles from the Florida Keys, Cuba is so different from any other country; travelers can seek romance in its old colonial streets, step back in time thanks to an old-world spirit, feel the heat of the Latin culture, or turn to nature for a relaxing quietness.

Cuba is an absolutely breathtaking country, one which leaves visitors both puzzled and captured at the same time. And while many head to Cuba and don’t wander far past Havana, you’re missing out by not exploring further out.

From UNESCO-Listed biosphere reserves, lush mountain ranges, protected landscapes and endemic wildlife, the diversity of Cuba’s ecosystems astounds and bewilders.

And, you might be surprised to hear, according to a recent survey conducted by the Center of Responsible Travel, Cuba is one of the safest destinations for tourists in the world.

Travelers looking for cultural immersion will be right at home,  as staying with a local family is much cheaper than opting for a hotel. The price of most ‘casas’ is for the room, and not the number of travelers staying there.

British Virgin Islands

Swimming beach bahamas female traveler RF

With four major islands and over 50 smaller (mostly uninhabited) islands, The British Virgin Islands are a treasure trove of places to sight-see, snorkel, and sail.

Perhaps the most visited location in the British Virgin Islands, The Baths are an undeniably breathtaking sight to behold. Enormous grey boulders soar majestically from the clear blue waters, creating a labyrinth of caves and secluded grottoes that visitors can wade or swim through.

Jost Van Dyke is the smallest of the BVI’s inhabited islands but packs a punch in the “laidback” department. It’s the preferred day trip destination for locals living in the Virgin Islands, and has long been a darling destination for BVI charters.

Known as the “Jewel of the BVI”, Cane Garden Bay is best known for its sugar cane, and the resulting rum made from its extract. A visit to Callwood’s Rum Distillery is a must, as it is the oldest continuously working rum distillery on the islands.

Saint Lucia

Photo credit: Sugar Beach Residences via Flickr

The natural beauty of St. Lucia is reason enough to visit this Caribbean island. Once you arrive, you’ll find plenty of spots to discover and things to do during your stay.

Lounging on the many gorgeous beaches is a must on every visitor’s St. Lucia itinerary. You can do so without having to open your wallet, but you can also find water sport equipment rentals, such as stand-up paddleboards and snorkeling gear, if you feel like getting active.

If you visit Jalousie Beach, you’ll notice the twin Pitons peaks towering above you. The taller mountain, Gros Piton, and the smaller one, Petit Piton, are volcanic peaks that you can access on foot if you’re up for a rugged hike.

Climbing up and back on Gros Piton will take all day, but you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the island and the shimmering Caribbean waters. On a clear day, you can see the island of Saint Vincent, which is over 20 miles away.

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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.

    

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