Discover Which Caribbean Islands are Best for You

Many Islands, One Exceptional Caribbean

Many islands make up the ‘Caribbean’.  There are English, Dutch, French and Spanish Caribbean islands.  And there is literally a Caribbean island for everyone. 

The Caribbean Has It All – hundreds of islands and a hotspot of biodiversity; highly-educated, talented and creative people; the fastest man in the world (Usain Bolt); internationally-famous actors and musicians (Bob Marley, Sydney Poitier, Rihanna); the only invented musical instrument of the 20th century (the Steel Pan); Nobel Prize winners; the only buried city of modern times –  Montserrat; a vibrant and living culture; home of the greatest show on Earth (Carnival); modern sporting, meeting and medical facilities; a variety of business and investment opportunities; and of course, Sun, Sand and Sea.

It’s easy for anyone to fall in love with the Caribbean!

The Caribbean continues to be an amazing place to live, work, and play.  Which island is best for you?  Here we look at a few of the English-speaking islands.

The best time to visit the Caribbean is during the European ‘winter months’, from November to April.  You may want to avoid the ‘rainy/hurricane’ season (June to September), you will miss the best time where the ‘liquid sunshine’ cleans and regenerate the rainforests and nature.  You also may not want to miss the variety of events and festivals that take place over the year – from carnivals, heritage, cultural and religious festivals, to mango, breadfruit, ‘blue food’, ‘crop over’ fish festivals (e.g. Oistin’s in Barbados and Anse La Raye in St. Lucia), harvests, and literary festivals, and many, many more.

 

There is literally something to do, see and experience in the Caribbean for everyone and for every day of the year.

 

Here are some tips and tricks to help you to choose and to experience your favourite Caribbean island fully.

Antigua and Barbuda – A Beach for Every Day of the Year

For Pure Sun, Sand, Sea and Escapism, look no further. Antigua and Barbuda boast 365 beaches, one for every day of the year.  You are literally spoilt for choice.  Antigua is the yachting capital of the English-speaking Caribbean.  Even if you are not a yachtie, visit English Harbour, one of the safest and most historic ports in the Eastern Caribbean, with a very long maritime tradition.

 

When in Antigua and Barbuda there are definitely a few things you do not want to miss. Visit the beaches, take a boat trip, learn to sail. And make sure to visit Shirley Heights, one of the highest points on the island. 

 

Come to rest and relax, but ensure that you see the whole island with an experienced local taxi driver.  The original stories are worth every minute of it.

antigua and barbuda

The Bahamas is as Diverse as it Gets!

The Bahamas is not just one island but an archipelago of some 700 islands and the third longest barrier reef in the world. Its proximity to the USA (a mere 30-minute flight) makes an escape quick and easy.  Combined with first-rate resorts, shopping and casino gambling, it has something for everyone.  From tying the knot and fine dining to fly fishing, boating and diving, the Bahamas is one amazing place to vacation.

 

Take a trip to one of the islands. Check out the swimming pigs! And the fresh conch salad in Nassau is not to be missed either!

 

Plan a longer stay. Don’t just stay in Nassau. Plan a trip to other islands. It’s fun and exciting. Or learn something new – dive, sail, fish or just eat something you have not tried before.

Barbados – Perfect for Work and Play

A Peaceful and Calm island, known as the ‘Switzerland of the Caribbean’, Barbados has all of the ‘creature comforts’ of a developed country. Most international organisations serving the Caribbean are located in Barbados.  This is an island that is a great place to work and play.  The island is diverse. You can both ‘live like a local’ and live in the lap of luxury.  Ask Rihanna

Discover the whole island in just one day. Go restaurant hopping at different locations on the island. The food is fantastic!

Barbados is an ideal location for the Digital Nomads. You can easily apply for a one-year visa that allows you to work and play in Barbados.

And when you go to Barbados make sure to stay on the Eco-East Coast – Totally Refreshing!

Belize is Eco in Every Way

Home to the second longest barrier reef in the world, Belize offers amazing diving. Belize is eco in very way.  From great reefs to great jungles, a rich and authentic Mayan culture, Belize has it all. You better Belize it!  

 

There are so many things to do in Belize – learn to dive; take a boat trip; visit the Blue Hole; try fly fishing; and experience the Mayan Culture.

 

Belize is really close to the USA. Even short trips will be worth it and the sites and attractions are really accessible.

Dominica is Pure Nature – Out of this World!

Dominica is for the well-healed and mature nature adventure traveller.  From whale-watching and diving to hiking some of the most scenic and picturesque locations, Dominica has more nature and natural attractions per square kilometre than most places in the world.  The natural food, the people and its history are all out of this world.

 

Visit the Kalinago Territory where the Original Peoples of the Caribbean still operate. Eat fresh, local and organic; and try some of the vegan and vegetarian options.

Grenada is the True Caribbean

This is the ‘land of spice’ and the True Caribbean. Gentle people, incredible landscapes and many quality hotels and resorts, Grenada is not as developed for tourism as its older neighbours.  Grenada is island is True Caribbean escape.  Explore the Petit Martinique and Cariacou, a mere boat ride away.

Everything you need or want on a holiday is right here.  Eat the local organic chocolates. Eat Fresh. Plan to take home some spices and do try the many local restaurants that prepare the most delicious meals with the island’s spices.

caribbean islands

Guyana – A Rough and Rugged Eco-Paradise

Guyana is Caribbean by its location and geo-politics – but this country (not an island) resembles South America – with its enormous rivers, rain and timber-forests, amazing wildlife and natural attractions (such as Angel Falls) and protected areas (e.g. Iwrokrama).  Guyana is full of wood and water and is as rough and rugged as it gets.  Guyana is an ecotourist’s paradise.

 

On your next trip to Guyana, you should not miss a visit to the old historic town of Georgetown. It’s a must!  It is probably one of the few remaining wooden towns (most buildings are wooden) in the world.

 

Remember that the amazing nature sites in Guyana are ‘out of town’. So plan a few extra days to explore Guyana’s rivers, forests and reserves.

Jamaica – The Entire Caribbean in One Island

Home to Bob Marley and Reggae, not to mention Usain Bolt and Blue Mountain Coffee, Jamaica is an amazing island. You can find the whole Caribbean in Jamaica – from rivers and lakes, to mountains and beautiful beaches. 

And you should not miss a visit the Bob Marley Museum. Make sure to hang out with the locals.  Enjoy one of the many festivals. Learn about the Jamaican brand of real Rastafarianism.

There is an experience, location and hotel/resort for everyone. Decide what you want to do and go for it!

Montserrat is “Hot, Hot, Hot.”

Singer, songwriter, and calypsonian extraordinaire, Alphonsus Cassell, known in the music world as Arrow, could not have said it better. Montserrat is “hot, hot, hot”.

Montserrat is ‘hot’ in culture, in nature, it has an active volcano, there is a buried city, warm and inviting people, and so much more.

Montserrat has a rich and thriving culture. With influences from Africa, Ireland, and Britain Montserrat’s music, cuisine, art, festivals are unique and interesting. Montserrat is the only country outside of Ireland that celebrates St. Patrick’s Day. And boy, do they celebrate.

Montserrat is also one of the few Caribbean islands with an active volcano and the only destination in the region with a buried city.  The volcano and the buried city combine to create an unparalleled attraction for eco-tourists, historians, and scientists alike.

montserrat volcano

St. Kitts & Nevis

St. Kitts is an amazing rock in the Caribbean Sea. This island is home of one of the major Caribbean fortifications at Basseterre. St. Kitts has all of the trappings of a Caribbean island, including a rich history of sugar.  Nevis is an undiscovered gem. No noise, no traffic. You can truly eat, live and lime like a local on Nevis.  With small-scale, old plantation Great Houses, time has beautifully stopped still on this island.  Make time to visit!

 

St. Kitts & Nevis is a perfect location to enjoy a perfect Caribbean vacation – with its sugar history, great food, wonderful beaches and gentle people. Make sure to the short boat ride over the Channel to Nevis. It’s an experience you should not miss. 

St. Lucia is Boutique to the Bone

Everything about St. Lucia is ‘boutique’.  St Lucia is a small island with amazing natural attractions, including the Pitons. The island boasts of a number of small, boutique hotels that are immaculately elegant. Boasting of one of the highest Nobel Prize Winners per capita, this island is well-heeled with truly amazing local people.

Visit the Pitons, located in the village Soufriere.  Spend a Friday night and go to the village fest at Gros Islet in the North or Anse La Ray Seafood Festival on the South West coast.

Try tying the knot, spending your honeymoon. Or take part in the transatlantic race for yachts that end up in St. Lucia. A great place to start your Caribbean boating journey.

St. Vincent & the Grenadines – Rustic and Romantic

If sailing and the outdoors are your thing, St. Vincent and the Grenadines are the place for you. A combination of rustic and romantic. Sailing the Grenadines is one of the most sought-after experiences in the Caribbean. Bequia is a gem.  Sailing-pure. You can also like the stars luxury in Mustique, where a visit to the famous Basil’s Bar is a must. Canouan and Petit St. Vincent are also amazing places to visit by boat or fly in.  

 

Don’t miss a trip to Bequia where you may even encounter whales in the channel.  Visit Basil’s Bar on Mustique or hike the volcano on mainland St. Vincent.

 

Pack outdoor clothes and shoes and enjoy the great Caribbean outdoors. Plan to climb the volcano.

Trinidad & Tobago – Two Distinct Experiences

Trinidad and Tobago are a twin island Republic.  The two islands are as diverse as you can get.  Trinidad is full of energy (both in the form of oil and natural gas) as well as the energy and vitality of its people. Home of calypso, steelpan, an educated and savvy population, with one of the largest carnivals in the world, Trinidad is as cosmopolitan as it is filled with amazing natural attractions, that reflect the South American continent. Trinidad is one of the four best places in the world for bird-watching and tons of unexplored nature. Trinidad is best enjoyed with a local. 

Tobago by contrast is sleepy.  It is as if tourism totally forgot this place, far away from the maddening crowds and almost completely ‘local’. Home of the largest forest reserve in the Western Hemisphere, this island is paradise – the way the Caribbean used to be.

What not to miss in Trinidad – Carnival and many other festivals such as Divali; nature and bird watching. And of course, a trip to Tobago is a must. To help you enjoy your journey, get a local to show you around. And in Tobago, try a villa and ‘live like a local’. At Easter, make sure to visit the goat racing – unique to Tobago.

Unique Features of Caribbean Islands and
Tips for your Next Trip

Name of Country

What Not to Miss

Tips to Help You  Plan your Journey

Antigua and Barbuda

Visit the beaches, take a boat trip, learn to sail. Visit Shirley Heights, one of the highest points on the island. 

Come to rest and relax, but ensure that you see the whole island with an experienced local taxi driver.  The original stories are worth every minute of it.

The Bahamas

Bahamas

Take a trip to one of the islands. Check out the swimming pigs!

And the fresh conch salad in Nassau is not to be missed either!

Plan a longer stay. Don’t just stay in Nassau. Plan a trip to other islands. It’s fun and exciting. Or learn something new – dive, sail, fish or just eat something you have not tried before.

Barbados

Discover the whole island in a day. Go restaurant hopping at different locations on the island.

Be a Digital Nomad. Apply for a one-year visa.  Work and Play.

Try staying on the Eco-east coast – Totally Refreshing!

Belize

Learn to Dive. Take a boat trip. Visit the Blue Hole. Try fly fishing.  Experience the Mayan Culture

Belize is really close to the USA. Even short trips will be worth it and the sites and attractions are really accessible.

Dominica

Dominica

Visit the Kalinago Territory where the Original Peoples of the Caribbean still operate.

Eat fresh, local and organic; and try some of the vegan and vegetarian options. 

Grenada

Grenada

Everything you need or want on a holiday is right here.  Eat the local organic chocolates. Eat Fresh.

Plan to take home some spices and do try the many local restaurants that prepare the most delicious meals with the island’s local spices.

Guyana

A visit to the old historic town of Georgetown is a must!  It is probably one of the few remaining wooden towns (most buildings are wooden) in the world.

The amazing nature sites in Guyana are ‘out of town’. So plan a few extra days to explore Guyana’s rivers, forests and reserves.

Jamaica

Visit the Bob Marley Museum. Hang out with a local.  Enjoy one of the many festivals.

Learn about the Jamaican brand of real Rastafarianism

There is an experience, location and hotel/resort for everyone. Decide what you want to do and go for it!

St. Kitts & Nevis

ST. KITTS AND NEVIS

A perfect location to enjoy a perfect Caribbean vacation – with its sugar history, great food, wonderful beaches and gentle people.

A short boat ride over the Channel, Nevis is not to be missed. 

St. Lucia

St. Lucia

Visit the Pitons, located in the village Soufriere.  Spend a Friday night and go to the village fest at Gros Islet in the North or Anse La Ray Seafood Festival on the South West coast.

Try tying the knot, spending your honeymoon. Or take part in the transatlantic race for yachts that end up in St. Lucia. A great place to start your Caribbean boating journey.

St. Vincent & the Grenadines

St. Vincent & the grenadines

Don’t miss a trip to Bequia where you may even encounter whales in the channel.  Visit Basil’s Bar on Mustique or hike the volcano on mainland St. Vincent.

Pack outdoor clothes and shoes and enjoy the great Caribbean outdoors. Plan to climb the volcano.

Trinidad & Tobago

Trinidad Carnival and many other festivals such as Divali.  Nature and bird watching. A trip to Tobago

Get a Local to show you around

In Tobago, try a villa and ‘live like a local’. At Easter, make sure to visit the goat racing – unique to Tobago.

What is your favourite Caribbean destination?

What did we miss?

Author:
Dr. Auliana Poon

aulianapoonleveimage

Dr. Auliana Poon is the founder and Managing Director of Leve Global and Exceptional Caribbean.

 

Auliana loves the Caribbean and believes in its people. Her personal mission is to change the world; to transform our societies. And this is precisely why she has spearheaded Exceptional Caribbean – a continuing mission to elevate tourism, trade and lives.

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