Crystal clear, sparkling seas and powder-soft white sand beaches are the main reasons people visit the Caribbean. Arrive by seaplane, private plane, or catamaran. Stay in boutique all-inclusive resorts or private villas. Take a family adventure or travel with adults only. The Caribbean has something for everyone. Read on for some of My Mermaid Soul Travel’s Caribbean Island picks.
Known for its private-island feel, pristine beaches, and celebrity clientele, Anguilla is an ideal vacation for those seeking privacy without sacrificing luxury. Some of the finest accommodations and gourmet dining experiences in the Caribbean can be found on the hidden gem of Anguilla. Floating in the waters off Shoal Bay Beach and spending a day at Sandy Island are etched in my mind forever.
Famous for its 365 beaches and English Harbor’s yachting hub, Antigua has some of the best weather in all of the Caribbean, with more days of sunshine and less humidity. All manner of outdoor activities can be found on Antigua, which is best toured by jeep or boat. Antigua’s neighboring island of Barbuda is a nature-lover’s paradise and is home to Robert De Niro’s Asian restaurant, Nobu.
It’s all about the beautiful white sand beaches on Aruba, an arid, flat island with a desert landscape. Located outside the hurricane belt, Aruba is an ideal vacation destination any time of the year and boasts a vibrant nightlife scene, casinos, and water sports galore. Visiting the flamingos at the Renaissance Hotel’s private beach, staying in an exclusive overwater bungalow at Aruba Ocean Villas, and dining toes-in-the-sand at the famous Screaming Eagle restaurant should not be missed.
With more than 700 islands and its close proximity to the United States, the Bahamas is the perfect location for all types of travelers looking for a quick escape that feels worlds away. From the well- known tourist destination of Nassau on New Providence Island to the less traveled out- islands, the Bahamas is home to some of the clearest water on the planet. Visit the blog for two of my personal favorites, Exuma and Long Island.
The BVI’s are only a few miles from the U.S. Virgin Islands but far quieter and without the tourist bustle of neighboring St. Thomas. Yachting is the main attraction surrounding these stunning volcanic islands as well as water activities, bird-watching, and relaxing. For those who prefer to vacation on land, Long Bay Beach Resort on the island of Tortola is a relaxed boutique resort with gourmet dining set on a mile long pristine beach.
A mountainous Caribbean island with natural hot springs and tropical rainforests, Dominica is one of the Caribbean’s best kept secrets and is the perfect destination to go off the grid and immerse with nature. This is the island for the adventurous eco-tourist seeking authenticity while on vacation.
The second largest and most diverse Caribbean country , the DR has 3 major tourist areas- Punta Cana, Santo Domingo, and Puerto Plata. The Punta Cana region has miles of soft sand beaches and all-inclusive resorts that are a great value compared to similar resorts on other islands. The Dominican Republic is a great island for exploration, whether by land or sea. Visit the blog for my recent experience at Zoetry Agua Punta Cana, an elegant wellness oasis in Uvero Alto.
One of the most stunning locations in the Caribbean, the spice islands are located in the Lesser Antilles and a favorite among sailors, celebrities, and escapists. A quick puddle-jump from Barbados will take you to the private island of Mustique where you can rub elbows with Tommy Hilfiger at the iconic Basil’s Bar. Chartering a boat through the Tobago Cays marine park is also a fantastic way to experience the Grenadines. Or escape to Palm Island Resort for the ultimate private island experience.
The 3rd largest island in the Caribbean, Jamaica is lush and mountainous, with cascading waterfalls, spectacular beaches, and cerulean blue waters. Jamaica is also home to some of the best resorts in the world! This island has so much to offer both on and off the beach, from river rafting to live reggae music to diving.
A small volcanic island with the towering Nevis Peak at its centerpiece, Nevis mirrors the kind of tropical paradise that is found in the South Pacific. The Four Seasons hotel is ultra-luxurious; most of the other accommodations on the island are exclusive boutique hotels. Its island neighbor, St. Kitts, is equally stunning, with its tropical rainforest, lovely beaches, and rich history. For a unique stay on St. Kitts, Belle Mont Farm is a sustainable luxury resort with farm-to-table dining.
It’s all about seclusion and laid-back sophistication on St. Barths, with its decidedly French ambience, charming culture, and well-heeled visitors. The restaurants are some of the best in all of the Caribbean, the beaches are sublime, and the landscape of hills and ravines is breathtaking. You may never want to leave…
Like something out of Bali Hai, St. Lucia is best known for its majestic twin Pitons, volcanic spires emerging dramatically from the sea. The island is rugged, exotic, and a choice destination for honeymooners seeking an ultra-private barefoot luxury experience. Jade Mountain is arguably one of the most exclusive and romantic resorts on the island. Alternatively, Rabot Hotel provides a unique immersive experience with its 14 private eco-lodges and open-air spa set in the lushness of a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Referred to as The Island of the Gods, Bali’s remoteness, fascinating Hindu culture, and mesmerizing beaches are just a few of the many reasons why adventurers are flocking to this unique destination. Where else can you find such stunning natural beauty, delicious organic food, a monkey forest, massive waterfalls, an elephant sanctuary, and a volcano to climb all on one island? Bali truly has it all. Visit the blog for more information on all this incredible destination has to offer!
Located on the northeastern coast of Central America, Belize is a top destination for adventure tourism with its diverse ecosystem and abundance of wildlife. It is also one of the great centers of the Mayan civilization and is famous for the second largest coral reef in the world, making it a diver’s paradise. Belize has a number of resorts that offer stunning overwater bungalow accommodations, including Cocoplum Island Resort, Thatch Cay Resort, and Cayo Espanto Resort.
Warm, rich tones surround you… in the colors on your plate, the landscape, and the local art. Smiles, laughter, and dancing will make you pause and watch with wonder. The joy is infectious. The climates are just as varied as the scenery. Start your journey watching birds dance in the coolness of the rainforest and wrap up your trip relaxing on the coastline.
The only U.S. state lying in the tropics, Hawaii is an exotic option without need of a passport if you are a citizen and want to experience the rich Polynesian culture. Each island is unique and there are an endless array of accommodations and activities for every type of traveler. Check out my blog post on What To Do With A 24 Hour Layover In Honolulu for a glimpse.
From the craggy shoreline and luxury resorts of Cabo to the soft sand beaches and road less traveled vibe of the Riviera Maya, Mexico’s vacation options are as diverse as its landscapes. For ultra-exclusivity with a focus on protecting the environment, escape to Punta Mita. The choice is yours.
One of the most exotic places on earth. Breathtakingly beautiful scenery combined with a slow pace of life forces a level of relaxation unlike any other. Intimate accommodations like overwater bungalows provide the perfect backdrop for quality time with the most important person in your life. Another luxury alternative is a Windstar cruise... imagine sailing through the Tahitian waters on a large yacht, sipping champagne from your balcony as you arrive at one exotic island destination after another.