• Caribbean

21 Hottest Caribbean Escapes

Nothing says vacation like crystalline blue waters, white-sand beaches and luxurious indulgence. That's why we're counting down the 21 best destinations in the Caribbean, where vacation is a lifestyle.

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Sandy Island
Sandy Island

Sandy Island

Drop your anchor and enjoy a romantic day on beautiful, uninhabited Sandy Island -- just a 30-minute boat ride from Petite Anse. The island has numerous coconut trees. So if you need a break from snorkeling or bird watching -- crack open a coconut and sit on the beach with the cool, crystal-blue water lapping at your feet. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Jamesby Island

Jamesby Island

Relax, go sunbathing or take a swim off the coast of Jamesby Island. One of 5 isles in Tobago Cays, this island has the smallest beach in the area. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Winstar Cruise

Winstar Cruise

Take an exciting Windstar Cruise through St. Lucia, located northeast of St. Vincent and northwest of Barbados, in the Caribbean Sea. Climb aboard a luxurious ship for a unique voyage where fun is at your fingertips - book shore excursions, enjoy a candle-lit dinner, listen to live entertainment, work-out in the fitness facility, rent water sports equipment and more. 960 1280

Winstar Cruises  

Hiking in St. Lucia

Hiking in St. Lucia

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Josh Webb / E+ / Getty Images  

Tobago Cays

Tobago Cays

Located in the southern Grenadines, the Tobago Cays is an archipelago that consists of 5 small uninhabited islands -- Petit Rameau, Petit Bateau, Baradol, Petit Tabac and Jamesby.  A popular port of call for cruise ships, Tobago Cays draws thousands of tourists for diving, snorkeling and sports fishing. 960 1280

  

Sandals La Toc Golf Resort & Spa

Sandals La Toc Golf Resort & Spa

If staying dry and on land is your speed -- enjoy a game of golf at the Sandals La Toc Golf Resort and Spa in St. Lucia. Sharpen your club-selection skills on this 3,141-yard course, where several holes demand laser-like accuracy for the perfect shot. Rolling hills and majestic fairways inspire performance at all levels. 960 1280

Sandals Resorts  

St. George's, Grenada

St. George's, Grenada

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Medioimages / Photodisc / Thinkstock  

Scuba Diving near St. Vincent

Scuba Diving near St. Vincent

St. Vincent is a scuba diver’s paradise. The island offers some of the best diving in the Caribbean, with numerous reefs, shipwrecks, caves and caverns for underwater adventurers to explore. 960 1280

Dennis Sabo-Photographer/Creator/Copywrite Holder  

River Antoine Rum Distillery

River Antoine Rum Distillery

Looking for local spirits in Grenada? Head to the River Antoine Rum Distillery where a potent rum (only sold on the island) is produced the same way it was when the distillery opened in 1785. Today, the distillery functions primarily as a museum; so rum is produced in limited quantity. If inclined, tourists have the option to sample a less strong version of River’s rum. 960 1280

Katchooo, Flickr  

Bridgetown, Barbados

Bridgetown, Barbados

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Cara Maria / iStock / Thinkstock  

Princess Margaret Beach

Princess Margaret Beach

St. Vincent and the Grenadines consists of 32 islands and cays located in the southern Caribbean. One of the islands, Bequia, has several beaches perfect for swimming and sunbathing, including Princess Margaret Beach (pictured). Tourists will need a water or land taxi to get here. We recommend grabbing a bite to eat at Max's Bar and then, after an hour, you can swim, snorkel or take a stroll along the beach to burn off a few calories. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Kingstown

Kingstown

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Walter Bibikow / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images  

Villa Beach

Villa Beach

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Walter Bibikow / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images  

La Soufrière

La Soufrière

Go on an adventure and hit St. Vincent’s most popular hiking trail near La Soufrière and its crater lake. The 4,049-foot-tall active volcano is the highest point on the island. The last time this majestic beauty erupted was in April 1979. 960 1280

re-vanessa971, Flickr  

Anthony Bourdain, chilling out in the Caribbean. 960 1280

  

Waves come ashore on Petit Saint Vincent Island. 960 1280

  

Tony and chef Norman Van Aiken at the Petit Saint Vincent Resort for breakfast. 960 1280

  

Tony and chef Aiken out for a morning stroll. 960 1280

  

Tony shares a beer with new friends at Sun Beach & Eat. 960 1280

  

Tony is hoisted onto the boat for a day of sailing. 960 1280

  

Master Chef Eoghain O'Neill prepares a barracuda carpaccio with a lemon marinade, tomato and mango for lunch. 960 1280

  

Cameramen Todd and Mo (far left) shoot Tony at a manicou cookout. 960 1280

  

Tony (far right) takes a moment to enjoy Dark View Falls. 960 1280

  

Cameramen Mo and Todd don't mind getting wet to get the perfect shot. 960 1280

  

Le Sereno 02:19

Photos

Sandy Island

Sandy Island

Drop your anchor and enjoy a romantic day on beautiful, uninhabited Sandy Island -- just a 30-minute boat ride from Petite Anse. The island has numerous coconut trees. So if you need a break from snorkeling or bird watching -- crack open a coconut and sit on the beach with the cool, crystal-blue water lapping at your feet. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Jamesby Island

Jamesby Island

Relax, go sunbathing or take a swim off the coast of Jamesby Island. One of 5 isles in Tobago Cays, this island has the smallest beach in the area. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Winstar Cruise

Winstar Cruise

Take an exciting Windstar Cruise through St. Lucia, located northeast of St. Vincent and northwest of Barbados, in the Caribbean Sea. Climb aboard a luxurious ship for a unique voyage where fun is at your fingertips - book shore excursions, enjoy a candle-lit dinner, listen to live entertainment, work-out in the fitness facility, rent water sports equipment and more. 960 1280

Winstar Cruises  

Hiking in St. Lucia

Hiking in St. Lucia

960 1280

Josh Webb / E+ / Getty Images  

Tobago Cays

Tobago Cays

Located in the southern Grenadines, the Tobago Cays is an archipelago that consists of 5 small uninhabited islands -- Petit Rameau, Petit Bateau, Baradol, Petit Tabac and Jamesby.  A popular port of call for cruise ships, Tobago Cays draws thousands of tourists for diving, snorkeling and sports fishing. 960 1280

  

Sandals La Toc Golf Resort & Spa

Sandals La Toc Golf Resort & Spa

If staying dry and on land is your speed -- enjoy a game of golf at the Sandals La Toc Golf Resort and Spa in St. Lucia. Sharpen your club-selection skills on this 3,141-yard course, where several holes demand laser-like accuracy for the perfect shot. Rolling hills and majestic fairways inspire performance at all levels. 960 1280

Sandals Resorts  

St. George's, Grenada

St. George's, Grenada

960 1280

Medioimages / Photodisc / Thinkstock  

Scuba Diving near St. Vincent

Scuba Diving near St. Vincent

St. Vincent is a scuba diver’s paradise. The island offers some of the best diving in the Caribbean, with numerous reefs, shipwrecks, caves and caverns for underwater adventurers to explore. 960 1280

Dennis Sabo-Photographer/Creator/Copywrite Holder  

River Antoine Rum Distillery

River Antoine Rum Distillery

Looking for local spirits in Grenada? Head to the River Antoine Rum Distillery where a potent rum (only sold on the island) is produced the same way it was when the distillery opened in 1785. Today, the distillery functions primarily as a museum; so rum is produced in limited quantity. If inclined, tourists have the option to sample a less strong version of River’s rum. 960 1280

Katchooo, Flickr  

Bridgetown, Barbados

Bridgetown, Barbados

960 1280

Cara Maria / iStock / Thinkstock  

Princess Margaret Beach

Princess Margaret Beach

St. Vincent and the Grenadines consists of 32 islands and cays located in the southern Caribbean. One of the islands, Bequia, has several beaches perfect for swimming and sunbathing, including Princess Margaret Beach (pictured). Tourists will need a water or land taxi to get here. We recommend grabbing a bite to eat at Max's Bar and then, after an hour, you can swim, snorkel or take a stroll along the beach to burn off a few calories. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Kingstown

Kingstown

960 1280

Walter Bibikow / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images  

Villa Beach

Villa Beach

960 1280

Walter Bibikow / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images  

La Soufrière

La Soufrière

Go on an adventure and hit St. Vincent’s most popular hiking trail near La Soufrière and its crater lake. The 4,049-foot-tall active volcano is the highest point on the island. The last time this majestic beauty erupted was in April 1979. 960 1280

re-vanessa971, Flickr  

San Juan

San Juan

Roberto Cofresi aka El Pirata Cofresi was shot by a firing squad in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Confresi commanded a crew to attack primarily cargo vessels responsible for exporting gold. 960 1280
Port Royal

Port Royal

Pirate history buffs believe Port Royal, Jamaica, is a must-see Caribbean destination. It was once the pirate capital of the Caribbean. The British, based at Fort Charles, actively encouraged and even paid buccaneers based at Port Royal to attack Spanish and French ships in the 1600s. Fort Charles is the last of 6 forts that still exist as a tourist attraction. 960 1280

By Raychristofer (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Emerald Falls

Emerald Falls

Enjoy the lush surroundings of the Emerald Pool on Dominica, a famous pirate haunt in the Caribbean. Most of the movie Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed in Dominica and Nassau. 960 1280

goldistocks/Getty Images  

Aruba

Aruba

Aruba is a great place to watch the sun set while having dinner with the one you love, but you can also take a cruise on Aruba's Jolly Pirates Ships with the family. Get a quick pirate history lesson and enjoy snorkeling in old pirate hot spots. 960 1280

Wikimedia Commons  

Martinique

Martinique

Edward Low, one of the most brutal and vicious pirates in the 1700s, was hanged in Martinique. He captured over 100 ships, and he and his crew murdered, tortured and maimed hundreds of people. 960 1280

By Pascalou petit (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Pirate-Themed Sailing

Pirate-Themed Sailing

You can't understand a pirate until you've sailed a mile on his boat. Take a cruise with Windjammer or Star Clipper, both offer pirate-themed sailing adventures. It's OK to drop anchor and take a swim, too. 960 1280
Port of Spain

Port of Spain

John Boysie Singh, known as 'the Rajah,' was born and later hanged in 1957 in Port of Spain, Trinidad, for the murder of his niece. Singh had a long career as a gangster and gambler before turning to piracy and murderer, terrorizing and killing 400 people on boats that traveled between Trinidad and Venezuela. 960 1280
Georgetown

Georgetown

Don an eye patch, down some rum and yell 'Ahoy, me hearties!' Hundreds of travelers head to the Georgetown harbor in the Cayman Islands for the Pirates Week Festival. The fun festival includes street dances, music, treasure hunts and parades. 960 1280

Noel Hendrickson/Getty Images  

New Providence

New Providence

Several years ago, we're sure pirates passed by this entrance to the Nassau harbor in New Providence, Bahamas. New Providence was a haven for nefarious pirates including Charles Van, Calico Jack Rackham and Edward Teach aka Blackbeard. A walking tour in Nassau is a great way to explore real pirate history. 960 1280

By Bryce Edwards from San Jose, CA, USA (Bahamas GazeboUploaded by Tomer T) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Sunken Shipwrecks

Sunken Shipwrecks

Several tour companies and cruise lines offer shipwreck tours or snorkeling excursions to travelers who want to explore sunken ships in key Caribbean destinations, including Aruba, Roatan Island (Honduras), Buck Island (St. Thomas) and Barbados. 960 1280
Bahamas

Bahamas

A short 30-minute flight from Miami, the Bahamas’ proximity to mainland US makes it a convenient beach escape. Consisting of 700 islands in the Atlantic, the Bahamas provide much more to explore than just Nassau, the capital city that’s a popular cruise port. If you want to get away from the high-rise hotels and bustling crowds, head to the Bahamas’ Out Islands for secluded beaches and natural wonders.  960 1280

ThinkStock  

Roatan

Roatan

Roatan, the largest of Honduras’s Bay islands, is located near the second largest barrier reef in the world. With its prime location, Roatan is known as one of the world’s best scuba diving spots. Often called the Caribbean’s “best-kept secret,” Roatan’s tourism has increased in recent years, attracting more than just divers. The laid-back culture and uncrowded beaches make Roatan an appealing alternative to other Caribbean islands.  960 1280

Getty Images/ Gail Fletcher  

Aruba

Aruba

Off the north coast of Venezuela lies Aruba, a popular island getaway with reliably sunny days. Outside of the hurricane belt, this Dutch island promises tourists plenty of beach days with its dry climate. Upscale restaurants and lively nightlife offer visitors plenty of options after a day of soaking up the sunshine. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Bermuda

Bermuda

This cluster of islands may not technically be part of the Caribbean but they sure feel like it. Bermuda is often dubbed the “Jewel of the Atlantic,” and rivals its neighbors in the West Indies as the perfect tropical island getaway. With pink-sand beaches, temperate weather and a unique fusion of British and African heritage, this is a place you’ll want to get lost in. 960 1280

Verena J Matthew  

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands

A diver’s dream destination, the Cayman Islands offer world-class scuba diving and plenty of outdoor adventures for the active traveler. Hike through the 200-year-old Mastic Trail, swim in Stingray City or walk along the stunning Seven Mile Beach. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos

Looking for a beach hideaway? Look no further than Turks and Caicos. Consisting of 40 islands and cays, 8 of which are inhabited, Turks and Caicos boast some of the most pristine beaches in the world. Lose yourself here in the turquoise waters and secluded white-sand beaches. 960 1280

Getty Images  

St. Thomas

St. Thomas

Only 31 square miles, St. Thomas is considered the most cosmopolitan of the US Virgin Islands. Escape the island’s bustle and head to Magens Bay, hailed by National Geographic as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. 960 1280

ThinkStock  

Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

Offering more than just beautiful beaches, the Dominican Republic’s diverse landscape includes 3 large mountain ranges, including the 2-mile-high peak of Antilles. A former Spanish colony, the Dominican Republic has a rich Latin culture as well as strong ties to America’s national pastime, baseball. More major league players hail from the Dominican Republic than any other country.  960 1280

ThinkStock  

Barbados

Barbados

The coral island of Barbados attracts tourists from around the world with its unique natural beauty. Coral reefs line the coast, offering incredible snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities. Visitors should also be sure to catch a meal that includes the national dish -- flying fish. 960 1280

  

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico

A US territory, Puerto Rico doesn’t require you pack a passport to visit its shores. With over 270 white-sand beaches, the Caribbean island begs to be explored. You’ll have the beach to yourself in Vieques, Puerto Rico’s “secret island.” This national wildlife refuge is just a 30-minute flight (or a short ferry ride) from San Juan. 960 1280

ThinkStock  

Jamaica

Jamaica

Jamaica is known for its strong African history more than any other Caribbean island. The island nation celebrates its vibrant culture through strong reggae beats and memorable jerk dishes. And don’t miss a chance to explore the island’s diverse landscape of mountains and rainforests. 960 1280

  

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