• 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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St. Bart’s

St. Bart’s

Boasting some of the world’s top-rated beaches, as well as numerous spas, high end restaurants and luxury resorts, St. Bart’s offers a true escape from cold climate winters.  960 1280

Pierre CARREAU  

St. Martin

St. Martin

An island divided, the northern part of St. Martin is a French territory, while the southern part is Dutch. French St. Martin is known for luxury resorts and shopping, while Dutch St. Maarten is famed for its nightlife.  960 1280

Marka  

Curacao

Curacao

Nightlife and the anonymous blue liqueur draw many winter travelers to Curacao in the Dutch Antilles. The island’s coral reefs are popular among snorkelers. 960 1280

MyLoupe / Getty Images  

Tortolla

Tortolla

The largest of the British Virgin Islands, Tortolla is a popular destination for winter travelers. Visitors enjoy hiking and seeing the volcanic island’s historic sites. But Tortolla’s best known for the beaches along its northern coast, including Brewer’s Bay. 960 1280

DEA / DIEGO M.ROSSI  

Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman

Twenty-two miles long and eight miles across at its widest point, Grand Cayman is home to varied wildlife, beautiful beaches, and plenty of resort activities, especially along Seven Mile Beach, the most active tourist area.  960 1280

David Rogers  

Barbados

Barbados

Southern Atlantic or far eastern Caribbean? Who cares? Barbados continues to be one of the most sought-after winter island destinations. In addition to beaches, tourists can enjoy golf, the botanic gardens and visit historic plantations. 960 1280

DEA / A. VERGANI  

Jamaica

Jamaica

If you’re seeking a little culture with your Caribbean escape, check out Jamaica, birthplace of reggae and home to January’s annual Jazz and Blues Festival. Numerous other arts activities including dance and museums are available as well.  960 1280

DEA / V. GIANNELLA  

St. Lucia

St. Lucia

The most prominent natural feature of this volcanic island in the eastern Caribbean are the Pitons, two steep mountain peaks on its west coast. Famed for luxury resorts and pristine beaches, adventurers can also hike the trails of St. Lucia’s interior rainforest.   960 1280

philippe giraud  

Bonaire

Bonaire

Bonaire, the Dutch island off the coast of Venezuela, is widely regarded as a premier diving destination. Its coral reefs are protected by a national park and the island features 54 shore diving locations.  960 1280

ullstein bild  

Belize

Belize

Located on the eastern coast of Central America, Belize offers Caribbean beaches on its east and rainforest in its west. Adventurers can explore Mayan ruins, trek through the jungle or dive in Belize’s Barrier Reef.  960 1280

Andrew Hounslea  

Photos

Gros Piton

Gros Piton

The second highest peak on Saint Lucia, Gros Piton can be climbed without ropes or mountaineering experience. 960 1280

Getty  

Cas En Bas Beach

Cas En Bas Beach

Giddyup! A man rides a horse along Cas En Bas Beach, a stretch of sand to the north of St. Lucia. 960 1280

Getty  

Green Figs and Salt Fish

Green Figs and Salt Fish

Don’t let the name fool you. This dish may be called “green figs and salt fish,” but there are no figs in it. Popular since the 1700s, it consists mainly of boiled green bananas and salted fish. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Fort Rodney

Fort Rodney

St. Lucia is home to Fort Rodney, an old British military base, overlooking the Caribbean Sea. 960 1280

Getty  

Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens

Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens

This soothing waterfall can be found at Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens, a 6-acre tropical retreat. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Rainforest Zip-Lining

Rainforest Zip-Lining

St. Lucia holds plenty of adventure, including the chance to zipline through its rainforests. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

St. Lucia Jazz Festival

St. Lucia Jazz Festival

R&B Artist KEM performs at the 2014 St. Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival. Held every May, the festival showcases various flavors of jazz from the US, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and Europe. 960 1280

Earl Gibson III, Getty Images  

Diving Paradise

Diving Paradise

A diving paradise, St. Lucia’s waters include a stunning array of coral, sponge and marine life. 960 1280

Getty  

Soufriere

Soufriere

A scenic town on St. Lucia’s west coast, Soufriere has many hot springs and mineral baths -- no surprise given that its name means “sulphur in the air” in French. 960 1280

Getty  

Sulphur Springs

Sulphur Springs

Sulphur Springs is the world’s only drive-in volcano. It’s located on the southwestern end of St. Lucia. 960 1280

Zoonar RF, Getty Images  

Castries Market

Castries Market

Enjoy fresh papaya at Castries Market, a lively market filled with tropical fruits and vegetables. 960 1280

Olgaorly, Getty Images  

Anse Chastanet Resort

Anse Chastanet Resort

Mountain biking in the Caribbean jungle of St. Lucia. Here, bikers take a break at Anse Chastanet Resort, which encompasses more than 600 tropical acres. 960 1280

Getty  

Welcome to St. Maarten

Welcome to St. Maarten

A small building welcomes visitors to beautiful St. Maarten. 960 1280

Walter Bibikow, Getty Images  

Philipsburg

Philipsburg

Philipsburg, the capital of the country of St. Maarten as seen from above. The salt pond is at left, and Great Bay is to the right. 960 1280

Tan Yilmaz, Getty Images  

Jet Flying Over St. Maarten Beach

Jet Flying Over St. Maarten Beach

Jet planes fly close to the beach as they prepare for landing at Princess Juliana International Airport, St. Maarten. 960 1280

Jake Warga, Getty Images  

Stores at St. Maarten

Stores at St. Maarten

A variety of stores can be found on St. Maarten. 960 1280

Bernhard Limberger / LOOK-foto / Getty Images  

Oyster Pond, St. Maarten

Oyster Pond, St. Maarten

Oyster Pond, St. Martin (St. Maarten), Netherlands Antilles, West Indies, Caribbean, Central America 960 1280

Michael DeFreitas, robertharding, Getty Images  

St. Maarten's Orient Bay

St. Maarten's Orient Bay

On a beautiful, sunny morning, the view of St. Maarten's Orient Bay from Anse Marcel is stunning. 960 1280

Katherine Gendreau Photography, Getty Images  

St. Maarten Beach Bar

St. Maarten Beach Bar

Cozy up to the Big Wave Beach Bar on St. Maarten. 960 1280

Richard Cummins / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images  

Oyster Pond Yacht Harbor

Oyster Pond Yacht Harbor

Oyster Pond Yacht harbor at St. Maarten. Caribbean 960 1280

PetePhipp/Travelshots, Getty Images  

St. Maarten Beach

St. Maarten Beach

Philipsburg, St Maarten, Netherlands Antilles, Caribbean 960 1280

Holger Leue / LPI / Getty Images  

Colorful St. Maarten Restaurant

Colorful St. Maarten Restaurant

Colorful restaurant in Philipsburg, St. Maarten 960 1280

Richard Cummins / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images  

St. Bart’s

St. Bart’s

Boasting some of the world’s top-rated beaches, as well as numerous spas, high end restaurants and luxury resorts, St. Bart’s offers a true escape from cold climate winters.  960 1280

Pierre CARREAU  

St. Martin

St. Martin

An island divided, the northern part of St. Martin is a French territory, while the southern part is Dutch. French St. Martin is known for luxury resorts and shopping, while Dutch St. Maarten is famed for its nightlife.  960 1280

Marka  

Curacao

Curacao

Nightlife and the anonymous blue liqueur draw many winter travelers to Curacao in the Dutch Antilles. The island’s coral reefs are popular among snorkelers. 960 1280

MyLoupe / Getty Images  

Tortolla

Tortolla

The largest of the British Virgin Islands, Tortolla is a popular destination for winter travelers. Visitors enjoy hiking and seeing the volcanic island’s historic sites. But Tortolla’s best known for the beaches along its northern coast, including Brewer’s Bay. 960 1280

DEA / DIEGO M.ROSSI  

Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman

Twenty-two miles long and eight miles across at its widest point, Grand Cayman is home to varied wildlife, beautiful beaches, and plenty of resort activities, especially along Seven Mile Beach, the most active tourist area.  960 1280

David Rogers  

Barbados

Barbados

Southern Atlantic or far eastern Caribbean? Who cares? Barbados continues to be one of the most sought-after winter island destinations. In addition to beaches, tourists can enjoy golf, the botanic gardens and visit historic plantations. 960 1280

DEA / A. VERGANI  

Jamaica

Jamaica

If you’re seeking a little culture with your Caribbean escape, check out Jamaica, birthplace of reggae and home to January’s annual Jazz and Blues Festival. Numerous other arts activities including dance and museums are available as well.  960 1280

DEA / V. GIANNELLA  

St. Lucia

St. Lucia

The most prominent natural feature of this volcanic island in the eastern Caribbean are the Pitons, two steep mountain peaks on its west coast. Famed for luxury resorts and pristine beaches, adventurers can also hike the trails of St. Lucia’s interior rainforest.   960 1280

philippe giraud  

Bonaire

Bonaire

Bonaire, the Dutch island off the coast of Venezuela, is widely regarded as a premier diving destination. Its coral reefs are protected by a national park and the island features 54 shore diving locations.  960 1280

ullstein bild  

Belize

Belize

Located on the eastern coast of Central America, Belize offers Caribbean beaches on its east and rainforest in its west. Adventurers can explore Mayan ruins, trek through the jungle or dive in Belize’s Barrier Reef.  960 1280

Andrew Hounslea  

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