• 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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Les Saintes Bay

Les Saintes Bay

With pure-white sand and azure-blue water, it’s easy to see why Baie des Saintes was voted one of the most beautiful bays in the world by UNESCO. Located in the northwest coast off the island of Terre-de-Haut, taking out a small canoe or fishing boat during the day is highly recommended. 960 1280

Atlantide Phototravel, Getty Images  

La Cascade aux Ecrevisses

La Cascade aux Ecrevisses

Looking for an adventure? Well then, look no further than the Ecrevisses waterfall. Just a short 10-minute romp through the “jungle,” Ecrevisses offers a fun, fresh-water experience with a great swimming hole for relaxing and rock faces to leap from. 960 1280

italiansight, Getty Images  

Plage du Vieux Fort a Marie Galante

Plage du Vieux Fort a Marie Galante

From sailing to canoeing, if you’re looking for a beach that offers ample opportunity to enjoy water sports, then Plage du Vieux Fort is for you. Want to enjoy the stars from the comfort of your own canoe? A sunset tour through the mangrove trees is the ideal way to enjoy relaxation in the Caribbean. 960 1280

Philippe Giraud, Getty Images  

La Grande Soufriere

La Grande Soufriere

La Soufriere volcano emitting steam in Guadeloupe with views towards La Basse Terre and La Grande Terre in the background. 960 1280

Philippe Giraud, Getty Images  

Plage de la Perle

Plage de la Perle

One of the finer family beaches in Guadeloupe, Plage de la Perle (Pearl Beach) is protected by coral reef and offers lush vegetation and picturesque landscapes in a mountainous backdrop. Pearl beach is also known for their blonde sand, horseback riding and strong waves, making it the perfect place to partake in water activities. 960 1280

Jean-Luc Azou, Getty Images  

Sainte-Anne Market

Sainte-Anne Market

These straw hats are sold at the market at Sainte-Anne, which is a city in the southern part of Grande-Terre, Guadeloupe. They say location is everything, and if that’s true, Sainte-Anne Market is definitely winning … by a lot. Positioned along the beach and smack-dab in the center of the city, visitors flock to this open-air market on a daily basis, 365-days a year. As well as selling fresh produce and spices, vendors also sell keepsakes and clothing. 960 1280

Sandra Leidholdt, Getty Images  

Goyave

Goyave

Located on Basse-Terre island, Goyave, a commune in the city of Pointe-a-Pitre is known for their vast knowledge of agriculture, and in particular the cultivation of the tropical fruit guava. 960 1280

Aurélien BRUSINI, Getty Images  

Pain de Sucre Beach

Pain de Sucre Beach

Known by locals as the hidden gem of Terre-de-Haut Island, Pain de Sucre was named because of its similarities to the famed Sugarloaf Beach in Rio de Janeiro. A mainly residential destination, Pain de Sucre beach is also one of the most romantic beaches in Guadeloupe. 960 1280

Gil GIUGLIO, Getty Images  

Jardin Botanique de Deshaies

Jardin Botanique de Deshaies

Containing over 1,000 various plant species from all over the world, Guadeloupe’s premiere botanical garden, The Jardin Botanique de Deshaies also plays home to several indigenous animals including flamingos, parakeets and parrots. 960 1280

Atlantide Phototravel, Getty Images  

Eglise Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul

Eglise Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul

Located in Pointe-a-Pitre and nicknamed the Iron Cathedral, this traditional church is architecturally exquisite both inside and out. 960 1280

Jean-Luc Azou, Getty Images  

Pointe de la Grande Vigie

Pointe de la Grande Vigie

The northernmost point of Guadeloupe, Pointe de la Grande Vigie is a rock-filled peninsula with large, vertical cliffs reaching up to heights of almost 260 feet. If you stand in the right spot, you can catch a glimpse of Montserrat, Antigua and La Desirade, 3 other beautiful Caribbean islands. 960 1280

bennymarty, Getty Images  

Sainte-Anne Beach

Sainte-Anne Beach

One of the most tourist-laden places in all of Guadeloupe, Sainte-Anne is a beautiful beach city comprised mainly of 4 different beaches -- Bois Jolan, Saint Anne, Caravelle and Gros Sable. Although still heavily reliant on their agriculture, its crystal-blue water and pristine-white sand offer visitors plenty of options to enjoy the warm Caribbean weather. 960 1280

Westend61, Getty Images  

Bassin Bleu

Bassin Bleu

Bassin Bleu, or more commonly known as "Blue Pool," is a must-see diving pool located within the tropical rainforest on Basse-Terre. Easily accessible by foot, this electric blue pool is engulfed by an amazing landscape and includes a waterfall and natural slide. 960 1280

Axel Michineau, Getty Images  

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 U.S., 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

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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  

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  

Windstar Cruise

Windstar 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

Wolfgang Kaehler, Getty Images  

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

Travelographer, Getty Images  

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, Getty Images  

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

PHB.cz / Richard Semik / Shutterstock.com  

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

Bob Krist, Getty Images  

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