Caribbean islands provide beach lovers with everything from lazy days to party nights, so find your unforgettable beach escape here
The Caribbean islands are what dream beach holidays are made of – warm waters, sandy shores, and palm trees galore. While every island has its own piece of paradise, our firm favourites are as follows:
Best for a fly and flop: Anguilla
Lying some 167km (104 miles) east of British Virgin Islands, Anguilla has arguably the finest sea and sand in the Caribbean. Spend the day basking on a pristine white-sand beach and take intermittent dips into the impossibly turquoise waters. When you are done lounging, walk up to a beach bar for a buttery Anguillan lobster lunch and a rum punch. This low-lying island dishes up the ultimate retreat for an exclusive and indulgence beach escape.
Even the most popular beach, Shoal Bay East, is peaceful and never overcrowded. Sun-seekers here bring with them a laid-back but sophisticated vibe. In Crocus Bay, enjoy a romantic meal at da’Vida restaurant and then rent a kayak to Little Bay, a beautiful spot perfect for snorkelling.
With long hours of sun tanning on the beach and sunset sailing on the calm waters, it is easy to see why Anguilla offers luxurious relaxation that can make you forget all the worries in the world.
Best for the culturally curious: St Kitts and Nevis
Need a little more than a beach to keep you entertained? St Kitts and Nevis combines culture and relaxation brilliantly. Brimstone Hill Fortress, a UNESCO world heritage site on the island of St Kitts, sits nearly 244m (800ft) high and commands splendid views across the Caribbean waters. Continue your sightseeing by taking the narrow-gauge St Kitts Scenic Railway that meanders along the north-western coastline. The conductor will point out all the historical sites including the Old Road Town where Samuel Jefferson, the great great grandfather of American President Thomas Jefferson, was buried.
Basseterre, the capital of St Kitts and Nevis, is bustling with regular markets and cricket matches. The small National Museum not far from the cruise terminal is also well worth a visit.
Best for birdwatchers: Dominica
For keen birdwatchers, Dominica (not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) is a favourite birding hotspot. On this island, you will find the indigenous Sisserou (Imperial Amazon) parrot, a shy but beautiful bird living on the slopes of Morne Diablotin National Park and Morne Trois Pitons National Park. Migratory birds can also be seen from September to November and from February to March.
Covered in misty rainforests and fertile slopes, the island is often called ‘The Nature Island’ and is home to many species of trees and flowers (including orchids and ferns). Keep a lookout for Bwa Kwaib, Dominica’s national flower, most noted for its bright red flowers.
Best for a secluded romance: Petit St Vincent
Sitting some (596 miles) from the shoreline of Venezuela, St Vincent and Grenadines is made up of 32 islands, including privately-owned islands like Mustique and Petit St Vincent that offer total seclusion to their guests.
Mustique, long been a favourite spot for the rich and famous, has close to 100 villas spreading across 1,400 acres, catering to couples who look to enjoy a ‘get-away-from-it-all’ romantic holiday. You could go days without seeing another traveller here if you choose to.
Petit St Vincent, on the other hand, is a lot smaller (just 115 acres) and has fewer villas. This island does not have TVs and phones, while the Wi-Fi coverage is limited. But the resort supplies impeccable service with their signature flag system. Hoist a yellow flag outside your cottage for room service, transportation or other special requests, or fly a red one for “Do Not Disturb”.
Best for revellers: Jamaica
Montego Bay and Negril, Jamaica’s buzzing resort towns, are excellent spots for dancing in the sand or onboard a party boat. The Jungle, a night club in Negril, plays dance music (including some Reggaeton) from 10:00pm till 4:00am every Thursday to Saturday. Another great spot is Alfred’s Ocean Palace in Negril. Apart from that, there is also a plethora of small bars and beach parties in Montego Bay. Don’t forget to check out sunset-cum-party cruises too.
This post was initially published in 2014 and was updated on 11-Mar-2020.
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