If it’s pristine beaches, glorious sunshine and stunning locations you’re after, then the Caribbean really should be high up on your list of getaways. These islands offer incredible sights and experiences all year round but, with so many islands to choose from, we’ve done the legwork for you and selected some standout destinations.
Why not make Jamaica your next luxury holiday?
Renowned for its laid-back attitude, Jamaica is the perfect place to visit if you want to genuinely get away from it all. While the general vibe is certainly one of relaxation, the beauty of Jamaica lies in the fact that there’s actually so much to do. Fancy swimming with dolphins? What about a spot of river rafting or a trip to the Glowing Lagoons of Falmouth? If you’re feeling more culturally inclined, you could even wander around the Bob Marley museum. The tourist spots of Ocho Rios, Negril, and Montego Bay are all on our list of must-visits. Then, of course, there’s the food and drink. You can’t go to Jamaica without trying some mouth-watering jerk chicken or tasty goat curry washed down with a splash of rum. Failing all of this, of course, you can always just lie on a hammock, run your toes through some fine, white sand and watch the world slowly drift by. Hard decision isn’t it?
The views above and below the surface of the Bahamas are quite something.
Often regarded as a favourite destination amongst the rich and famous, the Bahamas offers an incredible array of coral reefs, breath-taking scenery and some of the friendliest locals you could ever wish to meet. In between leisurely strolls along sandy beaches, make sure you take the time to absorb the abundance of local history the destination has to offer. There are also food tours to try out, snorkelling and diving, bike tours, water sports and you can even visit Thunderball Grotto – where the James Bond movies ‘Thunderball’ and ‘Never Say Never Again’ were shot.
While it may not be quite as well-known as Jamaica or the Bahamas, Aruba is definitely an option worth exploring. While it too offers wonderful diving and snorkelling opportunities, it’s the lively nightlife that really makes Aruba unique as it often pounds to the beat of salsa or meringue music most evenings. Again, there are a number of beautiful beaches to choose from – Eagle Beach, just northwest of the capital city Oranjestad, is a must-see. There are also jeep safaris, museums, and even a submarine adventure.
For a real taste of a Caribbean welcome, check out the Bon Bini Festival which takes place at the Historical Museum every Tuesday evening. Aruba’s most enthusiastic artists, musicians, dancers, and craftsmen come together to showcase their talents and at just $5, it’s well worth a visit.
Break up your travel arrangements.
A fascinating country crammed full of history and culture. To the Western world, Cuba is often associated with rum, cigars, old American cars and the revolutionary figure of Che Guevara. Beyond this though, it’s actually an ideal setting for a romantic getaway. Varadero, for example, is home to a combination of family-friendly resorts with endless facilities, activities and adult-only indulgent retreats. If it’s luxury you’re after, head to Cayo Santa Maria where you’ll find a number of high-end hotels and spas. Cayo Coco is a must-visit if you’re keen to experience some of the Caribbean’s most flamboyant-looking wildlife – native flamingos.
Day trips to the capital, Havana, will satisfy every Cuban holiday-makers’ desire for grandeur and 1950s glamour. Further exploration will reveal Trinidad, a charming, relaxed UNESCO-listed city whose architecture, ambience and landscape epitomises the real Cuba.
The Piton mountains in St. Lucia
5. St Lucia
The facilities on St Lucia, both for couples and families, are exceptional. Golf, sailing, and tennis are catered for and all set against a stunning backdrop of the famous Piton mountains. St Lucia also has its own fascinating rainforest where you’ll find waterfalls, tropical birds and wild orchids. The fruit and vegetable markets are always lively and you’ll also discover stalls full of interesting souvenirs to bring back home.
The port of Basseterre in St Kitts
6. St Kitts
Comfort, sophistication and warmth are just some of the words most commonly used to describe the island of St. Kitts. Luxury is never too far away from that list either with a whole host of fabulous resorts and hotels to choose from. The island is surrounded by fishing villages and there are a number of boutique hotels worth your pennies. The capital, Basseterre, is a perfect example of the growing reputation and charm the island has to offer. Start your journey at the national museum where you can discover more about local history and traditions, then seek out the Circus – a roundabout inspired by London’s Piccadilly Circus no less. There are also wonderful excursions such as horseback riding and luxury snorkel cruises available too if you’re feeling a tad more adventurous.
Crystal clear waters surround Bermuda
That Bermuda is largely bereft of skyscrapers should tell you almost as much as you need to know about the character of this particular area of the Caribbean. Flanked on all sides by crystal clear water and almost always showered with sunshine (generally speaking it’s only ever warm in Bermuda), this is an ideal spot to genuinely leave your troubles behind – preferably on a golden beach. There are also clear links back to Britain (the British first landed in 1609), so expect to see red post boxes and the Queen’s head on the currency. Naturally, there are a host of luxury hotels to choose from, and it also boasts the highest concentration of golf courses per square mile anywhere in the world.
Published 16th November 2015