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Caribbean Islands & Reasons to Visit Each One

March 21, 2024 | The Aerial, BVI

The Caribbean describes the area in and surrounding the Caribbean Sea that is home to thousands of islands. Among these islands are 26 countries that collectively form a vibrant region with stunning beaches and plenty of places to explore.

All of the Caribbean islands are worth visiting and choosing the right island paradise won’t be difficult. The Caribbean Sea is truly a haven complete with lush forests, white sand beaches, and friendly locals eager to show you around. Before you book your ticket, it’s good to get a sense of what each Caribbean island has to offer.

Why Visit the Caribbean Islands?

Tropical beaches, warm water, and breathtaking sunsets are a few of the reasons why so many people visit the island countries of the Caribbean. The laid-back atmosphere of the Caribbean also makes it an ideal destination for some of the most gorgeous hotels and all-inclusive resorts where you can put your feet up and unwind. At the end of 2022, the Caribbean Tourism Organization reported 28.3 million registered tourist visits to the region

The Caribbean islands generally fall into three major regions: the Greater Antilles, the Lucayan Archipelago (Bahama Archipelago), and the Lesser Antilles. Many nearby islands are occasionally considered part of the Caribbean. However, the Caribbean islands can officially be broken down into 26 countries—many of which we will cover here.

Which Islands on the Caribbean Islands List Should I Visit?

Choosing a Caribbean island to visit depends on the type of experience you are looking for. For example, consider the Cayman Islands, Barbados, or St. Lucia if you seek a lively nightlife with fashion-forward luxury hotels. If you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere and secluded beaches, the British Virgin Islands are ideal.

The Caribbean is also a melting pot of cultures. There are influences from Africa, Europe, and indigenous peoples blending together to create a unique and vibrant way of life. The ABC islands, including Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao, offer a unique blend of Dutch and Caribbean cultures. Other major islands, such as Jamaica and Cuba, are known for their distinct music scenes, rich histories, and stand-out cuisines. There are plenty of reasons to plan a vacation to the sandy beaches of the Caribbean, and after scrolling through this list, you’ll probably agree.

Antigua and Barbuda Caribbean islands

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda are a beach lover’s paradise. With around 365 beaches, Antigua and Barbuda are two of the main islands in the Leeward Islands group. This stunning sovereign island nation is situated where the northeastern Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. 

Tourists can enjoy a range of exciting beach activities such as snorkeling, sailing, or stand-up paddle boarding. Nature lovers looking for a more secluded stretch of white sand can find a sweet retreat at Doigs Beach or Rendezvous Bay.

Anguilla Caribbean island


Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory and is the first island in the Leeward Islands chain. The island’s northern coast is marked by steep cliffs that plunge into the sea, secret caves, and off-the-beaten-path beaches. Snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, and sipping on rum punch are some of the top things to do in Anguilla.


Aruba is an island in the southern Caribbean Sea, about 15 miles off the coast of Venezuela. It is located in the Dutch Caribbean and is part of the ABC islands, including Bonaire and Curaçao. 

Aruba is known for its powdery sand beaches, energetic culture, and delicious fresh fish and shellfish. Tourists seeking adventure can jump on a jeep safari to off-the-beaten-path beaches. Aruba is a popular destination for those looking for relaxation, adventure, and lots of positive island vibes.

The Bahamas

The Bahama Archipelago is a chain of islands in the Caribbean that consists of over 700 islands and cays. Almost all of the islands in The Bahamas chain are uninhabited; however, the main islands are well-known around the world as a great place to spend a tropical vacation. 

Tourists flock to The Bahamas each year for its luxury hotels, nightlife, and open-air markets for endless shopping. The Bahamas also offers a plethora of white-sand beaches and picturesque spots for relaxing in the sun.

Barbados Caribbean island


Barbados is a small island nation in the Lesser Antilles in the southeastern Caribbean Sea. The island is a haven for shopaholics and its capital Bridgetown—a port city—is a great place to check out bespoke jewelry shops, clothing boutiques, and farmers markets. Barbados is also known for its delicious island food such as flying fish, cou cou, and macaroni pie. Whether you are a foodie, explorer, or love to shop, Barbados caters to every kind of traveler.

The British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands, sometimes shortened to the BVI, constitute a British Overseas Territory situated in the northeastern Caribbean. The British Virgin Islands offer crystal-clear waters and are a paradise for sailing, stand-up paddleboarding, diving, and snorkeling. The fascinating boulder formations of The Baths on Virgin Gorda are a special point of attraction for visitors.

This stunning Caribbean chain of islands is also home to some of the most exclusive resorts, like The Aerial, BVI, our luxury wellness resort where you can book an all-inclusive Caribbean vacation. We also allow groups to reserve the entire secluded Caribbean island for a private event

Cayman Islands in the Caribbean

Cayman Islands

South of Cuba in the Caribbean Sea sits the British Overseas Territory known as the Cayman Islands. Three islands make up the territory: Little Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Grand Cayman. George Town, the capital, is located on Grand Cayman. 

The island boasts stunning coral reefs and crystal-clear turquoise waters. The Cayman Islands are frequently visited by tourists looking to explore gorgeous beaches and marine life.


Cuba is located south of Florida and The Bahamas and is one of the largest islands in the Caribbean. Beautiful beaches, delicious food, and historic architecture that will transport you back in time are a few reasons to visit this beautiful island. Beachgoers can enjoy relaxing days on the island’s pristine beaches. For tourists looking for a vibrant nightlife experience, they can head to Cuba’s capital, Havana, and enjoy salsa dancing and cocktails.


Dominica is located in the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean Sea. The island is commonly referred to as the “nature island” due to its lush rainforests, natural hot springs, and jungle. Dominica is home to an estimated 365 rivers, one for each day of the year. This enchanting island is a favorite destination for travelers keen to hike, dive, snorkel, and explore its pure landscapes.

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is located on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. It attracts tourists from all over the country who come to explore its 1,000 miles of coastline, mountain ranges, and distinct cultures. At night, the “discotecas” fill up with crowds of people looking to salsa, merengue, or bachata until the morning hours. During the day, the beaches fill up with people catching a siesta and enjoying a Coco Loco Dominican—a coconut-infused drink with rum and fresh coconut.

Grenada Caribbean island


Grenada is a sleepy island located between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Since the island has yet to be overrun by mass tourism, it’s an ideal destination for tourists seeking an authentic Caribbean experience. Grenada’s indigenous culture is deeply rooted in history. 

Visitors looking for a fun day out can explore the Grenada National Museum, which honors the distinctive heritage of Carriacou and Grenada, as well as Petite Martinique. Grenada remains an untouched gem in the Caribbean, making it the perfect choice for tourists searching for an unforgettable vacation.


Guadeloupe is a Leeward Islands archipelago with over 12 islands in the northern part of the Lesser Antilles. Because of its impressive landscape, this volcanic island provides natural hot springs and mud baths, resulting in a natural spa-like experience. Guadeloupe island also has an array of pristine, sparkling white, and even black sand beaches that stretch into a stunning emerald sea. A popular activity is hiking the La Soufriere volcano and through the rainforest in the Guadeloupe National Park.


Haiti is situated between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. The country occupies the western third of the island of Hispaniola and shares a border with the Dominican Republic. There has been political strife for over a year, which has stalled tourism. However, Haiti shouldn’t be crossed off your list of Caribbean islands to visit. Haiti is a culturally rich Caribbean destination that offers tourists a chance to explore a country full of historical landmarks, colorful markets, and a lively music and art scene. The island also has a unique blend of French, African, and Caribbean influences that add to its distinct character.


Jamaica offers a mix of relaxation and adventure. This beautiful Caribbean island is famous for its reggae music and warm hospitality. The island is located in the Caribbean Sea, approximately 965 kilometers south of Miami, Florida. Tourists can enjoy exploring the beautiful Blue Mountains or visiting Dunn’s River Falls. Foodies can indulge in local delights such as delicious jerk cuisine, goat curry, or Ackee and saltfish, Jamaica’s national dish. Nightlife goers will be able to find a range of entertainment. For a bit of R&R, beach lovers can rejuvenate and relax with a beach massage.

Martinique island in the Caribbean


Martinique is a French territory in the Caribbean Sea and one of the Windward Islands. The island is located between Dominica and Saint Lucia and is known for its natural beauty, rainforests, beaches, and volcanic sightings, including the iconic Mount Pelée. Tourists can visit colorful markets, eat delicious Creole cuisine, and learn about the local culture, which has been influenced by African and French traditions. Combining a tropical paradise and French charm, Martinique offers an unforgettable experience for tourists looking for a special Caribbean vacation.


Montserrat is a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean Sea, south of Puerto Rico. Montserrat offers fascinating natural attractions, including a chance for tourists to visit one of the island’s many dense tropical forests. The island’s volcanic scenery, including the still-active volcanoes, provides exclusive opportunities for expedition and adventure. 

Monsterrat’s culture mixes African, Irish, and British traditions. As a result, this island has a vibrant culture and music scene. Guests to Montserrat can also enjoy snorkeling, hiking, or laying out in the sun on one of the island’s black sand beaches.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a U.S. unincorporated territory in the Caribbean. The island has something for everyone, including bird-watching, kayaking, and horseback riding. Cultural activities include visiting Old San Juan, trying local cuisine, and tasting rum. Visiting cathedrals, churches, and museums with artifacts from pre-Columbian times is also a great way to get to know the island’s history. During the day, guests can lounge on powdery white sandy beaches such as Flamenco Beach.

Saint Barthélemy

Saint Barthélemy, also known as St. Barts, is a French-speaking Caribbean island located in the northeastern Caribbean Sea. St. Barts is small (only eight miles long), making it a perfect destination for travelers looking for exclusivity and a change from mainstream travel. This could be why many celebrities frequent the island, typically staying at the upscale hotels and private villas. 

The island has a sophisticated French atmosphere, due to its French origins. Tourists can also enjoy some of the finest shopping here. St. Barts caters to the most affluent traveler, offering designer clothing and accessories, chic homewares, and exquisite jewelry.

Saint Kitts and Nevis Caribbean islands

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Saint Kitts and Nevis is a small dual-island nation in the Caribbean Sea, south of Puerto Rico. Both are volcanic islands. Both Saint Kitts and Nevis have an interesting geological past. As a result, depending on which side of the island you are on, the islands have both volcanic beaches and white sandy beaches. 

Tourists looking for a more mainstream vacation may want to visit St. Kitts, as it has a long list of restaurants, bars, and nightlife venues. Nevis, on the other hand, is the smaller of the two islands and provides offshore dive sites, sea turtle viewing, and a day trip to Charlestown to see British colonial architecture.

Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia is an island nation in the eastern Caribbean Sea, located between Martinique and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. This island is known for its beaches and sea that appear multicolored, with ocean tones ranging from light green to deep blue. Visiting the island’s towering peaks of the Pitons is a tourist highlight. The island’s 98 miles of sand is also home to abundant marine life like seahorses and scorpion fish. Snorkeling in Saint Lucia’s clear waters is a great way to discover various aquatic animals.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is an island nation located in the southern Caribbean Sea. The island of Saint Vincent is recognized for its distinctive black sand beaches, all-inclusive resorts, and lively local culture. The islands also include 32 islands and islets that you can set out and explore. This makes Saint Vincent and the Grenadines one of the world’s best boating destinations.

Caribbean island Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos

The Turks and Caicos Islands are a British Overseas Territory located in the Atlantic Ocean, southeast of The Bahamas and north of the Dominican Republic. Turks and Caicos are a paradise for water sports lovers and those who love relaxing on the beach. 

Tourists can explore the underwater marvels of Grace Bay or relax on the secluded beaches of Parrot Cay. Snorkeling, diving, and fishing are enjoyable activities to take part in while visiting Turks and Caicos.

Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago is a twin-island country located in the southern Caribbean Sea. The islands sit just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela. Trinidad and Tobago are worth visiting to check out each of the island’s bustling cities and must-try seafood dishes like curried crab and dumplings. 

Both islands also offer taintless beaches and miles of coral reef just waiting to be explored. Both islands’ interior offers tourists a chance to hike through rainforests. In Trinidad, you can visit the Maracas Waterfall or check out the Bajnath’s Estate Hummingbird Sanctuary.

U.S. Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands are a U.S. territory situated to the east of Puerto Rico. The U.S. Virgin Islands are known for the three main islands: St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix. Visitors to the islands can explore historic sites like Fort Christian in Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas or indulge in duty-free shopping in St. Croix. Upscale dining establishments, luxurious resorts, and golf courses are also among the top attractions for tourists visiting the US Virgin Islands.

Next Stop: The Caribbean Islands

Traveling to the Caribbean islands is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to visit some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. No matter which Caribbean island you choose for a vacation, each one has its own unique charm and attractions.

Before booking your trip, make sure you familiarize yourself with what each Caribbean island has to offer. Whether you are looking to hike, horseback ride, or lounge on the beach all day, you can find it all in the Caribbean.