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The 3 Best Caribbean Countries For A Relaxing Vacation

Which Caribbean country is the best for vacation? Every island is warm, beautiful, and full of activities, but some islands are more interesting than others. To the uninitiated, all the countries in the Caribbean might seem the same. They all have beaches, delicious seafood, luxurious hotels, friendly locals, and the opportunity for watersports. However, some countries are better for couples, and some are better for families. The key to the perfect Caribbean vacation is to pick the island that is the best for your style of vacation.

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What are the best Caribbean countries for a vacation?

U.S. News and World Reports ranks Turks & Caicos, St. Lucia, and the British Virgin Islands as the best Caribbean countries for vacation. For those traveling with children, St. Croix, Antigua, and Barbados are considered the most family-friendly Caribbean destinations.

For couples on a honeymoon or a romantic getaway, some of the most romantic Caribbean islands are Grenada, Aruba, and Jamaica. Caribbean countries are evaluated and ranked based on traveler experiences there, as well as how travel experts evaluate the weather, cost, number of activities, accessibility, culture, and the uniqueness of the natural environment.

Sources include U.S. News and World Reports, Spend Life Traveling, The Wandering Moms resource blog, and Travel and Leisure Magazine.

What Are the Top 3 Best Caribbean Islands for Vacation?

Best Caribbean Countries For A Vacation

It can be overwhelming to plan a vacation to the Caribbean. There are so many different islands and countries to choose from, and travelers don’t always know what to expect. It is hard to go wrong when you plan a Caribbean vacation. 

Every country in the Caribbean has beautiful beaches where you can stand up paddle board or go snorkeling. Every island is home to friendly locals, great food, and the opportunity to try something new.

If you don’t know where to start as you try to plan your Caribbean vacation, here are the top 3 best Caribbean islands for vacation, as evaluated by U.S. News and World Reports:

1. Turks and Caicos

The Turks and Caicos islands are not nearly as busy as some of the other islands, even at the height of tourist season. They have a lighthearted, easy going vibe and offer more privacy and quiet than other islands. Turks and Caicos are home to extensive white sand beaches, as well as one of the largest coral reef systems in the world. If beaches and swimming are not your things, the islands also offer a range of luxury hotels for being pampered as well as historic sites and museums. 

2. St. Lucia

St. Lucia has a reputation as a luxury island, but it is actually more affordable than you would expect. This unspoiled gem of an island ranks the highest for having the best and the biggest range of activities. 

St. Lucia is home to The Pitons, a world-famous climbing destination. You can also go ziplining through the rain forest or sunbathe on one of St. Lucia’s pristine, chalky beaches. For music enthusiasts, the island offers the St. Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival. For party animals, there is the evening dance party, called the “jump up,” at Gros Islet.

3. The British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands are the most exclusive of all the islands in the Caribbean; they tend to attract the glamorous and wealthy, who are seeking a secluded escape from their stressful lives. What makes the British Virgin Islands one of the top 3 best Caribbean countries for vacation is other-worldly cliffs and white sand beaches.

The British Virgin Islands do not offer as many guided tours or activities as other islands because it is the kind of place where travelers tend to prefer self-guided activities, like fishing, diving, and hiking.

What Are the Best Caribbean Islands for Families with Young Children?

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Vacations with young children can be hard to plan. Parents are full of worries that their children will be overwhelmed, get lost in the crowd, or that there will be nothing for families to do. When you plan a Caribbean vacation for your young family, you should look for islands that are off the beaten path. 

Quiet, less tourist-heavy islands will be far safer than resorts that are bursting at the seams with travelers.

One of the best islands for families is St. Croix. Because it is part of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Americans do not need passports to visit. This is ideal for families who already have their hands full or who have children who are too young for passports. St. Croix is the least crowded of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

It has two bioluminescent beaches, a rich history, and plenty of activities for the whole family. You can take the kids horseback riding or snorkeling with experienced local guides and child-friendly gear rental.

Another excellent island for a family vacation is Antigua. This country requires a passport to visit, but it is well worth it.

Antigua has the best beaches for families because they are shallow, have soft sand, and do not get big waves. In Long Bay, the water is very shallow, so families can walk out and see colorful fish and coral reefs without needing to rent snorkeling gear. Antigua also has other attractions that kids love.

As a sailing hub, it is home to both historic and modern yachts; the museum offers interactive exhibits, including a cannon that children can climb on. 

Compared to St. Croix, Barbados can be a little busier. However, it is an ideal destination for families with children because it is one of the safest countries in the Caribbean. 

Barbados is ripe with guided activities, including the chance to see underwater caves in a submarine, meet monkeys at the zoo, and sail on a pirate ship. Because most of the locals speak English, it is easy for American families to navigate the islands.

Which Caribbean Countries Are the Best for a Romantic Vacation?

Whether you are newly weds or long time partners who need a break from the kids, the Caribbean is the ultimate romantic destination. Grenada, Aruba, and Jamaica are considered the most romantic countries in the Caribbean.

What Makes Grenada So Romantic to Visit?

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Grenada is not as frequently traveled as some of the more popular islands. This works out well for traveling couples because Grenada offers the same level of luxury, all-inclusive resorts at a fraction of the price of other islands. 

Many of the luxury resorts offer complimentary spa treatments, including couples spa appointments. You can also go sailing, walk the white sand beaches, and have a candle-lit dinner of gourmet Caribbean food without any lines or wait times.

Is Aruba a Good Romantic Destination?

Aruba is known for its impeccable weather, but it is also the perfect romantic destination. Aruba has something for every couple, from intimate boutique hotels where you can sleep in with your beloved to beautiful hikes. 

On a nearby private island, travelers can swim with flamingos. For art and history lovers, the island is also home to a ceramics museum and an archeology museum.

What is the Best City in Jamaica for a Romantic Vacation?

On the west side of the island, Negril, Jamaica, is the ultimate honeymoon destination. It looks like something out of a romance novel. Negril is home to the famous golden sand beaches, as well as a backdrop of pristine limestone cliffs. Couples have many affordable options for beach-facing boutique hotels.