The Top 10 Prettiest Places In The Caribbean (With Photos!)

The Caribbean is synonymous with crystal blue waters and powder white beaches, but its beauty runs far deeper than a postcard-perfect beach setting. 

More than 32 million people visit the Caribbean each year, all looking for a respite from the hustle of regular life. You don’t have to work hard to relax in any one of the 26 island countries that comprise this eternal paradise. The settings that make the Caribbean beautiful are surprisingly diverse in landscape and culture. 

The Pitons St. Lucia 1

What’s the prettiest place in the Caribbean to visit?

The prettiest places in the Caribbean are:

  1. The Pitons, St. Lucia
  2. The Baths, Virgin Gorda
  3. Sandy Point, St. Croix
  4. Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos
  5. 27 Waterfalls of Rio Damajagua, Dominican Republic
  6. Cienfuegos, Cuba
  7. Cayman Crystal Caves, Grand Cayman
  8. Half Moon Caye, Belize
  9. San Juan, Puerto Rico
  10. Willemstad, Curacao

Each of these Caribbean locations has something extraordinarily special that sets them apart from other tropical destinations. We will take you on a journey above and below ground to the highest peaks and the sea floor. We’ll break down what sets them apart, how to get there, and where to stay when you arrive. 

We have created our list to include both resounding favorites and off-the-beaten-path secret gems, all beloved by locals and visitors alike. So, without further adieu, here is your top ten Caribbean bucket list to keep you busy for many travels over. 

The Top 10 Prettiest Places In The Caribbean 

The Pitons, St. Lucia

Prettiest Places In The Caribbean

St Lucia is a member of the British Commonwealth located in the Windward islands between Martinique and The Grenadines. 

From land or by sea, it’s hard to miss what makes this island exceptionally beautiful; its landscape is defined by twin peaks; the Gros and Petit Pitons. Gros Piton is the larger of the two, stands 2600 feet above sea level, and is the hallmark of the St. Lucian coast.

So beautiful and unique are these “volcanic plugs” that they were deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Gros Piton can be climbed, and the view over St. Lucia and the Caribbean is the ultimate reward for your efforts. 

How To Get There

The Pitons are easily accessible by Soufriere, which is just 5km away. The drive is a windy one and will take around 45 minutes to reach the trailhead. 

Where To Stay 

Ladera Resort is located in Soufriere. It is eco-friendly and offers open room formats that open up to plunge pools and incredible views of the Pitons.

The Baths, Virgin Gorda

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Virgin Gorda is one of the four main islands that make up the British Virgin Islands. While the island itself is a petite 8 square miles, it makes up for its mass with its concentration of perfect white sandy beaches and the star of the British Virgin Islands; The Baths. 

The Baths are located in the protected area of The Baths National Park. They are geographically granite megaliths, but aesthetically they are Caribbean eye candy. They are essentially a labyrinth of smooth round boulders (believe us when we say these are the most beautiful boulders you’ll ever see) in pools of crystal clear water.

The surrounding grotto is perfect for plopping down and relaxing, snorkeling, or free diving around. 

One area, the Cathedral Room, is a perfect backdrop for pictures and features a sparkling natural pool with beams of light that always seem to capture your best side. 

How To Get There

The island of Virgin Gorda is accessible by air through hubs in St. Thomas or Puerto Rico. There are also ferries that regularly leave from St. Thomas. The Baths themselves are located on the southern end of the island near Spanish Town. 

Another popular approach is by sea, where private boats can access the area easily. There are plenty of day sails available from both the British and US Virgin Islands. 

Where To Stay 

There are plenty of upscale accommodations to choose from in Virgin Gorda; while most are on the upper end of cost, Mango Bay Resort is both highly rated and won’t break the bank. Nestled on 4 acres of beachfront, its pirate villas are heaven on earth and just a 15-minute drive to the Baths. 

Sandy Point, St. Croix

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St. Croix is one of the three US Virgin Islands that also includes St. Thomas and St. John. St. Croix is typically seen as the more laid back of the three islands and is culturally rich in tradition and ripe with natural wonders, including a wealth of wild, pristine beaches. 

One of its sandy treasures is Sandy Point, a simple name for a classic wonder.

This sprawling peninsula is part of Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge and is one of the longest and most pristine beaches in the Virgin Islands. 

It features a beaming seascape over 343 protected acres that will make you feel like you are on a deserted island with sweeping views of Frederiksted and beyond. It is also a prehistoric archaeological site. 

The beach is protected in large part because it is one of the exclusive nesting habitats of the leatherback sea turtle. 

The beach also lays claim to being a part of the classic end scene in the Shawshank Redemption and attracts visitors who want to see it in person each year. 

How To Get There

Sandy Point is located on the west end of St. Croix and is just a ten-minute drive from Freericksted. You can drive or hike on the beach from a central parking lot at the refuge. 

Where To Stay 

The Waves at Cane Bay is an oceanfront boutique hotel that strives for maximum sustainability on the north shore of St. Croix. It features sustainable seafood options, scuba diving, and two bars. The Waves is just a thirty-minute drive to Sandy Point. 

Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos

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Turks and Caicos are part of the British Overseas Territories consisting of the smaller Turks and larger Caicos Islands. This archipelago destination has no shortage of beautiful beaches, palm tree-lined seascapes, and top-notch culinary experiences; however once a place rises above the rest with its otherworldly beauty. 

Grace Bay is located on the northern coast of the island of Providenciales, which holds its own world-class prestige as offering the most luxurious getaways. Grace Bay has held the designation as the World Travel Awards “Leading Beach Destination” above Boracay and Cancun. 

What sets this pristine bay apart from the multitude of other blinding white postcard-ready Caribbean beaches is that Grace Bay has powdery white sand that is exquisitely clean, free of seaweed, rocks, or pollution. The waters are a cerulean blue and feature vibrant coral reefs. 

How To Get There

The Providenciales International Airport (PLS) is the primary international airport in Turks and Caicos. Grace Bay is located on the island’s northern side, just 20 minutes from the airport. 

Where To Stay 

Accommodation is plentiful in Grace Bay and features mostly high-end luxury experiences to match the environment. One such great option is The Tuscany On Grace Bay, a 4.5-star beachfront resort. This property offers 30 luxury suites with breezy open floor plans and an Italian-inspired facade. 

27 Waterfalls of Rio Damajagua, Dominican Republic

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The Dominican Republic is an adventurer’s favorite. While we could easily pick one of the world-class beaches here (this island has more Blue Flag beach designations than any other island in the Caribbean) like Punta Cana or Bayahibe as one of the prettiest places in the Caribbean, we think the interior of this lush tropical island deserves a look. 

The Dominican Republic is an astonishing 40% forest and tropical jungle which host vibrant ecosystems which include mountainous coffee farms and supports abundant fishing villages. This Caribbean island also has an unparalleled waterfall experience fed by the Rio Damajagua; not just one but 27 of them await to give you a breathtaking experience. 

The 27 Waterfalls of Rio Damajagua (also known as 27 Charcos) are located near the city of Puerto Plata, and although they have existed for millennia, they were only discovered by the outside world in the 1990s. 

To this day, they are a pristine way to experience the Dominican Republic’s pure beauty through an adventure that stretches several miles depending on their route. 

Most routes will take you through thick forests, footbridges, and mountainous flower-lined terrain before you will strap on safety gear to slide through various waterfalls through chutes into turquoise pools. It truly is one of the prettiest treks in all of the Caribbean. 

How To Get There

The best place to access the 27 Waterfalls is through Puerto Plata on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. Both the Gregorio Luperon International Airport (POP) and Puerto Plata Airports are located nearby. From here, you can reach the falls with a guided tour which takes around 40 minutes to the trailhead. 

Where To Stay

The best place to stay to reach the 27 Waterfalls is in Puerto Plata. There is an abundant choice of accommodations here, from boutiques to luxury resorts. The Bluebay Villas Doradas is the perfect jump-off point for this adventure which is an all-inclusive resort located just two minutes from the beach. 

Cienfuegos, Cuba

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Cuba is the largest island nation in the Caribbean, full of vibrant art, pulsing music, and colonial pastel charm. It lays claim to a whopping nine UNESCO-designated heritage sites, including the city of Havana and several National Parks. 

However, one place that holds astonishing beauty but often gets overlooked is Cienfuegos, the “Paris of Cuba ” or the “Pearl of South Cuba ”.

It is the summation of French spirit and affable Caribbean style. Cienfuegos is a harbor side town that takes its historical influences and gives its facade a grandiose European makeover that reflects in the architecture and lifestyle. 

Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, it is a colorful city where the enviable turquoise coastline stands out against a leafy green interior. The province is brimming with caves, tropical enclaves, and coral reefs. 

Nestled within Cienfuegos is El Nicho Waterfall, which is part of Parque Natural Topes de Collantes, a natural wonder with crystalline pools that can be reached by a short hiking trail. There are numerous caves to be explored along the way as well. 

How To Get There

Cienfuegos is accessible via Jaime Gonzales International Airport, just 6 miles from downtown. Coming from Havana, it is approximately a three-hour drive from the northern to the southern shore of Cienfuegos. 

Where To Stay 

If you have always wanted to stay in a palace, this is your chance. Palacio Baron Balbin is located in the heart of Cienfuego and was once a grand private residence turned into opulent accommodation for those looking to get a true taste of the city. Its flamboyant decor has led to many architectural acknowledgments and awards. 

Cayman Crystal Caves, Grand Cayman

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The Cayman Islands are known for hosting the super yachts of the wealthy, they are the birthplace of recreational scuba diving, the birthplace of the Mudslide Cocktail, and they have been designated the “Culinary Capital of The Caribbean.” 

The Cayman Islands are part of an undersea mountain range called the Cayman Ridge, which rises above sea level to create Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman. All three islands provide some of the most naturally beautiful scenery in all of the Caribbean, and one location of, Grand Cayman, is no exception. 

Located on the North Shore of Grand Cayman, this epically beautiful place can be found underground- in a dry tropical forest. 

The Cayman Crystal Caves were once thought to be below sea level, evidenced by the shell and marine animal fossils that can be seen along the walls. As sea level began to recede, rooms in the caves began to appear alongside spectacular stalagmite and stalactite formations on the limestone ceilings. 

Historically they were thought to shelter the locals from storms and even as a hideout for pirates. 

The caves can be accessed by a regular 90-minute tour that will guide you through the beautiful caverns and pools with a guide explaining the curious geological history that formed them. 

How To Get There

The caves are located near Old Man’s Bay on the north side of Grand Cayman. It is a 50-minute drive from the popular Seven Mile Beach or a 20-minute from the cruise ship dock in Georgetown. 

Where To Stay 

The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Resort & Spa is a popular and much raved about accommodation choice for travelers situated on prime beach real estate. They offer both a la carte and all-inclusive packages.

Half Moon Caye, Belize 

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Half Moon Caye plays double duty in Belize as both an incredible island destination and a national monument. Located in the southwest corner of the Lighthouse Atoll, it is a crescent-shaped strip of island paradise. It became the first addition to Belize’s National Park System in 1981 and was the first marine protected area in all of Central America. 

This gem made our list as much as what can be seen above water as below. On the surface, you’ll love Half Moon Caye for its glamorous camping prospects in safari-style tents, an abundance of wildlife, including the endangered Red Footed Booby, and its pristine shorelines. 

However, the real reason that Half Moon Caye is one of the prettiest places in all of the Caribbean is because of what is below the water. 

Half Moon Caye has some of the most sparkling clear blue water in all of the Caribbean with innumerable species of marine life as well as a healthy, vibrant reef system. All of which provide some of the best kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving in the world. 

In fact, it was given the top spot in the 10 Best Dive Sites In North America due to its famous wall dive and its proximity to another natural wonder, The Great Blue Hole, the largest sea hole in the world. 

The diving and snorkeling not only give a beautiful show during the day, but a whole other world also wakes up below the surface for the night shift. Half Moon Caye is a great place for night snorkeling, where you’ll catch bioluminescence, lobsters, octopus, and more.

If you’ve gotten your fill of sandy white beaches and tropical surroundings, consider a dip in the water to experience the Caribbean’s world-class beauty below. 

How To Get There

You can get to Half Moon Caye from Belize City (a two-hour boat ride) or San Pedro (a one-hour boat ride). Scuba Diving shops from both run boats to the Lighthouse Atoll daily. 

Where To Stay 

You could easily stay in Belize City or San Pedro,  but Half Moon Caye is best experienced with staying on the island. Island Expeditions provides all-inclusive adventures to Half Moon Caye with glamping accommodations and also includes transfers, water activities, and meals. 

San Juan, Puerto Rico

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Not all Caribbean beauty is found on the beach; San Juan, Puerto Rico is arguably one of the prettiest cities in all of the Caribbean. 

The island of Puerto Rico is known as the “Island of Enchantment,” which would make it’s capital city the crown jewel. Its cityscape is a step back in time and offers a kaleidoscope of colorful houses and colonial monuments. 

This colorful, vibrant, pulsating city is rich in history, has a deep culinary cuisine scene, and has beaches to boot.

San Juan is ripe for a wandering walk through its meandering historical cobblestone street of Old San Juan, along the pristine Escambron Beach, and through the artsy Santurce neighborhood. Whether you are a beach bum, a foodie, or a nightlife lover, San Juan has something for everyone and does it in a stylish way only this city could pull off. 

San Juan is a beautiful destination in and of itself but also makes a great jump-off point to explore some of the natural wonders of Puerto Rico’s other pretty places, such as the El Yunque National Forest and the Rio Camuy Caves, both within easy driving distance of the city center. 

How To Get There

Getting to San Juan is an easy task from Miami, which offers a three-hour flight to its international airport. From there it takes just 15 minutes to the city center. 

Where To Stay 

There is no shortage of pretty accommodations to match this beautiful gem of the Caribbean in San Juan, which range from opulent and grande to luxurious all-inclusive, but to really feel the city’s vibe, we recommend the Olive Boutique Hotel, which is part of the Small Luxury Hotels of The World.

The rooms are adorned with an old-world flair, and the location in the Condado Lagoon gives a magical atmosphere. 

Willemstad, Curacao

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A tropical-colored sight to behold from the sea, Willemstad, Curacao, is surely one of the most pretty locations in the Caribbean. Willemstad is the capital city of this Dutch country, whose architecture is so beautiful it has been deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Curacao is known for its world-class beaches like Kenepa and Playa Porto Mari, even better scuba diving with premier sites like the Booby Trap, and well-preserved historic architecture. Willemstad greets visitors to all of Curacao’s natural wonders with its tropical waterways, street cafes, and scenic Queen Emma Bridge. 

The latter is a gorgeous pontoon bridge that stretches across a bay and is held in place by 16 pontoon boats that part (the locals call her “The Swinging Old Lady”) to let boat traffic through. 

Handleskade is the waterfront promenade ripe with beaming colorful 18th-century buildings, outdoor cafes, and a nearby floating market. Art is bursting from every corner of Willemstad and famously hosts many artists in residence that create instagrammable murals across the city. 

How To Get There

To reach Willemstad, you can arrive at the Curacao International Airport, which is just a 20-minute drive to the city center. 

Where To Stay 

The Baoase Luxury Resort bills itself as a haven of relaxation with meandering free-form pools, waterfalls, and a private beach. It is boutique in size at just 23 suites, but each one has an extravagant touch with its own private plunge pool and all the amenities of a five-star resort.