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These 17 Beautiful Caribbean Islands Will Transport You to Paradise

These 17 Beautiful Caribbean Islands Will Transport You to Paradise

Whether you pronounce it kar-eh-bee-uhn as Mirriam-Webster says or kr-i-bee-uhn as Google suggests, the Caribbean region is famed for its beauty worldwide. Think pristine aqua waters, sugar sand beaches, and sun-dappled mountain peaks. But with over 7,000 islands, it can be hard to navigate what’s worth a visit. Luckily, we’ve rounded up the most beautiful islands in the area, from well-known destinations to hidden gems and everything in between.

Flavio Vallenari – Getty Images

The islands are calling. Beauty beckons. And we are often asking,”Why aren’t we in the Caribbean right now?” The lush islands with their white sand beaches, stunning in their own right, are just the start of pretty landscapes to behold from towering mountains to lush rainforests. But with more than 7,000 islands in the region, where should you explore?

We’ve rounded up nine of the most beautiful Caribbean islands, for couples and families alike. Whether you are a first timer or a frequent visitor, these gorgeous places in the Caribbean are sure to wow you with the resplendency of their aqua waters and sun-dappled mountain peaks. Some of these picks are well known, while others are hidden gems—but all are worth visiting at least once.

You can explore white sand beaches and some of the most beautiful countries around the world, but we’re willing to bet you’ll want to head back to the Caribbean time and time again.

Image of Davis Bay in Saint Croix by Bill Ross – Getty Images

There’s just something special about putting on your bathing suit, ordering a tropical cocktail (or mocktail), sitting under a palm tree and completely unplugging from the rest of the world. Now you just need to pick out your next relaxing vacation destination from this list of beautiful Caribbean islands—just don’t forget to add on that upgrade (we promise, it’ll be worth the splurge!).

Saint Lucia

Wildroze – Getty Images

Saint Lucia’s white beaches shimmer, and its awe-inspiring Piton Mountains peak up above behind it, with lush leafy palms and fruit trees blossoming in between. Further inland you can hike through the rainforest that takes up 70 percent of the island, or you can traverse to get a picture-perfect view of Marigot Bay or Rodney Bay Village or visit the Caribbean’s only “drive-in volcano” in Soufrière.


Michal Gutowski Photography – Getty Images

No, not the Dominican Republic. Dominica remains the best-kept secret in the region and is without a doubt one of the area’s most beautiful islands. Dominica is called “the nature island” of the Caribbean—and for good reason. Amid its lush and protected interior, it has the best hiking in the area, including the longest continuous trail, the 115-mile Waitukubuli Trail. This volcanic isle also boasts a river for every day of the year, with 365 freshwater streams in its verdant, jungle footprint.

Andros, Bahamas

Stickney Design – Getty Images

Of the Bahamas’ nearly 700 islands, Andros is the largest and feels like an unspoiled escape. Known as the Blue Hole Capital of the World, Andros offers the Caribbean’s signature turquoise waters and the recognizable beauty of more than 150 blue holes; some are even preserved in the 40,000-acre Blue Holes National Park. The island is also home to the world’s third-largest barrier reef.


Westend61 – Getty Images

Bonaire is famed as a diver’s paradise for its 85+ dive sites, but there’s more to this little island’s beauty than the deep blue sea (it is noteworthy, though, that 100% of the ocean surrounding the island is a protected marine park). Beyond that, colorful architecture in the capital Kralendijk, the dreamy salt pans full of flamingos, and the Netherlands’ oldest national park are just a few of the compelling reasons to visit this small Dutch overseas territory.

Antigua, Antigua & Barbuda

Roberto Moiola / Sysaworld – Getty Images

Much of Antigua’s beauty stems from its famous white sand beaches, but the sweeping harbor views offered at Shirley Heights in the island’s southern reaches are some of the prettiest vistas in the entire Caribbean. There, sparkling white yachts stand out against the aquamarine water. Antigua’s intricate coastline, rife with bays and natural harbors, makes it an especially attractive destination.


Tim Drivas Photography – Getty Images

This Dutch tropical escape stuns in the Southern Caribbean with more than 35 beaches and the colorful, UNESCO-recognized capital city of Willemstad. Multiple national parks help preserve local flora and fauna and keep part of the island wild.

Saint John

John Duarte – Getty Images

In terms of natural beauty, no other island can compete with Saint John in the United States Virgin Islands. Virgin Islands National Park, one of the nation’s least visited, covers ⅔ of the island, preserving it for generations to come. Rolling hills, lush with vegetation, tumble into the sea and provide excellent outlooks for sweeping vistas from this island paradise.

Providenciales, Turks & Caicos

JoaoBarcelos – Getty Images

Turks & Caicos is a well-known destination in the Caribbean, though its star is the island of Providenciales. Its massive Grace Bay Beach, often called the world’s most beautiful, features calm, turquoise waters emblematic of the region.


Desron Byrone – Getty Images

An especially luxe isle, Anguilla is an Eastern Caribbean gem. The island is a British overseas territory famous for palm-fringed beaches, upscale hotels, and the second-largest barrier reef in the world. Don’t miss the limestone cave formations which decorate many of the gorgeous 33 public beaches.


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