Not many people know that there are nearly 7,000 islands in the Caribbean. Some of these are too small to visit, but it just goes to show how diverse the area is. Not only is the area geographically diverse, but also culturally diverse because of the influences of the United States, Britain, other European countries, and some South American countries.
With so much to explore, it can be difficult to decide where in the Caribbean to go. Here are some of the best places to visit in the region.
The British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands consist of 60 small islands and cays, all under one nation. They are known for being quiet islands where the people have not built up the island too much, leaving room for the gorgeous nature. The resorts that they do have are incredibly luxurious though (and quite expensive). The beauty of the islands in the Caribbean is that they are very close to one another and you can simply visit the British Virgin Islands for a day from a nearby island.
U.S. Virgin Islands
Not too far from the British Virgin Islands are the U.S. Virgin Islands. Much less quiet than their British counterparts, these islands are home to booming parties and carnivals. They offer great delights for the adventurous palates, like saltfish pate. Each island is quite unique from the luxury of St. Thomas to the simplicity and natural beauty of St. John.
St. Lucia is one of the more temperate Islands of the Caribbean. There are many interesting things to do in Saint Lucia like sleeping in bungalows that have glass floors and overlie the ocean. And with their local chocolate producing plantations, it’s no wonder the locals are described as some of the most relaxed people in the world.
If you feel like having a little bit of Dutch flair to your holiday, you can visit the island of Aruba, which is still today considered to be a constituent of the Netherlands. The local cities are still full of Dutch heritage with their colorful buildings. There are several captivating beaches to visit including one where you can interact and swim with flamingos.
Grenada has a complicated history of being handed back and forth between the Spanish, French, and British. Today it is a sovereign state with a thriving culture. Not only does it have stunning beaches and luscious nature reserves, but it also boasts the unique feature of having an underwater sculpture park. Divers and snorkelers can go under the waves and see multiple stone sculptures just resting on the seafloor.
Another island with outstanding features and vibrant cultures, St. Martin or Sint Maarten as it’s otherwise known, is a popular tourist destination. There are several shopping destinations for its unique Caribbean style of clothes and it has a bustling nightlife scene. The island is split between France and the Kingdom of the Netherlands so it offers a unique experience of two cultures in one.
Cayo Santa Maria
One of the many islands of Cuba, Cayo Santa Maria offers numerous tourist activities ranging from strikingly beautiful beaches to in-town shopping and spa experiences. One of the marine parks offers guests the chance to swim with dolphins and one of the beaches has a historical lighthouse.