The Caribbean islands are synonymous with palms bordering white sands and azure waters, and rum bars pulsating with reggae music against the backdrop of coral reefs. It's easy to see why this balmy corner of the world has become a popular vacation destination.

    But what are the best Caribbean islands? That's what this list is all about. It will focus on 10 of the most celebrated destinations in the region, offering more idyllic beaches and rainforest parks than you could hope for. From the spice-plumed jerk shacks of Jamaica to the rugged volcanic shores of St Lucia, there's plenty to explore.



    Reggae, jerk chicken, and wild nature

    Jamaica is arguably the quintessential Caribbean island. Steeped in reggae traditions and topped by rainforest-covered mountains, and fringed by beaches of pure white powder, it has just about everything you could want of a Caribbean getaway. It is also among the largest in the region – look for it amid the Greater Antilles chain, tucked between Cuba and the Dominican Republic.

    The majority of travellers here stick to the north and west coasts where the shimmering sands of Ocho Rios run all the way to Seven Mile Beach, with deluxe villa hotels dotting their clifftops as they go. But there's more to Jamaica than just R&R. Head to Kingston to encounter bumping steel-drum bands on the streets. Hit Montego Bay (aka Mo'Bay) for sizzling jerk chicken straight off the BBQ. Tour the south coast to see fishing villages and surf breaks.



    The Caribbean's best pink beaches

    Eleuthera is one of the many members of the Bahamas chain. It's famed for its long, doglegging stretches of pure white sand, which are sometimes flecked with hints of pink thanks to the broken-down coral that dusts the shoreline. To visit Eleuthera, most people get a flight straight over from New Providence to North Eleuthera Airport. Others come by boat via the capital in Nassau.

    There are beaches here that face east towards the open Atlantic Ocean, and others that face west into the Caribbean Sea. Visit remote bays like Surfer's Beach for wavy water and rideable swell. Hit Rock Sound for powdery coves with 5-star hotels crowning the dunes. Or crank up the solitude by stalking the rose-tinged runs of French Leave Beach. They're all wonderful.


    St Lucia

    Coastal vistas you'll never forget

    St Lucia is a jaw-dropper of an island. A speck in the rugged chain of the Lesser Antilles that curve around the Eastern Caribbean region, it's topped by 950-metre-high Mount Gimie. That's actually an ancient volcano and the peak responsible for forging the massifs that carve up this gorgeous isle.

    Where the land meets the water is particularly impressive. Check the UNESCO-registered Pitons of the southwestern shore – 2 jagged, arrowhead mountains that lurch straight from an inky sea. Back inland, the metamorphic geology makes itself known through bubbling hot springs and steaming riverways that emerge from the ground. Further north, longer beaches fringe Castries and Pigeon Point, offering a more quintessential Caribbean holiday space.



    The perfect combination of history and hanging loose

    • Foto
    • Sejarah
    • Petualangan

    Antigua is a rum-based cocktail of colonial history and proper Caribbean rest and relaxation. The island isn't a big one, but it sure packs a punch from its position in the east of the region. Sat somewhere between Guadeloupe and the British Virgin Islands, it's known for its hammock-strewn palms, happy residents, and all-around easy feel.

    Before you chill, start with the history. You can walk the quays once walked by English admirals back in the 1800s at the Nelson's Dockyard National Park. You can scale great colonial forts that battled pirates in St John's. Then, hit the beaches, the best of which are probably eye-popping Ffryes Beach and chic Dickenson Bay.


    Saint Martin

    An island with no bad vibes

    Saint Martin is a fun-filled island of chip-slapping casinos and glistening white-sand beaches that is divided into 2 – one side Dutch and the other side French. It is situated in the Leeward Islands of the northern Caribbean and is usually accessed by direct flights into the large Princess Juliana International Airport, located just over the southern, Dutch half.

    The beaches are the main attraction here. There are approximately 37 designated stretches of sand, including the world-class snorkelling and diving hub of Orient Bay and the sweeping expanse of lovely Grand Case Beach. In the evening, you can head to the nightlife centres of Maho and Simpson Bay to try your luck at the card tables or sip cocktails while watching the sunset.


    Puerto Rico

    Awesome waves and rich history

    • Foto
    • Sejarah
    • Petualangan

    Puerto Rico is where the USA meets the Caribbean. A huge, bean-shaped island that's situated between the BVI and the Dominican Republic, it's long been a favoured getaway for North American snowbirds due to the abundance of direct flights into San Juan. Join them and you'll get to explore a place of roaring surf breaks and enthralling colonial history.

    Start in San Juan itself, a city with a UNESCO-listed core of old coral stone forts and Spanish-styled cantinas. From there, you can head west to the surf mecca of Rincon to score barrels, or head to the mountains to wander through cloud forests in the company of parakeets at El Yunque and beyond.



    Welcome to the Spice Isle

    Grenada is one of the jewels in the crown of the Caribbean chain. It is among the southernmost islands of the region, situated just over 99 miles from the shores of Venezuela at the closest point. It has a rich history, having been a French and English colony and a Communist state, but is now regarded as a typical tropical paradise.

    The inland hills of Grenada are covered in aromatic spice plantations, including cinnamon and nutmeg. This fills the air with the scent of baking cakes, which drifts through the ancient volcanic craters of the Grand Etang reserve and the historic rum distilleries. Down on the coast, you can end your days with rum punches on gorgeous bays like Grand Anse and Mourne Rouge.



    Two islands in one

    Guadeloupe offers 2 islands for the price of one. The main centre of this archipelago nation is split in half, with the beach-fringed isle of Grande-Terre to the east and the rugged mountain landscapes of Basse-Terre to the west, a road linking them right in the middle. Both are worth a visit but each offers something pretty unique.

    Grande-Terre is dotted with slick beach towns that have fine, Francophone hotels clutching powdery sand shores. Basse-Terre is wilder, with black-sand beaches hidden between stacks of petrified basalt rock, clutches of rainforest, and the summit of the big Soufrière volcano keeping watch overhead. The first is better for relaxation. The latter offers no-holds-barred adventure.



    Smoking volcanos and scuba diving

    Dominica is like nowhere else on Earth. Sandwiched between Guadeloupe and Martinique, the Caribbean to the west and the Atlantic to the east, it's a place where nature still reigns supreme. Unlike its compadres, this one's staved off mass tourism, preferring the path less trodden into the realms of eco travel.

    Cue a whole interior that's now one big nature reserve. Up there, you'll hike trails in the company of red-necked parrots to gaze at brooding volcanos. You'll come across whole lakes that boil and bubble between pockets of a rare cloud forest. For those who prefer to get wet, Dominica also happens to boast some of the most celebrated scuba diving in the region.



    A tale of 2 islands

    Martinique, which sits between Dominica and St Lucia, has 2 very different sides. Go south and you'll be spending days sampling African fusion food and fine cocktails between picture-perfect beaches. Go north and the island becomes an emerald wonderworld of untouched volcanos and craggy bays filled with sea turtles and dolphins.

    Most folks stay on the southern side of Martinique. There, elegant beach towns like Le Diamant and Les Trois-Îlets offer plenty in the way of shoreline living. Even further south, Le Marin and Sainte-Anne form the hub of the luxury travel scene and offer access to celebrated sands like Anse Meunier and the glimmering Plage des Salines.

    Joseph Francis | Penulis yang Berkontribusi

    Mulai merencanakan perjalanan Anda

    Maaf, halaman ini belum diterjemahkan ke dalam bahasa Anda…
    Kembali ke atas