Pristine, sugar-white beaches extend as far as the eye can see. Sparkling azure waters glisten, fragrant tropical gardens explode in dazzling color, and picture perfect sunsets ignite the sky. This is the Caribbean, where dreams of paradise become blissful reality — and these are our top island picks for truly getting away from it all.


With picture-perfect weather and natural treasures like Eagle Beach, beautiful beaches and coastline, Aruba is loaded with unforgettable sights, sounds, and experiences. Whether you’re a solo traveler, a couple, or a family planning a Caribbean vacation with kids, Aruba is your happy island.

Aruba consistently ranks as having the least amount of rainfall in the Southern Caribbean. The calming trade winds will keep you cool in the pleasant 82°F weather. Thanks to the island’s location outside the hurricane belt, visitors can expect reliably great weather throughout the year. Aruba is the Caribbean’s culinary mecca, with worldclass restaurants featuring award-winning international chefs, as well as local and regional eateries and cafes seasoned in preparing traditional and authentic local and international cuisines.

Aruba is alive with sights, sounds, and culinary delights found on no other Caribbean island. Here friendly people are eager to welcome and embrace you. And with surprising natural wonders to explore, countless ways to relax and indulge your wild side, visitors will find happiness however they like it.

From the Dutch history of Oranjestad to the bustling resorts, casinos, and water sports of Palm Beach, to the wild hiking trails and hidden pools of Arikok National Park, island vacations in Aruba are designed to relax your senses and invigorate your soul.


Marked by a number of rich cultural influences, Martinique is colorful, tropical and very French. Measuring in at 425 square miles, the island packs in an incredible amount of natural beauty, outdoor activities, diversions, history, shopping and culinary adventures. The north end of the island is characterized by dense forests, rivers and waterfalls. The center of the island transitions to the south’s geologically older landscape of rolling hills; and the southern coast is dotted with many picturesque bays and coves. Thanks to an average temperature of 79°F, Martinique is the island of the “never-ending summer.”

Martinique’s celebrated past is not only evident in its architecture, historic monuments and museums, but in its culinary mastery too. This is where the island truly shows off its Frenchness, coupling Caribbean influences to create inspiring dishes found nowhere else. Hotels and better-known spots have menus in English, but many little places do not, so it’s wise to bring along a French phrase book if you want to dine like a local. Many restaurants offer both French cuisine and Creole dishes.


Lying 50 miles east of Nassau, Eleuthera was the first settlement in The Bahamas — founded in 1648. Of course, the island has undergone quite a bit of change since then, but you can still find many isolated beaches where you can easily escape to a blissful world of doing absolutely nothing. Essentially a pencil-thin island, Eleuthera is over 100 miles long and only two miles wide — assuring you’re never far from the white and pink-sand beaches. The landscape’s rolling green hills, dramatic cliffs and sea-to-sea views truly make for some breathtaking sights from every beach.

Though Eleuthera may be more built up than other out-of-the-way islands, it retains an undeveloped feel. The name Eleuthera is Greek for “freedom,” a fitting name for a Caribbean island that’s free from crowds, cruise ships and casinos. The island moves at a slower pace than most people are accustomed to. The relaxed pace of life here, along with a varying selection of secluded villas, upscale resorts, and quaint inns, keep visitors coming back year after year — including members of the British royal family.

The island is divided between North Eleuthera and South Eleuthera. One  of the most popular spots is Harbour Island on the north end, famous for its pink-sand beaches.

Turks and Caicos Islands

Home to breathtaking beaches, legendary diving, snorkeling and fishing, the Turks and Caicos Islands consist of 40 different islands and cays, only eight of which are inhabited.

The Turks and Caicos are almost as diverse as its people. From the main tourist center of Providenciales (Provo) to the quiet and tranquil islands of North and Middle Caicos to the historic Capital Island of Grand Turk, each one offers a different experience and a unique character but all offer year round great climate, beaches and underwater activities. Parrot Cay and Pine Cay are privately owned islands and are home to the most exclusive resorts: Parrot Cay Resort and Spa and the Meridian Club.

Grace Bay Beach, on the northeast coast of Provo, is the hallmark of the Turks and Caicos Islands. The entire beach is consistently excellent, with calm sparkling water, white sand and no rocks or seaweed. However, the only true way to experience the Turks and Caicos Islands is to experience each island in the entire chain. Most of the islands are only about 10 to 25 minutes by air from Provo and most can be reached by boat, too. There are also regular ferries from North to Middle Caicos.

Union Island

A stunningly beautiful island with rugged charm, Union Island is one of the last remaining undiscovered treasures of St. Vincent and The Grenadines. Relaxed, friendly and mostly off the beaten track, Union is a fantastic place to experience the region’s natural beauty. It’s this untouched allure that makes the island a unique paradise for yachting enthusiast, scuba divers, hikers and sun worshippers.

Union’s immaculate beaches are protected by reefs, making them ideal for beach-centric getaways. The fairly flat and shallow reefs are great for beginner snorkelers and divers and have plenty of colorful fish and reef formations. Popular dive sites include Round About Reef and Clipper’s Point.

Home to approximately 3,000 residents, the island has two principal towns, Clifton and Ashton. Clifton is  the busier of the two main villages due  to the ferry wharf, airport, and the very popular yacht anchorage of Clifton Harbour. Along the town’s main street you’ll find a good selection of bars, coffee shops, boutiques and eateries. The open air market opposite Hugh Mulzac Square and wharf is well-stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables. The shopping offers plenty of small, stylish boutiques.

In the middle of Clifton Harbour  sits Janti’s Happy Island, a man-made island fashioned entirely out of conch shells with a bar and restaurant that’s incredibly popular. It’s a great place  to kick back and shoot the breeze all  day long.

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