Are you tired of snow and freezing winds every winter? Take off your winter jackets and snow boots and put on your sundress and flip flops coz we’re going to the Caribbean this winter! That is usually what you a wife or husband says to their kids, right? So great when we make it happen!
So why Caribbean of all places? This region is made up of more than 700 islands and islets scattered over the vast Caribbean Sea. These islands are blessed with pristine beaches surrounded by lovely coral reefs. Caribbean islands are also rich in surreal landscapes, magnificent mountains, and green rainforests. It is a perfect getaway from the frosty spell of winter and you don’t have to spend a fortune to get there.
Here is the list of the most beautiful Caribbean islands to spend your winter vacation which is right to your budget:
- Dominican Republic
Warm weather and hospitable locals with picturesque landscapes and affordable accommodations, these are some of the reasons why Dominican Republic should be your destination this winter. With eight international airports, this country is a tourist hotspot due to its accessibility. Accommodation is no problem, you’ll find plenty of all-inclusive hotels and resorts where food and fun-filled activities are included. You can choose from a wide selection of exciting activities such as golfing, kayaking, windsurfing, and zip-lining.
You might want to book a flight into Punta Cana to see its beachfront stretching 20 miles. And don’t forget to visit the beaches of Puerta Plata where you can surf and catch the waves all you want.
- St. Martin and Sint Maarten
St. Martin and Sin Maarten is a single chunk of island divided into two nations – the French part (St. Martin) and the Dutch part (Sint Maarten). Both divisions have their own governments, currencies, and languages. The island is a home to 37 breathtaking beaches.One of the most popular beaches in St. Martin is Grand Case Beach where you can experience an exciting diving experience on the famous Creole Rock. If you want a more serene beach, try out Long Bay which is the longest beach in St. Martin. Sint Maarten also has its fair share of stunning beaches. There’s Maho Beach where you can watch jumbo jets take off from the Princess Juliana airport while dipping yourself in the crystal clear seawater. There’s also the tranquil Little Baywhere you can see a wide variety of bird species. If you want a more affordable vacation, I recommend you stay on the Dutch side. Sint Maarten has more airports and its hotels are a lot cheaper than those in St. Martin.
Belize may be small in size but it is loaded with pristine beaches, verdant rainforests, and the famous Mayan ruins. Belize is framed with white sand beaches and crystal-clear cerulean water. Popular tourist destinations in Belize include Placencia Peninsula, Hopkins Village Beach, Ambergris Caye, LaughingbirdCayeand Silk Cayes. Belize cuisine is a concoction of Caribbean, African, and Mayan influences in which seafoods such as conch and grouper are the main ingredients. If you want to experience a livelier nightlife, Ambergris Caye offers various beachfront nightclubs and seaside bars.
Located just southeast of Florida,the Bahamas is one of the most accessible Caribbean islands from the US. This archipelago is laden with islets and cays where sparkling blue waters and pearl-white sand beaches are fringed with palm trees. Bahamas beaches are widely known for their romantic ambience and are favorite destination for lovers and honeymooners, or those travelers who are seeking for a romantic escapade. Famous beaches include Pink Sands Beach, Paradise Beach, Stocking Island, Saddle Cay, and Cat Island. These beaches are rich in vibrant coral reefs and are perfect destinations for snorkeling and scuba diving.
If you want to experience more than just refreshing beaches, Cuba has a lot more to offer to tourists especially since travel restrictions have been lifted. Historical landmarks are perfectly preserved and you can experience travelling down memory lane with vintage cars, cobblestone streets, and scenic colonial buildings. Don’t forget to have a taste of its famous rum and cigar. Cuba’s best beaches include Playa Los Flamencos, Playa Pilar, Playa Perla Blanca, Playa Ancon, Varadero, and Playa Guardalavaca.
Cuba isn’t the only island in Caribbean offering exquisite rums. Martinique is also home of prominent rum distilleries. Included as an integral part of French Republic, Martinique has several exceptional beaches ranging from tourist-loaded beaches to secluded retreats. Famous beaches include Grande Anse des Salines which is well-known among watersports-lover, Anse Turin where you can get a look of Montagne Pelee volcano, Plage du Diamant where you can get a view of the Diamant rock, and Cap Chevalier where you can experience surreal tranquility while watching an enigmatic sunset.
- Trinidad and Tobago
This is a twin island located off the coast of northeastern Venezuela. Trinidad is bigger and more industrialized than Tobago but the latter is more laden with charming beaches and immaculate nature reserves. The most famous among beach-lovers is Pigeon Point where you can find the Buccoo Reef protecting the calm clear-blue waters. There’s also the secluded Englishman’s Bay where you can enjoy both the white-sand beach and lush flora surrounding the beach. If you’re into watersports, head to Mt. Irvine Beach where you can find watersports facilities such as snorkeling gears,hobie cats and canoes.
When it comes tocomplete beach experience, Barbados has it for you! The west coast of the country harbors calm splendid beaches where most of the tourists go. There’s Sandy Lane, Paynes Bay, Batts Rock, and Brandons to name a few where you can spend a relaxing vacation with your family or relish a romantic mood with your partner. The east coast of Barbados where wind sweeps more creates more exciting waves to give surfers the best surfing experience. One of the best surfing destinations in the east coast is Silver Sands where you can surf, windsurf and kitesurf all you want.
Nicaragua offers other renowned attractions aside from its white sand beaches. It is blessed with lush rainforests, diverse wildlife, and volcanoes. The country’s dedication to its rich history is reflected in Granada and Leon where you can find historical churches and plazas perfectly preserved. If fabulous beach is what you’re after, there’s San Juan del Sur where you can dive and surf till you drop. Check out Playa Madera for a more peaceful sunbathing and watch the gorgeous sunset.
- US Virgin Islands
This group of islands is insular part of the US consisting of three main islands – St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas, and many other smaller islands. St. Croix features its most magnificent beach – Cane Bay Beach with its clear-azure water, silky-soft white sand surrounded by swaying palm trees, and rich marine wildlife that have fascinated scuba divers and snorkelers around the world. St. John offers pristine and quiet natural reserves and national parks. It also has its fair share of beachfront stretching from Caneel Bay to Hawksnest Bay. St. Thomas offers its most famous Magens Bay Beach where your family can enjoy soft white sand and safe calm waters. It is loaded with amenities such as snack bars and changing rooms.
Belonging to the Dutch Caribbean region, Curacao is a small island where beautiful beaches aren’t hard to find. While you’re there, don’t forget to visit Knip Beach and experience jumping off a cliff and splash through the calm blue waters, and Playa Porto Mari where you can relax, snorkel and dive in one place.
This country consists of the island itself and six smaller islands. Here is the home of Grand Anse Beach where you can experience pure swimming pleasure on its calm waters. You can also find the Morne Rouge Beach where you can relax on a sheltered beach while sipping cocktail from a seaside bar. You can snorkel all you want at Magazine Beach and enjoy its magnificent 500 yard of powdery-soft sand.
Also called “Butterfly Island”, Guadeloupe is an insular part of France consisting of two main islands – Basse-Terre (west) and Grande-Terre (east). Basse-Terre harbors the active La Soufriere volcano and several unspoiled national parks. While Grande-Terre offers soft white sand and calm cerulean waters perfect for diving and snorkeling. Some of the best beaches in Guadeloupe include the La Caravelle Beach, Raisins Clairs, Souffleur Beach, and Petit Havre.
- Puerto Rico
This archipelago has the best of both worlds – a peaceful retreat and an electrifying party destination. Chill on its lush rainforests and gorgeous white sand beaches or stroll around its perfectly-preserved vibrant colonial architecture. You can find towering shopping malls, casinos, affordable hotels, and golf courses scattered around the country. Puerto Rico’s beaches are to die for. Be sure to visit Luquillo Beach where waters are placid and warm, and Bahia Beach where you can scuba dive, snorkel and water-ski.
Jamaica features pretty beachfronts where beach-lovers around the globe get to spend a memorable vacation. You can experience absolute enjoyment with its divine beaches, hospitable locals, and an energetic nightlife filled with reggae beats and authentic foods. Some of Jamaica’s loveliest beaches include Montego Bay, Seven Mile Beach, Treasure Beach, Reggae Beach, and Boston Bay Beach.