From high mountain peaks to shimmering reefs, spicy salsa rhythms to deep rolling reggae, pirate hideouts to sugar-sand beaches, the Caribbean is dizzyingly diverse.

Combining adventure with relaxation, hundreds of years of colonial history with enthralling Arawak culture, West Indian spices with European gastronomic flair, honeymooners with hill walkers, budget backpacker haunts with some of the most exclusive hotels on the planet, it’s got something for every type of traveler.

It’s got everything from Cuban cigarillos to magma-spouting mountains, not to mention countless airbrushed beaches of pristine sand and shimmering turquoise sea. See you in the rum bars!

Let’s have a look at our list of the best Caribbean islands to visit:

1. Jamaica

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Start on the Jamaican north shore, where powdery white sands run their way along the coast from the ivory stretches of iconic Seven Mile Beach, past the sheer-cut Negril Cliffs, through the luxury uber-resorts of Montego Bay, around the gushing Dunn’s River Falls, and out to where famous James Bond Beach gives way to the jungles of Ocho Rios in plumes of swaying coconut palms, juniper bushes, mangrove and tamarind.

Further in the east and the mighty Blue Mountains rise in verdant swathes of jungle, Jamaican boas swinging from the vines and the scents of coffee beans wafting along the undergrowth.

Then, on the inland hills, visitors can seek out the birthplace of legendary Bob Marley at Nine Mile, or simply opt to flit between the rum bars of Kingston listening to the master and his steel-drum, Rasta off-beats.

Mo’Bay, meanwhile, pulses with nightlife and the smells of jerk chicken, while honeymooners kick back on beachside decks and sip Red Stripe to the sunset.

2. Turks and Caicos

carabbean island

From the alabaster-white beaches of Bermuda in the north to the cactus-topped desert inland of the ABC Islands in the south, the windswept coves and surfing reefs of Dominica in the east to the jungle-dressed tips of Cuba and the Antilles in the west, the Caribbean has long been a treasure trove of things to do and see.

Combining adventure with relaxation, hundreds of years of colonial history with enthralling Arawak culture, West Indian spices with European gastronomic flair, honeymooners with hill walkers, budget backpacker haunts with some of the most exclusive hotels on the planet, it’s got something for every type of traveler.

It’s got everything from Cuban cigarillos to magma-spouting mountains, not to mention countless airbrushed beaches of pristine sand and shimmering turquoise sea. See you in the rum bars!

Let’s have a look at our list of the best Caribbean islands to visit:

3. Cubacarabbean island

A tumultuous past and political penchant for communism has meant Cuba has remained something of an off-the-beaten-track option for travelers in the Caribbean until only recently.

The latest news is a loosening of travel and import restrictions from America, both expected to bring hordes of new tourists to the so-called Pearl of the Antilles.

There’s certainly no shortage of pulls.

For one, the capital at Havana oozes a vintage charm.

Cadillacs bump up and down the streets and peeling stuccoed frontispieces circa 1925 give way to the off-beats of samba, rumba and songo aplenty; cigar smoke puffs out of the speakeasies and the sun-splashed Malécon is strutted by all sorts! Leaving the Che monuments and Spanish streets behind, the greater island offers up picture-perfect beaches at Varadero, ecotourism amidst karst mountains in Pinar del Río, breathtaking vistas in the Viñales Valley – the list goes on!

4. Antigua and Barbuda

carabbean island

From the alabaster-white beaches of Bermuda in the north to the cactus-topped desert inland of the ABC Islands in the south, the windswept coves and surfing reefs of Dominica in the east to the jungle-dressed tips of Cuba and the Antilles in the west, the Caribbean has long been a treasure trove of things to do and see.

Combining adventure with relaxation, hundreds of years of colonial history with enthralling Arawak culture, West Indian spices with European gastronomic flair, honeymooners with hill walkers, budget backpacker haunts with some of the most exclusive hotels on the planet, it’s got something for every type of traveler.

It’s got everything from Cuban cigarillos to magma-spouting mountains, not to mention countless airbrushed beaches of pristine sand and shimmering turquoise sea. See you in the rum bars!

Let’s have a look at our list of the best Caribbean islands to visit:

5. Dominican Republic

carabbean island

From the swaying palms and rugged cliffs of Los Haitises in the east to the old mineshafts and dusty trailheads of the Sierra de Bahoruco in the west, the surfing hotspots of Cabarete and Puerto Plata in the north to the urban sprawl of Santa Domingo and its concomitant colonial treasures in the south, the Dominican Republic has plenty of tricks up its sleeve! For most, the piece de resistance is Punta Cana, where strips of white sand run along the windward coast like glistening ribbons in the moonlight, punctuated only by the occasional luxury resort, its infinity pools butting up right to rollers of the Atlantic.

Others will aim for the beautiful coast of Cibao, and hop between fishing towns and salt-washed cays.

Others still will go intrepid and seek out the ridges and hikes of the Enriquillo Valley, and indelibly green Armando Bermúdez. The choice is yours!

6. Grenada

carabbean island

Grenada is the Spice Isle: a land of nutmeg and vanilla pods and fragrant wafts of cinnamon that twist and turn in the sultry Carib air, rolling down in breezes with the trade winds to the pretty bays of Grand Anse and the shiny white sands of Morne Rouge Beach.

Volcanic in origin, the island spikes and dips with the cones of Mount Saint Catherine and the grass-rimmed crater lakes of Grand Etang alike.

Waterfalls gush and carve the landscapes too, running swiftly over the rocks at Royal Mount Carmel and flowing in moss-clad steps at the Seven Sisters, accessible only by winding hiking trails through the mountains.

Oh, and let’s not forget the human side of things: the lively local fish fries of Gouyave; the River Antoine brewing house – home to some of the oldest rum labels in the world.