Which Caribbean Island Are You?
With over 7,000 islands, the Caribbean offers the perfect destination for every type of traveller. But which is the right one for you?
If you’ve never been to the Caribbean before, start here – there’s plenty to enjoy, from stately homes and top-class restaurants to more than 1,000 rum bars and the wild waves of the east coast. In Barbados you need never stop having fun, whether it’s catching some horse racing at the Garrison Savannah track or dancing to “oldie goldies” at Oistins Friday Night Fish Fry. Couples can have a ball and families will find it easy to slot in – stay at the famous Sandy Lane, which has a superb kids club, or the well-located and friendly Colony Club in Holetown.
Expect: Sporty families and high-energy nightlife in the south.
Best for: Golfers, surfers and Rihanna fans.
Not for: Those who like to go to bed early (they love karaoke!).
Dense green rainforest, dark volcanic beaches and the iconic twin peaks of the Gros Piton and Petit Piton volcanic spires make St. Lucia the sultry beauty queen of the Caribbean. This magnificent island might be a honeymoon favourite but it’s not at all manicured: the roads are hilly and tortuous, the fishing villages ramshackle, the mood exotic and piratical. Come here if you fancy plunging into nature – hiking through damp rainforest, diving in the Soufriere marine park, visiting mud baths and sulphur springs – then flopping down at a five-star hideaway.
Expect: To take a lot of pictures and to bring home some local rum (go for the Chairman’s Reserve).
Best for: Hikers (climbing Gros Piton is a must), foodies and poetry fans (Nobel Prize-winner Derek Walcott is a St. Lucian).
Not for: Sun-lovers (expect the odd downpour).
Antigua is great for a family holiday thanks to its direct flights, abundant beaches, all-inclusive resorts and numerous thrills, from zip-lining to banana boats. Hardly a day goes by when you don’t see Antiguans playing cricket, and when it’s time to go exploring, there’s the charmingly old-fashioned capital, St. John’s. The island’s warm waters are an excellent place for youngsters to discover sailing, and Nonsuch Bay is the perfect place to learn. Reliable winds and two square miles of protected waters make the resort as suitable for beginners as for serious enthusiasts.
Expect: A merry holiday scene, steel-pan musicians at every turn and light-fingered monkeys (watch that camera).
Best for: Cricket-lovers, yachties and families on a bit of a budget.
Not for: Those who like to go off the beaten track.
The magic of Grenada is that it hasn’t sold its soul to tourism. Yes, this majestic, mountainous island loves to have visitors, but it still feels authentic. The capital, St. George’s, is one of the prettiest in the region, and you can be sure to find un-crowded beaches, excellent diving and rewarding tours to learn about the island’s spices, cocoa and rum. And the average annual temperature is a balmy 28°C.
Expect: To eat well and to bring home a giftset of spices.
Best for: Garden-lovers and chocoholics.
Not for: Sun-lounger sloths (you’d be mad not to explore).
This collection of 700 stunning subtropical islands is an ecological oasis whose waters are so clear you can see over 200 feet! Images of its varying shades of blue melding into 2400 cays can’t help but inspire wanderlust. However, there’s more to the Bahamas than the mostly uninhabited beaches, there are also seemingly endless forests, historic towns and spectacular coral all waiting to be explored.
Expect: A mouth-watering combination of European, African and South American cuisines and over 1000 years of history to discover.
Best for: Divers as it has some of the world’s largest and healthiest reefs.
Not for: Those who want a budget-friendly holiday.
This compact island feels more like a tropical French Riviera than a Caribbean Island; its opulent hotels and stylish bars give it a cool, laidback vibe. Each beach seems to have its own personality: there is Shell Beach which has sublime food, cocktails and music; Grande Saline Beach has more of a deserted island vibe thanks to the absence of hotels and Flamands Beach is the place to be if you want nothing more than to sip a cocktail in a gently swaying hammock. This island is where St Tropez chic meets the laissez-fair Caribbean lifestyle.
Expect: Achingly chic bars and celebrities (it’s the favourite haunt of models, socialites and It girls).
Best for: Laidback holidays and sun-worshippers (the beaches are divine!)
Not for: Those is search of loud reggae and jerk chicken.
This island is made up of is miles and miles of super-soft white sands bordered by a hypnotically turquoise ocean. Dolphins frolic in the surf, flamingos stalk the lakes, iguanas pose on the rocks and humpback whales chug past from January to April. The main island, Providenciales, is where you’ll find most of the action, with top-class resorts lined up along the 12-mile sweep of Grace Bay. Alternatively, for sublime service and absolute privacy, join the A-listers at Parrot Cay or Amanyara.
Expect: Endless, soul-soothing beaches.
Best for: Honeymoon-grade romance, snorkellers and divers.
Not for: Shopaholics.
With verdant foliage and an imposing mountain just waiting to be tackled, these green isles are a treasure trove for more active holidaymakers. St Kitts and Nevis has lots of history too, and this is evident in the old-world charm of the its hotels. This is the Caribbean in its traditional form with unique local delicacies sold on street corners, and plenty of authentic restaurants to sample.
Expect: Lots of history and old-world charm.
Best for: Hikers and musical lovers (Hamilton was born here).
Not for: Those who only want to work on their tan (the forests are too good to not explore!)
The Dominican Republic is a firm favourite among holiday makers thanks to its diverse geography; this island has mountains, desert, jungles peppered with waterfalls and idyllic beaches. Enjoy incredible windsurfing and kitesurfing or a spot of golf in one of the best golf courses in the Caribbean. If you are lucky enough you may see humpback whales passing by on their annual migration, an incredible sight.
Expect: A lively scene where the sound of Merengue (the official music and dance of Dominicans) is often heard.
Best for: Those who want a bit of everything (hiking and sunbathing are equally good here).
Not for: Those who want to get away from the crowds.
Jamaica’s got a rhythm and style like nowhere else. Everyone knows about the rum, reggae and Rastafarianism, but it’s the scenic beauty of this huge and charismatic island that surprises. If you like the sound of dramatic drives, saw-tooth mountains rising to more than 7,000ft, grand plantation houses and jerk chicken barbecues on the beach – maybe with some river-rafting, mountain biking or horse riding thrown in – you’ve come to the right place.
Expect: The best soundtrack in the Caribbean, terrific coffee & lush landscapes.
Best for: Born explorers, party people and Bond fans (Ian Fleming created 007 here).
Not for: Those who are prone to car sickness (the drives are long and winding).