Caribbean Island Destination Guide: Part 3

We will wrap up this series with the following beautiful islands of the Caribbean:

Looking for a secluded, peaceful haven? Then look to Saba Island for your next vacation. Located next to St. Maarten, this tiny island is the smallest in the Netherlands Antilles and is a magical getaway. Four small villages take you back in time with charming reminders of days past, while still providing modern luxuries. Be sure to see the famous Saba Marine Park, enjoy hiking the steep trails rising from the azure sea, enjoy some scuba diving or just take in the beautiful scenery. You’ll never have to worry about getting lost with just 5 square miles and a single road taking you everywhere you need to go.

Affectionately known as “Statia” by locals, the island of Saint Eustatius is an incredible place to visit if you are a diving enthusiast.  The water is warm, teaming with fish, and underwater volcanic fissures and canyons give breathtaking sights to those who venture under the water. Located southeast of the Virgin Islands, the unhurried pace and gentle trade winds make this a pristine place to relax and unwind today, even though three hundred years ago it was a major trading center and known as “The Golden Rock” by every sea captain and pirate on the waters.

If you are seeking a chic getaway in the Caribbean, Saint Barthelemy, known as St. Barts, might just be the place for you. Made of volcanic rock and only eight square miles, it is an interesting mix of strong personalities, designer boutiques and luxury yachts. Celebrities are frequent visitors and share the space with iguanas and cactus.  The island is officially a department of France and is a popular winter vacation spot for people from mainland France. Nude sunbathing is allowed on Grand Saline, or spend your time exploring the sights on foot or by car.

If you are seeking lush Caribbean islands with a lot of South Pacific tropical paradise overtones, look no further than Saint Kitts and Nevis. On Saint Kitts, you can see the dormant volcano Mount Liamuiga, an amazing sight rising into the clouds and covered with lush tropical forest. Nevis also has lush forests, filled with tropical flowers and Vervet monkeys. Both offer sandy beaches, great hiking, excellent ecotourism activities, golfing on professional courses and miles of beautiful white beaches. Water sports include boating, snorkeling and diving. History buffs will enjoy the many plantation inns, fortresses, and haunted plantation tours. Trade winds keep the humidity low and the temperature an average 79 degrees, making an ideal climate year round. Saint Kitts and Nevis are located in the eastern Caribbean.

You must see the only drive-in volcanic crater in the world when you visit Saint Lucia, north of Barbados in the eastern Caribbean. Amazing reefs offer snorkeling and diving enthusiasts a breathtaking underwater view. The Pitons are dramatic twin peaks rising 2,000 feet above sea level, and are home to rare orchids, giant ferns, and exotic birds in beautiful rain forests. There is no finer place for bird watching in the Caribbean, including sights of the endangered St. Lucia parrot. Visit Diamond Falls and step under the cascading waterfalls for an invigorating shower in cool waters. This island offers visitors something for every taste and interest, with the Atlantic Ocean on the eastern side and the Caribbean on the west.

The Dutch and the French share the lively island of St. Maarten. If you want more of a reserved vacation, the French side is the way to go while the Dutch side is known for its festive nightlife, beaches, jewelry and casinos.

If you want one destination and the option of seeing 32 beautiful Caribbean islands, then Saint Vincent and the Grenadineslocated between Saint Lucia and Grenada, should go on your list of must visit destinations. Eco adventures await in the tropical rainforests of Saint Vincent, along with outstanding nature hikes and scuba diving. Also an outstanding choice for yachting vacations, the southern coast is full of anchorages and services, excellent restaurants, and hotels. Hiking the 4,000-foot active volcano on Saint Vincent is another great challenge. The Grenadines to the south are all smaller, and some are more populated than others, and include private islands, all with similar lush beauty, sheltered lagoons, pristine white beaches and some spectacular views of the yachts sailing into Saint Vincent.

Known for their South American heritage, Trinidad and Tobago have become popular tourist destinations. Located in the southern Caribbean, northeast of Venezuela, visitors can find bustling charm and lots of action on larger Trinidad, and quiet relaxation on smaller and less developed Tobago. The capital city of Trinidad, Port of Spain, boasts many activities including Carnival, officially the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday but unofficially in swing shortly after Christmas. The beaches on the west side of Tobago are incredibly beautiful with clear waters, making it ideal for scuba diving. Tobago also has unspoiled rainforests to explore.

If you want to experience the best of the Caribbean while in Atlantic waters, then Turks and Caicos located just east of the Bahamas is the place for you! Made up of forty islands and cays, there are eight major islands. Explore on a scooter or a bike (renting is easy!) and a ferry makes traveling between islands a breeze. Diving enthusiasts will love the clear waters and one of the world’s longest coral reefs. Hundreds of miles of white sandy beaches beckon you to rest and relax between visits to the bird sanctuary on French Cay, the underwater Columbus Landfall National Park and the Caicos Conch Farm.

The US Virgin Islands are Saint Croix, Saint John, and Saint Thomas. Each of the three have a different appeal to visitors, and all three are wonderful places to visit.

Saint Croix is laid back, with quaint shops, pastel buildings and diverse people. Enjoy casinos, fine dining, and the many festivals held on the island. Horseback riding and golfing both offer scenic views of the island when you aren’t relaxing on the beach.

Saint John is more than half national park land, making it ideal for nature lovers. Hiking, camping, beautiful views and a comfortable pace make it a great place to visit, even for just a few hours since it is only 20 minutes by ferry from Saint Thomas. Be sure you take time to enjoy world famous beaches such as Trunk Bay and Cinnamon Bay.

Saint Thomas is the most visited port in the Caribbean. Charlotte Amalie is an energetic city offering duty-free shopping, vibrant nightlife, fine cuisine, and submarine rides. Climb the famous 99 steps for awesome views, or take the Skyride 700 feet above the city. Away from the bustling city, enjoy views of beautiful beaches and water from 1,500 feet above sea level, play on a word class golf course, hiking, biking, or sailing on the turquoise blue water.

Hopefully you have a list of new and exciting Caribbean vacation spots to visit, along with any favorites you already have. No matter which specific Caribbean destination is calling your name first, get your bags packed! There’s no better time than right now to start enjoying one of the most beautiful places on earth!