For a long time, I looked far afield for vacation destinations. Traveling seems more exciting when you take an epic flight to get wherever you’re going. I considered the Caribbean islands perfect for the rich and famous, who have endless money to spend on a quick weekend getaway. But I did not even consider them.
However, the moment I had a bit of extra money and only a short amount of leave available, an island in the Caribbean suddenly seemed like a good idea. I haven't looked back. There are some truly stunning islands, and they are no less interesting because they’re close to home.
Here are my favorite island destinations in the Caribbean.
Saint Martin is so interesting because it is split into two parts. One side is French, called Saint-Martin. The other is Dutch, known as Sint Maarten. Check out these villas on both sides of Saint Martin, offering plenty of places to stay for those in the area.
St Martin has stunning beaches to go with the interesting cultural mix. Visit Orient Bay in the north for some of the most dazzling blue waters you’ll ever see. Go east and sneak into the smuggler’s coves of Pinel Island.
The food is amazing and, if you’re into gambling, you can even have a Vegas-style trip!
Turks and Caicos
Turks and Caicos is well-known for many excellent reasons. Primarily, it is famed for its range of incredible beaches. Turks and Caicos actually consists of 300 islets. That may sound overwhelming, but many of these islets are too small to actually accommodate anything man-made.
Providenciales, the main tourist spot, is truly something special. Among the many luxury resorts, you’ll find quaint homes and restaurants. Next to it, Grace Bay is perfect for swimming and scuba diving. And if you're there for a honeymoon, you can get your own private island!
Go to Grenada for something a little bit different. Considered the Spice Isle (for obvious reasons), Grenada is volcanic in origin. This means that the sites are generally more “dramatic”, with mountains and craters, as well as landscapes colored by ancient volcanic activity.
Attend the fish fries of Gouyave and visit the River Antoine brewing house, and you’ll have the all-round experience the best Caribbean islands have to offer.
We’ve got to talk about the sea turtles. The endangered darling of ecotourism, these lovely creatures are found in a number of locations in and around the Caribbean. The Cayman Islands are perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving – you’ll get to come close up with sea turtles and so much more sea life. The waters are gorgeous, and you’ll never want to leave them.
When you do eventually get out of the crystal clear sea, you can go looking for iguanas, while taking in the sight of the mansions of the rich and famous. But these mansions are not the only interesting architecture. Visit St. James Castle, a British fort, or go to the museums in George Town to find out about the pirates that patrolled the region.
The Caribbean is ideal for anyone looking for a fascinating trip close to home. There are endless options and I’m beginning to suspect that every single one is worth a visit.