How to Choose the Perfect Caribbean Island for Your Dream Holiday

Picking the best Caribbean island for your next holiday is right up there with problems we'd all like to have, but if you are going to make such a big trip you definitely want to pick the right one!  Well known for its white sand beaches and exquisite blue seas ranging from turquoise to azure, this picture postcard destination is popular with beach lovers, snorkelers and sailors, honeymooners and families alike.  But just which island should you pick for your dream holiday?

White sands edged with palm trees and lapped by warm, turquoise seas are a given of course, but what else are you going for?  The history, the romance, the water activities, the rainforests?  Read on to find the perfect island for your ideal holiday.

Where to stay

The Caribbean offers a diverse range of accommodation from beach bungalows and inexpensive guesthouses to glorious romantic getaways and large high-end hotels - check out these amazing Caribbean rentals for starters.  Whatever your taste and style, you can find the perfect accommodation for your needs and budget.  Just decide on your favourite island first!

Pull up a chair, here are nine of our favourite Caribbean islands.

St Lucia

Widely considered to be the most beautiful of the Caribbean islands, St Lucia features a lush landscape, the famous Piton Mountains, a World Heritage site, and pristine beaches.  Very popular with honeymooners, there are a plethora of all-inclusive resorts and plentiful amenities, as well as delicious Creole cuisine.  Perhaps not the place to get away from it all entirely, but perfect for plenty to do and the lack of a real party scene keeps it reasonably quiet.  Spend your days on volcanic beaches, hiking through rainforest, marvelling at volcanic springs or snorkelling in coral reefs.  Perfect for scuba diving and windsurfing


Not as well known in the UK as some of the other islands, Aruba is a very family-friendly destination offering a multitude of activities for all ages.  For couples or adult groups it also boasts an excellent nightlife, several casinos and the famous Tierra del Sol golf course, along with plenty of familiar name shopping and eating.  The landscape is more desert than lush forest, but the sea is exquisite and there is much varied bird life to spot if that's your thing.  Aruba is outside the hurricane belt making it a year-round destination with limited rainfall.  It also has a low crime rate, and is proud to be the most gay-friendly of the Caribbean islands.


This beach-filled paradise has some of the bluest water in the Caribbean and is also a popular destination for nightlife, casinos and great restaurants.  Whether you prefer white or pink sand, with more than 365 beaches you can be sure of finding your perfect spot here.  The centre of the island boasts lush rainforest, while there are colourful reefs just off the coast and the bustling port of St Johns has museums, culture, colonial heritage and markets to explore.  It is also home to some of the best resorts in the Caribbean.  Very yacht-y so bring your deck shoes!


If you want to be on a secluded beach, alone in your own postcard-worthy world, Anguilla is the island for you. And when all that alone-time is too much, head to one of the amazing restaurants on the island to enjoy fantastic food, and there is even some nightlife if you feel so inclined.  One of the smaller islands (just 40 square miles), you can see the whole place in a few days, and then head back to your favourite beach for some more alone time or to the 18-hole Greg Norman golf course.


One of the more diverse of the Caribbean islands, Barbados offers a wide range of activities, interesting landscapes, culture and architecture.  With an amalgam of British and west African cultures, its people are warm and welcoming.  You can even have afternoon tea and watch the cricket!  The perfect place for culture and history buffs, there are plenty of amazing natural wonders to explore too, and it's a plant lover's paradise.  The perfect island for surfers and wind surfers, there is also great snorkelling and wreck diving.


Never heard of it? Perfect! Home to just 10,000 people you can really get away from it all on this small, pretty island.  An island-municipality of Puerto Rico, Vieques offers secluded beaches, snorkelling, wild horses and an interesting insight into the Spanish history of the area.  Don't miss a boat tour of Mosquito Bay where microorganisms give the water a blue-green glow.  The perfect place if you prefer wildlife to nightlife.


One of the biggest and certainly the most famous of all the Caribbean islands, Jamaica is many things to many people.  Whether you come for the reggae, the rum, the vibe, the golf or the amazing flora and fauna, Jamaica will welcome you.  There are many great value all-inclusive resorts making it the more affordable option for many, and there is plenty of entertainment for all.  You can even find quiet-ish beaches still if you know where to look, and the lush jungle waterfalls and old colonial houses are both worth visiting.

St Kitts & Nevis

These volcanic islands with their characteristic mountains feature dramatic and beautiful landscapes with rainforests, crater lakes and excellent diving and snorkelling around the coast.  Search for shipwrecks and tropical fish under the water and visit the eerie ruins of sugar plantations inland.  St Kitts is noisier with the soft sands and great nightlife of Frigate Beach, while just a ferry ride away Nevis is much quieter with pristine beaches and lush tropical rainforests.  Don't miss the pirate history of Brimstone Hill Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Turks & Caicos

This 37 mile chain of little islands boast some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, including the stunning Grace Bay with its powdery pure white sands and crystal clear, turquoise bath-warm waters.  These are the ultimate photo opportunity islands.  Exclusive and stunning resorts offer the ultimate luxury and comfort in the most beautiful surroundings, and there are only local shops, not a chain or fast food outfit in sight!  Lots of world-class dive sites make it the perfect destination for divers, with one of the world's longest coral reefs, and the wonderful bird sanctuaries and exquisite beaches will appeal to all.

Which would you choose?  Have you been to the Caribbean before?

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