The Caribbean is a stunning region flanked by palm trees and aquamarine coasts, and there's no shortage of adventure on these islands. To immerse yourself in local flora, visit the lush El Yunque Rainforest on the eastern side of Puerto Rico, or head to Tulum, Mexico, to climb 25 feet to the top of the ruins of Tulum Castillo. The Reduit Beach of St. Lucia will give you picture-perfect backdrops, while zip lining through the treetops in St. Maarten will let you have a bird's-eye view of the Caribbean. From reggae music and art museums to cobblestone lanes and leafy plazas, the Caribbean islands each have their own distinct flavor. Explore this selection of the top 10 things to do in the caribbean islands.
The British Virgin Islands are prime island-hopping territory, allowing you to go from one piece of paradise to the next. Check out pristine waters at The Baths, a selfie heaven located in Virgin Gorda, then venture to coral island Anegada for BBQ lobster fresh from the water and finish your expedition in Jost Van Dyke to indulge in the famous rum-based Painkiller cocktail.
Puerto Rico is perhaps the culinary capital of the Caribbean, famous for its variety of colorful dishes, like the garlicky mofongo, a fried and mashed plantain dish, or arroz con gandules and lechón, the savory yellow rice and pigeon peas with pit-roasted pork and the classic Piña Colada, needless of introductions and invented on the island.
Go from walking on sand to walking on ancient ruins in Cozumel and Cabo San Lucas , two destinations filled with both Mexican and Caribbean charm. To see rolling waves of turquoise water, head to tropical Costa Maya to swim in Yucatan's beaches or stroll in Puerto Vallarta's famous malecon boardwalk.
The water adventures never end in the Bahamas, the home of pool-like beaches, thrill-packed waterparks like Aquaventure at Atlantis and underwater worlds like Rainbow Reef in Bimini. For a perfect day by the sea, head to Perfect Day at CocoCay to swim the largest freshwater pool in the Bahamas and ride the tallest waterslide in North America.
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Aruba is home to some of the most pristine beaches in the Caribbean, from Eagle Beach to Andicuri Beach. Aruba has sun and sand and plenty of serene Caribbean charm. If you want wild and rugged scenery, head to the Arikok National Wildlife Park and swim in a turquoise natural pool surrounded by volcanic rock formations.
St. Lucia is blessed with frame-ready vistas, especially when it comes to the monumental peaks that adorn its coasts. The most famous are the towering Pitons, two volcanic spires by the sea that you can hike by following the Gros Piton Nature Trail. The journey up promises iconic and unforgettable views of St. Lucia's craggy coast.
Find the Maya inside Belize's caves. These underground mazes were used as ceremonial sites and you can find many ancient relics — from pottery to monuments to sparkling skeletons — in the depths. Visit Barton Creek Cave, Actun Loch Tunich Cave or Rio Frio Cave to discover these jaw-dropping treasures, as well as rock formations and natural pools.
As you trek through the forests and walk over the white sands in St. Maarten, you'll no doubt see green iguanas, brown pelicans, guavaberry trees and whistling frogs. But the gorgeous flora and fauna don't stop there. Head to the open waters to see humpback whales or drive through quirky towns to see houses adorned by Lantana Camara, the colorful national flower of St. Maarten.
All the islands in the Caribbean are known for being colorful, but Curacao is a true rainbow of shades. From its golden sand dunes and sapphire waters, to its emerald forested hills and pastel-painted colonial buildings that line the waterfront in Willemstad, this Dutch-influenced oasis offers something for every explorer. Satisfy your craving for culture in the shops and markets of Punda, the island’s original settlement. Or soak up the sun on one of Curacao’s 38 spectacular secluded beaches. Whatever kind of adventure you’re looking for, you’ll find it on this tiny slice of paradise.