Compared to some Caribbean islands masquerading as tourist traps, you'll find something a little more authentic on Anguilla. There's an embargo on cruise ships, casinos and high-rise hotels, but a surplus of clear, coral-filled waters, unmarked and unpaved roads, and low-key beachfront villas. Pampering is also at a premium, from the grandiose resorts to the sophisticated al fresco dining. With little to do but relax, the days here are long. But once the sun does go down, you'll be treated to one of the best live music scenes in the Western Hemisphere. Everyone from Quincy Jones to Bankie Banx and Jimmy Buffett has stopped by Anguilla's ashen shores to perform.
The Bahamian islands lure millions of visitors to their white-washed shores, duty-free shops, fishing and scuba diving excursions and luxurious accommodations each year. The families that flock here tend to indulge in the diversions of the mega resorts. Nature enthusiasts can explore the offshore reefs and wildlife preserves and golf lovers can tee up on the numerous courses. Bargain-hunters enjoy patrolling the marketplaces for the best duty-free deals.
Though the area consists of more than 700 islands and cays, the first stop for most visitors is Nassau. Here, the twinkling casinos and upscale resorts mingle with American Civil War history and pirate lore. The second most popular island, Grand Bahama, is home to bustling Freeport and a center of ecotourism with its underwater limestone caves and botanical gardens.
WHICH CARIBBEAN ISLAND IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
Historic sites, tasty cuisine and a lively cultural scene can all be found on Antigua. But most often it's the beauty and versatility of the island's 365 beaches that draw travelers from afar. Do you like to party in the sand? Are you looking for safe, shallow waters where your kids can play? Would you be interested in exploring the ocean deep? Antigua's got you covered with one beach for every day of the year.
Visit Barbados to taste the bittersweet Mount Gay Rum, to lime out to the thrum of a calypso song or to cheer heartily at a polo or cricket match. And though you could spend all your time on the beaches, the point is that here you won't want or need to. This luxurious island is brimming with breathtaking architecture, a passionate sports culture and a party-loving attitude.
Barbados juggles two different cultures to create a distinctly Bajan personality. Even after gaining its independence from Great Britain in 1966, this island still holds tight to British traditions like afternoon tea and horse races at Garrison Savannah. Trademarks of the Caribbean are still evident in the sugar-cane fields, rum distilleries and lush landscape. The meringue "Soup Bowl" waters of Barbados' isolated east coast are a surfer's dream come true.
Have you ever wondered which Caribbean Island would be the right one for your vacation? No one island is everything to all people.
Consider what activities would you enjoy on this trip? Are you looking for an all-inclusive resort or a more intimate, boutique style setting? Are you looking for romance or family vacation? Do you want to relax in by the pool all day or do you want to explore casinos and nightlife?
Start with the list below to get an idea of what each island offers and then call one of our travel advisers so we can make your island dreams come true.
Believe it or not, the Spanish colonists who settled in Aruba and her sister islands of Bonaire andCuraçao in 1513 nicknamed them the "Islas Inútiles," or Useless Islands. They couldn’t have been more wrong.
Aruba in particular lures tourists with its blindingly white beaches and craggy limestone landscape. And with its extensive underwater visibility, this island is a preferred getaway for divers looking to explore buried shipwrecks or to study some magnificent coral reefs up close.
Inflated room rates and airfares (some of the most expensive in all of the Caribbean) give Aruba an air of exclusivity not found on many other islands.