When you think of the Caribbean, the first destinations you might think of might be Cuba, Antigua & Barbuda and Barbados. But there are so many incredible destinations throughout the Caribbean that are well worth a visit, and that are less well known. Hidden gems, these islands are just as picturesque, if not more beautiful, with plenty of natural attractions that are guaranteed to impress.
There are lots of cruise lines that visit these islands (including Royal Caribbean), giving visitors the chance to explore them in all of their glory, whilst waking up in different locations every day. Alongside cruises, there’s also the ability to fly to these locations and explore them over a series of days or weeks.
Here are the top 5 unique Caribbean destinations that should be on your bucket list.
CozumelStarting off the list is the beautiful island of Cozumel. A popular stop off for cruise ships, it’s a Mexican island that’s beloved for its natural beauty and a scuba diving hotspot due to its diverse marine life; including sea turtles, manatees and dolphins.
During your visit to Cozumel, wander the vibrant streets of San Miguel and discover local eateries, shops and cafes. Or if you’re looking for a more relaxed activity, head to the breathtaking Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park and enjoy snorkelling around the Mesoamerican Reef. Throughout the reef you’ll see incredible submerged sculptures and beautiful underwater caves.
Puerto Costa MayaAnother hidden gem is Puerto Costa Maya. Although this is also in Mexico, it’s one of the less visited parts of the country. However, there is plenty to see and do in this destination, including trips to the nearby Mayan ruins, the breathtaking Maya Chan beach and lots of opportunities to enjoy a variety of watersports. Boasting a relaxed vibe, Puerto Costa Maya is an extraordinary place to visit whilst in the Caribbean.
Situated on the eastern coast of Costa Rica, Puerto Limon has a history that dates back to the early 16th century. Famous for its production of cashews, there’s so many attractions in this city that you’ll want to visit whilst you’re there. For example, there’s the awe-inspiring Braulio Carrillo National Park, that spans an extraordinary 44,099 hectares, encompasses seven habitats and has a diverse range of wildlife including toucans, jaguars and tapirs.Another beautiful natural attraction located close to the city is the Barva Volcano. Located at the highest point within the Braulio Carrillo National Park, this live volcano is an extraordinary landmark that many tours visit.
Charlotte AmalieCharlotte Amalie is situated on the tropical Caribbean island of St. Thomas. Combining Caribbean and Danish architecture, this unique city will make you feel truly immersed in Caribbean culture due to its warm climate, friendly locals and delicious Caribbean cuisine. Originally sighted by Christopher Columbus in the early 15th century, this city is the perfect place to visit for those that want a taste of the Caribbean lifestyle, whilst learning about its rich and diverse history.
Top attractions within the city include the iconic 99 steps which ascend to a tower that grants picturesque views, the historic 17th century Fort Christian that’s filled with artefacts and art and Paradise Point which is the ultimate destination for enjoying unforgettable sunsets.
CuracaoA Dutch-Caribbean island, Curacao is beloved for its beautiful beaches, unique pastel-coloured architecture and vibrant atmosphere.
Situated within easy reach of neighbouring Aruba, this quaint and colourful island has some of the world’s most picturesque beaches, national parks and coral reefs, including Cas Abao Beach, Shete Boka National Park and Grote Knip. To see this island in all of its glory, you can also head out onto the Queen Emma Bridge and capture some incredible photographs.
Those are just 5 of the most extraordinary Caribbean destinations you should visit. The Caribbean is such a beautiful and vibrant set of islands that have something for everyone; whether you’re looking to relax on a beach, dive into the culture of the Caribbean by visiting the local cafes and restaurants or you’re wanting to explore the numerous national parks on offer.