The Caribbean Islands are most popular for their stunning beaches, white sands and turquoise blue waters. Here you’ll be spoiled with thrilling surf spots, colourful coral reefs, various adventure activities and some of the most luxurious resorts in the world.

With hundreds of individual islands in the Caribbean, it can be extremely difficult to plan a holiday itinerary, especially if you’re a first-timer. To help you on your way, we’ve made a list of the 15 best islands in the Caribbean. You can thank me later!

The 15 Best Islands In The Caribbean

1. Turks and Caicos

If flawless beaches are your thing, then you should definitely check out Turks and Caicos – one of the best islands in the Caribbean.

Stunning highway through picturesque blue waters in Turks and Caicos - The 15 Best Islands In The Caribbean
Stunning highway through picturesque blue waters in Turks and Caicos | (@turksandcaicos)

There are more than 300 tiny islands making up the small archipelago, making it a perfect place to go on island hopping! Out of these only 8 islands are inhabited, with Providenciales being the most touristy island.   

Grace Bay and Taylor Bay are highly recommended and are home to multiple high-end resorts. You can also go snorkelling or scuba diving at the Grand Turk.   

2. Aruba

The first of the famous ‘ABC’ Islands in the Caribbean, Aruba is a must-visit for its white sand beaches, turquoise blue waters and its famous flamingo population. 

White sand, beach umbrellas and blue sea in Aruba - The 15 Best Islands In The Caribbean
Aruba | (@ivy.zlr

Almost all beaches in Aruba are accessible to the public and there are plenty of water-related activities for you to enjoy, like surfing and snorkelling. 

Try visiting Eagle Beach or Palm Beach if you want to have a peaceful beach getaway, and if you are up for exploring nature, head to the Arikok National Park. 

3. Jamaica 

Jamaica is another one of the best islands in the Caribbean to visit if you are looking for a little bit of everything; picturesque beaches, city scene, cultural attractions, exquisite cuisine, forested areas with cascading waterfalls, and so much more!

The luxury Rockhouse hotel, Jamaica - The 15 Best Islands In The Caribbean
Rockhouse hotel, Jamaica | (@regenerativetravel)

Jamaica usually serves as the entry point to the Caribbean Islands, so it’s an ideal place to start if you are a first-time traveler to this part of the world.

Make sure to visit the beaches in Montego Bay, where you can relax and sunbathe or try swimming/ snorkelling at the Seven Mile Beach until the sun sets. 

4. Dominican Republic 

The Dominican Republic is the second-largest country in the Caribbean and therefore boasts great diversity in terms of nature, culture, and history.

Palm swinging into the ocean in the Dominican Republic
Palm swing, Dominican Republic | (@dominicanrepublic)

You can visit Santo Domingo, which is the cultural hub of the Dominican Republic. Be sure to check out the small city, Zona Colonial which is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it is the place where Christopher Columbus first landed in America!

If you want a little beach time you can visit Bavaro Beach located in Punta Cana, the luxurious paradise of the Dominican Republic with high-end resorts and plenty of water-based activities. 

5. St. Lucia

St. Lucia is another one of the best islands in the Caribbean; well-known for the breathtaking scenery of the towering twin peaks, or Pitons. 

A pool with a view of Jade Mountain, St. Lucia
Jade Mountain, St. Lucia | (@robertmichaelpoole)

The Gros Piton and the Petit Piton were formed by volcanic eruptions more than 1000 years ago. They are considered to be the most difficult yet rewarding hikes in St. Lucia. 

However, if gruelling holiday hikes aren’t your thing, you can enjoy the view from a distance. Other attractions include the Anse Chastanet Marine National Park, Pigeon Island National Park, Marigot Bay and Rodney Bay. 

6. Cuba

Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean, and a must-visit cultural and historical hub of the Caribbean islands.

Havana, the capital, is brimming with museums, cultural heritages, neoclassical buildings and art galleries.

Colourful buildings and old-school cars in Havana, Cuba - The 15 Best Islands In The Caribbean
Havana, Cuba |(@lucyintheskyy)

Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Trinidad which takes you back to the 17th century with attractions such as; The church and Monastery of Saint Francis, the Museum of Colonial Architecture, and the Palacio Brunet.

If you are looking for some beach time in Cuba, you can visit either Paradise Beach or Varadero, which has crystal clear blue waters along with other attractions like Varadero Ecological Park.