Best Islands to Visit in the Caribbean

The Caribbean marks one of the world’s most coveted travel destinations. And yes, much of the region’s appeal centers on white-sand beaches, aquamarine waters, and shady palm trees: the postcard and wall-calendar stuff.

But the beauty of the West Indies is the Caribbean’s diversity: diversity of culture, scenery, and travel experiences. Some islands rear up in rugged green volcanic grandeur; others manifest as outposts of sand-edged limestone and coral rock. Indigenous, American, African, European, and Asian cultural influences intertwine here, expressed in some outstanding music, art, and dance—and some truly thrilling cuisine.

Whether you’re relaxing in a beachfront hotel or luxuriating in a leafy, hillside villa with long views out to sea, you are bound to have a great vacation. But where to go? With such variety, it’s a tall order rounding up the best Caribbean islands to visit, but the following 13 are certainly top contenders!

 

St. Barths

The tiny volcanic isle of St. Barthélemy—aka “St. Barths” or “St. Barts”—in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles is rightly celebrated as the “Gem of the Caribbean.” This French overseas collectivity delivers swoony scenery: steep, lush mountainsides plunging to white-sand beaches, with coral reefs buffering the nearshore waters. 

An exclusive, upscale playground that never feels crowded or rushed. St. Barths delivers a wonderful gumbo of natural splendor, French Caribbean culture, and waterfront R&R. All this on one of the safest islands in the Caribbean.

Best For:

Foodies: From classic French haute cuisine to Creole and Latin American influences, St. Barths is one of the premier Caribbean vacation spots for culinary exploration.

Beach Lovers: Ranging from completely pristine beaches such as Colombier and Saline to more lively shores such as St. Jean Beach and Shell Beach, St. Barths claims among the most glorious beachfronts in the Caribbean.

Francophiles: It’s not only the food—visitors to St. Barths hear plenty of French (though English comprehension is widespread), marvel at colonial architecture, and otherwise get a full dose of French Caribbean culture.

Things to Do

Must-See Places: The capital city of Gustavia with its historic architecture and other landmarks; the undeveloped beaches of Gouverneur, Saline, and Colombier.

Top Activities: Snorkeling amid protected coral reefs (keep an eye peeled for sea turtles!); enjoying arguably the Caribbean’s best boutique shopping; taking a sunset catamaran cruise; attending one of the island’s spirited annual festivals (such as Gustavia’s popular New Year’s Eve soirée).

See more things to do in St. Barths

Top 3 Restaurants

Bonito: This slopeside eatery serves up French cuisine with South American inflections alongside spectacular sunset views. Dishes include Peruvian ceviches and tiraditos, plus fresh Caribbean catches and charcoal-grilled beef and guinea fowl. 

Eddy’s: Dine in Gustavia amid a lavish tropical landscape at Eddy’s. One of the best spots on St. Barths for experiencing Creole cuisine: goat curry, Indian-spiced rack of lamb, goat-cheese samosas, and more.

Le Toiny: The Hotel Le Toiny features top-notch French cuisine at its classy restaurant courtesy of one of the island’s most lauded chefs. Savoring lobster salad, snapper tartare, and other delicacies, you’ll also enjoy a refined, mellow soundtrack courtesy of the establishment’s DJ.

Also see:

Best places to stay in St. Barths

Providenciales, Turks & Caicos

Set at the far northern edge of the West Indies, this British overseas territory is only a few hours’ flight from U.S. East Coast metropolises. Providenciales is the most popular island, and it harbors the majority of the Turks and Caicos’ population. 

Renowned for some of the highest-rated beaches on the globe, “Provo” (as locals call it) provides a wonderful mixture of seaside culture and Caribbean ecotourism, with multiple national parks and top-notch snorkeling and diving among significant reefs. 

 

Best For:

Families: You will find plenty of well-developed amenities and several all-ages beaches with calm waters. Providenciales offers some of the best Caribbean vacations for families with small children.

Beach Lovers: From iconic Grace Bay Beach—a sumptuous dozen miles long—to Long Bay and Sapodilla Bay beaches, you’ll immediately see why Provo beachfronts so frequently end up on “World’s Best Beaches” lists.

Scuba & Snorkeling: The Turks and Caicos support one of the world’s largest barrier-reef complexes, hosting exceptional Caribbean diving and snorkeling. Provo is a prime jumping-off point for undersea odysseys with extensive protected waters, including the numerous unpeopled cays within easy reach.

Things to Do

Must-See Places: Grace Bay Beach; Long Bay Beach; Chalk Sound National Park; Princess Alexandra Land and Sea National Park; Northwest Point Marine National Park; Little Water Cay

Top Activities: Snorkeling and diving one of the Caribbean’s finest barrier reefs; kiteboarding and horseback riding along Long Bay Beach; golfing; savoring local conch cuisine

See more things to do in Turks and Caicos

Top 3 Restaurants

Coco Bistro: This beloved Grace Bay fine-dining destination comes nestled within Provo’s biggest palm grove, translating to singular ambiance. The dishes are as first-rate as the setting, including standouts like Caicos Conch Chowder and West Indian-style Shrimp Curry.

Magnolia Restaurant & Wine Bar: Providing a rare upland perch on mostly flat Provo, with stellar island and seascape views. Magnolia delights with its internationally inspired cuisine: Caribbean, Asian, and European flourishes weaving an eclectic menu.

Da Conch Shack: A must-visit, open-air beachfront eatery, Da Conch Shack serves more than just its namesake delicacy. Mouthwatering fresh-caught conch is definitely the star, yours to enjoy in all manner of forms: from chowders and fritters to curries and stews.

Also see:

Best places to stay in Turks and Caicos

Anguilla

The British overseas territory marks the northern tip of the Leeward Islands—and one of the most coveted Caribbean getaways of all. This high-end island is a popular retreat for the rich and famous. With more than 30 spectacular beaches, it’s a magnet for sun-and-sand worshippers. Anguilla also features some of the best dining selections in the West Indies.

Best For:

Beach Lovers: Thirty-three main beaches ringing Anguilla make kicking back with sand between your toes and a turquoise backdrop easy as pie. Some of these Anguillan strands, such as Shoal Bay Beach, rank among the superstars of the Caribbean.

Foodies: Anguillan cuisine comes woven with many (delectable) cuisines, from French and Spanish to African and West Indian. Couple that melting-pot framework with some of the best restaurants and most accomplished chefs in the Caribbean, and you’ve got a heavenly playground for gourmets.

Things to Do

Must-See Places: Rendezvous Bay, Shoal Bay Beach, Meads Bay, Little Bay

Top Activities: Beachgoing and watersports (paddleboarding, kiteboarding, sailing); day trips to nearby islets and cays, some of which (such as Prickly Pear and Scilly Cay) host their own restaurants and bars; snorkeling and diving (including among notable shipwrecks)

See more things to do in Anguilla

Top 3 Restaurants

Blanchard’s: Anguilla’s best-known restaurant and one of the top eateries in the Caribbean, Blanchard’s delivers fine dining steps from the surf along Meads Bay. The multifaceted menu, which looks from local West Indian cuisine to European and Asian stylings for inspiration. Signature dishes include Grouper Nicoise, Grilled Anguilla Crayfish, Citrus Chicken, and also accommodates gluten-free patrons.

Straw Hat: Another Meads Bay staple, Straw Hat marries delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner plates with great views from its deck. Highlights here include the curry goat potpie, spring rolls, and blackened lobster tacos.

Dolce Vita: Right on the beach at Sandy Ground, Dolce Vita is one of a few outstanding Italian restaurants in Anguilla, with traditional pasta, meat entrées, and other preparations and plenty of fresh seafood on offer.

Also see:

Best places to stay in Anguilla

St. Martin

St Martin offers a delightfully dual personality: The island, located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles, comes split into French (St. Martin) and Dutch (Sint Maarten) sides, each with its own distinct vibe and culture. From the gingerbread architecture, markets, and restaurants of the French capital of Marigot and Sint Maarten’s lively nightlife and duty-free shopping to more than 30 spectacular Caribbean beaches, Saint Martin has a little something for everybody!

Best For:

Creole Cuisine: Gastronomes will delight in the great diversity of restaurants on Saint Martin, among them many opportunities to sample strongly French-inflected Creole and West Indian cooking.

Beach Lovers: Saint Martin comes well-furnished with postcard-perfect Caribbean beaches, not least the much-loved swath of sand along Orient Bay. The island includes multiple clothing-optional beachfront, as well.

Things to Do

Must-See Places: Marigot, Restaurant Row in Grand Case, Orient Bay Beach, Mullet Bay Beach, Pic du Paradis (1,278-foot high point of the island)

Top Activities: Dining at the beachfront restaurants of Grand Case, shopping and casino-going in Sint Maarten, surfing at Mullet Bay Beach

See more things to do in St Martin

Top 3 Restaurants

Rosemary’s: A shining example of the multiple open-air barbecue joints, or "lolos," you’ll find in Marigot. Rosemary’s is a fabulous choice for sampling Creole cuisine, including West Indian curry and stewed conch.

Tropicana: An exquisite bistro along Marigot’s marina, Tropicana serves French classics and local seafood dishes on its ravishing terrace.

Mario Bistrot: Take a journey through high-end, creative French-influenced Caribbean cuisine at Mario Bistrot. Originally opened by Quebec-born Chef Mario on the French side of the island in 1995 but now situated at The Cliff along Sint Maarten's Cupecoy Beach. 

Also see:

Best places to stay in St. Martin

Grand Cayman

Biggest of the Cayman Islands and host to the British overseas territory’s capital of George Town. Grand Cayman is among the legendary destinations in the Caribbean.

That’s partly because it offers arguably the best diving in the West Indies, not to mention one of their most lauded spans of white sand in Seven Mile Beach. Unique land- and seascapes, ecological variety, and no shortage of delicious Caribbean cuisine make this 22-mile-long island an ever-rewarding escape.

 

Best For:

Beach Lovers: Seven Mile Beach may be the globally known icon, but Grand Cayman has plenty of other swoon-worthy sands, including Colliers-, Cemetery-, and Governors beach, plus the far-flung, pristine seashore of Barkers National Park.

Watersports Enthusiasts: With its extensive flanking reefs and plunging submarine slopes, Grand Cayman tempts with absolutely world-class scuba diving at hubs such as the North Wall and Trinity Coves. Then there’s the aptly named Stingray City and its group of friendly southern stingrays.

Things to Do

Must-See Places: Seven Mile Beach, Stingray City, Grand Cayman Turtle Centre, “Hell” (striking black ironshore outcrops in West Bay), Queen Elizabeth Wilderness Preserve (home to native Caymanian flora, blue iguanas, and Cuban amazon parrots)

Top Activities: Diving and snorkeling; walking Seven Mile Beach; hiking the Mastic Trail through diverse ecosystems, including tropical dry forest, palm groves, and mangrove jungle; upscale shopping in West Bay; sunset catamaran cruising

See more things to do in Grand Cayman

Top 3 Restaurants

Blue at The Ritz: Household name Chef Eric Ripert’s Grand Cayman outpost stands as the only AAA Five Diamond restaurant in the Caribbean. The kitchen employs local seafood to marvelous effect, with the pinnacle dining experience being the tasting menus. More than 700 fine wines are available.

The Brasserie: Opened in 1997, this George Town restaurant offers thoughtful farm-to-table dining, Grand Cayman-style. Featuring bounty from its onsite gardens and apiaries, coconuts from an exclusive palm grove, and fresh catch from its own little fishing fleet. 

Mizu Asian Bistro: Enjoy Pan-Asian cuisine along Camana Bay at Mizu, dazzling guests with lobster red curry, coconut scallops, and prawns delights from the sushi bar and off the teppanyaki grill, and refreshments such as barrel-aged sake.

Also see:

Best places to stay in Grand Cayman

Mustique

One of the most exclusive havens in the Caribbean, Mustique offers tranquility, security, and the chance to rub shoulders with the rich and famous on sublime beaches. Owned and managed by the Mustique Company, this isle in the Grenadines at the southern end of the Lesser Antilles’ Windward Islands. 

Its long-drawn list of movie stars, rock legends, genuine royalty, and other affluent guests seek a straight-out-of-a-dream tropical retreat, which is exactly what you find here.

 

Best For:

Most Exclusive Island: Mustique’s private ownership and well-heeled populace mean it’s off the typical Caribbean tourist circuit, ensuring seclusion and premium hospitality.

Privacy & In-Home Service: The classic Mustique getaway experience is defined by private luxury villas complete with their own staff.

Safety: The exclusivity and careful private management make Mustique one of the very safest Caribbean islands.

Things to Do

Must-See Places: Macaroni Beach, Endeavour Bay, Basil’s Bar, the Tobago Cays

Top Activities: Beach picnics (a time-honored local tradition on Mustique); day trips to the Tobago Cays or the top-rated golf course on Canouan; snorkeling, sailing, paddle-boarding, and other watersports; sportfishing in protected, well-managed waters

Top 3 Restaurants

Basil’s Bar: A stilt eatery and watering hole on the Caribbean, Basil’s Bar is well known for drawing famous names to its stools and dance floor—and for its lobster lunch!

The Veranda: Edging the Great Room of the Cotton House estate, the Veranda is one of Mustique’s coveted restaurants. It’s known for its refined, flame-cooked West Indian dishes and an internationally recognized wine list.

The Beach Café: Set among palms, seagrapes, and other tropical verdure on Endeavour Bay, the Beach Café has a stellar ambiance and a casual, diverse, crowd-pleasing menu ranging from sushi and gazpacho to burgers, pizza, fish tacos, and flatbreads. 

Also see:

Best places to stay in Mustique

Other top restaurants in Mustique 

Barbados

Barbados is the easternmost of the Caribbean islands, offering an incredibly fascinating cultural destination enhanced by heavenly beaches and high-caliber diving and snorkeling. From centuries of colonial rule, the lingering British influence is easy to recognize with all the cricket and polo matches combining regimental military music with African motifs. 

The local “Bajan” cuisine, blending African, European, Indian, and Creole/Caribbean flavors, is worth the price of admission alone, as are (of course) all of those rum shops!

 

Best For:

Golf & Tennis Enthusiasts: A couple of globally outstanding golf courses in Barbados draw their own share of fairway-loving vacationers, and you’ll also find fine tennis courts aplenty.

Rum Aficionados: Barbados claims to be the birthplace of rum, and regardless of that spirit’s contested ultimate origin, it has an intense and rich history on the island. You’ll find more than 1,500 rum shops and distilleries here to sip your way through!

Brits: British travelers find much familiar on Barbados given the island’s history, not least a widespread mania for cricket.

Things to Do

Must-See Places: The capital of Bridgetown (rich in historical architecture), Sandy Lane Beach, Gun Hill Signal Station, Morgan Lewis Sugar Mill, George Washington House & Museum, Andromeda Gardens, Folkestone Marine Park

Top Activities: Snorkeling and diving; visiting rum distilleries and shops; guided tours into Harrison’s and Animal Flower caves; duty-free shopping in Bridgetown; attending the Crop Over festival

See more things to do in Barbados

Top 3 Restaurants

The Cliff: Having earned an illustrious international reputation thanks to Chef Paul Owens’ culinary standards, The Cliff offers fine dining in an utterly spectacular St. James location.

Namiki: Enjoy Trinidadian curry chicken, roast pork, coconut bakes, sides of yam and breadfruit, and other authentic Caribbean flavors at Namini. Here, you’ll be clinking glasses against a lovely backdrop of lush green countryside and the ocean skyline.

Moontown & St. Elmo’s Bar: Completely down-home and unpretentious, this no-frills locals’ favorite promises an irresistible, convivial atmosphere and delicious Bajan eats, including a weekend fish fry worth writing home about.

Also see:

Best places to stay in Barbados

St. John

The least-developed of the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. John is an ecotourist’s paradise: Two-thirds of this beautiful isle are given over to Virgin Islands National Park. A sublime piece of the wild Lesser Antilles falling from upland rainforest to vibrant coral reefs. 

The diving, snorkeling, and hiking are top-notch. You’ve also got equally excellent beachfront R&R and the shopping and dining options in charming Cruz Bay. It all adds up to one of the best places to visit in the Caribbean!

 

Best For:

Snorkelers: St. John is a snorkeler’s dream come true, with multiple first-class underwater attractions such as Trunk Bay, Turtle Bay, Waterlemon Cay, and Jumbie Bay.

Beach Lovers: From Trunk Bay to Hawksnest and Honeymoon, superb U.S. Virgin Islands beachfronts await you on St. John.

Things to Do

Must-See Places: Trunk Bay, Honeymoon Beach, Annaberg Sugar Plantation, Cruz Bay, Picture Point

Top Activities: Snorkeling and diving; beach-hopping; hiking the Reef Bay Trail in Virgin Islands National Park, where you’ll see indigenous petroglyphs; taking in the views from Bordeaux Mountain; shopping in Cruz Bay

See more things to do in St. John

Top 3 Restaurants

The Terrace: French-style fine dining makes The Terrace in Cruz Bay one of St. John’s culinary pinnacles. The waterfront vistas add an extra magic ingredient to dishes such as Seared Yellowfin Tuna, Steak and Frites, Butter Poached Caribbean Lobster Tail, and the restaurant’s signature Baked Macaroni & Cheese.

The Long Board: This popular Cruz Bay eatery offers a Caribbean-informed menu of poke bowls, ceviche, sushi wraps, and more alongside tropically tinted pub grub and specialty cocktails.

Sweet Plantains/Skipper’s Pub: West Indian specialties such as fresh conch, jerk chicken, and curried goat overlap with bangers-and-mash, cottage pie, and other British pub classics at this jolly joint, also distinguished for its rum selection.

Also see:

Best places to stay in St. John

Virgin Gorda

Elegant Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands comes without the excessive commercialization that defines so many Caribbean isles. Thus giving travelers the chance to truly slow down, unwind, and savor some unblemished Lesser Antillean beauty. 

The island offers first-rate snorkeling and diving among coral reefs and shipwrecks. On land, you will find green volcanic highlands, note-perfect beaches, and, in the famous Baths, some of the most distinctive coastal scenery in the Leeward Islands. 

 

Best For:

Peace & Privacy: You won’t find clutters of high-rises and giant resorts here—just the laidback, rejuvenating luxury of hidden-away villas and other more intimate accommodations. Virgin Gorda could be pegged as perhaps the best Caribbean island for couples, though there are definitely some other contenders!

Snorkelers: From Savannah Bay and The Baths to the pristine waters off Prickly Pear Island, Virgin Gorda is a wonderful place to snorkel and swim fins.

Things to Do

Must-See Places: The Baths, Devil’s Bay, Spanish Town, Savannah Bay, Spring Bay, Gorda Peak National Park, Prickly Pear National Park

Top Activities: Snorkeling and diving; exploring the boulders, caverns, and pools of The Baths; hiking to the top of 1,370-foot Gorda Peak; day-tripping to Necker Island with its diverse fauna

See more things to do in Virgin Gorda

Top 3 Restaurants

Top of the Baths: As the name suggests, this eatery overlooks the most famous natural landmark of the British Virgin Islands. Top off your blissful tour of that sea-lapped rock garden with jerk-spiced mahi-mahi sandwiches, sushi, fish-and-chips, and other solid fares at the Top of the Baths.

Sugarcane Restaurant: Seascape views and lush landscaping accent the dining experience at Sugarcane Restaurant. Located in Nail Bay on a former sugarcane plantation and featuring such plates as Whole BVI Lobster, Conch Fritters, Mahi Mahi Tacos, and Ahi Tuna and Mango Tartare, plus burgers, pastas, and pizzas.

The Restaurant at Leverick Bay: Tuck into fine dining at the Leverick Bay Marina out on this respected establishment’s open-air terrace. Appreciating everything from Rack of Lamb and Coconut Curry Shrimp to Vegan Quinoa Stuffed Pepper and Anegada Lobster.

Also see:

Best places to stay in Virgin Gorda

Jamaica

Famed around the world for its reggae music and jerk cuisine, Jamaica also presents some of the Caribbean’s most dramatic landscapes. Including the 7,000-foot-plus peaks of the Blue Mountains, the great cascade of Dunn’s River Falls, and the karst pinnacles of Cockpit Country. Tour the beaches, take in the natural wonders, and come with an appetite!

Best For:

Families: The music, the food, the primo beaches, and the laidback vibe—Jamaica appeals to young and old alike, making it one of the best Caribbean destinations for families.

All-inclusive, In-home Service: Fully staffed Luxury rental villas, many of them beachside, are common in Jamaica, catering to your every need and combining privacy with across-the-board service and amenities.

Things to Do

Must-See Places: Dunn’s River Falls, Ocho Rios Bay Beach, Seven Mile Beach, Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park, Cockpit Country

Top Activities: Beachgoing; hiking in the Blue Mountains; duty-free shopping in Montego Bay; catching live music; diving into Jamaican cuisine

See more things to do in Jamaica

Top 3 Restaurants

Scotchies: One of the legitimately legendary places for authentic Jamaican cuisine, Scotchies offers casual dining and some of the best jerk chicken on the planet.

The Houseboat Grill: Dine in the Montego Bay Marine Park Fish Sanctuary at the Houseboat Grill, treated to a fusion menu rich in seafood and surf-and-turf combos.

Day-O Plantation Restaurant & Bar: Run by Jamaican musician Paul Hurlock and his wife Jennifer. This restaurant occupies the luxuriant grounds of the former Barnette Estate Sugar Plantation, providing tropical bliss alongside smoked marlin, Jamaican red peas soup with pigtail, jerk snapper, Conch Creole, steaks, pasta, and veggie stir-fries and curries. 

Also see:

Best places to stay in Jamaica

Dominican Republic

Among Caribbean vacation destinations, the Dominican Republic stands on top regarding numbers: it’s one of the most popular Caribbean islands. In the eastern portion of Hispaniola, the country includes downright legendary beachfront resorts and clubs. The island also tempts by rich local culture, fascinating historical architecture, and stirring natural beauty, including the highest mountains in the West Indies.

Best For:

Value: For all its multifarious appeal, the Dominican Republic is one of the more affordable destinations in the Caribbean.

Things to Do

Must-See Places: Punta Cana with its 40 miles of Atlantic and Caribbean beachfront; the colonial core of Santo Domingo (oldest European settlement the Caribbean); the Pomier Caves (the “Prehistoric Capital of the Antilles,” festooned with rock art); Eastern National Park (with extensive protected marine waters plied by manatees, dolphins, and sea turtles); Pico Duarte (10,164-foot crown of the Cordillera Central).

Top Activities: Golfing on some of the Caribbean’s highest-rated courses; snorkeling, diving, and sportfishing; trekking in the Cordillera Central; dancing to local merengue music; historical sightseeing in Santo Domingo and elsewhere.

Top 3 Restaurants

Passion: Internationally admired Punta Cana restaurant with multiple Michelin stars, Passion features the creative and dynamic dishes of Chef Martin Berasategui of Spain, with a transcendent tasting menu.

La Yola Restaurant: This AAA Three-Diamond restaurant in Punta Cana fuses culinary influences such as local Caribbean specialties and Mediterranean preparations. The toothsome result includes Shrimp Rice Stew, Coconut Pineapple Risotto, and Caribbean Lobster.

Restaurant La Papillon: A must-visit for fine dining in Puerto Plato. Restaurant La Papillon presents its excellent international menu among a cluster of royal palms.

Tortola

The biggest of the British Virgin Islands (though we’re only talking 21 square miles here), Tortola includes the British overseas collectivity’s capital of Road Town, a trendy cruise port. 

You will find handsome beaches, a range of snorkeling and diving opportunities, and plenty of shopping and dining in Road Town and elsewhere. Plus, some fun pirate legends make Tortola a classic Caribbean playground.

 

Best For:

Value: Tortola’s one of the best Caribbean islands to visit for value-seeking travelers.

Things to Do

Must-See Places: Cape Garden Bay (Tortola’s most popular beachfront); Josiah’s Bay; Smuggler’s Cove; Road Town; Rhone National Marine Park (host to first-rate shipwreck dive sites); Mount Sage National Park, Frenchman’s Cay (with West Indian architecture, boutiques, galleries, eateries)

Top Activities: Beachgoing; diving and snorkeling; shopping; sampling West Indian spices; taking in the panoramas from atop Mount Sage, BVI’s loftiest peak

See more things to do in Tortola

Top 3 Restaurants

Brandywine Bay: Overlooking the Sir Francis Drake Channel. This Mediterranean- and French-inspired bistro boasts lovely garden and terrace dining and lures many happy eaters for its annual pig roast.

Capriccio di Mare: Pasta, pizza, and some mean Mango Bellini are among the highlights at this charming Italian café near the ferry docks in Road Town.

Red Rock Restaurant & Bar: This East End restaurant on the Penn’s Landing Marina waterfront produces zesty and creative Caribbean-Mediterranean cuisine. This includes Lobster Spring Rolls, Chef Catch of the Day, Fresh Anegada Lobster, and Plantain Gnocchi—with plentiful vegetarian options (and, the place claims, Tortola’s greatest lineup of single-malt whiskies).

Also see:

Best Places to Stay in Tortola

Nevis

Truly a hidden gem in the Leeward Islands, Nevis comes free of chains, strip malls, casinos, huge resorts, and other major commercial development. It’s a sanctuary of beach shacks and serene luxury villas.

Here you will see awe-inspiring views stretching from the volcanic heights of 3,232-foot Nevis Peak to gleaming beaches and coral gardens. Separated from St. Kitts (with which it composes a tiny island nation) by the two-mile-long strait called “the Narrows.” Nevis is a place very easy to fall in love with.

 

Best For:

Serenity & Privacy: Nevis would be in the running for the best place to travel in the Caribbean for tranquility paired with exceptional accommodations. Off the cruise-ship corridor, the island has an untouched feel that’s utterly seductive.

Things to Do

Must-See Places: Pinney’s Beach; Oualie Beach; Botanical Gardens of Nevis; Alexander Hamilton’s birthplace; Nevisian Heritage Village; Nevis Peak

Top Activities: Snorkeling (Oualie Beach a great spot); looking for conch shells on Indian Castle Beach; hiking to the top of Nevis Peak (watching for monkeys and wild goats along the way); golfing; glass-bottomed boat tours; taking in the Nevis Carnival (Sugar Mas)

See more things to do in Nevis

Top 3 Restaurants

Oasis in the Gardens Restaurant: Savor delicious and authentic Thai cuisine on the grounds of the eight-acre Botanical Gardens of Nevis on the Montpelier Estate, with a prospect of Nevis Peak the icing on the cake.

Bananas: Located in the Upper Hamilton Estate, Bananas lets you pair lush landscaping loveliness with excellent cuisine. In this case, Caribbean-inspired dishes such as Salt Fish & Johnnycakes, Curried Goat, Jerk Chicken, Guava BBQ Ribs, and Bombay Broccoli Salad alongside international classics. (Don’t miss the Passionfruit Martinis or the Banana Rum.)

The Rocks: The restaurant at Golden Rock Inn specializes in both Caribbean and global flavors, featuring fresh local catches and island-grown fruits and other produce. Whether enjoyed on the deck or in the garden, dishes such as Grilled Caribbean Spiny Lobster Tail and Conch Chowder taste mighty good with one of the specialty cocktails, not least the signature Rum Punch.

Also see:

Best Places to Stay in Nevis

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