Did you know there are 7,000 islands in the Caribbean? No wonder most of them don’t make it on a world map! Each one of those little droplets of paradise are unique and worth a visit. With so many options, you could never make it to every island. Are you considering a Caribbean vacation and wondering which island to visit? Take a look at these four islands to see which one is right for you.
St. Barths: The Celebrity Island
St. Barths is just what you hoped the Caribbean would be: clean, fancy, and crawling with celebs. If you’re hoping to stargaze while you’re in the Caribbean, this is the place to do it. This island is pretty expensive, so you should be planning to drop a good chunk of change if you’re vacationing here. The upside is that the revenue from these prohibitive costs keeps the island very clean and well-kept, and limits it to upper-crust tourists. If you like high-class shopping, fine dining, and luxurious quarters, this is the island for you. St. Barths is also considered one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean, with rolling hills, crystal-clear water, and beautiful views of nearby Saint Martin. The beaches here are absolutely pristine, so you’ll be perfectly happy if you just want to stay on the beach all days. If you want to get out and explore, though, there are plenty of opportunities for sightseeing as well.
St. Martin: The Gateway Island
Saint Martin is the gateway to all the surrounding islands. For its size (37 square miles), it has a pretty big international airport. Many visitors to the area land in Saint Martin before heading to their final island destination. Those who stay on St. Martin, though, find that it’s a wonderful place to spend a vacation. The island is very modern and pretty heavily populated, which makes the shopping, partying, and tour scene excellent, but the traffic atrocious at times. If you like doing lots of different kinds of activities, you should plan a St. Martin vacation. This island is most famous for its nightlife and casinos, but you can find great beaches, scenic hikes, and interesting tours of all kinds here as well. Another perk to staying on St. Martin is that you get to visit two countries in one. The northern half of the island is French and the southern half is Dutch.
Anguilla: The Peaceful Island
Anguilla is only a 20-minute boat ride from St. Martin, but it feels like a different world. Here, occasional cars roll languidly down wide roads, goats graze calmly, and children run freely through the open spaces and the beaches. It’s a little harder to get around here, since there is no public bus system, but there is no lack of taxi drivers willing to take you to Shoal Bay Beach or any of the other interesting places on the island. You won’t find too many fancy excursions here, but you will find a laid-back atmosphere and miles upon miles of white, powdery sand for relaxing on. Even the water here seems peaceful. The island is surrounded by glassy blue water that just barely conceals the nearby reefs. You can rent snorkel equipment and go check out what the marine life is up to.
Saba: The Untouched Island
The official nickname for the Dutch island of Saba is the “Untouched Jewel of the Caribbean.” This island is much different from its neighbors. Saba is quiet and has a low, though steadily growing, population. Life is simple in Saba, and the money-raking tourism industry hasn’t quite infiltrated the island yet. You can find tours on the island for sure, but you can also get away and spend hours and hours without seeing another soul. Part of Saba’s charm is that is really is a rock in the middle of the ocean; this volcanic island has no beaches. In exchange, though, it has stunning reef that hasn’t been spoiled by too many visitors. The side of the island goes deep, deep, deep into the ocean, so it’s a popular spot for diving. For those who prefer to stay firmly planted on the ground, the hike up Mount Scenery is no less incredible. This wild hike takes you to the highest point in the Netherlands, where you can see the flat blue disk of the ocean spread out around you, interrupted only by the neighboring islands indigo outlines.
Whether you’re looking for a luxury resort, lively nightlife, gorgeous white sand beaches, or an outdoor sports paradise, you can find the right destination in the Caribbean. Pick your perfect island for the ideal tropical getaway.