Choosing the right island can definitely make the difference in your vacation experience. Many travelers assume the Family Island Cheats are all the same, with great beaches, plenty of sun and warm turquoise waters . . . and most islands offer plenty of the above. I say most because the islands of Dominica and Saba are not on any beach lovers list.
Aside from spending time at the beach, most vacationers enjoy a particular lifestyle or activities such as: Shopping, Gambling, Nightlife, Quiet and Secluded, Hiking, Golf, Photography and Nature, History and Archeology buffs, Snorkeling, Diving, Sailing, All Inclusives, Family Friendly Islands, and the list goes on.
Just remember when spending your hard earned money, choosing the right Caribbean island will ensure the “perfect” Caribbean vacation.
SHOPPING IN THE CARIBBEAN – You can shop on any island, but if you are looking for a “shop til you drop” experience, head to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, or Curacao (pronounced cure-uh-sow). Both islands have extensive stores, shops and designer boutiques that rival any U.S. or European city. Other islands that offer a variety of shopping are Barbados, Grand Cayman, Puerto Rico and St Martin/St Maarten.
CARIBBEAN GAMBLING CASINOS – The largest gambling casinos in the Caribbean are found in Aruba, The Bahamas (Cable Beach & Paradise Island), Curacao, San Juan, St Croix, and St Maarten.
Barbados and Jamaica only have slot machines. Antigua, Belize, Bonaire, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St Kitts, St Vincent and Turks & Caicos all have much smaller gaming operations.
CARIBBEAN NIGHTLIFE – Lots of fun when the Caribbean sun goes down can be found on Barbados, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St Martin/St Martin, and St Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
QUIET AND SECLUSION – Travelers who are looking for a more peaceful, secluded vacation will find it on Parrot Cay which is located on Turks & Caicos, St Kitts, St Vincent & The Grenadines, and Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands.
HIKING IN THE CARIBBEAN – Dominica – Valley of Desolation and the Boiling Lake; Dominican Republic – Pico Duarte Ascent (Caribbean’s highest peak); Grenada – Mt. Qua Qua; Guadeloupe – La Soufriere Volcano; Jamaica – Blue Mountains; Puerto Rico – El Yunque National Forest; St. Kitts – Bloody Rivers Stream; Tobago – Little Tobago Cay; Trinidad – Asa Wright Nature Center; and the US Virgin Islands – 2/3 of the island of St John is a nature preserve.