If you’re planning a tropical getaway, the Caribbean islands are a gold mine of beauty, seclusion, and adventure.
Even though all the Caribbean islands are beautiful, some are better than others. So we decided to rank them.
We figured that the best islands would have a low cost, be easy to get to, and have beautiful beaches and lots of activities. In most instances, we defined a Caribbean island as a single country, republic, or territory in the Caribbean.
To rank these islands, we factored in each island’s average hotel room cost, according to Hotels.com; the distance from New York City; the number of attractions listed on TripAdvisor; and the amount of coastline per square kilometer, which we called the beach density score. Read more on our methodology here.
Distance from NYC: 4 hours and 35 minutes
Average hotel room cost: $US290/night
Despite St. Lucia's low beach density score of 0.26, its gorgeous palm-fringed beaches and miles of unspoiled rainforest make it a perfect escape into the tropics. The island boasts 96 attractions, including the majestic Pitons peaks that offer hiking with vista views.
Distance from NYC: 9 hours (no regularly scheduled direct flights)
Average hotel room cost: $US124/night
While it's no easy feat getting there from the US, Cuba ranks as a top destination of the Caribbean. Its Playa Paraiso Beach is considered one of the best beaches in the world. With 259 attractions and a moderate beach density score of 0.34, the 'Pearl of the Antilles' has breathtaking scenery, rich culture and history, and unparalleled nightlife.
American citizens can travel there, but only with an authorised tour group. Some travellers navigate around the Cuba travel ban by first flying into Canada, Mexico, or another Caribbean island that has regularly scheduled flights to Cuba.
Distance from NYC: 3 hours and 40 minutes
Average hotel room cost: $US193/night
Despite having the lowest beach density score on this list (0.03), the Dominican Republic blows away other islands because of its accessibility, affordable hotel rooms, and 219 attractions. Bavaro Beach, Macao Beach, and Paradise Island & The Mangroves all made TripAdvisor's list of the top 25 beaches in the Caribbean.
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