5 Exotic Island Destinations to Love in the Greater Caribbean

An aerial view of a woman with a sunhat standing in the ocean and drinking from a coconut

With its wonderful tropical weather, magnificent beaches, island breeze, and turquoise sea, the Caribbean is a fantastic year-round exotic travel destination. Thousands of islands spot the Caribbean Sea. Its 17 territories and 13 states serve as major tourist destinations. Each island has its own charm, and most of them offer luxurious resorts that make for a delightfully extravagant getaway.  

Whether you’re planning to stay on one island or you want to cruise around, it’s easy to visit multiple Caribbean destinations in a single trip. Let’s begin our journey on one of the best islands the Caribbean has to offer.

5 Exotic Caribbean Islands to Love

U.S. Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands are one of the most fabulous exotic destinations in the Caribbean. Getting there is simple, especially from the United States. The territory consists of three islands: St. John, St. Croix, and St. Thomas. It’s easy to hop from one to the other on short stays. 

exotic caribbean destinations Trunk Bay St. John USVI (Photo by Josh Duncan)
Trunk Bay St. John USVI (Photo by Josh Duncan)

St. Croix is the largest, and it’s popular among scuba divers and honeymooners. The island is approximately 22 miles long, with two cities and a thriving cultural environment that includes art and architecture.

St. Thomas is the most diverse in terms of visitors. Its city center and beaches attract mostly families and couples.

St. John, the smallest of the three islands, is more rustic than the other two. Beyond famous beaches like Trunk Bay, there is a lot of natural beauty in St. John. National parks make up two-thirds of the island. This makes it the perfect destination for those who want to see the Caribbean in its unspoiled form.


If sitting on the beach and entirely disconnecting from the outside world is your ideal vacation activity, Aruba is the exotic Caribbean destination for you. Locals and visitors call it “One Happy Island” because of its laid-back atmosphere, magnificent beaches, and year-round sunny weather. Aruba is noted for having one of the sunniest climates in the Caribbean. It has a lot to brag about as a holiday hotspot!

exotic Caribbean island destinations A divi-divi tree on a sandy Aruba beach, backdropped by the ocean.
A Divi-Divi tree on Eagle Beach in Aruba (Photo by Benjamin Rascoe)

Eagle Beach, for example, has won numerous awards and is consistently ranked among the best beaches in the world. The sand is talcum-soft and powder-white, and the beaches are dotted with beautiful Divi-divi trees. The beaches are all open to the public, so you’ll have access to the nicest stretches of sand no matter where you stay.

Aruba is also a fantastic destination for families. Visit the neighboring Donkey Sanctuary or take a journey on the Jolly Roger pirate ship after spending the day at Baby Beach with your kids.

embrace cocktail table by koket

Dominican Republic

In the Punta Cana region, the Caribbean’s all-inclusive resort kingdom is an easy win for families. It boasts endless miles of white-sand beaches lined with palm trees and some remarkable resorts.

However, you don’t have to stay in a resort the entire time. Tour desks at resorts can arrange off-property excursions like coastal catamaran trips. 

Many green palm trees on the shore of the exotic Caribbean island country, the Dominican Republic
Palm trees on the shores of the Caribbean country of the Dominican Republic (Photo by Robin Canfield)

The Puerto Plata region is also one of the best tourist destinations. It has countless retreats and hubs for activities, such as snorkeling and diving. Santo Domingo is the capital and is worth visiting for a taste of history. If you learn some common slang, you can have a great time in the city chatting with its super-friendly locals. 

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St. Barts

The Caribbean island of Saint Barthélemy is a celebrity favorite—the Carters, the Kardashians, and John Legend have all visited—and is the epitome of magnificence. Consider staying in a private villa or luxury hotel such as Le Toiny or Cheval Blanc. Charter a yacht if you want to vacation like a celebrity

A sunny photo of a sandy beach covered in shells on the Caribbean coast of Saint Barts
The remarkable Shell Beach in Gustavia, Saint Barthélemy (Photo by Simone Mascellari)

Spend your days lounging on one of the island’s many beaches. Kayak or kitesurf at Anse de Grand Cul de Sac, or explore boutique stores and art galleries in Gustavia.

If you’re looking for food, make a reservation at Eddy’s: one of the island’s oldest eateries. Or, stop by Maya’s for sandwiches created with delicious ingredients, some of which are flown in from France.


Last but not least, Havana, Cuba’s capital, exudes a nostalgic appeal. Cadillacs rumble through the streets and echo beats of rumba and samba. Cigar smoke billows from speakeasies.

A memorizing street of colorful buildings in Cuba's exotic capital of Havana (Photo by Spencer Everett)
A memorizing street of colorful buildings in Cuba’s exotic capital of Havana (Photo by Spencer Everett)

Leaving the Spanish streets and Che monuments behind, the greater island has much to offer. It provides perfect beaches in Varadero, ecotourism in the karst mountains of Pinar del Ro, spectacular landscapes in the Viales Valley, and much more.

Plan a fantastic vacation to one (or all!) of these exotic Caribbean islands. You can’t go wrong! The sunny beaches await you!

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