A Guide to the Caribbean Islands


Cruise, Guide to the Caribbean Islands, St Thomas, Aruba, Honduras, Antigua, Princess Cay, Cozumel, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Dominica

Imagine lying on a postcard picturesque beach, swimming in gorgeous turquoise water and soaking up the Bahamian sun; sounds like paradise right? The conflict is with so many islands and numerous cruises throughout the Caribbean, choosing the right getaway can be overwhelming. Whether you are an adventure seeker or you just want to sit back and relax on a white sandy beach, you'll find the perfect island for you!
Sailing away on a cruise? Don't waste your hard-earned cash booking crowded tours with your cruise line. Instead, opt to book with top-rated local companies who know the island best. These authentic excursions will take you to the island's hidden gems to view the natural beauty and local culture.

Below are the top sights to see and activities to do for each Caribbean island. We specifically chose local tour companies for authentic cultural experiences for relaxation, fun, and exhilarating activities.


ANTIGUA

Historic sites, tasty cuisine, and a lively cultural scene can all be found on Antigua. But most often it's the beauty and versatility of the island's 365 beaches that draw travelers from afar.


Antigua VIP Tours | # 1 Tour Company on Antigua

Located on the beautiful island of Antigua and with over 10 years in the hospitality industry, this VIP tour offers highly professional and personalized luxury land-based excursions in a comfortable air-conditioned environment on the beautiful Island of Antigua. While on tour, you will have the opportunity to sample Antigua's national fruit, the famous Antigua Black Pineapple, said to be the sweetest pineapple in the world. visit one or more of our pristine 365 beaches, have a taste of Antigua’s Cavalier Rum &/or Rum Punch (award-winning local rum) and taste the local cuisine. We highly recommend booking with Sean, the owner of this incredible tour company.


GOLD TOUR

☆ 4-5-hour tour.

☆ Entrance fees to all national parks.

☆ View of several of our beaches.

☆ A beach stop.

☆ Small complimentary drinks bar onboard vehicle.

☆ A glimpse of how the famous Antigua Black Pineapple is grown and a taste of the delicious fruit.

☆ Visit Devil's Bridge, Betty's Hope, Nelson's Dock Yard, Shirley's Heights, Look Out, and the Dowe's Hill Interpretation Center

☆ Drive through the island's rainforest.


Custom tailor tour to your interests.

Email: antiguaviptours@gmail.com | Follow Antigua VIP Tours on Facebook



PUERTO RICO

Get ready for an adventure of a lifetime! Experience Puerto Rico by ZipLining, Waterfall Climbing, and Rappelling through the rain forest to gain a new perspective. This amazing excursion takes you to a rainforest, located 45 minutes south of San Juan near the city of Caguas. Caguas was host to some of the island’s most important sugarcane plantations employing thousands of Puerto Ricans. Fields and plantations are still visible as we approach our destination atop a beautiful mountain range 2,000 ft above sea level.



Located in the vicinity of the Carite Rainforest, El Salto is home to 49 species of birds, 15 species of amphibians (the Coqui being one of the main species), 12 species of reptiles, 7 species of mammals, and over 200 species of trees. Our adventure takes you on a series of exhilarating activities as we travel through this beautiful rainforest.



You will hike and climb upriver using secured ropes, rappel 80 feet down the gorgeous El Salto waterfall to the bottom of a canyon, and zipline on 3 different ziplines as you enjoy a bird’s eye view of the forest and river. You will have time to relax and take a dip in refreshing waterfalls. After a full day of adventure, enjoy a delicious Puerto Rican home-cooked meal served by a local family in a beautiful mountain setting.


Book online here or check out their offered tours here.





HONDURAS

Board a small boat to gain access to the exclusive private-owned island, Little French Key. Only visitors who purchase a day pass can enter this secret paradise. From the moment you step foot here, you never want to leave. This perfect island getaway provides everything you can imagine, from turquoise water, palms trees with hammocks attached, and local fresh cuisine to paddleboards, kayaks, swimming with majestic animals, and relaxing island music. This will be an unforgettable day in paradise!


Full Island Package Includes:

  • Transportation to Little French Key

  • Entrance to the Private Island

  • Animal Rescue Center

  • Unlimited use of Snorkel Gear, Kayaks, and PaddleBoards

  • Beach Chairs

  • Palapa Access

  • Island Meal and 2 Well Drinks


Click HERE to view all packages. Contact by email at info@littlefrenchkey.com to schedule your paradise island day trip!



PRINCESS CAY, BAHAMAS

Discover unlimited Beauty with "off the beaten path" exploration. Princess Cays is a private island in the Bahamas, only accessible by Princess Cruise Line. You will discover the natural beauty, taste delicious Bahamian cuisine, and relax in crystal clear turquoise water. Walk along the pristine pink beach and search for underwater sea life while snorkeling. This will be a day in paradise you won't forget! Eleuthera Tours is a local top-rated company, offering intimate tours (8 person max)


Discover Lighthouse Beach Itinerary

This land-based tour takes you to the famous pink sand beach, Lighthouse Beach, with a visit to the ruins of an old Anglican church in Bannerman Town. Upon arrival, scale towering cliffs to catch an incredible view of the island. Swim the aqua clear waters and discover the pristine reefs. Savor some native conch grilled on an open fire with fresh Bahamian specialties and relax under a palm tree with a refreshing rum punch. All food served is natural and fresh, grown and caught locally. Relax under a palm tree with a refreshing rum punch. This 4.5-hour Tour includes:

  • Transportation in our open truck to Lighthouse Beach and back.

  • Walking tour of the lighthouse, caves, and cliffs.

  • Juice and ice water.

  • Lunch on the beach.

  • Beach chairs & snorkel gear.

  • Rum punch

Contact Eleuthera Tours for this day tour: info@eleutheratours.com.

Price | $90.00 per person, $70 per child ages 7-14*


Note: Disney has purchased this property to create a private cruise ship port for themselves. Soon you will not be able to go here unless on a Disney cruise and it will no longer be pristine and uncrowded. See it now before Disney prohibits access! *This tour is available to Princess Cays Cruise ship visitors. 2 guest minimum.



DOMINICA

Dominica is home to some of the most spectacular canyons in the world. Rainfall over thousands of years carved out deep gorges in the rock creating an ever-changing landscape of rivers, waterfalls, and pools hidden in the rainforest. Explore this geological wonder on an adventurous half-day excursion. Extreme Canyoning is rated the best tour in Dominica and among the top things to do in the Caribbean.


This epic excursion will call for swimwear, a towel and closed footwear of your own, and your guides will take care of the rest. After getting geared up at Extreme Dominica’s headquarters you will learn how to rappel on an 8-foot training wall and receive a briefing before you go on a 15-minute drive to the canyon where the real adventure begins.


After traversing the magical canyon the tour concludes with a 15-minute hike back to the vehicle. The tour ends at the canyoning school with hot cocoa tea and fresh local fruit. You will learn how local Dominica chocolates are created from cacao trees, and sample this local delicacy.

To view this exhilarating tour, watch Extreme Dominica's tour video. Click here to view Extreme Dominica's full itinerary and book your tour here.

Email: info@extremedominica.com.



ST THOMAS | VIRGIN ISLANDS

St. Thomas is our most cosmopolitan island, yet it still retains the distinctive atmosphere of a Caribbean paradise. For families or couples, St. Thomas is packed with opportunities for smiles and surprise. There is plenty of duty-free shopping, spectacular diving, and world-class dining. Enjoy the island’s world-renowned golf course, picture-perfect beaches, and spectacular nightlife. Take the Skyride 700 feet above the city or climb the famous 99 Steps of Charlotte Amalie for an incomparable view of the Caribbean. And if you’re interested in culture and history, don’t miss seeing the second-oldest synagogue in the Western Hemisphere, the 1680-built Fort Christian or the childhood home of Camille Pissarro, one of the best-known French Impressionists.


Arriving by cruise ship? Jump in a taxi and head to St Thomas's top-rated beach, Magen's Bay. To have this paradise beach to yourself, be sure to arrive early. By lunchtime, crowds of tourists flock the area. After enjoying this picture-perfect beach, head to the best local restaurant in town, Cuzzin's Caribbean Restaurant, where you will taste fresh, mouthwatering seafood and delicious island drinks.


Tip: Highly recommend ordering Conch fritters and sip on their famous Bushwacker.



THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

Sailing is one of the biggest draws for travelers to this archipelago of 60 islands, cays, and islets. Companies like Festiva Sailing Vacations operate six- or eight-person catamarans whose captain and first mate will chart your course—exploring places like the Baths on Virgin Gorda, Sage Mountain National Park on Tortola, and Loblolly Bay Beach on Anegada.


For those who prefer to remain on dry land, Virgin Gorda’s Rosewood Little Dix Bay recently converted its 10 iconic, elevated tree-house cottages into five large suites with wrap around terraces. The resort, founded by Laurance D. Rockefeller in 1964, can arrange bespoke services like private beach picnics, en-suite rum tastings, and scuba diving instruction at it’s own on-site watersports center.


Top Things to Do in the British Virgin Islands

  • The Baths (Virgin Gorda)

  • Cane Garden Bay (Tortola)

  • Anegada Island

  • Smuggler's Cove (Tortola)

  • Brewers Bay (Tortola)

  • White Bay (Jost Van Dyke)

  • Sailing, Yachting, and Boat Tours

  • Rhone National Marine Park

  • Sage Mountain National Park (Tortola)

  • Sunny Caribbee Spice Shop & Art Gallery

  • The Bubbly Pool

  • Devil's Bay National Park



CAYMAN ISLANDS

The charming Cayman Islands continue to be a coveted Caribbean getaway for both adventure- and relaxation-seeking travelers. Coral reefs and shipwrecks call to divers as the rum punch calls to the beach bums. Honeymooners hike through the 200-year-old Mastic Trail while others swim with 5-foot stingrays at Stingray City.


The Cayman Islands are an archipelago of three islands that sit 150 miles south of Cuba. The largest, Grand Cayman, is full of gargantuan resorts with all-inclusive options, perfect for those who prefer pre-planned itineraries and don't mind sharing the sights with cruise crowds. Meanwhile, the less-traveled Cayman Brac and Little Cayman boast some of the best diving in the Caribbean.


For a more off-the-beaten-path experience, head to Le Soleil d’Or, a new retreat on 12-mile-long Cayman Brac, with a beach club, a 20-acre organic farm, and private villas. No matter where you stay, don’t miss Grand Cayman’s Camana Bay. The 600-acre waterfront development features retail spaces, landscaped boulevards, and an observation tower with 360-degree views of Seven Mile Beach, George Town, and the North Sound.


Top Things to Do in the Cayman Islands

  • Seven Mile Beach

  • Stingray City

  • Kittiwake Shipwreck & Artificial Reef

  • Eden Rock & Devil's Grotto

  • Mastic Trail

  • Bloody Bay Marine Park (Little Cayman)

  • Cayman Spirits Co. Distillery

  • Captain Keith Tibbetts Wreck (Cayman Brac)

  • Cemetery Beach and Reef (Grand Cayman)

  • Pedro St. James Castle



ST BARTS

There’s a reason why celebrities, models, socialites consistently retreat to the tropical paradise of St. Barth’s (St Barts in English). The island, an overseas collectivity of France, blends the sophistication of St.-Tropez with the laissez-fare Caribbean lifestyle—which means it’s exclusive yet totally unpretentious. Walk into any beachfront restaurant, for instance, and you’ll see well-dressed women with Birkins eating lunch beside sandy, barefoot beachgoers; walk into a club wearing jean cutoffs and no one will raise an eyebrow. It’s a specific brand of laid-back luxury that breeds instant converts. Make one trip, and you’ll find yourself immediately hooked.


The Beaches

One thing St. Barth’s regulars love about the island is the diversity of its beaches. There are 16 (!) of them in total, each with its own distinct personality. At Saline Beach you’ll find topless women frolicking in the translucent azure water and stretches of soft, white sand that feels like powdered sugar between your toes. What you won’t find: tiki-style tourist traps hawking sugary cocktails. Saline, like most other beaches on St. Barth’s, is rather bare-bones—no bars, no shops, no restaurants—so be sure to pack your own snacks and water.


Another local favorite is Colombier, an isolated haven accessible only by boat or a rugged, roughly 30-minute hike. Be warned: The downhill trail to get there is deceivingly easy. The way back . . . not so much. (Try going in the early morning to avoid the afternoon heat.)


If you prefer a more vibrant scene, head to St. Jean, where hot spots like Eden Rock and Nikki Beach provide ample people-watching. During the day, you’ll find the surfers at beaches like Toiny or Lorient and the snorkelers at Gouverneur or Petite Anse, but for sunset, everyone descends upon Shell Beach. It’s covered in millions of thumbnail-size shells.


Escape from the sun for a slice of pizza at The Hideaway, or head to one of the many burger joints—there’s JoJo Burger, Burger Palace, and the dive-y yet delicious Le Select, which is said to have inspired Jimmy Buffett’s “Cheeseburger in Paradise.”


There are plenty of bikini-friendly spots, too: Maya’s To Go and Kiki-é Mo have fresh salads and sandwiches; Tom’s Juice Bar in Gustavia (the island’s capital and main town) is known for tangy house-made juices, acai bowls, and smoothies. If you’re renting a villa and prefer to cook for yourself, the markets—like Marché U, just across from the airport—are flush with amazing (albeit pricey) produce.


When the sun goes down, the island starts living up to its glamorous reputation. The swankiest spot for dinner is almost always Bonito Saint Barth, a Latin-French restaurant that has a South Beach–meets–St. Barth’s vibe and no shortage of beautiful patrons. (Order the salmon tiradito and you’ll dream about it long after you’ve left.)


Traveling as a couple? Go to Jean-Georges’s romantic On the Rocks at Eden Rock and prepare to fall in love all over again. The restaurant is perched high above St. Jean Bay with views to die for. Request a table by the ledge. While seafood tends to dominate in the area—and rightfully so—you can also get incredible Thai food (Black Ginger) and Southern Italian fare (L’Isola). French-Japanese fusion eatery Orega, located in the heart of Gustavia, is unanimously considered one of the best new additions to the local dining scene. The restaurant’s owner, Greg, will often serve guests himself (dishes like spiny lobster ravioli and wagyu beef gyoza) and warmly offers patrons a double-cheek kiss as they exit. (St Barts info provided by Vogue)



BARBADOS

This luxurious island is brimming with breathtaking architecture, a passionate sports culture and a party-loving attitude. The easternmost island in the Caribbean, Barbados juggles two different cultures to create a distinctly Bajan personality. Even after gaining its independence from Great Britain in 1966, this island still holds tight to British traditions like afternoon tea, cricket, and horse races.

Trademarks of the Caribbean and West Africa are still evident, however, in the island's sugar cane fields, rum distilleries, and lush landscapes. While all of Barbados' shorelines boast picturesque views and calming ocean breezes, some of the country's must-visit beaches include Dover Beach, Bathsheba Beach and the sands overlooking Carlisle Bay.

Best Things To Do in Barbados

  • Bathsheba Beach

  • Dover Beach

  • Carlisle Bay

  • St. Nicholas Abbey

  • Hunte's Gardens

  • Barbados Boardwalk

  • Andromeda Botanic Gardens

  • Harrison's Cave

  • George Washington House

  • Mount Gay Visitor Centre

  • Animal Flower Cave

  • Morgan Lewis Sugar Mill

  • Atlantis Submarines Barbados

  • Miami Beach

  • Apes Hill Golf Club



BAHAMAS

The roughly 700 islands that make up the Bahamas lure millions of visitors to their white-washed shores, duty-free shops, fishing, and scuba diving excursions and luxurious accommodations each year. Families that flock here tend to indulge in the diversions of Atlantis, Paradise Island, and other mega-resorts, but this diverse island chain also offers a range of activities away from the hotel zone.


Nature enthusiasts can explore pristine protected areas like the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve (on Eleuthera) and Lucayan National Park (on Grand Bahama Island) or take it easy at one of the country's many beaches or private islands. Bargain hunters, meanwhile, can patrol the marketplaces in Nassau, in Freeport, and on Paradise Island for the best duty-free deals. And for history buffs, ruins and artifacts from the colonial era and indigenous peoples like the Lucayan and Arawak Indians can be found on San Salvador, Cat Island, and other Bahamian islands.


Best Things To Do in the Bahamas

  • Bahamian Beaches- Gold Rock Beach in Lucayan National Park (featured in two "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies), Pink Sand Beach on Harbour Island, and The Exumas' Stocking Island (where you can swim and feed stingrays) are many travelers' favorite.

  • Boat Tours- Island Time Charters,  Bahama Boat Tours (for New Providence Island) and Exuma Water Sports (for The Exumas)

  • Diving & Snorkeling

  • Atlantis, Paradise Island (Paradise Island)

  • Lucayan National Park (Grand Bahama Island)

  • Blue Lagoon Island (Private Island)

  • Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve (Eleuthera)

  • Queen's Staircase (New Providence Island)

  • The Glass Window Bridge (Eleuthera)

  • John Watling's Distillery (New Providence Island)



TURKS AND CAICOS

Turks & Caicos has the perfect antidote for your hectic lifestyle; nearly abandoned, blinding-white sand fringed by shimmering azure water, colorful coral reefs, crispy conch fritters, and a sleepy, lighthearted atmosphere. While the destructive hurricanes of 2017 did impact the island, much of the damage has been repaired and its beaches are still as stunning as ever. Turks & Caicos holds tight to its reputation as an exclusive and secluded getaway.


This network of 40 islands and cays has three dominant personalities. There's glamorous Providenciales, or "Provo," which shelters a bevy of luxurious hotels. Laid-back Grand Turk is the historic and cultural nucleus (and cruise ship hub), best seen in the Turks & Caicos National Museum or along the shores of Cockburn Town, where Christopher Columbus first docked in the Western Hemisphere. Tiny, flat Salt Cay plays host to the best dives: From here, you can explore one of the largest reef systems in the world.


For those looking further afield, Parrot Cay by COMO is a thousand-acre private-island resort 35 minutes from Providenciales by water taxi. Guests can partake in Ayurvedic massages, open-air beach yoga, and traditional Javanese bath rituals through the resort’s award-winning COMO Shambhala Spa.


Best Things To Do in Turks & Caicos

  • Grace Bay (Provo)

  • Taylor Bay (Provo)

  • Bight Reef

  • Provo Golf Club

  • Little Water Cay

  • Governor's Beach (Grand Turk)

  • Smith's Reef

  • Salt Cay

  • Horseback Riding- Provo Ponies offers horseback riding excursions both on land and partially submerged in the sea.

  • Turks & Caicos National Museum

  • Cheshire Hall

  • Pillory Beach (Grand Turk)

  • Mangrove Cay

  • Turk's Head Brewery

  • Conch Bar Caves



ST LUCIA

Honeymooners flock to sought-after resorts like Jade Mountain and Ladera, which have open-air guest rooms with private plunge pools overlooking the Caribbean Sea and the Piton Mountains. The island is one of the most mountainous in the region, home to a rainforest, waterfall trails, botanical gardens, and Sulfur Springs in the capital city of Soufrière, where travelers can take mud baths.



Best Things To Do in St Lucia

  • Reduit Beach

  • Anse Chastanet

  • The Pitons- Take a day hike with Spencer Ambrose Tours

  • Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens

  • Marigot Bay

  • Sulphur Springs Park- sulfuric baths

  • Castries Market

  • Tet Paul Nature Trail

  • Pigeon Island National Landmark



DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

The Dominican Republic is one of the Caribbean's most geographically diverse countries, with stunning mountain scenery, desert scrublands, evocative colonial architecture and beaches galore.


Top Attractions in the Dominican Republic

  • Gri Gri Lagoon

  • Damajaqua Cascades (27 Waterfalls)

  • Pirate Rum Factory and Taino Cave Tour From Punta Cana

  • Zona Colonial

  • Humpback Whales

  • The 3 Eyes National Park (Los Tres Ojos)

  • Cabarete

  • Bavaro Beach


  • Catedral Primada de America

  • Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park & Reserve

  • Parque Nacional Los Haitises

  • Dunas de Bani

  • Teleferico Puerto Plata Cable Car (Pico Isabel de Torres)

  • Outback Safari Adventure Tour From Punta Cana

  • Punta Cana Small-Group Sailing and Snorkeling Catamaran Tour

  • ChocoMuseo Punta Can

  • Monkey Land Explorer and Zip Line Adventure From Punta Cana

  • Sire