cal staggers caribbean

Turning the corner into October next month, we begin to head into the cold, dark and gloomy months of the year. Now is the time to start planning a trip, and there’s no better place to escape to than tropical paradises with coastal views and warm weather. Here is the top 5 Caribbean islands to travel to for your next vacation:

  1.     Aruba

During Spanish settlement in 1513, Aruba and her sister islands (Bonaire and Curaçao) were nicknamed the “Islas Inútiles,” or translated: useless islands. Today, Aruba couldn’t be further from that. If you’re looking for a destination where people couldn’t ‘be friendlier, or if you’re interested in making a few new friends on your vacation, then the 20-mile long island is for you. To spend the day soaking up rays head to Palm Beach, and for water activities including jet skiing and paddle boarding, head to Eagle Beach.

  1.     St. Martin/St. Maarten

Coming in at 37-square miles, St. Maarten (southern 40% is owned by the Netherland while the rest is owned by the French) is a little haven of bliss. Orient Bay has ranked high on numerous lists for most beautiful beaches in the world, and Cupecoy Beach isn’t far behind. Both are known for nudity so if you’re looking for a kid-friendly spot then head to Maho Bay or Friar’s Bay.

  1.     Antigua

Antigua is the most versatile destination on this list. With a total of 365 of beaches on the island, there is plenty of sand to go around.  Other places to visit include Shirley Heights featuring panoramic views of the ocean and Cathedral of St. John the Divine. If interested in something a bit less touristy then pop over to Antigua’s sister island, Barbuda. It’s more relaxed and less crowded.

  1.     Grand Cayman Island

Of all the Cayman Islands, the Grand Cayman is what you cannot miss with its 7-mile shore of warm water and soft sand. Activities include SCUBA diving and snorkeling in the barrier reef, hiking the 200-year-old Mastic Trail, and Stingray City for children. There’s something for everyone and exciting wildlife around every corner.

  1.     Turks & Caicos

As it grows more and more popular with tourists, Turks and Caicos has still remained exclusive and secluded, something it prides itself on. Turquoise waters and white sands and what draws people in, but the diversity of the 40 islands is why people stay. They can be divided into three distinct categories.  There’s Providenciales which serves as a porthole for cruise ships and houses luxury hotels. Home to the Turks and Caicos National Museum, the Grand Turk is the historical and culture site of the islands. Salt Cay is perfect for adventure seekers. Here, you can explore one of the largest barrier reefs in the world.

Info courtesy of travel.usnews