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Escape the Cold with these 10 Caribbean Travel Getaways
Taking a trip to the Caribbean is the perfect remedy for those of us made weary by gray skies and slush.
A few days on an island provide all the sun, surf, and sand that have been missing throughout the winter months. And while spring break isn’t here just yet, it never hurts to dream! Below are 10 of the top Caribbean destinations for springtime travelers, and what visitors can look forward to when they arrive.
Sunbathing in St. Thomas
St. Thomas, in the US Virgin Islands, is home to Magens Bay
: one of the Caribbean's most celebrated beaches. Enjoy the bay’s tranquil waters and soft, champagne-colored sand: perfect for building castles or just for wiggling your toes. For as popular as it is with visitors, Magens Bay is also quiet enough for beachgoers to simply sit back and enjoy the sun’s warm rays.
Salsa in San Juan
If you’re looking to dance the night away, San Juan, Puerto Rico is the destination of your dreams. From quaint cafes to packed nightclubs, the rhythm of salsa is inescapable in this Caribbean city. If you’re new to salsa, you’re still welcome to join in on the fun — bars and clubs throughout San Juan offer lessons for guests of all skill-levels. Once you’ve mastered the basics, show off your new moves at venues like La Factoría
in Old San Juan, or the trendy Club Brava
, which often hosts two separate DJs: one for English music, and the other for Spanish!
Beach-going in Barbados
A beloved spot for surfers, photographers, and nature-lovers alike, Barbados’s Bathsheba Beach
is as beautiful as it is unique. Located along the eastern coast of Barbados, Bathsheba Beach is best known for its striking rock formations that jut out of the water and along the pristine beaches. The beach’s enormous waves make for incredible photos and ideal surf conditions — but be advised that swimming isn’t recommended. Instead, enjoy a soak in one of the beach’s many tidal pools, and enjoy the rough waters from a distance.
Adventuring in Aruba
Aruba is known for its natural beauty, and when paired with a rush of adrenaline, the island is sure to take your breath away. From ATV tours through seaside bluffs, to horseback riding across soft beaches, to a sailing cruise along the coastline, there are countless ways to get out and explore. If you need a break from the beach, there are plenty of chances to connect with your wild side on shore. Stop by the island’s butterfly farm
, tour the donkey sanctuary
, or bird-watch at the local ostrich farm
to lean about the unique creatures that call Aruba home.
Boating in the Bahamas
The Bahamas is a network of thousands of pristine islands, which means one of the best ways to explore is by boat. Many tours offer opportunities for guests to snorkel, dive, and swim through the calm Caribbean waters. For guests with a need for speed, certain boat tours allow tubing, wakeboarding, and knee-boarding. You may even get the chance to play with the Bahamas’ island-dwelling, swimming pigs
! And what better way to wrap up a day at sea than with a spectacular sunset view as you make your way to shore?
Jungle tours in Jamaica
While Jamaica certainly has its share of incredible beaches, countless treasures can be found further inland. Surrounded by lush forest, Dunn’s River Falls
is one of Jamaica’s most beloved attractions. Visitors can climb this network of waterfalls with the help of local guides, and enjoy swimming and inner tubing in the nearby rivers. For a birds-eye view of the island, try a zipline tour through the jungle canopy. No matter your interests or activity level, Jamaica has endless options to bring out your inner adventurer.
Snorkeling and scuba in St. Lucia
Some of the Caribbean’s best snorkeling can be found off the coast of St. Lucia; the island’s volcanic cliffs and centuries-old reefs create spectacular underwater landscape. Swim alongside parrot fish, moray eels, sea turtles, and a colorful array of aquatic creatures that make St. Lucia such an ecologically diverse destination. If you’re up for a deeper dive, take the plunge down to the sunken freighter, the Lesleen M
. The ship’s wreckage — rugged as it seems — creates a perfect nursery environment for young fish and marine plant life.
Trekking in Turks and Caicos
If you’re eager to stay fit during your spring vacation, you really can’t beat a hike through paradise. Turks and Caicos is crisscrossed by numerous trails, offering plenty of chances to explore. Take a hike up Sapodilla Hill for a view from the highest point of the island. This spot also has a series of centuries-old rock carvings, thought to be inscriptions from shipwrecked sailors (and even a few pirates!) Another great hiking spot is Crossing Place Trail
: a coastal path that was laid by 18th century settlers and slaves. Today, the path leads visitors through eight kilometers of sandbars, cave formations, and seemingly endless coastline. Neither of these hikes is a walk in the park, however: you’ll want to bring sunscreen, plenty of water, and sturdy shoes.
Paddling in Punta Cana
Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic, has clear, calm waters that make it an ideal setting for paddle boarders
and kayakers. And if you’re interested in learning how to surf, there are a number of schools and private instructors who are available to show you the ropes. Unlike surfing in the pacific, you’ll find that the conditions in Punta Cana are great for beginners: warm waters, mid-sized waves, and a carefree vibe that will have you laughing off any tumbles you take along the way.
Basking in the British Virgin Islands
Sometimes, all you want out of a beach vacation is time to kick back, relax, and listen to the sound of the waves crashing against the shore. Named the number one Caribbean destination for beaches by US News & World Report
, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) boast picturesque shorelines that would put your desktop background to shame! The top destination in the BVI is the Baths of Virgin Gorda
. This series of boulders, coves, and grottoes is perfect for climbing and exploration — but the real treat is the Devil’s Bay beach at the end. Enjoy an afternoon in the sun, kick back with a cool drink, and celebrate the natural playground that the BVI have to offer.
No matter where your travels take you — or in this case, which island you choose — make sure that you don’t leave home without the necessary precautions. One simple way to protect yourself and your trip is purchasing a comprehensive travel medical insurance plan
. Travel medical insurance is an essential way to ensure that you are covered if you get sick or hurt while you’re abroad. Taking precautions in advance will ensure that your spring vacation is as safe as it is exhilarating. And after a long, chilly winter, what could be better than a snag-free escape to a sun-soaked paradise?
About the Author
Grace Lower has a love for all things writing and travel. When she's not exploring new places, Grace enjoys teaching English as a Second Language, making terrible puns, and running incredibly long distances at incredibly slow speeds.
Read more of Grace’s blogs