Caribbean,  Destinations

21 Best Caribbean Destinations in 2023 – For an Amazing Vacation

Are you looking for the best Caribbean destinations in 2023 for your vacation? Then I got you covered!

White sandy beaches, crystal clear blue ocean and a vibrant island life. This is how we imagine traveling to the Caribbean.

If you are planning to take a trip to one of the beautiful Caribbean islands in 2023 and have no idea yet where to go – I got you covered.

This post will show you the most amazing Caribbean Destinations for your vacation in 2023 – and save you the hassle of researching.

Among them popular places that have been holiday favorites for years – but also some smaller hidden gems that will surprise you with its beauty.

Keep on reading to find the perfect spot for your dream vacation in the Caribbean in 2023.

Curacao Playa Kenepa Grande with blonde girl dancing on the beach

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1. Atlantis – Bahamas

Where to Stay: The Royal at Atlantis

If visiting the Caribbean is on your travel bucket list, you should definitely plan a visit to Atlantis Bahamas. This gorgeous resort has five hotels and one resort where you can stay on Paradise Island. If you are arriving on a boat for your luxury vacation, you can drop anchor at the Atlantis Marina.

Not only is Atlantis visually stunning – my room was to-die-for – but it is also home to the Caribbean’s largest water park. Aquaventure is their incredible on-site 141-acre waterpark that consists of 9 waterslides, a lazy river tube ride, river rapids, tube rides, swimming and predator lagoons, 20 swimming areas, 14 unique pools, and a private beach.

Aquaventure provides days’ worth of entertainment, and it’s all included in your stay. Atlantis also offers a variety of activities you can purchase, such as swimming with dolphins. If you prefer to stay dry, wander through their Aquarium and discover hidden treasures at every turn.

One activity that Nassau has recently become known for is swimming with the famous Bahamas pigs. You can sign up for an excursion at Atlantis and enjoy a full-day tour where you’ll visit five different islands, including Pig Island. You’ll also get to feed iguanas and swim with nurse sharks. It’s an incredible and fun-filled experience!

You could easily spend a week enjoying Atlantis and not get bored, but should you wish to explore off the resort, the town of Nassau is a short water taxi ride away. Nassau is a small town where you will find lots of tourist shops and restaurants. As a cruise ship port, it caters to tourists.

If you are looking for your next Caribbean destination to visit in 2023, Atlantis Bahamas should be it. This incredible resort caters to your every need and promises to be a vacation you’ll remember forever.

Atlantis, Bahamas, Caribbean Destination 2023
Picture credit: Kathryn Anderson

2. Aruba

Where to Stay: Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort

Year-round Aruba boasts picture-perfect weather, unique scenery, and stunning beaches, making it one of the best Caribbean Islands to choose for a getaway!

If you’re looking for epic white sand beaches, you won’t have to look too hard — Aruba has a few that are absolutely breathtaking. These are the kinds of places where you want to cozy up under an umbrella with a beachy drink and stay awhile.  Maybe even visit the flamingos on Renaissance island?

The first to check out is Palm Beach. This beach is close to many resorts, water-sport rentals, and cafes — honestly, you’ll have just about everything you need within reach! For a quieter experience, check out the beautiful bay of Boca Catalina. This is a popular spot for snorkeling in crystal-clear waters.

Aside from the picture-perfect scenery that you expect to see, Aruba also has a scenic desert side. Approximately 20% of the island is made up of the Arikok National Park. The arid park is home to natural rock formations, rolling hills covered in cacti, and volcanic stone-carved natural pools. This is a great area to hike or explore on an ATV.

When deciding where to stay in Aruba, the best areas are near Eagle and Palm Beach — both places will put you close to activities, sun-soaked beaches, and a diversity of cuisine. Make sure to take a sunset cruise in Aruba for the perfect experience.

While exploring the island, you’ll want to stop and refuel at Eduardo’s Beach Shack — one of the many vegan-friendly cafes in Aruba that offers fresh fruit smoothies, tacos, soft serve, and much more! Of course you need to have dinner in one of the best beachfront restaurants in Aruba – they are so instagram worthy!

Blue ocean in front of white sandy beach in Aruba
Picture Credit: Rebecca Gade Sawicki

3. Barbados

Where to Stay: Sandals Royal Barbados

Found on the eastern side of the Caribbean, Barbados is a beautiful destination known for its turquoise waters, soft-sand beaches, delicious seafood, and vibrant Bajan culture.

With 80 beaches to choose from, including some of the top beaches in the region, you will be sure to find one perfect for you. Located below the hurricane belt, this tiny island has warm temperatures and more pleasant weather year-round.

All this makes Barbados a Caribbean destination you need to visit in 2023. 

One of the most special things you can do in Barbados is to swim with sea turtles and shipwrecks. A popular turtle nesting spot, an opportunity to see turtles in sure to be a highlight of your trip. Hop on a catamaran and enjoy a day on and in the water.

Away from the beach, enjoy exploring caves, such as Harrison’s Cave or Animal Flower Cave, dining on delicious seafood at Oistins Fish Market or Cuz’s Fish Stand, walking through the capital of Bridgetown, or enjoy the birthplace of rum at one of Barbados’s four distilleries. 

Plan to stay on the west or south coasts of the island, where the waters are calmer, and there is more food and attractions at your fingertips. You will find beautiful affordable luxury and luxury accommodations right on the beach for an unforgettable vacation.

Girl walking into ocean with sailing boats in the background in Barbados, Caribbean
Picture credit: Melissa – My beautiful Passport

4. Bermuda

Where to Stay: Hamilton Princess & Beach Club,

Bermuda is a beautiful island destination located in the Atlantic Ocean, about 640 miles east of North Carolina. The island is known for its pink sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and charming colonial architecture. Even though this is a luxury destination, it’s still possible to visit Bermuda on a budget if you follow a few tips.

One of the reasons Bermuda is such a popular tourist destination is because of its stunning natural beauty. The island is home to numerous beaches, including Horseshoe Bay Beach, which is widely regarded as one of the best beaches in the world. The crystal clear waters and pink sandy beaches make for the perfect place to relax and soak up the sun.

There are also plenty of things to do in Bermuda beyond just lounging on the beach. The island is home to several golf courses, including the world-famous Port Royal Golf Course. Bermuda is also a great destination for scuba diving, with numerous shipwrecks and coral reefs to explore. For those who prefer to stay above water, there are plenty of boat tours available, including sunset cruises and snorkeling excursions.

If you’re looking for a place to stay in Bermuda, there are numerous hotels and resorts to choose from. The Fairmont Southampton is a popular choice, with its luxurious amenities and beautiful ocean views. Another great option is the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, which is located in the heart of the city and offers a variety of dining and entertainment options.

Overall, Bermuda is a beautiful destination with plenty to offer tourists. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, play a round of golf, or explore the underwater world, there’s something for everyone in this charming island paradise.

5. Bonaire

Where to Stay: Ocean Breeze Boutique Hotel

Bonaire is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful and best Caribbean islands. The small island is, together with Aruba and Curacao, part of the ABC-islands.

It is an especially famous place among snorkelers, divers and other water-sports fanatics. The marine life there is simply superb, and the island has one of the most beautiful snorkeling spots in the world.

Because the island is so small, it can be easily explored with a rental car in just a couple of days. However, there are many great things to do in Bonaire. There are many fabulous beaches to discover. Make sure to visit the Donkey Sanctuary, the former slave houses and the capital city of Kralendijk.

Kralendijk is famous for its beautiful, colorful houses. Beach lovers will absolutely adore the Pink beach in Bonaire and the small, uninhabited island of Klein Bonaire. A boat tour can take you to Klein Bonaire for an amazing day!

If you are looking for a great place to stay, check out the Ocean Breeze Boutique Hotel in Bonaire. This is definitely one of my favorite Caribbean destination you need to see in 2023.

Not sure if Bonaire is the right place for you? Check out Aruba vs Curacao vs Bonaire!

6. Cartagena, Colombia

Where to Stay: Townhouse Boutique Hotel

Cartagena, Colombia absolutely should be on your list Caribbean destinations to visit in 2023!

Besides nearby beautiful beaches and the year round warm weather you would expect in the Caribbean, the city is also absolutely charming with lovely colonial architecture, a vibrant culture, great food and restaurants, and a fun nightlife. What more could you ask for?

Can’t miss things to do include strolling the beautiful streets of the Walled City and the colorful neighborhood of Getsemaní just outside the wall, not to mention taking a walk along the wall itself. You can even catch sunset at the famous Café del Mar atop the wall itself with a beautiful view out over the Caribbean. It’s one of the best bars in Cartagena.

Learn more about the city’s history by visiting the Castillo San Felipe Fortress, the largest colonial era fort built by the Spanish on the South American mainland. There is also the Palacio de la Inquisición, a museum devoted to the city’s history and the Spanish Inquisition, the excellent Naval Museum, and a gold museum.

You will definitely want to escape to the nearby Rosario Islands for a beach day (or three!). There are beaches in town but they pale in comparison to the gorgeous crystal clear waters in the islands. If you have the time, consider staying at one of the eco-lodges or resorts in the Rosario Islands in the islands like IslaBela or Isla del Encanto, or you could also do one of the many great Rosario Islands day trips from Cartagena.

For where to stay, it’s hard to beat staying in the Walled City itself, within easy walking distance of lots to do. For a luxurious experience, consider the Sofitel Legend Santa Clara, set in a colonial era convent. Younger travelers will love the Townhouse Boutique Hotel, which has one of the best rooftop bars in the city. Those on more of a budget could check out the Hotel Don Pedro de Heredia.

Of course you also need to check out Santa Marta, when in Colombia.

7. Cuba

Where to Stay: Napper by Rottenberg

Cuba is one of the top Caribbean destinations in 2023. Full of beautiful places and absolutely fascinating people – it is a truly unique island that makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. From its famous rum to the colourful Colonial buildings and old American style 1950’s classic cars to its interesting history, this is a country that will captivate your soul.

Wander around the cobbled streets of Old Havana – the heart of the historic capital city. Visit the Catedral de La Habana, the Capitol Building and stroll along the malecon. And of course you’ll need to visit the salsa clubs in Havana where you can see famous timba bands playing live! Cuban men and women love their music and dance and sure know how to have a good time! Make sure to take a tour around Havana to get the most of the experience.

Another beautiful city in Cuba is Trinidad – one of the Caribbean’s best preserved Colonial towns. Trinidad’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, full of beautiful Neo-Baroque buildings and quaint cobblestone streets. 

Cuba is also famous for its hundreds of white sandy beaches with crystal clear water – as you might expect for a Caribbean island! Some of the best beaches include Playa Los Flamencos on Cayo Coco and Playa Ancón.

Of course don’t plan a trip to Cuba without visiting the Sierra Maestra mountain range in the Southeast: home to many hidden caves and waterfalls, as well as Pico Turquino – Cuba’s highest peak that you can climb!

Whilst there are lots of hotels in Cuba it is highly recommended to stay in a Casa Particular. Casa Particulars are Cuban home-stays and are plentiful across Cuba. As you are staying in a locals house it really gives you a unique insight into local life and is the best way to really immerse yourself in Cuba’s fascinating culture.

Nice building in Cuba with many colorful oldtimers in front of it
Picture: Catrina from 24hourslayover

8. Curacao

Where to stay: Sandals Curacao

Personally, Curacao is my favorite spot in the Caribbean and one of the best destinations to visit in 2023. White sandy beaches nestled in between impressive cliffs, turquoise waters and a stunning marine life are only a few of the things that make Curacao so special.

The place is extremely rich in culture, and combines elements of Spanish, Dutch and South American influences. The people as well as the cuisine is extremely diverse and amazing to try out. The beautiful capital city of Willemstad is simply charming.

This is definitely one of the most interesting Caribbean destinations for me – especially the little island of Klein Curacao that is only a short boat trip away.

The beaches in Curacao are among the finest in the world, especially Klein Beach and Cas Abao Beach are world-famous and definitely worth a visit. While Curacao is quite expensive, there are many free things to do on the island as well, my favorite thing is the Shete Boka National Park with its crushing waves.

If you are looking for a luxurious place to stay, check out Sandals Curacao or the Lions Dive Beach resort.

9. Exuma

Where to Stay: Exuma Palms Resort

Unlike bustling Nassau on Paradise Island, the Exumas are a secluded paradise making it one of the best islands to visit in the Bahamas. The Bahamas is known for its’ vibrant turquoise water and beautiful beaches, but there is so much more to do around Exuma that you’ll never be bored.

Book an all-day island hopping tour with Four C’s Adventures, where you will swim with sharks at Compass Cay Marina, snorkel inside the grotto where a James Bond movie was filmed, see the infamous swimming pigs, and walk on a stunning sand bar in the middle of the ocean.

If you rather explore on your own, rent a boat on Great Exuma and ride to a few of the many Exuma Cays such as Big Major Cay and Staniel Cay, or take the water taxi from George Town to Stocking Island and spend a day eating fresh conch at Chat n’ Chill Beach Bar & Grill.

Another great way to explore the Exumas is by taking an ATV tour with Exuma ATV Tours. This small group guided tour takes you around the West side of Great Exuma showing off stunning beaches, while sharing the history of the island.

The meeting point for the ATV tour is near one of the best places to stay on Great Exuma, Paradise Bay Bahamas. This beachfront hotel has private cottages sprinkled across the property, a delicious restaurant on site, and the friendliest staff in all the Caribbean.

Beautiful white sandy beach and blue water in Exuma Bahamas
Credit: Tess Arnold from Traveling Tessie

10. Grenada

Where to Stay: Radisson Grenada Beach Resort

Known as The Spice Island for its abundance of flavorful nutmeg, Grenada is naturally beautiful, with a charming culture and lots to do. As a former British colony, Grenada’s official language is English. Pair that with an international community at St. George’s University School of Medicine, Grenada is welcoming and safe to visit.

Visit the colorful city of St. George’s, with colonial forts and The Chocolate Museum. The air-conditioned museum offers chocolate making exhibits, samples, and ice cream! Another must in Grenada are the beautiful waterfalls, notably lush Concord and Annandale Falls. Don’t miss a tour and tastings at the historic River Antoine rum distillery.

Snorkelers and divers love the Underwater Sculpture park, which attracts as many fish as tourists. The first of its kind, built in 2006, it has over 65 sculptures in 5-8 meters of water. The soft sand and beautiful Caribbean colors will make you want to linger, enjoying the popular Grenadian activity of liming, also known as chilling out.

Start liming with a rum punch on the beach and enjoy Grenada. Grenada’s most beautiful beach is the white sand beach of Grand Anse, also a great area to stay. With many choices ranging from hotels to b&bs, Grand Anse is also convenient to many of the best restaurants in Grenada.

Speaking of food, selections range from roadside spots selling spicy Trinidadian doubles and rotis to international fare at Options and The Container Park popular with med school clientele, to high-end seafood and sushi in luxe hotels and resort dining rooms.

Visit Grenada for Spicemas in August when they throw one of the world’s best carnivals. A week-long event featuring music, costumes, parades and lots of parties, it’s an inclusive event for all ages. But really, Grenada is fun and beautiful all the time. 

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11. Honduras

Where to Stay: Paradise Beach Hotel

Roatan, Honduras is one of the most beautiful Islands in the Caribbean. Resting on an exposed ancient coral reef along the second largest barrier reef in the world, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the island also provides some of the most spectacular snorkeling and diving in the world. Roatan is a quick 3-hour flight from Houston or Miami. With direct flights offered from Houston, Miami, and New York City. 

For great diving excursions try West Bay Divers, Quality Time Divers, or Kotos Adventure Diving Center. The latter of which also offers group and private snorkeling excursions. The island also offers plenty of other activities, like catamaran excursions, horseback riding, chocolate tasting at the Roatan Chocolate Factory, wildlife encounters, and shopping.  

If you’re looking for a luxury hotel experience try staying at the Grand Roatan Caribbean Resort. On top of being the most luxe hotel on the island, it also has excellent access to coral reefs for an incredible snorkeling experience. For a more mid-range hotel try the Paradise Beach Hotel in West Bay or Pineapple Villas Roatan in French Harbor. Both of which offer beach access, great snorkeling, and on-site restaurants pools, and bars. 

On top of its stunning natural beauty Roatan, Honduras is also less crowded with tourists than other Caribbean islands, giving you a more peaceful and relaxing vacation. 

beautiful white sandy beach and blue ocean with a couple of people in there swimming in Honduras.
Picture by Jenn Lloyd from Sickgirltravels

12. Martinique

Where to Stay: Hotel Bakoua

The Caribbean is home to several French Islands, including Martinique. Martinique is one of the most beautiful islands to visit, due to its incredible landscapes and beaches. The island offers long beaches made of white thin sand, in front of a mountainous and lush backdrop.

On the beach, visitors can find coconut trees, that make them look even more idyllic. Of course, the water in Martinique is turquoise and transparent, making the island a gem for snorkel enthusiasts. The best things to do in Martinique, obviously includes going to the beach for the day. Martinique life is relaxed and very much in line with the “farniente-mindset”.

The best beaches on the island include Anse Noire and Anse Dufour. Tours can also be booked to the “Baignoire de Joséphine” which is located in the middle of the sea and offers warm shallows waters. One last thing to do in Martinique is learning a few words in Creole.

Creole differs from French and is spoken mainly in the Caribbean islands. Learning how to say hello in French Creole before visiting Martinique is a great way to show locals you’re interested in their culture. The best places to stay in Martinique include Fort-de-France and around the Diamant area.

Martinique beach in front of rainforest, blue water, white sandy beach and a couple of fisher boats in the ocean.
Picture credit: Mary from Be right back by Mary

13. Nassau, Bahamas

Where to Stay: Grand Hyatt Baha Mar

Nassau, Bahamas is considered a beautiful destination to visit in the Caribbean Islands for several reasons. It is located on the island of New Providence, which boasts pristine white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and an abundance of colorful marine life.

The city itself is rich in history and culture, with a vibrant mix of old and new architecture, as well as a lively nightlife scene. In addition to its natural beauty and cultural attractions, making it one of the more exciting cities to explore in the Caribbean. I personally love visiting Nassau because there are so many great local things to see and do, and the history is so fascinating.

If you love the beach scenery and prefer more of that lifestyle, I recommend staying on Paradise Island. If you’d like to blend in with the locals, stay at the British Colonial Nassau Hilton right in town where you’ll be within walking distance to markets, shops, and beaches along with several good fish fry markets in the evening.

14. Playa del Carmen

Where to Stay: The Royal Hacienda

One of the best things to do in the Yucatan Peninsula is visit to Playa del Carmen. White sand beaches and coral reefs are some of the region’s most notable features. Also, a massive sculpture that stands proud over 15 m by the Caribbean coast, attracts many tourists to take memorable pictures in Playa del Carmen.
Playa del Carmen is a popular Instagram spot with beautiful street art, great restaurants, and a well-known 5th Avenue. The long sandy beach with luxurious hotels such as Hotel Casa Melissa or Playacar Palace offers great holiday relaxation in Mexico.

Playa del Carmen is also close to Cozumel, which gives you an amazing opportunity to snorkel in the second-largest coral reef in the world. It only takes a 45 minutes ferry ride to get to the island. There you can spot starfishes and manta rays.

Many cenotes surround Playa del Carmen, such as Rio Secreto or Cenote Chaak Tun. So, you will never run out of ideas on what to do during your holiday. Moreover, its less than a 1-hour drive from Tulum, and its convenient location allows for exploring many archaeological sites during a day trip from Playa del Carmen.

Therefore, this beautiful destination that offers something for everyone and is one of the top Caribbean vacation destinations that you should visit in 2023. 

Monument in Playa Del Carmen
Credit: Paulina from the UK Every Day

15. Providencia Island

Where to Stay: Decameron Isleno

Providencia Island is a small tropical island that belongs to Colombia, although it’s near Nicaragua. Contrary to the neighboring island of San Andrés, the population in Providencia opposed the construction of a bigger airport and big hotels, making the island harder to reach but more authentic, less touristic and calmer.

There are plenty of things to see and do in Providencia, being the highlights the “Mar de 7 colores” (7 colors sea, called that because of the different shades of blue and turquoise of the Caribbean waters surrounding the island), Cayo Cangrejo (a small islet where you can snorkel and enjoy the views), Isla Santa Catalina (a small island connected to Providencia through a bridge), hike to the Peak (where you can get amazing views of the whole island) or just enjoying any of the paradise beaches (like Manzanillo or Southwest Bay)

Getting to Providencia takes some time, as you will need first to get to San Andrés (there are cheap flights with Viva Air from the main cities in Colombia, like Medellin, Cartagena or Bogotá). From San Andrés there is a boat connecting with Providencia (4 hours, can be hard depending on the sea conditions) or a plane connection by Satena (30-45 min, the best option)

The amount of accommodation options in Providencia is a bit limited, especially since the IOTA hurricane destroyed almost all the infrastructure in the island in 2020. The island has re-opened to tourism since June 2022, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

Providencia island is definitely one of the most special and exclusive Caribbean vacation destinations you should check out in 2023.

Girl walking on a tropical beach in front of palm trees towards rain forest in Providencia island
Picture Credit: Randomtrip

16. Puerto Rico

Where to stay: Hotel El Convento

When planning a trip to the Caribbean, Puerto Rico is an excellent option! San Juan is a great place to start your trip while in Puerto Rico. San Juan has ocean views, charming streets, and so much history! 

By far, one of the best things to do in Old San Juan is to just walk around the vibrant, colorful streets. The streets are full of pastel Caribbean homes with Spanish influence. Old San Juan is a walk-able location, so you don’t have to worry about figuring out transport, but if needed, their Uber presence is really good! 

If you’re seeking stunning views, then Plazuels La Rogativa is a small plaza that stands as a beautiful viewpoint of the ocean and the El Yunque Rainforest. Condado Beach and Escambron Beach also have panoramic views and are the most popular beaches in San Juan. 

Other wonderful places to check out in Puerto Rico include Ponce and Rincon. Travel around the coast by renting a car and explore a plethora of stunning beaches! 

If you base yourself in Old San Juan (one of the most charming areas), Hotel El Convento is a great option and is known for outstanding decor. Plus, it is conveniently located 15 minutes from the airport and is within walking distance of everything in Old San Juan!

Rocky shores in front of blue ocean in Puerto Rico
Credit: Sam Oppenheimer

17. Puerto Viejo

Where to Stay: Eco Boutique Hotel Vistas

One of the ultimate Caribbean vacation destinations for 2023 is the small fishing village of Puerto Viejo on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. It’s one of the best places to visit in Costa Rica for palm-fringed beaches and a boho-casual vibe. It’s a great place for surfing and learning to surf, lazy beach days and wildlife adventures. 

The village is known for its laid-back party vibe attracting backpackers making their way up through Panama. But it also attracts families, couples and solo travellers alike for its lush jungle backdrop and rare wildlife, indigenous tribe experiences and chocolate plantation tours. 

Puerto Viejo is on the cusp of a protected nature reserve. It can be visited on guided tours; hiking, adventure and wildlife are all at your fingertips. There is a fantastic wildlife rescue centre – the Jaguar Rescue Centre – in the area. It offers guided tours as well, (although don’t expect to see any Jaguars there). 

One of the best ways to explore the surrounding villages and go beach hopping is by renting bicycles, it’s very safe and everyone is doing it! It’s a fun and quirky, sun-kissed kind of place with lots of energy and Caribbean flair that you won’t want to miss!

Puerto Viejo Beach with lush green Rainforest and clear blue sky in the background
Credit: Abigail Dalton from I’m going on an adventure

18. San Blas

Where to Stay: Cabanas Naranjo Chico

One of the best Caribbean destinations you need to visit in 2023 are the San Blas Islands of Panama. These islands are part of the best kept secret, featuring breathtaking beaches without the crowds! They’re near the equator, which means idyllic weather all year long.

The San Blas Islands have 365 islands in the region. Most of them are being uninhabited and the ones that are inhabited aren’t crowded. Most people visit the San Blas Islands from Panama City. The islands are located in the self-governing Kuna regions. There are a number of tour operators that can help you get from the city to the remote islands.

Visiting San Blás Islands will leave you in awe. The natural beauty of the islands is truly breathtaking.  There is great snorkeling on every island. So, you can get up close to hundreds of types of fish, turtles, lobsters and starfish! Your accommodation usually has day trips to other islands for a small fee (between $2-$5). Explore ship wrecks, coral reefs, or enjoy a bar on the beach. There’s truly an island for everyone. At the end of the day, be sure to enjoy a beautiful sunset on the water.

The Cabanas Naranjo Chico have over-the-sea bungalows at an affordable price, They offer delicious fresh food, and an opportunity to learn about the Kuna people and their traditions.

blue water in front of palm trees and beach in San Blas Islands Caribbean vacation destination
Credit: Pamela  
The Directionally Challenged Traveler

19. St Thomas

Where to Stay: Pirates Pension at Bluebeards

St. Thomas is one of the most popular places to visit while on a Caribbean cruise or if you’re just visiting the Caribbean!  The island is small, you can get across from the west to the east in less than an hour. However, there are plenty of amazing places to stop and explore along the way.  

St. Thomas is beautiful with its incredible beaches, particularly Magen’s Bay, which is located at the north-central part of the island. Magen’s Bay is the most popular beach in St. Thomas and it’s easy to see why!  Surrounded by peninsulas and views to die for, the beach has calm waters. It is great for people of all ages. 

It’s fun to drive around the area near Magen’s Bay and there are several spots along the way to stop and take pictures of the perfect landscape. For more beaches worth visiting in St. Thomas, Lindquist Beach and Secret Harbor Beach are both located on the east side of the island.  

St. Thomas is also known for shopping, golfing, and exploring nature trails.  Other things to do here include Coral World Ocean Park. This is an aquarium attraction on the eastern end, and Skyride to Paradise Point.  This Skyride is more centrally located and takes you up 700 feet for the most breathtaking views of the area!

A recommended place to stay in St. Thomas is Pirates Pension at Bluebeards, located in the island’s south-central part.  This is definitely a Caribbean vacation destination you need to check out in 2023.

St. Thomas, Caribbean from above
Credit: Wayne from Always On The Shore 

20. Turks and Caicos

Where to Stay:

Turks and Caicos is a dream destination
 in the Caribbean, with some of the bluest water and powder-like sandy beaches in the world. If I had to describe the perfect Caribbean escape, this would surely be it.

With first-class scuba diving and snorkelling, the Turks and Caicos islands also attract visitors who want to explore the pristine reefs and see the abundant tropical fish life beneath their waters. Expect fabulous encounters with lionfish, turtles and stingrays during your time below the waves.

The Turks and Caicos islands also have some beautiful places to stay, including the world-famous Beaches resort in Grace Bay. It is great for all the family. Check out the exclusive Rock House, offering the discerning traveler beachfront luxury at a price.

Activities on the islands are mainly water-based, and boat trips can take you between islands and out further in the ocean to snorkel. A trip to see the Rock Iguanas on Little Water Cay Nature Reserve, also known as ‘Iguana Island’, is a fun half-day activity. Other beach activities include jetski rides and parasailing. For shoppers, Saltmills Plaza in Grace Bay has a range of high-level designer stores alongside local artisan shops where you can pick up a handmade piece to bring home as a souvenir.

Back in the resort, enjoy first-class service and delicious food. Try the local Conch sea snail, which is served in all kinds of dishes. Finish your evening with a cocktail while watching one of the famous Turks and Caicos sunsets go down over the Caribbean sea. This is a Caribbean vacation at its best and a place you need to visit in 2023!

Boat on shore in front of beautiful blue water in Turks and Caicos Caribbean
Picture Credit: Angela Price from Where Angie Wanders

21 US Virgin Islands

Where to Stay: The Ritz Carlton, St. Thomas

If you’re looking for a Caribbean destination that’s easy, close, and doesn’t require a passport, then the U.S. Virgin Islands should absolutely make your list of Caribbean vacation destinations to visit in 2023.  Direct flights to St. Thomas are available from many U.S. locations. The island makes a great home-base for exploring the other Virgin Islands by water or land.

Magens Bay Beach in St. Thomas is not only one of the best beaches in the Caribbean – some say it’s one of the best beaches anywhere. The beach opens to the Atlantic in a perfect horseshoe shape, a mile long stretch of soft white sand.  With mountainous terrain along its sides, this beach truly is paradise.

Magens Bay Beach is a fantastic place to spend the day but there are no hotels right on the beach. For a beachfront hotel, stay at Secret Harbour Beach Resort. It sits in a private cove on a calm beach that’s perfect for snorkeling—especially with kids. In fact, calm beaches like Magen’s Bay and Secret Harbour make St. Thomas one of the best Caribbean islands to visit with kids.

From Secret Harbour, you’re only a 10-minute drive to the ferry in Red Hook, where you can take a day trip to St. John to see some other amazing beaches. Or spend the day at Lovango Beach Club, a private island escape in between St. Thomas and St. John.

Finally, be sure to get off the beach and take in the views! St. Thomas has a mountainous interior. From the top, you can look out over Magen’s Bay, and see all the way to the British Virgin Islands.  That’s a view worth traveling for in 2023 and a Caribbean destination to check out. 

Conclusion: Top Caribbean Islands in 2023

As you have seen, there is so much choice when thinking about the best Caribbean Islands to visit in 2023.

My favorites among this list are of course the Dutch Caribbean, with Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. But there is so much more to discover in the Caribbean! From the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico and the Seven Mile Beach on the Cayman Islands – the Caribbean has something for everyone.

Many of these paradise islands are home to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, so history buffs will feel at home as much as beach lovers.

Maybe even combine more of these lovely places with a Caribbean Cruise?

Planning on going to the Caribbean in winter? Check out the best Caribbean Islands to visit in December.

FAQ: Best Islands To Visit in The Caribbean in 2023

What is the #1 Caribbean Island?

Aruba is the #1 Caribbean Island in my opinion. The tropical paradise is beautiful, has a nicely developed infrastructure and the locals are extremely friendly. The nature in Aruba is simply stunning and the flamingos on the beach make the island extra worth visiting. Also, it is located outside the hurricane belt, so the weather is good year round.

What is the prettiest place in the Caribbean?

The Exumas, an archipelago in the Bahamas, holds the title for the prettiest place in the Caribbean. With its crystal-clear turquoise waters, pristine white-sand beaches, and picturesque cays, the Exumas are a tropical paradise. The vibrant marine life, including swimming pigs at Pig Beach and stunning underwater caves like Thunderball Grotto, add to the area’s allure, making it a dream destination for nature lovers and beach enthusiasts.

What is the Best Caribbean Island in 2023

Aruba is the best Caribbean Island in 2023 and totally worth visiting. Of course, Exuma, Bahamas, Martinique and the USVI are also close contenders. Other amazing Caribbean Destinations in 2023 are Curacao, Bonaire and Punta Cana.

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About the Author

Sabrina is a passionate travel blogger and content creator, based in the Netherlands. She spends about half of the year traveling to various destinations together with her husband.

She provides slow-paced itineraries that focus on quality over quantity. Sabrina wants to help her readers to get more out of their travel experiences – while doing less. Read more.