If you’ve been daydreaming of a tropical escape, we’ve got the ticket! We’ve partnered with travel writer and tropical island expert Angie Orth from Angie Away to learn which Caribbean islands are making a splash in 2017.
Aruba, Jamaica, oooh, I wanna take ya…. It’s hard not to heed the siren song of the Caribbean at this time of year. I know I get super antsy during the winter for balmy breezes and swaying palm trees — and I live in Florida! I can imagine how my Northern neighbors must feel. Frozen! Let’s thaw out together, shall we? Pack a swimsuit, some sunscreen and a hat – we’re going island hopping!
Bon bini! Bonaire is world famous for its hundreds of dive sites, so if you’re a diver, this little island is probably already on your bucket list. But there’s so much more to do! Try cave snorkeling in the dark, rent a Twizy car for a twirl around the island or go on a photo safari in search of famous flamingos. After a long day of adventures, kick back with a bright green cocktail made with Cadushy, Bonaire’s local cactus liqueur.
Where to stay in Bonaire: Divi Flamingo Beach Resort
Now is the time to take advantage of eased travel restrictions in Cuba. Havana is a fascinating step back in time, and you really can’t take a bad picture with so much character on every corner. Take a ride in a convertible classic car, drink a mojito made with Santiago de Cuba rum and make new friends. Cubans love to share about their fascinating history and culture, so don’t hesitate to ask!
With the tagline, “One Happy Island,” you’ll have a smile on your face the moment your toes dip into the warm Caribbean Sea. Try a paddleboard yoga class to melt away the memory of blizzards and icicles, or just pull up a chair, an umbrella drink and a good book. You’ll feel 10,000 miles from shoveling snow out of the driveway. The only time you’ll be unhappy in Aruba? At the airport on the way home!
Where to stay in Aruba: Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive
Surfing, hiking, beaches, rainforests, vibrant cuisine – Puerto Rico has a little bit of everything. U.S. residents don’t need a passport to visit this territory, so it’s the easiest Caribbean destination to visit if you don’t have a passport yet. Bring your hiking shoes and explore El Yunque, the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Park system. If you’re near Fajardo, check out El Conquistador Resort and its 100-acre private retreat, Palomino Island. An excellent spot for snorkeling, sunbathing and boating.
Where to stay in Puerto Rico: El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
The Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is one of the Caribbean’s largest countries, which means more to see, more to do and more to eat! The diverse and complex island is a mix of protected wilderness, white sand beaches, mountainous interior, waterfalls and 500-year-old colonial cities. When in the D.R., be sure to taste Mamajuana, a concoction of rum, red wine and honey soaked with tree bark and local herbs and then head to the distillery in San Pedro de Macoris to sip Barceló rum.
Where to stay in the Dominican Republic: Casa de Campo Resort & Villas
Saint Christopher Island, also known as St. Kitts, is one of the Caribbean’s sweetest treats. Formerly a sugar producing powerhouse, now the island is home to the Last Railway in the West Indies, an 18-mile journey that takes riders back in time. You can see so much of the island in just a few hours – all the while sipping on tropical drinks and taking in the sea breeze. Volcano hikes, scuba diving, helicopter rides and Vervet monkey encounters round out some of St. Kitts most epic adventures. You in?
Where to stay in St. Kitts: Belle Mont Farm
Where to go next? Let me know in the comments which island you’d most like to visit!
Travelocity compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site; such compensation may include travel and other costs.