There's nothing quite like acting on those daydreams. When you're sitting at a desk, staring off into the distance, picturing yourself on a beach with a drink in your hand, don't you wish you could snap your fingers and make the image a reality?
Of course you do! While that's not entirely possible, it's never the wrong time to plan an unforgettable vacation to the Caribbean. There are plenty of reasons to head to this wonderfully tropic region of the world. We narrowed it down to these seven.
1. The All-Inclusive Resorts
If only the itinerary for all unforgettable vacations could be completed with a single purchase, what a world that would be. All-inclusive resorts aren’t unique to tropical climates, but it’s hard to argue that tropical climates aren't the ideal locations for them. Savor sumptuous seafood. Sip cocktails at the poolside bar or on the beach. Access a litany of activities without spending hours researching and deciding what to do.
In the Caribbean, you’ll find a variety of top-of-the-line all-inclusives for all travel types.
Splurge for a luxury stay at Royalton CHIC Punta Cana Resort & Spa in the Dominican Republic, where you’ll experience complete relaxation. Bring the whole family, grandma and grandpa included, to Grand Velas Riviera Maya for fun in the sun (and pool). Or send that bride- or groom-to-be off right with a party to remember at Breathless Montego Bay Resort & Spa in Jamaica.
Wherever you end, let your imagination run wild. After all, a reservation at an all-inclusive resort is a guilt-free pass to indulgence.
2. The Beaches
Some travelers want to take advantage of everything all-inclusive resorts have to offer. Others just want to find a quiet spot on the beach and relax. This is what you imagine in daydreams, isn’t it? Sitting under a palm tree, beverage in your hand, staring through sunglasses at a cloudless blue sky, or crystal-blue waters.
The Caribbean is home to some of the best beaches in the world. Despite what they might look like, no two are exactly the same. Darkwood Beach in Antiguapresents long stretches of white sand with forest-covered hills as a backdrop. The seven-mile beach on Grand Cayman may not actually be seven miles long, but it does offer visitors the perfect setting for leisurely strolls. If you’re seeking some nightlife to mix with your relaxation, Shoal Bay in Anguilla is home to a series of restaurants and bars within walking distance of the beach.
Then there’s Englishman’s Bay in Tobago, surrounded by towering palm trees and tucked into the edge of a tropical rainforest. It’s free of crowds, an ideal getaway for unplugging and experiencing Zen.
3. The Culture
Although you could spend all day on the beach and not regret a thing, you’d be missing out on so much more! The Caribbean is home to some of the world’s most vibrant cultures. Jamaica is synonymous with live music that plays all day and deep into the evening. The streets of San Juan, Puerto Rico, dance to a soundtrack with genre influences ranging from salsa and merengue to bomba y plena and reggaeton. El Callejón De La Tanca in Old San Juan hosts mini-concerts seemingly every day, in the form of mid-afternoon jamming sessions.
If history is more your speed, then you’ll love traversing the Mayan ruins of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico or exploring the history of pirates in the region by hiking to the top of Fort Barrington in Antigua.
4. The Cuisine
What other region can offer freshly caught seafood mixed with tropical fruit? When you factor in the mix of influences—French, Spanish, English, Dutch, African, and native islanders—it’s not hard to see why the Caribbean has become an increasingly popular destination for foodies.
You’ll be sure to eat well here, whether you’re sampling fried land crab in the Cayman Islands, the famed coconut patties of Curaçao (or stewed iguana, if you’re feeling brave), jerk chicken and plantains in Jamaica, or barbecued seafood in St. Lucia.
And of course, wash it all down with rum—lots and lots of rum.
5. The Price
Traveling to the Caribbean on a budget is a breeze. Many of the biggest airports in America fly direct to a number of destinations. And if you plan to travel in the offseason—typically May to November when tropical storms and hurricanes threaten the region—you’ll save significantly on flights and resort stays.
Keep an eye on the weather forecast, and don’t be afraid to book that long weekend. Even during the most popular tourist period of the calendar, you’ll score deals that will have all your friends jealous, particularly in the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico—where a trip to paradise is always available, for almost anybudget.
6. The Adventures on Land & in the Sea
Are you someone that prefers to get your kicks on land? Then you’ll love the jungle explorations, long hikes, fort tours, and journeys through narrow, cobblestone streets the Caribbean offers. You may even find yourself taking a turn or two at-bat in the baseball-mad Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Cuba.
If you’re more the aquatic type, you'll consider the Caribbean absolute heaven. Test your marine-life knowledge as your snorkel through coral reefs. Explore shipwrecks as part of a scuba-diving excursion. Mix in paddleboarding or wind-surfing to dial up the adventure.
Or see if you can snare that trophy fish on a deep-sea fishing boat.
7. The Ease of Travel
Perhaps the biggest reason to travel to the Caribbean—beyond the adventures, all-inclusive resorts, stunning views, lively culture, and mouthwatering cuisine—is that it’s easy to get to! With direct flights from a number of major American airports, you’ll be in paradise in no time.
Feeling spontaneous but don’t know if your passport is up-to-date? No worries! You can unwind in Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands without one.
Want to travel to the Caribbean but can’t choose which island is right for you? Consider a cruise! You’ll get all the amenities of an all-inclusive resort while experiencing the good life on the high sea.
Getting to the Caribbean might be easy. Choosing the right destination for you could be as well. Planning the perfect trip, however, takes the guidance of an expert.
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