Which Caribbean Island is For You?

The Caribbean is one of those parts of the world we’ve all dreamed of going to, and if you’ve been lucky enough to visit already, then no doubt you’ve fallen in love. Warm-hearted people, subtropical temperatures and breath-taking landscapes are just a few reasons why the Caribbean islands make for an unforgettable holiday.

Whether you’ve been back to the same resort several times and are looking for a new island to discover next, or are waiting for the chance to book a holiday and need some advice on where to go, let us help you out.

With brand new Caribbean holidays launched on Travel Republic – including Tobago, Jamaica and St Lucia – now is the perfect time get planning that escape to paradise!

It’s worth considering car hire for your trip if you want to move around freely, especially when travelling as a family. Why not book in advance with us – it can save you time and money.

Jamaica

For such a small island, Jamaica packs a punch. The spirit of the island is truly infectious – from the love of good food and rum, to the rhythm and enduring strength that is embedded into Jamaica’s soul. With so much to see and experience, you have the freedom to enjoy your holiday the way you want to. For those that have a sense of adventure, Jamaica offers some of the most exciting outdoor experiences – from waterfalls and lagoons to rainforests and mountain terrain. And when it comes to beaches, there are plenty of sweeping stretches of white sand and rocky bays.

To get off the beaten track in Jamaica and see how locals live and work, explore the parish of Hanover where lush green rolling hills and vegetation make for some of the best photo opportunities. Or venture to the rural parish of Portland, bordering the Blue Mountains (home of the famous Blue Mountain coffee).

Jamaica’s geography is diverse and each parish offers a different experience. Kingston, the islands capital, is home to the colonial mansion Devon House and Bob Marley Museum. Up in Negril you’ll find multiple luxury resorts with private access along the Seven Mile Beach, and the famous Rick’s Café where you can cliff jump into the ocean. In Montego Bay – one of the main tourist resorts – you’ll find the lively Hip Strip with shops, bars and nightclubs, Doctor’s Cave Beach, Montego Bay Marine Park and downtown Mo’ Bay.

Along the sweeping stretch of Runaway Bay, you’ll find beach shacks and fishermen trading. It’s wonderfully peaceful here and is a great place to explore quieter beaches and plush resorts. In Ocho Rios – or Ochi – there’s a large cruise ship port lined with hotels and a bustling town. Dunn’s River Falls, Konoko Falls and Dolphin Cove are some key attractions in Ochi.

Need a place to stay? We recommend Iberostar Rose Hall Suites and Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay

Barbados

Another tiny island in the Caribbean, Barbados has become a popular holiday destination. Here you can experience a mixture of lively Bajan culture and still find time to relax along the coast. The island is characterised by sugarcane fields, road side rum shacks and palm filled beaches. With a rich colonial history, the island has notable British associations too – from their love of cricket to afternoon tea.

Just like Jamaica, rum is a significant part of Bajan culture and is present all over the island, while Bajan food boasts the finest seafood and sweet delicacies. Once a year usually between June and August, the island celebrates Crop Over which marks the end of sugar cane season. The large scale carnival sees visitors flock to the island with special events and competitions throughout.

Barbados Crop Over Festival

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bridgetown (the capital) is the main hub of excitement in Barbados. Here you’ll find a busy harbour, restaurants and nightlife. St James parish in the west coast is home to many famous faces and is nicknamed the Platinum Coast for its golf courses, shopping and beaches. Here you’ll find Holetown – the first English settlement of Barbados – that hosts an annual festival.  In Speightstown – the second largest town – historic buildings and secluded beaches are its major draws. And in the bustling fishing town of Oistins, tourists enjoy the annual fish festival and local nightlife.

Barbados offers some great attractions, from the six acre Andromeda Botanical Gardens to the underworld treasure of Harrison’s Cave. And if water sports are your thing, Carlisle Bay is the perfect location for snorkelling and scuba diving.

Need a place to stay? We recommend Sandals Barbados and Sugar Bay Barbados

Grenada

Located northwest of Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada boasts picture-perfect beaches and clear waters. The island is dotted with rainforests, waterfalls and wildlife making it the ideal place to explore nature and the outdoors. Explore the horse-shoe shaped bay of Morne Rouge Beach, or the wild beauty of Magazine Beach.

Known as the Spice Isle, the aroma of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and citrus fruits is prevalent throughout the island and its cuisine. Try nutmeg ice cream for a refreshing treat, or the sweet and spicy one pot dish Oil Down which is the national dish.

When it comes to arts, culture and history, Grenada delivers in abundance. Explore Fort George that surrounds the island, the 17th century cocoa plantation Belmont Estate or the River Antoine Rum Distillery. The island hosts Carnival, festivals and street parties throughout the year, which is the perfect time to island hop to Carriacou or Petite Martinique.

Need a place to stay? We recommend Radisson Grenada Beach Resort and Grooms Beach Villas And Resort

Antigua

A former British colony in the West Indies, Antigua is a taste of paradise in the Caribbean. With deep turquoise waters, lush green vegetation and yacht filled bays; it’s easy to spend hours admiring this small island. And there’s no shortage of resorts and boutique hotels to choose from either.

The tropical climate is ideal year-round, so no matter when you choose to visit, you won’t miss out of what the island has to offer. From zip lines to safaris, thrill seekers will love Antigua’s outdoor adventures for all ages.

As well as boat trips to nearby and largely undeveloped Barbuda, there are great opportunities for snorkelling, scuba diving and sailing in Grenada with over 300 beaches to choose from! Don’t miss the English Harbour, one of Grenada’s best known locations.

Enjoy Antigua’s local markets and fresh seafood to get a feel for island life, while the many wine bars, clubs and restaurants of the capital St John’s come alive at night. For a taste of history, head to Nelson’s Dockyard or the area of Falmouth.

Need a place to stay? We recommend St James Club and Villas and Starfish Jolly Beach Resort

Tobago

It may be the tiny sister island of Trinidad, but this unique island boasts everything from dense rainforests to nature reserves to volcanic beaches. Sitting just off the coast of Venezuela, Tobago offers a slice of paradise if you want to enjoy a quieter side of Caribbean life.

Some of the islands best beaches include Pigeon Point, Englishmans Bay, Store Bay and Canoe Bay, where you can venture further out on the Caribbean Sea on a glass bottomed boat trip. Back on land, explore the island’s historic sites such as Fort King George and soak up the local flavours of crab and dumpling, macaroni pie and rum.

For nature lovers, Tobago really is a haven for spotting both wildlife and marine life. In Little Tobago, you can see over 50 species of tropical birds, while in Buccoo Reef, you’ll spot turtles and manta rays (if you’re lucky enough!).

Need a place to stay? We recommend Turtle Beach By Rex Resorts and Hilton Trinidad And Conference Centre

St Lucia

St Lucia’s coastline offers some of the most idyllic beaches, marinas and bays in the Caribbean, while inland the waterfalls and rainforests offer vivid green vegetation. The island is unspoilt, and it’s easy to appreciate the natural beauty of the land and sea. Whether you explore the upmarket Rodney Bay in the north, or the more traditional Soufriere in the south, you’ll be won over by the charm of the island.

One for thrill seekers and outdoor enthusiasts, St Lucia offers hikes through the majestic Piton Mountains, natural sulphur springs, Segway trails and zip lines through the jungle. It really is like something from a movie. So whether you choose to see the island by transport or on foot, you won’t miss a thing.

St Lucia is also home to the Rabot Estate – the oldest cocoa plantation on the island. But if you don’t have a sweet tooth, St Lucia’s Food and Rum Festival is the perfect place to sample local dishes and the finest rum each year.

Among the island’s cultural festivals is carnival which usually takes place between June and August. Colourful costumes, calypso music and street food fill the streets for a celebration like no other.

Need a place to stay? We recommend Capella Marigot Bay Resort And Marina Saint Lucia and Royal By Rex Resort

Bahamas

Much like Barbados, the colonial history of the Bahamas means that there is a distinct British feel to the islands. Out of the 700 Bahamian islands in the Atlantic Ocean, 30 are inhabited, with each one offering a different slice of the Bahamian lifestyle.

If a holiday off the grid is what you’re dreaming of, there’s no better place than the Bahamas. Largely white sand beaches and grand holiday resorts, it’s not hard to kick back and relax here. From fine dining restaurants to wellness facilities, everything you need for a restful break is here. But there’s a lot more to the Bahamas.

Plunge into swimming pools and down high-speed water slides at Aquaventure, or swim with pigs on the uninhibited Big Major Cay Island. Go on a guided bike tour or explore Ben’s Cave in Lucayan National Park. And if you still have time, watersports, snorkelling and sightseeing can be ticked off your list too.

The Bahamas is home to Fort Charlotte, Fort Montagu, Marsh Harbour, Royal Victoria Gardens, The Queen’s Staircase and many other historical attractions and sights of interest.

Need a place to stay? We recommend Sandals Royal Bahamian and Comfort Suites Paradise Island Bahama Hotel

Dominican Republic

With one of the most diverse landscapes in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic crams sweeping palm lined beaches, mountains, lagoons, waterfalls and colonial towns under its belt.

The resorts of Punta Cana (Coconut Coast) and La Romana are the most popular with holidaymakers, home to Bavaro and Bayahibe. Full of history and Hispanic culture, you’ll find sleepy fishing villages and bustling towns so you can enjoy the best of both worlds.

When it comes to exploring what the Dominican Republic has to offer beyond the sun soaked coastline, there’s local architecture, churches, zip lines and dune buggies. Plus the street food and tempting desserts such as Dulce De Coco are a must.

If golf is your thing, you’ll be spoilt for choice as the Dominican Republic offers vast golf courses on many of its resorts. Nightlife here is vibrant, from large scale clubs and beach parties, to live music and street musicians. There’s never a dull moment in this tropical paradise.

Need a place to stay? We recommend Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa and Hard Rock Hotel And Casino Punta Cana