When it comes to cruising through the Caribbean islands, the best approach is “more is more”. That means, more days, more islands and way more fun experiences. If you are going to plan a vacation halfway across the globe, then you should do everything to make the most of it. But for this, you need to draw up the best possible combination of islands to travel to. Luckily, the Caribbean islands are located so close to each other that you can see one island from the shoreline of the other which makes island hopping that much easier. But not close enough to swim across the water. However, if you are a noob then let this article be your guide to the best locations to make your Caribbean Island Hopping experience memorable.
Antigua – Haven for Beach Lovers
If you would like to narrow down the main reasons why people love to visit the island of Antigua then the list would no doubt include the white sandy beaches, the 18th-century Nelson Dockyard and Dockyard Museum, the panoramic viewpoint of Shirley’s Heights and of course the exquisite culinary delicacies.
Being one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean nation, Antigua features a large number of beaches, each stunning and enticing with its own unique charms. The coral reefs lining these beaches add more to their charm with shifting hues from white to rose gold to cotton-candy pink. You can also have your pick between lively beaches with an active and over-the-top party scene with outdoor bars and music or choose a beach where you can just relax while sunbathing like Half Moon Bay or a west coast beach which is perfect for a family outing and picnic.
The Pitons, St Lucia – Hiker’s Paradise
The island of Piton, or the most photographed attraction of St Lucia, features the iconic twin peaks, Gros Piton and Petit Piton, which are visible from even the capital Castries, towering half a mile above sea level. Hikers from faraway places are often drawn to this island for the sheer thrill and experience of the climb.
Between the two peaks, hikers are advised to scale Gros Piton which is larger in size and will take a few hours to reach the top. If you start at the strike of dawn, by the time you get to the peak, the midday sun will greet you with open arms. The smaller one, Petit Piton, is restricted from climbing as it has a vertical slab and can be dangerous. The best month to visit the hiker’s paradise are the first three months of the year as the lands are drier. Wake up to the incredible view of the rainforest, explore its flora and fauna and reconnect with nature.
Inagua, The Bahamas – Best Place for Birdwatchers
Inagua is the southernmost island of The Bahamas and is often referred to as the Birdwatchers’ Paradise. This island is divided into two parts, Grand Inagua and Little Inagua. In Grand Inagua, the flamingo population exceeds that of people by a few thousand. Little Inagua became a national park in 2002 as it was the largest uninhabited Caribbean island and the nesting ground of endangered sea turtles.
These two remotely located islands are perfect destinations for ecotourism and are the least crowded throughout the year as it mostly appeals to Birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts. Tourists who visit here are greeted by flamingos, pelicans, parrots and 140 other species of birds, both native and migratory. The best time to visit Little Inagua is August and September if you want to witness the hatching of adorable baby sea turtles.
Barbados – Foodies’ Caribbean Station
Apart from being known as the hometown of the famous Musician Rihanna, Barbados is the one-stop-station for all the foodies who want to try some exquisite Caribbean delicacies made with an authentic blend of spices and techniques to enhance the scrumptious flavours of fresh ingredients.
Enjoy the special treats of Barbados, the culinary capital of the Caribbean region and birthplace of rum, while kicking back and sipping on a pint of rum punch. The island is quite famous among tourists for its mouth-watering dishes like Cou Cou and flying fish fry, Mahi Mahi, fish cakes, pepperpots, and many more from the Oistins Fish Fry, Pat’s Place and Meaty Marlin. When you come to visit Barbados, your tummy will always stay full, either with food or rum. So If you can’t catch a ride to the island of Barbados, then your Caribbean island hopping would be wasted.
Turks and Caicos – The Couples’ Destination
The island of Turks and Caicos has previously won the title of the most romantic Caribbean destination in the World Travel Awards. From the natural appeal of the clear blue waters of the ocean and the surrounding wilderness to all the intimate activities couples can enjoy, is it even a wonder why lovebirds flock to this island for a romantic getaway?
Turks and Caicos have a reputation for offering a plethora of activities for couples to enjoy. For couples who love exhilarating outdoor activities, they have kitesurfing at Long Bay Beach, guided scuba diving at West Caicos National Marine Park, or couples can explore the underwater world at the coral garden. And if you want to spend some peaceful quality time with your partner, try horse riding, private dinner at the beach or a luxurious couples massage at the spa. Turks and Caicos have something for all types of couples in love.
Planning your Island hopping sequence can be stressful if you are unaware of some important facts which can help you in the process. For starters, the best time to plan your trip to the Caribbean is at the beginning of summer or during spring. The weather is calmer and features a brighter and sunnier environment. So, make sure to pack a good amount of sunscreen, mosquito repellant and a bottle of water to always stay hydrated. The months to avoid would be August to October, as those are the peak hurricane season.
Another thing to keep in mind is that if you are including an island with a very small population in your itinerary, then keep a portable radio with you as you may need help finding mobile coverage in some areas. However, the signal is great in all the major Caribbean islands.
If you also want to try your luck at Caribbean Island hopping at the best price, then visit NCL Tours to book your next trip.