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At first sight, the Caribbean is all sea, sun and sand. But it’s the variety of people, music, activities and food that will make you want to return again and again.

The Caribbean islands offer an amazing choice of beach vacations, high-end shopping and fascinating cultures. Stop in major ports on a luxury cruise or charter a sailboat to hop from one to another of thousands of islands. Sunbathe on vast sandy shores. Scuba and snorkel in clear waters filled with colorful fish.

Beautiful beaches are common across the region, while art, architecture, cuisine and customs vary from island to island. Appreciate the pleasing mix of cultures of the indigenous island people and descendants of European settlers.

Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao off the coast of Venezuela display Dutch influence. Have rijstaffel, a Dutch colonial meal of rice accompanied by 20 to 30 side dishes. Aruba has an unusually dry terrain, with miles of sandy beaches on the northwestern shores. Look for divi divi trees blown to the side in the region’s strong winds. Bonaire’s marine park and donkey sanctuary feature a range of wildlife. On Curacao, swim with dolphins and participate in extreme sports.

See the colorful buildings in old San Juan and the castles across the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. St. Thomas of the U.S. Virgin Islands is a popular tour boat stop for buying diamonds and lazing on beaches. Nearby St. John is dominated by the Virgin Islands National Park, on land and in the underwater reefs. Learn about the 2,000 years of human occupants, including native Caribs, in the Salt River Bay National Historical Park on St. Croix.

For many people, Cuba has for decades been a land of mystery under Communist rule. While U.S. residents are not allowed to visit strictly for tourism, licensed visits can be arranged for various purposes. While here, see the cathedrals, squares and museums of Old Havana and visit exceptional beaches.

View the tropical plants in Hunte’s Gardens on Barbados. Dive and sample rum at a distillery on the Cayman Islands. Observe waterfalls and wildlife in the Dominican Republic. On the western side of the island, explore the Citadelle of Haiti. Golf, ride a bobsled and listen to steel drum music on Jamaica. Learn about Christopher Columbus and the native Arawaks while visiting the more than 700 islands of the Bahamas.

Most important of all, enjoy beach after beach after beach in the Caribbean region.

Popular cities in Caribbean

Castillo de San Cristobal
San Juan
Known for Beach, Excursion and Sea

Reasons to visit
  • San Juan National Historic Site
  • Paseo de la Princesa
  • San Juan Gate
Columbus Lighthouse featuring a monument and a lighthouse
Santo Domingo
Known for Historical Building, Entertainment and Dancing


Reasons to visit
  • Malecon
  • Calle Las Damas
  • Fort Ozama
Known for Dancing, UNESCO Site and Jazz


Reasons to visit
  • Malecón
  • Hotel Nacional de Cuba
  • University of Havana
Montego Bay showing a river or creek and water sports as well as a small group of people
Montego Bay
Known for Beach, Entertainment and Excursion


Reasons to visit
  • Dunn's River Falls
  • Rose Hall Great House
  • Doctor's Cave Beach
Nassau which includes a house and tropical scenes
Known for Beach, Island and Excursion


Reasons to visit
  • Cable Beach
  • Cabbage Beach
  • Aquaventure
Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park featuring a lake or waterhole
Punta Cana
Known for Beach, Entertainment and Relaxing


Reasons to visit
  • Punta Cana Beach
  • Arena Gorda Beach
  • Macao Beach