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The Caribbean islands are beloved for their adventurous activities, clear waters, and stunning natural sites.

Though each island has its own unique appeal, some have advantages over the others.

We’ve ranked the best islands in the Caribbean, based on the costs of hotel bookings, their accessibility, and the range of activities they offer.

To rank the islands, we factored in each one’s average hotel-room costs using data from Hotels.com, the flight time from New York City, the number of attractions listed on TripAdvisor, and the amount of coastline offered per square kilometer.

To read our full methodology, click here.

Melia Robinson and Talia Avakian contributed reporting on a previous version of this article.

25. Anguilla

Distance from NYC: 5 hours and 7 minutes

Average hotel room cost: $468 per night 

In Anguilla, you’ll find miles of white sand and pristine waters — hence its high beach-density score of 0.67. With romantic beaches like Rendezvous Bay, this is a destination where you can swim and sunbathe year-round. Its list of activities ranges from swimming with dolphins to sailing on glass-bottom boats.

24. Dominica

Distance from NYC: 5 hours and 55 minutes

Average hotel room cost: $161 per night 

Visitors to Dominica can do everything from relaxing in hot sulfur springs to swimming in the water off black-sand beaches. The island’s volcanic terrain has created unique sites like the Champagne Reef, where geothermal bubbles make you feel like you’re swimming in a giant bottle of champagne. Plus, there are nearly 40 incredible diving sites to choose from, despite its relatively low beach-density score of 0.2.

23. St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Distance from NYC: 6 hours

Average hotel room cost: $139 per night 

Located in the heart of the Caribbean Sea, the island chain of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is made up of 32 islands and cays. The relatively deserted islands offer travelers a combination of rainforest adventures, water sports, luxury accommodations, and miles of powder-white sand beaches. Of the 104 activities available to travelers, 60 of them are either stunning natural sites or parks. The island chain has a low beach-density score of 0.22. 

22. St. Lucia

Distance from NYC: 4 hours and 50 minutes

Average hotel room cost: $343 per night 

In St. Lucia, you can experience modern sites and luxury resorts, or delve into old plantations and hidden beaches. Its sulfur springs are ideal for DIY spa treatments, while intimate beaches like Anse Mamin give you the chance to experience your own private paradise. The island has 168 different activities and a moderate beach-density score of 0.26.

21. British Virgin Islands

Distance from NYC: 5 hours and 45 minutes 

Average hotel room cost: $246 per night 

The British Virgin Islands offer 124 different activities to travelers, with about 60 different islands to choose from. Check out the ruins and rum distilleries in Tortola, venture into underwater coves in Virgin Gorda, or enjoy a drink at a swim-up bar in Jost Van Dyke. You’ll also find some of the world’s best sailing spots in the British Virgin Islands, which have a high beach-density score of 0.53. 

20. Turks and Caicos

Distance from NYC: 3 hours and 30 minutes

Average hotel room cost: $488 per night 

Turks and Caicos has world-class hotels and stretches of uncrowded beaches. Providenciales is a popular travel destination for upscale vacationers, thanks to places like Grace Bay, which was dubbed the best beach in the world by TripAdvisor users in 2016. Turks and Caicos is home to 139 outdoor activities alone, and it boasts a moderate beach-density score of 0.41. 

19. Saint Barthélemy

Distance from NYC:  5 hours and 10 minutes

Average hotel room cost: $493 per night 

Saint-Barthélemy (also known as St. Barts or St. Barths) has a variety of designer boutiques, fine-dining restaurants, and breathtaking scenery, like stunning mountains, green hills, and glistening bays. Most of its beaches remain crowd-free, making them the perfect place to unwind after exploring all of the 35 activities on the island. The island also has an incredibly high beach-density score of 1.52. 

18. Trinidad and Tobago

Distance from NYC: 4 hours and 55 minutes

Average hotel room cost: $181 per night 

The two islands that make up Trinidad and Tobago offer travelers top-notch bird-watching, diving, and rainforest-hiking opportunities. Trinidad is home to lush hills and a bustling nightlife, while Tobago has palm-lined beaches and a serene setting. In total, the islands boast 182 different cultural, natural, and recreational activities for travelers, despite their low beach-density score of 0.07.

17. Antigua and Barbuda

Distance from NYC: 4 hours and 20 minutes

Average hotel room cost: $284 per night 

In Antigua, you’ll come across narrow roads and colorful villages filled with historic sites. Barbuda also has its charm, with reef-filled waters and a large bird population. There are 130 different activities to choose from and such a wide variety of beaches that you could visit a different one each day of the year and still not repeat yourself.

16. Aruba

Distance from NYC: 4 hours and 35 minutes

Average hotel room cost: $269 per night 

Despite a moderate beach-density score of 0.38, Aruba is one of the most popular Caribbean destinations, thanks to resorts that offer prime package deals and more than 150 different activities for visitors. The main town of Oranjestad is filled with pastel facades, landmarks, and shops, while the island’s outskirts are where you’ll find hidden beaches and beautiful vistas. 

15. Grenada

Distance from NYC: 4 hours and 45 minutes

Average hotel room cost: $199 per night

Once the world’s most treasured source of exotic spices, Grenada aptly has earned the nickname of Spice Island. Today, it’s home to lush and mountainous terrain where you can fish, sail, hike, or bike. It has a modest beach-density score of 0.35 and 114 different activities that include diving with sharks and turtles.

14. Barbados

Distance from NYC: 4 hours and 45 minutes

Average hotel room cost: $210 per night

Whether you’re in search of prime beach resorts, exhilarating nightlife, or breathtaking natural sites, you’ll find them in Barbados. Its capital, Bridgetown, is home to the Mount Gay Rum Distillery, which produces the world’s oldest brand of rum. On the west side, you’ll find calm waters ideal for swimming, while the east side boasts wild surf terrain. In total, there are 205 different activities for travelers, and it has a moderate beach-density score of 0.23. 

13. Haiti

Distance from NYC: 4 hours

Average hotel room cost: $130 per night 

In the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, Haiti has undergone recovery efforts that have brought travelers back to the history-rich island. There are plenty of historic and picturesque attractions to see here, including the Musée du Panthéon National Haïtien and the Marche de Fer flea market. It has a low beach density score of 0.06, indicating that it has relatively little beachfront compared to other Caribbean islands.

12. St. Kitts and Nevis

Distance from NYC: 4 hours and 10 minutes

Average hotel room cost: $244 per night 

The two-island nation of St. Kitts and Nevis abounds with palm-fringed beaches, soaring mountains, and lush jungle terrain. There are 117 different activities here, which range from natural sites to historic attractions like sugar plantations. St. Kitts hosts a more bustling atmosphere filled with nightlife venues and resorts, while Nevis offers a calmer atmosphere. The sister islands have a high beach-density score of 0.52. 

11. Guadeloupe

Distance from NYC: 4 hours and 20 minutes

Average hotel room cost: $166 per night

Guadeloupe is an archipelago of islands where travelers will find 189 different activities to pick from. Its two main islands include Grande-Terre, where beach towns offer white sands and a variety of water activities, and the mountainous Basse-Terre, where you can visit the breathtaking Guadeloupe National Park. It has a low beach-density score of 0.19.

10. US Virgin Islands

Distance from NYC: 3 hours and 55 minutes

Average hotel room cost: $259 per night

The main islands of the US Virgin Islands — St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas — are home to historic colonial buildings, prime sailing, bustling shopping and nightlife, and hidden coves to explore. Although they have a low beach-density score of 0.1, the islands have 291 different activities to choose from and ferries that make island-hopping easy.

9. Martinique

Distance from NYC: 4 hours and 25 minutes 

Average hotel room cost: $140 per night 

Martinique is home to a striking variety of landscapes. Its capital, Fort-de-France, boasts a more urban feel, while its northern region has rain forests, mountains, and miles of beaches. It’s a paradise for outdoor lovers, with around 179 outdoor activities to indulge in. It’s also home to 45 historic landmarks, including the birthplace of Napoleon’s empress Josephine. It has a moderate beach-density score of 0.31.

8. Cayman Islands

Distance from NYC:  4 hours and 5 minutes

Average hotel room cost: $293 per night 

There are 221 different activities to choose from on the three Cayman Islands. Grand Cayman is the largest and has a cosmopolitan feel to it, thanks to its array of gourmet restaurants, malls, and the beautiful Seven Mile Beach. Cayman Brac has some fantastic diving sights and plenty of serene trails. Little Cayman has uncrowded beaches and one of the world’s best wall dives at Bloody Bay Wall. The islands have a high beach-density score of 0.61.

7. Jamaica

Distance from NYC: 3 hours and 45 minutes

Average hotel room cost: $237 per night 

Despite a low beach-density score of 0.09, Jamaica is home to sandy beaches, bountiful banana groves, and 310 activities that range from hiking and bird-watching to snorkeling and shopping. Sample authentic Jamaican cuisine before heading to Rick’s Cafe in Negril, an iconic drinking institution known for its epic sunsets and cliffside views. 

6. Curacao

Distance from NYC: 4 hours and 45 minutes

Average hotel room cost: $158 per night 

A favorite destination for divers, Curacao is also home to beaches with calm waters and 141 activities to choose from. Of those 253 activities, 85 are water sports alone. If you’re not a water enthusiast, try exploring the Hato Caves, an elaborate network of stalactites and stalagmites, or hiking the trails of the Christoffelpark. Curacao has a high beach-density score of 0.82.

5. The Bahamas

Distance from NYC: 2 hours and 55 minutes

Average hotel room cost: $333 per night 

With around 700 islands and incredible beachside properties, the Bahamas is paradise waiting to be explored. Last year it was dubbed the No. 1 Caribbean destination for wealthy travelers, with around 370 activities. It has a moderate beach-density score of 0.26.

4. St. Martin/Sint Maarten

Distance from NYC: 4 hours

Average hotel room cost: $252 per night 

 St. Martin is split into two sides: the Dutch half of Sint Maarten, which is filled with bustling nightlife, shopping centers, and gleaming beaches; and the French half of St. Martin, which has a quieter ambience, with white-sand beaches and charming mountainside scenery. The island has a very high beach-density score of 1.09 and 123 different activities to enjoy.

3. Dominican Republic

Distance from NYC: 3 hours and 40 minutes

Average hotel room cost: $182 per night 

The Dominican Republic is home to some of the Caribbean’s most diverse landscapes of mountains, desert terrain, colonial buildings, and beaches. There are a whopping 510 activities to choose from here, despite its low beach-density score of 0.03. Indulge in prime seafood at its beachfront bars or witness four of the five highest peaks in the Caribbean that rise above Santiago.  

2. Puerto Rico

Distance from NYC: 3 hours and 35 minutes

Average hotel room cost: $180 per night 

Puerto Rico takes the No. 2 spot thanks to its affordable hotel rates and a staggering 559 activities travelers can enjoy. Despite its low beach-density score of 0.04, it’s home to tropical terrain that has helped it earn its “Island of Enchantment” name. 

1. Cuba

Distance from NYC: 3 hours and 35 minutes

Average hotel room cost: $124 per night

Cuba‘s unique architecture, ’50s-era Chevy taxicabs, and sandy beaches have been just out of reach for American tourists until recently. Years of US embargo have left the Caribbean island undeveloped compared to its more modern neighbors, so there aren’t too many fancy hotels on the island yet. There are, however, a number of local paradores and Airbnb rentals available for travelers.

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