Known for idyllic beaches and sparkling turquoise seas, the Caribbean is a popular destination for sun-seekers in search of a tropical escape. Although the world-class stretches of sand are one of the main attractions, the Caribbean offers so much more including rich culture, exciting outdoor adventures, vibrant underwater worlds, and delicious cuisine.
Trek to gorgeous waterfalls, snorkel amongst colorful schools of exotic fish, indulge in authentic Caribbean fare, take in a memorable sunset, and view expansive island vistas from the top of stunning natural wonders.
From ultimate relaxation on the beach to thrilling sun-fueled ventures, uncover the top things to do in the Caribbean and start planning your next trip.
Hike El Yunque Rainforest
Explore Puerto Rico’s nature with an outdoor adventure at El Yunque National Forest. Discover the diverse ecosystem within the park, which is located only forty minutes from the city of San Juan.
Make your way around vibrant flora and fauna that line hiking trails weaving through a verdant rainforest. Encounter interesting wildlife like the coqui frog and Puerto Rican parrot. Take a refreshing dip in a natural pool at the end of the popular Angelito trail, one of the best hiking trails in Puerto Rico. Marvel at giant ferns and beautiful waterfalls along the way.
Don’t forget to make a stop at the Yokahu Observation Tower, where you’ll feast your eyes on the park’s famed vistas full of rainforest canopies and azure seas for miles.
Visit the Brimstone Hill Fortress
Step back in time with a trip to a well-preserved fortress on the island of St. Kitts. The Brimstone Hill Fortress is a well-known UNESCO World Heritage site that delivers both alluring history and unbeatable views.
Situated on the northeastern edge of the island, the fortress has an incredible panorama from its hilltop position that lies 800 feet above the sea. Wander the historical grounds of this national park, constructed in the 18th and 19th centuries for the British military.
Learn about the significant role it played throughout its existence while taking in views that can stretch to as far as six nearby islands.
Surf at Bathsheba Beach
The ruggedly beautiful eastern shore of Barbados is home to one of the top surfing beaches in the Caribbean. A leisurely stroll is a great way to take photos of the unique rock formations that line an expansive and pristine white sand beach.
Enjoy the unspoiled landscape while watching skilled surfers tackle the wild waves. Combine your visit to this popular surf spot with a stop in the nearby fishing village of St. Joseph, where you can sample authentic Caribbean fare and browse local rum shops.
Take in the View at Pigeon Island National Park
On the northwest region of Pigeon Island National Park in St. Lucia, you’ll find a picturesque nature reserve near Rodney Bay. Two beaches, historic ruins, and an incredible viewpoint make this one of the most popular destinations on this Caribbean island.
Walk the trail to Fort Rodney, where historic ruins and a breathtaking island panorama await. Along the route, informational signs detailing the storied history of the fort provide cultural and historical insight into the significance of the structure, built in the late 1700s by Admiral George Rodney.
On a clear day, your vista will stretch all the way across Rodney Bay and as far as the island of Martinique.
Snorkel at Sapphire Beach
On the idyllic island of St. Thomas, witness the rich marine life that lies in the clear waters of Sapphire Beach. Embark on a snorkeling adventure straight from the soft white sands of this east coast beach, where snorkel gear is readily available to equip your underwater exploration.
At the end of the beach, you’ll find one of the most popular snorkeling spots on the island, Pretty Klip Point, which is home to a diverse population of tropical fish and graceful sea turtles. Glide through calm, clear waters while admiring colorful coral and schools of lively fish. Afterward, enjoy local fare from the resident bar and grill while relaxing in the shade provided by ample palm trees.
Explore the Chacchoben Ruins
Embark on a cultural and historic venture as you explore Mexico’s Chacchoben Ruins. Roughly translated as “the place of red corn,” the Chacchoben Ruins are located just outside of Costa Maya and are said to date all the way back to 200 B.C.
Wander around this ancient city framed by mahogany trees and cohune palms. Marvel at the construction of the impressive Temple 1 and Temple of the Vessels. And explore giant pyramid structures, temples, and large courtyards that once hosted Mayan ceremonies.
Trek to Dunn’s River Falls
Outside of Ocho Rios, discover one of the most well-known natural attractions in Jamaica, the Dunn’s River Falls. An outdoor enthusiast’s waterfall haven, Dunn’s River Falls is a terraced cascade in the middle of a tropical paradise.
Hike to the falls, where you can choose your own adventure by embarking on the path that follows the edge of the cascade or go on a more challenging climb up the travertine waterfall “steps.” A dip in one of the natural pools will be a welcome refresh off after all your efforts. Visiting here is one of the best things to do near Ocho Rios.
Read: Best Beaches in Jamaica
View Island Wildlife at Habitation Latouche
Encounter exotic wildlife within the grounds of the oldest house in Martinique, located on an old sugar plantation. In this idyllic setting, you’ll enjoy a zoological park that houses interesting species such as tropical birds, pumas, anteaters, monkeys, and jaguars.
Wander boardwalk pathways within the botanical garden area of the estate to view the animals, as well as unique flora and fauna. In addition to the zoo experience, other highlights include the historical main house, workshop, paddle wheel, aqueduct, and the scenic Anse Latouche River.
Swim With Stingrays
Experience one of the top things to do in the Caribbean by visiting Stingray City in Grand Cayman. Interact with stingrays in shallow water and touch, hold, and feed the sea creatures as they swim around you.
Safely swim along with the barb-clipped stingrays while enjoying the warm ocean waters and learning about these gentle undersea animals in the Caribbean. This is one of the ultimate Caribbean wildlife experiences that is sure to create long-lasting memories.
Get Misted by the Dark View Waterfall
Uncover a dual waterfall treasure on the island of St. Vincent in the Grenadines. Embark on an enjoyable fifteen-minute hike and land in a tropical paradise, complete with thundering falls.
Trek through a bamboo grove, crossing over the Richmond River via a bridge for an exciting outdoor experience. After encountering the first of the scenic waterfalls, another short hike is required to reach the second cascade.
At the base of the falls, natural pools provide the perfect place to cool off in the water. Feel like you’ve been transported into another world as the waterfall flows over soaring cliffs surrounded by lush flora and fauna within a jungle setting.
Lounge on Te Amo Beach
Discover one of the most idyllic (and most romantic) stretches of sand in the Caribbean with a visit to Te Amo Beach in Bonaire. Lounge on powdery white sand and allow yourself to relax as you gaze upon crystal clear seas in the warmth of the sun.
Watch as planes take off from the nearby airport, and take a tranquil stroll. Wade into some of the clearest water in the Caribbean to go snorkeling, where you’ll see exotic fish species such as snapper, parrotfish, and blanket fish while swimming above the shallow reef just offshore.
Read: Best Beaches in Bonaire
Explore Natural Bridge Ruins
Nestled on Aruba’s rustic northern shore, you’ll find a unique and gorgeous geological formation perched 25 feet above the rugged sea. The Arikok National Park’s natural bridges previously served as the top of an ancient cave.
Composed of coral limestone, these formations were crafted from the effects of erosion throughout the years. Although the original, larger natural bridge collapsed in 2005, the baby bridge still exists.
Walk the trail to take in the stunning views, watch the powerful waves, and enjoy taking photos of this incredible natural site in Aruba.
Bask in the Sun on Grand Case Beach
Relax on the uncrowded shores of Grand Case Beach, one of the best things to do in St. Maarten. Enjoy a leisurely swim in the pristine azure waters in between lounging and strolling in paradise.
The long, sandy beach is ideal for seashell and sea glass spotting, and on a clear day, you’ll have a stunning view of the neighboring island of Anguilla. Beach bars and restaurants provide delicious local fare and thirst-quenching drinks.
This is a fantastic seaside destination on the island of St. Maarten for sunset watching, as well.
Read: Shopping in St. Maarten
Climb Gros Piton
Experience one of the top things to do in the Caribbean with a trek to the top of Gros Piton in St. Lucia. Starting near the village of Soufriere, challenge yourself with a climb up the mountain on the well-marked 3.2-mile trail.
Encounter rainforest flora and fauna during your hike and an impressive vista from the halfway point. Catch your breath and then embark on the second half of your adventure.
Your efforts will be greatly rewarded with panoramic views of the neighboring sister mountain, Petit Piton, the Maria Islands, Saint Vincent, and quaint fishing villages of the area that will dazzle you from 2,619 feet above sea level.
Venture Through the Baths of Virgin Gorda
Uncover a unique natural attraction in the British Virgin Islands with a stop at the Baths at Virgin Gorda, which are easily accessed by the nearby island of Tortola. Explore the national park’s beach playground by weaving through massive granite boulders surrounded by soft white sand and sparkling turquoise seas.
Inside, hidden coves, natural pools, mysterious caves, and a maze-like path all await under the Caribbean sun. Don’t forget to enjoy the idyllic views of Devil’s Bay as you wade through shallow waters.
Eat Famous Jerk Chicken
Jerk chicken and pork are staples in the cuisine that Jamaica is known for, and once you taste this brilliant spice mixture, you’ll understand why this style of cooking has made its way around the world.
Head to the village of Falmouth on Jamaica’s northern coast to sample some of the best jerk chicken and pork on the island. Enjoy the perfect blend of spicy and sweet while indulging in this iconic Caribbean culture and culinary experience. Make sure to order a quintessential Red Stripe beer for a well-rounded pairing.
Catch a Thrill on a River Tubing Adventure
Float through some of the most incredible scenery in Dominica with a river-tubing journey down the Layou River. Discover why Dominica is one of the best Caribbean islands for adventure while making your way down the gorge.
In some sections, light rapids offer excitement, while other portions of your journey present a more peaceful glide. Spot exotic birds, such as Sun Pipers and King Fishers, as well as frogs amongst the lush flora and fauna as you navigate through this tropical paradise in Dominica.
If you’re ready for a tropical escape, get ready to uncover all the amazing things to do in the Caribbean on a luxury cruise. From exciting hiking opportunities and beautiful beaches to stunning waterfalls and cuisine that delights, the islands of the Caribbean have something for every type of traveler to discover. Browse Caribbean cruise itineraries on our website and book your next tropical escape today.