There are more than 20 island nations in the Caribbean that tempt honeymoon couples and other romantics with natural beauty including extensive beaches, unlimited sun, tropical breezes, and exquisite sunsets. With a wealth of romantic and all-inclusive hotels, fascinating cultures, and adventures on land and sea, they offer a respite from the everyday.
These Caribbean islands are considered the best for a honeymoon. Each country, and every couple, is different. To help you decide what's right for you, discover what distinguishes these most popular Caribbean islands from each other.
One of the prettiest and least touristy islands in the Caribbean, St. Lucia is known for its majestic Grand Piton mountains. Whether you hike them, swim in their shadow, photograph them, or simply admire them from your hotel room, Gros and Petit Piton give the island a magical, otherworldly look.
Fewer than 200 miles from Miami's coastline, the Bahamas is an easy-to-reach destination that travelers can access by plane, cruise ship, even marine taxi. Several of the country's 700 islands can be considered a best Caribbean island for a honeymoon. The larger islands, Nassau and Freeport, have the main shopping areas but the beaches and activities at the excellent resorts are an even bigger draw.
Atlantis' big attractions include a huge waterpark, dolphin habitat, and the largest casino in the Caribbean. Cove Atlantis is a hotel within Atlantis that features an adults-only pool and a more sophisticated setting.
For those who appreciate all-inclusive pricing, Sandals Emerald Bay on the Out Island of Exuma is a 500-acre beachfront property. The Sandals Royal Bahamian is also right on the ocean.
Mountainous Jamaica, ringed by beaches, serenaded by the rhythms of reggae, and perfumed with the aroma of ganja, is home to more all-inclusive resorts than anywhere else in the Caribbean. When honeymoon couples and other romantic duos aren't indulging in all they can eat, drink, and frolic, they visit Dunn's River Falls and the Dolphin Cove, explore the Blue Mountains, or take to the water for river rafting and calm-sea snorkeling.
Jamaica is where Sandals got its start, and today the adults-only brand features a half-dozen resorts from Montego Bay and Negril to the country's south coast, offering a "Stay at One, Play at Six" program.
This is one of the best Caribbean islands for a honeymoon since the action at night is as lively as the activities available during the day. You can spend your entire vacation in San Juan, soaking up the sun on its beaches, exploring the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan (a charming UNESCO World Heritage Site), and staying up late in clubs and casinos. Or leave the city to explore the island's natural wonders, which include El Yunque Rainforest, the Bioluminescent Bay, and Rio Camuy Underground Cave Park.
The big hotels, El San Juan, Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza, and La Concha, have it all and have long catered to couples. High on a cliff, El Conquistador on Puerto Rico’s northeastern coast looks out over the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and has its own private island.
Note: In 2017, Hurricane Maria devastated much of Puerto Rico. Some resorts were spared much damage and are up and running. Others need more time to be ready for guests. It is important to check the status of resorts before booking. The number one way you can support the island and its recovery is to go to visit, as many who live there rely on tourism to support their families.
Although technically not part of the Caribbean, this small territory 600 miles off the coast of North Carolina is often included with the region. With its gorgeous pink sands, warm turquoise waters, pretty flower-lined lanes, extensive golf greens, vacation vibe, and distinct British accent, it's been one of the best and most popular islands for honeymoon couples and other romantics for generations.
Couples who appreciate a full-service resort (and don't mind vacationing amidst families with kids) will enjoy the Fairmont Southampton Hotel, which sprawls across 100 acres on Bermuda’s highest point.
At the water's edge, Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa accommodates guests in pink cottages and boasts four private beaches. Children under 16 are only permitted to visit at certain times and those under 5 are verboten.
The Loren at Pink Beach has private pink-sand beaches, too, and seaside villas.
Despite the presence of casinos, these islands are not for gamblers—at least not for twosomes willing to gamble on the weather. Aruba and Curacao lie in the southern Caribbean and outside of the "hurricane zone" to the north, which can trouble travelers between June and November. Only a rare hurricane affects these islands.
Where to Stay in Aruba
Aruba's a particularly family-friendly destination, so romantic couples who'd rather not be surrounded by little darlings need to adopt evasive maneuvers. Bucuti Beach is Aruba's one beach resort for adults only, and the cuisine is especially good. In the capital, Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino has two separate accommodations: the adults-only, cityside Marina Hotel and beachside family-friendly Ocean Suites. There's also a shared private island, where adults can find some privacy.
Where to Stay in Curacao
The decision to make regarding Curacao is whether you want to be closer to the beach or, the action. Renaissance Curacao in Willemstad has a bevy of shops, restaurants, and even a movie theater attached to it. On the edge of the city, the historic Avila Hotel has two private beaches and adults-only suites. The Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, as well as Lodge Kura Hulanda and Beach Club, are both romantic and remote.
Afternoon tea, cricket, dress whites, and fish that practically jump out of the water and onto your plate make this traditional haven for British vacationers a favorite with North Americans as well. Post-Colonial with a calypso beat, sunny Barbados features a multitude of beach hotels along its sandy shores. Barbados is below the hurricane belt.
The Iconic Crane Beach Hotel stands high on a cliff but the real draw is its vast pink sands below, named one of the world's most beautiful beaches.
Consisting of three beach-rimmed islands, St. Thomas (where the stores are), St. Croix (the biggest island), and St. John (the nature isle), the United States Virgin Islands is a U.S. territory, so citizens of the U.S. are not required to show a passport.
What makes Charlotte Amalie, the capital of St. Thomas, fun for shopping are the multitude of stores selling watches, precious gem jewelry, cameras, crystal, china, and electronics and more at discount prices. There's a $1,600 duty-free allowance per person (twice that of other Caribbean islands) and no sales tax.
Couples have plenty of options on the three islands. These are all worth considering. On St. Thomas: Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort is a full-service resort and a good place to use Marriott guest rewards you may have accumulated. On St. Croix: Buccaneer Resort is consistently named a top tropical resort. On St. John: Caneel Bay Resort is a laid-back but luxe resort in a gorgeous natural setting.
The best way to experience the British Virgin Islands on a honeymoon is by chartering a boat to sail the Caribbean. Countless inlets and private coves will make you yearn to jump ship and swim in the turquoise waters. Since boats are not for couples who eschew unremitting sun, endless water views, confined spaces, or obviously, sailing, there are high-end resorts where affluent landlubbers will be happiest.
Along a half-mile, crescent-shaped beach, Rosewood Little Dix Bay has perfected the art of pampering for half a century.
On the largest, privately-owned island in the BVI, Peter Island Resort is deluxe yet unpretentious. Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina is the BVI's newest property with its own Honeymoon Island, "population: you two."
One of the less affluent countries in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic (which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti) has increased its income by turning its talcum-white sands into a haven for beach lovers on a budget. Huge all-inclusives, particularly in Punta Cana, aim to offer something for everyone, save privacy and serenity.
Honeymoon couples can get the biggest bang for their buck at large all-inclusive resorts that welcome families with active kids. A worthy alternative, Iberostar Grand Bavaro gets rave reviews for its posh, sexy atmosphere.
A vacation world unto itself, Casa de Campo sprawls across nearly 7,000 acres and has a vast range of vacation facilities in addition to a medieval-style arts village and a 5,000-seat entertainment amphitheater.
Note: According to National Geographic Traveler: Dominican Republic, 2nd Edition, "Laws meant to protect women against violence or sexual harassment are rarely enforced. Homophobia among men is pronounced."