There are more than 20 island nations in the Caribbean that tempt honeymoon couples and other romantics with natural beauty that includes 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. What's the best Caribbean island 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.
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One of the prettiest and less touristy islands in the Caribbean, St. Lucia is known for its majestic geographical feature, the 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 aura.
Where to Stay in St. Lucia
Hotels for couples in St. Lucia range from popular all-inclusives along the beach such as Sandals Regency La Toc Golf Resort & Spa and Sandals Grande St. Lucian to luxury hotels including romantic Anse Chastanet (pictured) and contemporary Jade Mountain, all adept in the art of pleasing couples.
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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 could be considered a best Caribbean island for a honeymoon. On the larger islands, Nassau and Freeport are the main shopping areas but the beaches and activities at its excellent resorts are an even bigger draw.
Where to Stay in the Bahamas
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. The classy One & Only Ocean Club (pictured) is the most elegant spot in the Bahamas. And for those who appreciate all-inclusive pricing, Sandals Emerald Bay on the Out Island of Exuma is a 500-acre beachfront property that began life as a Four Seasons resort. Sandals Royal Bahamanian is also right on the ocean.
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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 scarfing up 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.
Where to Stay in Jamaica
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. Couples Resorts, another well-established brand, offers discreet spots for nude sunning and swimming. On the high end, Half Moon Resort offers spacious accommodations and has so many swimming pools you may end up with one to yourselves.
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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.
Where to Stay in Puerto Rico
The big hotels — El San Juan, Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza, 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. Luxury lovers choose Hotel El Convento in Old San Juan or Horned Dorset Primavera, far from the bustle of the city.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Bermuda: Pink Sand Beaches & Golf Galore
Although technically not part of the Caribbean, this small territory 600 miles off the coast of North Carolina is often lumped in 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.
Where to Stay in Bermuda
Couples who appreciate a full-service resort (and don't mind vacationing amidst families with kids) have the Fairmont Southampton Hotel (pictured), 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. Historic (yet modernized) and romantic, Pink Beach Club & Cottages has private pink-sand beaches, too, and a traditional... Bermudian moongate to kiss under (it's good luck!).
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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. Dry as a desert, Aruba is adored for its wide, clean beaches. Curacao has a Dutch-accented personality. Its capital, Willemstad, is charming and colorful.
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
Th...e decision to make regarding Curacao is whether you want to be closer to the beach... or the action. Newish Renaissance Curacao in Willemstad has a bevy of shops, restaurants, and even a movie theater attached to it. On the edge of the city, historic Avila Hotel has two private beaches and adults-only suites. Opened in 2010 as a Hyatt Regency, the reflagged Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort as well as Lodge Kura Hulanda and Beach Club are both romantic and remote.
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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.
Where to Stay in Barbados
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. Fairmont Royal Pavilion may be the island's most romantic, particularly at candle-lit tables in its open-air restaurant overlooking the ocean. If money is no object, book yourselves a suite at Sandy Lane and savor the good life.
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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 to shop are the multitude of stores selling watches, precious gem jewelry, cameras, crystal, china and electronics and more at discount and the fact that there's a $1,600 duty-free allowance per person (twice that of other Caribbean islands) and no sales tax.
Where to Stay in the USVI
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 laidback but luxe resort... in a gorgeous natural setting.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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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 views of water, confined spaces, or obviously, sailing, there are high-end resorts where affluent landlubbers will be happiest.
Where to Stay in the BVI
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.
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One of the poorer countries in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic (which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti) has increased its fortunes 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. 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."
Where to Stay in the DR
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.