Meet The Caribbean Islands

By Kenya Barrett

The Caribbean — known for its culture, cuisines, and beautiful beaches — has been a tourist hotspot for many years. What some don't know, however, is that the Caribbean features several island countries that are all unique and special in their own right. Ready to begin your journey to each island?

Here are five Caribbean destinations guaranteed to create exciting, long-lasting memories:


Capital City: Bridgetown
Official Language: English
Population: 287,000 (approx.)

Located on the most eastern part of the Lesser Antilles, Barbados has become a popular travel attraction for tourists, especially within the last two decades. Only 21 miles long and about 14 miles wide, the country is divided into 11 parishes that were formed by English settlers back in 1625. Today, Barbados boasts a number of historical and cultural sites as well as beautiful beaches and natural preserves.

Along the coast, travelers can surf at Paynes Bay Beach or go jet-skiing at the white sand Dover Beach. Some places to grab a bite include the Saint Lawrence Gap, Rockley Beach, and Mullins Bay. More inland, visitors can enjoy the caves at Harrison’s Cave Eco-Adventure Park or tour floral pastures at Orchid World & Tropical Flower Garden. We can’t forget to mention that there are a few places to enjoy some alcoholic beverages including the Four Square and Mount Gay Rum Distilleries, as well as the Banks Beer Brewery Tour!


Capital City: Kingston
Official Language: English
Population: 2.9 million (approx.)

Birthplace of reggae music, Bob Marley, and jerk chicken, Jamaica continues to be a popular travel destination for all. Comprised of 14 parishes, Jamaica is best known for its cuisine and lavish beaches. To try some of the island’s most delicious seafood dishes, visitors can head to Port Royal where they can experience escovitch fish, curry shrimp, and even jerk lobster tails. If you are looking for a more country flair, stop by Mandeville or Clarendon, where you can enjoy more BBQ-esk foods such as jerk chicken, jerk pork, roast fish, and roast corn.

Aside from the cuisine, Jamaica sports numerous natural preserves including Dunns River Falls, Doctor’s Cave Beach, YS Falls, Green Grotto Caves, and even adventure jungle fun at Mystic Mountain. Unbeknownst to many, Jamaica is home to some of the best coffee beans in the world which are cultivated in the famous Blue Mountains.

Dominican Republic

Capital City: Santo Domingo
Official Language: Spanish
Population: 10.74 million (approx.)

Conveniently located on the island of Hispaniola, adjacent to Haiti, Dominican Republic is a geographically diverse country that hosts a few natural wonders. Home of the Caribbean’s tallest mountain peak, Pico Duarte, the country also houses the largest lake and lowest point in the Caribbean — Lake Enriquillo. The DR is also filled with several beaches, including Playa Rincon, Playa Macao, and Bavaro Beach.

If you’re looking to enjoy more historical sites, tourists can venture off to the Nuestra Senora de la Encarnación, which serves as the oldest standing cathedral that is dedicated to St. Maria of the Incarnation. One can also visit the Museum of Royal Houses or tour the Fortress of San Felipe, a 16th century fortress showcasing ancient weapons and panoramic views of the coastline. Additionally, the Dominican Republic sports several scenic golf courses including Teeth of the Dog and Corales Golf Courses.


Capital City: Oranjestad
Official Language: Dutch, Papiamento
Population: 106,000 (approx.)

Located about 18 miles off the coast of Venezuela, Aruba is one of the southernmost islands in the Caribbean Sea. That being said, the country maintains a unique culture that features Dutch, South American, and Caribbean elements. With one of the official languages being Papiamento (Spanish and Portuguese creole), Aruba’s cuisine is also influenced by said countries. Some traditional dishes include Stobas, Pastechi, and Ayacas.

Aside from the food, Aruba has become famous for its different colored sand beaches. While Black Stone Beach has garnered quite the reputation for being the only black sand beach on the island, Renaissance Beach is home to the island’s Pink Flamingo community. Aruba has also become a destination for luxury hotels to thrive including The Ritz Carlton, the Hotel Riu Palace, and the Barcelo Aruba.


Capital City: Nassau
Official Language: English
Population: 389,000 (approx.)

Another unique destination in the Caribbean, the Bahamas is an archipelago comprised of over 700 islands. While many of the islands are uninhabited, some of the more populous islands include Great Inagua, Cat Island, San Salvador, Grand Bahama, and New Providence, which is home to the country’s capital of Nassau. The Bahamas is also home to most of the world's population of conch, a famous sea snail that has become a staple food on the island.

The Bahamas remains a tourist attraction mainly due to its beautiful beaches and all-inclusive resorts. For those looking for scenic beaches with exotic features, you can check out Pinks Sands Beach, Paradise Island, and Pig Beach — infamously known for its swimming pigs. Coco Cay, Great Exuma Island, and Little San Salvador Island also boast clear waters for snorkeling and water sports as well as unique wildlife.

Wanna meet some more Caribbean islands? Check out Part Two!


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