Things to Do in Caribbean
Macao Beach (Playa Macao) is one of the Punta Cana region’s least-crowded public beaches, set away from most resort hotels. A favorite among locals, this stretch of white sand is considered one of the Dominican Republic’s most beautiful coastal escapes, with clear blue waters and a beach break known for its surf-friendly waves.
During the day, Laguna Grande in Fajardo looks like other bays along the tropical Puerto Rican coastline. But come nightfall the bioluminescent lagoon glows fluorescent, thanks to pyrodinium bahamense, microscopic plankton that thrive in its shallow Caribbean waters and glow when disturbed.
The Blue Hole—alternatively known as the Cool Blue Hole, Secret Falls, or Island Gully—is a natural limestone sinkhole near Ocho Rios. A deep cavern within the tropical mountains of Jamaica, the Blue Hole gets its name from the deep azure hue of the water. Travelers visit to swim, cliff dive, and make their way through the lush rain forest to Secret Falls.
Rose Island is an idyllic private getaway off the coast of Nassau. Home to a coral reef and a lone beach bar, this tiny, tropical islet offers an exclusive setting for snorkeling and sunbathing on an 11-mile (18-kilometer) stretch of uninhabited, privately owned Bahamian beach.
Dunn's River Falls is a spectacular White River waterfall near Ocho Rios in Jamaica, where cold mountain water cascades 1,000 feet (300 meters) down naturally terraced steps. Those interested in geology will be fascinated with the way the world-famous falls renew themselves via regular deposits of calcium carbonate and sodium, while movie buffs will recognize them from films such as Dr. No and Cocktail.
Built in 1801 on an estate on top of Mount Fitzwilliam, Government House is often considered the best example of Georgian Colonial architecture in all of the West Indies. The mansion is painted a vibrant pink with a bright white trim (a nod to Nassau’s famous conch shells) and is the residence of the Governor-General of the Bahamas.
High on the cliffs outside Negril, Rick’s Cafe is one of Jamaica’s most enduring institutions. Negril was a sleepy fishing village when Rick’s opened in 1974, and travelers and locals alike still make a pilgrimage to the restaurant and bar for strong cocktails, tasty Jamaican dishes, death-defying cliff divers, and sunset viewing parties.
Named the “Best Beach in the World” multiple times (and by multiple entities), Grace Bay Beach is so beautiful that it really needs to be seen to be believed. This is the main beach on the island of Providenciales, in Turks and Caicos, and is lined with upscale resorts.
The El Yunque National Park is the only tropical rain forest under the protection of the US Forest Service, as well as the largest nature reserve in densely populated Puerto Rico. Situated in the mist-wreathed Luquillo Mountains—where year-round precipitation ensures lush, green landscapes and a healthy diversity of animal life—El Yunque is home to the rare Puerto Rican parrot and the Coqui frog, whose distinctive croak provides El Yunque's soundtrack.
Just off of the western coast of Aruba, De Palm Island attracts visitors from the main island looking for an all-inclusive beach day. In addition to hosting an array of outdoor activities, De Palm Island also offers simple rest and relaxation on its three beaches.
More Things to Do in Caribbean
Little Water Cay (Iguana Island)
Known locally as Iguana Island, Little Water Cay emerges from the crystal clear waters just outside Providenciales. The tiny islet is ringed by white sandy beaches—a tranquil habitat for the endangered Turks and Caicos Rock Iguana, a charismatic green lizard endemic to the islands.
San Juan Gate (Puerta de San Juan)
Named in honor of Saint John the Baptist, San Juan Gate (Puerta de San Juan) was originally one of five doorways to the city used to protect its streets from invaders and each gate has its own unique function. Today, this towering red and white entryway that’s tucked into the city’s surrounding stonewall offers a truly magical way to enter and explore Puerto Rico’s capital city.
Travelers who pass through this historic entrance will find energetic vendors selling traditional snacks and ice-cold piragua along walkways heading towards the historic old town. Ancient trees stretch high into the sky and provide cool shade for lovers on romantic strolls. Narrow cobblestone streets lined with restored Spanish colonial homes and ornate balconies add to the charm of this favorite San Juan attraction.
High atop a hillside overlooking the harbor of Nassau is British-colonial era Fort Charlotte—the largest fort in Nassau. Built in the late 18th century for a battle that never took place, this historic site offers picturesque views of Paradise Island, Nassau, and the harbor. You can also see hidden underground passages, a dry moat, remote dungeons; and even canons, which have never been fired in battle.
Damajagua Falls (27 Charcos)
Hidden in a lush Dominican Republic jungle, Damajagua Falls—otherwise known as the 27 Waterfalls of Rio Damajagua or 27 Charcos—are a series of 27 cascading waterfalls that were discovered in the 1990s. Located in the midst of sugarcane fields in the Northern Corridor mountain range, the hidden falls are a true off-the-beaten-path experience.
The Queen’s Staircase, one of Nassau’s most visited attractions, holds an important place in Bahamian cultural history. Around 1793, slaves carved this 102-foot (31-meter) staircase, comprised of 65 steps, out of solid limestone. Later it was named in honor of Queen Victoria’s 65-year reign and her role in abolishing slavery in the Bahamas.
Arikok National Park
With deserted beaches and rocky coves, dusty plains dotted with cacti, and ancient limestone caves, Arikok National Park feels worlds away from the luxurious resorts of Aruba’s north coast. Covering almost 20 percent of the island, the park, one of the best reasons to venture south, offers a spectacular backdrop for outdoor adventures.
Located on the eastern end of St. Thomas, Sapphire Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the island. Featuring stellar views and a long stretch of pretty white sand, it’s an ideal beach for relaxing and sunbathing, snorkeling, and a variety of water sports. Numerous amenities and rentals make for an easy and enjoyable day out.
Amber Cove is one of the newest cruise ports in the Caribbean, but its nearby attractions are far from rookie. Built by Carnival Cruise Lines for the use of their cruise ships along with other large-capacity liners and located on the Dominican Republic’s so-called Amber Coast, Amber Cove is the gateway to Puerto Plata, a popular Dominican Republic vacation destination.
Perched along St Lucia’s southwest coast and protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the dramatic twin peaks of Gros Piton and Petit Piton are among the Caribbean island’s most memorable landmarks. Towering 2,619 feet (798 meters) above sea level, the Gros Piton, the larger of the two, is also a popular challenge for avid hikers.
Icacos Island (Cayo Icacos)
A small, uninhabited island located just a 15-minute boat ride from the Puerto Rican town of Fajardo, Icacos Island (Cayo Icacos) is part of Cordillera Keys Nature Reserve (Reserva Natural los Cayos de la Cordillera). Its white-sand shores, pristine waters, and colorful reefs make it a popular day-trip destination for snorkeling and diving.
Saona Island (Isla Saona)
Saona Island (Isla Saona) is the Dominican Republic's largest coastal island, clocking in at 15 miles (25 kilometers) long and three miles (5 kilometers) wide, with a population of little more than 300. Part of the National Park of the East, the island features plenty of photo-worthy white sands, swaying palm trees, and turquoise waters.
Located at the top of St. Peter Mountain is the oldest, highest, and one of the most popular attractions on St. Thomas, the aptly named Mountain Top. Mountain Top features a massive duty free shop, a bar known for its banana daiquiris, and an observation deck that offers sweeping views over Magens Bay from 1,500 feet (457 meters.
Los Haitises National Park
Los Haitises National Park is a hidden gem full of fascinating caverns, unspoiled beaches, and mangrove forests. Visit to enjoy hiking, kayaking, and caving, as well as some of the Dominican Republic’s best bird watching. The park is also home to caves full of carvings made by indigenous Taíno Indians.
Martha Brae River
Winding 20 miles (32 kilometers) through Jamaica’s tropical inland rain forests, the turquoise Martha Brae River is an essential stop for nature lovers traveling in this Caribbean country. Visit for a quick rafting trip or take advantage of its privileged position close to other natural attractions and diverse wildlife during your Jamaica vacation.