When asked to imagine a tropical paradise, most folks probably envision a scene that looks a great deal like the Caribbean. To assist in shedding some light on this slice of vacay heaven, VacayDaze highlights the Caribbean’s top resorts, beaches, attractions, bars, distilleries, golf courses and restaurants. Below is the list of the top places in the Caribbean for various categories, chosen by a panel of Caribbean travel experts.
Top Caribbean Attraction: Arikok National Park in Aruba
There’s more to the Caribbean than simply its beautiful beaches, although we love those too. From waterfalls and caves to zip-lines and historic plantations, Caribbean travelers don’t have any shortage of things to see and do.
Arikok National Park, which covers 20 percent of the island of Aruba, features cacti-covered hills and a dramatic coastline. Visitors to the park can climb into the ruins of an old gold mine, explore for Arawak petroglyphs or go snorkeling in a natural pool.
Top Caribbean Beach: Eagle Beach in Aruba
Beach junkies and sun lovers will find a number of the world’s most spectacular stretches of sand on the islands of the Caribbean. With numerous palm tree-lined, silky sand expanses leading right down to the warm and azure water, it’s hard to narrow it down to just one. But that was the task that was given to the panel of Caribbean travel experts.
Eagle Beach, which is Aruba‘s widest beach, is additionally one among its most spectacular because of its blindingly white sand, warm Caribbean waters and a few of the island’s most famous and Instagram’ed fofoti trees.
Top Caribbean Beach Bar: Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands
Nothing says “vacay” quite like sipping a tropical cocktail while digging your toes within the sand. The Caribbean is often thought of as the beach bar capital of the world with countless places to sip the day away in the tropical paradise.
The Soggy Dollar, located on Jost Van Dyke within the British Virgin Islands, is famous for creating the Painkiller, a cocktail featuring rum, cream of coconut, pineapple, fruit juice and freshly grated Grenadian nutmeg.
Top Caribbean Golf Course: East Course at Dorado Beach in Puerto Rico
Laid-back, fun, and insanely beautiful are a couple of of the phrases you’ll use to describe the experience of golfing within the Caribbean, and there are more choices than ever for teeing off in the tropical sun.
When Robert Trent Jones Jr. restored the East Course at Dorado Beach, he elevated it to one of the top courses within the Caribbean. Fifteen of the 18 holes showcase gorgeous ocean views, and the bunkers are full of native sand harvested from the nearby beaches.
Top Caribbean Resort: Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort in Aruba
Crystal clear waters, powder soft sands, luxurious accommodations and exquisite service sum up this top tropical escape within the Caribbean, chosen by a panel of Caribbean travel experts as the top within the region.
Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, an adults-only oasis on the island of Aruba, sits on the white sands of Eagle Beach where guests enjoy stellar views of the ocean, warm breezes and tropical sunsets removed from the more crowded areas of the island. The 104 rooms and suites feature eco-friendly amenities, in addition to free breakfast and Wi-Fi.
Top Caribbean Rum Distillery: Topper’s Rhum in Saint Maarten
If there’s one thing the Caribbean is known for as much as its beaches, it’s rum. First distilled on the islands during the 17th century, the spirit was discovered when sugar plantation slaves found that molasses, a byproduct of the sugar refining process, could be fermented into alcohol. Caribbean rum distillers have since spent the centuries perfecting the method of distillation, aging and blending, and producing much of the world’s best rums.
Visitors to this 6,000-square-foot facility in Saint Martin gain insight into the history of rum-making while seeing the blending and bottling process firsthand. Visitors also get to sample new flavors in development, alongside the complete lineup of artisan rums, in the tasting bar. Those who’d wish to take some Topper’s rum home can even bottle their own.
Top Restaurant in the Caribbean: Elements Restaurant in Aruba
The Caribbean is definitely a melting pot of cultures and ethnic influences, and that diversity is reflected in its food. Culinary gems range from fine dining to beach-side seafood shacks serving up dishes good enough to make even the foremost discerning foodie swoon.
At Elements in Aruba, the spectacular oceanfront setting complements its menu of worldwide inspired dishes made up of sustainable and locally grown ingredients. Local Aruban classics are served weekly during Sunday evenings at the Local Arts & Local Eats events.