Antigua, Jamaica, Ooh, We Wanna Take Ya to These 4 Caribbean Island Retreats
Sunny skies, swaying palms and gentle waves—the pleasures of the Caribbean delight all year-round. Find your favorite island getaway.
Go to: Get active. St. Lucia suits travelers who love to play, with a rich supply of game fish, opportunities to sail and swim, and plentiful hiking, including around the Pitons—Petit Piton and Gros Piton—the island’s famous twin volcanic spires. Even the golf courses pose lively challenges: The St. Lucia Golf and Country Club’s greens feature tricky elevation changes, plus a distractingly beautiful seaside view.
Get close to: Blue marlin, sailfish, kingfish and more. An excursion on a fully equipped sport fishing boat lets amateur fishermen try their hands at catching one of these silvery titans of the sea.
Don’t forget: To get your hands wet. During a sailing lesson aboard the 40-foot racing yacht Papagayo, the friendly crew lets visitors hoist the sails—or even take a turn at the helm.
Go for: Flavor. Grenada overflows with guavas, mangoes, tamarind and other exotic fruits, but it’s the island’s plentiful nutmeg trees that have given it the nickname “Isle of Spice.”
Get close to: Cocoa beans. Workers at Belmont Estate turn these rich brown beans into dark, delicious chocolate. Part of the process involves walking over the beans as they dry in the sun—and visitors are welcome to join in.
Don’t forget: To try a new taste. Grenada’s national dish, called “oil down,” a meat-and-vegetable stew with a coconut-milk base, is Caribbean comfort food at its finest.
Go for: Flora and fauna. With tropical flowers in luscious blossom year-round, plus the chance to encounter exotic animals, Barbados is the natural choice for nature lovers.
Get close to: Green monkeys. These mischievous creatures, who take their name from the olive highlights flecking their gray fur, can be seen feeding and scampering in the Barbados Wildlife Reserve.
Don’t forget: To stop and smell the flowers. In the Flower Forest Botanical Gardens, the sweet fragrance of scented ginger lilies fills the balmy air.
Go for: Natural spa treatments. This wee island, only 29 miles long, is bubbling over with people-friendly geothermal activity, such as hot springs and volcanic mud baths. In the small “wellness village” of Wotten Waven, visitors ease sore muscles in effervescent sulfur springs for an experience as relaxing as it is pleasantly pungent.
Get close to: Bubbles. On the ocean floor of Dominica’s Champagne Reef lie geothermal vents, whose gases fill the water with fizziness. For swimmers or snorkelers, it’s like floating in a glass of bubbly.
Don’t forget: To earn your spa time beforehand, perhaps with a kayaking trip. A few hours’ paddle down the Layou River ends in the Caribbean Sea, near a tiny fishing village.