Five Best Islands in the Caribbean??

islands

islandsMy wife and I decided that for Christmas this year, we’re going to surprise our kids and give them a tropical vacation as their main present from us (of course Santa will still leave tons of gifts).  Our plan is to leave the morning after X-mas day and fly down to one of the tropical islands for a full week where we’ll ring in the new year.

Here’s the problem, I have never been to any of the Caribbean Islands other than the Bahamas.  My opinion of the Bahamas; if you’re not staying at Atlantis, don’t go.  Atlantis is a beautiful resort, for adults and kids.  We considered going back to Atlantis, but we would like to go somewhere different.  I’ve been doing a lot of research on the Caribbean Islands and I’ve come up with the following list as the 5 best Caribbean Islands to visit.  Please let me know what you think of this list.  If you’re a travel agent or you’ve been to the Caribbean, please share your thoughts.


 
 

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number1  GRAND CAYMAN

Excellent for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling.  Probably the most developed and American-ized of all the Caribbean Islands.  One of the safest Caribbean Islands with friendly locals.   There’s a lot of money flowing through the Caymens and unlike most of the other islands, the Caymens are not poverty stricken, so the locals typically don’t hassle tourists for money.  Many large, luxury hotels and restaraunts, but yet relatively expensive.

 

number2

ARUBA

Largely developed and commercialized…very American-ized and caters to tourism, yet a little pricier than most of the other islands.  It appears to be more kid friendly and a place where younger children will have more fun.  There seems to be a lot more activities due to all the tourism.  Mostly large scale hotels and All-Inclusives.  Aruba is also said to be one of the safest islands to visit.

 

number3ST. LUCIA

A beautiful and romantic island known for it’s lush scenery, most notably the famous landmark, the Pitons (twin mountain peaks) and pretty steep sided, hidden coves.  A friendly mix of British and French Creole locals that are warm and welcoming.   Another very safe island with some really nice and lively restaurants.  Plenty of large All-Inclusive resorts, and independent hotels & cottages.

 

 

number4

ANGUILLA

Extremely low key and laid back atmosphere.  Anguilla is not a very crowded island because it’s not easily accessible.  There’s a small selection of hotels and villas which are pretty expensive.  There’s several outstanding restaraunts reknowned for it’s French cuisine.  Anguilla is said to be one of the top destinations for the wealthy and affluent.

 

number5

  ST. THOMAS (USVI)

No Passport required for US residents.  Very busy and developed island.  Extremely active cruise ship port with tons of shopping and restaraunts.  Lots of hotels and resorts.  Very, very touristy.

 

I’m not sure which island to pick.  Anguilla sounds the most appealing to me, but this is a family trip.  My kids are 10, 8, and 6, so it has to be fun for them, too.  Please write in with any suggestions or recommendations.