Island Time: Caribbean Vacation Spots

Sailing crystal-clear waters is heavenly, and these four Caribbean vacation spots have something for everyone.

A Caribbean sea dolphin experience

Photo: iStock

NASSAU

A dose of culture: At this Caribbean vacation spot, boogie to the music at the Educulture Junkanoo museum in Nassau, which celebrates the traditions of the Junkanoo parade.

For the kids: Buy a day pass to Dolphin Cay at Atlantis for its private beach service and dolphin orientation program.

Get active: Explore the beachfront and city sidewalks by Segway tour.

Souvenir to take home: Haggle for handicrafts and colorful island art in Bay Street’s market.

Don’t leave without: Trying conch fritters or conch ceviche at Arawak Cay on West Bay Street.

Local hot sauce and other items for sale at a spice market on St. Maarten

Photo: iStock

ST. MAARTEN

A dose of culture: Front Street’s Sint Maarten Museum, in Philipsburg, brims with island artifacts like shipwreck loot and ancient pottery.

For the kids: Bring towels to this Caribbean vacation spot’s world-famous Maho Beach, where planes glide just a few feet above your head as they land on the nearby runway.

Get active: Marvel at the coral reefs surrounding Creole Rock through the clear glass windows of the semi-submersible SeaWorld Explorer.

Souvenir to take home: Hot sauce from the Sint Maarten Guavaberry company, made with an island recipe. (Habanero Lime and Liquid Fire are two favorites.)

Don’t leave without: Going for a horseback ride along Cay Bay at this Caribbean vacation spot.

Relaxing under palapas on Druif Beach

Photo: Aruba Tourism Authority

ARUBA

A dose of culture: Poke around the shops and history museum in downtown Oranjestad, where pastel buildings pay homage to Aruba’s Dutch roots.

For the kids: At this Caribbean vacation spot, join spooky bats on a trek through popular Quadirikiri Cave.

Get active: Green-thumbed travelers will love the flowering cacti and desert-like scenery of Arikok National Park.

Souvenir to take home: Snap a family selfie with the curvaceous divi-divi trees on the island’s beaches.

Don’t leave without: Ordering pastechi (fried dough stuffed with meat or cheese); Bucuti Beach Resort near Oranjestad has the best.

Willemstad, Curacao

Photo: iStock

CURAÇO

A dose of culture: Historic Willemstad, a UNESCO World Heritage site, boasts brightly colored Dutch architecture and waterfront shopping.

For the kids: Go to great depths and explore nature aboard the Curaçao Sea Aquarium’s Curasub submarine.

Get active: Swim in turquoise waters filled with colorful fish and coral while snorkeling over a shipwreck in a protected marine park.

Souvenir to take home: Traditional Dutch stroopwafels—crisp, cookie-like waffles with a caramel-like syrup filling—are a sweet-tooth must.

Don’t leave without: Tasting local snacks from stalls at the floating market.

Visit the Caribbean aboard a cruise ship and get a taste for what life would be like on your own private island.

Now you can also visit the largest island in the Caribbean—Cuba! Call 877-396-7159 or click here to contact a AAA Travel Counselor today.

Get in Touch

Rose Stadt, AAA Travel Counselor, Vallejo, Calif.

More and more people want to customize their escorted trips with longer stays in certain cities or visits to specific sites. I make sure the independent pieces fit seamlessly with the tour.

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