Cayman Islands are 80 miles off the Miami coast, and once were a hideout for pirates. The islands have the highest standard of living in the Caribbean.
The Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman Beach Suites on Seven Mile Beach sets the standard for Grand Cayman hotels. The luxurious accommodations feature two spectacular pools with a swim-up bar overlooking the crystal clear Caribbean Sea. Grand Cayman is a diver's dream with over 200 dive sites abundant with fascinating coral reefs and colorful marine life. Snorkeling, duty-free stores in Georgetown, local souvenir shops, and the Cayman Maritime Treasure Museum are just a few activities the islands have to offer. For adventurers, visit Stingray City to snorkel with dozens of stingrays or the Turtle Farm.
British Virgin Islands
British Virgin Islands are one of the most popular yachting spots in the Caribbean. Known for its beautiful scenery, the panorama includes white crescent beaches nestled at the bottom of steep green mountains and stunning vistas of neighboring islands from the top of those mountains.
Consisting of 60 islands and cays, Tortola is the largest island. Dive or snorkel the Rhone shipwreck where the movie The Deep was filmed. Take a snorkeling expedition to The Caves on Norman Island, thought to be an inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson's famous adventure novel, Treasure Island. Virgin Gorda is the second largest island. Swim and snorkel among the giant boulders known as the Baths and fine sea caves and grottoes, the most photographed area in the British Virgin Islands. Peter Island is a private 1800-acre island four miles south of Tortola, a 25-minute ride by motor launch. The British Virgin Islands are home to five spectacular beaches, including the famous palm-fringed Deadman's Bay, often ranked among the most beautiful in the Caribbean. Snorkeling, excellent dive sites, walking and biking trails among the island's hills and tropical gardens that include a variety of beautiful birds, tropical plants and flowers still remains largely untamed.
Little Dix Bay is located on a pristine 500 acres and includes 98 peaked roof bungalows amid flowering shrubs and trees along a sweeping crescent beach. Premium cottages or premium hill units offer a stunning view of the bay. The resort features usual water sports, guided snorkeling tours, yacht day sails, a seven court tennis compound, fitness center and spa.
Belmond Cap Juluca, located on a secluded 180-acre peninsula, features 72 spacious and stylish units in 18 two-story annexes only a few steps away from the sea. A fanciful Moroccan oasis, the resort features its own mile long beach and offers water sports, tennis and yachts for sunset or snorkeling cruises.
Anguilla's beauty lies in stunning white sand beaches with clear waters that are perfect for snorkeling. The island is flat and dry with few trees and lacks a highly charged nightlife, historical sites, and great restaurants.
Jumby Bay, a private island two miles north of Antigua, is one of the most exclusive luxury resorts in the West Indies. Located on over 300 private acres, no two accommodations are alike. The resort features quiet, informal elegance and has three tennis courts, two that are lit for night play, water skiing, a fitness center, tennis lessons, massages and reflexology, chartered day sailing, scuba and deep sea fishing. Golfing and casino evenings are offered on the mainland. Fly to Antigua and proceed to Jumbo Bay Island by private launch, a 10 minute ride.
Antigua is flat, dry and nondescript by Caribbean standards. What sets the island apart are 365 pure white sand beaches attracting travelers who are interested in sun, scuba diving, deep sea fishing, sailing, and snorkeling.
Of all the Caribbean islands, Barbados has the most cosmopolitan feel. Referred to as "The Little England of the Caribbean," it is a charming tropical island rich in history and tradition.
From the moment its first guests were welcomed in 1961, Sandy Lane has been considered the premier address in the Caribbean, preferred by royalty, movie stars and many of the business world's most discriminating personalities. It consists of 112 spacious suite accommodations with living room style verandahs, a 30,000 square foot spa, a nine-court tennis complex, freshwater pool and 27 holes of golf on two courses.
Sightseeing in Barbados’ capital, Bridgetown, includes the house where George Washington stayed, Trafalgar Square, duty-free shops, restaurants, an amusement and gambling arcade, nightclubs with live music and restored plantation homes. Natural attractions include a wildlife reserve, a mahogany forest home to rare green monkeys, a 50-acre flower forest, and botanical gardens.
Puerto Rico is rich in history and abounding in natural wonders. In addition to great watersports, golf and shopping, take time to visit some of the countless ecological and historic sites. Tour Old San Juan, the oldest city in the US, and the historic town of Ponce. Nature lovers shouldn't miss El Yunque Rainforest, the island of Vieques, the Riu Camuy Cave System and Park and Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Preserve.
The Horned Dorset Primavera is an eight-acre hillside property overlooking the sea on Puerto Rico's secluded west coast, approximately a two-hour drive from San Juan. Oceanfront buildings rest on a large stone retaining wall with hillside villas that feature panoramic sea views. Many of the suites have private pools and all have either a private balcony or terrace. Rooms and suites surround you in luxurious comfort with antiques, exotic woods and marble baths.
St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Kitts and Nevis are two miles apart. Nevis is a quaint and sophisticated island where visitors can hike to Mt. Nevis or go diving and explore magnificent coral grottoes known as The Caves. On St. Kitts, visit the rainforest or hike Mt. Liamuiga, a dormant volcano on the northeast coast.
Four Seasons Nevis is an established world-class resort and full-service hotel in a peaceful setting. A half-mile beach includes a view of Nevis Peak, a potentially active volcano, and a championship 18-hole golf course. The resort features 200 spacious and beautifully furnished guest quarters located in 12 two-story annexes set around palm graced lawns, usual water sports, two freshwater pools and 10 tennis courts. Special children programs are offered.
Ottley's Plantation Inn on St. Kitts is nestled in the remaining stone walls of the old sugar factory at the foot of the majestic Mt. Liamuga volcano overlooking the surf of the Atlantic. Shopping, golf and local beaches are a short shuttle ride away.
St. Vincent and The Grenadines
St. Vincent and The Grenadines feature some of the Caribbean's best sailing, diving, snorkeling and sport fishing. They are among the most strikingly beautiful islands in the Caribbean, a perfect island escape with gorgeous mountains, lush vegetation, but little shopping.
Raffles Resort at Canouan Island is set on 300 acres of a 1,200-acre private estate featuring three secluded white sand beaches, all surrounded by one of the world's largest coral reefs. The Raffles Resort is amphitheatrically set around the protected bay with each of the 156 single and double story luxury villas offering breathtaking views. Enjoy the 12,900 square foot freshwater swimming pool with pool bar, private palapas and spacious pool deck. The resort's challenging 18-hole, par 72 golf course designed by Jim Fazio offers unparalleled views of the bay, stretching 60 acres along the seafront, half of which is built on the flat coastal plain and the other half of which is carved out of the hillside above the bay and the resort.
Turks and Caicos
The Meridian Club, located on a privately owned 800-acre island, is a perfect place to unwind in seclusion. The resort is located on one of the West Indies' last untampered beaches featuring a sensational and virtually deserted two-mile white sand shoreline, 13 casually appointed guest lodgings, and the usual water sports. Vibrant marine life and clear, tranquil waters are found in the 200-mile barrier reef surrounding the islands.
Photos courtesy of: Amanyara Turks and Caicos, Anguilla Tourist Board UK, Anse Chastanet St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, Belmond, British Virgin Islands Tourist Board, Four Seasons Anguilla, Jade Mountain St. Lucia, Puerto Rico Tourism Company UK, Nevis Tourism Authority, Turks & Caicos Islands Tourist Board and Virtuoso.
Photos courtesy of: Amanyara Turks and Caicos, Anguilla Tourist Board UK, Anse Chastanet St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, Belmond, British Virgin Islands Tourist Board, Four Seasons Anguilla, Jade Mountain St. Lucia, Puerto Rico Tourism Company UK, Nevis Tourism Authority, Turks & Caicos Islands Tourist Board and Virtuoso