A stay at the lavish Atlantis resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, swimming with sea turtles in Barbados, hopping across a dizzying number of beaches (365) in Antigua and climbing the UNESCO-listed twin Pitons in St Lucia – there’s plenty of castaway dreams and exhilarating highs on holidays to the Caribbean and Mexico. Combine beach and culture with multi-centre holidays to Cuba or Mexico visiting atmospheric Havana before landing in Varadero, or seeing Mayan and Aztec sites along with breathtaking beaches in Cancun and Tulum. More independent explorers will love the lush green jungle and white sands of Grenada, hiking Grand Etang National Park & Forest Reserve, diving through the underwater sculpture park and working their way around rum distilleries, cocoa plantations and waterfalls. Then there are the natural wonders on the tiny island of Aruba – Fonetin Caves and the Natural Pool, and those exquisite pinks sands on Bermuda. For a Robinson Crusoe experience, the Turks & Caicos Islands will have you snorkelling and diving at Bright Reef, touring conch farms and indulging in one of the island’s most popular traditions, Thursday ‘Fish Fry’.
Where is the Caribbean and Mexico?
Geographically, the region is considered part of the continent of North America and is home to more than 7000 islands and island countries. Some islands are surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and others border the North Atlantic Ocean. In the Atlantic Ocean you’ll find the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos and Bermuda, whilst Mexico is included for its Caribbean coast. Western Caribbean islands comprise Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Cuba and eastern Caribbean islands include St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua, Grenada and Barbados.
Caribbean and Mexico destinations
Barbados More than 70 miles of beach to be explored with swish resorts lining turquoise waters on a millionaire’s playground of an island.
St Lucia Famed for the dramatic west coast Pitons, thick rainforest, reef-diving sites and luxury hotels.
Antigua Sun-drenched white sands, world-class sailing and warm aquamarine waters on this classic Caribbean island.
Cuba One of the Caribbean’s most enigmatic countries, Cuba is all rum and salsa vibes, intriguing history and great beaches in Varadero.
Mexico Some of the worlds best all inclusive resorts on stunning beaches, as well as Mayan ruins and Aztec history.
Grenada Soft sand beaches, a lush rainforest interior, great diving, a tranquil atmosphere and amazing food.
The Grenadines These south-eastern Windward Islands are renowned for untouched beauty and total seclusion on white sand beaches and in tropical rainforest.
Jamaica One of the liveliest and largest Caribbean islands filled with history, culture and music – come here for authentic atmosphere and world renowned spicy cuisine.
Bahamas It’s all about spectacular white limestone sands, swish resorts such as Atlantis and adventures to the Out Islands.
Dominican Republic Renowned for all-inclusive family friendly hotels, this is the perfect island for sun, sea and sand with easy, breezy vibes.
Bermuda A North Atlantic jewel of pastel-coloured houses, year-round sunshine and pink sand beaches, with plenty of colonial and maritime heritage.
St Kitts & Nevis Luxury escape on one of the world’s smallest nations fringed by blissfully warm waters and filled with historical plantations and stunning beaches.
Turks & Caicos Home some of the finest beaches in the world where total seclusion is a given and steep coral walls make diving a dream.
Diving and snorkelling
The easiest ways to explore one of the Caribbean’s most breathtaking jewels is to grab a mask and fins and head into the sea. You’ll find calm azure waters, hard and soft corals and shipwrecks. The Tobago Cays in the Grenadines is home to green turtles and nurse sharks breezing under a rainbow of underwater colour whilst on the south west side of St Lucia you’ll find Anse Chastanet, one of the most fantastic snorkelling spots on the island. If you’re a beginner snorkeller, Antigua has plenty of spectacular spots where there is little to no current, making it a good introductory island for children and those looking to get out under warm clear waters for the first time. And if it’s shipwrecks you’re after, Bermuda’s Western Blue Cut is home to the Constellation, Montana, and Lartington.
Food and drink
Expect tiny beach shacks fringed by translucent waters and plush restaurants where white glove service is the norm. Try curry goat, creole chicken, coconut rum and red snapper ceviche, and get used to lingering over your food, dining under a delicious sunset and joining in with a reggae dance or two next to a beach bonfire. Seafood fans will be in their element – lobster, pepper-crusted tuna, conch fritters, coconut shrimp and that famous hot sauce. There are lots of superstar chefs across the islands delivering international menus, molecular gastronomy and imaginative amuse bouche. Restaurants here have a distinct advantage – freshly plucked tropical fruits, fish straight out of the water and amazing spices to season with.