Famous for its colorful houses and sandy beaches, the Caribbean is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. These Caribbean bucket list tips will help you to make the most of your time in the region.


In the words of the great Colombian novelist, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, “Caribbean reality resembles the wildest imagination”. This part of the world is definitely full of life.

The region’s name comes from the Caribs, an indigenous people who lived in South America and the Lesser Antilles. The English cartographer Thomas Jefferys used the term in his West-India Atlas published in 1773.

From the best places to stay to what local foods to try, you’ll find lots of advice on what to do in the Caribbean. Check out our detailed list of the top Caribbean islands for suggestions on the best destination for first timers, families, foodies, hiking and more. Whether you’re prepared to pay for an expensive Caribbean island or looking for something more budget friendly, there are lots of options available.

Caribbean bucket list travel tips
Caribbean bucket list tips


The definition of how many Caribbean countries there are is quite loose. Officially, the Caribbean Community Organisation (CARICOM) includes fifteen states and dependencies who are full members:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • Montserrat
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Surinam
  • Trinidad and Tobago

In addition, there are many other Caribbean islands or countries bordering the Caribbean Sea, such as Aruba, the Cayman Islands, Mexico, Honduras and Panama.


Island hopping in the Caribbean requires a bit of planning but the infrastructure is quite good. There are public ferries and prop planes, or you could hire a private boat.

Alternatively, take a cruise between a few different Caribbean islands or get a tour operator to coordinate a bespoke itinerary for you. Once on the islands, it’s often easier to book a taxi or hire a car than to rely on buses which can be few and far between.

The free tram in Oranjestad, Aruba
The free tram in Oranjestad, Aruba


Although some Caribbean events have been cancelled in 2021, most will be taking place again in 2022. Always check with the organizers before arranging your travel around them.

Here are some of the most famous Caribbean festivals and events held each year.

  • Antigua Sailing Week – over 100 yachts compete at the beginning of May.
  • Barbados Crop Over – a six week Summer festival with craft markets, food stalls and Bajan music.
  • Festival RumBahamas – held in Nassau over 3 days in February.
  • Grenada Chocolate Fest – an annual festival in May, which will be online this year.
  • Junkanoo – several celebrations in Bahama on Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and Independence Day.
  • Pirates Week Festival – takes place in the Cayman Islands in November each year.
  • Reggae Sumfest – a popular Jamaican music festival in July in Montego Bay.
  • Taste of Cayman – this foodie festival takes place in Camana Bay in April each year.
  • Trinidad and Tobago Carnival – held annually on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.


Whether you’re interested in visiting natural wonders or taking part in water sports, there are lots of great things to do in the Caribbean. Here’s a selection of our favorite Caribbean activities.



Many people prefer to visit the Caribbean from December to April, when it’s not too hot or rainy. At these times of year, accommodation is generally more expensive.

If you don’t mind traveling outside of these months, hotels can be a third less expensive.

When to visit the Caribbean
When is the best time to visit the Caribbean?


The rainy season is from June to November, and the month with the most hurricanes is generally October. Some Caribbean islands like Aruba have sunny weather all year round, with hurricanes being extremely rare.

Check our Belize packing list tips if you’re heading to the island. With a subtropical climate, it’s important to be well prepared.


From casual seafood shacks to international fine dining, there’s plenty of choice in the Caribbean. The food markets on many Caribbean islands are fun to visit. The Caribbean is also the largest producer of rum and most of the rum factories offer guided tours.

Caribbean food is known for its spicy flavors but actually there’s quite a range of different types of food on the islands. Jamaican food is quite hot, particularly jerk chicken.

However, if you’re dining in Mayakoba, Mexico or other international resorts in the Caribbean, the food has generally been adapted to suit those less used to spicy food.

Jamaican food and drink
Jamaican food and drink – Caribbean bucket list tips


Take your pick from luxurious overwater villas in the Caribbean to eco retreats and family-run guest houses.

Jade Mountain Resort – open-air bathrooms and panoramic sea views in Saint Lucia.
Jumby Bay Island – located on a private island in Antigua.
Mayakoba – a collection of five star hotels, Andaz Mayakoba, Banyan Tree, Fairmont and Rosewood in a lagoon setting on the Riviera Maya, Mexico.
Sandals Royal Caribbean – an all-inclusive couples only resort in Jamaica.

If you have any more questions about visiting the Caribbean, let us know!

Looking for more travel hacks and tips? From hidden gems to unique experiences, we’ve got you covered.

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