When it comes to romance, few parts of the world are made for couples like the Caribbean. This tropical sea offers thousands of islands and cays perfect for a fabulous beach getaway. To find the best Caribbean vacations for couples, start with these 15 dreamy destinations.
With a colorful Dutch Caribbean vibe and stunning natural beauty, it’s easy to see why locals call Aruba the “happy island.”Aruba may be small, but it offers big fun for couples. Spend the day snorkeling, sailing and relaxing on the beach or exploring the colorful waterfront shops in Oranjestad, the island capital.
If English traditions like high tea and a game of cricket tickle your fancy, the independent British commonwealth of Barbados is the place to go. This eastern Caribbean island features lush landscapes, old sugar plantations and lots of distilleries for sampling local rum. With an array of beaches swathed in pearly white and pink sand, there’s no better place for traveling twosomes to unwind.
The nation of Belize on Central America’s east coast offers plenty of silk-sand beaches for relaxing, and inland, the lowland jungles play home to abundant wildlife. Pass your time snorkeling along the largest barrier reef in the hemisphere, touring ancient Mayan ruins and exploring underground rivers and caves.
Sitting atop the Great Mesoamerican Reef, Cozumel is the spot for couples who love to scuba dive. For more vacation fun, soak up the sun on the beach at Chankanaab National Park, explore the ancient Mayan city of Tulum or see the archeological site of Chichén Itzá from above with a thrilling plane ride.
Pairs looking for romantic Caribbean cruise getaways often settle on Curaçao, formerly part of the Netherlands Antilles. This island blends the cultures of Europe and the West Indies for a laid-back yet cosmopolitan atmosphere. For a good time in Curaçao, take a trolley tour through the pastel-colored streets of Willemstad, shop till you drop in the Punda District and explore the amazing Hato Caves featuring stalagmites, stalactites and sparkling pools.
If you love music and dancing, head just off the coast of Florida to The Bahamas. On Grand Bahama Island, the city of Freeport features plenty of beach bars where you can sip fruity rum drinks and dance to the island beat. For more relaxation, head to the beach, but if you feel like exploring, navigate the mangrove forests in Lucayan National Park by kayak.
- Grand Turk
With turquoise-colored water, pristine beaches, wild donkeys and windmills, Grand Turk offers an enchanting vacation escape. On this serene Turks and Caicos island, you can spend time swimming with stingrays at Gibbs Cay or take a tour of historic Cockburn Town. While you’re enjoying Grand Turk, make sure to try a fresh conch salad and a glass of rum punch.
- Key West
For a laid-back and sunny vacay in the Florida Keys, head to the state’s southernmost island: Key West. Here you can find charming streets lined with shady palm trees and colorful 19th-century bungalows. For a complete tour of the island, hop aboard the Old Town Trolley with your sweetheart. Points of interest along the way include the home of Ernest Hemingway, President Harry Truman’s Little White House, Key West Aquarium and the Butterfly Nature Conservancy.
- La Romana
If you’re hoping to fall in love all over again, head to La Romana on the southeast coast of the Dominican Republic. Kayak or sail on the aquamarine waters or explore Altos de Chavon, an artists’ community designed in the style of a 16th-century Mediterranean village. For fun you can’t find elsewhere, taste fresh-cut sugar cane, watch cigars being hand-rolled and shop for beautiful, locally made pottery.
Part of the French West Indies, the Caribbean island of Martinique offers a unique blend of European and tropical influences and a variety of beautiful landscapes, from forests and grassland to white-sand (and black-sand) beaches. Couples find romance in different ways on the island, from touring Balata Garden to sampling the local cuisine. While you’re here, don’t forget to try the spicy local curry called “colombo.”
- Montego Bay
Boasting gold-sand beaches and plenty of laid-back beach bars, Jamaica’s Montego Bay, aka “Mo Bay,” offers a friendly island vibe, great reggae music and lots of opportunities for golfing. Make your Jamaican couple’s trip even more exciting with sailing, snorkeling, summer bobsledding and zip lining.
- Santa Marta
For a tropical destination steeped in history, visit Colombia’s oldest city, Santa Marta, in the country’s beautiful Costa Norte region. Stroll hand-in-hand down El Rodadero, a beach with close access to shops, restaurants and bars. For more fun with your significant other, explore the coastal lagoons and secret coves of Tayrona National Park, where the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta meet the coast.
- St. Maarten and Saint Martin
Get two nations in one with a visit to St. Maarten and Saint Martin, a Caribbean island that is part of the Netherlands on one side and controlled by France on the other. In the daytime, the Dutch side offers sunbathing on quiet beaches, but at night, head to the French side of the island for music, dancing and gambling. Couples who love history will enjoy exploring the ruins of Dutch and French forts situated above the azure-blue sea.
- St. Thomas
The U.S. Virgin Islands play home to beautiful St. Thomas, a popular vacation destination for beach lovers. Its main city and the capital of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Charlotte Amalie, offers live music, shopping, great restaurants and beautiful places to soak up the sun. For more fun in St. Thomas, check out the seafront bars in Frenchtown or enjoy a couple’s parasailing adventure 400 or more feet above the water.
The largest of the British Virgin Islands, Tortola offers breathtaking scenic views, from the beaches at Cane Garden Bay and Smuggler’s Cove to forested trails in Sage Mountain National Park. Just a boat ride away, on the island of Virgin Gorda, you can find The Baths, massive boulders rising out of the sea with crevices for wading or swimming in between.
If you’re looking for places to travel that ignite a romantic spark, these 15 Caribbean locales will not disappoint. Couples who cruise to and from these destinations on Carnival Cruise Line make a great way to see many different settings in one memorable trip.