We all have one, the elusive travel bucket list that seems just out of reach. Daydream-worthy destinations littered with tropical beaches, crystal clear waters and blue skies. Surprisingly, these bucket-list vacations can be way more affordable than you might think. Options like a Southern Caribbean cruise transport you to the heart of some of the world’s most coveted islands and talked about beaches.
The island sees little rain throughout the year, so no matter when you arrive, you’re likely to enjoy warm temperatures and sunny skies all day long. You’ll also love the charming and colorful Dutch architecture and the excellent, coral-filled snorkeling. Explore adorable downtown Oranjestad or go off the beaten path on an off-road adventure to the famous black-pebbled Andicuri Beach, hidden on Aruba’s secluded east coast.
This Southern Caribbean island boasts 365 beaches — yes, one for every day of the year. But there’s more here than just beaches and rum drinks; Antigua is authentic, laid-back and friendly. Visit the colorful capital, St. John’s, and former British imperial naval base Nelson’s Dockyard, a history and maritime buff’s dream: It’s a world-famous harbor that’s been in use for more than 300 years.
Warm weather-loving Anglophiles will adore this cricket-crazed former British colony where an afternoon spot of tea feels just as right as a fruity cocktail. But the British influence isn’t the only draw — Rihanna’s birthplace also boasts gorgeous beaches, world-class snorkeling and plenty of opportunities for adventure in the lush rainforest, including ziplining and an off-road 4×4 safari.
Part of the U.S. Virgin Island chain, St. Croix is home to powder-white beaches, lush rainforests and unbeatably blue waters. If you’re a scuba diver or snorkeler, this island’s reefs and wrecks should definitely be on your bucket list — you might see some of the 500 native species of fish, 40 kinds of coral, Caribbean lobster, seahorses and even sea turtles. Plus, you can take a bike tour, visit the botanical gardens, kayak the salt river or simply spend the day relaxing on the beach sipping a Cruzan rum cocktail.
From the breathtaking volcanic mountains to the historical capital, Bassetere, it’s no wonder St. Kitts is often ranked one of the best Caribbean islands. It’s ideal for travelers in search of a unique, authentic experience — the island has less development than some other Caribbean destinations — and those who get their thrills from natural beauty: The volcanoes, rainforests, diving and deep sea fishing can’t be beat.
Pack your bags and check off multiple Southern Caribbean spots on your bucket list in one incredible trip.