There are more than two dozen island nations that make up the Caribbean Islands, each with a distinct culture and vibe. Your AAA travel agent can help you identify the island that is right for you. Based on visitor arrivals, here are the most popular destinations among AAA travelers, and a few ideas on what you can do there.
The island paradise where romance and reggae come together, Jamaica is easily accessible and a popular choice with U.S. travelers. There are three main tourism areas: Montego Bay, Negril and Ocho Rios. Montego Bay is perfect for a quick getaway, with an international airport (MBJ) located just minutes from the resort area. Negril is known as the Capital of Casual, known for its Seven Mile Beach and amazing sunsets. Ocho Rios is known for spectacular waterfalls and coffee plantations in the hills overlooking the sea. The first all-inclusive resorts were introduced here; industry pioneer Sandals® Resorts has seven Luxury Included® couples-only resorts to choose from in Jamaica, and two family-friendly resorts under the Beaches Resorts brand.Visit Jamaica
The first country in North America discovered by Christopher Columbus, the “D.R.” (as it is known among those who’ve been there) has two main tourist areas for the North American vacationer – Punta Cana (along the east coast) and La Romana (on the southern coast). Punta Cana is the most popular with its 40-mile stretch of sugar white beach dotted with luxurious all-inclusive resorts and nearly 20 professionally designed golf courses. The Dominican Republic has 32 casinos, more than any other island in the Caribbean. The D.R.’s capital city, Santo Domingo, is rich in colonial history and worth exploring.Tell Me More
Once home to legendary pirates, the heart of the Bahamas is in Nassau, a city steeped in history and indigenous culture. To the east of Nassau, linked by a 600-foot bridge, is Paradise Island, a planned tourism area featuring pedestrian-friendly shopping, golf, resorts and restaurants.
The jewel of Paradise Island is the Atlantis Resort, with nearly 4,000 rooms, 27 restaurants, and the world’s largest marine habitat, home to 50,000 sea animals throughout 11 exhibit lagoons. The resort boasts more than 60 acres of waterscape, including a six-story Mayan temple that houses five thrilling waterslides. There are 20 swimming areas, including a lazy river and a seven-acre snorkeling lagoon. While the D.R. may have the most casinos, the largest casino in the Caribbean can be found at Atlantis, with more than 50,000 square feet of gaming.
If you imagine the Caribbean as it appeared in the days of swashbuckling pirates, with emerald green peaked mountains rising steeply from the turquoise sea, then St. Lucia is the island of your dreams. Picturesque sandy coves guard the base of the “Twin Peaks” of the Pitons, and the island is woven with steamy rainforests sheltering vibrant tropical flowers.
St. Lucia is popular with honeymooners for is lush natural beauty. St. Lucia’s west coast is home to most of the resorts, giving vacationers access to snorkeling and scuba diving among coral reefs and shipwrecks. To the south, the island is home to acres of banana plantations, tropical rainforests, and other natural wonders. There are two international airports serving St. Lucia; Hewanorra (UVF) to the south and Charles (SLU) to the north. Be sure to choose the one closest to your resort or you may find your transfer taking you through twisting, elevated roads.
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