29 Aruba Vacation Alternatives in the Caribbean for 2024

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Tired of Aruba? Too pricey? Looking for a different Caribbean vibe? No problem! Say hello to Aruba vacation alternatives, presenting a range of exciting choices for your next holiday.

These islands are in the Caribbean, but I’m listing them here as alternatives where you can go instead of Aruba.

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Curacao

For those who’ve tired of Aruba’s “one happy island” vibe, but looking for places like Aruba, Curacao is a vibrant palette waiting to be explored. This Dutch Caribbean island is a symphony of colors, from the pastel-hued colonial architecture of Willemstad to the mesmerizing underwater world that lies just beneath the waves.

  • What makes it unique: Besides boasting some of the best diving spots in the region, Curacao’s capital, Willemstad, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its streets are a lively canvas of vibrant colors.
  • Type of traveler: Snorkelers, history buffs, and those who appreciate a cityscape with a Technicolor twist.
  • Activities and attractions: Dive the Blue Room, stroll through the charming streets of Willemstad, and don’t miss the floating market for a taste of local life.
  • Practical details: Direct flights land you at Hato International Airport. Stay at boutique hotels like Scuba Lodge Boutique Hotel & Ocean Suites for an authentic Curacao experience.

Saba

Aruba might be a diva, but Saba is the humble starlet waiting in the wings. Known as the “Unspoiled Queen of the Caribbean,” Saba is a petite, volcanic beauty that offers rugged landscapes and unparalleled tranquility.

Perfect for the traveler seeking Aruba alternatives, this pint-sized paradise is a haven for hikers and divers alike.

  • What makes it unique: Saba’s underwater world is a kaleidoscope of marine life, making it a diver’s dream. With no beaches to speak of, it’s all about the dramatic cliffs, lush rainforests, and charming villages.
  • Type of traveler: Nature lovers and adventure seekers looking to escape the tourist crowds.
  • Activities and attractions: Hike the challenging Mount Scenery trail, dive the mystical underwater pinnacles, and soak in the island’s local charm in the village of Windwardside. For more ideas check out sabatourism.com
  • Practical details: Fly into St. Maarten, and take a short flight or ferry to Saba. Cozy inns like the Queen’s Gardens Resort offer an intimate stay with breathtaking views.

Guadeloupe

Aruba’s got its beaches, but Guadeloupe brings a touch of France to the Caribbean. This butterfly-shaped archipelago is a symphony of French flair and Creole culture. If you’re a foodie with a penchant for white sandy beaches and lush rainforests, bienvenue à Guadeloupe!

  • What makes it unique: Guadeloupe offers a delightful blend of European elegance and Caribbean charm. Expect exquisite cuisine, lively markets, and a diverse landscape that will make your camera beg for mercy.
  • Type of traveler: Food enthusiasts, culture connoisseurs, and those who love their beaches with a side of French sophistication.
  • Activities and attractions: Stroll through Pointe-à-Pitre’s markets, hike the lush trails of Basse-Terre, and indulge in the island’s unique culinary fusion.
  • Practical details: Fly directly into Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport and consider renting a car to explore the diverse regions. Accommodation ranges from charming guesthouses to upscale resorts like La Toubana Hotel & Spa.

Cuba

If Aruba was the warm-up, get ready for the main event in the Caribbean’s crown jewel—Cuba. This is not just a vacation; it’s a journey through time and culture. From the vibrant streets of Havana to the lush tobacco fields of Viñales, Cuba is a sensory explosion waiting to happen.

 
  • What makes it unique: Cuba’s rich history, revolutionary spirit, and the rhythmic heartbeat of salsa set it apart. Vintage cars, colonial architecture, and the sweet aroma of hand-rolled cigars create an atmosphere that’s as intoxicating as the rum they’re known for.
  • Type of traveler: History buffs, music enthusiasts, and anyone with an appreciation for vibrant street life.
  • Activities and attractions: Explore Old Havana’s cobblestone streets, dance the night away in a salsa club, take a scenic drive through Viñales Valley, and, of course, indulge in some world-famous Cuban cigars.
  • Practical details: Fly into José Martí International Airport in Havana. Accommodation options range from charming casa particulares to iconic hotels like Hotel Nacional de Cuba.

Jamaica

If you’re yearning for a laid-back vibe and a soundtrack of reggae beats, Jamaica is calling your name. This Caribbean gem is not just a destination; it’s a state of mind. From the lush Blue Mountains to the pristine beaches of Negril, Jamaica’s diversity is as captivating as its people.

  • What makes it unique: Jamaica is a melting pot of cultures, and it proudly wears its Rastafarian influence. The island’s motto “Out of Many, One People” is reflected in its friendly locals, vibrant music scene, and the spicy kick of Jamaican jerk cuisine.
  • Type of traveler: Beach bums, music lovers, and those seeking a laid-back atmosphere with a side of adventure.
  • Activities and attractions: Climb Dunn’s River Falls, sway to reggae beats at Bob Marley’s birthplace, Nine Mile, savor jerk chicken at Boston Bay, catch some waves if you are surfing fan and unwind on the legendary Seven Mile Beach.
  • Practical details: Fly into Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay or Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston. Opt for all-inclusive resorts like Sandals or explore unique boutique stays like the Geejam Hotel in Port Antonio.

Haiti

For the traveler with an adventurous spirit and a desire to explore the road less traveled, Haiti is an undiscovered gem in the Caribbean. Beyond the headlines, Haiti is a land of vibrant art, historical richness, and an indomitable spirit that captivates those who venture to its shores.

  • What makes it unique: Haiti’s unique blend of African, French, and Caribbean influences is evident in its art, music, and vodou traditions. The Citadelle Laferrière, perched atop a mountain, stands as a testament to the country’s history of resistance and resilience.
  • Type of traveler: Cultural enthusiasts, history buffs, and those seeking an authentic and off-the-beaten-path experience.
  • Activities and attractions: Explore the Iron Market in Port-au-Prince, hike to the Citadelle Laferrière, immerse yourself in the vibrant Jacmel Carnival, and discover the hidden paradise of Île à Vache.
  • Practical details: Fly into Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince. Accommodations range from boutique hotels like Hotel Oloffson to charming guesthouses offering an intimate experience.

Dominican Republic

Ah, the Dominican Republic—the land of endless sunshine, merengue beats, and beaches that make you question your allegiance to your own local stretch of sand. If your ideal vacation involves a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure, this is your Caribbean jackpot.

  • What makes it unique: The Dominican Republic is more than just pristine beaches (although those are pretty darn good). With a dash of history in Santo Domingo’s colonial zone, the adrenaline rush of waterfall exploration in Jarabacoa, and the alluring whispers of merengue music, this place is a symphony of sun-soaked delights.
  • Type of traveler: Sun worshippers, history buffs with a side of beach bum, and thrill-seekers looking for more than just a tan.
  • Activities and attractions: Explore the Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo, take a dip in the stunning 27 Charcos in Damajagua, and don’t forget to perfect your merengue dance moves—it might come in handy at the local fiestas.
  • Practical details: Land at Punta Cana International Airport for beachfront bliss or Santo Domingo’s Las Americas International Airport for a dose of history. For a luxurious stay, consider resorts like Casa de Campo or the intimate vibes of boutique hotels like Billini Hotel.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico—where the old town charm of San Juan collides with the rhythmic beats of reggaeton, and the question isn’t whether to order a piña colada but which beach to sip it on. It’s the Caribbean with a splash of U.S. influence and a side of vibrant local culture.

  • What makes it unique: Old San Juan is a living postcard, with its colorful colonial architecture and cobblestone streets. But Puerto Rico isn’t just about history—it’s a kaleidoscope of experiences, from the lush rainforests of El Yunque to the bioluminescent magic of Mosquito Bay.
  • Type of traveler: Culture vultures, beach lovers with a penchant for adventure, and anyone who believes a good vacation should include a little history lesson.
  • Activities and attractions: Wander the forts of Old San Juan, hike in El Yunque National Forest, kayak in the bioluminescent bay, and sample mofongo—a local delicacy that’s basically a Puerto Rican hug for your taste buds.
  • Practical details: Fly into Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan. For a blend of luxury and history, consider hotels like El Convento in Old San Juan or the beachfront splendor of Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve.

Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago—two islands, one unforgettable experience.

If you’re tired of the same-old, same-old and want a vacation that’s as lively as a Trinidadian carnival, this is your ticket to a fiesta of flavors, colors, and infectious energy.

  • What makes it unique: Trinidad hosts one of the world’s best carnivals, but beyond the feathers and sequins, the islands offer diverse ecosystems, from the vibrant street life of Port of Spain to the serene beaches of Tobago.
  • Type of traveler: Carnival enthusiasts, nature lovers, and those who like their vacations with a side of spice.
  • Activities and attractions: Join the revelry at Trinidad Carnival (if you can time it right!), explore the Pitch Lake, the world’s largest natural deposit of asphalt, and snorkel in Tobago’s Nylon Pool.
  • Practical details: Fly into Piarco International Airport in Trinidad or A.N.R. Robinson International Airport in Tobago. For a taste of local hospitality, try guesthouses like Alicia’s Palace in Trinidad or boutique resorts like Coco Reef Resort & Spa in Tobago.

Barbados

Barbados—the epitome of Caribbean sophistication, where the sea breeze doesn’t just whisper, it sings in harmony with the swaying palms. If your ideal vacation involves a touch of elegance, a dash of rum, and beaches that seem to go on forever, welcome to the Bajan paradise.

  • What makes it unique: Barbados is the Caribbean’s answer to refined luxury. From the iconic Sandy Lane resort to the historic charm of Bridgetown, this island is a seamless blend of high-end resorts and the laid-back Bajan way of life.
  • Type of traveler: Jet-setters in search of glamour, foodies looking to savor flying fish and cou-cou, and beach aficionados with an eye for the finer things.
  • Activities and attractions: Visit Harrison’s Cave, stroll through the UNESCO-listed Bridgetown, dine at the clifftop restaurants in St. James, and make friends with the famous green monkeys.
  • Practical details: Fly into Grantley Adams International Airport. For an opulent stay, check into The Crane Resort or the iconic Sandy Lane.

The Bahamas

The Bahamas—the sapphire jewel in the Caribbean’s crown, where the crystal-clear waters redefine the color blue.

If you’ve had enough of everyday blues and crave a palette of tropical hues, hop on a plane and let the Bahamian magic unfold. Lots of people, when searching for places to go instead of Aruba, choose the Bahamas.

  • What makes it unique: With over 700 islands and cays, the Bahamas is a sprawling archipelago offering everything from the bustling streets of Nassau to the serene Out Islands. It’s a water wonderland where swimming with pigs is just another day in paradise.
  • Type of traveler: Water babies, thrill-seekers looking for the ultimate aquatic adventure, and those who want their vacation to include more shades of blue than a Picasso painting.
  • Activities and attractions: Snorkel at Thunderball Grotto, swim with pigs at Big Major Cay, explore the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, and savor Bahamian conch salad by the beach.
  • Practical details: Fly into Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau. For a touch of luxury, consider Atlantis Paradise Island or the intimate tranquility of Kamalame Cay in Andros.

Saint Lucia

Among the options for Aruba vacation alternatives, Saint Lucia is particularly attractive. Saint Lucia—the Caribbean’s drama queen, where lush rainforests, volcanic peaks, and secluded beaches create a stage for an unforgettable tropical spectacle.

If you are looking for alternatives to Aruba vacation, Saint Lucia might be the answer.

  • What makes it unique: The iconic Pitons—twin volcanic peaks that rise dramatically from the sea—are the undisputed stars of the show. Saint Lucia isn’t just about beaches; it’s a symphony of natural wonders, from the Sulphur Springs to the lush botanical gardens.
  • Type of traveler: Nature enthusiasts, honeymooners looking for a romantic backdrop, and anyone who believes a vacation should come with a soundtrack of birdsong and crashing waves.
  • Activities and attractions: Hike the Gros Piton, relax in the mud baths of Sulphur Springs, explore Pigeon Island National Park, and take a sunset cruise along the coast.
  • Practical details: Fly into Hewanorra International Airport in Vieux Fort or George F. L. Charles Airport in Castries. For an indulgent stay, consider Jade Mountain Resort or the adults-only Serenity at Coconut Bay.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Tired of the crowds and craving an island escape where tranquility reigns supreme? Welcome to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines—the Caribbean’s best-kept secret. This secluded paradise, where turquoise waters gently kiss untouched shores, is a haven for those seeking a nature-infused retreat.

  • What makes it unique: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are a symphony of untouched beauty. Picture sailing through the Grenadines, where deserted white-sand beaches and vibrant coral reefs await. The Tobago Cays Marine Park is your personal aquarium, and the lush landscapes of Bequia offer a serene backdrop to rejuvenate the soul.
  • Type of traveler: Nature enthusiasts, sailors yearning for uncharted waters, and those who find solace in the untouched embrace of the Caribbean.
  • Activities and attractions: Sail through the Grenadines to explore hidden coves, dive into the Tobago Cays’ underwater wonderland, hike the La Soufrière volcano on Saint Vincent, and unwind on the pristine beaches of Bequia.
  • Practical details: Fly into Argyle International Airport in Saint Vincent. For a romantic stay, consider the boutique charm of Petit St. Vincent Resort or the luxury of Young Island Resort.

Antigua and Barbuda

Yearning for a change of scenery that seamlessly blends sun-soaked beaches with a dash of colonial elegance? Enter Antigua and Barbuda—the Caribbean’s classic duo that offers a delightful fusion of history, charm, and picture-perfect coastlines.

  • What makes it unique: Antigua and Barbuda present a Caribbean canvas painted with history. In English Harbor, Nelson’s Dockyard is a living testament to maritime tales, while Shirley Heights offers panoramic views. Yet, it’s the powdery shores of Dickenson Bay that steal the show, inviting you to unwind in the lap of tropical luxury.
  • Type of traveler: History buffs with an eye for maritime tales, beach lovers seeking a touch of elegance, and those who appreciate the harmonious blend of colonial architecture.
  • Activities and attractions: Explore the UNESCO-listed Nelson’s Dockyard, hike to Shirley Heights for breathtaking vistas, sail along the coastline on a traditional Antiguan yacht, and bask on the sun-kissed beaches of Dickenson Bay.
  • Practical details: Fly into V.C. Bird International Airport in Antigua. Consider staying at the all-inclusive Curtain Bluff or the historic charm of Admiral’s Inn in English Harbor.

Saint Kitts and Nevis

For a journey that seamlessly combines colonial history with serene escapes, Saint Kitts and Nevis beckon as the Caribbean’s dynamic duo. These sister islands offer lush landscapes, historical treasures, and an unhurried pace that captivates the soul.

  • What makes it unique: Saint Kitts and Nevis provide a harmonious blend of history and tranquility. The imposing Brimstone Hill Fortress in Saint Kitts tells tales of a rich past, offering panoramic views that transport you to another era. In Nevis, the quiet streets of Charlestown whisper historical charm, creating an atmosphere where time seems to stand still.
  • Type of traveler: History enthusiasts, hikers seeking scenic trails, and those craving an unhurried escape with a touch of colonial charm.
  • Activities and attractions: Climb to the top of Brimstone Hill Fortress for a historical journey, take a scenic railway tour in Saint Kitts, hike the rainforest-covered slopes of Mount Liamuiga, and soak in the tranquility of Pinney’s Beach in Nevis.
  • Practical details: Fly into Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport in Saint Kitts. For an upscale stay, consider the Park Hyatt St. Kitts or the intimate escape of Nisbet Plantation Beach Club in Nevis.

Grenada

Welcome to Grenada, the “Spice Isle” of the Caribbean, where nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves scent the air, and pristine beaches beckon with a promise of tranquility. If you’re ready to swap crowded resorts for a laid-back haven with a touch of spice, Grenada is your aromatic escape.

  • What makes it unique: Grenada is a sensory delight, offering not just beautiful beaches but also spice plantations that perfume the island. Picture underwater sculptures at the Moliniere Underwater Sculpture Park and colorful markets in St. George’s, where the charm of the Caribbean comes alive.
  • Type of traveler: Spice enthusiasts, beachgoers in search of quiet retreats, and those seeking a more authentic Caribbean experience.
  • Activities and attractions: Tour spice plantations like Dougaldston Estate, explore the historic Fort George, dive or snorkel at the Underwater Sculpture Park, and hike to the stunning Grand Etang Lake.
  • Practical details: Fly into Maurice Bishop International Airport. For an intimate stay, consider boutique hotels like Laluna or the beachfront luxury of Spice Island Beach Resort.

Dominica

For the adventurer tired of the ordinary, Dominica is the Caribbean’s best-kept secret. Aptly nicknamed the “Nature Island,” Dominica offers a landscape that feels like a scene from Jurassic Park—lush, untamed, and ready for exploration.

  • What makes it unique: Dominica is a haven for nature lovers, boasting everything from boiling lakes and waterfalls to hot springs and dense rainforests. This is not your typical Caribbean beach escape; it’s an eco-adventure waiting to happen.
  • Type of traveler: Eco-conscious explorers, hikers ready for challenging trails, and those who find bliss in the embrace of untouched nature.
  • Activities and attractions: Hike to Boiling Lake in Morne Trois Pitons National Park, visit the Trafalgar Falls, take a dip in the sulphur springs at Wotten Waven, and snorkel at Champagne Reef.
  • Practical details: Fly into Douglas–Charles Airport. Consider eco-friendly lodges like Jungle Bay or the secluded Pagua Bay House for an immersive experience.

Bonaire

If your idea of a perfect vacation involves the mesmerizing world beneath the waves, Bonaire is your diver’s haven.

This Dutch Caribbean island is renowned for its crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and a laid-back atmosphere that’s perfect for those who want to take it easy after a day of underwater exploration.

  • What makes it unique: Bonaire is a designated marine park, making it a mecca for divers. The island’s “shore diving” concept allows divers to access breathtaking sites right from the shore, and the capital, Kralendijk, charms with its colorful architecture.
  • Type of traveler: Diving enthusiasts, snorkelers looking for easy access to underwater wonders, and those who appreciate a relaxed pace.
  • Activities and attractions: Dive or snorkel in Bonaire’s Marine Park, explore the salt flats and flamingos at Pekelmeer, windsurf at Lac Bay, and enjoy the tranquility of Pink Beach.
  • Practical details: Fly into Flamingo International Airport. For a diver-friendly stay, consider resorts like Buddy Dive or the intimate vibes of Sorobon Beach Resort.

Sint Maarten (Kingdom of the Netherlands)

For those craving a Caribbean adventure with a dual personality, Sint Maarten is the epitome of Dutch and French elegance harmoniously coexisting on one island.

If you’ve danced your way through Aruba’s lively beaches and are ready for a different rhythm, Sint Maarten awaits with its vibrant culture, duty-free shopping, and a blend of European sophistication.

  • What makes it unique: Sint Maarten is a Caribbean melting pot where Dutch and French influences collide. Picture the colorful streets of Philipsburg on the Dutch side, boasting duty-free shops and bustling markets, and the French side’s culinary scene in Marigot, where gourmet delights await.
  • Type of traveler: Shoppers looking for a paradise of duty-free finds, foodies eager to savor a blend of European flavors, and those seeking a cultural cocktail with a Caribbean twist.
  • Activities and attractions: Hit the duty-free shops in Philipsburg, explore the gourmet markets in Marigot, relax on the pristine beaches of Orient Bay, and experience the dual-nationality charm of the island.
  • Practical details: Fly into Princess Juliana International Airport. For a luxurious stay, consider the all-inclusive Sonesta Maho Beach Resort or the intimate ambiance of Holland House Beach Hotel.

Saint Martin (Overseas Collectivity of France)

Saint Martin stands out as a top choice among Aruba vacation alternatives. If the idea of sipping wine by the sea and indulging in gourmet delights on a Caribbean island sounds appealing, then Saint Martin’s French side is your passport to a different kind of tropical escape.

Here, European elegance meets the laid-back Caribbean vibes, offering a unique alternative to Aruba’s energy.

  • What makes it unique: Saint Martin, as part of the overseas collectivity of France, invites you to experience Caribbean life with a French twist. From croissants and café au lait to the charm of French-inspired architecture, this side of the island is a sophisticated retreat.
  • Type of traveler: Food connoisseurs, culture enthusiasts who appreciate a touch of European charm, and those seeking a relaxed pace with a dash of elegance.
  • Activities and attractions: Stroll through the gourmet markets in Marigot, indulge in French-Caribbean fusion cuisine, relax on the chic beaches of Grand Case, and explore the picturesque village of Quartier d’Orléans.
  • Practical details: Fly into Princess Juliana International Airport. Opt for luxury resorts like Belmond La Samanna or the boutique charm of Hotel L’Esplanade.

Turks and Caicos Islands

If you’ve exhausted Aruba’s beaches and are ready to discover a slice of the Caribbean with British flair, the Turks and Caicos Islands offer a tropical paradise under the British Crown. With pristine beaches, coral reefs, and a serene atmosphere, this British Overseas Territory is a luxurious alternative.

  • What makes it unique: Turks and Caicos Islands boast some of the Caribbean’s most stunning beaches, including the world-famous Grace Bay Beach. The coral reefs and turquoise waters are a haven for divers and snorkelers, while the British influence adds an air of refinement.
  • Type of traveler: Beach lovers seeking a serene escape, water enthusiasts eager to explore vibrant coral reefs, and those who appreciate a touch of British sophistication in a tropical setting.
  • Activities and attractions: Explore Grace Bay Beach, snorkel at Smith’s Reef, take a boat trip to Chalk Sound National Park, and savor the tranquil atmosphere of Providenciales.
  • Practical details: Fly into Providenciales International Airport. Choose upscale resorts like The Palms Turks and Caicos or the all-inclusive Beaches Turks and Caicos for a luxurious stay.

Cayman Islands

If you’ve explored the sun-soaked shores of Aruba and are ready to elevate your Caribbean experience, the Cayman Islands beckon with a unique blend of British sophistication and natural wonders. This British Overseas Territory is synonymous with luxury, crystal-clear waters, and a touch of Caribbean elegance.

  • What makes it unique: The Cayman Islands are a playground for the affluent, boasting some of the Caribbean’s most opulent resorts and a reputation for world-class diving. Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach is a pristine strip of white sand, and the underwater wonderland of Stingray City adds a surreal touch to your Caribbean adventure.
  • Type of traveler: Luxury seekers, diving enthusiasts, and those who appreciate a refined tropical setting.
  • Activities and attractions: Relax on Seven Mile Beach, mingle with stingrays at Stingray City, explore the vibrant coral reefs, and savor upscale dining in Grand Cayman.
  • Practical details: Fly into Owen Roberts International Airport. Consider upscale resorts like The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman or the intimate boutique atmosphere of Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa.

British Virgin Islands

For a Caribbean escape that combines the allure of British influence with a sailor’s paradise, the British Virgin Islands offer a dreamy alternative to Aruba. This British Overseas Territory is a mosaic of secluded coves, powdery beaches, and a relaxed atmosphere that caters to both adventurers and those seeking tranquility.

  • What makes it unique: The British Virgin Islands are a haven for sailors, with countless secluded bays and calm waters. Each island has its own charm, from the laid-back Jost Van Dyke to the upscale atmosphere of Virgin Gorda. The Baths, a unique formation of granite boulders, adds a touch of natural wonder.
  • Type of traveler: Sailors and boating enthusiasts, beach lovers seeking secluded retreats, and those who appreciate a mix of upscale and casual island vibes.
  • Activities and attractions: Sail through The Baths in Virgin Gorda, relax on the pristine beaches of Anegada, explore the tranquil coves of Tortola, and indulge in the vibrant nightlife of Jost Van Dyke.
  • Practical details: Fly into Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport (Tortola). Opt for resorts like Rosewood Little Dix Bay in Virgin Gorda or the intimate atmosphere of Guana Island.

U.S. Virgin Islands

U.S. Virgin Islands stands out as a top choice among Aruba vacation alternatives. For those who’ve soaked up the sun on Aruba’s beaches and are ready for a Caribbean twist with an American flavor, the U.S. Virgin Islands offer a tropical paradise under the Stars and Stripes. This U.S. Territory combines the laid-back Caribbean lifestyle with the convenience of American infrastructure.

  • What makes it unique: The U.S. Virgin Islands consist of three main islands—St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix—each with its own character. St. Thomas is a shopper’s paradise, St. John is an eco-lover’s dream, and St. Croix boasts historical charm.
  • Type of traveler: Shoppers and history buffs in St. Thomas, nature enthusiasts in St. John, and those seeking a mix of history and beach relaxation in St. Croix.
  • Activities and attractions: Shop in the duty-free haven of Charlotte Amalie (St. Thomas), explore the pristine beaches and national parks of St. John, visit the historic Christiansted in St. Croix, and indulge in the vibrant island culture.
  • Practical details: Fly into Cyril E. King Airport (St. Thomas) or Henry E. Rohlsen Airport (St. Croix). For a luxurious stay, consider resorts like The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas or the eco-friendly Caneel Bay Resort in St. John.

Anguilla

Alright, my fellow adventurers, buckle up for a ride to Anguilla, the Caribbean’s best-kept secret and a British Overseas Territory that’s more posh than a tea party at Buckingham Palace.

If you’ve strutted your stuff on Aruba’s beaches and are now craving a dash of Caribbean chic served with a side of British flair, Anguilla is your VIP ticket to luxury, pristine shores, and a touch of refined relaxation.

  • What makes it unique: Anguilla is the James Bond of the Caribbean—sophisticated, a bit mysterious, and effortlessly cool. The beaches are straight out of a glossy travel magazine, and the island’s British influence adds a touch of class to the laid-back Caribbean charm. You’ll find no shortage of elegant resorts, fancy restaurants, and the kind of white sand that makes you question if you’ve accidentally stepped into a photoshoot.
  • Type of traveler: Discerning travelers with a taste for the finer things, beach aficionados seeking a slice of paradise with a British twist, and those who appreciate a laid-back atmosphere without compromising on luxury.
  • Activities and attractions: Sip cocktails at stylish beach clubs like Shoal Bay Villas, indulge in a culinary journey at Straw Hat, relax on the pristine beaches of Meads Bay, and don’t forget to sprinkle your conversations with a few “cheerios” for that British touch.
  • Practical details: Fly into Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport. For a taste of Caribbean elegance, consider luxury resorts like Malliouhana or the intimate charm of Zemi Beach House.

Montserrat

Ladies and gentlemen, brace yourselves for a journey to Montserrat, the Caribbean’s hidden gem and a British Overseas Territory that’s so off the beaten path, it’s practically doing the cha-cha with obscurity.

If you’ve danced your way through Aruba’s lively scene and are now yearning for an island with a story to tell, Montserrat is your backstage pass to a unique blend of history, volcanic drama, and the kind of tranquility that makes you want to whisper so as not to disturb the peace.

  • What makes it unique: Montserrat is like the rebellious teenager of the Caribbean family, having survived a volcanic eruption that left more drama than a Shakespearean play. The Soufrière Hills Volcano is the rockstar here, still puffing out a bit of steam to remind everyone who’s boss. This island is not your typical Caribbean postcard—it’s a living testament to nature’s resilience and the power of a good comeback story.
  • Type of traveler: Adventurers who like a bit of volcanic spice, history buffs intrigued by an island with a past, and those seeking serenity off the tourist radar.
  • Activities and attractions: Explore the exclusion zone around the Soufrière Hills Volcano (from a safe distance, of course), hike through the lush rainforest in Centre Hills, relax on the quiet beaches of Rendezvous Bay, and soak in the local vibes at Hilltop Coffee House.
  • Practical details: Fly into John A. Osborne Airport. Accommodation options are limited, so consider guesthouses like Gingerbread Hill or the tranquility of Vue Point Hotel.

Saint Barthelemy

Ah, mes amis, get ready for a voyage to Saint Barthelemy, or as the locals lovingly call it, St. Barts—the French pièce de résistance in the heart of the Caribbean.

If you’ve waltzed through Aruba’s beaches and are yearning for a taste of the French Riviera with a tropical twist, St. Barts is your exclusive invitation to luxury, crystal-clear waters, and a level of sophistication that makes you want to break into a spontaneous “ooh la la.”

  • What makes it unique: St. Barts is the James Bond of the Caribbean, but with a French beret and a glass of champagne in hand. This French overseas collectivity is synonymous with glamor, chic beach clubs, and a vibrant nightlife that’s more Cannes Film Festival than Caribbean sunset. Imagine the charm of French-speaking locals, designer boutiques, and beaches that wouldn’t look out of place on the French Riviera.
  • Type of traveler: Jetsetters in search of an exclusive retreat, beach aficionados with a penchant for luxury, and those who appreciate a European twist on their tropical escape.
  • Activities and attractions: Lounge in style at Nikki Beach, explore the upscale boutiques in Gustavia, relax on the pristine shores of St. Jean Beach, and savor the culinary delights at Eden Rock.
  • Practical details: Fly into Gustaf III Airport. For an ultra-luxurious stay, consider resorts like Eden Rock – St Barths or the intimate charm of Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France.


Belize

Alright, fellow explorers, pack your sense of adventure and get ready for a journey to Belize—a tropical paradise where the jungles hum with life, the reefs teem with color, and the laid-back Caribbean vibes make every day feel like a lazy Sunday afternoon.

If you’ve sunbathed on Aruba’s beaches and are itching for an adventure that’s more Indiana Jones than beach bum, Belize is your ticket to a thrilling blend of culture, nature, and a Caribbean rhythm that’ll have you moving to the beat of a reggae drum.

  • What makes it unique: Belize is the Caribbean’s wild child, with ancient Mayan ruins nestled in dense jungles, the world’s second-largest barrier reef offering underwater wonders, and a cultural mosaic that’s as diverse as the marine life in its turquoise waters. From the howler monkeys in the rainforest to the laid-back Garifuna drum beats on the coast, Belize is a symphony of adventure and relaxation.
  • Type of traveler: Adventurers seeking a mix of jungle exploration and reef diving, eco-conscious travelers eager to preserve nature’s wonders, and those who appreciate a blend of cultural diversity in a tropical setting.
  • Activities and attractions: Explore the ancient Mayan ruins of Xunantunich, dive into the underwater wonderland of the Great Blue Hole, relax on the sandy beaches of Ambergris Caye, and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Dangriga.
  • Practical details: Fly into Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport. Consider staying in eco-friendly lodges like Chaa Creek in the jungle or beachfront resorts like Victoria House on Ambergris Caye.

Final Words about Aruba Vacation Alternatives

You wondered where to go aside from Aruba in the Caribbean, and now you know. I hope this has helped you start making plans for your next vacation.

Hello, I’m Emma! I’ve been exploring the world since 2015. People always ask me lots of questions when I travel and come back. So, I started a blog to answer them all and share with the world. If you are curious about something, use the search bar on my site or send me an email emma@timetositback.com