Going away with a partner is very much a bonding experience and the planning should be just as stress-free as the actual vacation time. Luckily, just thinking about a possible Caribbean break for two will elicit feelings of elation and bliss, because there’s just so much to choose from, envisaging which white, secluded beach would make the best setting for your desktop screensaver and calculating how many lobster dinners you could (reasonably) ask for in a day, with an all-inclusive booking.
Whether you’re after a romantic nature break on the lush and peaceful island of Grenada, an eclectic mix of urban life and jungle activity on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, or you’re in pursuit of utterly, unfettered elegance in a luxury resort in either Turks and Caicos or the Dominican Republic — a Caribbean getaway is guaranteed to be nothing short of spectacular wherever you go. All that’s left to do then, is make that oh-so-difficult choice.
The Caribbean charm, European influence and overarching natural beauty of St. Barts is an incredible combination, which is perhaps why honeymooners and couples continue to flock here in droves, despite the heftier price tags. On the island, 14 beaches await and the best include Anse des Flamands for the rolling white sands and verdant greenery, Baie de St-Jean for the beachside restaurants like On The Rocks, and Anse de Grand Cul-de-Sac for the watersports. If you’re after a romantic setting without all the grandeur, try intimate boutique Tom Beach Hotel.
Samaná Peninsula, Dominican Republic
If you want to feel like you’ve uncovered an opulent yet secluded spot with your betrothed, this Dominican Republic region is it. Samaná is a sleepy and traditional town on the Samaná Peninsula, which drops off into the sparkling waters of Samaná Bay — home to thousands of humpback whales during mating season from December to March. For accommodation, couples must head to the dizzyingly beautiful isle of Cayo Levantado. Palm-tree lined beaches and chalky-white sands can be explored at the adults-only, five-star resort of Bahia Principe.
Located on the island’s far Western side, Negril is perfect for honeymooners in search of a lively and picturesque chapter of romance. Sun-basking, reef-swimming and all out-indulging take place in the main, on the golden sands of the famous, sunset-facing Seven Mile Beach. Negril boasts stylish, boutique hotels atop the stunning limestone cliffs, the most impressive of which is The Caves. There are also plush beach-front hotels like Royalton Negril And Hideaway.
Corn Islands, Nicaragua
Head to Nicaragua’s pleasingly affordable Caribbean coast, where Big and Little Corn Island offer untapped beauty with a rustic edge. A short flight from Managua, the islands will tempt you with their crystalline waters, coconut bread and diving options, but the larger of the two, Big Corn, houses more locals, better beaches and fewer tourists. In comparison, Little Corn does well at maintaining its party reputation and offers a larger range of boutique accommodations, like the eco-chic luxury resort Yemaya Island Hideaway. Over on Big Corn Island, stay at Casa Canada for cabanas overlooking the ocean, an impossibly pretty infinity pool, a simple restaurant and charming service.
Turks and Caicos
Two hundred miles of powdery, white sands and gorgeous reefs meet utter indulgence in Turks and Caicos, an archipelago of 40 low-lying coral islands southeast of the Bahamas. Romance-seekers today are rich with choices when it comes to elegant accommodations and dining here, particularly on the gateway island of Providenciales (known as Provo). Try the sensational seafood at the candle-lit Anacaona or check out the lively crowd at Da Conch Shack and Rum Bar. Hotels and resorts are pretty much luxury only: Parot Cay, a 74-room resort on a private cay, is for the couple who want to absorb all the beauty of the islands without feeling as if they’ve stepped onto a resort. Amanyara on the other hand, is pure opulence with private villas and bungalows on the property which backs onto a protected wildlife park.
Magdelena region, Colombia
Find beauty, adventure and culture on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. The Magdelena region is a sparkling jewel in Colombia’s crown, and adrenaline-seeking couples can visit lost cities together with a La Ciudad Perdida jungle trek, spot monkeys and parrots in protected parklands at Parque de Tayrona, and explore the eclectic charm of colonial Cartagena, which is where you should stay before venturing off to explore. Cartagena is impossibly romantic and boasts a selection of high-end boutique hotels, like Casa San Augstine.
St. Kitts and Nevis
At 18 miles long and five miles wide, this pair of tropical islands off the coast of Puerto Rico is not one of the Caribbean’s best known spots, but there are few better places for couples looking to unwind somewhere serene, secluded and historical. The UNESCO-protected Brimstone Hill Fortress offers history, and climbing one of St. Kitts’ three volcanic peaks, like Mount Liamuiga, is for adventurers seeking monkeys and wild orchids. Fall asleep to the gentle lapping of the waves at the intimate beach-front boutique resort Nisbet Plantation.
Trinidad offers old-fashioned romance with an atmospheric edge. Wake up to the distinct ‘clip-clop’ of a horse and carriage on cobble-stones, before taking a stroll into the colonial center of town to arrange a trek to the breathtaking Vegas Grande waterfall in the mountains. When you return, a trip to the top of El Museo Histórico, solely for the panoramic views of the sprawling Cuban hills, is worth much more than the entrance price ($2). For serious romance, opt for either the five-star Iberostar Grand Hotel in the town-square or the more quaint Hotel Las Cuevas, set on a leafy hill overlooking Trinidad.
This Dutch Caribbean island is perfect for couples who like to mix it up, offering the luxury, the natural and the historical. Make some memories and swim with flamingos on a neighboring private island, hike to the Arikok National Park to work up a sweat, and check out the range of museums on the island including one for archaeology and another for glass ceramics. Aruba has no shortage of good restaurants, too, with coconut shrimp and Jamaican jerk ribs at the popular outdoor dining spot, Smokey Joes andgourmet eating at 2 Fools And A Bull. Cozy couple’s resorts include the intimate MVC Eagle Beach hotel, or the eco-friendly Bucuti and Tara Beach Resort.
Honeymooners can watch the sun melt into the sparkling sea on a romantic catamaran tour, or take a walk on one of Barbados’s many breathtaking beaches. Cuisine is varied thanks to the fusion of African, Spanish and West Indian influences. Fish Pot, set within an 18th century fort and part of the Little Good Harbour Hotel, serves up delicious dishes and an unbeatable ambience in equal measure. For romantic accommodations, the five-star Fairmont Royal Pavilion has rooms in the style of a Barbadian home, and the larger Sandy Lane Hotel boasts a golf course and spa alongside its spectacular suites and ocean-front rooms.
Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
Puerto Viejo is perfect for couples who want to explore somewhere off the beaten path. Blended with both Latin and Caribbean vibes, the bustling town boasts close proximity to spectacular waterfalls and rainforests plus, plenty of hedonistic activity. Banana Azul provides on-the-beach villas with private pools. Arrange a water-rafting tour, jungle expedition or rainforest tour there or, with any of the operators in town and be sure to eat at El Refugio Grill, a small family-run Argentinian spot that proves popular with tourists and locals.
Grenada has idyllic sands, tropical trees laden with fruits, a dramatic coastline and the constant smell of nutmeg in the air — it’s a beautiful location in which to get amorous. Most accommodation options on Grenada offer low-key luxury, like Mount Cinnamon Resort which offers guests an on-site spa and sailing and watersports activities. Then there’s the low-rise, all-inclusive hotel Spice Island Beach Resort which unfurls along the sparkling waters and white sands of the islands’ best beach, Grand Anse. Don’t forget to also head to the picture-perfect Tobago Cays for some of the Caribbean’s best diving and indulge in candle-lit gourmet Caribbean food at The Beach Club and Rhodes Restaurant, Calabash.
Saint Lucia boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in the Caribbean. The north of the island is busier and more developed, with spectacular beaches, bars and restaurants, and the south is where the world heritage site, Saint Lucia’s Pitons are at. Day-trip excursions between the north and south can be made easily, but it’s worth spending a significant time on each side. For a truly spectacular and intimate retreat, take a trip to the unforgettable hilltop hotel, Jade Mountainwhich bans technology, so all you’ll have to do is focus on is birdwatching, scuba excursions and the property’s 24 infinity pools.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
St. Vincent and the Grenadines encompasses 32 islands, secluded private cays and fancy, yacht-filled harbors. It’s known as a major sailing destination and offers some of the best sands in the Caribbean. Stay in the luxury beach-front resort, the Pink Sands Club on Canouan Island, the isle of wild tortoises, and take one of the hotel’s golf-carts to explore the sprawling 1,200-acre resort. Later you can head up to Mount Royal and take in the panoramic views of the Caribbean waters, Mustique, Bequia and Tobago Cays.
Antigua and Bermuda
Antigua and Bermuda are situated between the Atlantic and Caribbean and will impress with a variety of low-key, natural wonders and friendly locals. Half Moon Bay and Rendezvouz Bay are spectacular must-sees for divers and sunbathers, although the latter is accessible only after a 90-minute jungle trek. There’s also the Georgian-era marina and national park, Nelson’s Dockyard to see, which is Antigua’s top sightseeing draw and which was made a UNESCO site in 2016. And when you want romantic accommodation try Jumby Bay, a private island paradise peppered with hammocks.