If you're interested in a honeymoon in the Caribbean, then you're probably hoping for sun on your back and sand between your toes. But it's tough to choose an island out of so many that seem so wonderful.
What sets these Caribbean islands apart? And which is the best for you and your fiancé?
We have a list of 10 Caribbean islands you may or may not have considered for your honeymoon. Whether you and your fiancé would like to hike a volcano or lie on a beach with an umbrella drink in your hand, we have some islands for you to choose from.
Anguilla is a British territory with a small number of luxury resorts. Because it's exclusive, honeymooners can relax on beaches that aren't overcrowded with people. The resorts are pricey, but if you look hard, you might find a bargain.
Even though it's only 35 square miles, the island is packed with things to do. If you and your new spouse are foodies, you can pick from more than 100 restaurants, and feast anywhere from a beachside shack to a romantic waterfront venue. And if the two of you like art, Anguilla offers many local galleries and local crafts. Perhaps you can pick up a unique memento from your honeymoon. You can also enjoy scuba diving, golf and biking on the island, and if you're a bird watcher, Anguilla's 130 species will give you lots of reasons to take photographs.
9: Turks and Caicos
Another British territory, the Turks and Caicos is just an hour from Miami. It's made up of about 40 small islands and cays (a cay is a small sandy island formed on the surface of a coral reef).
As a honeymoon spot, it's your typical tropical paradise, known for its spectacular underwater visibility. For this reason, scuba diving, fishing and sailing are popular activities. Provo is generally considered to be the most developed (i.e. touristy) of the islands, and if you prefer that atmosphere, you might be lucky enough to spot JoJo, a friendly dolphin who often drops by the bay for a visit. If you're looking for a quaint honeymoon stay, consider booking a room at the very first hotel in the area, a small, pink traditional West Indies-style property called the Sibonne Beach Hotel. You won't find a luxury spa, but you will enjoy an historic beachfront stay on Grace Bay Beach. Perfect for two.
Sometimes called Little Nevis, Nevis is one of the smallest islands in the Caribbean. Its countryside is dotted with old sugarcane plantations, and you can see the Nevis Peak volcano off in the distance. Take a hike with your new spouse up to the peak -- at more than 3,000 feet -- and enjoy the physical and spiritual rewards together.
If you'd rather de-stress and relax (and who doesn't after a wedding?), then Nevis provides every opportunity for lounging around, floating in the water, and enjoying cocktails at your hotel bar. For your stay, consider the romantic Nisbet Plantation Club hotel. It's next to a beach in a coconut grove, and it combines the old world charm of an 18th century plantation with modern amenities. Stay in one of the cottage-style rooms, and keep an eye out for local green vervet monkeys. Keep your camera handy.
7: St. Vincent and the Grenadines
St. Vincent, the larger of these two islands, has a rainforest and active volcano. The beaches feature pure white sand, and they're less crowded than some of the more popular Caribbean islands. In fact, St. Vincent and the Grenadines islands are ideal for honeymooners who want privacy.
The Grenadines islands, which are populated by communities of fisherman and boat builders, are even less crowded than St. Vincent. But keep in mind that privacy and seclusion comes with a price, which is why the wealthiest of honeymooners frequent these islands.
The first "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie was filmed at St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and you can even visit some of the original set pieces, if you wish.
6: Dominican Republic
If you'd prefer an all-inclusive getaway on a bustling but affordable island, look into the Dominican Republic. Some of these resorts are so huge they seem more like self-contained cities, and you'll never have to leave.
Besides snorkeling, you can enjoy playing golf on one of the island's 20 courses, walking miles of clean sandy beaches or hiking a 10,000-foot peak. You can also windsurf, whitewater raft, horseback ride, mountain bike or even go on a Jeep safari. At the end of the day, unwind and relax with your sweetheart at one of the island's many restaurants. Feast on plantains, chicken or fresh grilled fish -- and a nice, cold local beer. Then sleep it off in a beachside hammock.
Have you always dreamed of honeymooning in Paris, but don't think you can afford it? You're in luck. Martinique is like the South of France … in the Caribbean. The locals speak French, you can get authentic French food -- or Caribbean Creole -- and the shopping rivals the best fashion houses in Paris.
If the French atmosphere isn't romantic enough, you can visit mountains, rainforests and check out exotic flowers. Luxury resorts are tucked away on some of the island's bays, and more affordable -- yet still lovely -- lodging can be found at beachfront hotels. Substitute the Eiffel Tower with some swaying palm trees, and your Parisian honeymoon is perfect.
4: St. Barthélemy
St. Barts (or St. Barths, in French) is another French island. The real estate attracts the wealthy, so if you'd like to enjoy a pampered honeymoon with the rich and famous, this island is your best bet. Many couples rent a villa and hire their own private chef for gourmet meals from local seafood.
St. Barts boasts pristine white sand beaches -- 14, to be exact -- that are rarely crowded. Frequent visitors recommend checking out the Cul-de-Sac and St. Jean beaches for glimpses of celebrities and beautiful people. If you prefer hanging out with the locals, try Corossol Beach, located near a fishing village. Rent a moped, put your arms around the waist of your better half, and zip around the island.
3: St. Martin
Want to spend your honeymoon immersed in the cultures of both the Dutch and the French? Visit the island of St. Martin -- called Sint Maarten in Dutch -- an island that is French on the northern side and Dutch on the southern side.
If you don't speak French, stick with Sint Maarten, where the common language spoken is English. Besides the usual beaches and tropical splendor, you'll find a Belgian chocolate factory on this side. And what's more romantic than chocolate? On the St. Martin side, enjoy espresso and patisseries. The town of Grand Case is famous for its row of restaurants along the beach road. And if you and your spouse are feeling adventurous, visit Orient Beach, where clothing is optional.
2: Trinidad and Tobago
Like Saint Martin, Trinidad and Tobago is another "split personality" destination. The two islands are united as one sovereign country, each with its own distinct flavor. If you and your mate can't quite decide what kind of Caribbean honeymoon you want, Trinidad and Tobago offers two very different experiences.
Trinidad is more like a South American country than a Caribbean island. Think steel drums and calypso -- this is where Caribbean music was born. Arrive there in the spring and enjoy the annual, tourist-attracting Carnival. If you and your new spouse like mingling with the locals, Trinidad is a great spot for you.
Tobago, on the other hand, will fit with bill if you're looking for a more typical island getaway. White, sandy beaches and resorts are the order of the day in Tobago. Visit the Kariwak Village hotel to enjoy some romantic couples' yoga and massage.
Grenada is famous for its spices -- in fact, its nickname is "Spice Island." For centuries, this lush island has exported nutmeg, mace, cinnamon and cloves. Seasoned travelers love Grenada for its laid back, unpretentious attitude.
This is a great destination for couples who like to be active together. Grenada's natural features include waterfalls, rainforests, beaches with both black and white sand, and jungles packed with tropical birds and monkeys. Spend a Saturday morning visiting Market Square, where you can enjoy the hustle and bustle of local vendors selling mangoes, coconuts, bananas and more. Then hike to the Seven Sisters Waterfalls, where you can jump in for a refreshing swim.
For more on weddings, honeymoons and travel, check out the links on the next page.
Lots More Information
- 10 Honeymoon Destinations for Every Personality
- American Royalty: 10 Fabulous Weddings
- 10 Biggest Wedding Expenses
- House or Honeymoon? Why Some Couples Ditch the Getaway
- What to Pack (and Leave Behind) For Your Honeymoon
- Can I afford a honeymoon?
- Are all-inclusive honeymoons worth the cost?
- Why do some couples take a belated honeymoon?
- "22 Top Caribbean Honeymoon Spots." Bridal Guide. 2011. (Mar. 4, 2011)http://www.bridalguide.com/honeymoons/caribbean/22-top-caribbean-honeymoon-spots
- "Caribbean Islands." CaribbeanIslands.us. 2010. (Mar. 4, 2011)http://www.caribbeanislands.us/
- Stock, Jon. "Nevis, Caribbean: Living the easy island life." The Telegraph. Oct. 14, 2010. (Mar. 4, 2011)http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/centralamericaandcaribbean/8063450/Nevis-Caribbean-Living-the-easy-island-life.html