Make sure your phone is charged when you visit these places. #fodorsonthego
Amp up the number of likes and followers to your Instagram account when you post shots from these postcard-perfect locales in the Caribbean that prove tropical paradise is more than a pretty beach (but don’t worry, we’ve got a beach on the list, too). These are a collection of one-of-a-kind vistas:surrounded by flamingoes, behind the wheel of a vintage car, swimming with sting-rays, or chill-laxing on a pink-sand beach.
Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino’s private island, reachable via complimentary water taxi, is blissful in many ways—including the shocks of pink that roam around…yep, those are flamingos! Snap photos with them; they really don’t mind.
WHERE: Grand Cayman
Photos of stingrays swarming around you in the open water? Yes, please! Stingray City may be a major attraction here (packages fold in free shuttle transportation and sodas, plus use of snorkel gear) but it’s in no way kitschy. Choose from six different packages. About 50 stingrays call this shallow sandbar home and are friendly to visitors.
WHERE: Negril, Jamaica
Because it’s practically criminal to fly to Jamaica and not sample jerk, what’s cool about this cliffside café is that you can—before or after you watch brave souls leap 35 feet into the Caribbean Sea—experience some of the best jerk-seasoned chicken in the Negril area. Even if you don’t jump (and no one at Rick’s is suggesting you should), you can post shots of the brave ones who do.
WHERE: Sugar Beach, St. Lucia
So deeply connected to St. Lucia that there’s a beer named for them, the Pitons are two grassy mountains (also a UNESCO World Heritage Site) that arose from a volcano eruption many moons ago. To get the perfect snap, visit the white-sand beach at Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, whose Rainforest Spa is tucked into seven treehouses (another #gramming op).
Pink Sand Beach
WHERE: Harbour Island, Bahamas
You’ve never seen a beach quite like this, trust us. A carpet of pink sand—due to Foraminifera’s pink shells—blankets the seashore on Harbour Island, just northwest of Eleuthera Island, one of the country’s 700 islands. A sweet spot to sink your toes in the sand—and style with a glass of sparkling Rosé wine—is at the appropriately named Pink Sands Resort.
WHERE: Old Havana, Havana, Cuba
A shot of you in the back seat of a 1950s-era convertible—in a shocking shade like hot-pink or cool-turquoise—could be the perfect souvenir. Visitors to Old Havana can book a ride in a chauffeured vehicle with several companies, including Old Car Tours. Most drivers will even take your photo behind the wheel (while the car is parked).
WHERE: San Juan, Puerto Rico
It’s typical to do water sports during the day—but at night? Hop into a kayak at Bioluminescent Bay, an hour’s drive from San Juan, after sunset and you won’t regret it. You’ll swear the water looks like it’s all a-glow. Pure Adventure is one tour company that can hook you up, via its Bio Bay Kayak Tour.
Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park
For this one you’re going to need an underwater camera, or at least a water-resistant smart-phone sleeve if someone is taking your photo from above the water’s surface. To find this 11-year-old park, created by Jason deCaires Taylor, travel to the island’s west side. Snorkeling or sailing are the two best options to see these concrete installations.
Spend enough time in the Caribbean, and exteriors start to look beach-blah with their neutral hues. Willemstad, a UNESCO World Heritage City in the Dutch Caribbean, takes a design detour with its buildings awash in bright, contemporary shades. Find these along Santa Anna Bay in a spot called Handelskade.
INSIDER TIPAwesome photos can be taken from the water with the buildings in full view.
Baths National Park
So stunningly beautiful is the B.V.I. that Richard Branson set up his private-island retreat (Necker Island) here. Forego those pricey nightly rates by traveling to Virgin Gorda instead. The gorgeous seven-acre beach on the island’s southwest tip features shallow-water coves and boulders in Devil’s Bay and Spring Bay.