After having lived and worked in the Caribbean for over 22 years, I can say that no single place is the best, but the Caribbean Region is one of the best places in the world to visit. In the Caribbean, where each country offers something special the “best” depends upon what you are looking for!
Central America has fascinating ruins from numerous cultures, the Mayan and Aztecs rivaled Egypt in building pyramids and stone carving. How did they build them? No one really knows, they certainly couldn’t flood an area and float the stones up mountains!
Do you want to find the best beaches? Consider checking out Anguilla or St. John’s. These islands are coral-based so the beaches are brilliant white, wide and beautiful. Of course, many would say that there are also good white sand beaches in the Bahamas, ABC Islands and hidden away in a few other locales. But maybe you prefer black sand? Volcanic islands such as Grenada have black sand beaches which are very fine and sparkle in the sunlight!
Maybe you prefer mountains and rain forest, but would like to avoid the giant South American Anacondas? Consider Dominica. It has over 300 square miles of mountains, streams and waterfalls, all getting several inches of rain a week, and no anacondas. Hiking is spectacular up to the Boiling Lake, or even just into some of the valleys. The rain grows some beautiful flowers, no doubt the reason Dominica is called the Botanical Garden of the Caribbean, a plant lover’s paradise.
So how about diving? The Saba Bank is the third largest Reef system in the world and growing, the fish are fearless and curious, a combination that creates a true diver’s delight. But you should note that accommodations are limited and there isn’t a beach on the island, plus it has one of shortest, international airports in the world.
As stated earlier, almost every place has something that they claim is the best, so where to choose and what to do? I would recommend a combination destination. Somewhere that offers a wide selection of activities amongst a variety of scenery, the best place is where everybody has a good time! Nevis is an excellent choice!
Nevis is only 36 square miles with a central volcanic peak, yet surrounded by coral reefs. This means it has glittering black sand volcanic beaches as well as a few white sand, coral-based beaches. There is one main road, so everything is close together and you can travel from one beach to the next.
Rainfall at the top of Nevis Peak (3232 ft) is as high as most of top of Nevis Peak (3232 ft) is as high as most of Dominica, giving the lovely rain forest with beautiful flowers, but down by the hotels rain is recorded as averaging 55 inches. The rain also mostly falls late at night or during the early morning, so won’t inconvenience you. You can have cool rain or warm sun, again the best of both! No Boiling Lake, but there are some nice hot springs that people have been bathing in for years.
While the reefs surrounding Nevis can’t really compare to the Saba Bank (few places can), it does have some lovely diving and there are several hundred wrecks in the waters nearby! The Dive company (there is only one) is very friendly and one of the best.
Hotels on Nevis are not cheap, but, as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for! The service is superb and the crime rate much lower than on many other destinations. Dining can be an adventure on its own, Nevis food is rated the best in the Caribbean. Restaurants range from the ultra deluxe to very local.
Activities on Nevis, besides climbing the mountain, diving, or laying on the beach (if these aren’t enough)?
No Aztec Remains, but historians will enjoy exploring the numerous ruins and mills that surround Nevis, as well as visiting the birthplace of that great American statesman, Alexander Hamilton. British will head to The Nelson Museum, it has the largest collection of memorabilia for the Admiral Horatio Nelson found anywhere in the Caribbean (he married a local lady). There are also horse rides, horse races, biking, snorkeling, sailing, windsurfing and fishing.
Nevis is a combination destination and suitable for everyone, and that is what makes it the best place to vacation in the Caribbean!