Known for stunning azure waters, great rum, beautiful beaches, great watersports, and out-of-this-world snorkeling adventures, the Caribbean sounds like a dream destination for many. Add to that the huge number of carnivals and festivals that take place here year-round, beach parties that go on until the early hours, and refreshing cocktails, and you can see why this region appeals so much to the younger generation.
Aside from a good party atmosphere, if you’re a young couple, a young group of friends, or even if you’re planning a solo trip to the Caribbean, you’ll likely want to know which destination is best suited to you.
To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the top five Caribbean destinations for young adults, looking for a picture-perfect island escape.
Known for its stunning beaches, lines with white sands, and bright blue waters, Curacao is a gorgeous, and more importantly safe destination. Popular even with solo female travelers, you can rest assured that this is one of the safest Caribbean spots to visit if you are planning a girl’s vacation or a solo trip.
When it comes to a girly getaway or even just a romantic experience for a honeymoon, one thing many travelers enjoy about Curacao is the many opportunities to get up close and personal with wildlife! Playa Piskado (Fisherman’s Beach), is a gorgeous spot where you can swim with sea turtles, and Jan Thiel Beach offers visitors the opportunity to get in the waters with local dolphins.
Just want to see the fish and corals? Worry not, as Klein Curacao, a small island located near the mainland of Curacao is a great place for snorkeling. At this place, you can even see the famous pink lighthouse, and discover the amazing history of this unique island. (After all, what’s a girl’s getaway without a trip to a pink lighthouse?)
Curacao is a great spot for the younger crowd due to its vibrant nightlife and great cuisine. Much of the food here is finger food, making it a great option for those who like to eat on the go when moving from one bar to the next. Snacks here are uniquely Dutch Caribbean, so be sure to try some of the most popular ones, such as Bitterballen and Frikandel whilst you’re there.
There’s a great selection of nightlife here, with many expats moving to Curacao to enjoy the great bar scene. Curacao is a great destination if you’re looking for delicious restaurants, amazing beach clubs, and great Casinos.
St Maarten / St Martin
Like the sound of trying out the Dutch Caribbean but aren’t certain it’s for you? A trip to St Maarten (or St Martin) is just what you’re looking for! Half Dutch and Half French, this unique Caribbean Island offers both cultures, one on each side of the island.
Head on over to the Dutch side of the island to enjoy great shopping options, watch planes landing over at Maho Beach, and enjoy a vibrant, bustling atmosphere after the sun sets. Watching airplanes land at Princess Juliana Airport is a great opportunity for thrill-seekers, where many young people gather on Maho Beach to update their social media with stunning videos of this breathtaking sight.
If you’re more of a foodie though, you may want to spend more time over on the French side of the island, where you can enjoy some of the best culinary experiences the Caribbean has to offer.
If vibrant nightlife is at the top of your wishlist for your getaway, then Aruba is one of the best destinations you can choose. With gorgeous, sunny weather, and a great range of things to see and do on a vacation here, it’s a popular spot amongst many young travelers.
Whether you’re looking for great nightclubs, relaxing cinemas, fun-filled bowling alleys, stretching golf courses, spacious casinos, or exciting bars, there’s plenty to see and do on a trip to Aruba.
With a shorter rainy season than most other Caribbean destinations, running from October to January each year, Aruba is a great place to visit if you want glorious sunshine all year round, making it a perfect place to relax on the beach with a tropical cocktail in hand.
Aruba is home to a great variety of attractive beaches, such as the ever-popular Palm Beach, Malmok Beach, Baby Beach, and Eagle Beach. Flamingo Beach is another popular choice amongst tourists, as it allows visitors to get up close and personal with a huge flock of gorgeous pink flamingos! This beach is located on a private island and is accessible via private boat transfers.
St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
If a vibrant nightlife isn’t at the top of your list, however, you may be more comfortable with a trip to a destination like St Thomas.
Located in the US Virgin Islands, St Thomas is a great destination for solo female travelers, as it is incredibly safe, and is a haven for duty-free shopping, as each visitor (including children) is permitted $1600 each in duty-free purchases back to the US.
If you’re a US citizen, it’s also a great option if you don’t have a passport. US citizens can visit the US Virgin Islands without a passport, so long as you don’t plan on island hopping to the British Virgin Islands (as you will need a British Passport to enter these).
Beaches in St Thomas are simply gorgeous, with two of the most popular ones being Magens Bay Beach and Coki Beach. Magens Bay Beach is located at the Northern end of the island and is a popular spot for both tourists and locals, boasting calm waters and a relaxing environment. Coki Beach, on the other hand, is the best spot if you’re planning on going snorkeling, especially if you’re new to the hobby, or just trying it out for the first time.
When it comes to nightlife, there’s a great selection of beach bars and restaurants in the areas of Haven Sight, Red Hook, and Frenchtown. Thankfully these are all located near one another, making it easy to go bar-hopping on a night out.
If you’re looking for a destination with great entertainment, Puerto Rico is a great call. Another gorgeous island US Citizens can visit without a passport, this vibrant US territory, is a great destination for those looking for a relaxing, sunny place to party.
One great spot on the island recommended to the younger crowd is La Placita de Santurce, which is a market by day, and by night, a great place to meet new friends, eat good food, and dance the night away. If you’re looking to meet some of the locals and have an authentic Puerto Rican night out, then this is the place to be.
Aside from the upbeat nightlife, there’s a great selection of beaches here too, with Flamenco Beach being one of the island’s very best, and is a firm favorite of tourists and locals alike. This beach boasts gorgeous calm waters, which are simply perfect for scuba diving and snorkeling.
Of course, we can’t list all these great destinations across the Caribbean that are popular with young adults, without mentioning the well-loved and ever-popular Jamaica!
This may be the first destination that comes to mind when thinking of a party island in the Caribbean, as it’s known for its laid-back atmosphere where you can drink, dance, and smoke to your heart’s content.
That said, there’s plenty more to love about Jamaica if you’re a young adult, including delicious cuisine, beautiful beaches, and fun events.
Be sure to try some of the country’s best dishes, such as salt fish, ackee, festivals, jerk food, and bammy.
In terms of entertainment and nights out, you’ll want to head down to Margaritaville, a popular spot built above the sea, featuring a great bar and restaurant. Pier1 is another great spot, featuring a great open restaurant that serves up classic Jamaican cuisine, alongside live music and dancing.
Beaches in Jamaica are also well worth visiting, and you can discover beaches with both black and white sands. Seven Mile Beach is one of the country’s most famous and boasts a long stretch of white sand and beautiful water, simply perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Doctor’s Cave Beach and Frenchman’s Cove are two other popular beaches on the island.
Still not sure which the perfect destination for your getaway is? Head on over to our contact page, to get in touch with one of our expert travel advisors, who can help you plan your perfect Caribbean getaway.