Three tropical destinations, but only one stay: So which one to choose?
The Caribbean is one of the world’s most sought-after tourist destinations, attracting up to 26.3 million visitors a year to its islands of gorgeous beaches, rich culture and abundant sunshine. Barbados, the Bahamas and Aruba are three of the most popular islands in the Caribbean, which means travelers might find it hard to choose one over another. But do not worry; This three-way face-to-face will help facilitate the decision-making process.
Barbados is an island located in the southeastern region of the Caribbean Sea. The island is characterized by clear blue skies, numerous plantations, beautiful beaches with turquoise waters and soft white sand. Its waters are not only ideal for swimming and scuba diving, but also for surfing and fishing. Barbados has a lot in common with Great Britain as it was once a British colony. In fact, it had Queen Elizabeth II as head of state until November 2021 when a new head of state was elected. The many golf courses and English-inspired games such as cricket and horse racing make it even more attractive, especially for English-speaking travellers. One of the most attractive things about this island is that celebrities love it. By the way, Rihanna – the amazing pop star, is Barbadian, and Westbury New Road – the street where she lived until her teenage years was even named – Rihanna Drive. A nice bragging rights!
Reasons to visit Barbados
- So much sun: Barbados is blessed with so much sunshine. This makes the island so bright and beautiful that one can easily see the depths of the crystal clear waters on a normal day.
- Dream beaches: Barbados is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, so there are many unique beaches on the island. From beaches with calm waters and a secluded atmosphere to those with rough waves, crowded spaces, and rich marine life, travelers have plenty of options to choose from. The waters are excellent for every water activity you can think of and the surfing is incredibly satisfying.
- Finger-licking delights: Barbados cuisine is one of the most diverse in the world as it borrows flavors from African, Indian, Portuguese, British, Irish and Creole cultures. Expect lots of seafood mixed with vegetables, spices and herbs. Be sure to try some favorites such as – Cou-cou, Chicken Curry and Flying Fish.
- Very expensive
- Vulnerability to natural disasters from summer to fall.
- The increase in the crime rate in some parts of the island
Captivating white sand beaches, mesmerizing turquoise waters and a rich culture are some of the characteristics of this archipelago located in the northwest of the Antilles. The Bahamas is made up of 700 small islands and thousands of cays which consist of hiking trails, lots of palm trees, adventurous parks, so much greenery and endless long views of the blue atmosphere. Nassau – the capital of the island even houses museums that reveal the lifestyle of the pirates who once occupied the Bahamas.
One of the attractive characteristics of the island is its sunny climate which makes the beaches more pleasant. Besides its beaches, there are zoos, gardens and golf courses, spread across the islands of the Bahamas. The Bahamas is one of the best places in the world to swim with unique sea creatures such as dolphins, sharks and swimming pigs. It should also be noted that it is the richest country in the West Indies.
Why visit the Bahamas
There’s so much to love about this big island, but here are some of the most appealing:
- Unique ranges: The Bahamas are inseparable from its beaches. Not with their soft sands, turquoise waters, excellent diving opportunities with underwater caves and blue holes.
- Unique experiences: To start with, Dean’s Blue Hole – the second deepest blue hole in the world is located in the Bahamas and it presents one of the best scuba diving experiences in the world with its 202 meters depth. The island also offers one of the most unique underwater cave dives in the world, which features views of magnificent ocean caves filled with unique sea creatures, unique passageways, and an incredibly diverse ecosystem. Swimming with pigs in Exuma is also a unique experience in the Bahamas.
- A lot of sun : Enough said!
Aruba is a territory of the Netherlands located on the Caribbean Sea. This tiny island sits on the southwest side of the Lesser Antilles and presents a laid-back vacation experience with pristine beaches and incredible sunsets. The island is dry and sunny which makes the beaches more pleasant. While the beaches are its most popular attractions, there are nearby mountains for hiking. Water activities such as snorkeling, sailing, scuba diving and surfing the waters are by far the most popular activities on this island.
Aruba has museums for history buffs and parks for outdoor activities, wildlife and bird exploration. Arikok National Park – one of the best parks to visit on this island offers hiking trails, unique plants and animals, and some of the best beaches on the island. The park is so large that it represents 18% of the entire island of Aruba. One of Aruba’s most unique qualities is that it has an arid climate, unlike its other counterparts. This causes the island to experience less rainfall even in the rainy season, resulting in a drier atmosphere and warmer temperatures, but even that is not enough to prevent the island from having a slogan that says – One Happy Island.
Reasons to Visit Aruba
- Beautiful beaches : Although it is smaller than the other islands, Aruba has no shortage of beautiful white sand beaches. Eagle Beach – one of its most unique beaches is characterized by soft, pristine sand, crystal clear waters and freestanding fofoti trees that combine with the bright blue sky to create a view that looks like a dream. At Flamingo Beach, visitors may even have the chance to feed flamingos while enjoying the sunset.
- Incredible wreck diving: There are many wreck diving opportunities in Aruba. The Antila wreck dive is the largest in the Caribbean with a length of up to 400ft and what a great stage dive this presents.
- Security: Even though gambling is legal in Aruba, the island remains one of the safest destinations in the Caribbean, but that doesn’t mean you can go wave a bunch of dollars in a secluded spot at night. Like many other safe countries around the world, it is always safest to avoid dangerous situations.
- Less vulnerable to hurricanes: Although the lack of rainfall can be a drawback for the island, it is one of the reasons why the island rarely experiences hurricanes. The other reason is that Aruba is located outside the hurricane belt.
- very windy
- So many lizards and iguanas
Obviously, each island offers its own unique experiences and the decision on which to go will ultimately come down to the expectations of the traveler. For unique experiences, head to the Bahamas; For delicious food, Barbados is a great option; and for less worry about hurricanes and incredible wreck diving, head to Aruba.
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