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Top 10 things to do in the Caribbean

People enjoy Doctor's Cave Beach, a famous, white, sandy beach in Montego Bay Jamaica on a sunny day.

The Caribbean is a favorite vacation destination for many travelers because of its gorgeous beaches, lively festivals and diverse geography. The region is home to thousands of islands and cays, with 13 independent countries and twice as many dependent territories for travelers to explore. 

While a trip to a Caribbean island is sure to include palm trees and sandy beaches, each island stands out for unique reasons. Shaped by their multicultural history, numerous languages and exceptional cuisine, even neighboring islands have striking differences. Here are some of the most unforgettable experiences across this breathtaking archipelago.

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Jamaica’s white sands are stunning, but there’s more to the island than just its beaches © benedek / Getty Images

1. Jamaica 

Best for history 

Jamaica’s powerful impact on the world cannot be denied. The island has been a popular vacation destination for decades, and it’s the birthplace of reggae, jerk seasoning and Blue Mountain coffee, among many other things. The tiny island known for its blissful beaches also has many carefully preserved historic sites that tell the story of Jamaica’s history.  

Montego Bay is Jamaica’s most popular destination with travelers, with major hotels and resorts dotted along the coast. Off the resorts, Montego Bay has several museums and historic sites for travelers to explore, such as the National Gallery of Jamaica, the oldest established museum in the English-speaking Caribbean. The gallery has a collection of contemporary and modern art as well as preserved artifacts from the Taino population, who were the first to inhabit the island. 

Another stop travelers should consider is the Greenwood Great House, a former plantation dating back to the late 1700s with an extensive collection of antiques, library books and musical instruments from Jamaica’s colonial era. Visitors should also take an afternoon to tour the Appleton Estate, a rum distillery that dates back to 1749. A tour includes a short film on the distillery’s history, a walk through the sugar cane fields and a stop in the tasting room to sip on the flavorful aged rum. 

Colorful buildings with local market at the waterfront. Popular place for tourists. It used to be a floating fish market.
Take a stroll through the colorful neighborhoods of Willemstad, Curaçao’s capital © NAPA74 / Getty Images

2. Curaçao

Best for culture 

Curaçao is the largest of the three islands that make up the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao), a…

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