With hundreds of Caribbean islands to choose from, it can be daunting to decide on a destination in this sun-splashed region. The good news: It’s hard to go wrong in a turquoise paradise. But each spot offers something a little different. Here are nine of the best choices for a variety of travel appetites: Dominica: For lush natural beauty Lush volcanic peaks, deep valleys and 365 rivers cover the Eastern Caribbean island of Dominica. The 290-square-mile island is home to a handful of luxury resorts, including Coulibri Ridge, a new eco-resort with just 14 rooms. Pair that luxury lodging with the Nature Island’s real draw – the great outdoors. A guided hike into the Valley of Desolation leads to the world’s second-largest boiling lake. Inside UNESCO-designated Morne Trois Pitons National Park, waterfall-fed Emerald Pool offers a refreshing swim. And there’s world-class diving and snorkeling, plus guided river trips to explore the rich plant and animal life. North and Middle Caicos: For the unspoiled Caribbean Connected by ferry to the far more developed Turks and Caicos island of Providenciales, North and Middle Caicos deliver rustic island life devoid of glossy resorts. On Middle Caicos, you’ll find one of the world’s most showstopping stretches of sand in Mudjin Harbor Beach. Sea cliffs and a dramatic offshore rock formation buffeted by crashing waves make this a mesmerizing spot for soaking up pinch-yourself Caribbean views. Also on Middle Caicos, Bambarra Beach offers an often-deserted sandy shoreline where the surf is calmer for swimming. For visitors who are curious about island history, Wade’s Green Plantation on North Caicos offers a window into the era of Loyalist plantations in Turks and Caicos during the American Revolutionary War. Calm and quiet is what you’ll find here. There are a handful of no-frills waterfront bars and restaurants and a few hotels and cottage enclaves. You’ll mostly have this paradise to yourself, whether for a day trip or an extended stay. Curaçao: For ‘city’ life About 90 miles (145 kilometers) north of Venezuela, the island of Curaçao boasts one of the liveliest urban centers in the Caribbean. Willemstad, Curaçao’s capital, offers a distinctive Euro-Caribbean experience, where Dutch colonial architecture brings Amsterdam in pastels to this autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Handelskade, a strip of vibrant buildings along St. Anna Bay, fronts the Punda district, where shops and galleries line the picturesque streets. In nearby Pietermaai, trendy restaurants and cafes draw visitors looking for local flavor. In addition to being a UNESCO World Heritage site, Willemstad is home to several interesting museums, a rich street art scene and the Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue – the oldest continually running synagogue in the Americas. Saba: For a white-knuckle aviation thrill This 5-square-mile Caribbean island – a special municipality of the Netherlands – flies under most tourists’ radar. There’s not much going on in the way of beaches, and it’s only accessible by air via the neighboring island of St. Maarten or ferry service between the two islands. Getting there by air is a thrill, as Saba is home to a 1,300-foot (396-meter) runway that’s often classified as the world’s shortest commercial runway. That dramatic entry gives way to an island crisscrossed with trails through rugged rainforest and volcanic rocks with the aptly named Mount Scenery as the hiking centerpiece. Diving offshore is another top draw for this still largely undiscovered island. Antigua: For diverse beaches Antigua claims to have 365 beaches – one for every day of the year. Surely, that’s enough to keep even the most ardent beachgoer endlessly occupied. Dickenson Bay draws sun seekers with white sand and water sports, while Half Moon Bay offers seclusion and pink crystal sand. All that sun makes you hungry, and visitors are in luck. There’s a market in the capital of St. John’s where the island’s distinctive Antigua Black pineapple is among the produce for sale. Roadside stalls across the island reflect the island’s cultural tapestry with offerings from roti and curries to kebabs. Barbados: For great cuisine and rum Sugar cane blows in the breeze in central Barbados, a reminder of the island’s rich rum culture. Mount Gay Rum dates back to 1703 – and history suggests rum’s story in Barbados goes back even further. Visitors can take tours at a range of distilleries or stop into one of the island’s many rum shops to enjoy the spirit alongside locals. Soak it up with Bajan cuisine – a blend of African, Indian, Irish, Creole and British flavors. The celebrated national dish of Barbados is flying fish with coucou. Coucou is similar to grits or polenta and prepared with okra. Mustor’s in Bridgetown is a popular place to sample it. The island also has its share of spectacular fine dining spots, including The Cliff. Go at sunset and ask for a table close to the railing. St. Barts: For over-the-top luxury Saint Barthélemy, typically called St. Barts, is heaven for luxury lovers with deep pockets. The restored Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth reopened in 2021 showing off stunning scenery interspersed with sunny yellow, turquoise and lavender buildings. The historic Eden Rock resort combines the glamor of its 1950s roots with modern amenities that draw today’s celebrities. Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten is behind the resort’s cuisine. Luxury resorts Cheval Blanc and Le Toiny are also top draws. Puerto Rico: For music and dance Bomba, plena, décima, salsa, reggaetón. They’re all musical styles in Puerto Rico inextricably interwoven with distinctive dance steps. And for pulse-quickening nightlife and a vibrant cocktail culture, this island territory is hard to beat. For salsa, check out Cambio en Clave or try Don Rafael Cepeda school for bomba and plena instruction. Cocktail bars are in ample supply for visitors who’d rather sip on something than work up a sweat. La Factoría in San Juan has routinely been named among the world’s 50 best bars. Martinique: For a taste of France in the Caribbean In Martinique – a hot spot for French tourists – visitors will find a taste of Europe in the Caribbean. La Mandoline in Les Trois-Îlets offers the kind of fine dining fitting a French overseas department. Les Trois-Îlets is also amply stocked with boulangeries and patisseries. Plage Anse d’Arlet, not far from Les Trois-Îlets, is backed by a picturesque 18th-century church as well as a selection of restaurants and bars. Tropical forest covers the northern part of Martinique. Around the island, rum distilleries steer the visitor back to its Caribbean flavors.