For most newlyweds, your honeymoon is the trip of a lifetime. Sure, you may end up taking bigger or wilder trips down the road, probably with your growing family, but the first post-wedding getaway is epic. It allows you time to enjoy each other with all the planning and stress behind you. It sets the tone for the adventures you’ll have in your future, and it provides memories that will last your lifetime.
We’ve collected a definitive list: Here, the top 12 honeymoon destinations in the Caribbean
British Virgin Islands
If sailing is a favored pastime, there’s no better place to indulge it than the British Virgin Islands. A volcanic archipelago in the Caribbean Sea, the collection of islands is one of the premier yachting destinations in the world. If sleeping on a boat—albeit a luxurious one—isn’t your thing, opt for a lush, secluded resort like Guana Islands, where you can eat under the stars, hike surrounding trails and hop the water taxi to surrounding beaches.
Anguilla is the definition of Caribbean paradise: electric turquoise water, bright white sand, palm trees that sway in the gentle breeze around calm bays. Book a private pool suite at the serene Cap Juluca, where plantation-style shutters can block out the beach so you can sleep in and enjoy lazy breakfasts in bed.
Antigua & Barbuda
Pastel facades, bustling markets, tropical fruits, limestone formations and, of course, plenty of pristine beaches: Antigua and Barbuda are basically Eden. Between the islands you can find yourselves alone on powdery white sand, or on a catamaran sailing between the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea at sunset. All-inclusive resorts such as Hermitage Bay are plentiful, along with once-in-a-lifetime private-island (literally) getaways like Jumby Bay A Rosewood Resort.
Turks and Caicos
Southeast of the Bahamas, in the Atlantic Ocean, lie the Turks and Caicos, not two islands as might be assumed, but 40. The coral islands are are a bit exotic and totally luxurious, with few people to fill up the countless stark-white beaches. Book into the glamorous Seven Stars Resort on Providenciales, beside a marine preserve, for the best access to those sheer turquoise waters via scuba, snorkel or sail.
Especially for East Coasters, Bermuda provides the right amount of foreign flavor—it’s tinged with British culture—with the convenience of being just off the mainland. Pink-sand beaches allow ample opportunity for sunbathing and swimming, but there’s also a dose of history to be had on the island known for maritime exploits. With plush rooms and elegant dining, the uberprivate colonial-style Elbow Beach is an idyllic place to celebrate being Mr. and Mrs.
The sandy shores of Mexico are unquestionably gorgeous, but some of the most visually exciting spots are inland. Merida, the capital of Yucatan, is one example. With strong colonial heritage it features stunning architectural displays—limestone churches, cathedrals, pyramids—by previous cultures including the Mayans. Nightly happenings downtown, vibrant markets, fascinating museums—if that’s your idea of a good time, book it to the sexy, Belle Epoque-era Coqui Coqui Merida Residence & Spa for a memorable and unique trip.
Known as St. Barts, this Caribbean island is an obvious choice for a vacation when romance is the goal. With 22 breathtaking beaches—many often deserted since you have to hike in—all the rosé you could drink and the charms of a French village, it’s an ideal place to unwind from the wedding. For an intimate, breezy beachfront stay, opt for the popular Le Sereno.
If you have a soft spot for sea turtles, exotic birds or simply want to escape on a palm-fringed beach, jet away to Nevis, a tiny Caribbean island in the West Indies beside St. Kitts that celebrates the good life. Dive at Booby High Shoals, hike Mt. Nevis, bike along bougainvillea and spy on hummingbirds—it’s all doable from the romantic grounds of Montpelier Plantation & Beach, an ultra-relaxing five-star hotel on a former sugar plantation.
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Escape to the land of reggae to celebrate your post-nuptial bliss. The Caribbean island is defined by not just the music of Bob Marley, but its rainforests, reef-lined coast and vibrant British colonial architecture. At the five-star Round Hill Hotel, a former sugarcane plantation-turned-resort outside Montego Bay, laid-back beach days blend together, punctuated by dips in the sea, bites of authentic cuisine, sips of handcrafted cocktails and visits to the oceanview yoga pavilion or spa.
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
With its narrow cobblestone streets and sparkling spirit San Miguel de Allende proves that a body of water isn’t a prerequisite for a starry-eyed adventure. The high-altitude colonial-era city seems to have magical golden-hour light at all times. With culture oozing out of every crack, it has winning art, music, food and design—all of these come together in a stunning way at Hotel Matilda. And don’t forget tequila: There is plenty of the Mexican spirit to enjoy as you explore.
Yes, Martinique has knockout beaches, but it’s a bit different from the other Caribbean islands in a few ways. First, it’s for a great part a volcano, and it’s still smoldering. Also, it claims a singular blend of French and West Indian culture, which is evident in the gastronomy, music and fashion. Experience the dynamic island from the idyllic Cap Est Lagoon Resort.
Harbour Island, Bahamas
There’s something special about the sand on Harbour Island. On some beaches, it’s the whitest you’ve likely ever seen, and on the Atlantic side it’s famously pink, light blush in the day and vibrant rose during the sunset. (For the best access to those pink beaches, try the adjacent Dunmore Hotel.) The historic Caribbean island paradise is a getaway where you can do nothing but enjoy the simple pleasures of life or, if you’re a little more ambitious, swim, fish, play tennis and scuba dive.