The 25 Best Islands in the Caribbean, Bermuda, and the Bahamas

The best islands in the Caribbean, Bermuda, and the Bahamas run the gamut from off-the-grid hideaways to ultra-luxe retreats, according to Travel + Leisure readers.

Bright and colorful landscape with cruise port and skyline of Roseau in Dominica, Caribbean Island
Photo: iStockphoto/Getty Images

The Caribbean, Bermuda, and the Bahamas are a delightful mélange of islands — sunny stalwarts with shimmering blue waters, palm-fringed shores, and ultra-luxe resorts. But for all their common denominators, there's plenty that makes each island stand out, too. Some are rustic and rugged, bereft of any modern meddling, while others are well-developed oases with lots of shops, restaurants, and hotels to choose from. And Travel + Leisure's list of the region's best islands this year is proof of its vast and varied offerings.

Every year for our World's Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated islands according to their activities and sights, natural attractions and beaches, food, friendliness, and overall value.

The British Virgin Islands dominate this year's rankings, with Jost Van Dyke (No. 9), Virgin Gorda (No. 16), and Tortola (No. 23) all making appearances. The Bahamas, too, are well-represented — the Exumas (No. 4) earned marks from one reader for the "prettiest water and beaches you will ever see," while Eleuthera (No. 24) was touted as "enchanting, pristine, and beautiful"

Several readers also raved about the beaches and turquoise waters on Anguilla (No. 3), with one calling it "paradise found." Another said, "Anguilla is my favorite spot on this earth. Nothing compares. The beaches, the people, the food, the enjoyment…total bliss."

Meanwhile, Grenada (No. 6) got a nod for its "incredibly kind people," and runner-up St. Vincent and the Grenadines (No. 2) received praise for "fantastic water excursions."

At No. 5, St. Lucia — home to the majestic Pitons, beautiful beaches, and plenty of chocolate and rum — was described as "a great spot for active travelers on a romantic escape." Another T+L reader said, "St. Lucia is an untouched gem in many ways, a very beautiful island with a delightful culture and many activities to enjoy."

But the No. 1 spot, according to this year's World's Best Awards survey, belongs to Dominica, concisely described by one reader as "stunning." Read more about Dominica, and get the full list of best islands in the Caribbean, Bermuda, and the Bahamas below.

1. Dominica

Caribbean island of Dominica, showing a freshwater Lake in Morne Trois Pitons National Park
Getty Images

Nicknamed the Nature Island, Dominica is not defined by the combo of pristine white sand and shiny resorts that's often synonymous with the Caribbean. Instead, the anything-but-average island lures eco-travelers with a jumble of rain forests, volcanoes, hot springs, thunderous waterfalls, and black-sand beaches. It has an undiscovered quality that can be rare not only in the region, but the world over. It's a dream for hikers, snorkelers, and all kinds of adventurers, but the island also offers pockets of over-the-top luxury, including this year's best resort hotel in the Caribbean — Secret Bay, tucked within the rain forest with tree-house-style villas, jaw-dropping nature views, and private plunge pools.

Score: 91.00

2. St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Bridge over the Buccament river, Buccament Bay, St Vincent and the Grenadines
Getty Images

Score: 89.79

3. Anguilla

A woman walks past beach umbrellas on Anguilla
Peter Griffith/Getty Images

Score: 89.43

4. Exumas, Bahamas

Aerial view of Exumas Cays, Bahamas
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Score: 88.07

5. St. Lucia

St. Lucia's Twin Pitons peaks at sunrise
iStockphoto/Getty Images

Score: 87.86

6. Grenada

The waterfront of St George's, Grenada
Timothy O'Keefe/Getty Images

Score: 87.71

7. Turks and Caicos

Aerial photo of a beach in Sapodilla Bay, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
iStockphoto/Getty Images

Score: 87.64

8. St. Bart's

Saint Barthelemy skyline and harbor in the West Indies
Sean Pavone/iStockphoto/Getty Images

Score: 87.60

9. Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

Aerial View of White Bay, Jost Van Dyke
Christian Wheatley/iStockphoto/Getty Images

Score: 87.31

10. St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

A mother, son, and dog on a small beach on the island of St John
Christian Wheatley/iStockphoto/Getty Images

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 86.41

11. Aruba

Colorful buildings in Oranjestad, on the island of Aruba
Svitlana Prada/Getty Images

Score: 86.25

12. Harbour Island, Bahamas

A pink and white house on Bay Street, Harbour Island, Bahamas
Sylvain Sonnet/Getty Images

Score: 86.11

13. Cuba

Tourists swiming in the natural pools in El Nicho, Cuba
Getty Images

Score: 85.93

14. Vieques, Puerto Rico

Wild horses on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico
iStockphoto/Getty Images

Score: 85.83

15. Nevis

A rocky Oualie Beach, on the island of Nevis
Simon Nash/500px/Getty Images

Score: 85.63

16. Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Aerial view of Spring Bay, Virgin Gorda
Getty Images

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 85.46

17. Bermuda

Aerial view of the coastline at Hamilton, Bermuda
Lance Ikeda/EyeEm/Getty Images

Score: 85.45

18. Bonaire

Brightly colored buildings in Kralendijk, Bonaire
Stephan Kogelman/Getty Images

Score: 85.39

19. Jamaica

Students walk past the Cultural Centre on Sam Sharpe Square in downtown Montego Bay Jamaica
Getty Images

Score: 85.05

20. Cayman Islands

A cruise port in the Cayman Islands
Atlee E Mercer/iStockphoto/Getty Images

Score: 83.84

21. Antigua

Swimming pool and beach umbrellas on white sand beach from above, Morris Bay, Antigua
Roberto Moiola/Getty Images

Score: 83.78

22. Barbados

The beach at Batts Bay, Barbados
iStockphoto/Getty Images

Score: 83.71

23. Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Aerial panoramic view of Cane Garden Bay, Tortola, BVI
Christian Wheatley/Getty Images

Score: 82.92

24. Eleuthera, Bahamas

Woman and girl paddleboarding at Winding Bay, Eleuthera, Bahamas
Per Breiehagen/Getty Images

Score: 82.91

25. St. Maarten/St. Martin

Methodist Church on Main Street of Philipsburg in Sint Maarten
iStockphoto/Getty Images

Score: 82.66

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