Allianz Global Assistance revealed that Caribbean countries make up half of the nations on their list of the top 10 international destinations for Americans to travel during the winter holidays.
Unsurprisingly, the Caribbean has come out on top yet again when it comes to vacation travel. The tropical region boasts more than 37 countries and approximately 3,000 islands and cays. Each of these is brimming with beautiful beaches, exciting activities, and colorful coral reefs to explore. Since it possesses such wonderful weather and scenery, it’s no wonder the Caribbean is a top travel destination for Americans (and others).
Allianz Global Assistance has revealed that five Caribbean countries are listed among the top 10 International Holiday Destinations for Americans. Undoubtedly, many US citizens look to the Caribbean’s sunny skies to escape the winter blues.
So where exactly are Americans traveling this winter? According to Allianz Global Assistance, the official top 10 international destinations in order of popularity are Cancun, Nassau, San Jose Del Cabo, London, Montego Bay, Mexico City, Aruba, Puerto Vallarta, Santo Domingo, and Toronto.
Top Caribbean destinations for winter
As mentioned above, the top Caribbean winter vacation picks for Americans are Cancun (Mexico), Nassau (Bahamas), Montego Bay (Jamaica), Aruba, and Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic). Here’s a closer look at each nation:
Cancun may have a reputation for being a hot spot for Spring Breakers, but it can be so much more. Thanks to a huge assortment of resorts and hotels to choose from, you won’t be hard pressed to find a great place to stay, with any budget. In addition, Cancun boasts plenty of beautiful beaches, mainly Playa del Delfines, or “Dolphin Beach”, a spectacular expanse of soft sand that seems to go on for miles.
Cancún also offers plenty of opportunities to indulge in water sports, eco tours, and snorkeling. Swim with dolphins and see them perform at the city aquarium, and head to famed theme park Xcaret to see exotic animals, exciting exhibits, and the famous nightly cultural show.
As the capital of the Bahamas, Nassau is the hub of tourism and activity. Founded in 1670 by British noblemen, the city boasts exciting activities, bustling market places, and cultural tours today. A popular cruise ship stop, Nassau is a bustling, attractive port city with both modern convenience and old-world colonial charm.
Some of the best activities to enjoy in Nassau are swimming and paddle boarding at Cable Beach, swimming with dolphins at Blue Lagoon Island, and visiting the historic Nassau Public Library, one of the largest and oldest in the Caribbean. Blue Lagoon Island is very popular with tourists since it offers a variety of tours and excursions. These include snorkeling and swimming with stingrays and sea lions. A short 30 minute ferry boat trip will get you to the island and back.
Historic sites include the Cloisters, the remains of a 14th century French monastery and a wonderful spot for photo ops, and the Queen’s Staircase and Fort Fincastle.
Interested in other activities to enjoy in the Bahamas? Check out these articles!
- The Best Beaches in the Bahamas
- The Swimming Pigs of the Bahamas: Where Did They Come From?
- Top 10 Things to Do in the Bahamas
Montego Bay (Jamaica)
Montego Bay is a major cruise ship port in Saint James Parish, Jamaica. Like Cancun, it’s a favorite with the Spring Break crowd, but there are plenty of low-key places to hang out as well. There are breathtaking beaches, coral reefs for snorkeling, a variety of beach bars and restaurants, and vibrant nightlife for those who love to party.
Popular places to visit in Montego Bay are Doctor’s Cave Beach, Martha Brae River, and Rose Hall Great House. In addition, you can book a jungle zip-lining tour, snorkel or dive in the protected waters of the Montego Bay Marine Park, and even take a river ride on a bamboo raft.
Arid, desert-like landscapes combine with tropical beaches on Aruba, a top travel destination for Americans this winter. With a tropical climate, temperatures are warm year round. In addition, Aruba is one of the seven hurricane-free Caribbean islands.
While vacationing in this Dutch Caribbean country, you can enjoy fantastic colorful parades, live music, and delicious street food in Oranjestad during the island’s annual Carnival. Also, be sure to check out Fort Zoutman, a restored military fort built in 1798, and Eagle Beach, reportedly one of the best beaches in the Caribbean and in the entire world.
Head to the cliffs at Seroe Colorado for spectacular sunset views, and Arikok National Park for amazing cave exploration and swimming in a natural pool. In Noord, you’ll find a gorgeous seven-mile stretch of white sand on Druif beach, excellent clear-water snorkeling in Boca Catalina, and rolling sand dunes that are perfect for exploring aboard an ATV.
Want to know more about Aruba? Check out these articles:
- Best Food in Aruba: What to Eat and Where to Go
- Tierra del Sol: Aruba’s Prestigious Paradise Community
- Where to Stay in Aruba
Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic)
Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, boasts historic buildings, an expansive botanical garden, and a national park bursting with breathtaking lakes scattered among limestone caves.
Be sure to visit the Alcazar de Colon in the historic city center. Built in 1510, this striking stone building was the original home of Diego Columbus, Christopher Columbus’s son. Nearby you’ll find Plaza España and the National Pantheon.
For fun in the sun, head to Juan Dolio beach. Close to the city center, it’s easy to access and offers plenty of amenities. These include restrooms, restaurants and rental shops for chairs and umbrellas. In addition, you can visit the Malecón for oceanside fun. It’s essentially a city park overlooking the ocean, with street food, fair games, and karaoke.
Main image: Natural Pool, Arikok National Park, Noord, Aruba (Trip Advisor)
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