From Puerto Rico to the Bahamas—both destinations in the top ten Orbitz Insider Index, which provides a monthly, in-depth look at travel trends from an industry insider’s perspective. “This is the prime time for travel to warm weather destinations and Orbitz has negotiated special deals & exclusive offers to provide customers with tremendous value,” said Heather Leisman, director of merchandizing for Orbitz.
“Orbitz.com looked at advanced bookings to determine which Caribbean Islands destinations are the most popular for a tropical retreat. And with great deals in the Caribbean, Mexico and Hawaii, as well as fantastic cruise offers, now is the time to book.”
Caribbean Island Hotspots
The Orbitz Insider Index reviews an aggregate mix of future bookings (flight and hotel) on Orbitz.com, indicating significant destination and departure trend information within the data. The most popular Caribbean island destinations according to The Orbitz Insider Index are:
The Orbitz Insider Index
Top 10 Caribbean Island Destinations
1. Puerto Rico
3. St. Thomas
4. Dominican Republic
7. St. Maarten
8. British Virgin Islands
9. St. Croix
Orbitz Staff Insider Picks—Caribbean Islands
In order to help travelers plan the perfect vacation, Orbitz released its “Staff Insider Picks” for Caribbean island destinations. This list of outstanding locations can have travelers gazing at colorful coral reefs or climbing giant waterfalls, depending upon their fancy.
“Best Scuba Island”—Turks & Caicos
Looking for a truly exhilarating diving experience? Then the Turks & Caicos Islands offer the perfect underwater spots. Featuring majestic coral reefs and stunning 6,000 foot vertical wall drop-offs, diving in these waters treats adventurers to some of the most beautiful underwater scenery in the Caribbean. These warm waters feature friendly tropical fish, sea turtles, stingrays and a variety of reef sharks that are sure to excite and amaze.
“Best Beaches Island”—Barbados
Featuring warm white sands, Barbados is the perfect destination when looking to relax the day away on the beach. All the beautiful beaches in Barbados are (by law) available to the public, even the beaches in front of large hotels and resorts. Whether travelers prefer calm seas or the roar of large ocean waves, Barbados has a beach for everyone. If you do plan to go to Barbados, be sure to bring swim trunks, there are no nude beaches on this island!
“Best Gaming Island”—Aruba
If the ringing of slot machines and the allure of a big jackpot get your blood pumping fast, Aruba is the island destination for you! Aruba has a wide variety of casinos where visitors can play roulette, poker, craps, blackjack or Caribbean stud poker. Invented in Aruba in 1988, Caribbean stud poker, now played in many U.S. casinos, is a game all visitors to this island should be sure to try. If planning to visit Aruba with teenagers, take note, the legal gaming age on this island is eighteen.
“Best Natural Wonders Island”—Dominica
Known as the “Nature Island of the Caribbean,” Dominica features an abundance of rivers and waterfalls as well as the splendor of a natural rainforest. The beauty of Dominica can easily be found both on land and under the sea. Unspoiled coral reefs are a treat for divers looking to spot exotic fish. On land, Dominica has novice and expert hiking trails through a variety of lush island terrain. Visitors to this island also love to explore Morne Trois Pitons National Park and Morne Diablotin. At Morne Trois Pitons National Park adventurers can visit the “Boiling Lake” hot springs, and at Morne Diablotin, where visitors can scale to the highest peak on the island (4,747 feet) in order to take in jaw dropping views.
“Best Shopping Island”—St. Thomas
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas’ capital city features an area of warehouses that were constructed in the 1700’s. These warehouses, which once held rum and spices, have now been converted to sell modern-day treats such as cameras, china, jewelry, watches, designer clothing, electronics, liquor and more. Shopping here for U.S. citizens is especially sweet because every person is allowed a duty-free exemption of $1,200. When shopping in St. Thomas, be sure to keep track of docking cruise ships. Stores tend to get extremely busy while cruise ship passengers are on the island.
“Best Historic Island”—Puerto Rico
Travelers looking to come back from a sunny vacation with a bit more than a good tan, should head to the island of Puerto Rico to learn about colonial island life and a myriad of different cultures all built around “Old” San Juan. While in Puerto Rico, visitors can explore an ancient Indian ceremonial park along with Fort San Cristobal, one of the largest forts the Spanish built in the “New World.” Puerto Rico also has two architecturally dramatic Spanish churches that can be investigated as well as a variety of museums featuring everything from modern art to ancient Indian artifacts.
“Best Adventure Island”—Jamaica
From cliff diving to caving to scaling a waterfall, Jamaica has it all for the warm weather adventurer. If your idea of fun is throwing yourself off a 40-foot cliff, then visiting Negril in Jamaica is the spot for you. Negril features cliff diving that thrills visitors from head to toe. If cliff diving is just not enough excitement, try spelunking. Jamaica has over 1,100 limestone caverns that can be explored by both experienced and novice adventurers. For adventure junkies looking for another wet activity, visit Jamaica’s Dunn’s River Falls. Visitors to this natural attraction can climb the 600-foot waterfall. Featuring relaxing whirlpools and natural waterslides, this is a fun experience not to be missed.