10 Caribbean cruise ports you’ll instantly fall in love with (And never want to leave.)

Our 10 Favorite Caribbean Cruise Ports

Cozumel, Mexico

Cozumel in Mayan is “Cuzamil” or “Ah Cuzamil Peten” which means the “Island of Swallows,” found off the eastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Cozumel is one of our Top Caribbean Ports because it is one of the largest but safest islands in Mexico. It is home to many Sea Turtles that hatch their eggs safely on the shoreline.

One side of Cozumel is called “El Ciel Cozumel” which is known for its crystal clear waters as far as your eyes can see. Soft baby powder-like sand that will take your breath away covers the entire island. The other side of Cozumel (East Side) is the perfect place to enjoy off-road jungle terrain, hidden water caves, beach bars, restaurants, snorkeling, rock formations and so much more. It is also home to an eco-reserve, the famous “Punta Sur Park.” The park is known for its lighthouse, where at the top you can see the Mayan ruins like the San Gervasio Ruins and El Cedral. On this island, you will also see pink flamingos and alligators. Cozumel has some of the best snorkeling spots like the Palanca Reef and Rosa Wall.

More Info: 10 Activities To Make The Most Of Your Stop In Cozumel

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Though only 32 square miles, St. Thomas, like all the Virgin Islands has plenty to offer. St. Thomas is home to one of the most famous beaches in the world, Maegan Bay. Another option for beach lovers is to take the ferry to St. Johns where you can enjoy Trunk Bay. St. Thomas is well known for it duty-free scene, which is flooded by a crowd of shoppers on a daily basis. You can climb the famous 99 steps constructed from the abandoned Danish ships in Charlotte Amalie while marveling at the Danish colonial architecture and pirate legend’s house “Blackbeard’s Castle.” Charlotte Amalie is also known for its eco tours and underwater safaris. Sightseeing highlights include the 17th Century Fort Christian, Coral World Ocean Park, and Cathedral Church of All Saints.

St. Thomas is known for activities like swimming with sea turtles at Buck Island, petting sharks at Coral World Ocean Park, and it’s 700ft. Sky Ride at Paradise Point. St. Thomas is also known for its fabulous restaurants and happy hours where you’ll get great cocktails and scrumptious finger foods.

St. Maarten, Netherlands

With its great seas found between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean, St. Maarten is the perfect place to set your heart out to some watery adventure. Because of this, St. Maarten is one of the top islands for water-based tourism. This island has a lot in store for everyone, whether swimming, water sports or just getting your tan under the sun, there’s something for everyone on this magical island. Fort Amsterdam and Maho Beach are other famous St. Maarten attractions.

The Water Sports abound St. Martin. Options include surfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, jet skiing, sea scootering, waterskiing, sailing, and fishing. You can also choose to try their array of extreme sports. St. Maarten’s trade winds are so dependable that you can participate in water sports all year round. You can also enjoy a variety of cultural and local experiences like the Heineken Regatta, an annual yacht race where hundreds of vessels set their sails, and the St. Maarten Carnival, a parade of dance and live calypso music.

Curaçao

Curacao is an island in Lesser Antilles island country in the southern Caribbean Sea and the Dutch Caribbean. It is a constituent country of The Kingdom of Netherlands and was named by the Portuguese as Ilha da Curacao (Island of Healing). Whether you’re looking for a challenging wall dive or a shallow snorkeling spot, if you’re a serious diver, then this is the right place for you.

Curacao’s amazing crystal clear beaches with sugar-fine sand are its best-kept secret. Curacao’s beaches are small, intimate beaches found in secluded inlets as opposed to the long, expansive patches of sand found on other Caribbean islands. Many beaches are free to enter but do not have any facilities. Others charge an admission and have picnic and changing facilities.

Curacao is a great port for sightseeing. It is home to many charming pastel buildings and historical landmarks. These helped it earn a title as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Cities. Some of the sites you should consider visiting are Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge, Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue, Hato Caves, Curacao Sea Aquarium, and the Ostrich Farm.

Aruba

Aruba is also a constituent country of The Kingdom Of Netherlands, located in the southern part of the Caribbean Sea and west of the main Lesser Antilles. Unlike other Caribbean regions, Aruba’s climate is dry and arid. It is the sunniest island than in the Caribbean, and like most, it is also home to some of the best beaches in the world.

Home to over 90 nationalities and over 100 cuisines, Aruba is the best place to have great dining experiences. From the top hotels to the restaurants you will find along the way, Aruba has it all for you regarding food trips and leisure. With its Crystal-clear water that burst with sea life and shipwrecks and an airplane wrecks, providing incredible places to dive and snorkel, the constant breezes create near-perfect conditions for windsurfing and kiteboarding. Aruba is also home to countless water activities that are perfect for its perfect weather.

St Lucia

St.Lucia is a sovereign country of the Caribbean on the boundary with the Atlantic Ocean. St. Lucia is northwest of Barbados and Martinique. St. Lucia is also home to tropical rainforests, where you can zip Line, bike or hike through. Treetop Adventure Park is one of the best places for these activities and St. Lucia’s #1 tourist destination.

You can also explore St. Lucia Island by driving down the west coast to the historic town of Soufriere. There you can see the one of a kind drive-in-volcano and enjoy the mud baths. In this wondrous place also lies Toraille Waterfall, one of St. Lucia’s grandest tourist attraction. You can also enjoy a kayaking, snorkeling, hiking tour of Rodney Bay and Pigeon Island, with enough time to relax on the beach before returning to your ship. If water sports are not your thing, you can also drive around and experience St Lucia’s beautiful scenery because like its Caribbean counterparts, St. Lucia is home powder beaches and amazing marine life.

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua is known as “WaladLi” or “Wadadli” by its natives and locals. It is an island in the West Indies. On Antigua, life is all about getting under the sun. It is famous for its English heritage and influences. Antigua cradles hundreds of little islands covered by the perfect shade of crystal clear blue water. Its capital St John’s, in the English Harbour, is home to the historic forts and other remnants of its colonial past which makes it a perfect historical destination. Antigua is full of candy-coloured villages and lively locals that will greet you happily with a smile.

This island is also known for its bird sanctuary. Codrington Lagoon National Park protects a vast majority of frigate birds. The park is home to 2500 of these black-feathered birds. This park can only be visited by licensed sea taxi from the Codrington jetty. These islands also produce exotic local products such as sorrel, black pineapple, and sugar apple alongside bananas, limes, mangoes, and eggplant. You can find all these at St John’s vibrant market. It is the perfect place for people who want to snack amid their daily activities and for people to relax and get a whiff of the place and the locals.

Another great adventure you can find in Antigua and Barbuda is the Pillars of Hercules, located at the entrance of the English Harbour. You can best see this formation from a boat, but it’s also possible to get close by hiking to the end of Galleon Beach.

Home to the remnants of its colonial past, Antigua and Barbuda is an excellent destination for those who want to mix water adventures with a little bit of exploration through historical sight-seeing and adventures by snorkeling caves, reefs and sunken ships.

Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman is the largest of the three Cayman Islands. It is home to Stingray City which is a sandbar that houses stingrays that swim alongside you in the tranquil waters. The island offers one of the world’s best massage and spa services anywhere in the Caribbean. Grand Cayman is home to Atlantis, one of the top hotels and resorts in the Caribbean. It also offers some of the top diving spots in the world. Coral reefs are abundant in the island. Like all the Caribbean ports it is also home to shipwrecks and exotic marine life that are amazing to look.

The Stunning Seven Mile Beach is its crown jewel with a range of water sports and beachfront resorts. The island offers many other attractions. Sublime Seven Mile Beach is the world’s most famous stretches of sand in the Caribbean. The Grand Cayman is also home to George Town, an offshore banking hub and it’s capital. It harbors front is an array of the finest restaurants and duty-free shops housed in colorful gingerbread buildings, and the modern glass Government Administration Building known as the “Glass House.” It is also home to the Atlantis submarines, where the visitors can peek at the underwater without having to get wet. This tourist attraction takes you 30ft under water to look at tropical fish, shipwrecks, and shallow reefs.

Grand Cayman also has a sub rainforest trail known as the “Mastic Reserve.” Tourists will be able to see wild orchids, birds, and small animals such as lizards and hermit crabs. It also offers visitors tours where they teach you about wildlife and flora preservation. Another top attraction is the Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter which showcases Caymanian wildlife and heritage while hosting an internationally renowned research and conservation center for sea turtles.

Another interesting place in the Grand Cayman is a place called “Hell” where you can see sinister black and dark rock formations.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States. Puerto Rico’s tourist attractions range from adventurous underground caves to historical landmarks like 500-year old walls like the “El Moro Front.” Visitors can also choose to enjoy beaches, where they can swim, snorkel and do water sports. For cruises with an overnight stay, San Juan also offers a vibrant nightlife.

San Juan, Puerto Rico is also home to the “El Moro Front” which was used to deter sea attacks. Now it is home to tourists who want to view the historic wonder and stroll around the six-story landmark, where you can peep through for a view of the Atlantic Ocean. The place also includes a tour of the historic prison cells, barracks, and maze of tunnels. Other historical sites include Castillo de San Cristobal, a 27-acre property built to protect San Juan. Many tourists will tell you that going around the forts is one of the best experiences in Puerto Rico.

One place you can’t miss is Calle del Cristo. If you want to get away from all the city buzz and the shopping craziness, this is the place to be. Here you can find trees, cobblestones, shops, restaurants, small squares, people, traffic, birds, and locals playing the guitar. Another spot is Museo de Arte Ponce which holds 4,500 works from all over the world, dating back to the 14th century.

Puerto Rico is also home to incredible natural resources like the Sun Bay (Vieques), more popularly known as the Mosquito Bay. This 2-mile beach is open from dawn to dusk and caters to all visitors at any time. This beach is the perfect place to relax and meet new people because the tourists tend to flock to this place whenever they visit Puerto Rico.

Belize

Belize was formerly known as British Honduras and is located on the eastern coast of Central America with the Caribbean Sea shoreline. Belize has the largest barrier reef in the Caribbean and second largest in the world! It is home to some of the best snorkeling and diving experiences. Whether you’re looking for coral reefs or exotic marine life, Belize is the right destination for you. The Belize Zoo is a top destination for wildlife seekers. Here you can find jaguars, pumas, howler monkeys, parakeets and keel-billed toucans. Belize is also home to impressive Mayan archeological sites like Corozal, Altun Ha, and Lamanai.

One of Belize’s best-known site, The Great Blue Hole, was declared a UNESCO declared World Heritage Site in 1996. It is located about 43 miles off the coast of Belize. The Great Blue Hole is one of the world’s most distinguished diving sites. It was formed about 10,000 years ago after a cave roof crumbled. The site includes underground tunnels, caves and rock formations. It has a distinct look from above creating a seemingly black hole circling in the center. You will find marine life lining its walls near the surface. Around 410 feet below sea level, you will discover stalactites. An occasional shark is the only marine life you will find at this depth. For those who aren’t experienced divers, visitors still recommend snorkeling around the hole and the nearby reefs. The best time to explore the Great Blue Hole is in April and May during the dry season.

Hol Chan Marine Reserve, which means “Little Channel,” is a coral-filled gap in the barrier reef. At only 3 square miles, it is significantly smaller than the Great Blue Hole. The reserve is teeming with wildlife including stingrays, eels, sharks, and other creatures.

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