Five places you need to visit in the Caribbean

The islands in the Caribbean are somewhere to explore, unwind and switch off

The Caribbean boasts 28 island nations and more than 7,000 individual islands in the region. In terms of luxury, you will be hard pressed to find resorts as lucky to benefit from the year round weather that the Caribbean can claim.

Mustique

Cotton House Mustique

Mustique is a tiny island located in a group of islands called St Vincent & the Grenadines. With a population of only 500 and covering only 2.2 square miles, Mustique has a reputation of being one of the most exclusive islands in the Caribbean. The island has several coral reefs and is populated with a handful of beautiful resorts. One of the island's top properties is the world famous Cotton House boutique hotel. Boasting seventeen wonderful rooms and suites ranging from the two bedroom residence with its own private butler, spacious sitting room, dining area and private swimming pool to the deluxe seafront rooms with plunge pools, all rooms have a special sea view and certainly one that will stick in the memory.

Barbados

Holidays to Barbados

Barbados is probably the most famous of thousands of islands located in the Caribbean, its Sandy Lane resort is known the world over. With its relaxed lifestyle, beautiful beaches and its luxury hotels, Barbados is definitely not one to be missed out on. It is a destination for those looking for indulgence, for a number of years it has been a favourite destination with travellers from across the globe looking to escape the harsh realities of normal life and kick back and relax in the warm Bajan weather and to ponder over the beauty of the Bajan landscape. Barbados certainly has something for everyone, whether you are an adrenaline junkie who wishes to do plenty of Barbados' famed watersports or you simply plan to sit back and be pampered. Barbados definitely has something for you.

St Lucia

Holidays to St Lucia - Rendezvous

When visiting the Caribbean in search of luxury and relaxation it is very hard to look any further than the beautiful island of St Lucia. Boasting unbelievable beauty with its lush greenery, perfect white sand and sea so blue you wonder how a place such as this can exist on the earth. If what you need is a stress-free holiday filled with pampering, relaxation and long walks along perfect beaches, then the island's resorts have exactly what you need. The botanical gardens and picturesque waterfalls are a joy to behold and to have all of this on one island surely makes it worth visiting. The Rendezvous St Lucia Couples Resort is absolutely ideal for any couple wishing to spend time in paradise. Set on a beautiful two mile stretch of white sandy beach it is also engrossed in seven acres of tropical gardens, this luxury retreat is perfect for a Caribbean couples retreat in paradise.

Puerto Rico

Holidays to Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is up there with the largest islands in the Caribbean and with a population of around 3.4 million, it isn't a particularly quiet island. Puerto Rico is a far cry from the luxury private retreats found in places such as Barbados and St Lucia. However, the thing that sets Puerto Rico apart is the very gay-friendly culture it portrays. Puerto Rico is one of the only islands in the Caribbean where same-sex marriage is legal and this sets the tone for the island in general. In the Capital, San Juan, the Isla Verde area is known for its buzzy nightlife and casinos and if you are looking for gay nightlife, look no further than Condado, the tourist district. The luscious landscape of green mountains, waterfalls and tropical rainforest of El Yunque National Forest sit alongside its beautiful beaches and coral reefs which are ideal for any adrenaline junkies because the reefs are very popular for snorkelling, diving, surfing and sailing. You can also try your hand at the world's longest zipline, like Ricky Martin recently tried. All of these reason amount to a trip to Puerto Rico becoming a perfect holiday for almost anyone. Two of OutOfOffice.com's competition winners recently visited the island and gave us their top tips for Puerto Rico.

Dominican Republic

Holidays to Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is located on the second largest island in the Caribbean, Hispaniola, but it happens to share this island with Haiti and therefore it is the second largest country in the Caribbean. The Dominican Republic is renowned for its pristine beaches, all inclusive-resorts but you can also find rainforests, savannahs and highlands, it even boasts the Caribbean's tallest mountain, Pico Duarte. The high season in the Dominican Republic is from December to February and the country has a strong Spanish colonial history dating back 500 years. The island has two wonderful resorts and whether you are looking to meet new friends from around the globe or simply have a wonderful time with someone close to you, the Dominican Republic is the place to do it.

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