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6 bucket list island getaways

What could be better than soaking up the sun on an exotic island in the tropics? When you trade in gloomy skies and dreary weather back home for sparkling beaches and lush landscapes in a breathtaking tropical destination, you’re sure to Vacation Better this winter. To help you kick start your winter vacation planning, we rounded up six of our favourite island getaways that should be on your travel bucket list this year.

Infinity pool overlooking the breathtaking coast of St Maarten with hills in the background
Vacation like an A-lister in St. Maarten

Favoured by the rich and famous, St. Maarten attracts visitors with its sparkling beaches, lush mountains and fascinating culture. The smallest island divided between two nations, you will feel like you’re visiting two destinations in one. You could savour freshly-baked croissants for breakfast one morning in St. Martin followed by fluffy Dutch pancakes the next day in St. Maarten. The island is world-renowned for its picture-perfect coastline where superyachts line the shore, with 37 stretches of sand beckoning to be explored, including the popular Maho Beach where incoming planes make for some fascinating Instagram moments!

Where to stay: Soak in sweeping views of St. Maarten’s coast when you stay at Divi Little Bay Beach Resort. Sip on your favourite drink as you cool off in the spectacular infinity pool or snorkel in the crystal-clear waters off the resort beach. In addition to all inclusive options, the resort also offers a European Plan if you want to sample the local cuisine or cook your own meals in your room’s fully-equipped kitchen.

People standing on top of a unique rock formation overlooking a cacti forest
Explore unique landscapes in Aruba

Since almost 20% of the island is designated as a national park, Aruba is the perfect vacation destination for eco travellers. The tiny nation features breathtaking landscapes from coast-to-coast including pristine beaches, unique Divi Divi trees, cacti forests and more. One of the best ways to explore the island and its natural beauty is on a Sunwing Experiences hiking tour. You’ll venture through Arikok National Park to learn all about the island’s native flora and fauna as you hike along scenic trails.

Where to stay: After a day spent exploring Aruba’s landscapes, head back to Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive to relax on the white-sand shores of Druif Beach. Downtown Eagle Beach is just a short drive away where you can browse the local shops and restaurants; plus you’ll enjoy access to all the facilities at next door.

Four people scuba diving among tropical fish above a coral reef
Discover the deep blue in Bonaire

Does your ideal getaway include exploring the deep blue? Head to the island of Bonaire, considered one of the world’s best diving destinations in the world, with over 80 dive sites along the coast for all skill levels. Choose from a range of dive packages, including both boat and shore dives, to explore all that the underwater world has to offer with over 350 recorded species of marine life! There’s plenty to explore on land as well, like Goto Lake, where you can see pink flamingo colonies and the island’s unique pink salt flats.

Where to stay: Enjoy the best of Bonaire both on land and at sea when you stay at Divi Flamingo Beach Resort and Casino. Head out on an underwater excursion from the resort’s five-star PADI dive centre with dive packages that include tanks, weights and boat transportation. Back on dry land, you can test your luck at the on-site casino or head into nearby downtown Kralendijk, just a short walk away.

Two people sitting on a bridge overlooking the Piton Mountains
Enjoy the best of both worlds in Saint Lucia

From the majestic peaks of the Pitons to the tropical rainforests of the interior and the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea, the island of Saint Lucia is a must-see. A favourite amongst A-listers, this exotic destination offers plenty of opportunities for relaxation and exploration. Traverse the island’s lush rainforests and swim in refreshing waterfalls on a hiking tour, sail past the peaks of the Pitons on a sunset cruise or enjoy a relaxing mud bath in the Sulphur Springs.

Where to stay: Admire Saint Lucia’s beautiful landscapes when you stay at the all-suite Mystique Royal St Lucia, offering panoramic views of the island. After a day spent exploring, kick back and relax on the shores of Reduit Beach or sample authentic Creole cuisine at the resort’s open-air restaurant with breathtaking beach views.

People swimming off a pristine beach with hills in the background Photo: @thya_west_in_vybz
Soak up the sun beachside in Antigua

With 365 beaches – one for every day of the year – you’ll never run out of spots to soak up the sun in Antigua. Grab a comfortable beach lounger or head out on the calm waters of the Caribbean Sea to experience the island’s famous water sport conditions, where you can learn how to kitesurf and kiteboard or watch sailboats race during the annual regatta at the end of April. For the best views of the island and its picturesque coastline, head to Shirley Heights Lookout at sunset – the restored military lookout offers sweeping views of the sun setting over English Harbour and Falmouth Harbour.

Where to stay: When you book your tropical getaway at Ocean Point Resort and Spa on the northern tip of the island, you can choose from not one, but two sparkling beaches! The adults only resort features two white-sand shores that are exclusively for resort guests, plus a beach club where you can enjoy delicious cuisine just steps from the sea.

Sprawling pool and deck overlooking a palm-lined beach
Embrace the island vibes in Tobago

While Trinidad is known for its bustling nightlife, sister island Tobago is famous for its laidback atmosphere and untouched landscapes. The destination is home to one of the world’s most popular beaches, Pigeon Point Beach, and its iconic jetty, which is located just a short drive from most resorts (entry fees may apply). Embark on a Sunwing Experiences excursion to explore the island’s spectacular natural landmarks, whether you want to snorkel in the crystal-clear waters or explore picturesque waterfalls.

Where to stay: Admire Tobago’s natural beauty while indulging in lavish amenities and world-class service at Magdalena Grand Beach and Golf Resort. This adults only property offers the perfect blend of luxury and nature, where you can go from strolling along the resort’s lush trails to soaking up the sun by the infinity pool. The resort is also located on an 18-hole golf course designed by the PGA, so when you’re not soaking up the sun you can practice your swing on the championship greens.

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