Almost every traveler in the world dreams of getting to experience the allure of the Caribbean at least once in their lives – after all, the stunning sunkissed beaches, vibrant culture, and laid-back atmosphere make for what many would consider to be the ideal beach getaway.
That’s why millions of visitors have chosen to fly off to some of the dreamiest Caribbean destinations this year, and with December introducing peak season, it’s safe to say that the records set thus far won’t hold up much longer.
In fact, recent data shows that several of the region’s biggest hotspots have already surpassed the 1-million-visitor mark during the first ten months of 2023.
These are the Caribbean’s most popular destinations this year:
7. The Bahamas
The vast archipelago of over 7,000 islands and 2,400 cays is a perennial favorite among those looking to experience the epitome of a tropical paradise.
Nassau, the capital, is a buzzing hub of culture and entertainment where city trippers will have the time of their lives – of course, after a long day lounging around the nearby white-sanded beaches.
Visitors seeking a more intimate escape, on the other hand, might prefer the Out Islands a bit better.
With all that said, whether you’re basking on the sunny Cable Beach, exploring the Exuma Cays, or marveling at the vibrant marine life at Andros Barrier Reef, The Bahamas is sure to make it to your destination hall of fame.
Though the beaches in Cuba are just as stunning as those dotting the rest of the Caribbean, the fascinating country mainly draws in visitors through its history and culture.
The capital, Havana, will stun you with its well-preserved colonial architecture, classic cars, and lively music scene – there’s a reason why the vibrant city was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982.
Varadero, on the other hand, promises a more traditional Caribbean escape, complete with pristine beaches and all-inclusive resorts, whereas Viñales Valley offers a glimpse into Cuba’s untamed natural beauty.
5. Los Cabos, Mexico
With so many Americans flocking to Los Cabos this year, the fact that the Mexican hotspot made it to no. 5 on today’s list should come as no surprise.
Boasting an immaculate blend of vast desert landscapes and the azure waters of the Gulf of California and the Pacific Ocean, Los Cabos has now become famous for its luxury resorts, world-class golf courses, and unparalleled nightlife.
4. Montego Bay, Jamaica
Having recently broken all-time tourism records, Jamaica comes represented by one of its biggest hotspots – Montego Bay.
While there’s no shortage of captivating cities and regions scattered across Jamaica, none manage to strike the type of balance between authenticity and lively touristy experiences that Montego Bay is widely known for.
Between the buzzing Hip Strip, the jaw-dropping Dunn’s River Falls, and the serene Martha Brae River, there’s a lot to experience in and around the trendy Jamaican hub.
3. The Dominican Republic
Though the Dominican Republic has always been synonymous with all-inclusive resorts and dreamy beaches, the level of popularity the country is experiencing right now is truly unheard of.
Punta Cana, nestled on the country's eastern coast, is one of the world’s most coveted beaches, while Santo Domingo, the trendy capital, beautifully contrasts the tranquil surroundings with its colonial architecture and vibrant street art.
2. San Juan, Puerto Rico
Having welcomed over 10 million visitors this year, San Juan is celebrating one of its best tourism years in history.
The historic Old San Juan, with its colorful Spanish buildings and cobblestone streets, is a UNESCO World Heritage site that promises to take visitors back to a bygone era, though it’s far from the only must-see attraction in the region.
Whether you want to explore the imposing El Morro fortress or lounge on the beaches of Condado or Isla Verde, San Juan is sure to live up to your already-high expectations.
1. Cancun, Mexico
Cancun is the most popular international destination among American travelers, bar none, and the rightful lead on today’s ranking as the Caribbean’s most visited destination.
Having welcomed over 17 million (yes, you read that right) travelers up until October of 2023, the Mexican hotspot secured yet another achievement in its long history of tourism successes.
From the lively Hotel Zone strip to the ancient Mayan Ruins of Chichen Itzá and the crystal clear waters of Xel-Há, Cancun offers visitors a treasure trove of experiences and awe-inspiring sights.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.