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15 Caribbean vacations that are worth the price

Virgin Gorda, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, Caribbean
Greg Johnston | Getty Images
Virgin Gorda, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, Caribbean

If you're planning to spend hundreds — or more likely, thousands — on a Caribbean getaway, you want it to be worth the price.

U.S. News & World Report recently released its annual rankings of the best vacation destinations, including the best places to travel in the U.S., Europe and the Caribbean.

To compile the list of the top places visit in the Caribbean, U.S. News considered several factors, including sights, culture, food, shopping and nightlife. The rankings took into account both editors' opinions and votes from readers. You can read the full methodology here.

Read on to see the U.S. News' top-rated Caribbean vacation spots, where your hard-earned money will go toward an unforgettable getaway.

Princess Margaret Beach, Bequia, St. Vincent and The Grenadines
Michael DeFreitas | robertharding | Getty Images
Princess Margaret Beach, Bequia, St. Vincent and The Grenadines

15. St. Vincent & The Grenadines

St. Vincent & The Grenadines is made up of 32 islands and cays, the largest of which is the namesake St. Vincent. The cluster of islands earned top spots on U.S. News' lists of the best Carribbean beaches and honeymoon destinations.

14. Cayman Islands

Located just south of Cuba, the Cayman Islands are an archipelago of three islands: Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. The destination is often touted for its abundance of all-inclusive resorts and pristine beaches.

13. Turks & Caicos

Comprised of 40 islands and cays, Turks & Caicos is a popular destination for cruise ships, thanks to its white sand beaches and clear blue water. Visitors can explore the nearby reefs via scuba diving or discover the area's history at the Turks & Caicos National Museum.

Grenada
John Miller / robertharding | Getty Images
Grenada

12. Grenada

Nicknamed the "Spice Island of the Caribbean," Grenada is known worldwide for its nutmeg crop. The island is also a supplier of cloves, cinnamon, exotic fruit and 150-proof rum.

11. Barbados

Barbados is the most eastern island in the Caribbean, located near St. Vincent & and the Grenadines and St. Lucia. Its local culture is an amalgam of British traditions and West African influences.

10. Havana

Cuba's capital city, Havana, is known for for its rows of pastel buildings, outdoor plazas and distinct local cuisine. Travel restrictions for Americans visiting Cuba may be on the horizon, however.

Havana, Cuba
Danita Delimont | Getty Images
Havana, Cuba

9. Martinique

Visitors to Martinique can partake in a wide range of outdoor activities on the island, from hiking to canyoning to rappelling through waterfalls. Of course, there are also plenty of beaches as well.

8. St. Martin/St.Maarten

St. Martin and St. Maarten is one island with two distinct sides. French-controlled St. Martin on the north side is known for its beach parties, while Netherlands Antilles-governed St. Maarten on the southern rim is home to a variety of casinos and bars.

7. Trinidad & Tobago

Visit the islands of Trinidad & Tobago in February to experience Carnival, celebrated the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. The party consists of two days of non-stop energy, demonstrated by colorful costumes and an all-day parade.

A couple walks on the beach in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
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A couple walks on the beach in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

6. Puerto Rico

Located just a three-hour flight from Miami, Puerto Rico has quiet beaches, prime surf spots and lively nightlife. U.S. News named it the No. 1 spot for family vacations in the Caribbean and the No. 2 spot for affordable Caribbean getaways.

5. U.S. Virgin Islands

A cheaper alternative to the British Virgin Islands, the neighboring U.S. Virgin Islands offer pristine beaches, luxury shopping and historical landmarks. The Virgin Islands National Park features opportunities to kayak, sail and even camp overnight on the beach.

4. Curacao

Visitors will recognize Curacao for the bright and colorful Dutch colonial buildings that line the waterfront. Located on a coral reef, Curacao is a destination for both snorkeling and scuba diving.

Sugar Beach in St. Lucia is a top luxury destination in the Caribbean.
Source: Sugar Beach
Sugar Beach in St. Lucia is a top luxury destination in the Caribbean.

3. St. Lucia

Visitors to St. Lucia can partake in a variety of activities, including zip lining through the rainforest, relaxing on the beach or discovering the region's history at the Pigeon Island National Park. The annual St. Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival is also growing in popularity.

2. Guadeloupe

Guadeloupe's mainland forms a butterfly shape: Basse-Terre, the island's capital city, sits on one side and Grande-Terre, which holds a cluster of resorts, sits on the other. Smaller islands, including Les Saintes and Marie-Galante, surround the mainland.

1. British Virgin Islands

Comprised of 60 islands and cays, the British Virgin Islands are known for their expansive white sand beaches. The local cuisine is comprised largely of seafood, including spiny lobster, conch and fresh mahi mahi.

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