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Do a Google image search for the word 'paradise' and the vast majority of the pictures will include crystal clear lagoons, palm trees and white sands from the Caribbean.
Anyone that has visited the islands will find it hard to disagree with the received wisdom that their lifestyle and climate offer some of the most beautiful locations on earth and visitors flock here to find their very own piece of paradise.
A quick look at a map of the Caribbean and you will feel spoiled for choice. Should you visit the vibrant culture and nightlife of Barbados? The laidback St Lucia or perhaps the up market and luxurious Antigua?
Each Caribbean island offers the same tropical climate, beaches and waters so you can base your choice of destination on which island culture and language best suits what you're looking for.
Barbados and Antigua both have English as their official language, whereas the official language of St Lucia is French. However, as the majority of St Lucia's economy is based on tourism, the locals' English is generally good enough for British visitors to get by. In fact, French visitors may have more trouble than the English due to the unique local dialect.
Of the islands, Barbados certainly has the most to see and do. St Lucia and Antigua are much more geared around tourism and holiday leisure facilities. Antigua is also generally higher end and offers more luxurious packages, with many based around yachting.
Barbados features a huge variety of things to see and do. You can surf the eastern coast, enjoy the contemporary nightlife or discover the history of the slave trade first hand through museums and monuments.
Nature lovers will find much to explore almost anywhere in the Caribbean, as all the islands feature botanical gardens that house and preserve the beautiful indigenous wildlife.
All of the islands also offer wonderful opportunities to learn SCUBA diving. The clear, warm waters are some of the most inviting in the world, and unlike places like Australia, the waters aren't teeming with dangerous marine life!
Despite the culture, activities and food, Caribbean islands are really famous for one thing, the beaches. You could throw a dart at a map of the Caribbean and hit a stunning beach, there really are that many. When deciding your location, one of the main things to consider is what balance of action and relaxation you want during your tropical island paradise getaway.