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Best Caribbean Islands_3x4 2014

navio-beach-vieques

As the winter gets seriously colder, I seem to be bombarded by articles on sand, sun, and ocean. Here is a ranking of the best 25 Caribbean islands by Business Insider. The islands they chose are: Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Aruba; Bahamas; Barbados; British Virgin Islands; Cayman Islands; Cuba; Curaçao; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Guadeloupe; Grenada; Haiti; Jamaica; Martinique; Montserrat; Puerto Rico; Saint Barthélemy; St. Kitts and Nevis; St. Lucia; St. Martin/Sint Maarten; Trinidad and Tobago; Turks and Caicos; U.S. Virgin Islands; and Vieques (part of Puerto Rico; see photo above: Navío Beach). I’ve only placed them in alphabetical order. To see what the ranking is, check out the link below. Melia Robinson writes:

If you’re planning a tropical getaway, the Caribbean islands are a gold mine of beauty, seclusion, and adventure. Even though all the Caribbean islands are beautiful, some are better than others. So we decided to rank them.

We figured that the best islands would have a low cost, be easy to get to, and have beautiful beaches and lots of activities. In most instances, we defined a Caribbean island as a single country, republic, or territory in the Caribbean.

To rank these islands, we factored in each island’s average hotel room cost [. . .]; the distance from New York City; the number of attractions listed [. . .]; and the amount of coastline per square kilometer, which we called the beach density score.

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One of the most scenic destinations in the world, the Caribbean islands are a must-visit for any nature lover, romantic, or adventure seeker.
However, it's difficult to decide which island to visit, considering the beauty and appeal of each. We crunched the numbers and came up with a list of the 25 best countries, republics, and territories in the Western Hemisphere archipelago.
We evaluated the islands based on their flying time from New York City, the average hotel room cost, the number of attractions, and the Beach Density Index — a score that rewards an island for having a relatively large amount of potential beachfront for its size.

 

Best Caribbean Islands graphic

 

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We recently published a list of the 25 best Caribbean islands — no easy task, considering the beauty and appeal of each island.
For this ranking, we used four criteria: accessibility, average cost of a hotel room, number of attractions, and a beach density index score, which we'll explain below.
We weighted these criteria equally, because getting there with ease can be just as important as perfecting your tan.
In most instances, we defined a Caribbean island as a single country, republic, or territory in the Caribbean. The US Virgin Islands are made up of three major islands — St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas — but we counted it as one since the archipelago is considered one insular area of the United States.
To determine accessibility, we searched Google Maps to see how long the journey is from New York City to the major airport on the island. Islands that offer direct flights from New York City had shorter travel times, and performed better on the list.
For islands with no direct flights from New York City, we added the flight time from New York City to a nearby major airport, an hour for a layover, and the flight time for an island-hopper flight to the final destination.
To determine the average hotel room cost, we sought out the help of our friends at Hotels.com. The hospitality site provided us with the data for a majority of the islands. For the unlisted islands, we sourced Expedia.com for Haiti, Booking.com for Montserrat, and Trivago.com for Cuba.
To determine the number of attractions, we searched the island on TripAdvisor.com, a reviews-based travel website. We used the number of attractions, which includes beaches, landmarks, cultural sites, and outdoor venues.
We did not take the number of activities, nightlife, or shopping venues into consideration, because we wanted to award islands rich in nature and culture.
To determine the beach density index, we divided the length of each island's coastline by its land area. This metric rewards islands that have a relatively large amount of potential beachfront for their size.
In the slideshow, we assigned description words to the island's beach density index score:
Low: 0.0 – 0.2
Moderate: 0.21 – 0.5
High: 0.51 – 0.8
Very high: 0.81+
When it was time to crunch the numbers, we normalized the data in each criteria so that each sub-score has a mean of 0 and a standard deviation of 1.
This common statistics technique allows us to preserve some of the relative size information (e.g. if one island has twice as much coastline than another island, it will get a much better score than if it had just 10% more coastline), while putting each variable on a common scale so we can meaningfully average them. 

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Comment by Loveli on December 29, 2014 at 5:37pm

BVI should be in the top 10.. lol  

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Comment by Kevin Reynolds on December 16, 2014 at 3:09pm

These surveys or rankings are often flawed because of sponsorships and other influences.

Personally, if I have to rate this ranking or make any changes - I would have to place Barbados in the top 5.

Comment by Kevin Reynolds on December 16, 2014 at 12:13pm

@ kimberly omeir

Costa Rica is not located in the Caribbean. It is part of Central America.

Costa Rica is beautiful (been there), but it is not known for its' beaches as most of the Caribbean Island. But it would do well on this list.

Comment by Honeybaby on December 16, 2014 at 11:36am
Flight to Haiti is only 3.5 hours and not 7.
Comment by Cheamabeach on December 15, 2014 at 9:43pm

The Bahamas is truly paradise and I thank you God for such a beautiful island!!!

Comment by Panache E-P on December 15, 2014 at 10:16am

What didn't make the list?? lol

Comment by kimberly omeir on December 14, 2014 at 6:29pm
We're is Costa Rica,???? Smh
Comment by judy maya on December 14, 2014 at 5:08pm
Puerto Rico has one of the highest crime rates and they rated it #1? Yeah right lol
Comment by jah jah on December 14, 2014 at 12:24pm

Wow !  St.Kitts and Nevis beat Barbados ?    Barbados did not even make it in the top 5 , B'dos is a paradise gone to s**t.

Comment by gmich007 on December 14, 2014 at 10:40am
Some of the "flights from NYC" are incorrect, like Cuba and Haiti. Cuba is not 9 hours flight from NY, while JA takes less time than that. It makes no sense. Smh

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