Travel Bucket List: 42 Beautiful Places in Latin America & the Caribbean

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Latin America and the Caribbean are home to some of the most beautiful places on Earth. Some countries are more traveled than others but each has its own unique beauty and appeal. In this article, I’ve chosen one of the most beautiful places in each country/territory in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Here are 42 places to add to your travel bucket list:

The Caribbean

Antigua & Barbuda- Shirley Heights

travel bucket list
Photo by Josh Tidsbury on Flickr

Shirley Heights is a restored military lookout in Antigua and Barbuda. The buildings were converted into a restaurant and a bar, where visitors can take in the spectacular views of English and Falmouth Harbors while sipping on a refreshing drink. The hike to the site can be challenging, but it’s definitely worth it- especially at sunrise and sunset or for the weekly Sunday party!

 

Aruba- Eagle Beach

travel bucket list
Photo by Chris Ford on Flickr

Aruba’s Eagle Beach is considered to be one of the best beaches in the world. It’s known for its low-rise resorts, white sand, and clear, blue water. Here visitors can also see two fofoti trees, which stretch out toward the water! If that’s not enough, visitors can see turtles laying eggs here at certain times throughout the year.

 

Bahamas- Pink Sand Beach on Harbour Island

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Photo by Mike’s Birds on Flickr

Harbour Island offers much more tranquility and relaxation than overcrowded Nassau and it’s also home to one of the best beaches in the world! This pink sand beach is about three miles long and its color comes from microscopic coral insects. When they die, their pink and red shells are crushed by the waves and washed ashore.

 

Barbados- Archer’s Bay

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Photo by Teresa “Kitty” Elsmore on Flickr

Archer’s Bay is one of the more secluded beaches on Barbados and it gives visitors some amazing views! It’s located on the northwest point of the island and is a great picnic spot. Archer’s Bay is unique because visitors can see the difference between the violent Atlantic Ocean and the calm Caribbean waters. It’s important to note that, while beautiful, the water here is too dangerous for swimming.

 

Cayman Islands- 7 Mile Beach (Grand Cayman)

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Photo by James Willamor on Flickr

The 7 Mile Beach on Grand Cayman is often considered to be one of the Caribbean’s best beaches. This beach is, unsurprisingly, very touristy and known for its white sand. Technically, the beach is around 6 miles long and will probably shrink in the future due to erosion.

 

Cuba- Alejandro de Humboldt National Park

travel bucket list
Photo by marcel601 on Flickr

Cuba is home to one of the most biologically diverse sites on a tropical island in the whole world. The plants and animals have learned to thrive despite the toxic environment underground. Visitors to this UNESCO World Heritage Site have the chance to see several species of animals and beautiful waterfalls.

 

Dominica- Titou Gorge

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Photo by Wayne Hsieh on Flickr

Titou Gorge is a unique land formation caused by lava that cooled and cracked open. Visitors can take a swim and see some of the area’s beautiful waterfalls. The sunlight peaking through the tree canopy helps make this one of the most beautiful places on the island of Dominica.

 

Dominican Republic- The Sand Dunes of Baní

The Dominican Republic is home to the largest sand dunes in the Caribbean. What makes these dunes incredibly beautiful are the spectacular views of the ocean. The dunes are also home to different types of plant and animal life than on the rest of the island.

 

Grenada- Petit Martinique

Photo by Elle Cayabyab Gitlin on Flickr

Petit Martinique is one of three of Grenada’s islands. It’s only one mile in diameter and just a short boat ride from the main island. The island is much calmer and more serene than the others, with a population of only 1,000 and only one main road. The scenery is beautiful and the island has a large volcano right in the center.

 

Guadeloupe- Jacques Cousteau’s Underwater Reserve

Photo by Matthias Burch on Flickr

Guadeloupe is home to one of the coolest dive sites in the Caribbean! This underwater reserve features a coral garden and three shipwrecks. Divers can see a wide variety of colorful fish and lucky divers can even see stingrays, dolphins, nurse sharks, and more. The EXTREMELY lucky can see migrating humpback whales between February and April.

 

Haiti- Citadelle Laferrière

Photo by Ksenia Novikova on Flickr

While Haiti has been hit with devastation in recent years, it’s important to remember the country’s natural beauty- and you can see it all from Citadelle Laferrière. Citadelle Laferrière is a mountaintop fortress from the era of the country’s independence that offers fantastic views of surrounding mountains. Definitely worth adding to your travel bucket list.

 

Jamaica- Blue Hole Mineral Spring

Blue Hole Mineral Spring is a natural water hole filled with mineral water. It’s 40 by 50 feet large, 35 feet deep, and 24 feet below the ground in a cave-like opening. When visitors are finished with swimming in this beautiful place, they can grab a drink or a bite to eat at the on-site bar and restaurant.

 

Martinique- Route de la Trace

Photo by Frédérique Laporte on Flickr

Route de la Trace is easily one of the most scenic roads in the Caribbean and one of the oldest roads on Martinique. This unique road trip takes visitors through mountains, rainforest, and beautiful ocean views.

 

Puerto Rico- Cueva Ventana

Photo by Jorge Quinteros on Flickr

Puerto Rico has one of the coolest photo ops around. How could you not add it to your travel bucket list? This unique cave is located in Arecibo and visitors will be blown away by the view they see on the other end. Visitors should have a moderate fitness level as it’s required to walk up to the cave.

 

Saint Barthélemy- Gouverneur Beach

Photo by Jay Colbath on Flickr

This beach is super private and secluded. No building is allowed on the beach so you can enjoy the beauty in its natural state. The beach is known for its white sand, blue water, and awesome snorkeling. If you’re looking for a nude beach, nudity is permitted on some parts of Gouverneur Beach.

 

St. Kitts & Nevis- South Peninsula (St. Kitts)

Photo by Carolyn Sugg on Flickr

St. Kitts and Nevis are some of my favorite islands because it’s rumored that there are more monkeys than people! While it’s hard to choose just ONE part of St. Kitts, the Southern Peninsula is probably the most beautiful part of the island. Why? It offers a beautiful view of the ocean and Nevis. Also, it’s much less developed than the rest of the island and offers more secluded beaches.

 

St. Lucia- The Pitons

Photo by Simon Phipps on Flickr

These unique land formations were created by volcanic materials. There are two ways visitors can view them. The more common (and easier) way is by boat. The more difficult (and more rewarding) way is to actually hike up them. The hike is challenging but the views from the top are more than worth it.

 

St. Vincent and the Grenadines- Mayreau

Photo by Jason Pratt on Flickr

Mayreau is just one of the islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It’s more isolated than the other islands and offers excellent diving to its visitors. It’s home to just a small village and also to Saltwhistle Bay- a beautiful white sand beach with unforgettable views.

 

Trinidad & Tobago- Fort George

Photo by r.lt on Flickr

Fort George, located 1,100 feet above sea level, gives visitors amazing views of the Port of Spain and St. James. The fort itself is still in great condition. The best time of day to go is at sunset.

 

Turks & Caicos Islands- Taylor Bay (Provo)

Photo by steven_n_maher on Flickr

Taylor Bay, located on Provo,  isn’t just your average beach. For several hundred yards from land, the water is shallow, making it a great place for families with small children. There are no sudden drop offs and it has the same beauty as other Caribbean beaches. Keep in mind that Taylor Bay is very remote and there’s no shade or facilities. In other words, come prepared.

 

Virgin Islands (British and U.S.)- The Baths (Virgin Gorda)

Photo by Antony Caldaroni on Flickr

On the British Virgin Island of Virgin Gorda, visitors can visit The Baths, where volcanic boulders have created several “baths”. The water is clear blue and visitors can play and climb on the rocks or visit Devil’s Bay- the beach that lies at the end of the rocks.

 

North America

Mexico- Playa del Amor (AKA Hidden Beach)

Photo by Brandon Binkwilder Santana on Flickr

Playa del Amor is a beach that’s hidden in a hole on one of Mexico’s Marieta Islands. Scientists are not quite sure on how this beach came into existence. The only way to access it is via a water tunnel from the Pacific Ocean. There’s only about six feet of space between the water and the tunnel, so it can only be reached by kayak or swimming.

 

Central America

Belize- Great Blue Hole

Photo by Kashif Pathan on Flickr

This large, deep, mysterious hole is part of the second largest coral reef system in the world, after Australia.  This should be a part of any diver’s travel bucket list. While anyone is welcome to snorkel and dive around the hole, diving within the whole is ONLY for experienced divers. Inside the hole, divers can expect to see dark caves with different stalactite formations. Around the hole, divers can see a variety of marine life, such as Midnight Parrotfish and Caribbean Reef Sharks.

 

Costa Rica-Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Photo by matt northam on Flickr

This impressive cloud forest is home to 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity, including over 100 mammal species, 120 reptile species, 400 bird species, and 2,500 plant species. It’s also an excellent example to follow in terms of sustainability.

 

El Salvador- Lake Ilopango

Photo by colinmac on Flickr

Lake Ilopango is a crater lake located in a volcanic caldera and the largest lake in El Salvador. At 1,450 feet, if offers visitors amazing views of the surrounding volcanoes. Visitors can enjoy several different activities on the lake, such as boating and fishing.

 

Guatemala-Lake Atitlán

Photo by Daniel Mennerich on Flickr

Lake Atitlán is surrounded by small Mayan towns and volcanoes. It’s still very underdeveloped and there’s no road that goes all the way around the lake. Visitors can stay in nearby towns, such as Panajachel, San Pedro La Laguna, and San Marcos La Laguna. The best times to visit are during sunrise and sunset. This is one of the most beautiful places you could add to your travel bucket list.

 

Honduras-La Mosquitia

Photo by Jason Hall on Flickr

La Mosquitia is for true adventurers! It takes up nearly 1/5th of Honduras and is one of the only undeveloped areas left in the country. It has only 2 actual roads and a substantial indigenous population. Visitors can see mangroves, rainforest, and coastlines all in one!

 

Nicaragua-Ometepe Island

Photo by Bernal Saborio on Flickr

Ometepe Island is a large island located at the center of Lake Nicaragua. It has two twin volcanoes, which visitors can climb, and a number of nature reserves. There are some lagoons on the island, such as Ojo de Agua, as well as beaches on Lake Nicaragua, where visitors can go for a swim. Kayaking is also a popular activity here.

 

Panama-Coiba National Park

Photo by LASZLO ILYES on Flickr

Coiba National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and marine reserve located off of Panama’s Pacific coast. To visit, visitors must get a permit, which can easily be done by joining a guided tour. Due to restricted access to the surrounding islands, the natural environment has been able to grow steadily. Visitors can enjoy a variety of marine life, snorkeling, and diving.

 

 

South America

Argentina- Villa la Angostura

Photo by maxtdf on Flickr

This small village is easily one of the most beautiful areas in the mountain region of Argentinean Patagonia. It’s popular for skiing and snowboarding in the winter and offers visitors clean, fresh air and incredible scenery. Visitors can also find artisan products in the local shops.

 

Bolivia- Salar de Uyuni

Photo by G.S. Matthews on Flickr

Salar de Uyuni will have you feeling like you’ve been transported to another world. Visitors can see white for miles contrasting against a blue sky. This is a great place for fun photo ops!

 

Brazil- Fernando do Noronha

Photo by Márcio Cabral de Moura on Flickr

Fernando do Noronha is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is incredibly important ecologically. It’s made up of 21 islands with excellent diving conditions and amazing beaches, such as Baía do Sancho and Dolphins Bay.

 

Chile- Torres del Paine

travel bucket list
Photo by melenama on Flickr

Torres del Paine is a national park that makes up part of Chilean Patagonia. The Cordillera del Paine is the main attraction. Visitors can hike the “W”, which takes about five days, or the full circle, which takes 8-9 days. Torres del Paine was named the 5th most beautiful place in the world by National Geographic.

 

Colombia- Caño Cristales

Photo by Diagonal Uno on Flickr

Also known as the River of Five Colors, Caño Cristales is often considered to be the most beautiful river in the world. From September to November, the river is colored with green, blue, red, black, and yellow.

 

Ecuador- Galápagos Islands

Photo by Paul Krawczuk on Flickr

The Galapagos Islands are one of the world’s most undisturbed natural habitats. Visitors can see a variety of wildlife in a natural setting. Some popular activities on the island include snorkeling, horseback riding, hiking, and diving.

 

French Guiana- Awala-Yalimapo

Photo by Bagolina on Flickr

Located on the north coast of French Guiana, three different types of turtles come to Awala-Yalimapo to lay eggs each year, including Green turtles, Leatherback turtles, and Olive Ridley turtles. Visitors can witness this amazing event while camping right at the beach.

 

Guyana- Iwokrama Forest

Photo by Olaf Zerbock on Flickr

Iwokrama Forest is one of only four pristine tropical forests left in the world. And yet Guyana is rarely on anyone’s travel bucket list. And one of only two left in Latin America, with the other being the Amazon Rainforest. This forest is known for its diversity of fish and birds, as well as for its population of many endangered and threatened animal species.

 

Paraguay- Ojo del Mar

Although scientists aren’t sure of its origins, it’s estimated that this turquoise lake originated 250 million years B.C. It has a wide variety of fish and visitors can enjoy the clear, beautiful water.

 

Peru- The Amazon

travel bucket list
Photo by Edwin Bellota on Flickr

While Machu Picchu is definitely worth a visit, don’t miss your chance to visit the Amazon! Peru is just one of many countries with access to this natural wonder. Visitors can explore the river and jungles, as well as see an amazing variety of plants and animals.

 

Suriname- Brownsberg Nature Park

Brownsberg Nature Park is the perfect place to observe Suriname’s native wildlife and plants. Visitors can enter the park with a guide or alone, as there are clearly marked trails. Camping is also a popular activity here and a way to experience the nature firsthand.

 

Uruguay-Punta del Diablo

Photo by John Seb Barber on Flickr

Punta del Diablo offers a nice escape from overly-touristy Punta del Este. It’s a small, seaside village with only about 850 residents. The buildings are colorful and, on top of it all, there’s a beautiful and serene beach that visitors can enjoy.

 

Venezuela- Angel Falls

Photo by Andrew White on Flickr

Venezuela’s Canaima National Park is home to the world’s highest waterfall. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is fairly isolated, but can be reached by a guided tour. Visitors will find plenty of beautiful places to swim once there.

 

 

Please keep in mind that many of these places are natural, undeveloped, and undisturbed. When visiting these places, keep everything as you found it so the next visitor can enjoy it just as much. When encountering indigenous cultures, treat them with respect and ALWAYS ask for permission before taking a photo.

 

What places would you add to this travel bucket list? Let me know in the comments!

 

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