8 trending Caribbean destinations for 2019

Known for its tropical vibe, affordable flights and all-inclusive deals, the Dominican Republic has long been a favorite for travelers looking for a chill beach escape. Unfortunately, recent news headlines sparking safety concerns may be causing some travelers to look elsewhere. According to our data, flight searches from the U.S. to the Dominican Republic are down 19% for the first 2 weeks of June 2019 compared to the same time period last year. And, at the same time, we’re seeing spikes in interest to a number of other Caribbean destinations.

Whether you’re considering adjusting your already-booked travel plans (several airlines are making it easy to cancel flights to the DR by offering up flight vouchers) or you’re looking for alternative options for a Caribbean getaway, we’ve got you covered. We turned to our data to find the top trending Caribbean destinations for upcoming travel. If you’re not currently comfortable traveling to the DR, consider heading to one of these eight islands instead.

Sint Maarten

Interest up 62%
Median airfare $417

Interest in Sint Maarten is up 62% compared to last year, and it shouldn’t come as much surprise. Sint Maarten actually has it all. On one hand, the island offers up buzzing nightlife, shopping and lively casinos, but on the other, you’ll find laid-back, pretty beaches perfect for rest and relaxation. We’re looking at you Simpson Bay. Head to the waterfront boardwalk downtown to shop and explore (Front Street runs parallel and is where you’ll find bustling shops and bars). The island is known for its guavaberry, which is used in liqueurs, rums and hot sauces and is a must try.

Flights to Sint MaartenHotels in Sint MaartenRestaurants in Sint Maarten

 

Dominica

Interest up 61%
Median airfare $859

Dominica is a nature lover’s paradise that has remained largely undiscovered by Americans. Until now. With interest up 61% compared to last year, it seems more people are catching on to this mountain-covered hideaway. With lush tropical rainforests, epic mountain views, waterfalls and natural hot springs, there are plenty of ways to explore the island. But there aren’t many beaches, so if remembering to flip over in your sunlounger is your idea of fun, this may not be the vacay for you. However, active travelers will be thrilled by all the room for activities – from hiking to scuba diving.

Flights to DominicaHotels in Dominica

 

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Interest up 43%
Median airfare $912

If you’re not familiar with Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, no, it’s not a 90’s alternative rock band. It’s a quiet Caribbean destination made up of a main island (St. Vincent) flanked by a chain of smaller islands (the Grenadines). And interest in this quietly exotic destination is up 43% compared to last year. This is the spot for really getting away from it all. Think white sand, turquoise waters, and barely a sound to be heard over the waves.

Flights to St. Vincent and the GrenadinesHotels in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

 

Anguilla

Interest up 43%
Median airfare $933

If you want to hit the beach, Anguilla has not one, not two, but 33 pretty white sand beaches to choose from. And even the most popular ones are largely uncrowded by tourists. With interest in this Caribbean paradise up 43% compared to last year, this may be changing. So visiting sooner rather than later is a good idea. If you want to do more than just relax on the sand, there are plenty of opportunities to snorkel cozy bays like Prickly Pear and Little Bay. You’ll have no problem tracking down some snorkel gear from a local dive shop.

Flights to AnguillaHotels in AnguillaRestaurants in Anguilla

 

Puerto Rico

Interest up 27%
Median airfare $358

Puerto Rico may already be on your radar (even before interest spiked 27%), and for good reason. It has something for everyone. Beachgoers can hit the sand at lively, resort-lined Isla Verde, celeb-spot at trending Condado Beach or go a bit off the beaten path with a day trip from San Juan to one of the quieter island beaches. Culture vultures should explore Old San Juan, with its cobbled streets, colorful architecture and centuries-old fortresses. Take a walking tour for an overview of the city’s history, browse art galleries and shop for souvenirs. Foodies shouldn’t miss dining out in Old San Juan. We like the creative cuisine and ambiance at Santaella.

Flights to Puerto RicoHotels in Puerto RicoRestaurants in Puerto Rico

 

Saint Barthelemy

Interest up 18%
Median airfare $1,342

More commonly known as St. Barts, this French-speaking Caribbean island has a high-end, trendy vibe – think gourmet cuisine and a yacht-filled harbor – and interest is up 18% compared to last year. The boating culture is huge, so take a boat tour or charter your own if you’re looking to splurge. There are also plenty of uncrowded free public beaches to choose from – nearly 20 in total. After peeping luxury yachts at Gustavia Harbor, take a short walk to Shell Beach which is aptly named for the millions of unique shells found there. Looking down on the beach is 17th-century Fort Karl and climbing the steps to the top is well worth the view.

Flights to Saint BarthelemyHotels in Saint BarthelemyRestaurants in Saint Barthelemy

 

British Virgin Islands

Interest up 12%
Median airfare $728

While the British Virgin Islands (BVI) are made up of four main islands and tons of smaller ones, first-time visitors will likely want to start their exploration from the largest island, Tortola, home to the capital, Road Town, and rainforest-covered Sage Mountain National Park. With interest up 12% compared to last year, now’s the time to see it for yourself. Take the ferry from Tortola to nearby Virgin Gorda island for $30 round trip. There, take a dip in the island’s famous Baths. These hidden grottoes and pools that flow around giant boulders formed by volcanic eruptions are a must for visitors.

Flights to the British Virgin IslandsHotels in the British Virgin IslandsRestaurants in the British Virgin Islands

 

Cayman Islands

Interest up 9%
Median airfare $456

Located in the Western Caribbean Sea, the trio of Cayman Islands offer up secluded beaches and crystal clear waters that call to the divers and beach bums alike. And with searches up 9% compared to last year, it appears travelers are catching on. Scuba amidst a shipwreck and swim with stingrays on Grand Cayman, admire the diverse wildlife like iguanas and red-footed boobies on Little Cayman or hike to the Bat Cave on Cayman Brac (yes, that’s an actual place).

Flights to the Cayman IslandsHotels in the Cayman IslandsRestaurants in the Cayman Islands

 

Methodology: All data is based on median airfares conducted from KAYAK US. Travel dates are June 1, 2019 to Dec. 31, 2019 and search dates are June 1, 2019 and June 17, 2019. To compare year-over-year findings, KAYAK considered searches from to June 2, 2018 to June 18, 2018 for travel between June 2, 2018 and Dec. 31, 2018.

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