Are you looking for the best Caribbean Islands to live on? Then you are in the right place. Having been on some of these islands, I can confidently define what relocating to the Caribbean Islands means.
When I hear the term “Caribbean,” I think of crystal-clear waters and white sand beaches I met in Turks and Caicos, the warm tropical climate in Aruba, and the natural beauty of Ambergris Caye. Also, the excellent infrastructure I’m still enjoying here in Antigua and Barbuda, and many other popular destinations with abundant dollops of sandy shores.
Let’s dive into the details and find out which of these places is perfect for you to live in!
Life here in the Caribbean is unquestionable and smooth. Whether you are in pursuit of ease, a warm tropical climate, cultural experiences, beautiful beaches, or a sense of community, the Caribbean can easily cater to the desires and requirements of any.
When hunting for a Caribbean island to call home, defining your vision for an ideal location and way of life is wise. Home is where one’s affections lie, and when you consider the following islands, you can determine the best Caribbean Island to live in.
- Turks and Caicos have more tranquil, clear waters and are best for individuals who wish to establish a home near a beach.
- Scuba diving at Grace Bay Beach in Turks and Caicos used to be my daily routine, but at some point, I felt like relocating to Sapodilla Bay so my kids could enjoy swimming in shallow waters with gentle waves.
- In Ambergris Caye, everything seemed to be very simple: low cost of living, friendly locals, and, best of all, the area is conveniently accessible, with water ferries readily available to move to and from the Island.
- I always stay caught up on the nightlife and Caribbean culture I experienced in Aruba, the quality of life in Cayman Island, and the low crime rates in the Bahamas, Barths, and other islands.
Nevertheless, these are only some of the attractions the Caribbean islands present; there’s plenty more to explore. Please continue reading to delve into the finest Caribbean destinations, but before that, let me take you through what you should consider when choosing the best Island to reside in.
Comparison Chart of 17 Best Caribbean Islands to Live on for Families
Having visited almost all the Caribbean islands, I am now at the right place to give you a brief comparison that will guide you in selecting the best place to live in based on what you like:
Saint Barthelemy, Aruba, Turks & Caicos, Montserrat, and Roatán
Community and lifestyle
Turks and Caicos
Antigua and Barbuda
1. Turks and Caicos
What a wonderful life I and my family had in Turks & Caicos! I am considering returning there, or should I move permanently to this Island. Everything here is appealing:
- The beautiful beaches I met from the eight main islands of Turks and Caicos;
- The laid-back lifestyle;
- The friendly locals;
- Excellent healthcare facilities;
- Diverse shopping centers are affordable.
We used to spend much of our time in Grace Bay, enjoying basking in the velvety sand, swimming in waters displaying vibrant shades of blue and green, and indulging in underwater exploration through scuba diving. However, after some time, I realized that my kids were not happy in this area, and I decided to move to Sapodilla Bay because it has shallow waters suitable for kids to swim for their happiness.
Therefore, if you plan to relocate to Turks and Caicos with your family, then Sapodilla Bay is the best place to raise kids; there are good medical services, high-quality education, and it’s affordable.
2. Cayman Islands
What a beautiful place to live in the Caribbean. Without any fear of contradiction, I can say that Grand Cayman stands out as one of the finest Caribbean destinations for residents. I wish my home country could have all the features I found on this Island. After staying here for three months, I discovered that in the Cayman Islands, residents are not subject to taxes. There are no:
- Income taxes;
- Property taxes;
- Capital gains taxes;
- Payroll taxes;
- Withholding taxes.
“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned,” is what Cayman are used to say once I came across them, and it means that safety here is paramount.
I went around the whole Island and found that it is a conducive place to live in; it presents many housing alternatives, including private islands, that offer a diverse spectrum of experiences in lifestyle, culture, and heritage compared to other Caribbean islands. Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are some of the best places I recommend relocating to.
3. U.S. Virgin Islands
Having stayed in the U.S. Virgin Islands for around two months, I can confidently say that this area is the best Caribbean Island to live for people of all ages. This region is renowned for its stunning beaches and coconut palms, making it an excellent choice for individuals desiring to bask in the sunshine during their off days.
The best places to find a home in the U.S. Virgin Islands include:
- St. Thomas: It boasts a vibrant nightlife and duty-free shopping if you seek a more lively atmosphere.
- St. Croix: This destination in the Virgin Islands provides a residential lifestyle and features some excellent golf courses.
- St. John: It is an ideal place for beach lovers.
When I needed help moving from one place to another; the means of transport on this Island was perfect. Also, the cost of living is more affordable, and they are more secure than the other parts.
4. Ambergris Caye, Belize City
Some months after coming out from Turks and Caicos, I landed on another beautiful island, Ambergris Caye, with stunning beaches, an enticing atmosphere, a relaxed attitude, and friendly locals. Staying in a particular area for one month can make you decide whether it’s the best place to reside permanently.
From warm weather and lush rainforests to a laid-back Caribbean lifestyle and security, I have found that everything in Ambergris Caye is paramount, and residing on this tropical Island seems like a dream come true. For now, let me provide you with some of the best places I enjoyed during my two-month stay, and I hope you will never regret relocating to either of them.
1. Belize City
Diversity is a hallmark of Belize City! What a more relaxed lifestyle I had in this city than what I used to have in my hometown. Everything is easily accessible, and visiting the other parts of the Caribbean islands was simple because the main airport is situated in this zone, and cruise ships tend to berth here.
Not to leave behind the healthcare services and cultural attractions. Try your best to relocate to Belize; you will never regret it.
2. Corozal District
If there is an area where I spend little money, it is here in Corozal District. So, if you are on a budget, don’t say you have nowhere to move permanently in the Caribbean; Corozal District is there for you. From housing to food, I tell you that you will like the cost of living here.
Many argue that this environment offers a perfect way to live modestly on a budget while staying near the conveniences in more crowded areas.
5. Roatan, Honduras
Roatan will always remain among my best Caribbean islands to explore due to its well-preserved treasures. Although nothing is unique here, it still ranks at the top as one of the dream places to call home: Its pristine, sandy shores and stunning turquoise blue waters might entice you to move to this Island permanently.
Throughout my life here in Roatan, there was not a single day I found myself in a misunderstanding situation with the new friends I met. Residents lead unpretentious lives without vying with neighbors. Nevertheless, in contrast to other islands, Roatan maintains a relatively low cost of living.
Just imagine that kind of stress-free life; why not try it yourself? Here is where you can find a peaceful environment to raise your family in Roatan:
1. West Bay/West End
Just as the name goes, West End, meaning at the west end of the Island where sunset-watching was my daily routine. Life here is very smooth and straightforward; I could see many individuals working in this area, implying that job opportunities are available.
Deep-sea fishing charter companies, restaurants, bars, and many other investment fields can secure a job that will pay very well to cater to your family’s needs.
2. French Harbour
Thanks to gated communities in and around French Harbour that deliver a suitable, secure lifestyle. If you are still looking for a home in West Bay, move to French Harbour. Here is the home of flourishing business.
From the expansive and more modern grocery and hardware stores to pharmacies, banks, and countless restaurants, getting a job here is not a big deal provided you are eligible to do it.
6. Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic
Although this beach town might be unfamiliar to many, it has been a favorite place among Italian and French tourists for decades, which explains the touch of European charm and international living it exudes.
What I liked the most during my stay on this Island was the delightful fusion of scents, where the smell of fresh coconut and ocean breezes mixed with the fragrance of espresso and buttery pastries, which is very sweet and enjoyable.
How do you feel when you find that the exact things you are looking for are what you come across? Imagine staying in a nation with:
- A stable government;
- Low cost of living;
- Great weather.
That is what I met in Las Terrenas.
7. The Bahamas
The Bahamas is a stunning destination, with half of its allure residing in the crystal-clear, inviting sea that encircles the islands. Like fellow expatriates who live in the Bahamas throughout the entire year or a portion of it, I decided to be one of them at least to experience how beautiful it is.
In the Bahamas, everything is okay:
- Locals are friendly;
- There are no crime rates;
- The cost of living is moderate.
In short, this area is worth a permanent stay. What I liked most in the Bahamas is that it is easily accessible because it is conveniently located just a short distance from the Florida coastline. There are both domestic and international airports with several direct flights.
Some of the best places in the Bahamas I recommend you reside include Paradise Island and New Providence.
8. Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Living in Isla Mujeres means that you will be enjoying the pristine, azure waters and white-sand beaches that are always within reach, plus the low cost of living significantly more affordable than that of other Caribbean countries.
Having stayed on this Island with my family for two months, I did my analysis and came up with some things my family liked most.
- Best beaches: Isla Mujeres is one of the islands with world-class beaches offering water sports. As an expert diver, I enjoyed going deep into the sea through scuba diving and dolphin encounters in Playa Norte. My kids liked swimming in the shallow waters of Playa Centro.
- Low cost of living: After interviewing numerous locals about the cost of living, I came up with this. A couple can lead a comfortable life on this Island with an annual budget of approximately $36,000, which translates to a monthly expense of $2,500 to $3,000, covering accommodations as well.
Choose Isla Mujeres and enjoy the island life of balmy, aquamarine seas, tropical weather, total relaxation, and the most delectable seafood you can envision. If you have a fixed budget, move to Central Point and Playa Norte. I promise you will like it.
9. Isla Colón, Panama
Getting an apartment in Isla Colon was a minor deal. Here is where I found some of the Caribbean’s most budget-friendly properties. At a fraction of the cost compared to the U.S., you can own a two-bedroom beachfront residence in an off-the-beaten-path locale in Isla Colon Island. Whether you’re a part-time resident, renting your home when absent can offset your expenses.
As the proverb goes, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” Compared to Isla Colon and other islands I visited, I came across the most apparent environment here. Almost every step I made I came across things that contributed to preserving the region’s cleanliness and pristine:
- New recycling containers;
- Solar energy panels;
- Water collection systems.
Furthermore, I enjoyed most that this locale offers:
- A pool;
- Private docks;
- Established utilities.
Plus, there’s a nearby international and domestic airport with frequent flights that I used to move from one place to another. One of the best places I can recommend to relocate and enjoy the Isla Colon life is Bocas Town and Panama.
Traveling has always been my passion. Before I visited the Island of Aruba, my friends used to narrate how beautiful this Island was, drawing positive aspects about it, forcing me to pay a single visit and have the experience.
Gause what happened, I had to move and witness the good life in Aruba at hand. What I met is enough to conclude that Aruba is an appealing destination for individuals seeking a residence. I met in Aruba and indeed calling this a place home to raise a family, you can see I’m actually in the correct position:
- The tight security I met;
- The superior quality of life;
- Unspoiled shoreline;
- Tropical weather;
- Moderate cost of living;
- Stable political framework;
- The lively Caribbean culture and nightlife.
Aruba, known as “One Happy Island,” boasts content residents and is recognized as one of the Caribbean’s happiest places to live. You can even start a business here thanks to the thriving tourism, global trade, and offshore banking.
I spent most of my time in Downtown Oranjestad, with its affordability and a blend of Caribbean and Dutch culture. I highly recommend this area to fit your budget; try it.
I spent almost a year planning my budget before landing in St. Barths. Residing on this Island means you must have had no problem with your financial situation. I discovered that this French territory of Saint-Barthélemy is renowned for being a haven for celebrities and the wealthy.
For me, I had to fix my budget so that I could get to know what it means to stay in a more expensive area. Therefore, I advise you for free:
The good side of living on this Island is that there are zero murders, and the incidences of criminal and property crimes are lower than the average, making it one of the most secure Caribbean islands to live in. The best place to reside in Barths is its capital, the Gustavia with all the necessary conditions to call it a home.
My entire life for four months in Anguilla was all about water activities. Anguilla offers beautiful beaches, coral reefs, and the inescapable azure sea, where I used to enjoy:
- Scuba diving;
- Whale watching.
What I liked most about this Island is that communicating with locals was not a big deal because English is my native language, and Anguilla is a British Overseas territory and designates English as its official language.
Being my first time in this isle, I used to spend much time in Meads Bay because the area is uncrowded, making it the best place to know about the whole of Anguilla. I suggest that you start staying here, then later, if you find a better place, you can move on.
My family and I stayed on this Island for around two months, and we made friends with many local people and people from Africa, West India, and Britain. Therefore, we were able to learn more about their culture and that of the Caribbean. After observing that my family enjoyed almost everything this Island offers, I realized that Barbados is a great place to live:
- Excellent healthcare through private and public channels;
- Low cost of living;
- Grocery shopping;
- Beautiful beaches;
- Offshore banks and more.
And of course, Barbados is the other place where I like to be, it will remain my dream home; my kids are still crying to be taken back to this Island.
For my kids’ happiness, we had to spend most of the time on the Southern Coast of Barbados, which is perfect for a lively beach holiday, and it’s more affordable; I recommend you opt for this region for your family’s happiness.
14. Antigua and Barbuda
I am still a visitor in this nation, but I have access to clean water provided by the government, sanitation services, healthcare services, and many others. Welcome to Antigua and Barbuda if you are searching for the best Caribbean Island with:
- Good infrastructure;
- Quality education for your kids and teenagers;
- Charming hotels;
- Stunning beaches.
Moreover, how I interact with the locals, you can think I’m one of them. Democracy is highly practiced, and the best of all things is that there is no discrimination; we are treated as people of Antigua and Barbuda.
So far, I am considering returning home and bringing my family to this amazing Island so we can enjoy this kind of life forever. One of the best places to relocate to is St. John Parish, and I would like you to opt for this region. It is amazing with all the amenities you require.
Diving is one of my favorite outdoor activities that must be included when searching for the best place to move on. I used to go scuba diving almost daily to unwind after exploring the other side of the Bonaire. This Island is among the world’s premier shore diving spots, justifying its title as a “diver’s paradise.”
A single visit can sometimes persuade tourists to relocate to Bonaire permanently. What I encountered on this Island was fantastic and made my life stress-free. If you are moving to Bonaire very soon, just go direct and find yourself a peaceful home near Klein Bonaire because it is in proximity to the best beaches. Here are some of the things that I observed and Will make you decide to move permanently to Bonaire:
- Bonaire is super laid back and easy-going: The locals are exceedingly welcoming, and I indeed discovered tranquility here. Embracing the island lifestyle transformed me positively. So, why not you? You will enjoy interacting with people you come across, and you will have friends within some days.
- Safety: Bonaire is among the safest Caribbean islands because of its friendly locals. Theft cases and robbery cases are very minimal. Therefore, if you think about starting a business here, there are no worries with your property; it’s always secure.
Is Guadeloupe a desirable place for residence? Indeed, Guadeloupe boasts one of the highest GDP per capita in the Caribbean region and the top human development index (HDI), earning it 38th in global rankings. However, I was dumped here; finding someone to share thoughts with was stressful because locals couldn’t communicate in English, nor could I say a single French word.
If you can’t speak French, you will experience communication difficulties because Guadeloupe is a French-controlled island, and French is their native language. However, with the help of a translator, I learned more about their culture and that of the Caribbean at large.
The good thing about this Island is that you’ll always find engaging activities to occupy your time because there are numerous festivals held here monthly, such as music festivals and visual arts. If you have a family or are just a new couple, then Saint-François must be your choice. Remember, if French is not your native language, find out how to learn it in advance.
Though I spend very little time in Montserrat, it is a stunning and enjoyable place to reside, although costly and often frustrating. Tasks take a long time, and obtaining necessities is challenging because most items are imported from the United States.
What I enjoyed most during my two-week stay is its breathtaking scenery, lively traditions, and thriving economy, which readily embraces those in search of entrepreneurial prospects. If you become a Montserratian citizen, finding employment or launching your enterprise becomes effortless. Consider finding a home near Sea Song, and you will like it.
What are the Safest Caribbean islands to move to?
Almost all the Caribbean islands are safe to move to. Saint Barthelemy, Aruba, Turks & Caicos, Montserrat, and Roatán are the Safest islands.
Which Caribbean Country has the Best Quality of Life?
Boasting a per capita GDP of $91,392, the Cayman Islands enjoy the most elevated quality of life in the Caribbean and stand among the global leaders.
Which Caribbean Island is the Cheapest to Live?
Belize is one of the most economical sanctuaries in the Caribbean, where a pair could lead a contented life on a budget of just $2,000 per month.
What is the most Visited Caribbean Island?
The Dominican Republic, a top Caribbean destination, garners the highest tourist footfall. With its seemingly boundless stretches of pristine beaches, it’s a sought-after retreat for vacationers seeking an ideal escape, abundant outdoor thrills, and a touch of historical colonial charm.
What is the Friendliest Caribbean island?
Bonaire Island has the most friendliest people in Caribbean islands.
If you are a prospective resident who is eyeing the best Caribbean islands, you must prioritize safety before moving. Ensuring a secure environment is a wise decision, whether you plan to retire or raise a family.
If you want to get employed and have good health care and a low cost of living, consider relocating to Barbados, Aruba, and Isla Mujeres. And if you need a more laid-back lifestyle and want to relax on beaches after work, Turks and Caicos, Bahamas, and Antigua and Barbuda will be the choice.
Now you know the best Caribbean Island to relocate to, it will be an excellent help to your friends if you consider sharing this guide with them so that they can easily select the best Caribbean islands to stay in permanently.