Recently, Jamaicans on Twitter started an online movement to co-opt Barbadian singer, mogul and ambassador Rihanna. The campaign, spurred by thousands of tweets, memes, videos and craftily Photoshopped images – was just the latest in the on-again, off-again bid for one island to outdo the other.
Now, noted travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler (CNT) has added another dimension to the debate with the publishing of its definitive list of The Best Islands in the World: 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards as voted on by some 600,000 registered voters across the globe.
The list, now in its 32nd iteration, was broken out by region this year, with the Caribbean and the Atlantic grouped to determine the islands loved most this year.
Puerto Rico takes the region’s top spot with more than a million cruise ship passengers passing through capital San Juan’s port annually. The Spanish-speaking nation was also the only country in the defined area to make it on the overall 19 Best Places to Go in 2019 list. The magazine touts the iconic pork dish of crispy-skinned lechón, its surf towns, museums and natural wonders as essentials to experience when visiting.
The Cayman Islands ranked second thanks in part to the breathtaking Seven Mile Beach and beautiful vacation spots of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.
Rounding out the top five were the Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Bermuda respectively.
Regarding Turks and Caicos, made up of approximately 40 islands of which only eight are inhabitable, CN Traveller said “you have your pick of some of the world’s loveliest white sand beaches in Providenciales and colonial architecture throughout Cockburn Town. It’s the best of both Caribbean worlds”.
Jamaica, no surprise on the list for its global appeal, was cited for the easy-going outlook of its people. “The very mention of this island nation is enough to put you in a laid-back mindset. Its turquoise waters have lured many travellers for scuba diving and snorkelling, seaside villas, and, of course, reggae music. Fans of Bob Marley can make the pilgrimage to the reggae legend’s home and recording studio, which was converted into a museum by his wife Rita.”
Bermuda, referred to as a “melting pot of British, American, and Caribbean cultures” has fantastic offerings for snorkeling, near pink-sand beaches, golfing, shopping and museum-hopping, the travel mag shared.