Did you know that the closest Caribbean island to Miami is just 56 miles away? That’s right, you could be sipping cocktails on a white-sand beach in no time.
If you are looking for a tropical paradise to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, look no further than the Caribbean islands close to Miami. These islands offer stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and endless activities to enjoy.
In this guide, I’ll take you on a journey to the 11 closest Caribbean islands to Miami, sharing all the information you need to plan your next vacation. Get ready to discover paradise just a short distance away!
What Caribbean Islands are Close to Miami?
|Distance from Miami
|The Cayman Islands
|Turks and Caicos
1. Bimini, Bahamas
Distance from Miami: 56 miles
With its natural beauty and exciting activities, Bimini is a fantastic destination for a tropical getaway. Bimini is the closest Caribbean island to Miami, and this small island in the Bahamas is popularly known for its fishing, diving, and snorkeling opportunities.
Main attractions to enjoy on your visit to Bimini:
- Bimini Road: Explore the intriguing underwater formation known as the Bimini Road or the Bimini Wall, which is believed to be the remains of an ancient road or causeway. Snorkeling or scuba diving in this area off the coast of North Bimini is a must-do activity.
- The Sapona: Dive or snorkel around the famous shipwreck of the Sapona, a former U.S. Navy tanker that was sunk in 1926. It has now become a popular spot for underwater exploration.
- Dolphin Encounters: Experience the thrill of swimming with dolphins and learning about these fascinating creatures. There are several companies that offer dolphin encounter experiences, allowing you to get up close and personal with these intelligent marine mammals.
- Big Game Fishing: Bimini is renowned for its excellent fishing opportunities. The waters around the island are teeming with large game fish such as marlin, tuna, and wahoo. Fishing enthusiasts will have a great time testing their skills and trying to catch these impressive species.
- Snorkeling and Scuba Diving: Immerse yourself in the crystal-clear waters surrounding Bimini and discover the vibrant underwater world. There are numerous reefs and wrecks to explore, making it a paradise for snorkelers and scuba divers.
- Honeymoon Harbour: If you’re looking for a serene and picturesque spot, head to Honeymoon Harbour. This beautiful location is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and simply enjoying the peaceful ambiance of the island.
- Bimini Biological Field Station: Take a tour of the Bimini Biological Field Station, a research facility dedicated to studying the marine life in the area. Learn about ongoing research projects and gain insights into the fascinating creatures that inhabit the waters around Bimini.
Cost of travel and accommodation in Bimini Island
Flights from Miami to South Bimini Island, Bahamas, start at $220 for one-way and $510 for round-trip. There are various resorts and hotels on the island, offering accommodation options starting at around $165 per night.
If you are looking for a king room with balcony, Hilton at Resorts World Bimini has everything you need to stay comfortable.
2. Grand Bahama, Bahamas
Distance from Miami: 121 miles
If you are looking for one of the Caribbean Islands close to Miami where you can enjoy yourself and have a good time, Grand Bahama is an excellent choice. It is known for its casinos, golf courses, and beaches. It is also home to the Lucayan National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Main attractions to enjoy on your visit to Grand Bahama:
- Beaches: Grand Bahama boasts stunning beaches with white sand and clear turquoise water. Some of the best beaches include Gold Rock Beach, Taino Beach, and Lucaya Beach.
- Lucayan National Park: Lucayan National park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to a diverse range of tropical plants and animals. You can spot the colorful Lucayan parrot, the Bahamian iguana, and the majestic West Indian flamingo. The park also features impressive caves, including the famous Lucayan Caverns.
- Port Lucaya Marketplace: This lively marketplace offers over 100 shops and restaurants, as well as a casino, marina, and waterfront park. It’s a great place to shop for souvenirs and enjoy local cuisine.
- Garden of the Groves: Explore the beautiful Garden of the Groves, a botanical garden showcasing over 2,000 plant species from around the world. You can also admire waterfalls and visit the enchanting butterfly garden.
- Bahamian Brewery: Take a tour of the Bahamian Brewery and learn about the beer-making process. You can also enjoy tastings of their signature beers and dine at the on-site restaurant.
- Snorkeling and Diving: The crystal-clear waters surrounding Grand Bahama are perfect for snorkeling and diving. Discover vibrant coral reefs and fascinating shipwrecks.
- Deep-Sea Fishing: Fishing enthusiasts will love the opportunities for deep-sea fishing in Grand Bahama. The area is known for its abundance of marlin, sailfish, and tuna.
Cost of travel and accommodation in Grand Bahama
When it comes to travel and accommodation, flights from Miami to Freeport, Grand Bahama, start at $115 for one-way and $270 for round-trip. There are several resorts and hotels on the island, offering comfortable stays starting at around $72 per night.
3. Nassau, Bahamas
Distance from Miami: 184 miles
Nassau is the capital of the Bahamas and a vibrant city with the perfect blend of history, culture, and entertainment. This makes it an ideal destination for travelers seeking a diverse and exciting experience in the Caribbean Islands close to Miami.
Main attractions to enjoy on your visit to Nassau
- Fort Charlotte: Explore this 18th-century fort and enjoy panoramic views of the city and harbor. You can wander through tunnels, see cannons, and learn about the fort’s history on a guided tour.
- Queen’s Staircase: Marvel at the impressive 66-step staircase carved out of solid rock by slaves in the 18th century. It leads to Fort Fincastle, where you can enjoy more breathtaking views of the city.
- Clifton Heritage National Park: Immerse yourself in the history and natural beauty of the Bahamas at this park. Discover historic buildings, restored cottages, and a diverse range of plants and animals.
- Pirates of Nassau Museum: Step into the world of pirates at this interactive museum. Explore exhibits, see artifacts, and even board a replica pirate ship as you learn about the fascinating pirate history of the Bahamas.
- Atlantis Paradise Island: Experience the ultimate resort getaway at Atlantis Paradise Island. Enjoy thrilling water slides, relax by the swimming pools, try your luck at the casinos, or tee off at the golf courses.
- Blue Lagoon Island: Escape to this private island just off the coast of Nassau. Swim in crystal-clear waters, stroll along white-sand beaches, and engage in activities like snorkeling and sailing.
Cost of travel and accommodation in Nassau
Flights from Miami to Nassau start at $82 for one-way and $250 for round-trip, with an average flight time of 1 hour and 2 minutes. There are various resorts and hotels on the island, offering accommodation options starting at around $66 per night.
4. Eleuthera, Bahamas
Distance from Miami: 256 miles
Eleuthera is a beautiful island in the Bahamas with pink sand beaches, stunning coral reefs, and historic landmarks. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an adventure-filled getaway, you’re sure to find something to love on this beautiful island.
Main attractions to enjoy on your visit to Eleuthera
- Pink Sand Beaches: Eleuthera is famous for its stunning pink sand beaches, such as Pink Sands Beach on Harbour Island and Preacher’s Cave Beach on Spanish Wells. The pink sand gets its color from tiny organisms called foraminifera.
- Snorkeling and Diving: The clear waters around Eleuthera are home to a variety of marine life, making it a great place for snorkeling and diving. Some of the best spots for snorkeling include Lighthouse Reef, Current Hole, and The Aquarium.
- The Glass Window Bridge: This natural bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in Eleuthera. It spans a narrow channel of water and offers stunning views of the ocean below.
- The Preacher’s Cave: This cave is located on Harbour Island and is said to have been used by pirates and slaves. It is now a popular tourist destination, and visitors can explore the cave’s stalactites and stalagmites.
- Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve: This 200-acre preserve showcases the diverse native plants of the Bahamas. Take a guided tour to learn about the flora and fauna that call this place home.
- Queen’s Baths: These natural rock pools along the coast are perfect for swimming and snorkeling. You can also explore the surrounding caves and grottos.
Cost of travel and accommodation in Eleuthera
Eleuthera offers a range of affordable travel and accommodation options. Flights from Miami start at $126 for one-way trips and $297 for round trips. There are several resorts and hotels on the island, with prices starting at around $106 per night.
5. The Exumas, Bahamas
Distance from Miami: 303 miles
Another incredible choice when it comes to Caribbean islands close to Miami is the Exumas. Located in the Bahamas, the Exumas are a group of islands that are widely famous for their swimming pigs.
Main attractions to enjoy on your visit to the Exumas:
- Pig Beach: One of the most popular attractions in the Exumas is Pig Beach, where you can swim and interact with a group of friendly pigs that live on the beach.
- Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park: This national park is a haven for marine life, with beautiful coral reefs, fish, and even sharks. You can enjoy activities like snorkeling, diving, and kayaking in the park.
- Little Exuma: Known for its laid-back atmosphere and charming fishing villages, Little Exuma is a great place to explore and discover beautiful beaches.
- George Town: As the capital of Exuma, George Town offers a small-town vibe with shops, restaurants, and bars to enjoy.
- Kayaking: Explore the Exuma Cays by kayak, paddling through mangroves, snorkeling, or simply taking in the breathtaking scenery.
- Fishing: The Exumas are a paradise for fishing enthusiasts, with opportunities to catch bonefish, tarpon, and wahoo.
- Cruising: Embark on a cruise to explore the islands, either on a day trip or a longer adventure to more remote destinations.
- Birdwatching: The Exumas are home to a diverse range of bird species, including flamingos, pelicans, and ospreys, making it a great destination for birdwatching.
Cost of travel and accommodation in the Exumas
You can find flights from Miami to George Town starting at $125 for one-way and $295 for round-trip, with an average flight time of 1 hour and 15 minutes. There is a wide range of resorts and hotels on the islands, offering options for every budget, starting from as little as $15 per night up to $700 per night. We highly recommend Fishtail Palms – Sapodilly.
6. Cat Island
Distance from Miami: 320 miles
Cat Island is a wonderful destination near Miami, and it is known for its peaceful atmosphere and natural beauty. Here are some of the top attractions and activities you can enjoy on the island:
Main attractions to enjoy on your visit to Cat Island
- The Hermitage on Mount Alvernia: Visit this small monastery perched on top of Mount Alvernia, the highest point in the Bahamas. Built in the early 1900s, it offers breathtaking views of the island.
- Deveaux Plantation Ruins: Explore the ruins of a grand plantation built in the 1800s by William Deveaux, a wealthy plantation owner. Located in New Bight, it’s a popular spot for exploration.
- Armbrister Plantation: Discover the remains of a former plantation once owned by John Armbrister, a British Loyalist. Legend has it that the plantation is haunted by the ghosts of slaves.
- Mermaid Hole: Take a boat ride to this natural cave said to be inhabited by mermaids. It’s a unique and enchanting experience in the middle of the ocean.
- Pink Sand Beaches: Enjoy the stunning pink sand beaches on the east coast of Cat Island. The pink color comes from tiny organisms called foraminifera. These beaches are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling.
- Scuba Diving and Snorkeling: Dive into the crystal-clear waters surrounding Cat Island and explore the vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life. The Cat Island Wall, a 1,000-foot-deep wall, is a popular dive site where you can encounter sharks, rays, and other fascinating creatures.
These are just a few of the many things you can see and do on Cat Island. It’s a place where you can unwind, relax, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of the Bahamas.
Cost of travel and accommodation in Cat Island
To get to Cat Island from Miami, the best option is to fly to The Bight Airport (ACT) and then take a 20-minute taxi ride to Arthur’s Town. The flight from Miami International Airport (MIA) to The Bight Airport takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Once you arrive on Cat Island, you’ll find a variety of small hotels and guesthouses to choose from. Prices for accommodation start at around $132 per night, offering affordable options for your stay on the island. Whether you prefer a cozy guesthouse or a comfortable hotel, there are choices available to suit different budgets and preferences.
If you prefer a beachfront accommodation, Rollezz Villas Beach Resort is the best one you can find in Cat Island.
Distance from Miami: 330 miles
Cuba is a captivating destination with a rich history and vibrant culture. It is one of the most popular Caribbean islands close to Miami to visit because it is relatively affordable, especially when compared to the others. You will find good deals on hotels, food, and activities.
Main attractions to enjoy on your visit to Cuba:
- Old Havana: Explore the historic center of Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its charming colonial architecture, narrow streets, and colorful buildings.
- Varadero Beach: Relax on the pristine white-sand beaches and swim in the crystal-clear waters of Varadero, voted #48 of the world’s 50 best beaches.
- Viñales Valley: Visit the Viñales Valley, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for its picturesque rolling hills, tobacco farms, and fascinating caves.
- Trinidad: Immerse yourself in the colonial charm of Trinidad, a well-preserved town with stunning architecture and vibrant carnival celebrations.
- Cayo Coco: Escape to Cayo Coco, an island off the northern coast of Cuba, and indulge in its breathtaking white-sand beaches and turquoise waters.
- Historic sightseeing: Discover the colonial cities and towns of Cuba, including Old Havana, Trinidad, and Santiago de Cuba.
- Hiking: Embark on a hiking adventure in the Viñales Valley or explore the national parks scattered throughout Cuba.
- Fishing: Try your hand at fishing in the Gulf of Mexico or other bodies of water surrounding Cuba.
- Music and dance: Immerse yourself in the vibrant Cuban music and dance scene, from salsa to rumba.
Cost of travel and accommodation in Cuba:
When it comes to travel and accommodations, Cuba offers affordable options. Flights from Miami to Havana can be found for as little as $300 round-trip, with an average flight time of 1 hour and 17 minutes. In terms of accommodation, you can choose from state-run hotels or private homestays known as “casas particulares,” with prices starting at around $20 per night.
8. Long Island, Bahamas
Distance from Miami: 367 miles
For those who want to enjoy an experience with nature on the Caribbean Islands close to Miami, check out Long Island. Long Island is a popular spot that attracts visitors with its beautiful beaches, fishing, and birdwatching.
Main attractions to enjoy on your visit to Long Island
- Cape Eleuthera Lighthouse: This is the tallest lighthouse in the Bahamas and one of the main attractions that tourists love to see while on Long Island.
- Dean’s Blue Hole: The Dean’s Blue Hole is the world’s second-deepest blue hole and is a popular spot for scuba diving and snorkeling.
- Cape Santa Maria: Explore this beautiful headland that features a lighthouse and a historic settlement.
- The Pink Sand Beaches: Located on the eastern coast of the island, these beaches are known for their soft, pink sand. Take some time to unwind and soak up the sun on one of Long Island’s beautiful beaches.
- The Long Island Museum: Learn about the history of Long Island and the Lucayan people who once lived there from the museum.
- The Columbus Monument: Visit this monument that commemorates Christopher Columbus’ landing on Long Island in 1492.
- Hamilton’s Cave: Explore this cave system that showcases stunning stalactites, stalagmites, and other formations.
- Bonefishing: Long Island is renowned for its bonefishing opportunities, attracting fishing enthusiasts from around the world.
Cost of travel and accommodation in Long Island
Flights from Miami to Deadman’s Cay, Long Island, start at $214 for one-way trips and $495 for round trips, based on the specified period. Additionally, there are several small hotels and guesthouses on the island, offering accommodation options starting at around $120 per night.
9. The Cayman Islands
Distance from Miami: 450 miles
The Cayman Islands are a popular destination known for their stunning beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and the opportunity to snorkel with stingrays at Stingray City. There are many things to see and do in the Cayman Islands. No matter what your interests are, you are sure to find something to enjoy on these beautiful islands.
Main attractions to enjoy on your visit to the Cayman Islands:
- Stingray City: Stingray City is a sandbar in the North Sound where you can snorkel with stingrays. The stingrays are very friendly, and they will come up to you to be petted.
- Seven Mile Beach: This famous beach stretches for miles and offers soft white sand and clear turquoise waters. It’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and trying out water sports.
- Camana Bay: This waterfront development features a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. Camana Bay is a great place to relax, enjoy the views, and indulge in some shopping or dining.
- Starfish Point: At this beach, you can find starfish in the shallow water. It’s a unique opportunity to see these beautiful creatures up close.
- Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park: This 50-acre park is home to a diverse range of plants and flowers. You can explore walking trails, visit the butterfly garden, and let children have fun at the playground.
- Cayman Crystal Caves: Take a guided tour of these limestone caves adorned with stalactites and stalagmites. Learn about their history and marvel at their natural beauty.
- Cayman Islands National Museum: Discover the rich history, culture, and natural heritage of the Cayman Islands through the exhibits at this museum.
Cost of travel and accommodation in the Cayman Islands
Flights from Miami to George Town, Cayman Islands, start at $105 for one-way trips and $284 for round trips. There are several resorts and hotels on the island, offering comfortable stays starting at around $209 per night.
If you want an accommodation with breakfast included, you can book a room with Hampton by Hilton Grand Cayman.
Distance from Miami: 560 miles
Jamaica is one of the Caribbean islands close to Miami to visit because it is a vibrant and diverse destination. It is known for its reggae music, delicious jerk chicken, and stunning natural beauty. Jamaica is great for weekend getaways and longer vacations from Miami.
Main attractions to enjoy on your visit to Jamaica:
- Dunn’s River Falls: These beautiful cascading waterfalls are a must-visit spot. You can climb the falls, swim in the refreshing pools, or simply admire the breathtaking views.
- Bob Marley Museum: Pay homage to the legendary reggae musician, Bob Marley, at his former home turned museum. Learn about his life, music, and cultural impact.
- Blue Mountains: Explore the majestic Blue Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hike through lush rainforests, visit coffee plantations, and enjoy panoramic views of the island.
- Negril: Relax on the stunning beaches of Negril, known for its crystal-clear waters and laid-back atmosphere. You can also try cliff jumping or watch the famous sunset at Rick’s Cafe.
- Ocho Rios: Visit the vibrant town of Ocho Rios, a popular cruise ship destination. Explore the iconic Dunn’s River Falls, discover beautiful waterfalls, and immerse yourself in the local culture.
- Mystic Mountain: Experience adventure at Mystic Mountain, an amusement park offering thrilling activities like ziplining, hiking, and breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
- Luminous Lagoon: Witness the magical glow of the bioluminescent Luminous Lagoon. Take a night kayaking tour or swim in the glowing waters for a truly unique experience.
Here are some additional attractions you might want to check out:
- Green Grotto Caves: Explore these fascinating caves filled with stalactites, stalagmites, and even a freshwater lake.
- Martha Brae River: Enjoy a relaxing rafting or tubing experience along the scenic Martha Brae River.
- Port Antonio: Visit this charming town known for its beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, and historic sites.
- Falmouth: Discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Falmouth, renowned for its stunning Georgian architecture.
- The Blue Hole: Take a dip in the natural pool located in the Negril Cliffs, a popular spot for swimming and cliff jumping.
These attractions offer even more opportunities to make the most of your time in Jamaica.
Cost of travel and accommodation:
In terms of travel and accommodation, flights from Miami to Montego Bay, Jamaica, can be found for as little as $86 for one-way trips and $210 for round trips. Additionally, there are several resorts and hotels on the island to choose from, with prices starting at around $45 per night. Whether you prefer a luxurious resort or a cozy guesthouse, there are options available to fit different budgets and preferences.
11. Turks and Caicos
Distance from Miami: 600 miles
The last on this list of Caribbean islands close to Miami is Turks and Caicos. It is known for its turquoise waters, white-sand beaches, and luxury resorts. Turks and Caicos also offers a mix of relaxation and adventure, making it a great destination for a memorable vacation.
Main attractions to enjoy on your visit to Turks and Caicos:
- Grace Bay Beach: This beach is consistently ranked as one of the best in the world. It features a long stretch of white sand and calm, shallow waters, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.
- Chalk Sound National Park: This is a protected area of land and sea that serves as home to a variety of wildlife, including turtles, fish, and birds. Visitors can go kayaking, canoeing, or simply take a boat ride through the clear waters of the sound.
- Little Water Cay (Iguana Island): This small cay is famous for its population of iguanas. Visitors can take a guided tour to learn about these fascinating creatures and their natural habitat.
- Turks and Caicos National Museum: Located in Grand Turk, this museum tells the story of the islands’ history and culture. It features exhibits on the Taino Indians, the arrival of the British, and the development of tourism.
- Cockburn Town Lighthouse: This historic lighthouse, built in 1848, is the oldest in Turks and Caicos. It offers stunning views of the surrounding area and is located in Grand Turk.
- Snorkeling and scuba diving: These are some of the most popular activities in the Turks and Caicos. The clear waters around the islands provide excellent visibility for exploring the vibrant coral reefs and marine life.
Cost of travel and accommodation in Turks and Caicos
When it comes to travel and accommodation, flights from Miami to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, start at $106 for one-way trips and $278 for round trips. There are several resorts and hotels on the island, offering comfortable stays starting at around $197 per night.
You may opt for John’s Place if you want an air-conditioned accommodation with stunning sea views and a free private parking.
What to do in the Caribbean Islands close to Miami
When it comes to the Caribbean islands close to Miami, there is no shortage of exciting activities and experiences to indulge in. Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey as we take a look at what to do in the Caribbean islands close to Miami.
- Visit the beaches: As mentioned, the Caribbean is known for its beautiful beaches, so be sure to spend some time relaxing and swimming on the beach.
- Go snorkeling or diving: The Caribbean has some of the best snorkeling and diving in the world, thanks to its clear waters and abundant coral reefs. You can find snorkeling and diving opportunities on all of the major Caribbean islands.
- Go hiking or kayaking: Many Caribbean islands have lush rainforests and mountains, which are great for hiking and kayaking.
- Explore the local culture: The Caribbean islands have a rich history and culture, which can be explored through museums, ruins, and local events.
- Attend a local festival: The Caribbean islands host a variety of festivals throughout the year, celebrating everything from music and food to culture and history. Be sure to check out the local events calendar to see if there’s anything happening during your visit.
Important tips for visiting Caribbean Islands Close to Miami
- Book your flights and accommodations in advance: The Caribbean is a popular tourist destination, so it’s important to book your flights and accommodations in advance, especially if you’re traveling during peak season.
- Get travel insurance: Travel insurance can help protect you in case of any unforeseen circumstances, such as flight cancellations or medical emergencies.
- Be aware of the local customs: The Caribbean islands have their own unique cultures and customs, so it’s important to be respectful of them. For example, in some countries, it’s considered rude to point with your index finger.
- Learn some basic Spanish: Spanish is the most widely spoken language in the Caribbean, so it’s helpful to learn some basic phrases before you go. This will help you communicate with the locals and get around more easily.
- Be prepared for the heat and humidity: The Caribbean is hot and humid year-round, so be sure to pack light, airy clothing and sunscreen. You may also want to bring a hat and sunglasses.
- Don’t drink the tap water: The tap water in the Caribbean is not safe to drink, so be sure to drink bottled water instead.
- Be careful about what you eat: Avoid eating raw seafood and fruits and vegetables that have not been washed.