The Best Caribbean Islands for a Second Home
Choosing where to buy a second home can be a difficult task. In the famous words of real estate agents it all comes down to location, location, location. Do you opt for a chic mountain retreat, a rustically realized abode designed with upscale amenities, a panoramic view of the mountains, and enough powdery snow in the winter to make Vail ski resort jealous? Or do you build a villa beside a prestigious golf course, a home complete with a Floridian sunroom with a bay window overlooking the Atlantic? Does powdery snow trump powdery pink sand, or vice versa?
Most second homes, or vacation homes, fall into one of these two categories. However, despite how good the skiing might be at your Craftsman style mountain lodge, most people choose warm climates and tranquil seas over snowflakes and towering snow banks. Premium real estate, however, doesn’t end on the coast of the United States. Buying a luxury home in the Caribbean is another option. If ocean front property complete with bougainvillea, hibiscus, and gentle trade winds sounds like your type of five-o’clock cocktail, you might want to consider purchasing a second home on one of these five tropical islands.
1. St. Lucia
Once an up-and-coming island known primarily as a honeymoon destination, St. Lucia has finally arrived. The island might be on the real estate map, but in comparison to Puerto Rico, Jamaica or the Dominican Republic, it’s still an undeveloped island in terms of tourism. The infrastructure is better than many island nations, and St. Lucia boasts a political stability that islands like Jamaica or the Dominican don’t have. A villa on a former plantation estate, complete with two crescent-shaped beaches, costs between 2.4 and 9 million dollars.
2. The U.S. Virgin Islands
Known as America’s Paradise, the U.S. Virgin Islands are an ideal place for a second home. St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix all became U.S. territories in 1917. In other words, the Virgin Islands represent the best of the Caribbean (sun, surf and sand) with all the creature comforts of America. English is spoken and U.S. laws govern the islands. The cost of a home on St. John, which is often touted as the most beautiful of the Virgin Islands, starts at around 1.5 million. However, the price for an opulent luxury villa can cost up to 32 million.
The motto of Aruba is “One Happy Island,” so how could you go wrong purchasing a luxury home there? Aruba has a couple of other major draws too. First, it has an exceptionally low crime rate. Second, the island is located below the hurricane belt. Malmok is a prime location in Aruba, and a luxury home in that community can cost anywhere from $800,000 to 1.2 million.
4. Trinidad and Tobago
Located at the tip of the Caribbean island chain, Trinidad and Tobago, being a major producer of oil and gas, is one of the most industrialized tropical islands. Similar to Aruba, hurricanes aren’t a serious issue either, as the island is located below the hurricane belt. Located just off the northern tip of South America, Trinidad and Tobago is a long haul from the U.S. mainland and therefore best reserved for those people with an adventurous spirit. An upscale villa goes for around 2 million dollars.
5. Roatan, Honduras
If Trinidad and Tobago isn’t far enough away for you, head to Roatan, Honduras. Roatan is secluded, and it’s that quiet charm that draws people to this part of the Caribbean. Its world-class reefs also make it a diving hotspot, so be sure to pack your gear. Luxury homes on this Caribbean gem cost between $500,000 and 1.5 million dollars.