If your mental picture of the Caribbean is a stereotypical stock image of a palm tree arching over a pristine white beach, it may be time to revisit the region. The Caribbean is dotted with dozens of island nations, each with its own unique offerings for travelers. Are you drawn to historic forts, cobblestone streets, and colorful Spanish architecture? What about lushly forested hiking trails that snake past tumbling waterfalls and bromeliads dripping with rain? Or would you rather explore multi-hued coral reefs teeming with rays, turtles, and tropical fish?

There’s an ideal Caribbean island for just about every type of traveler, from foodies to families (and, yes, beach bums too). Read on to find out which Caribbean island is right for you.

Dominica: Haven for Hikers

dominica waterfall and hiker

Richard Goldberg/ShutterstockThe unspoiled rainforests and waterfalls of Dominica, often called “the Nature Isle,” provide endless opportunities for hikers. The island’s most famous trek—and one of its most challenging—is the day-long sojourn to Boiling Lake. The flooded fumarole at the end of the trail is one of the world’s largest hot springs, and it’s typically shrouded in steam. Shorter hikes include a trip to the towering Middleham Falls or a jaunt around scenic Freshwater Lake.

Where to stay: The Fort Young Hotel in Roseau, Dominica’s capital city, offers access to shops and restaurants and is a good jumping-off point for hikes and other adventures.

St. Barthelemy: Gourmet Dining

dining at le tamarin st barthelemy

TripAdvisorPrices are high, but the quality of cuisine is even higher on luxe St. Barthelemy. This island offers a little slice of Europe in the center of the Caribbean, and menus here are dominated by French dishes with a Creole twist. One of the best culinary experiences on the island is fine dining in the lush tropical garden at Le Tamarin. If your budget needs a break, treat yourself to a picnic lunch from a gourmet deli or local market.

Where to stay: With colorful rooms and cottages, most of which feature panoramic views of St. Jean Bay, Le Village is one of the island’s most popular spots to stay.

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