What goes with sugary beaches, aquarium-blue waters, endless sun, Mai-Tais and palm trees? If you guessed a hammock, I’d have to give it to you, but I was thinking ‘Music.’ And the powers that be on St. Kitts and Nevis read my mind.
In Trinidad & Tobago there’s a vibrant culinary culture, mainly revolving around street food with influences from Indian, Africa, Asia and Creole cultures.
The Caribbean, as far as geologists are concerned, is generally considered a nice and sunny little archipelago comprised of the Greater and Lesser Antilles. What tectonic forces came together to push and pull these little gumdrops of tropical paradise up out of the water we’ll probably never fully understand (or at least this author won’t), but what we do know is that there’s a lot of fun to be had here, and the Caribbean, especially the Southern Caribbean, is a great place to vacation.
St. Lucia is the Caribbean island that has it all. Dramatic green cliffs that plummet into the azure ocean, rainforests, warm water, undersea diving, history, culture – you name it. Many tourists opt not to bounce to any other islands once they land upon St. Lucia’s golden shores – such is the lure of paradise. Is it then any wonder that it has been named the “World’s Leading Honeymoon Destination” for five consecutive years?
Many first-timers to the Caribbean think that all there is to do in this little corner of the globe is lie on the beach or sailboat, drinking cocktails and soaking in the sun. And far be it from me to knock-it (I’m your prototypical sun lizard), but with this mentality it’s easy to miss the excitement that lies hidden on each and every island nation. Take, for example, Trinidad and Tobago.
Come spring, the best that sail the high seas head to Bermuda for the Bermuda International Invitational Race Week. A world-class racing event aimed at primarily small vessels, anybody who’s anybody in the sailing world takes note of this international yachting fixture. A great course to prove your sailing grit means that it’s ten days trying times on the windy seas, and a whole lot of fun times back on land. April 27th to May 3rd is when everyone’s coming to town, so you’d better book your hotels in advance.
The British Virgin Islands are, for many, the quintessential islands of the Caribbean. Not as fast or busy as the neighboring U.S. Islands, the BVI is exotic, multifaceted, and yet serene. The pace of life seems slower here, and with not so much to distract you, a trip to the islands lend themselves perfectly for getaways with or without kids. Thing is, if the whole family is in tow, what to do with the little ones? It can be hard explaining to youngsters the appeal of doing nothing on the beach for hours on end, but rest assured – with a little forethought, there is plenty to do in the British Virgin Islands for the whole family.
Tucked away in the Caribbean’s Lower Antilles is the small island nation of Grenada. Known for its feel-good atmosphere, island rhythms, a history in the spice trade, and some great beaches and underwater diving, Grenada is one of the jewels in the Caribbean’s turquoise waters.
Looking at a map of the Caribbean, and in particular, a map of the Lesser Antilles, it can be hard to tell just where in that little sunny gumdrop land of paradise you’d like to visit. Maps are great for telling you where in the wide world you are, but tell you little about the actual nature of a place. But if you’re on the scout for a Caribbean island with plenty of activity both above and below the water, all while preserving that quintessential island experience, take it from me – consider Guadeloupe.
Sometimes a trip to the Caribbean isn’t about relaxation. Scratch that – it’s always about relaxation. But some of us may have different notions of how to best go about shaking off the pressures of daily life. While a simple trip to the beach is enough for many of us, for others, it’s time to get down to steel pan, mud-slides, and late night dancing. So bring on the Calypso music, the short skirts and the Tiki torches – these are the best party islands in the Caribbean.