When it comes to the Caribbean region, everyone thinks about Bob Marley, Rihanna and the exotic places in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean. We all love the lukewarm emerald green sea and the white sandy beaches with palm trees. The archipelago offers a lot more if we take the time to discover it. Diverse recreational and sports opportunities, unique natural beauties and an unforgettable gastronomic experience await the visitors. This article will help you decide what to do in the Caribbean.
- More than just Jamaica popular destinations in the Caribbean region
- Things to do in the Caribbean: scuba diving
- What to do in the Caribbean: walking and hiking on the island
- Explore the animals of the island!
- Caribbean delicacies
More than just Jamaica popular destinations in the Caribbean region
Thanks to reggae and the rasta movement, Jamaica is amongst the most famous Caribbean islands, even though it’s only fifth in line based on its size and population. The truth is, more than 700 islands can be found in the area, each of them providing different reasons for visitors to see them. The area is full of tiny uninhabited islands; in fact, 98% of the archipelago is uninhabited. So where is it worth to anchor?
The Dominican Republic
The richest Caribbean country due to tourism. Columbus docked here on his first journey. The country was a Spanish colony until 1863. Practically, the whole country is a UNESCO heritage site. The most famous beaches are Playa Rincón and Bávaro Beach. Surf enthusiasts should visit Kite Beach.
It is located on the western side of the island Hispaniola. One of the most interesting sites of the country of 10 million is the Citadelle Laferriére. T is the largest fort of the region, built by rebellious slaves in the 19th century. The capital, Port-au-Prince has a really bizarre outdoor museum, the Atis Rezistans. They even exhibit items made of human bones here.
Undoubtedly, the Bahamas is the most attractive destination worldwide! A true paradise where you can swim with dolphins, go shopping on the brilliantly coloured market or enjoy the sunshine on the pink (pink indeed!) sandy beach.
The birthplace of Rihanna offers us several interesting sites. It’s worth visiting Bathsheba Beach. Swimming might be dangerous here, but thanks to the huge waves, the ocean has created breathtaking rock formations.
Trinidad and Tobago
Although they belong to the same country, these two islands couldn’t be more different. While Tobago is a favourite amongst tourists because of its sandy shores and golf courts, Trinidad is mainly visited by business people interested in the oil industry. Also, they organise the world’s biggest Caribbean festival, the Mas here.
It still belongs to the Netherlands. Ecotourism is very popular on the island, which is a great place for hiking and mountaineering!
The Caribbean region has a lot more to offer besides what we have listed here. Thanks to its the diverse landscape, the flora and fauna and the colourful culture, you will definitely find something to your taste here.
Once a Spanish colony, Puerto Rico now provides several opportunities to relax. One of its unique sights is the Bacardi factory. We can learn more about the tricks of rum production and participate in tastings as well! Yummy! If you like taking photos, you should visit the old city of San Juan, and capture the unmistakably Caribbean atmosphere of the colourful streets. Read about what to do in Puerto Rico.
Things to do in the Caribbean: scuba diving
There are dozens of reasons why we should try scuba diving and snorkelling in the Caribbean region. First, the area is rich insights to visit. There are more than 70 corals in the archipelago. Rare fish such as the great barracuda, the size of which can even reach 1, 5-2 metres, can be found here. Unfortunately, according to some experts, corals may disappear within the next 20 years due to the effects of global warming, so it’s worth seeing them while we still have a change!
The best dive sites
The best places from where we can admire the corals are the Tortugas reef (Playa del Cármen), Palancar (Cozumel) and the Jardines de la Reina (Cuba). We can both admire and flora and fauna in the shallow waters, as well as the yachtwrecks in the bottom of the sea. Some of these yachts sunk as a result of an accident, while others were sunk deliberately. The most famous yachtwreck is Bianca C, often referred to as the Titanic of the Caribbean. The luxury cruise liner sunk into the sea near Grenada after an explosion overboard.
What to do in the Caribbean: walking and hiking on the island
The Caribbean archipelago is not only interesting for those who love the sea and the hot sand. The hiking routes leading to the volcanic peaks and the waterfalls in the region are just as popular. One of the attractive destinations is the Mount Liamuiga on Saint Kitts. It had been called Mount Misery because of its steepness, even frightening many of the tourists.
Its slopes are covered with lush rainforests; the path leads us through mango trees and ficuses to the mouth of the volcanic crater, which provides a fascinating sight. The 887 meters high Mount Scenery on the island Saba can be accessed on stairs, so we don’t need a guide. Interestingly, this is the highest peak in the Netherlands. Nevis Peak is also worth mentioning; even visited by Princess Diana and the Soufriere, which is still an active volcano on the island Saint Vincent.
Explore the animals of the island!
Do you like special animals? If yes, the Caribbean region should definitely be on your bucket list! Cuba, for instance, is home to 70 000 pink flamingos. We can admire them at the Rio Maximo reserve. Visitors of the Grand Cayman can swim with dolphins and turtles. The brave may visit Stingray City as well, where they can befriend and swim with rays after a short boat trip.
If you are a fan of animals who are looking for a more moderate experience, you should visit the Bahamas! On Big Major Cay island there are swimming pigs that love meeting tourists. Nobody knows how they got there, but one thing is for sure they are the only inhabitants of the island.
Our stay in the Caribbean region will only be perfect if we explore the cuisine as well. The islands all have their own speciality, which represents the cultural diversity of the region. We can taste authentic meals made with local ingredients in the luxury hotels, and we can even buy delicacies from street vendors.
Bahamian conch fritters
This is a gum-like food made of sea snail. The snail is cut into slices, mixed with vegetables, flour and eggs, and then formed into balls that are baked in oil.
One of the favourite foods in Trinidad and Tobago. Roti is a thin bread filled with chicken, lamb or crab curry.
Flying fish with cou-cou
The national dish in Barbados. They steam the fish and serve it along cornmeal porridge made with okras.
Boca chica with tostones
this dish is consumed in the Dominic Republic. The fish is cured with a marinade made with garlic, onion and paprika before it is baked. Locals usually have it with tostones, which is fried plantain.
A stringy-cheesy meal from the Dutch island of Aruba. First, they remove the inner part of a gouda or edami cheese of 2 kilograms. Then, they fill the hard rind with chicken, vegetables, eggs and spices, then bake it in the oven.
this meal is from Jamaica. The name “jerk” refers to a special mixture of spice. They usually put soy sauce, cloves, brown sugar, jalapeno, amongst many other ingredients. They coat the chicken with this mixture and grill it.
Regardless of whether you would like to go hiking, scuba diving or sunbathing while sipping cocktails, the Caribbean region will have a treat for each sense. Spend a hot summer vacation here, and enjoy the chilly waters – you will not regret it! Read more if you plan sailing in the Caribbean or Caribbean yacht rental.