The Caribbean has long been the go-to destination for all kinds of travellers and holidayers. Be it the sun, the sands and the party scene, or the colonial heritage and distinctive culture, the Caribbean has something for everyone.
The Caribbean region consists of thousands of tiny and not-so-tiny islands in the Caribbean Sea, bordered by the United States, Latin America and South America on three sides. Choosing which islands to visit and which ones to keep for another time can however be a daunting task, taking away precious time that you’d rather invest in stocking up on bikinis and sunscreen. Here’s a list of three islands that, in my opinion, are must-visits for their utter uniqueness and the variety of experiences they offer.
Live in a seafront cottage in Nassau, Bahamas
The Bahamas islands are a dream destination for tourists from around the world. Composed of more than 700 islands, this island country is located just 80 kilometres off the coast of Florida in the US. Spoilt for choice, a typical tourist usually visits a few of the 16 main inhabited islands in the Bahaman archipelago. The island of New Providence is famous for its beaches and casinos, while Inagua, home to more flamingoes than humans, is a haven for bird-watchers. Andros is great for diving and snorkelling, as it isknown for the third largest fringing barrier reef in the world. Head out to The Abacos or The Exumas for extraordinary boating and sailing, or to the Grand Bahama Island for the best golf courses, a sprawling underwater cave system and enchanting mangroves. Needless to say, The Bahamas offer you the ultimate Caribbean experience, albeit with greater convenience and a smaller hole in your pocket.
Catedral de san cristobal de la habana – world heritage of Cuba
The largest island in the Caribbean, Cuba is a tad off the beaten track. It is a hitch-hiker’s paradise, for the state facilitates and regulates hitch-hiking to make it much easier for tourists to travel on the island. The place is best known for its music and dance traditions, being the home ground of the rumba, cha-cha, mamba, salsa and the Cuban Jazz. With some of the world’s best beaches, Cuba is also home to 9 UNESCO world heritage sites, including the beautiful Old Havana and its Fortifications. Visit this truly socialist and multi-racial paradisiacal island country in the Caribbean for an experience like none other.
The beautiful two Pitons in St Lucia
This one is especially popular with the honeymooners and the adrenaline junkies. Activities abound in every corner, both in and out of the water. Enjoy beautiful sunrises against the backdrop of Soufrière and climb the towering twin Pitons to be mesmerised by the stunning views from the top. Indulge your senses in the flavourful local cuisine; refresh yourself with coconut water on the beach. You can hike or zipline through rainforests, kite-surf, snorkel and dive off the coast in charming deep blue waters. Visit during springtime to let your hair loose at the St Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival. St Lucia is indeed that one island in the Caribbean that refuses to be typecast!
How To Get Here
The island of New Providence in The Bahamas houses an international airport as well as a dockyard where cruise ships arrive from many different countries. Cuba can be reached by direct flights from anywhere in the world. St Lucia houses two airports and is easily accessible by air. It can also be reached from neighbouring islands by boat, though this option may be slightly expensive. Citizens of the UK, USA and the Commonwealth countries do not need visas to enter St Lucia.
Where to Stay
Each of these islands is extremely tourist-friendly and has plenty of hotels and resorts for visitors to choose from. Accommodation options range from budget stays and midrange hotels to boutique hotels and lavish resorts complete with all imaginable luxuries.
These, as well as scores of other island countries, make the Caribbean a one-stop destination for every kind of traveller, right from the party-hoppers and soul-searchers to the honeymooners and adventure seekers. What’s your calling?