Almost everyone is aware that the Caribbean Islands are home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and no matter which island you spend time on, there’s a lot more to do than simply lounge on those gorgeous white sands every day.
Here are five of the best activities to enjoy on your Caribbean Island vacation.
Image by dMap Travel Guide, shared under a Creative Commons Licence
Explore beneath the waves
There are hundreds of superb diving locations across the islands and many are regarded as some of the best in the world. Cayman Brac in the Cayman Islands is home to a 330 ft Russian frigate, deliberately sunk to form an artificial coral reef, and this is a great spot for intermediate divers.
Barbados’ Carlisle Bay is home to a reported 200 wrecks including Spanish Galleons, and the waters here are incredibly clear. Belize has many famous diving sites including the Great Blue Hole, which measures 1000 ft in diameter and descends to a depth of 440 ft.
Take in the national parks
From rainforests with hidden waterfalls to cloud-covered mountains to inland waterways and rivers, this area of the world that is awash with stunning scenery. Some of the best national parks can be found in Jamaica, Dominica, Grenada and Puerto Rico.
These are the places for zipline-tours above the forest treetops, horse-riding through rugged terrains and white-water rafting down the jungle rivers.
Enjoy a festival
It doesn’t matter which island you visit, there is usually a festival or Carnival happening at some point throughout the year. There are some, such as the Carnivals in Trinidad and Tobago, which date back to the 18th century; Trinidad’s January festival is one of the biggest and attracts 100,00 attendees per year. The August ‘Crop Over’ in Barbados is another of those stand-out music and street parades that this area of the world is famous for.
Image by Richie Diesterheft, shared under a Creative Commons Licence
Visit a rum shop
Rum shops are traditional little bars found all over the islands (Barbados has around 1,500) and these social gathering places are a ‘must visit’ to chat with the locals and have some inexpensive drinks.
These tiny bars are open to all, and the food and drink is a lot less expensive than the typical tourist restaurants and bars. Order a rum and coke, or even a full bottle, and enjoy the conversation and views from beach-front shacks.
Check out the sights
Each island will have its own particular sightseeing options, so it’s a good idea to get out and explore. Barbados, for instance, is home to the historic and other-worldly Harrison’s Cave while Jamaica features those stunning Blue Mountains that nature enthusiasts love to explore.
Dominica’s Champagne Reef is one of the world’s best diving and snorkeling spots while Cuba’s Old Havana city-centre is worth making the journey for alone. Make sure to check out the attractions available on the island you intend to visit.
You might choose a particular island for its blistering beaches but make sure to spend a little time exploring and enjoying some of these activities in order to get the most out of your vacation. Enjoy!