The Caribbean is one of those places that many of us have on our bucket list. The scorching sunshine, glistening sea and white sandy beaches all luring us to hop on a plane and explore the wondrous Caribbean region.
However, the Caribbean has much more to experience than its famous beaches and scenery. Whether you enjoy some of the local dishes (jerk chicken is a favourite) or explore the colonial history that the country is steeped in – you’re spoilt for choice.
With so much on offer, it’s no wonder that the Caribbean has recently seen a surge in tourism. According to this report, more than 30 million people are expected to visit the Caribbean in 2016.
Just in case you’re still not convinced, we’ve put together a few reasons why the Caribbean should be at the top of your bucket list!
When it comes to stunning landscapes, nowhere else has scenery quite like the Caribbean. If you’re after incredible beaches with a backdrop of lush mountainous greenery, then you’re headed to the right place.
Antigua has 365 beaches – if you’re planning a longer trip, then you definitely don’t need to visit the same beach more than once. Barbados is only 21 miles long and 14 miles wide, so it’s easy to explore on foot. Dominica is home to the Waitukubuli National Trail which is around 115 miles long and travels through local villages before ending at a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Travelling to the Caribbean can be costly, so it’s essential you make the most of your time while you’re there. There are over 7,000 islands in the Caribbean, with 28 of them being classed as nations – there’s plenty of islands to choose from, so take your pick.
Some of the most popular for island hopping include; Guadeloupe, St Marteen, St Vincent, Tortola and Trinidad. There are plenty more destinations to choose from, all of which have other islands either a short ferry or plane ride away.
Festivals are a big deal in the Caribbean and are a huge display of colourful costumes. Steel drum bands and incredible street foods. Many festivals revolve around partying and dancing the night away so you’re in for a good time if your trip coincides with festival season.
Junkanoo in the Bahamas on Boxing Day is a celebration of different groups dancing through the streets in some of the most creative costumes. Reggae Sumfest in Jamaica is a bit like a festival without the mud; reggae music plays throughout the weeklong event with a beach party to start the celebrations.
Diving and Snorkelling
If you like your holidays to be filled with water-based activities, then the Caribbean is just the ticket. The seas surrounding the islands are full of marine life including; bottle nose dolphins, coral, rays, turtles and some of the most colourful tropical fish.
Many of the beaches on the islands offer diving lessons and courses, but if you just want to paddle around then pick up a snorkel and begin exploring. The sea is warm and clear making the conditions ideal for swimming around and seeing the aquatic wildlife.
Food and Drink
For foodies the Caribbean will be a delight to the senses. With jerk seasoning, a combination of allspice, thyme, coriander, nutmeg, garlic, chillies, ginger and thyme, sprinkled on chicken, beef and fish dishes.
Caribbean food is a fusion of African, European, East Indian and Chinese cuisine, so you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to dinner time. Plantain is another dish you simply have to try – it’s a member of the banana family and is often fried.
The Caribbean really is a destination for all, whether you want to spend your time relaxing on one of the many beaches or exploring in land you’re in for a trip of a lifetime.