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    The ultimate guide to the Caribbean

    The ultimate guide to the Caribbean

    Gleaming turquoise waters, soft white sands, lush mountains and hearty foods which appeal to all the senses… There’s no wonder the Caribbean is one of the most exciting places to holiday. Looking for a party? Want to immerse yourself in nature? Wish to dive head first into fun activities? The Caribbean islands offer all of this, whilst giving you the opportunity to just lay back and relax on pristine beaches. Plus, with an abundance of islands dotted around, a trip to the islands means every type of holidaymaker is covered. It’s obvious the most difficult decision you’ll make is deciding which Caribbean island you should visit next. So, let us help you with our breakdown and ultimate guide to the Caribbean!

    Antigua: Best for beaches and history

    Antigua

    Of course, many of the Caribbean islands are best-known for their crystal-clear waters and golden, sandy beaches. But Antigua definitely takes the cake! Home to a wide range of stunning beaches, you can find yourself basking in the sunshine or spotting the marine life with a snorkelling session. The family-friendly Dickenson Bay is among the most popular thanks to its soft sand and nearby amenities. With watersport options available, you’ll have everything you could possible need from a beach holiday. On the other hand, Half Moon Bay is often considered to be the most beautiful beach in Antigua. Its light pink sand and deep blue waters are more than enough reason to give the bay a visit. If not for the fact that it gets slightly less crowded.

    On top of that, Antigua has plenty of opportunities to explore its naval history and military sights. Head to Nelson’s Dockyard which is a historical site highlighting the 1700s-1800s. There is also a naval history museum on site where you can learn even more. With shops, restaurants and bars around Nelson’s Dockyard, you’ll also have the chance to pick up a couple of gifts or grab a bite to eat. Shirley Heights on the other hand is a military complex which has since been restored. As well as soaking up the history here, you’ll also be able to enjoy the breath-taking views.

    Stay at:

    Go for:

    • Dickenson Bay
    • Nelson’s Dockyard
    • Shirley Heights
    • Fort James
    • Green Island
    • Stingray City

     

    Barbados: Best for adventure and food and drink

    Barbados beach

    Barbados is an island full of fun and exciting activities. If you love exploring the outdoors and discovering natural wonders, there are more than enough hikes and caves to peak your interest. Harrison’s Cave remains a fascinating tourist favourite, featuring pools, streams and hanging stalactites. With access via foot or tram, you can face the adventure head on as you venture on this unforgettable experience. Plus, Animal Flower Cave is located right by the ocean and includes rock pools and sea anemones. The perfect spot to watch the waves roll in and for a bit of cave exploration.

    After all of that, you’re going to need a great place to stop off for some food and drink. Luckily, Barbados has many great options to choose from when it comes to sampling its cuisine. A trip to Barbados requires a taste of the island’s national dish, cou cou (cornmeal and okra) and flying fish but also divine macaroni pie and souse (a broth made with scraps of meat like chicken, pork or beef). If fish is right up your street, head to Oistins Fish Fry where you can enjoy the lively atmosphere as well as relish some of Barbados’ most delicious dishes.

    Stay at:

    Go for:

    • Harrison’s Cave
    • Bottom Bay
    • Mullins Beach
    • North Point
    • Saint Lawrence Gap
    • Hunte’s Gardens

     

    Cuba: Best for culture and sightseeing

    Cuba

    Cuba is one of the Caribbean’s most unique and beautiful islands. It has been carefully preserved and somewhat frozen in time due to its communist rule. As a result, Cuba transports its visitors back in time with a showing of brightly coloured vehicles from the 1950s and colonial buildings and towns. Trinidad is a typical example of Cuba’s traces of colonialism due to its iconic pastel-coloured architecture. However, Cuba is energetic at its core and their lively approach will no doubt be a holiday highlight. We’re talking about their love for music and salsa! Yet another huge aspect of Cuban culture, they sure know how to have a great night out! So, whether you’re listening to jazz on the street corner or enjoying a sultry dance lesson, there is plenty of opportunity to experience Cuba’s culture.

    What goes hand in hand with culture? Well, a spot of sightseeing of course! Luckily, there’s plenty of it to go around in Cuba. The island’s capital of Havana is the perfect place to kick start your tour of Cuba. Whether it’s wandering around the Museo de la Revolución, admiring the Havana Cathedral or discovering the José Martí Memorial, Havana has a lot to see and do. Plus, enjoy all that the Viñales Valley has to offer, known for its tobacco fields – hiking and bike riding are popular in the area.

    Stay at:

    Go for:

    • Viñales Valley
    • Malecón
    • Old Havana
    • Museo de la Revolución
    • Che Guevara Mausoleum
    • Trinidad

     

    Dominican Republic: Best for all inclusive resorts and golf

    Dominican Republic beach

    The Dominican Republic is one of the top choices when it comes to its array of beach resorts and all inclusive hotels. If you’re on a couples holiday, you can’t get much more romantic than waking up in a deluxe suite to a stunning sea view. With golden sandy shores lined by palm trees right on your doorstep, there isn’t a better location to holiday. You can tailor your Dominican holiday exactly how you want it. Add a dose of action by taking on fun watersport activities. Or take a more relaxed approach by spending the day on the small Catalina Island just off the coast of La Romana.

    Perhaps, the Caribbean entices you as your next golfing destination? Well, the Dominican Republic is a superb choice! The island is filled with golf courses designed by top golf legends like Jack Nicklaus. As well as sharpening your putting skills, you get the opportunity to soak up the breath-taking views along the course. Try the Punta Espada Golf Course, Teeth of the Dog at Casa de Campo (a consistent top-ranking course) or Corales Golf Course at PuntaCana Resort.

    Stay at:

    Go for:

    • Bávaro Beach
    • Lost Haitises National Park
    • Samaná Bay
    • Cap Cana
    • Pico Duarte
    • Los Tres Ojos

     

    Jamaica: Great for nature and music

    Jamaica sunset

    Jamaica has an abundance of all inclusive resorts to compliment your stay on the island. There are plenty of hotels to choose from and each provides a unique and wonderful experience. Many are aimed exclusively for those seeking a couples holiday too. But aside from that, Jamaica has a number of sights to see, many of which will excite those who love the outdoors. Jamaica’s Dunn’s River Falls is perhaps one of its most famous sights attracting loads of tourists each year. The waterfall is terraced allowing visitors to climb up whilst enjoying the rush of the water. A lovely sandy beach is also nearby meaning a beach day is on the cards too. If you love the thrill and action of trekking and ascending to amazing views, make your way up the Blue Mountains. With a number of hiking trails, get your walking boots on and immerse yourself in the lush greenery of these mountains. At the very top, the Blue Mountains has one of the highest peaks within the Caribbean standing tall at 2,256m.

    Jamaica is the origin of the Caribbean’s beloved reggae music and the birthplace of none other than the great Bob Marley. His legacy lives on in Jamaica and many tourists travel to the island simply to enjoy the roots of reggae. The Bob Marley Museum is a worthy stop-off during a Jamaica holiday as you explore the musician’s house which also features guided tours. Bob Marley’s Mausoleum can be found in Nine Mile close to his childhood home, where he was buried along with other family members.

    Stay at:

    Go for:

    • Dunn’s River Falls
    • Dolphin Cove
    • Blue Mountains
    • Bob Marley Museum
    • James Bond Beach
    • Green Grotto Caves

     

    St. Lucia: Best for action, adventure and honeymoons

    St Lucia mountains

    One of St. Lucia’s marvels is in fact its mountains, making it the perfect island for exploration and those seeking action and adventure during their holiday. The island’s Piton Mountains provide a challenging hike but reward you with scenic views. There are also plenty of opportunities to zip-line through green rainforests or admire the marine life with snorkelling. Whizz around on jet skis or have a go at windsurfing if you’re feeling to up the ante.

    St. Lucia is often a top choice when it comes to honeymoons in the Caribbean. There’s no wonder why! As well as fun and adventure, the island still manages to put relaxation and comfort at the forefront. Many luxurious resorts provide you with all you need. Looking for a spa retreat? There are plenty of options, all whilst having soft, powder-white sands just a few steps away. St. Lucia’s resorts offer a wide range of facilities and a tailored service aimed at couples, ensuring your honeymoon is one to remember!

    Stay at:

    Go for:

    • Rodney Bay
    • Marigot Bay
    • Anse Chastanet
    • Gros Piton
    • Reduit Beach
    • St. Lucia Botanical Gardens
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