Sun, sand and good food are the terms that come to mind when we think of the Caribbean. Whether you’re into mindless relaxation at an all-inclusive resort or are seeking a zip-line adrenaline rush through rain forest, the options are endless in this part of the world.
Although pristine beaches and shady palm trees are typical of the island nations, each country has its own unique offerings. No two Caribbean islands are ever the same. And there’s a reason why many tourists end up visiting the same countries over and over again!
According to data from the Caribbean Tourism Association, the Dominican Republic was top destination of choice in 2013. And we can certainly see why. This country is all about the “melting pot” — with a mix of cultures existing harmoniously throughout the land. European, African and Native American vibes hang effortlessly — creating a very welcoming atmosphere for tourists. The beaches are heavenly, the cuisine is rich, and yet the prices are super cheap! What more could you want out of a vacation? Although the Dominican Republic saw more than 3 million tourists in 2013 alone, there are several other Caribbean countries that are worth a visit too!
One of the Caribbean’s largest islands, Cuba is a hit with travellers. Here you can find luxury for rock-bottom rates at dozens of popular resorts. Don’t want to be part of the crowd? No problem. You can find private vacation rental condos and villas all along the coast, allowing you to experience everything Cuba has to offer on your own terms. Meanwhile, the city of Havana is consistently rated as one of the Caribbean’s top destinations. Stroll through the colonial streets as you take in the architecture of an era gone by. Experience the colourful glamour Havana once felt, while respecting the careful reconstruction that’s happening all around you. If you’re into good food, salsa music and a welcoming vibe — then Cuba was made for you!
Located in the western Caribbean sea, the Cayman Islands is made up of three islands: Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. The Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman’s west shore is one of the most popular, luring tourists from around the globe. Snorkel and swim with friendly sea creatures, and then come out of the water to enjoy luscious drinks at one of the coastal bars. At night, tourists love heading out to the capital city of George Town for an evening of shopping and fine dining!
Technically, the Bahamas is not located in the Caribbean’s geographical area. However, it is considered a part of the Caribbean community. Although there are deals to be had on this island, the Bahamas has been popular with travellers who crave luxury. The popular Atlantis resort is not an all-inclusive, so be prepared to pay a little extra. But service in the Bahamas cannot be beat. The capital city of Nassau has some of the region’s best restaurants and boasts some of the area’s most spectacular beaches. Take a walk along the shores and watch the yachts roll in. The Bahamas has long been known as a billionaire’s paradise because of its close proximity to the United States. Meanwhile, snorkeling amongst the colourful coral reefs is a favourite pastime for tourists. Enjoy some conch at the local fish fry, and then head over to some of the best shopping this community has to offer.
Tammi Browning is a professional photographer. She had visited more than 175 counties and her greatest passion is travel! She had written a book on the tradition and cultures of Caribbean land. She also likes trekking, scuba diving, mountaineering, sky diving as well! Follow her on Googleplus@Tammibrowning