If you’re seeking adventure, sunshine, and great food, you really need to journey to the Caribbean!
Bursting with exotic wildlife, warm waters, tropical spices, and friendly locals, these 7,000 odd islands are absolutely packed with activity that will entertain and enamor you.
Witnessing the magic of the Caribbean is an experience that will stay with you forever. With colorful festivals, stunning marine life, and colonial history to explore, the natural beauty of the Caribbean islands is something that you have to see with your own eyes.
Far from being a singular destination, the Caribbean is a collective region with the choice of 28 different nations, though from Cuba to Jamaica, and Curaçao to the Cayman Islands, the following are some of our personal highlights of the region.
Highlights of Traveling in the Caribbean
Which Countries are in the Caribbean?
While we’re covering a general overview of the highlights of the region as a whole, each individual country will have their own special brand of magic; the following is a full list of nations in the Caribbean Sea.
Food & Drink
Jerk chicken is probably the staple food for Caribbean cuisine, but there is so much more to tantalize your taste buds. So don’t fall into the trap of stereotyping!
There’s pepperpot stew, a rich stew simmered in a huge pot, containing potatoes, squash, beef, aubergines, and so much more. Served with a side of steaming dumplings, the pepperpot is the quintessential comfort food.
There are also a huge range of options for seafood lovers, like conch, a mollusk that is popular in sushi restaurants. It can also be served in chowder, pasta, burgers, and salads and is often deep-fried.
The islands are also ideal for coffee lovers, with Jamaica being famous for its Blue Mountain coffee, which is procured from one of the highest mountain ranges in the Caribbean. And then there are the beach bars.
Beach bars in the Caribbean have three things in common: “cold beer, a potent rum punch, and a killer view of the sea.” Nothing beats sipping a cocktail with your feet in the sand and a live band competing against the roar of the ocean.
No visit to the region would be complete without sampling some of the quality Caribbean rum. Pay a visit to one of the many Rum Bars – also known as Rum Shacks – to sample some of this rich spirit.
Snorkeling and diving are two of the most popular activities in the Caribbean, and the crystal-clear waters of the region make for perfect visibility when viewing remarkable sea creatures.
With sea turtles, dolphins, stingrays, and manatee, the marine life across the Caribbean is fascinating and offers you the chance to get in close proximity with these incredible creatures.
To embrace the wonders of the sea, make sure you visit some of the Caribbean’s best scuba diving sites, though even if you’re not keen on diving, you’ll still find plenty of incredible wildlife in shallow bays perfect for snorkeling.
Though remember that wildlife in the Caribbean isn’t just limited to the sea; there are a diverse range of species on dry land, with iguanas, lizards, and frogs in the Bahamas (even swimming pigs!), and the green monkeys of Barbados.
For an adorable experience, make sure to check out the wild pigs that swim in the Out Islands of the Bahamas (they do so hoping to get treats from the fishermen). Birdwatchers can also get their fix, with over 700 species of bird to admire.
The Caribbean has some of the most beautiful all-inclusive resorts in the world, with stunning five star retreats like the Jade Mountain Resort in St Lucia that feature private infinity pools overlooking the surrounding jungles of Bouton and Mamin.
If you’re looking for an all inclusive resort in Grenada, there is the Spice Island Beach resort, located on Grand Anse Beach. The boutique resort is famed for its hospitality and repeat guests, with its renowned spa offering plenty of pampering that will leave you feeling rejuvenated.
Many resorts throughout the Caribbean have their own marina where watercraft depart to explore the Caribbean waters, though it’s important to do your research to find a resort that fits your interests and needs.
Caribbean resorts offer almost everything you need for your vacation dream; activities like tai chi classes, tennis and archery, water sports, and yoga sessions with a personal trainer are often available, cultural programs and excursions, and of course, massive, massive luxury.
Image credit: Toni Broome
In order to experience the true culture of the islands, you need to mingle with the locals. So even if you do book an all inclusive resort, make sure you get out onto the streets.
These are some of the friendliest, most laid-back people you could wish to meet, and, if you want to know where the best nightlife is, simply follow the locals – they know how to have a good time!
Street parties are commonplace in the Caribbean, also known as the local ‘jump up’, with music, dancing and, of course, mouthwatering street food.