The Caribbean region is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world – and rightly so. If you ever pictured the paradise in your head, one of the Caribbean islands probably would be very close to that image – crystal clear water, beautiful beaches, tropical landscapes, soothing atmosphere, and a rich cultural mix. A great thing about this region is that it’s perfect for just lying and resting, as well as for a more active kind of holiday. Here are some ideas for spending time in the Caribbean that will make you crave vacations there.
Swim with stingrays
Normally, you’re allowed to admire these creatures only from a distance or through the glass, but that’s not the case in the Caribbean. While visiting the Cayman Islands, you have a chance to go on a ferry cruise with professional guides who teach you how to swim around stingrays and even pet them safely. Local people say that if you’re brave enough to kiss one, you’ll have seven years of constant luck. If you don’t like the idea of sharing the experience with many other tourists, go to Gibbs Cay, a small island that’s also called Stingray City – and for a reason. There’s a group of rays living in the area and since there are not too many of them, they all have names given by the guides. One, big, happy family.
Chartering a yacht in the Caribbean is one of the best things you can do. There’s a reason why it’s an absolute favorite destination for many sailors. The weather there is almost always perfect, the landscapes are breath-taking, plus you can encounter various species of ocean wildlife. What’s more, most of the islands in the Caribbean provide everything that’s necessary for someone who’s traveling by boat – lovely marinas, fuel, equipment, even repairing services. It’s really worth considering, especially that the Caribbean is full of wonderful islands and with a yacht or a boat, you could see much more.
Swimming with dolphins
Dolphin Island, which you can find 1km from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, is the only place in the area where you can swim with dolphins in their natural habitat. They were raised by the trainers, but they have always lived in the sea; they’re free, but they have a very special bond with humans. They’re friendly, playful and eager to hug or kiss; it’s even possible to have a belly ride! No wonder it’s such a popular adventure.
Diving and snorkeling
Perfect, turquoise waters and their diversified wildlife make the Caribbean an ideal destination for those who like admiring life under the sea. In the waters of Grenada, you can explore an enormous shipwreck of MV Bianca C, a 600-foot cruise liner that sank almost 60 years ago, and an amazing Underwater Sculpture Park, pieces of art of Jason deCaires Taylor. Champagne Reef of Dominica will make you feel like you’re swimming in actual champagne – all because of warm bubbles spewed by geothermal vents and craters – surrounded by corals, sponges, sea horses, angelfish and many, many more. In the Bahamas, you can swim with real sharks, but only if you’re an experienced diver. And these are just a few of the numerous snorkeling or diving spots in the Caribbean.
Walk the oldest city in the Americas
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic is the oldest settlement in both Americas; it dates back to Columbus himself (the city was in fact founded by his brother). While calmly walking around the city, you can see the cathedral and the university – both the oldest in the Americas – then a military fortress and the very first street. The most well-preserved building in Santo Domingo dates back to 1509! That’s a lot of history to experience in one place.
Swim with… pigs
Do you think stingrays, dolphins, sharks, and whales are overrated? Well, the Caribbean region still has something for you! Head for the Bahamas, where, on the beaches and in the water, you can encounter wild, but little and very cute pigs. People are not sure where they come from – some say that they were brought there by French settlers, others claim that the pigs must have swam to the shore from a shipwreck. Whatever the case, now they inhabit some of the Bahamas beaches. Just watch out for your snacks, because they are always hungry!
Did you already get a hankering for a trip to the Caribbean? And this is just a small part of all the attractions available on over 700 islands, islets, reefs, and cays of the region where you can find basically everything you could wish for your holidays. In many cases, even experience doesn’t matter. You’re not a sailor? Caribbean waters are perfect for beginners. You’ve never dived before? There are many places where you can learn it from scratch. So don’t be discouraged and start planning your own perfect Caribbean holidays.