There are more than thirty major islands within the Caribbean to choose from that provide a great many activities and beautiful places to visit. So make you priorities, check out many of the islands online and plan ahead to get the most from your trip.
There are a couple good options for travel to and from the islands. The most common will be by air to a specific destination and return by air. This usually involves visiting only one or two islands. The other main travel option is by cruise ship. The length of the cruise, will determine the number of islands you can visit.
Planning Your Travel
Like any travel, you can organize the trip yourself, rely on a travel agent for help or go with an All-Inclusive package. For any international travel, you will probably get the largest discounts with a travel agent who specializes in the Caribbean. Also available are All-Inclusive vacation packages. The All-Inclusive package is very simple where everything including the transportation, room accomadations, activities and some meals are provided. A travel agent that specializes in Caribbean travel will custom make your complete trip.
Independent travel gives you more flexibility without everything being planned in advance. However you will need to do most of the planning yourself, especially for the daily activities.
The warm Caribbean weather is a major factor for most visitors. The ideal temperatures and cool breezes year around help make the Caribbean a true paradise.
There is a risk of hurricanes, June through November, so factor this in when making schedules. The islands of Barbados and Aruba are far enough south where the risk of a hurricane is low.
A Slower Island Pace
The slower pace in the Caribbean should be very relaxing and you will need to move at the local speed. Most things just take a little longer then what you may be use to at home. However you can quickly adjust to the relaxing atmosphere.
The majority of the restaurants and hotels are owned and operated by local individuals, so you may not see the large chain restaurants. The standard of living on the islands will also not be what you may be accustomed to at home. Things like sanitation and road conditions may be less that desired, but you can still enjoy yourself. So be patient, relax and enjoy the vacation.
If you want the more westernized atmosphere, visit the more metropolitan cities like San Juan in Puerto Rico, Nassau in The Bahamas, or Montego Bay in Jamaica. Or you can stay totally within a protected resort property.
A Few Places To Consider
Palm Beachon Aruba has white sands and has been called one of the top 12 beaches in the world. However it may be busy in the winter.
The Gold Coast in Barbados has several beaches that are some of the finest in the Caribbean. A couple are Paynes Bay Brighton Beach and Brandon’s Beach.
Luquillo Beach in Puerto Rico has white sands and many palm trees. The beach is protected by a coral reef from the Atlantic.
Canouan of The Grenadines offers a great beach and clear blue water with fewer people. The Grenadines are South of St. Vincent.
Grace Bay Beach on Providenciales of the Caicos Islands is one of the world’s best beaches. Grace Bay Beach offers powdery white sand, crystal blue waters and good snorkeling.
Antigua has calm waters populated by colorful tropical fish. Marine life is particularly dense with manta rays and sea anemones. There are different types of elk and brain coral that make snorkeling very rewarding.
Provo on Turks and Caicos offers both great snorkeling and diving. There is an established government snorkel trail right off Grace Bay Beach with easy access.
Buck Island of St. Croix has 250 species of fish and a large variety of sponges, corals, and crustaceans located in the 840 acre reef system.
Grand Cayman is a world class diving destination.
Turks and Caicos Islands offer several underwater wrecks, miles of reefs and some wall diving.
Saba has some of Caribbean’s best marine life and is a premier diving location with 38 official diving sites. However the beaches are not so great.
Best Golf Courses
Tierra Del Sol golf course on Aruba is a Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed course, par 71 and 6,811 yards. This course is one of the best in southern Caribbean.
Cinnamon Hill Ocean Course< at Rose Hall, Jamaica is one of the top five courses in the world. This is a very scenic course with a challenging seaside and mountain layout.
Four Seasons Resort Nevis was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., which was once part of an old coconut plantation and tropical rainforest.
Aruba has ten large casinos with dancing, cabarets and comedy shows. This place is a gamblers paradise.
St. Maarten/St. Martin has the densest concentrations of restaurants in the Caribbean. There are many dance clubs and hotel casinos.
Puerto Rico has the casinos, an endless number of bars, cabaret shows and dance clubs. The casinos are some of the best in the Caribbean.