The Caribbean promises warm waters, sunny days and sandy beaches for all vacationers. There is just so much to see and do in the Caribbean that it can be difficult to decide where to start. We thought we’d give you a quick overview of some of the major islands so that you can home in on where you want to spend your Caribbean vacation:
St. Lucia. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious resort vacation or an opportunity to hike the rainforest or explore the beautiful coral reefs, St. Lucia has something for everyone. Take time to climb to the volcanic summit of Gros Piton or get up close and personal with the volcano at the Sulphur Springs where you can experience its heat and see the boiling magma. If you want to see a little history of the island, visit Pigeon Island or Morne Fortune where you will get a taste of colonial times on the island. Don’t miss the Botanical Gardens of the Soufriere Estate for the beautiful plants and flowers of the rainforest with the roaring Diamond Falls near its center.
Antigua and Barbuda. The country of Antigua and Barbuda is certainly known for its beaches. In fact, it has 365 of them! While it is a huge draw for vacationing here, there is certainly much more to do than lounging in the surf and sand. Spend some time exploring history at Nelson’s Dockyard where ships have been docking for over 250 years and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Or explore the sugarcane plantation known as Betty’s Hope, where you will see the remains of windmills that were used to process the sugarcane and extract the juices to make rum, the slave quarters and more. You can also swim with the stingrays or hike along 17-mile Beach for its spectacular views.
Aruba. Aruba really does have something for everyone: you can hit the casinos and nightlife, relax on the beaches, hike the rock formations, dive to explore shipwrecks and coral reefs, or discover the history of this Dutch island. One of the prettiest beaches to relax on is Palm Beach, with its 2-miles of white sand and blue waters – everything you would expect of a tropical beach getaway. The ruins of Bushiribana and Balashi will give you a glimpse into the Aruban gold boom of the late 19th century, with remains of the smelting works – and the fortifications to keep the pirates out! Take a hike through the Arikok National Park, visit the Butterfly Farm, or snorkel off of Boca Catalina.
Curaçao. If you are looking for something a little different, then Curaçao may be the place for you. Its Dutch heritage is apparent throughout the island – and there is no shortage of things to do. Explore the capital city of Willemstad and you will think that you are in the middle of a Flemish village in the Netherlands. On the other end of the spectrum, you get a true glimpse of the Caribbean life through color and creativity at the Curaçao Carnival in the spring. Don’t miss the stalactites and stalagmites of Hato Caves, where you can explore what was once home to the native Indian tribespeople and a refuge for slaves that escaped the plantations. Take a safari through Christoffel National Park to see native flora and fauna. And if you want to relax on the beach, visit Blauwbaai, where you’ll enjoy the best snorkeling and swimming on the island.
St. Martin – St. Maarten. The island of St. Martin-St. Maarten is one of dueling cultures – French and Dutch. One of the top attractions on the island is Loterie Farm, where you can spend time hiking or ziplining through the lush forest, lounge at the cabanas or enjoy the obstacle course. If you’re ambitious, you can hike up to Pic Paradis, the highest point on the island that offers incredible views of the shoreline and surrounding jungle. For those looking to sample the local twist on the Caribbean’s favorite liquor, head over to the Sint Maarten Guavaberry Company where you can taste various concoctions that include the island’s guavaberry and rum. Head over to Fort Amsterdam or Fort Louis for a little history from the Dutch and French perspective, and then spend time relaxing on the picture-perfect beaches of Mullet Bay.
The Caribbean is full of possibilities for your next vacation. Luxury Destinations Concierge is ready to help you decide what’s best for you. Give us a call at (805) 236-4437 to start planning!
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