Top 5 destinations in the Caribbean to include in your travel bucket list

Friday, 3 August 2018

The Caribbean is a name that has become synonymous to breathtaking beaches, lively music, seemingly endless merrymaking, and wonderful gastronomic fares.

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The Caribbean is a name that has become synonymous to breathtaking beaches, lively music, seemingly endless merrymaking, and wonderful gastronomic fares.

Palm trees in a beach in the Caribbean
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Top 5 destinations in the Caribbean to include in your travel bucket list


    About The Caribbean


    The Caribbean is actually a region in the Americas composed of many island nations in the Caribbean Sea. These island nations are Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, The Bahamas, Barbados, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Collectivity of Saint Martin, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, and US Virgin Islands.

    Loungers on a beach in the Caribbean
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    These territories are blessed with tropical climate, pristine shorelines, spectacular mountain ranges, and teeming marine biodiversity. The Caribbean is home to some of the most pristine waters that are well-known globally. For example, Bonaire’s diving and snorkeling sites are considered by many travelers to be some of the best in the world. As such, these islands have become favorite destinations among travelers because of the many adventures that await them there. 

    Top Caribbean destinations


    Each of those island nations in the Caribbean have their unique culture, heritage, flavors, and tourist spots. However, if I were to pick, here are the top 5 destinations in the Caribbean that you can immediately include in your travel list when you plan your next trip.

    Blue green waters in the Caribbean
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    Barbados


    Located at the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean region, Barbados is a country with a rich and historic past having been colonized by the Spanish, briefly by the Portuguese, and finally by the British colonial. Barbados was a sugar colony and was once a focal point of the slave trade which has long been abolished. Because of its rich historical past, expect to find a number of World Heritage sites in Barbados.

    Swimming in beach in the Caribeean
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    Top 3 things to do in Barbados


    There seems to be an endless list of things to see, do, and taste in Barbados. However, if it's your first time to visit Barbados, these are the top three things that you should not miss in this country:

    1. Visit Bridgetown


    Bridgetown is the capital and largest city of Barbados, and its Garrison historic area. For centuries until today, Bridgetown is an important commercial and business district of Barbados. Having been occupied by the British, Barbados’ culture is an amalgamation of West African and British. Cricket is a game that is well-loved in Barbados.

    2. Go on a Barbados Rum Tour

    Not many people may know it but Barbados is considered to be the origin of rum. Rum is derived from molasses fermented into alcohol. The alcohol is then distilled to remove impurities and create a drink that distinctly defines this Caribbean island’s culture. A Barbados Rum tour, covering distilleries (including the oldest one in the world) and rum shops, is the perfect way to better appreciate the world-renowned rum.

    3. Spend a leisurely time at the beach 

    A visit to Barbados would not be complete without a visit to some of its most famous beaches. If it's your first time in Barbados, don't forget to check Sandy Lane Beach, where there are regular sightings of international celebrities; Mullins Beach if you are looking for small beach with a bar and restaurant; and Martin’s Bay is your best destination if you want to escape the big crown and frolic in unadulterated beaches.

    Sunset in the Caribbean
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    Jamaica

    Jamaica is the fourth largest nation in the Caribbean. Previously ruled by Spanish and British, Jamaica is also a melting pot of cultures. Jamaica is perhaps best-known for reggae music, popularized worldwide by Bob Marley. A beach getaway is an easy choice when in Jamaica because the nation is blessed with gleaming shores.

    Beach in Jamaica in the Caribbean
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    Top 3 things to do in Jamaica


    The music, the sunset, the flavors, and the beaches are all inviting when you are in Jamaica. Nonetheless, do not forget to include the following activities when you take a trip to Jamaica:

    1. Take a tour of the Rastafari Indigenous Village


    Apart from beaches, Jamaica has other surprises in store for travelers. One of these is the Rastafari Indigenous Village, which is a theme park that depicts the Rastafari culture and how it fits in the overall Jamaican culture. Here, visitors may learn about organic farming, traditional crafts-making, and music.

    2. Visit Kool Runnings 


    Another attraction in Jamaica that is worth checking is Kool Runnings, the largest waterpark in Jamaica. It offers a host of activities to guests such as waterslides, tubing, go-kart racing and paintball, just to name a few.

    3. Do not miss the Luminous Lagoon


    The Luminous Lagoon is a body of water that is home to microorganisms called dinoflagellates. These microorganisms emit a glow when disturbed. A visit to the Luminous Lagoon is recommended at night time or at dusk, and guests are allowed to swim in the water.

    Aruba


    Aruba is an island country located in the southern Caribbean Sea. It is a constituent country of the Kingdom of Netherlands, as such Aruba's citizens are Dutch nationals and the Dutch language is one of two official languages. With its warm weather and sunny skies, its the perfect beach destination all-year round.

    Beach surrounded by trees in the Caribbean
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    Top 3 things to do in Aruba


    In spite of the popularity of Aruba's pristine shorelines, there are actually a host of other activities other than beach bumming that can be done in this island county. Below is a list of some of the awesome things to do in Aruba.

    1. Visit Aruba's Museums


    Aruba may be a small island nation but it takes pride in its rich history and heritage. If you want to learn more about the country's culture and past, you may visit any of its seven museums, namely the Archaeological Museum, the Etnia Nativa Art Gallery & Museum, Museum of Antiquities, The Aruba Aloe Museum & Factory, Fort Zoutman/Historical Museum, San Nicolas Community Museum, and the Aruba Model Train Museum.

    Admission to the Archaeological Museum, Museum of Antiquities, The Aruba Aloe Museum & Factory, and the Aruba Model Train Museum are all free while the others charge only a minimal amount.

    2. Enjoy Aruba's nightlife


    Aruba is home to a number of casinos, bars and clubs, as well as carnival, dance, and magic shows. If you want to experience Aruba's colorful nightlife, go bar hopping or check out one of the entertainment shows available near you.


    3. Explore Aruba's countryside


    This is one of the must-book tours in the country. This is an extensive four-and-a-half hour bus tour around Aruba's countryside. Here, you will get to see Aruba's wildlife, some of its most important landmarks and natural attractions, and capped with a swim at Baby Beach.

    Puerto Rico


    Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States located in the Northeast Caribbean. It was once a Spanish colony, as such, the Spanish language is an official language along with English.

    Rainforest in Puerto Rico in the Caribbean
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    Top 3 things to do in Puerto Rico


    A trip to Puerto Rico is never complete without having to experience is breathtaking beaches. Nevertheless, there are also a good number of other exciting activities to do in this archipelago apart from checking out its beaches.


    1. Take a trip to Puerto Rico's Bioluminescent Bays


    Puerto Rico has three bioluminescent bays, namely Mosquito Bay (Vieques), Laguna Grande (Fajardo), and La Parguera (Lajas). These are home to microscopic organisms called dinoflagellates that emit a glow when they are disturbed.  These eco-tours are bet held when it is dark so that guests can fully behold the mesmerizing glow of the dinoflagellates in the water.

    2. Taste local rum


    Puerto Rico also offers tours to its local distilleries such as Casa Bacardi, Hacienda Santa Ana, and PitoRico. During a distillery tour, visitors will learn the history of rum, how it is made, and may have a shot or two to taste it. Of course, guests may always buy a bottle or two in the distillery shops if they so fancy.

    3. Explore El Yunque National Forest


    El Yunque is a rainforest that is open for eco-adventures such as hiking, and familiarization with local plants and birds. El Yunque National Forest is located at the Rio Grande area, east of San Juan.   

    Cuba


    This former Spanish colony is located in the northern Caribbean. It is composed of several islands, being an archipelago.

    Waterfalls in the Caribbean
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    Top 3 things to do in Cuba


    Cuba’s rich colonial past makes it an interesting destination for history and heritage enthusiasts. Aside from visiting historic sites, here are other exciting activities that you can do in Cuba.

    1. Visit Cuba’s beaches


    Not known to many, Cuba is blessed with white sand beaches and stunning blue-green waters. Some of the most recommended beaches in Cuba are Varadero Beach, Cayo Largo del Sur, and Cayo Guillermo, to name a few.

    2. Explore Havana


    Havana is the capital city of Cuba and is the focal point of the country’s culture and heritage. In Havana, there are a number museums, public squares, restaurants, and churches to include in one’s itinerary when in Cuba.

    3. Immerse yourself in Cuba’s culture


    From cigars to rum, to music and art, Cuba is an interesting mix of various influences from over five centuries. Those influences shaped what is today’s Cuban culture, which travelers may learn by taking via local tours.

    The Caribbean is a region rich in natural wonders and historical landmarks. With the region's diverse cultures, history, food, music, and offerings, a trip to the Caribbean is every traveler's dream.

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