White-sand beaches are fringed with palm trees gently swinging in the breeze. Crystal clear waters with swarming reefs are just a stone's throw from the seashore. Exotic rum cocktails served right at your lounge chair - chill out on a tropical getaway.
Caribbean islands or any island in the Caribbean is a perfect spot for a tropical getaway. An amalgamation of various cultural set ups, no other region exhibits such an assorted array of diverse cultural models. Beaches, boats, bikinis and banks serve as an ideal locale; lush vales of sugarcane and bananas and palm-fringed shorelines. The cities are flush with magnificent structural designs that were left behind by the various communities. Read on to find out how to plan a Caribbean getaway.
The foremost populace, agricultural and fishing Amerindians took a voyage from South America via trenched canoes around 500BC. They were called the Caribs and the island is named after them. In 1492, Christopher Columbus, the Italian traveler relocated them and 'discovered' the area for Spain. He conferred the name West Indies after he mistook the outlaying islands as India's. Attracted by the inestimable treasures, the Europeans invaded the region in the sixteenth century.
Appearing as a broad arch amid Florida in the north and Venezuela in the south at the same time as a barrier in the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean islands compose a big subsection of the hundreds of islands in the Caribbean Sea. The islands are the secluded apex part of a sunken string of volcanic mountains that are strewn over thousands of square kilometers of sea, significantly differing in size. The complete region is contained within the Northern tropics.
Usually considered as a sub expanse of North America, the Caribbean island is sited southeast of Northern America, east of Central America and to the northwest of South America. The Caribbean islands consist of 7,000 islands, islets, reefs and caves.
Tropical Getaway Options
The famous among the Caribbean islands are Antigua, Anguilla, Aruba, Barbuda, Barbados, Bahamas, Cuba, Dominica, Guadeloupe (island of beautiful waters), Haiti (high mountain) and Dominican Republic, Jamaica (land of wood and water), Martinique (flower island), Montserrat (land of prickly pear), Nevis, Puerto Rico (great land of valiant noble lord), Redondo (uninhabited between Montserrat and Nevis), St.Kitts, St.Lucia, St.Maarten, St.Vincent, Cayman island, Trinidad (land of humming birds). Each of these islands is unique and rich with its own ethnicity.
The Jamaicans are acknowledged for hip hop. Sport and music are healthy contenders in the Caribbean island. With the influx of tourism, each of these islands has set its own uniqueness, like the salsa of Cuba, poppy zouk of Martinique and Guadeloupe.
Every island has a strong cooking practice too. Caribbean classics such as Trinidadian roti, Dominican mountain chicken are delicious. Croissants and gourmet dinners are available on the French islands. Dutch delicacies are prominent in the Netherlands Antilles. Don't be surprised to find loads of excellent traditional burgers and fries in Puerto Rico and the Bahamas.
Caribbean getaway activities
The family spot - The resorts in the regions of Atlantis and Paradise islands in the Bahamas house all- inclusive resorts. Aruba is popular with its hospitable inhabitants. St. Kitts and Nevis will give you a break from routine, with old forts, eerie plantations and a classic railroad to discover.
Beach retreat: What better way to spend a lazy tropical getaway than to soak in the sun on the beach! Aruba is well identified with its palm shoreline and mild surf and broad selection of water sports. Gold coast of the Barbados is renowned for the superb stretch of sand and is abode to lavish resorts. Grenadines will offer you an isolated beach for a day with all the privacy that you would wish for. The beaches of Caribbean are famous throughout the world for different types of sand and tepid cerulean waters. The different sands that can be found in the Caribbean are listed below.
Coral sand is formed with constituent parts created from tropical and sub-tropical aquatic surroundings due to bio-erosion of limestone skeletal matter of oceanic life forms. Coral typically connote limestone of latest biological source. Pink sand is an amalgamation of foraminifera, petite sea living things with red shells exist underneath rocks and in caves. The red shells are broken down into fine, supple pink color sand.
Harbour Island in Bahamas is prominent for the pink sand beaches which totally enclose the island. When hot lava flows into the Caribbean Sea, it ruptures into black sand bits and in due course flows back to the seashore. The consistency of black sand is unlike the other two. Dominica, Nevis, St.Lucia, St.Kitts, Grenada and Montserrat are places in the Caribbean island with this type of sand.
Solo travel: If you are traveling solo then Bermuda is the right choice; with secure transportation system and great nightlife. Women travelers who are by themselves can take a secure bet on Curacao and Grand Cayman.
Unlimited celebrations: Nightlife begins here at the capital of the Caribbean, in San Juan and Puerto Rico. All-night casinos, dance halls with Latin roots, great restaurants, bars and cockfights mark the central theme.
Casinos and wild bets: Unlike the European and American scenario, the gambling atmosphere in the Caribbean is very relaxed. For the local residents of the Bahamas, gambling is against the law. The Atlantis on Paradise islands is famed for the Vegas-style casinos. The most number of casinos in the Caribbean are in the Dominican Republic.
Sports: Tennis and golf are popular sporting activities. You may be even able to watch professional tennis tournaments. There are well-lit courts on most of the hotels, so if you prefer to soak yourself in the sun during the day and play in the night, you can always do it. Great golf courses can be found every where in the Caribbean and the best ones are in the bigger islands.
Water activities: The gleaming Atlantic Ocean and the azure waters of the Caribbean are the right scenario for water sports such as scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing. Caribbean boasts of the world's best diving places with its captivating marine wealth such as coral, brilliant fish, vivid and striking wildlife. Snuba diving a cross between scuba diving and snorkeling is another activity that has gained popularity of late.
Wind surfing is yet another water sport that has come into its own in the recent past. Kayaking, water rafting and parasailing on the brackish Caribbean waters can be a heady experience. Bonaire, Virgin Gorda, Turks and Caicos and Grand Cayman, and St.Croix are the favorite hangouts for diving activities. Some snorkelers prefer Antigua, St.John and St.Croix for the calm waters there. Windsurfers and sailors can choose Aruba and Curacao as an idyllic location for windsurfing and can position their path for the Grenadines or the British Virgin islands.
Ecological activities: Laying yourself in the lap of nature is what you can do when you are on a tropical getaway. Unusual animal species, fertile green lands can be found in the Caribbean and travelers can enjoy every moment of this by going on a hike or camping or mountain biking. There are paths that can show you the wonders of the island that can never be explored otherwise.
Visit a cascading waterfall, spectacular bird watching and an expedition up the area of a volcano adds to the memorable experiences of your tropical vacation. The national parks are wonderful to visit and an underwater swim with the fishes is an experience in itself. The scenic beauty of the sun setting over the mountains as the dusk sets and to watch the tropical birds awaken as it dawns is pleasurable.
Pack for a tropical getaway
- Travel documents
- A bathing suit and an extra pair of dress in your carry-on bag for you to bathe and change and wait by the pool as your baggage arrive.
- Wheeled bags or suitcase are preferred as you may have to deplane on the tarmac in few of the Caribbean airports. Your resort might have rooms spread over a vast area too.
- Swimming gear and light outfits.
- Women may not be allowed to wear sparse bikinis or short shorts so carry a capri along.
- Waterproof sunscreen (SPF 30), UV rated sun glasses, a rimmed hat, a drape for women and some aloe vera to relieve all the sunburn.
- Lip balms, bug spray, baby powder are items to be packed along with your toiletries.
Weather in the Caribbean Island
Caribbean Island is warm throughout the year and the island is teeming with people from December 15 to April 15, so as to escape the winter in the north. High season is from mid-December to mid-April. Lean season is from mid-April to mid-December when the crowd is less and there is a threat of hurricane too.
The trade winds keep the island cool and the temperatures are around 70s and 80s all through the year. Aruba, Bonaire, the Cayman Islands and Trinidad and Tobago are islands that are spared from the hurricane as they lay out of the hurricane belt. The Caribbean Islands are open throughout the year, so plan your trip and book in advance. For the period of high season, it is wise to book two months in advance.
Prices rise and fall from winter high season to summer low season and air tickets are no exception. Carnival times and winter are most crowded times in the Islands.