Boasting dozens of breathtakingly beautiful islands, hundreds of hotels and resorts and fantastic beaches, the Caribbean is what those in the trade call a classic “Fly, Flop and Fry” destination. However, if you fancy doing something more than simply spending 14 days on a sun lounger, the Caribbean has loads of other ways to keep the more adventurous tourist occupied. Pretty well every mass market tour operator or airline offers packages to Jamaica and some of the other larger Caribbean islands, but more interesting and unique Caribbean holidays can be found with smaller, specialist niche operators.
If beaches are your thing then Antigua has 365 of them – one for each day of the year! The climate is warm and sunny all year round and the trade winds offer some welcome refreshment. As if that weren’t enough, the nearby island of Barbuda is just a day trip away and offers spectacular pink sand beaches and the largest frigate bird sanctuary in the world.
Speaking of wildlife (given the sad experience of well know professional animal teaser Steve Irwin) you could swim with stingrays in Grand Cayman. This is one of the best places to see, feed and stroke them and in some places on the island they come so close to the shore that you don’t even have to get out into deep water. 80% of the world’s humpback whale population mates and calves in the Bay of Samana between January and mid-March, making the Dominican Republic one of the best places in the world to spot these majestic creatures.
You can find great beaches anywhere in the Caribbean, but a holiday in Cuba is special and distinctive. A visit to Cuba , especially Havana, at least once in your lifetime is now even more of a must before it’s opened up to US commercialism and that certain “something “ the Island has is gone forever! Some observers believe that as many as a million tourists a year could come from the United States and change Cuba’s distinctive character for good.
Very few people would associate the phrase “Caribbean holiday” with Mexico, but this destination offers everything that you’d expect in the way of sun and magnificent beaches along the Riviera Maya. Its reputation did take a knock with the swine flu epidemic and travel to some of the more northerly cartel-run cities bordering the USA is not advisable, but Tulum gives the visitor sea, sand, sun and history all in one outstanding location. Tulum was a major link in the Maya’s extensive trade network as both sea and land routes converged there. The archaeological site is relatively compact and one of the best-preserved coastal Maya sites with architecture that resembles that of the nearby Chichen Itza, just on a much smaller scale.