Jan 7, 2018

Caribbean Getaways

The recent hurricane season has been extremely disastrous on the islands of the Caribbean but there were some that did not suffer any damage. Undamaged Islands still suffer from association with potential travelers thinking the entire Caribbean was destroyed. Keep in mind that the best deals are in the off season or at the beginning and end of high season.  Often the best deal is a package that includes airfare. 

1. Roatan: The largest and most popular of the Honduran Bay Islands has long been popular with divers but there are a variety of accommodations from live-aboard dive boats to all-inclusive resorts.  Roatan along with its two sister island – Utila and Guanaja – are located on the second largest barrier reef.   
2. Caymans:  The Caymans are a British Overseas Territory made up of three islands in the western Caribbean Sea. Grand Cayman, the largest island, is known for its beach resorts and varied scuba diving and snorkeling sites.  A great place to pet a ray.
3. Bonaire: The Island is part of the Netherlands and out of the hurricane zone so any time of year to visit is great. It is known for great diving with some sites that can be accessed by just walking into the water. The pink salt flats are unique as is the donkey rescue center.
4. Haiti: Haiti could benefit
from tourism money at it is still trying to recover from the 2010 earthquake but most of Haiti’s resorts and landmarks such as the Citadel and ruins of Sans-Souci, once the royal  palace of Haiti’s 19th century King Henry I. There are great beaches. 
5. St. Lucia: The name may conjure up romance but there is also adventure. Not to miss is the Diamond Botanical Gardens to learn about how cocoa is grown and processed into chocolate. Plan to visit the waterfalls that has been featured in several movies. The island is a favorite stop for yacht owners.
6. Jamaica:  The Island is a favorite destination for those
looking for reasonable places to stay especially at one of the many all-inclusive resorts. Montego Bay has British-colonial architecture and the capital of Kingston is home to the Bob Marley Museum.  Dunn’s River Falls is a must-do.
7. Curacao: The Dutch island is out of the hurricane belt and known for its beaches tucked into coves and is large coral reefs. The capital, Willemstad is picture perfect with pastel-colored colonial architecture. Onshore access to the reefs makes it popular with snorkelers and divers. 
Barbados: The eastern Caribbean island is part of the British Commonwealth where afternoon tea and cricket are still local traditions. Don’t miss the Jacobean-style St. Nicholas Abbey.  The mansion is one of the oldest plantation houses in the Caribbean. A do-not miss is Animal Flower Cave with pools deep enough to swim in. 
9. Grenada: The smell will tell you why Grenada is called the “Spice Isle.” There are several nutmeg plantations to visit. The capital of St. George has Georgian buildings and an 18th century fort, and, of course, resorts and beaches.  Check out the world’s first underwater sculpture park. 

10. Trinidad & Tobago: The two-island nation is off the coast of Venezuela and is known for its distinctive Creole traditions and cuisines. The smaller island of Tobago is known for its beaches and the Tobago Main Ridge Forest Reserve which shelters hummingbirds. There are daily flights and ferries connection the two islands.