Away from the main resorts and larger cities, the Caribbean offers a wealth of unexpected delights. Get off the beaten track and discover them for yourself.
One of the best ways to explore is to hire a local guide, who will take you to those places that are a secret from the standard guidebooks. Or you can join one of the tours offered in most resort centers and catering to everyone from nature lovers to history buffs.
You can relive the days of piracy and colonial warfare by visiting ruined hilltop forts, signal stations and coastal defences, some with their cannon still pointing out to sea. Another day, you can investigate the Caribbean’s industrial and agricultural past by visiting abandoned gold and copper mines, old salt mills and sugar factories, or former grand plantations.
If you want an experience that simply isn’t available anywhere else, you can try the world’s only breeding centers for conches and the sea turtles.
Take a stroll through a botanical garden and marvel at 30-foot fern trees, rampant hibiscus and bougainvillea. Get talking to a local and, if you’re lucky, he’ll take out his machete, chop the end off a coconut and introduce you to the delights of truly fresh coconut milk, straight off the tree.
A number of our islands are uninhabited. Take a day trip to one of them and picnic in glorious isolation, with only a shy iguana for company. Or visit one of the many fishing villages that dot our coastline and experience a different aspect of our region’s love affair with the sea.