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Creative Caribbean Vacation Ideas

Caribbean Vacation Ideas

The Caribbean is a staple destination for many North Americans for three reasons: sunshine, beaches, and affordable flights. Given how winning the formula is, it’s not likely to change anytime soon. In fact, for many people living in Florida and other southern states, it’s common to have a favorite Caribbean destination.

Whether stopping over in Puerto Rico to see friends, heading to the Bahamas for an affordable week on the beach, or jet-setting to St. Kitts and Nevis for a luxury dream stay, any visit to the Caribbean will feel familiar. Sometimes, that’s a good thing—after all, if something’s not broken, why fix it?

Still, some travelers might be looking to craft a unique itinerary for their next vacation. And just because the Caribbean is a familiar region, that doesn’t mean there are a limited number of adventures to be had.

Let’s take a closer look at five ways to infuse a little extra creativity and excitement into your next trip to the islands.

Don’t Just Go Out, Stay In

It’s easy to stay out to think you’re getting the most out of a vacation. However, staying in can be just as exciting.

For example, one of the region’s most popular destinations remains the Atlantic Bahamas, thanks to the resort’s diverse entertainment options. Many head to the venue for its massive casino floor, as well as its vibrant club scene and water park.

However, one of the easiest ways to save money and try something new is to stick to a virtual casino, which you can play directly from your hotel room. The idea is to splurge on a hotel room with a view and prime location, then spend a little extra time inside.

Today, free poker platforms emulate the same excitement and challenges as playing in person. Along with Atlantis’s free movie night and accessible boardwalk, sticking to a free poker site is one of the easiest ways to breathe new life into a tropical getaway — it’s also a great chance to let any sunburn heal!

Put Food First

Not many consider a trip to the Caribbean to be a culinary destination. However, the region is home to unique culinary Creole traditions. By doing a little extra research about the island you’re heading to, you can uncover information about its specific heritage — and find a great restaurant.

For example, Nevis (of Saint Kitts and Nevis) has an annual mango festival each July. The festival brings local celebrity chefs and international chefs from around the world. Together, they create a series of unforgettable dishes with mango as a base or garnish.

Anguilla is also known for its food scene, which combines street food with simple dishes that pull influence from Europe, Africa, and North America. Those looking for a Michelin star-quality meal won’t be disappointed — and they’ll find staples like pigeon peas with rice on the menu.

Explore the Wildlife & Sea life

If there’s one animal that’s universally paired with sunny beach vacations, it’s the smiling dolphin. Most islands offer affordable adventures that include swimming with dolphins. However, the Caribbean’s wildlife is much more varied than most think.

For example, bird watching has become incredibly popular in the region. Groups like Birds Caribbean have created itineraries and guides that help travelers identify the best areas to observe by season and species. Did you know that the world’s smallest bird, the bee hummingbird, can only be found in Cuba?

Aside from bird watching, exploring marine parks is another great way to try something new.

Saba, a small island off the coast of Saint Marten, doesn’t have any beaches, but the volcanic cone is home to over 150 species of unique fish protected by local ordinance. Some visitors travel from as far as Australia to experience Saba Marine Park.

Caribbean Vacation Ideas

Create a Sports Itinerary

The main sports offerings in the Caribbean include sailboating, fishing, and surfing. All three will allow visitors to enjoy nature, challenge themselves, and experience something new. Others may prefer to stick to the golf greens.

However, the Caribbean has its own unique sports traditions that aren’t related to tourism.

First and foremost, the West Indies cricket team competes internationally in Test and One Day International events, including the ICC Cricket World Cup. The West Indies team (known as the Windies) includes players from fifteen different Caribbean nations, including overseas territories belonging to the UK, US, and the Netherlands.

Locals can often be found watching soccer (or football). Caribbean nations compete in the CONCACAF competition, which is FIFA’s regional field for North American teams. Each year, teams in the CONCACAF (including the US) compete in the league, regularly traveling to Caribbean nations for away games. Check out the league’s schedule for a chance to catch a live game.

Lastly, baseball is another staple for locals. Any US-based MLB fans are likely familiar with players born in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Cuba. Those heading to these nations can anticipate plenty of baseball coverage on domestic leagues and North America’s MLB.

It’s not difficult to find tickets to local sports events during the regular season — and keep in mind that many countries include winter leagues, given the warm climate.

Head to a Special Event

Though lumped together geographically, each Caribbean island has its own unique culture. Many historic traditions continue to be celebrated through community festivals, which tourists are always welcome to join in with. As mentioned above, Nevis has its annual mango festival, for instance.

Jamaica, unsurprisingly, hosts one of the world’s biggest reggae festivals, Reggae Sumfest. Going for over thirty years, it brings local stars and international artists together.

St. Kitts also has a hugely popular music festival spanning five days that’s hosted in a massive sports stadium — giving it a larger-than-life feel.

Meanwhile, Barbados’ Crop Over festival celebrates the end of the sugar cane season. Locals gather together in a massive celebration that has multiple competitive events. For example, the Pic-O-De-Crop Calypso goes to the local calypso artist with the best moves and is the event’s most coveted award.

 

 

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