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Day trips and excursions in the Caribbean

The islands in the Caribbean are virtual playgrounds, cloaked in white sand beaches, waterfalls and pastel-coloured cityscapes. But there are also flavours of the unknown that come in the form of towering mountains and caves dating back thousands of years, which need whole day trips to do them any justice. Here are our top picks for Caribbean day trips and excursions.

Lounge on the barren shores of Lime Cay, Jamaica

Lime Cay is an uninhabited island that lies about 15 minutes off the coast from Port Royal, accessible only by boat.

When the tide comes in, sometimes Lime Cay ceases to exist at all. But when the water is out, you're left with one of the most gorgeous beaches in all of Jamaica, with clear water that's primed for snorkelling. Just make sure you bring absolutely everything you might need for a day out here – towel, food and sun cream, to start – as there aren't any facilities to pick up necessities.

Snorkel in the Natural Pool, Aruba

The Natural Pool is a site regularly frequented by holidaymakers, and it's gained itself a bit of a reputation around Aruba.

Surrounded by craggy slopes of volcanic rock, the Natural Pool – or conchi, as it's known locally – is a spot that's so untouched, you'll swear you discovered it. The water here is deep and clear, excellent for a high-flying plunge or snorkel over the mossy rocks.

Go beneath the earth in Harrison’s Cave, Barbados

Don't let the deep, dark depths of Harrison's Cave creep you out. This living cave is one of Barbados' true natural wonders and the most visited attractions on the island. Its jaw-dropping interior is spiked with stalactites and stalagmites that have been forming for thousands of years. You'll be transported down into the caverns via a tram and then taken past streams and waterfalls that empty into crystal clear pools.

Dunn’s River Falls, Jamaica

Found near Ocho Rios, Dunn's River Falls is one of Jamaica's most popular sites, and with good reason. It essentially consists of a giant waterfall – we're talking 55 metres high and 180 metres long – stacked like giant stairs with little lagoons scattered below.

Many adventurers choose to brave the hour-long climb up the falls through the water with the help of a guide. There's also a footpath running alongside it for those that don't want to get wet.

Jump into the Irie Blue Hole, Jamaica

When you say the name out loud, the nature of this strange natural place is revealed, as it's, in fact, an eerie blue hole. A secluded natural hole whose waters are glowingly turquoise, to be exact.

The Irie Blue Hole is a place to indulge in some serious rest and recuperation, or you could hike up to the waterfall and swing from the Tarzan-like vine into the pool. It's recommended that you hire a guide to take you up to this beautiful spot, as traversing across the slippery rocks alone can sometimes be tricky.

Scale the Pitons, St Lucia

St Lucia's two Piton Mountains are famed for being the most photographed spots on the island. These two massive volcanic plugs are surrounded by water, and classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Climbing to the top of them is hard work, although Gros Piton is larger and so less steep. Once you do scale them, even to a low height, you'll be rewarded with an eye-poppingly green terrain and some of the best views in all of the Caribbean.

Tour Old Havana from a vintage car, Cuba

The older sections of Havana have that undeniably-eerie sense of having been frozen in simpler times, with colonial architecture towering overhead and the sound of music drifting in from alleyways. There's no better way to tour this iconic slice of Cuba than from a vintage car. You'll notice quickly the abundance of classic cars dotted around Havana, many of which are available to hire for an afternoon of jet-setting around the city.

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