The islands of the Caribbean offer holidays that are diverse as its famous natural splendour. Famous destinations such as Cuba, Barbados, the Bahamas, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Antigua, Dominica, and Trinidad and Tobago are proud members of this community, which is split into several island groups, each with its own local flavour. In total, over 700 islands, islets, reefs and cays make up the region which sits between the Gulf of Mexico, the Floridian Straits and the Atlantic Ocean.
The terrain varies greatly. Some islands are of volcanic origin and offer mountainous forests and ragged coastlines. Others have relatively flat terrain and lush tropical vegetation, but all boast an abundance of fascinating plant and animal life. Though the climate of the area is tropical, rainfall varies with elevation creating great biodiversity and spectacular geographical environments from cloud forests to cactus scrublands. Offshore, the waters of the Caribbean Sea teem with all kind of marine life, and are most famous for majestic coral reefs, large schools of migratory fish and ocean crossing turtles.
It’s a dream trip for many holidaymakers offering destinations that are steeped in history; providing a wonderful backdrop for both the adventurous explorer and those wishing to be pampered in the lap of luxury. Eco-tourism is a growing industry, and recent years have seen the development of truly breathtaking holiday spots that offer an immersion into a variety of beautiful landscapes.
Birdwatching in Trinidad and Tobago
The twinned islands of Trinidad and Tobago contain the richest and most diverse birdlife in all of the Caribbean – more than 450 species. A highlight for birdwatchers is the Asa Wright Nature Centre situated in the Arima and Aripo valleys of Trinidad and Tobago which protects over 1500 acres forested land. This former plantation has been allowed to return to pristine rain forest and is a mecca for bird watchers. It’s even possible to stay in the heart of the nature reserve as accommodation is available in cottages adjoining the visitor centre.
Glamping in Dominica
Eco and adventure tourism has strong roots in Dominica with many options available for a stay in the heart of the rain forest. Some destinations offer more robust dwellings such as this two-story construction in the Osa Peninsula region – the site of Central America’s largest remaining Pacific Coast Rainforest. For the true glamping experience, opt for a rugged South African-style safari tent, sturdy enough for you to feel safe while relaxing in the middle of the outdoors. Snorkelling, diving, birdwatching, hiking and canoeing are easily accessible options for exploring the lush tropical countryside in the surrounding areas.
Beach living in Jamaica
Beach huts are very popular in the island paradise of Jamaica, and offer a glorious way to spend your holiday. Having the beach a stone’s throw away offers an idyllic lifestyle for those wanting to relax underneath a coconut, but it also appeals to those for whom kitesurfing or windsurfing sound like fun. Options range from high beach bungalows with full hotel service to backpacker style huts with few amenities, here are some places to start your search.
The cheapest time to visit the Caribbean is May through November, but all year round you are guaranteed an abundance of options for accommodation and entertainment to suit any budget.