Six options in the Caribbean for travelers of different profiles – Travel

With its heat, sea and slower pace, the Caribbean attracts travelers looking for an escape from everyday life. “This heavenly vibe is very appealing right now as everyone is exhausted and mourning everything the pandemic has brought us,” says Terika L. Haynes, owner of Dynamite Travel.

The region is quite diverse. Stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to South America, each part of the Caribbean offers something unique. To find the right version of paradise for you, we spoke to experts on travel to the region to share their recommendations.

To enjoy the beach: Antigua

If a postcard beach is what you’re after, Haynes suggests Antigua. The island advertises that it has 365 beaches, so “you can go to a different one every day of the year,” says Haynes. The small island, with its soft sand and clear blue water, is easy to explore. You can stay at a resort and enjoy what’s on your doorstep, but “with so much scenery to explore, you might want a car to go to the beach,” says Haynes.

Laura Sangster, founder of Caribbean Journey, who has been to the region more than 150 times, says Guana Island in the British Virgin Islands is the best beach option. “If you want pure white sand, crystal clear water, and sharing the beach with just a handful of other guests, you need to go there,” says Sangster. A private island measuring just over 3 square kilometers, Guana is home to lush rainforest and mountains that are great for hiking. All of this comes at a price: an all-inclusive ocean view home at the Guana Island hotel costs $890 a night.

To eat and drink: Anguilla

Joshua E. Bush, chief executive of the Avenue Two Travel travel agency, calls Anguilla “a culinary paradise within a paradise.” Haynes feels the same. Influenced by indigenous Caribbean, African, French, Spanish and English cuisines, “Anguilla is known as the culinary capital of the Caribbean,” he adds. “You can experience great food and still enjoy really beautiful beaches.”

Haynes says travelers love Anguilla’s variety of cuisine, from farm-to-table options to roadside steakhouses and even fine-dining restaurants run by Michelin-starred chefs. Among the delicacies not to be missed are grilled lobsters, barbecued chops with fried dumplings or pigeon peas with rice, Anguilla’s national dish.

Sangster chooses Saint Barthélemy, or St. Barths, to eat. Shayna Mizrahi, founder and CEO of Vive Voyage, agrees. “The quality of food and culinary options in St. Barths is unparalleled in the Caribbean,” she says, attesting to the island’s array of casual and upscale restaurants. As a French territory, St. Barths is known for its French cuisine, with Indian and Creole influences. Order fresh seafood; one of Mizrahi’s memorable meals was a whole sea bass grilled over a campfire at the Gyp Sea beach club.

Amina Dearmon, founder and owner of Perspectives Travel, votes in Puerto Rico, birthplace of the piña colada. “San Juan’s food scene is influenced by all the cultures that have inhabited the city throughout its 500-year history,” she says. “Take a food tour so you can get a mix of history and taste testing, then head back to your favorite restaurants for full meals.”

For cheaper prices: Bahamas

The Bahamas serves as an island destination for travelers concerned about overspending. Mizrahi points to the extensive list of hotels, resorts, and all-inclusive properties available at varying prices. Also, flights from the United States to the Bahamas are usually cheaper. Dearmon also recommends the Bahamas. “Travelers will appreciate that some of the popular Bahamian dishes like conch dumplings (a typical shellfish), grouper, peas and rice are well priced and plentiful,” he says.

Hayne’s choice is the Riviera Maya, Mexico. The region stretches south from Cancun to Tulum and “works really well for groups and families who need value for money,” says Haynes. Also, getting to Mexico tends to be easier (there are direct flights from Brazil) than flying to other parts of the Caribbean.

For nightlife: Barbados

For Barbadians, “everyone seems to want to have fun,” says Haynes. As evidence, she points to the Fish Fry, a massive street party with food, drink and dancing that takes place on Fridays in the town of Oistins. She also likes the fact that there are a variety of options, from clubs with house music to more intimate jazz venues. If you plan your trip, you can visit Barbados’ version of Carnival called Crop Over. “It’s 24 hours of partying, seven days a week,” says Haynes.

Dearmon recommends St. Barths, where “beach club reservations are almost as important as hotel reservations,” he says. Even though the party starts early in the day, the music plays until late at night. “When the sun goes down, the DJs come out to play a set while you dine at some of the most renowned French restaurants in the world,” she says. “After dinner, enjoy live music, go clubbing or head back to a beach club for a drink before doing it all over again the next day.”

To travel with friends: Dominican Republic

Joan Roca, CEO and founder of travel planning company Essentialist, says the Dominican Republic is a great location for a trip with friends thanks to its variety of accommodations (villas, resorts, hotels) and healthy mix of beach, nature, restaurants. and nightlife. Haynes organizes many trips for families and weddings. “There are a lot of really good resorts,” she says. And that number keeps growing.

For hiking and diving: Saba

For “nature lovers who want to get away”, Haynes recommends the island of Saba, just eight square kilometers. A 12-minute flight or 90-minute ferry ride from Sint Maarten, Saba is best known for its charm and excellent walks. The island is the top of a volcano that last erupted in 1640. There is one problem: Saba has no sandy beaches. Instead, visitors can swim and snorkel at Saba Marine Park, around the island. As Saba restricts fishing and anchoring, there is a population of over 150 species of fish around the underwater lava flows and hot springs.

Both Sangster and Dearmon choose Dominica as an off-the-beaten-path destination, citing the island’s eco-adventures, great hotels and culture. “The island’s lush greenery will be the first thing that strikes you,” says Dearmon. “The rainforests, mountains and waterfalls are the natural wonders that make Dominica a destination for hiking, diving and wellness vacations.” She recommends that visitors take trips to the Portsmouth Saturday Market and Kalinago Territory, an area of ​​the island where descendants of the original people of Dominica still live.

About Abhishek Pratap

Food maven. Unapologetic travel fanatic. MCU's fan. Infuriatingly humble creator. Award-winning pop culture ninja.

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