Spotlight on the Caribbean

From spectacular beaches to intriguing cultures and breathtaking scenery, the Caribbean is a pleasing destination for getting away from it all. Across the islands you’ll also find a wide range of new things to see and do to keep you inspired during your stay. A sunshine filled vacation with a wealth of options to experience: It’s easy to see why these islands are so inviting!

A lot of things are changing in the Caribbean both on and off the beaten track.  New and improved sights to see include the Hato Caves of Curacao with their limestone structures and long nose fruit bats. Dominica continues its expansion of eco-focused and adventure tourism while  Jamaica is seeing more luxurious all-inclusive resorts, rustic cottages and boutique hotels being built. Whatever you are looking for, there’s an island to meet your requirements.

Changes taking place in Cuba have resulted in the island opening up for more tourism. Fathom became the first American cruise line to receive approval for culturally focussed sailings from Miami to Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba.  (See this month’s cruising article for details.) There are more private tour guides operating in Cuba as well to give you a personal experience of the island with local hospitality.  Things are changing fast here but some things remain as delightful as ever. Colorful, well maintained classic cars are ever present and infectious Cuban music is heard everywhere. In the 500 year old town of Trinidad, there’s live music in the square every night for a combination of history and culture you won’t want to miss.  Cuba has a long and eventful history, worth reading about before you go for a fuller understanding of what you are about to see.

The Caribbean continues to be a good destination for voluntourism – the chance to combine tourism with volunteering to help the people and places you visit. Many companies, including our On Location partners, have a voluntourism division giving you the opportunity to lend a hand while in the Caribbean.

  • Partnership with a Mission is an initiative of our On Location partner in Jamaica that lets you volunteer in schools as well as homes for children and the elderly.
  • REEF is an organization for divers and marine enthusiasts committed to ocean conservation. Their 2017 schedule offers educational and reef-saving activities around the world, including many islands in the Caribbean.
  • Reading Road Trips is Sandals Foundation’s program which lets you take time from your resort to assist students at local schools in the Caribbean.
  • Live Different Builds, developed by WestJet, gives you the chance to help build houses and schools in the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Haiti.
  • Make a Difference while cruising - for details on helping out at your ports of call, see this month’s cruising article.

So there’s a lot happening on the islands of the Caribbean with plenty of opportunities to participate in something new and exciting in this ever-popular sun destination.

Photo: Havana, Cuba
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