Totally tranquil, beautiful beachy backdrops and unique yummy cuisine. The Caribbean is the perfect place to escape to if you want to feel like you’re in a sun-soaked dream. Take your pick from the warm, welcoming and wonderful nations, all of which are special in their own way.
Why Holiday in the Caribbean?
If you’ve ever dreamt of the perfect beach holiday and you’re not sure where to find it, it’s in the Caribbean. Calm warm waters meet smooth white sandy shores with a beautiful backdrop of lush green trees. Somewhere in the distance there’ll be steel drum music playing and it’s guaranteed you’ll make friends with the welcoming locals who love to stop and chat. Bright blue skies are always above you, because you’re in the place where there’s wonderful warm weather all year round. Whether you’re looking for a magical family escape, a special getaway with your mates or a relaxing-yet-romantic holiday with a loved one, a Caribbean beach break is a dream come true.
Beach Holidays in the Caribbean
Beaches in the Caribbean really are something else. Not only do the sun, sea and sand combine to create a beautiful setting, but the beaches ooze tranquillity so you feel instantly relaxed as soon as you feel the soft sand beneath your feet.
In the Bahamas, you’ll find beautiful tropical beaches, but you’ll also find one very special spot of shore. On Big Major Cay in Exuma, you’ll find a beautiful sandy beach with some very special swimming buddies to meet – the swimming pigs! With daily boat tours going to ‘Pig Beach’, you can easily meet the pigs and piglets that live their best life relaxing and swimming under the Caribbean sun. Over to Barbados, there may not be pigs, but with the island only being around 34km long and 22.5km wide, each of the island’s beaches – big or small – are always within easy reach. Find friendly beach shacks, daring jet skis and even spot a celebrity’s yacht (or two) – whether you want to find peaceful hidden gems or beaches with a buzzing atmosphere, this is the island to find them.
If long stretches of sandy shore are what you’re looking for, Jamaica’s Negril Beach boasts the nickname ‘Seven Mile Beach’ for an obvious reason. With just over 11km of soft sand, bars, cafes and hotels, this popular pick for tourists has something for all sun-seekers. A little less tourism and a little more seclusion, St. Lucia’s beaches give off more of a desert island feel. Over 50 beaches are featured along the coast, some of which fit the typical Caribbean beach description, but others are striking black-sand volcanic bays. These unique beaches can be found on the south-western coast and are a must-visit when on the island.
Aside from the amazing city of Havana, Cuba is also famous for its crystal-clear waters and sparkling sandy shores. You’ll find dazzling beach after beach on Cuba’s mainland, but over on Cayo Coco you can discover the pristine white sandy beaches that are something of perfection.
Food and Drink in the Caribbean
When you think of Caribbean cuisine, one dish that may spring to mind is jerk chicken, rice and peas. A staple meal in some of the islands, this simple yet tasty combination is one you can find almost anywhere, from restaurants to beach shacks, and even sometimes in the back of a little food truck. Other delicious Caribbean favourites include macaroni pie (once considered a poor man’s dish), rotis filled with curry, and curried goat – usually served with rice and steamed veg. If you like your meals with a potato side, try plantain – a savoury variety of banana that has a similar texture to potato when cooked.
Over in Cuba, the cuisine takes Caribbean cuisine and combines it with Spanish and African influences to create incredible unique tastes. A must-try dish is the Cuban sandwich, made up of Swiss cheese, roast pork, serrano ham, yellow mustard and pickles on Cuban bread. Similar to Cuba, the Dominican Republic also features hints of Spain and Africa in its cooking, so you can find the typical Caribbean meals, but also hearty stews filled with beans and meats. Plus, like every other Caribbean nation, fresh seafood dishes are a top pick – one of the many benefits of being by the Caribbean Sea.
Fruit juices are typically the soft drink of choice across the islands, which is also why you will come across some of the fruitiest, juiciest cocktails ever tasted there – which can ideally be found in beach bars. The local beers never disappoint, but if you are more of a spirit fan, rum is the typical choice due to it being a product of the islands.
Visiting the Caribbean
Lying on the tropical beaches is an unbeatable day in our eyes, but if you like to have an itinerary of things to explore whilst you’re away, you are spoiled for choice in the Caribbean. Each destination has their pick of fun, exciting excursions and attractions, but some of the definite things to do across the Caribbean include boat trips and snorkelling in the clear Caribbean waters to see the tropical fish and turtles. Watersports including jet skiing and paddle boarding are also top picks, as well as visiting beach clubs with volleyball, sea inflatables and so much more which are a fantastic pick for family days out.
Useful Info for Visiting the Caribbean
Each of the Caribbean nations have their own languages, currency and traditions, so make sure to do your research about your specific destination before you go. A lot of the Caribbean islands speak English as their first language, but may have their own dialects, such as ‘Bajan’ (Barbados dialect) and ‘Jamaican Patois’ which is an English based language but with African influences. In Cuba and the Dominican Republic, the local language is Spanish, so brush up on your hola (‘hello’) and adios (‘goodbye’) to prepare to speak to the locals.
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