- Maracas Bay, Trinidad and Tobago1 of 10
- Goat Island, Trinidad and Tobago2 of 10
- Pigeon Point, Trinidad and Tobago3 of 10
- St Geoge's, Grenada4 of 10
- Reduit Beach, St Lucia5 of 10
- Watersports, St Lucia6 of 10
- Palm Beach, Aruba7 of 10
- Welcome sign, Curaçao8 of 10
- Girl on the beach, Curaçao9 of 10
- Boats on beach, Curaçao10 of 10
Travel in the Southern Caribbean is a heady mix of laid back island life and Latin spirit. Comprising the islands closest to South America travelers to this part of the world can expect a trip to a tropical paradise, with a unique history, culture, and attitude. St Lucia is an island paradise visitors just keep coming back to. With its lush verdant greenery, mountainous landscape, and miles of perfect beaches St Lucia is the image many people dream of when they dream of far-flung paradisiacal holidays. As unreal in its beauty as it may at first appear, however, St Lucia is real, and it is the real deal. Known particularly for its secluded resorts loved by honeymooners and loved-up couples, St Lucia has a reputation for being the perfect place for a little remote, beach-side rejuvenation. It is also something of an adventurer’s adventure playground as well, however, particularly as the mountainous rainforest and volcanic peaks, which are pervasive throughout the island allow for such amusements as zip lining, canopy tours and the more traditional hiking, as well as the possibility of sailing and surfing off the eastern coast, and even ATV tours. And as with most of the islands in this area, there is the chance for world class scuba diving off shore, and breathtaking horseback riding on the beach. The island’s mixed heritage and history has created a multicultural mix of French, Spanish, Creole and English influences today, and nowhere can this best be seen or experienced than in St Lucia’s unique cuisine. Seafood is, of course, a specialty but you’ll be sure to taste something new and exciting on a trip here.
Aruba has been inhabited since 2500 AD, a fact which can be attested to by the cave drawings found on the island. It has since experienced a turbulent history including both Spanish and Dutch rule, as well as the mass enslavement of the Amerindian population during the 16th century by the Spanish colonists, who took them to the island of Hispaniola to work the estates and plantations there. Despite this, or perhaps because of this, Aruba is a proud nation of multicultural people, who celebrate the diversity of their island, and welcome visitors and travelers to their shores with open arms. It is, as so many Caribbean islands are, a truly stunning landscape one ringed by pristine beaches, blessed with azure waters, and treated to a strong wind which has created the unique Divi-divi trees which are permanently sculpted by the wind. The distinctive history and culture of the island has of course impacted the cuisine of Aruba, and there are myriad marvelous restaurants to experience epicurean heaven at on the island. As on St Lucia, Creole cooking is a particular specialty with many visitors leaving the islands with a strong penchant for blackened fish and Creole sauce. There are plenty of experiences and adventures to be had by enthusiastic sea farers in Aruba, especially for divers and keen snorkelers, as the coral reef off the south shore accounts for 20 fantastic dive sites, and there are 11 diver-friendly wrecks just ready and waiting for you to discover. For land-lubbers there’s golf, tennis, horseback riding and even casinos for the gambler in you. And of course, there’s always the white sand beaches to relax and rejuvenate on, whether taking a break from a fearsome activity schedule, or just settling down to a good book and a great tanning opportunity.
Grenada refers to itself as the Caribbean’s ‘Spice Island’, an island defined as much by its people, as its history, culture, and stunning landscape. Comprising the main island of Grenada, as well as Petite Martinique and Carriacou, the archipelago is a truly breathtaking combination of superlative scenery, tradition, spice, and an exceptionally welcoming population. Surrounded on all sides by turquoise waters, and ringed with pristinely white sandy beaches, Grenada offers the very best of the Caribbean. As with Aruba, Grenada and its surrounding islands were first inhabited by the Amerindian peoples of the Arawak tribe, and their physical legacy remains on the island today as can be witnessed with the engravings which have been left on boulders in Dusquesne Bay. The culture and history of the island is closely influenced by the legacy of the Amerindians who once lived here, but there are also French, British, and Spanish influences. As with other Caribbean islands the impact of the trade in African slaves has also left an indelible cultural mark, as has the proximity to South America. This is a truly mixed-heritage island, one which is embraced wholly and enthusiastically by its people, and which they are keen to impart to visitors who learn to love the shores of Grenada, and the Spice Isles as much as they do. The island is laid-back and fun-loving, but there is also a distinctively carnival-like atmosphere, even when there isn’t a carnival in process, something which may well be attributable to the cultural impact of the South American countries these islands sit close to.
Trinidad and Tobago lie closest to South America of string of islands which comprise the Southern Caribbean. Much like Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago have been greatly influenced by the culture of their neighbors to the south in Venezuela, and this can best be seen and experienced in their carnivals and carnival like attitude to life and celebrating. Most holidaymakers to the area tend to head to the more relaxed island of Tobago which is much more geared towards tourism than business-orientated Trinidad. But there are pristine white beaches everywhere to bring you tropical pleasure, as well as achingly azure waters and skies, the warmth of the tropical sun, and welcoming people to put a spark in your time spent on these magical islands. Like much of the rest of the Southern Caribbean, the original inhabitants of the island, the Amerindians’ presence can still be felt, but there have been myriad and multiple influences inflicted on the islands since then. Tobago proved popular in the past with French, British and Dutch colonizers, all of whom wished to capitalize on the island’s natural bounty. There have been several invasions and attacks, including those by pirates in Tobago’s history, and it is a history the islanders feel it is important to honor and share through the preservation and restoration of various historical sites and buildings. Now, of course, the island is a much more relaxed and indeed relaxing place to spend time in. There are beaches to explore and recline on for the sun seekers, treasures to be discovered under the sea by the divers, food to be tasted and fall in love with by the epi-curious, and rum to be to be drunk for those in search of a good time. A picture perfect paradise awaits you in the tropical realm of the Southern Caribbean.
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