The islands of the Caribbean Sea or West Indies are an extensive archipelago in the far west of the Atlantic Ocean, mostly strung between North and South America. They've long been known as a resort vacation destination for honeymooners and retirees, but a small movement toward eco-tourism and backpacking has started to open up the Caribbean to more independent travel. With year-round good weather (with the occasional but sometimes serious exception of hurricane season in the late summer and early fall), promotional air fares from Europe and North America, and hundreds of islands to explore, the Caribbean offers something for almost everyone.
The Caribbean islands were first inhabited by the Arawak Indians, then were invaded by a more aggressive tribe, the Caribs. Unfortunately, neither could appreciate their victory forever, although the Arawaks may have had a quiet reign of nearly two millenia. Then the Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French, Danish, and British arrived, after which the Carib population steeply declined due to various factors. The islands have known many historic battles and more than a few pirate stories.
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda are two Caribbean islands, (Antigua, pronounced "an-tee'-gah" and Barbuda), that form a country that lies between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east-southeast of Puerto Rico, off the coast of South America.
Antigua is perhaps the island which most typifies the modern day view of a small Caribbean destination. With few other natural resources, tourism dominates the local economy of both islands. Stunning white sand beaches abound, and on Antigua there is no shortage of attendant high-end resorts. Barbuda still has the beaches but little tourism-based infrastructure.
Destinations in Antigua and Barbuda:
- Antigua: the main island and a major Caribbean resort destination
- Barbuda: few people, even fewer facilities, magnificent beaches
- Rodonda: tiny uninhabited island
- Saint John's - Capital, on the island of Antigua
- Codrington - A town on the island of Barbuda
- Dickenson Bay
- Dickenson Bay
- Half Moon Bay
Barbados is an island in the Caribbean, northeast of Venezuela. The island is portrayed as the Little Britain of the Caribbean because of its long association as a British colony
The west coast holds numerous deluxe resorts, and it and the interior highlands have several historical sites with picturesque views. World class watersports including surfing at Soup Bowl on the east coast and various breaks along the west when the swell is up. The south coast has great surf and a spot on the world windsurfing tour at Silver snds.
Travel inland to various plantation houses which put on meals and exhibitions. Visit the animal flower cave or Barbados wildlife reserve. Nightclubing at beach bars such as the harbour lights and the boat yard. Cricket at the Kensintgon Oval in Bridgetown. Otherwise just lime (chill out)
Grenada is a group of three larger islands (Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique) and several tiny islands in the Caribbean, or West Indies. It lies just northeast of Trinidad and Tobago, and southwest of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. It is famous for spices and is known as the "Spice Isle", being a major source of nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and cocoa.
There is so much to see in Grenada ... historic forts, lakes, waterfalls, spice estates - some of them still operational today, spice gardens, floral gardens (Grenada won its 7th Gold Medal at the Chelsea Flower Show in London in 2009), rum distilleries (with generous samples), plantation houses, Amerindian petroglyphs, etc.
Belmont Estate Located in St Patrick only an hour’s scenic drive from the island’s capital, St. George. Belmont Estate is a unique and authentic 17th century plantation that offers guests an opportunity to participate in and observe the workings of a fully functional historic plantation. Belmont Estate has forged a strategic alliance with The Grenada Chocolate Company, to make the world's finest dark organic chocolate. The Grenada Chocolate Company and Belmont Estate are members of the Grenada Organic Cocoa Farmers Co-operative Society Ltd., that grow organic cocoa to make the product. The co-operative consists of about twelve farmers that have received organic certification through the German certifying company Ceres. The fine restaurant on property is usually closed on weekends, and reservations are recommended on other days.
Grand Etang Nature Reserve is in the parish of St. Andrew and is famous for its Crater lake, Mt. Qua Qua is a mountain within the Grand Etang Nature Reserve, Mt. St. Catherine is with 840 meters (2756 feet) the highest mountain in Grenada,
Concord Waterfalls are 3 Waterfalls located at Concord in St. John, Annandale Waterfall in the St. George's district, Mt. Carmel Waterfall is the highest Waterfall in Grenada, Seven Sister Waterfalls is a group of 7 Waterfalls close to the Grand Etang Nature Reserve in St. Andrew, Honeymoon Waterfall is secluded in the rain forest close to the Seven Sister Waterfalls.
River Antoine Rum Distillery is the oldest Rum Factory in the western hemisphere and still operating with a water wheel, Clark's Court Distillery is in the St. George district and is famous for a wide variety of rum products.
Dougaldston Estate is the oldest Spice Plantation in Grenada - close to Gouyave in the parish of St John, Gouyave Nutmeg Factory a "must do" in Grenada the "spice island".
Saint Lucia is a British Commonwealth country that is an island in the Caribbean, off the coast of Central America. It lies between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago.
The twin Pitons (Gros Piton and Petit Piton) are striking cone-shaped peaks south of Soufriere that are one of the scenic natural highlights of the Caribbean.
Pigeon Island nature reserve - just north of Gros Islet, the park has some of the oldest buildings on St.Lucia and affords views across to Martinique.
The Sulfur Springs - just south of Soufriere, these hot springs are one of the main attractions on the island. There is a pool that the hot water runs through, so make sure to take your swimming trunks and go for a dip!
Climbing the Gros Piton is an achievable goal for most people. The trailhead begins at an elevation of about 600 feet (approx. 180 m) above sea level and requires about two hours of moderate to strenuous hiking to reach the summit of about 2600 feet (approx. 800 m) above sea level. A further 1-and-a-half hours are needed to descend.
Snorkeling is popular and a number of beaches are suitable.