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Meet The Caribbean Islands: Part Two

By Kenya Barrett


The Caribbean — known for its culture, cuisines, and of course the Sea — has been a tourist hotspot for many years and features several island countries. We met some in Part One, but now, let's continue our journey to five more exciting islands!


Antigua & Barbuda

Capital City: Saint Johns
Official Language: English
Population: 97,928 (approx.)

Comprising the two namesake islands and several smaller islands (Green, Prickly Pear, York Island, Maiden, Long, Redonda, and Long Island), the country of Antigua and Barbuda is nestled right in the heart of the Leeward Islands. A popular destination for Caribbean-based cruise vacations, visitors from around the world have been flying in to experience the islands. Known for cuisine, beaches, and interesting landmarks, Antigua and Barbuda are definitely worth the trip.

With about 365 beaches located within the many islands that make up the country, you literally have a new beach to try out everyday of the year. In Antigua, you can visit the famed Dickerson Beach — a popular destination filled with local vendors and a collection of bars and restaurants. Also, travelers can participate in various water sport activities including jet skiing, parasailing, and even snorkeling. On the other side of the island, you can check out Devil’s Bridge National Park, which happens to be a naturally formed rock arch that presents some breathtaking views. Not too far away south is Nonsuch Bay, an area filled with resorts and more water-based activities to enjoy.

Although the island of Barbuda is a bit less populated, it still has quite a few things to do. Barbuda is home to a number of pink and white sand beaches including Barbuda Pink Sand Beach, Princess Diana Beach, Spanish Point, and 11 Mile Beach. Visitors can head to Frigate Sanctuary to view some of the island's most precious flying species or enjoy art and coffee at the Art Cafe.


Puerto Rico

Capital City: San Juan
Official Language: English, Spanish
Population: 3.194 million (approx.)

Puerto Rico, which translates from Spanish to “Rich Port”, continues to be a fan favorite for Caribbean destinations. Maybe it's the food, or the beaches, or the culture — honestly it’s probably all three. Although the country remains a United States territory, Puerto Rico boasts a unique cultural background that is authentic to the island natives.

To become fully immersed in the culture, visitors can start off in San Juan where they can explore the Capitol building that is rich in architecture and history. Then, you can check out the various museums and art galleries including the Museo de Arte y Diseño de Miramar, Sitio Arqueológico de Caparra, or the Bahia de San Juan to get some historical context. Further inland, you can check out The William Miranda Marín Botanical and Cultural Garden in the municipality of Cagus, while indulging in some of the local eateries as well. Looking for more fun in the sun? Travelers can tour any of the beautiful beaches that adorn the island. Some popular ones include Playa Ocean Park, Condado Beach, or Carolina Public Beach. Make sure to end your trip at Casa Bacardi, the world-famous rum distillery headquartered right on the isle.


Cayman Islands

Capital City: Georgetown
Official Language: English
Population: 65,720 (approx.)

Named after the presence of caimans located on the islands, Cayman Islands is a country of three main islands floating within the Western Caribbean Zone. Currently a commonwealth nation of the United Kingdom, the country is most famous for thriving as a major offshore financial safe-point for international businesses and business owners. Additionally, the islands are a popular stop for many Carib-based cruises, as their main port is located on the isle of Grand Cayman.

Right in the country’s capital of Georgetown, visitors can enjoy a great selection of bars and restaurants. Camana Bay, a newly built development, serves as a shopping and dining outdoor mall for locals and tourists to explore. South of this area, you can visit Heroes Square or Cayman Islands National Museum to learn more about the history and culture of the country. Many head straight to Seven Mile Beach — a beach that is just shy of seven miles long. Here, you can sip margaritas at the local bars, eat fresh conch at the many seafood spots, or just enjoy a glass boat tour along the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean Sea.


Montserrat

Capital City: Plymouth
Official Language: English
Population: 4,992 (approx.)

A small and humble island, Montserrat is quietly located within the Lesser Antilles and comes off as a secret hotspot for many travelers. Just shy of 5,000 inhabitants, the island boasts a number of beautiful tropical beaches, which are the country’s main selling point. One of the many attractions that Montserrat offers is their abundance of unique wildlife and flora as well as their active volcano — Soufriere Hills.

Along the coast, there are a few beaches that are sure to pique your interest. Little Bay Beach and Rendezvous Beach are two perfect locations to enjoy a cocktail and watch boats sail through the Caribbean Sea. Additionally, you can observe various cruise ships sailing into the port and tourists pouring out to enjoy the local scene. Interested in the history of Montserrat? Visitors can take a trip down to the National Museum of Montserrat to understand the country’s unique historical background.


Dominica

Capital City: Roseau
Official Language: English
Population: 71,991 (approx.)

Last but not least, we end our Caribbean tour at the island of Dominica. Also located in the Lesser Antilles, this mountainous country offers some of the most spectacular views of all the Caribbean islands. Perhaps the most geographically diverse, Dominica boasts waterfalls, volcanoes, freshwater lakes, and even gorges. Due to the island resting above a volcanic sea floor, much of the beaches and the geography is directly affected. This is evident at the famous Champagne Beach and Reef — where snorkelers can observe small gas bubbles rising from the sea floor.

Further inland, visitors can stop by the Sari-Sari Waterfall or go for a refreshing swim in the Titou Gorge. The Boiling Lake, a natural water reservoir, is a pretty sight but is dangerous due to the boiling temperatures caused by lava heating the lake. However, you can safely enjoy spa activities at Screw’s Sulphur Spa. Before leaving the island, be sure to visit Morne Diablotins — the highest mountain in the country and the second highest mountain range in all of the Caribbean.

EXPLORE OUR CARIBBEAN VACATIONS

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