For many people, their view of paradise is lounging on a tropical beach with a cocktail in their hand, surrounded by luxurious resorts, exotic wildlife and palm trees. The Caribbean offers the opportunity to do all of this and more, in some of the most beautiful surroundings in the world. From luxury cruises, to all inclusive breaks, to last-minute bargain family package deals; there is a trip to the Caribbean to match all budgets and preferences. Out of season there are plenty of cheap flights and accommodation packages available; and even in the summer holidays, some tour operators are able to offer late-booking bargains which help to make the Caribbean a more affordable option.
The Caribbean is a magical and romantic environment for couples; with many choosing to get married or honeymoon on the islands. There are many wedding packages available for those who are choosing to take or renew their vows in the Caribbean, and some travel operators offer specialised packages and discounts for couples who are honeymooning or choosing to get married on their trip. Making your vows of love in the Caribbean is a truly unforgettable experience, and may prove to be cheap when compared to the average wedding in the UK.
The Caribbean actually consists of more than 7000 islands, but the main tourist destinations are Anguilla, Antigua, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Granada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, Saba, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Martin, Tobago, Trinidad, Turks and Caicos Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Despite the diversity of the Caribbean islands, they all share a laid-back atmosphere, tropical climate and beautiful flora and fauna.
Of course many people are seeking to relax on a holiday to the Caribbean, but some people, especially those on a family holiday with children may wish to seek out more adventurous pursuits. The Caribbean is the perfect location for activities such as diving, swimming, snorkelling, water skiing, sailing and horse riding. Local guides and instructors are always happy to help novices, and can be found in all regions which are of interest to tourists.
The Caribbean is a unique habitat and is home to many species which are endangered and cannot be seen anywhere else in the world. For families who love wildlife and the natural world, an ‘ecotour’ is essential and provides the option to view flora and fauna which is unique to this environment such as the blue iguana. The Phosphorescent Lake in Puerto Rico is one of the most remarkable sights in the world and will fire the imagination of children and adults alike.
Many tourists arrive in the Caribbean as part of a luxury cruise package, and this is the ideal way to explore the diverse and varied islands which make up the region. For those on a cruise ship, it’s possible to spot the unique marine life surrounding the Caribbean and see some of the rare birds which are indigenous to the region.
The Caribbean has some of the most diverse accommodation options of any tourist resort in the world, and these choices range from beach-front villas to five-star hotels and cruise ships. There are selections available for every taste and budget, and many Caribbean complexes and hotels will offer a range of luxury services such as chauffeur service, world class spas, babysitting, fine dining and maid service.
Caribbean cooking is famous around the world for its tasty flavours and generous portions, with fresh seafood being a particular speciality. Those who are seeking authentic Caribbean flavours will not be disappointed by the local restaurants in the region, which offer home-cooked and flavourful dishes. For drinkers, it is also worthwhile to ask to sample the local beverages, as many islands have their own signature cocktails. Please note that it is customary to dress for dinner in this region, and many restaurants will expect men to be wearing a jacket and tie, and ladies in a dress, for their evening meal.
The Caribbean islands are notoriously friendly to visitors, with a warm and welcoming population. Crime is very low, although tourists should keep an eye on their belongings and be aware of the risk of pickpocketing when in crowds or during carnival season. Society has been said to be similar to that of Britain in the 1960s, with attitudes being slightly stricter than in the UK, and leisurewear frowned upon in formal situations such as at dinner. Children and families are welcomed, and people generally tend to be friendly towards tourists, especially those who are travelling with younger children.