10 Reasons NOT to Flop and Drop in the Caribbean

With their azure waters and caster sugar beaches, the Caribbean islands have long been a top choice for holidaymakers in search of a touch of flop and drop. All-inclusive resorts sprinkle the shores of many of the islands that make up the island chain, with lots of their guests never leaving their luxurious surrounds to discover the real heart and soul of the island that they are visiting.

But those unadventurous souls are missing out.

Here are ten reasons why you need to get off that sun lounger, and instead get your teeth stuck into some of the world’s most vibrant cultures:

1. Food

Food varies from island to island, but common dishes you may come across are curry goat, rice and peas, jerk chicken with local produce strongly featured – you’ll come across plantains, breadfruit and yams all over. French-influenced islands such as Martinique and Guadeloupe have a strong European flavour added to these dishes. And while you’ll find top notch tucker at many of the laid back beach shacks, fine dining can also be had. For example, St Martin is known as the culinary capital of the Caribbean with 300 restaurants dotted across its 37 square miles.

2. Music

Lucian Milasan / Shutterstock.com
Lucian Milasan / Shutterstock.com
Reggae and salsa are just some of the styles of music born in the Caribbean that have made it around the world, but what better place to have a listen than in their home country? In Jamaica, you can even visit the Trenchtown home of reggae legend Bob Marley to learn more about his life and legacy. Or you can get on the world music trail and discover new sounds that you may not have heard before such as son in Cuba, zouk in the French West Indies and soca and calypso in Trinidad.

3. Landscapes

Born of volcanic activity, many of the islands have striking landscapes. Yes, the beaches are among the best in the world with powder white sand, crystal clear waters and spectacular sandbars. But there are also black sand beaches which are just as spectacular. Away from the sand, there are volcanoes to explore at St Lucia and Guadeloupe for example. And then there are the rainforests – rich in plant diversity, brimming with waterfalls and pulsing with a range of creatures, many of which are found nowhere else in the world.

4. People

Kamira / Shutterstock.com
Kamira / Shutterstock.com
A visit to any destination in the world would not be complete without some interaction with the local people. And the inhabitants of the Caribbean islands are a great bunch – known around the world for their friendliness and senses of humour. So be sure to say hi when you’re making your way around the islands.

5. Parties

John de la Bastide / Shutterstock.com
John de la Bastide / Shutterstock.com
It stands to reason that with such great music, beats and people, the Caribbean would be home to some of the world’s best parties. And it is – Reggae Sumfest, the Trinidad Carnival, and the St Lucia Jazz Festival are just some of the events that bring music lovers from around the world to the islands.

6. History

While there is little trace left of the Indigenous peoples that once inhabited the islands due to their genocide at the hands of the colonisers, we can learn about their history at many museums sprinkled around the islands. Then there are the legends of the pirates, volumes of colonial history and, of course, the dark shadow of slavery.

7. Underwater

While the crystal clear waters of the shallows are enough for many people, venture deeper and you’ll discover a whole underwater world filled with vibrant tropical fish. Off the coast of Grenada, there is also the Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park – the world’s first of its kind created by artists Jason DeCaires Taylor.

8. Sport

Anyone for cricket? The West Indies were once a formidable force on the pitch, and although that greatness has somewhat dwindled, the passion for the sport remains strong around the islands. If you can get to a cricket match, then do it. Soccer is also increasingly popular on many of the islands, while a baseball game in Cuba should definitely make it onto your to-do list.

9. Wildlife

Drunk monkeys, vampire bats and frigatebirds are just some of the wildlife species you may encounter on a visit to the Caribbean. Grab a set of binocular and take a hike into the wilderness to see what you can find.

10. Drink

Yeah, you can do this one within the comfort of your all-inclusive resort. But it’s so much more fun when you get out and track down the best bars around town. Take Rogers Bar on Hogg Island in Grenada, for example. Then there’s the Pelican Bar in Jamaica – a pirate style cluster of wooden sticks bound together and used as a bar. The tipple? Rum of course.

Although for those of you not so keen on the strong stuff, there are plenty of beers to be had – red stripe in Jamaica, Carib in Trinidad and Piton in St Lucia among many others.

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