Top 10 Interesting Places to Visit in the Caribbean

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
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There is so much to see and do in the Caribbean – how to choose? This culturally diverse region has much to offer visitors, from history to coffee, art to nature. Whether you are able to discover these gems via a Caribbean cruise or find your own path, here are our top 10 interesting places to visit.

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Top 10 Interesting Places to Visit in the Caribbean

Snorkel for art in Mexico (and Grenada, and the Bahamas)

Snorkel or dive to visit the Museo Subaquático de Arte (MUSA), the world’s first underwater sculpture park. Created by Jason deCaires Taylor, this gorgeous installation has over 500 sculptures. deCaires Taylor has also placed underwater art installations in Nassau (an extraordinary sculpture called Ocean Atlas) and in Grenada (at the Molinere Bay Underwater Sculpture Park). The sculptures form artificial reefs, grow coral, and promote marine life and biodiversity. 

Jason deCaires Taylor - La Jardinera de la Esperanza

Jason deCaires Taylor diving next to La Jardinera. Photo courtesy and copyright Jason deCaires Taylor, used with permission

Taste your way through Nassau, Bahamas

Explore Nassau in a most delicious way… through its food culture. There’s a local fish market to discover, island rums to taste at a distillery, fresh fruit to marvel at (and devour), and a plethora of island delicacies to ingest. The Bahamas’ unique cuisine includes fish frys, fried snapper with grits, conch fritters, conch salad, peas and rice, and more – you’ll want to return again and again to see if your food memories are actually THAT good. Why yes, they are.

Dinner in the Bahamas! From Top 10 Interesting Places to Visit in the Caribbean

Photo Wikimedia Commons: Pasi Patokallio 

Smell the flowers in Kingstown, St. Vincent

If you’re a garden lover, you’ll already know about the St. Vincent Botanical Gardens. If you’re not yet a garden lover, prepare to be, after visiting. Established in 1765, these are the oldest gardens in the Western Hemisphere. Whilst wandering past the breadfruit trees (brought here by Captain Bligh – talk about living history!), see if you can spot the national bird, Amazona Guildingii, as well as the St. Vincent parrot. Discover the endemic spachea perforata (Soufriere tree), which is the national flower of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Smell the flowers in Kingstown, St. Vincent. From Top 10 Interesting Places to Visit in the Caribbean

Photo Wikimedia Commons: giggel

Explore ancient Mayan ruins

Quintana Roo is the only province in Mexico that borders the Caribbean (the rest of the eastern side of Mexico is on the Gulf of Mexico), and the port of Costa Maya is an easy access point to a variety of Mayan ruins. One of the least visited Mayan ruins is Kohunlich, which contains almost 200 mounds, spanning 21 acres. Built between 250-600 AD, the city was a regional center and trade stop. The most famous site within Kohunlich is the Temple of the Masks, a pyramid that was built to honor the sungod. Five of the eight original carved masks remain and can be seen today. The temple is covered with thatched roof, to protect the sculptures. 

Explore ancient Mayan ruins. From Top 10 Interesting Places to Visit in the Caribbean

Photo Wikimedia Commons: Victorgrigas

Travel back in time in Bermuda

Bermuda has a long (and sometimes scandalous!) history. Travel back in time – up to 30 million years – during this creative itinerary created by our Bermuda Editor. Highlights include exploring the World Heritage Center, a church dating back to 1612, an unfinished church, shipwrecks, the Crystal Caves (there’s that 30 million years part), historic buildings, a restaurant dating back to 1652, lighthouses, and forts. Whatever historical era is your passion, you’ll find it in Bermuda.

Travel back in time in Bermuda. From Top 10 Interesting Places to Visit in the Caribbean

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Top 10 Interesting Places to Visit in the Caribbean

Spend a year on Antigua & Barbuda’s 365 beaches

That is, if you visit one beach a day. Perhaps you do not have a year to visit a beach a day? You’ll have to pick and choose the ones you want to visit most, here. You might choose the beaches on the Five Islands peninsula (turquoise waters), Dickenson Bay (white sand beaches), or Runaway Bay (located next to Dickinson Bay, and an area of calm water)… or just meander to your heart’s content and see what serendipity brings you. 

Spend a year on Antigua & Barbuda’s 365 beaches. From Top 10 Interesting Places to Visit in the Caribbean

Use your Five Senses in Barbados

Do you travel with all 5 senses? We do! One of the best places to do so is on the island of Barbados. See natural beauty in the landscape, historical beauty in the architecture, and colorful beauty in local textiles; touch the sand (or water) in your perambulations; smell rum, flowers, and the tantalizing aromas of food cooking. You’ll want to taste that food, of course, and also hear the local music, which ranges from jazz to calypso. How will you capture the essence of Barbados? This is an island that delights all of your senses!

Use your Five Senses in Barbados. From Top 10 Interesting Places to Visit in the Caribbean

Wonder at The Baths, British Virgin Isles

A national park, The Baths is located on Virgin Gorda’s north shore. It’s an extraordinarily interesting geological site, which features enormous granite rocks (up to 40 feet long!), secret tidal pools, tunnels, arches, and white sand beaches. The rocks were formed by molten rock emerging skyward. Poke around, feeling like an explorer from ancient times. 

Wonder at The Baths, British Virgin Isles. From Top 10 Interesting Places to Visit in the Caribbean

Drink up! Delicious Coffee in Jamaica's Blue Mountains

Love coffee? Me, too. And one of the world’s most renowned coffee growing areas is located in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica. Because most of the coffee grown is exported to Japan, it can be difficult to find…unless you head to Jamaica! Make a pilgrimage to coffee estates, including the Creighton Estate, the #1 rated Kingston attraction on Tripadvisor. Besides the breathtaking scenery (and narrow roads), you’ll learn much about Jamaica’s coffee business – and get to try some!

Drink up! Delicious Coffee in Jamaica's Blue Mountains. From Top 10 Interesting Places to Visit in the Caribbean

Whale Watch at Dominican Republic’s Samaná Bay

The Bay of Samaná, part of the Dominican Republic’s Sanctuary for Marine Mammals, is one of three major breeding grounds for humpback whales. Each year in winter, thousands migrate home here, and stay to eat, breed, and give birth. The odds of seeing these gorgeous mammals is high – it’s a whale-watching bonanza! Listen:

Whale Watch at Dominican Republic’s Samaná Bay. From Top 10 Interesting Places to Visit in the Caribbean

 

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Top 10 Interesting Places to Visit in the Caribbean

 

What is your favorite destination in the Caribbean?

 

 
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