Eastern Caribbean

When it comes to planning a Caribbean vacation, tourists tend to travel the western Caribbean Islands. Although the Caymans and Jamaica are famous western destinations, the Eastern Caribbean has a number of beautiful locations to offer. In fact, the Virgin Islands are among the most popular eastern spots that tourists hit.

eastern-caribbean-125x125In general, the eastern Caribbean islands tend to be smaller than their western counterparts. However, their natural beauty and smaller population make them just as, if not more, appealing than some of the bigger western islands.

Because of their proximity to Florida, the eastern Caribbean islands are easily accessible. In fact, the eastern Caribbean route is extremely successful among cruise lines because the small size of the islands allows the ship to hit up multiple destinations within a shorter period of time.

For the most part, vacation activities for an eastern Caribbean vacation center on water sports. While tourists may find some hiking opportunities, snorkeling, scuba diving, boating, fishing and parasailing make up the main forms of vacations entertainment.

ARUBA

Vacationing in Aruba. If you are traveling to Aruba, you’ll likely stay in the main city of Oranjestad. Not only does Oranjestad offer a number of lush resorts, but it also has quality restaurants, museums and shops.

As with any other Caribbean destination, water sports are the main activity on a vacation in Aruba. Water skiing, boating and snorkeling are so popular in Aruba that any tourist can easily find quick lessons and get started immediately.

However, Aruba also offers some interesting land diversions. ATV tours take tourists all around the island in a fun, exciting manner. Avid golfers will encounter a few lavish courses to meet their needs, such as Terra el Sol and The Links.

BARBADOS

Traveling to Barbados. A popular Caribbean destination, Barbados is one of the most densely populated Caribbean islands. Some of the cities that tourists visit most frequently include Bridgetown, Holetown and Oinstins.

Along with the traditional water sports, day trips to the unique areas of Barbados can easily consume a vacation day. For example, take time to visit the Little Bay that not only has a distinct type of sand, but also is characterized by the number of blow holes spout up water with the motion of the waves.

Another fascinating wonder of Barbados is its Wildlife Reserve. At the Reserve, people can observe deer, monkeys, snakes and birds in their natural habitats, a rarity in modern times.

For the historical experience, check out the Barbados Museum & Historical Society. This military prison turned museum houses many cultural and historical artifacts of Barbados’ past.

PUERTO RICO

Off the Beaten Path in Puerto Rico. Depending on whom you travel with and what you expect from your vacation, you can choose to take the traditional tourist route or to try life as a local. Because Puerto Rico has such a rich, thriving culture, you may want to consider hitting up the local destinations for a true Caribbean adventure.

The Isla Verde is one of the more popular tourist destinations in Puerto Rico. It offers its clientele fancy accommodations, plenty of water sports (with opportunity for lessons) and a number of surrounding shops.

For travelers looking to take in the local experience, plan to stay in Ocean Park or Old San Juan during your vacation in Puerto Rico. Not only will you get a taste of the local flavor, but you will also save a considerable amount of money, as these locations lack the conventional tourist markup.

However, whether you prefer a traditional vacation or an adventure, check out the El Yunque rainforest in Puerto Rico. This natural wonder is home to many endangered frogs, birds and bats. Exploring the on-land beauty can be just as thrilling as any snorkel or scuba trip!

MARIE-GALANTE GUADELOUPE

Marie-Galante Guadeloupe. As part of the French Caribbean and the Lesser Antilles, Marie-Galante has succeeded in preserving its authentic charm in part because of its political choices.

Deforestation elsewhere in the Caribbean has caused soils to erode, and sugarcane crops that brought early wealth to these islands have given way to resorts and residences. But Marie-Galante has remained a French “department” or “region” that’s more financially dependent upon its mother country than it is on its own development.

ST CROIX

St Croix Vacations – USVI. St. Croix has two main towns: Christiansted and Frederiksted. While the larger town of Christiansted has a population of approximately 3,000, Frederiksted is home to about 830. The names of both towns hearken back to when St. Croix was a Dutch West Indies colony.

Each town is unique and has its own set of distinct features to offer. If you prefer a smaller less crowded setting, center your trip in Frederiksted. Alternatively, you can visit Christiansted for a more historical, mainstream visit. For instance, the National Historic Site contains Fort Christiansvaern, a battle fortress built in 1749. Another fascinating aspect of vacationing in St. Croix is its abundance of beautiful colonial architecture. During its long colonial period, St. Croix was colonized by the Spanish, British, Dutch and the French. As a result, its buildings reflect a cultural medley of various architectural styles.

ST THOMAS

St Thomas Vacations – USVI. St. Thomas and St. John, along with the larger St. Croix, make up the three major islands of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Although located within four miles of each other, St. John and St. Thomas are very different vacation islands. St. Thomas vacations center around Charlotte Amelie, the Capital of the Virgin Islands, and extravagant St. Thomas resorts. In contrast, St. John is a quieter island where the St. John National Park accounts for 75 percent of the land and most of the St. John Beaches.

Temperature in St. Thomas and St. John stays fairly stable throughout the year, with an average of 77 ° F in the winter. Summer teFmperatures in the Virgin Islands average closer to 82 ° . Although tropical storms can arise any time of year, hurricane season in the U.S. Virgin Islands runs from June 1 to November 30. Tourists should monitor local weather conditions as a matter of course. Even though the chance of a hurricane is slim, both St. John and St. Thomas are well prepared for the possibility of them occurring.