Depending on your style, Caribbean vacations can be quiet and relaxing or active and exciting. Tourist attractions in the Caribbean come in all ranges of excitement for all interests. Things to do in the Caribbean go beyond just relaxing on the beach with a drink in your hand, although that is a fun part of the trip, as well.
Here, in no particular order, are some of the most popular things to do in the Caribbean. While some of these are tourist attractions can be costly, others require nothing more than your willingness to participate. All of these tourist attractions make Caribbean vacations unforgettable and bring visitors back to the islands for vacation after vacation.
1. Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
Of all the things to do in the Caribbean islands, the ocean holds the most tourist attractions. Whether tourists want to scuba dive to abandoned shipwrecks or just float in a few feet of water and watch the fish swim by, snorkeling and scuba diving often define Caribbean vacations.
And why not? The Caribbean’s clear and beautiful ocean holds some of the most spectacular coral reefs in existence. While every island offers things to do in the Caribbean ocean, some islands’ tourist attractions stand out.
Here’s a list of a few noteworthy attractions:
- Stingray City is a series of sandbars off the coast of Grand Cayman that offers visitors the opportunity to snorkel with large, peaceful stingrays.
- The Turks and Caicos Islands boast the third-largest coral reef in the world.
- The Champagne dive area off Dominica offers divers the chance to snorkel through air bubbles emitted by volcanic fissures on the seabed.
- TheSt. John National Park in the U.S Virgin Islands includes pristine, protected coral reefs.
2. Taking a Sunset Cruise
While the ocean provides tourists with plenty of activities, each island has its own unique above-water diversions, as well. Going sailing for a sunset cruise is one of the most romantic things to do on Caribbean vacations. Sunset cruise packages often include dinner, drinks and entertainment. Depending on the island you visit and the resort you stay at, you may be able to opt for a romantic sunset cruise with your sweetheart.
3. Inland Hikes and Horseback Riding
Another option for above-water activities includes hiking and horseback riding through undeveloped land and national parks. On these adventurous tourist excursions, vacationers can see hidden waterfalls or caves containing ancient Caribbean Indian carving in their natural settings.
More adventurous travelers might want to take an ATV tour or a white-water rafting trip.
4. A Romantic Beach Walk
A moonlit walk along a white sandy beach, the waves lapping at your toes as you walk hand-in-hand: Sure, some might find it corny and cliché, but walking along the beach with a loved one remains one of the most satisfying things to do in the Caribbean.
Take the time to sit on the beach and watch the stars. Far away from the city lights, you’ll see constellations you never knew were there, and you can watch for shooting stars. The more technologically minded can also spot satellites tracking across the sky. Whatever you look for in the night sky, the clear, cloudless skies of the Caribbean are sure to display it finely.
5. Shopping the Caribbean Islands
For serious shoppers, Caribbean island stores and markets are the prime tourist attractions during Caribbean vacations. Many Caribbean islands offer duty-free exemptions (St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands offers the best duty tax exemptions). Prices are often cheaper than on the mainland, and major tourist attractions offer world-class shopping.
Tourists who aren’t interested in high-end malls and boutiques can spend pleasurable afternoons shopping at local markets, where they can buy local products and sample the regional cuisine.
6. Submarine Tourist Attractions
Visitors to the Caribbean islands sometimes can’t scuba dive due to physical limitations or other conditions. If you want to see the underwater world without getting wet, one of the most exciting things to do in the Caribbean is to take a submarine tour. Several islands offer submarine tourist attractions, including Grand Bahama.
If your Caribbean vacation doesn’t include a submarine tour, you can always view the reefs in a glass-bottomed or semi-submersible boat. As you view the majesty of underwater sea life, you may be inspired to dabble in snorkeling or scuba diving.
7. Exploring the History of the Caribbean Islands
The Caribbean islands saw extensive European colonization during the 17th and 18th centuries, as European powers sought access to gold and other resources. These powers built forts and castles to defend against rival nations and the ever-present pirate threat.
Examples of colonial architecture are common in the Caribbean islands. One of the more popular things to do in the Caribbean is to explore an old fort, restored plantation home or stately cathedral. While some of these tourist attractions charge entrance fees, others are open to the public.
8. See the Caribbean Islands from the Air
Small aircraft, parasailing and even hot air balloons offer unique views of the Caribbean islands. Seen from the air, the clear water of the Caribbean takes on emerald and turquoise hues. Similarly, tourists can appreciate the size and beauty of the jewel-like islands. Because so many of the islands are so close to each other, airborne tourist attractions can show you much more than just the island where you’re staying.
9. Restaurants and Casinos
With world-class resorts come the best in restaurants and cuisine. Because the Caribbean holds some of the finest resorts worldwide, tourists who appreciate good food won’t have any complaints on their Caribbean vacations. Many Caribbean island resorts also include casinos and nightclubs for exciting evening activities.
So, there’s much more to do in the Caribbean islands than relax on the beach. But who wants to go on a Caribbean vacation and not lounge on the beach at least some of the time?
When you need a break from Caribbean tourist attractions, head for the beach. Swinging in a hammock while sipping a fruity tropical drink remains one of the greatest things to do in the Caribbean.
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- Grand Cayman Vacation Guide - April 13, 2014