The Caribbean is a world famous tourist destination with almost year-round sunshine, beautiful waters and sandy beaches, and a very friendly welcome. To find out more, read our in-depth Caribbean holidays travel guide.
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The Caribbean is situated to the east of Central America and comprises a chain of over seven thousand islands which border the Caribbean Sea. It is a very popular holiday destination having equal measures of sunshine and luxury. These picturesque islands each have a unique identity reflecting their differing colonial histories. They provide a range of activities that cater for most tastes from total relaxation to action packed thrills.
A Caribbean holiday offers guaranteed warmth, first class accommodation, beautiful beaches and a wide range of leisure activities. While there are mountainous islands with towering peaks and islands with barely a hill, all of them have wonderful beaches with clear inviting waters and a host of sporting activities. One of the Caribbean’s greatest assets is its warm and welcoming people who do their utmost to ensure holiday satisfaction.
Caribbean holidays are popular with all age groups and for those looking for winter sun. Families love the beaches, young people enjoy the sporting activities and golfers are more than satisfied with the choice of courses. The Caribbean is becoming a popular wedding venue.
There is little variation in temperature between the seasons in the Caribbean with only a five degree range between summer and winter. A winter holiday sees temperatures in the pleasant mid-twenties with little rainfall. Summers can be hot and wet and the hurricane season begins in June and reaches its peak in September.
The Caribbean attracts millions of visitors from all over the world who come to relax in picturesque surroundings. Mile after mile of sandy beaches bleached white by the sun contrast sharply with the startlingly blue, clear water. There is ample provision for water sports. Conditions in the water around the islands are perfect for scuba diving and snorkeling as, apart from the huge diversity of fish, there are some wonderful coral reefs.
A Caribbean holiday can be so much more than sand and sea depending on which island you choose. There are ancient ruins in the Dominican Republic, Seventeenth century British forts in Jamaica and beautiful colonial buildings in Cuba.
The wide range of excellent accommodation caters for all levels of need and budget.
With a wide range of leisure pursuits including first class golf courses, these idyllic islands offer something for everyone.
The Caribbean is a fascinating combination of cultures resulting from its colonial past and African tribal traditions that arrived with the slave trade. Much of its history is reflected in its music and cuisine.
The Caribbean is a lively place and at no time is this truer than in the evenings. When the sun goes down the beat begins and music and dance continues until the early hours of the morning. There are many casinos for those who enjoy a holiday flutter and restaurants for those looking for romantic evenings beneath starry skies. A Caribbean holiday has nightlife to suit all tastes.
There are many duty free shops in the Caribbean and these together with markets provide ample opportunity for holiday bargains. The shops range from large malls to street stalls. Local crafts include items made from tree bark, fronds and straw, handcrafted jewellery and wooden carvings. Spices, coffee and rum are popular purchases.
Caribbean eating caters for most tastes having a wide variety of restaurants serving traditional as well as international food. Traditional food is generally spicy in the Creole tradition. As expected in land surrounded by sea, fish is a prominent ingredient in Caribbean cooking. Rice is also part of the staple diet. A mainstay of Caribbean dining is the jerk. Chunks of meat are marinated in a spicy sauce and then cooked over a flame. A satisfying snack is the roti, a wrap, containing spiced meat or vegetables.
Each island has its own cultural identity which was shaped by its European colonists.
Barbados, a former British colony, retains many English traditions while Jamaica has thrown off the mantle and displays its own African and West Indian influences. Puerto Rico, the most modern of the islands, displays Spanish and American influences while Guadeloupe retains the French language and customs.